Running a website provides you with a forum to express your views and reach out to millions of people around the world. However, it also provides you with a variety of opportunities to make money. Whether you have a lot of experience in business or marketing or started using the Internet yesterday, you can turn your website into a money-making venture from the comfort of your own home.
Post Ads on Your Website
If you have ever spent time online, the first thing you notice is that there are a lot of advertisements. While you may loathe having to watch an ad before your video plays or wait for ads to load above and around a local news article, they are a great way to make money. Whether you want to help someone promote a new product, a musical event coming to town or their own social media channel, advertisers will pay you to post their ad on your site.
There are a few popular methods of charging to post an ad. First, you could charge based on the number of views the ad gets. In other words, each time your site loads with that particular advertisement on it, you get paid whether or not someone interacts with it. Rates are commonly established per 1,000 views and are referred to as cost per mille (CPM) or cost per thousand (CPT).
Another option is to charge each time the article is clicked on. The cost per click may be determined with the advertiser or based on an auction system in which the advertiser offering the best price gets the ad spot. Advertisers prefer to go with the CPC model as it ensures that they are paying for engagement that can be measured and tracked.
One method that isn’t used as much is called cost per action (CPA), and you only get paid when someone takes a specific action after seeing your ad. For instance, you may receive $100 each time someone books a vacation through a travel company advertising on your site. As conversion rates are lower for big-ticket items, it may be best to stick with charging per page view or click unless you know that you can get regular conversions.
Use a Blog to Make a Passive Income
You may notice that a lot of blogs are focused on niche topics and may or may not be used to market a product or service. Content marketing is a marketing method where a person or company uses a blog post or an article to increase awareness of a given brand. The idea is for that post to be shared and for as many people as possible to click an affiliate link or take some other action that will generate revenue at some point.
There are numerous ways that you can make money through the use of content. You could ask that readers click your affiliate link when buying a product instead of going directly to the company’s website. When an individual clicks on your affiliate link, you get a commission on each sale. Since you don’t have to carry any merchandise or engage in customer service, this can be a great way to make a passive income selling products you like and use.
If you have a large enough audience, you could offer to create sponsored posts or let others write posts for your blog. It is possible to earn $50, $100 or larger amounts just to have someone post their content on your site. If you are going to allow others to market through sponsored content on your blog, you need to make sure that the material is something that your audience will enjoy. Also, make sure that you post sponsored content sporadically to prevent your blog from becoming an online infomercial.
Create a Membership Site
When you visit a website, you may notice that some content is only accessible to those who have paid a fee. Publishers forcing people to pay for content before they can see it is called putting it behind a paywall. Material that is produced by major publishers is placed behind a paywall because they need to pay writers, pay for bandwidth and cover other costs.
Traditional newspaper and magazine publishers also want to ensure that they aren’t charging those who buy physical copies of their product and not charging for online content. Otherwise, readers would simply migrate online instead, and the publisher loses a paying customer.
Creating a membership or subscription site may be beneficial because you can collect your money when a person signs up for the group or subscription. For instance, if you charge $19.99 a year for access, you get that money at sign up. However, you keep that money even if the member or subscriber decides not to view or otherwise use the content.
You can also set your subscriptions or memberships to renew automatically, which means you keep making money until that person cancels. For ethical purposes, you should send out several alerts when a subscription or membership is about to renew to give people time to cancel before being forced to pay for something that they don’t necessarily want.
What Can You Charge For Creating?
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from creating a paywall even if you aren’t as well known as Time Magazine or the New York Times. If you have a series of eBooks or tutorials, you have every right to charge for that content because it adds value to the reader. Teachers who charge for content offline may want to create a paid online version of their class to appeal to younger people or others who may want to take the course at their own pace.
You may also want to turn your blog into a magazine of its own that you charge subscribers a small fee each month to view. These days, search engines prefer blog posts that are in-depth and offer a lot of value to the reader. Therefore, you shouldn’t worry about how you will be perceived just because you use a simple blog to create and publish content.
Offering multiple levels of access to your site may be advantageous. For instance, you could provide portions of each blog post or full versions of older articles for free to show what customers can expect when purchasing a membership. From there, you can offer increasing levels of access and features for increasingly higher prices. This plan may be the best way to maximize your earnings as you are capturing different segments of the market and meeting their needs in one place.
Create a Site With the Intention of Selling It
Just like you can buy a house, fix it up and sell it for a profit, you can do the same with a website. Your domain name is the website equivalent to the mantra of location, location, location in real estate. You will always get a better price if you have an attractive domain name that gets quality traffic from a developed nation.
Websites that get most of their traffic from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are worth more than sites that get most of their traffic from India or China. This value difference is because North American and U.K. site visitors are more affluent and have more money to spend on products. Therefore, you can get more per click or page view by advertising to customers from those countries.
In addition to a good domain name and consistent, targeted traffic, you want to make sure that it ranks well for quality keywords. These rankings will help the new owner hit conversion and other marketing goals quickly, which allows him or her to achieve the best return on investment. In a way, it’s like buying a house that has a new roof and a finished basement. Instead of renovating and spending more money making the property more to your liking, you simply move in and start building equity.
How much can you make by flipping a website? That depends on your ability to track and verify site statistics. Buyers will also want to see that traffic is consistent and comes from actual people and not robots or from other paid sources that may dry up suddenly. You also want to show how much revenue the site has already generated if you are looking for top dollar.
Merge With an Established Brand
Larger companies like to acquire assets that they may not already have or understand how to develop. If you can build your brand into one that is well known and could help an established company make money, you could be an acquisition target. One good example of this is when NBC purchased ProFootballTalk. NBC then went and created a blog for each major sport and increased its online presence in the sports world.
The owner of the blog was able to continue writing, making appearances and otherwise promoting himself and the brand. In exchange, he received the backing of a major corporation and resources that may not have been available otherwise. If you dream of having a deep-pocketed investor acquiring your brand for a large sum of money, the first step is by starting a website and marketing it well.
How you make money with a website is limited only by your imagination. While your site may not take off immediately, good content, a good marketing plan and help from those around you can help you turn your online real estate into something that can help you achieve a little bit of financial security.