How YOU Make A Pretty Good Living Owning Websites Even If You Don’t Sell Anything.

1. Make money with Ad Networks (e.g. Google AdSense, AdThrive, MediaVine)

The method works when you have high-quality, optimized content on the pages of your website. It needs careful inclusion of keywords into the written text, so Google might determine what ads to serve to your site. Matching the topic of your articles with the ads target is very important: the contextual ads must be addressed to those very people that are interested in your content. Otherwise, they won’t click on the ads, and no profit will follow.

 

Important: Google AdSense is decent for sites with less than 25k visitors. But once you have 25k / 100k sessions, we strongly suggest you look at Mediavine and AdThrive. These two networks can increase ad revenue per 1000 thousands uses 3-4 times as much as AdSense, if you can gather the traffic.

Famous websites monetized with AdSense:

  • Pete Cashmore – founder of Mashable.com

  • Shawn Hogan – founder of Digitalpoint.com

The average profitable AdSense-monetized website:

  • Lenpenzo.com

Estimated income:

  • The income can go up to about $3000/month.

  • The average profitable websites can earn about $1000 in a few months

Requirements:

Estimated time for profitability: three months to six months
Growth and marketing methods: SEO / Content writing / publish articles frequently




2. Monetize your website with Affiliate Marketing

It mainly functions as a system where you generate a sale a product on another site. Every visitor you send to the product website is monitored, and you get a commission for every purchase done on the product website

Famous websites monetized with affiliate marketing:

  • Nerdwallet.com

  • Thisiswhyimbroke.com

The average profitable website monetized with affiliation:

  • Outdoorgearlab.com

Estimated income:

  • Big sites can earn well over $5,000 per month.

  • The average profitable websites can earn about $2000 in a month.

Estimated time for profitability: about 2 months to get the first $100 commission
Growth and marketing methods: SEO / Content writing / Product Descriptions / Reviews

3. Sell ad space

Instead of acting through third parties, you directly sell advertising space to media buyers. Therefore, 100% of the advertising budget will go directly to you. No more bothering about traffic, visits or conversions. However, it may require in-person meetings and negotiations that will, however, pay dividends in the long run.

Estimated time for profitability: revenues can appear immediately, as advertisers sign the agreement.  Also, it depends on how much traffic and following the website has.



Growth and marketing methods: building a niche website, writing about interests shared with many people or about some hobbies, so the monthly traffic volumes are high

4. Ask for donations and contributions

To make it really work for your website/blog, you should consider not mingling donations with other monetization methods. People are more inclined to push the donate button if they don’t perceive you’re already making big money from your website/blog.
You should also speak about the cause you sustain, for readers to get convinced it’s worth donating.

Famous websites monetized with donations:

  • Acumen.org

  • Care.org

  • Wikipedia.com

  • Brainpickings.org

Estimated income:

  • Up to $5000

  • Most commonly $1000

Estimated time for profitability: 3 to 6 months from starting the program; it’s recommended that you shouldn’t start the donation program immediately, rather start it after you have gained at least 10k visitors / month.

Growth and marketing methods: public relations, establishing connections and getting in touch with PR professionals, encouraging word-of-mouth and social media buzz.

5. Get Paid For Every Visitor with Repixel

Repixeling is a form of online advertising where non-competitive companies in the same industry target visitors to each other’s websites and apps. For example, if you own a hiking blog, an online store that sells tent, a hiking app looking to acquire downloads, and/or campsites looking to add bookings would likely be very interested in tagging your visitors so that they can serve Facebook Ads to them later.

Using a platform like Repixel, you can post a listing in their marketplace that shows you’re willing to let advertisers target your visitors, and you can set your own price in the form of a CPM (cost per thousand page views). Once the connection between blogger and advertiser is formed, the blogger gets paid for every 1000 page views.

There are three main benefits to repixeling.

  1. Controls: You can approve and deny any advertiser that you want to work with. So unlike monetization platforms such as selling ads through AdSense where you have limited controls on which brand shows up on your page, if there is a brand or competitor that you are not interested in partnering with, you can easily click “deny” when the repixel request come through.

  2. Scale: There are only so many ad units that you can add to your blog at a time, but because Repixel works in the background, you can work with and get paid by as many advertisers as you want.

3. No more spam: People came to your website to find content, not see ads or get prompted with a million different offers. Adding repixel to your website is completely invisible to the user so it doesn’t take away from the user experience.

6. Use your site as a portfolio to get projects

This method is suitable for websites that show off your expertise in dealing with a certain subject. The HIRE ME section only perfects the presentation, giving people the chance to benefit from specialized, paid services that’ll bring them more value.

The HIRE ME section should not only confirm you as an expert in your field, but also get you speaking jobs, consulting offers, and highlight the advantages of people collaborating with you. Chances are you’ll be contacted for potential partnerships that’ll bring you money to the table.

Famous websites monetized by adding a HIRE ME section in the website:

  • Ashleygainer.com

  • Cyrusvanover.com

The average profitable website monetized with donations:

  • Innovativeink.ca

Estimated income:

  • It depends on how much you require as payment for providing professional services in your activity area

Estimated time for profitability: 3 to 6 months to get your optimized website visible in the search engines; or else even less if you promote the website in social media (e.g. LinkedIn)
Growth and marketing methods: social media marketing, search engine optimization, pay per click, promotion on expertise-focused platforms or freelance platforms such as Elance.com

7. Create an eCommerce store

This is one of the most frequently used method of monetizing a website. It implies putting in place an online store, where users can come and order the products they like. The idea of an e-shop is not new. However, it’s a profitable income source, depending on how much you manage to distinguish the e-shop from your competitors in the online market.




Famous websites monetized by selling products online:

  • Ebay.com

  • Walmart.com

Estimated income:

  • Bigger websites can earn well over $10,000 per month.

  • The average conversion rate for an ecommerce business might be of 2%. This means that for every 100 people who visit your store you can expect 2 people to make an order. The average order value for small ecommerce stores might be $45.

Estimated time for profitability: about 6 months for the ecommerce website to grow

Growth and marketing methods: Ecommerce SEO / Product Marketing / Pricing / Community Gathering / Social Media Marketing

8. Sell e-Books

This monetization method is low-cost and low-risk. It’s never been easier to start writing an e-book, publishing it and making money from it. No additional costs for printing the books and publishing them.

All can be done online, on your own website. And you charge a fee for the download link and collect e-mail addresses (for future follow-up and e-books upselling) monetizing this way your website. You can even gather past blog articles, give them a coherent structure and provide them to the public in the form of an e-book.

Famous websites monetized by selling e-books:

  • Darren Rowse – Digital-photography-school.com

  • Brett Kelly – Evernote Essentials

Estimated income:

  • An E-book can give you about $22,000 in about a year.

  • The average e-book sells 8000 copies in its lifetime. Multiply this number with how much you charge for a copy and you can get the average income from selling e-books.

Estimated time for profitability: 3 months to get your e-book landing page promoted through paid methods / 6 months to get your e-book landing page promoted organically

Must have skills:

  • Social media skills

9. Charge money for sponsored posts

Sponsored posts are those articles you get paid for by third parties (advertisers), after both parties have come to an agreement about the conditions of publishing them on your website. You can reach out to them, or else they might contact you for (writing &) publishing content regarding their products/services.

Famous websites monetized with sponsored posts and reviews:

  • Makezine.com

  • Techwyse.com

Estimated income:

  • About $2,000/month

  • The income can go up to $6,000

Estimated time for profitability: as soon as the agreement is signed, and the articles are published
Growth and marketing methods: Social Media Marketing / SEO / Niche targeting with specific topics

10. Create paywalls for premium content

What this monetization method supposes: users have restricted access to some valuable pieces of content, and to reach that content, they have to pay for it. It’s useful for gathering email addresses and other information regarding your audience, for better reaching out to them in the future.

Also, offering access to premium content for a fee, you have a valid monetization method in place, whether for short term or long term. An option might be to give a hybrid gating experience.

Famous websites monetized with gated content:

  • Backlinko.com

  • Doubleyourfreelancing.com

  • Fs.blog

The average profitable website monetized with gated content:

  • Chronicleofsocialchange.org

Estimated income:

  • The income might not appear directly from gathering content. Rather, you gather information about your audience, and then you can target that audience with better content/products/services. The real income will come from a precise targeting of your audience.

Estimated time for profitability: about 6 months for the landing page to be discovered by web surfers
Growth and marketing methods: off-site SEO & link building, social media marketing, branding

11. Generate and sell leads

The lead generation model is another viable option for monetizing a website. Through content in your website, you should attract users that can be registered as qualified leads that a company will use to turn into customers/clients.

It is very important that the leads should be qualified, for you to get paid for bringing them to that company. The payment models are either pay per lead or pay per call.

Famous websites performing well at generating leads:

  • Ellevest.com

  • Bookofthemonth.com

Estimated income:

  • $1000’s in Revenue A Month

  • Start $10 per lead.

Estimated time for profitability: 1 month for some leads to be found and sent to checkout on the company’s website

Growth and marketing methods: website optimization / social media / SEO / content marketing / email marketing

12. Offer consulting services

Another option to monetize your website is to offer consulting services. This is a good idea if you want to put your strengths at value and offer consulting to different companies, in exchange for money. A short presentation of yourself will instill trust and build your credibility as a consultant who’s worth paying.

Famous websites selling consulting services:

  • Bain.com

  • Capgemini.com

The average profitable website monetized with consulting services:

  • Brafton.com

Estimated income:

  • Depending on how much you charge for each project

Estimated time for profitability: 1 month to 3 months to make your website visible in search engines and get contacted by potential partners
Growth and marketing methods: social media / SEO / content marketing

13. Monetize your website with membership content

Membership websites refer to content that is continuously delivered to users, in exchange for subscription payments. The content provided to users must be valuable, useful to them and unique. Also, it should be provided on a continuous basis, for users to get it in exchange of a fee that covers their membership.

Famous websites providing membership content:

  • Internationalliving.com

  • Youpreneur.com

The average profitable website monetized with membership content:

  • Fabfitfun.com

Estimated income:

  • It depends on how much your competitors charge for the same content, as well as the value (either financial or of other type) the membership content provides to users

Estimated time for profitability: 1 month to 3 months
Growth and marketing methods: buzz marketing / content blitz / promoted website launch

14. Do product reviews

Writing product reviews represents a simple and fast method of generating income with your website/blog. You have to choose products that fit your niche’s interests, and that you know well. Hence, you can simply drop some lines to express your opinion about those products which might interest your users.

You will get paid by companies wanting to promote their products in the online world, by way of product reviews.
You can also make money by subscribing to an affiliate program for those products.

Famous websites providing product reviews:

  • Consumersearch.com

  • Slant.co

Estimated income:

  • from $300-$500 and upwards/review

Estimated time for profitability: 1 month to 3 months
Growth and marketing methods: social media marketing / content writing / community gathering

15. Create online video course/tutorial/webinar

Creating an online video course might prove successful as a website monetization method. You should start from the premise that everything is teachable, so you can use your expertise and knowledge in a particular area to teach others how to start getting involved in that area. In exchange for a sum you set up, people will be glad to come and subscribe to your online courses.

Famous websites providing online video courses:

  • Lynda.com

  • Pluralsight.com

The average profitable website monetized with online video courses:

  • Onlinecookingschool.com

Estimated income:

  • Unknown and vast

Estimated time for profitability: about 6 months
Growth and marketing methods: social media / pay per click / Facebook ads / content marketing

16. Sell Podcast subscriptions

Offer premium audio content to users – these are podcasts available after paying a subscription. This is content users must pay for to get access. The method is simple, yet premium content should be carefully selected and indeed be of value to people paying for it.




Famous podcasters:

  • JAIME JAY – Stop Riding the Pine (conversations with changemakers and disruptors)

  • PAMELA GAY – Astronomy Cast

The average profitable podcast:

  • School of Podcasting – 1,200 to 2,000 downloads per episode (from here, you can infer how much can be earned from each podcast episode)

Estimated income:

  • The most successful podcasters earn $50,000 per episode

  • The average profitable podcasters can earn about $10,000 per episode

Podcast specific expenses – media hosting, voice over, recording/editing software, microphone
Estimated time for profitability: One month to six months.

Growth and marketing methods: SEO / Cross promotions / publish episodes frequently, at least in the first 8 weeks.

17. Use CPM/CPA/CPC/PPC networks

Below are explained all these models:

Estimated income:

    Unknown and vast

Estimated time for profitability: about 3 months
Growth and marketing methods: social media / content marketing

18. Start a drop shipping e-commerce business

Drop shipping is a business model according to which you, the online shop owner, doesn’t have to store any inventory before selling products. Products are sold without you needing to store them in a repository, directly from the wholesaler or manufacturer.

Websites monetized with dropshipping e-commerce:

  • Shop.ugmonk.com

  • Bremont.com

Estimated income:

  • About $5,000/month

Estimated time for profitability: about 3 months
Growth and marketing methods: social media / Facebook ads / content marketing / SEO

19. Apply for crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is an online money-making method where small amounts of money are gathered from a large public, in order to finance a for-profit company.

Websites monetized with crowdfunding:

  • Kickstarter.com

  • Indiegogo.com

Estimated time for profitability: about 6 months
Growth and marketing methods: advertising / expos & trade shows / press releases distribution.

20. Content marketing

There are many ways you can make money from the content you produce. Let’s go through each option and see which best suits you:

  1. Persuasive copy writing to sell your products and services

Here comes persuasive copy that’ll have the role of pushing users to buy. The text should be completed with a perfectly crafted call-to-action.

  1. Linking content pieces to your products and services

Here, you need to pay attention to the anchor text in the copy, linking to products or services. You should keep it highly relevant to the link target, so it performs best attaining the goals you have with your content.

  1. Placing unique affiliate links into your content

You promote a company’s products on your website. when a user reads your content and clicks an affiliate link, they are driven to the company’s website. if they buy the product on that company’s website, after they’ve followed your affiliate link, you get a commission for that sale.

  1. Repurposing and repackaging your website’s content

This functions well when e.g. you gather some posts of your blog, give them a coherent structure and turn them into an e-book. You can then sell the e-book and get money from that content.

21. Use monetization widgets/plugins

It’s good to know that there are plenty of widgets/plugins you can add to your WordPress website, for monetization purposes. They help you insert ads or links into the posts or pages of the website, and they will thus contribute to your earnings.

Among them:

SEO Smart Links
You place different keywords into the text of your pages, and you assign links to them, so that when these keywords pop up in your text, they automatically redirect to different content that you’ve preselected.

Cleeng Content Monetization
With this plugin, you can limit access to certain parts of your website, which holds the information that someone is looking for, until they’ve paid for the access.

Ad Injection
This plugin allows for ads to be inserted into the website content, so that you can earn money from them. They allow for managing your different ads easier, as you can place them around your site, and within your content.




22. Make money by displaying audio ads

This method is relatively new. You can envisage including audio ads on your website, if the ads are relevant to your target audience. It’s recommended that you keep up with the evolution of this monetization method, and if deemed suitable, you can try it, too.

23. Use native advertising

Native advertising is a form of paid media that resembles the look and format of the content being published on the website it is included into. Online advertorials are one type of native advertising intermingled in a website’s content.

Sponsored content is another specific form of native advertising, and it works well for blogs and personal websites.
We won’t insist upon this monetization method, as it’s been described at length in the case of sponsored content.

24. Resell your content offline

This is an underestimated, often looked-over monetization method. It implies taking valuable content from the website and reselling it to other types of media, for the offline channels. So get creative!

25. Email newsletters with third-party links advertising for other companies

If you reach a considerable number of website visitors, you might consider this as a monetization tactics. Invite users to subscribe to your newsletters and include in those newsletters third-party links advertising for other companies. The companies will pay you for the traffic coming from this source and depending on the open rate you register for the newsletters.

Such links fall under the category of affiliate links (Links that direct to a third-party, but do not market on behalf of that third party. Often, affiliate links are used in the context of a partnership between two independent vendors or businesses).

26. Banner Advertising

Banner advertising is somewhat risky. Showing too many ads in a single webpage might detract users from visiting other pages, as well. Thus, the income from ads on a single page might be consistent, however it is far less than the income coming from a session of several pages visits from the same user. Thus, banner advertising should be used wisely, to maximize profits coming from this monetization source.
Banner advertising is probably the easiest method to monetize a website/blog, and, in the meantime, the less effective.

Estimated income:
1000 displays of an ad would cost the advertiser, on average, $2.80

27. Building tools people are willing to pay for

Another option to monetize your website is to build some great tools people will want to pay for to use. They can be WordPress plugins, SEO tools, or any other type you want. Give them to people in exchange for a fee, and you can get considerable amounts of money, over the time.
For instance, Bannersnack.com has developed tools for online banner creation. It charges a fee for using these tools and this is a powerful monetization method.

28. Buy and resell websites

Website flipping means you buy a website, you work on improving it and you sell it at a higher price. This means you generate income in two ways: both from monetization methods you apply while you own the website, and from selling it afterwards.
The monetization strategy will differ from one website to another, and the income resulting from website flipping depends on how well you manage to improve it while you own it.

Regardless of your chosen method, you need to think of promoting your work. To find the suitable promotion tactics that work for your website at a given time, you have to keep up with the trends.

A closing word

Keep in mind that it might be suitable to combine several methods and mold them into a monetization strategy. Carefully choose them and put the perfect monetization strategy to work for you.

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3 thoughts on “How YOU Make A Pretty Good Living Owning Websites Even If You Don’t Sell Anything.”

  1. The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesnt disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, nonetheless I actually thought you would probably have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy looking for attention.

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