A website with quality content cannot be created without investing time and resources, and that undoubtedly has value. However, that value does not always generate a short-term return. Monetizing a website with good content is possible, but patience and finding the right strategy is necessary. There are no hard and fast rules for generating income with a website.
Every web page is different, and the most appropriate monetization strategy will depend on the type of content you publish and your target audience . If you don’t know where to start, you are in the right article. We are going to take a tour of the most frequent strategies to monetize a web page and to help you choose the one that best suits your content.
Broadly speaking, the earnings of a website can be based on:
- The value of the website’s own content (for example: subscription, membership, advertising, etc.).
- The products or services associated with the website (for example: training, coaching, electronic commerce, etc.).
In both cases, the quality of the web content is essential. You will also have to think about the digital marketing strategy that best accompanies your web monetization process:
- The most effective method is to create an email list and send campaigns with an email marketing program , which may be free at first.
- Other digital marketing channels that you can use are social networks, paid ads to attract traffic and, of course, the SEO positioning of your web content.
Monetize a website with the value of the content
As I explain above, the first step is to determine if you are going to monetize your website from your own content or if you prefer to focus on your products or services. In the first case, these are the main methods that you have at your disposal to monetize a website:
1. Accept donations
It is the most direct strategy to monetize a web page. Visitors are often aware of the work behind quality web content. If your audience values what you do, they will be willing to make regular or one-off donations so you can continue to spend your time creating and updating content.
To monetize a website with donations, you can add specific buttons from payment gateways such as PayPal , Stripe or Fundly . You can also use the platforms Patreon (a commission of between 5% and 12% of donations takes), Podia or Memberful (they charge a fixed rate for the month).
Donors can have some advantages to access the content or they can become subscribers, as we will see below.
2. Membership websites
The subscription or membership model is one of the methods that are gaining strength in recent years to monetize a website. In this type of website, the public pays to access the content or part of it. It can be specified in two ways:
The subscription is paid with a certain periodicity (monthly, yearly) and allows access to a private area with restricted content. The normal thing is that a part of the web with the most generic contents remains public, so that new visitors or those who have not yet become subscribers have an idea of what you offer them.
Readers must be motivated to maintain their subscription , so content creation is demanding and must be frequent. Subscription is common, for example, in the digital press. Often times, one part of a newspaper’s articles is open to all readers and another part is limited to subscribers. For example, the newspaper El País allows you to read 10 free articles per month with the only requirement of creating an account.
- One-off transaction
If you offer elaborate content such as tutorials, podcasts, ebooks, etc., but you cannot create them very regularly, it is best to monetize them with specific transactions for those who want to consult them. In this way, you will avoid frustration among subscribers by not updating your content as regularly as they expect.
If you are not yet ready to monetize web content directly, an alternative is to ask the reader to provide their contact details through a form when accessing it. In this way, you will be planting a seed: you can add it to your mailing list and strengthen your email marketing strategy .
3. Sponsored content
If your website has a good reputation within your industry, companies can pay you to write about them. This monetizes websites like BuzzFeed, which is funded in part by the sponsored articles it publishes.
The benefit of a sponsored article does not always have to be cheap. They can also be used to obtain inbound links, which have a decisive weight in SEO positioning .
If you implement this strategy to monetize your website, you should do it with some caution. A website with an excessive predominance of sponsored content can lose its essence, which is the main pillar of its reputation. The tone of sponsored articles should be as honest as possible, to prevent them from becoming advertisements.
Sponsored articles are common to monetize travel web pages. Here’s an example from the Exploring Routes website with a sponsored link to Expedia in the first paragraph.
If you are interested in this method of monetizing your website, platforms such as Prensalink and Getfluence .com are used to connect buyers and sellers of sponsored items.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliation is a method of monetizing a website that is based on recommending third-party products. It consists of including an affiliate link in the recommended product, which leads to the manufacturer’s website and includes a tracking code. When a visitor to your website clicks on the link and later buys the product, you will earn an affiliate commission.
Naturally, the quality of affiliate links is directly related to the reputation of your website. Also in this case it is important that the recommendations are as natural as possible and that the products have quality. It is not about posting mere advertisements.
Amazon , ShareASale , eBay and AvantLink are examples of platforms with affiliate programs that may interest you if you want to explore this method to monetize your website.
5. Paid advertising
Paid ads are possibly the most classic web monetization method and the first that comes to mind if you ask us. However, we include them last because today they are often a secondary source of income. These ads are monetized based on the number of clicks of visitors to your website.
To give you an idea of its potential, I share a performance estimate from Google Adsense , the most prominent platform to manage them: to generate an income of $ 100 per day, you need to obtain about 400 daily clicks. Taking into account that the click rate on these types of ads is around 1%, this would be equivalent to about 40,000 daily unique visitors to your website.
This is due, in part, to the fact that the page editor only receives between 51% and 68% of this advertising revenue, and Google takes another part . However, paid advertising can be a useful reinforcement to monetize a website, as long as the ads do not saturate the website causing it to lose value.
Monetize a website with linked products or services
Basically, these methods consist of using the website to promote the products or services of a company or an individual. However, they are still methods to monetize a website: with a good digital strategy, products or services are an extension of the website’s content, and the value of both cannot be dissociated. Next we will see the most common examples to monetize a website in this category.
The trainings are an opportunity to deepen the contents of a website. Blog posts and video tutorials are useful for sharing knowledge, but they have inherent limitations. If you notice that visitors are left wanting to learn more, you can offer them the opportunity to enroll in your courses — face-to-face or virtual — to monetize your website.
7. Coaching or consulting
It is a method to monetize a web page similar to the training courses, but in an individualized version and more adapted to each person and specific niche.
8. Online store
E-commerce is the web monetization method that relies the most on linked products. Although your income will come from the sale of your products (physical or digital) or services, the contents of the website are still a key piece to generate web traffic. Therefore, we can consider that electronic commerce is part of the list of techniques to monetize a website.
However, when creating an online store we are already talking about a business model different from that of the monetization of web content. You need an effective website, but also other requirements that I will not delve into in this article. If you have doubts, you can prepare your online store business plan and assess its viability.
Conclusion: it is possible to monetize a website, but with time
Monetizing a website is possible, but it is clear that it is not a task with guaranteed results or with a fixed income per hour worked. It is important to choose the strategy that best suits your case – one or more – and be clear that it will pay off in the medium and long term. In the meantime, don’t forget that a digital marketing effort that is as personalized as possible is essential to achieve the results you want. In other words, it is important that visitors know as much as possible the people behind a website and know that they can interact with them.
We are not going to be an exception. Be sure to join the conversation in the comments and tell us which technique to monetize a web page seems most useful or has given you the best results.