Monetizing Your Website
While it might seem unlikely, it is possible to earn money from your website. Monetizing a web property is not unusual any more, so if you haven’t considered it you might be missing out. Website owners’ earnings range from enough to cover the annual cost of a domain and hosting package all the way up to tens of thousands per month. A major barrier that divides the former category from reaching the latter is an aversion (or maybe an outright fear) of technology. The good news is that there are people who can help with monetizing every step of the way.
Advertising long ago made the transition from traditional channels like radio, television, and newspapers to the internet. If you have a website and traffic, you have an income stream waiting to be tapped. And even if you just have a website with no traffic, that situation can remedied. While there are dozens of different strategies for incorporating ads into your website, they fall into two general categories. Become a member of a network like Google AdSense, or sell space directly to individuals. Neither is too complex to set up yourself, but we can offer quick help in getting ads integrated into your website and putting money in your pocket.
Have you seen those little blue PayPal buttons that sit so innocuously on other websites, collecting free money from readers? Maybe they would work great for you and maybe they wouldn’t. You’ll never know until you try. PayPal’s website can walk you through the process of installing a snippet of code on your website that handles everything. If you find that intimidating, we’ll be glad to take care of the upgrade. Some people are uncomfortable plastering advertisements on their website. A donation button is an unobtrusive way to help cover running costs (or even turn a profit) that doesn’t browbeat the reader.
Another way to generate money from your website is through sponsored posts. This method works best with niche websites. Your mission is to locate advertisers with products or services that align with the content of your website. Better yet, they might locate you. This could work with affiliate marketing, where you take the product for a test drive yourself and write about the results.
Alternatively, you could post what is known as an advertorial, which is a combination of an advertisement and editorial. In return for payment, you write a positive review-style article that promotes the product or service. The tricky part is to please two audiences at once. The sponsor needs to feel like they’re getting their money’s worth, while at the same time the reader must believe your opinion is genuine. If you harm your reputation with your audience, sponsored posts can end up doing you more harm than good.
Good marketers know that the secret to business, especially direct mail, is in the list. The more mailing addresses you had, the more potential for profit. The same holds true with trying to turn a buck with your website. The object is simple. Offer something a visitor to your website wants (like a free ebook or other digital product) in return for an email address. In theory, this list of people who have freely chosen to allow you to contact them should become your most ardent fans.
Where does monetizing come into play? Clever marketing to this list should turn fans into buyers. While you don’t have to be a code whiz to connect the dots of creating the technology that results in an email list, there are several moving parts that need to come together in harmony for the process to work.
Set up an e-store
The “e-store” is a catch-all term that encompasses all the third party services that must work in tandem in order to sell something online and have the money deposited reliably in your checking (or PayPal) account. Another term you hear for the process is e-commerce. If you’ve ever bought anything online, you’re familiar with how it works. There’s the product display which usually includes an image and description. After clicking on it, the item goes into a digital shopping cart. When you’re ready to check out, there’s a payment gateway to process your debit or credit card and route the money to the seller’s account.
There’s a lot of technical processes going on behind the scenes, but if you can get it figured out and installed on your own website, there’s money to be made selling your own stuff or taking a cut of the profit for becoming an affiliate for someone else. These days a WordPress website and accompanying plugins that work with a payment processor like PayPal or Square are all you need to start your very own e-store.
The bottom line
There are many legitimate ways for monetizing your website, often without having make extensive changes to either the front or backend of your site. Whether you’re looking to cover some of the costs of hosting and maintaining your blog, or want to set up an e-store to start selling your products to a wider audience, there are many options available to you. For support getting started, be it installing a few lines of code or helping you choose and load the best e-commerce theme and plugins, TechTe.am’s experts are waiting to help.