3 Effective Revenue Streams for Your Website

Most of us who have launched our own website have done so because we wanted to make money. For some of us, this may be a full-time job with visions of a plush seven-figure payout, while others may just want to monetize a hobby site to cover our costs.

Just as you can create a website on countless subjects, you can also make money with it in countless ways. All that you need to do is figure out which method works best for your website. It’s important to point out that there are no concrete rules on which methods are right or wrong; it’s more a matter of following some general guidelines and testing what works best for your unique set of circumstances. Here are three effective revenue streams that you can try for your website.

1. Sell your own products or services

The first and most obvious way to make money with a website is to use it to sell your own products or services. This, of course, requires that you have a product or service to sell. If you already have that covered, this can be a great choice because it allows you to build a long-term business. However, if you don’t think you have your own products or services, you’re wrong; almost everyone I’ve met has some skill that they are good at and enjoy, which others would be willing to pay them to do. Give it some thought and I’m sure you’ll come up with something.

If this is how you want to monetize your website, some key factors to consider are:

Focus on benefits, not features. No one cares about how an aspirin is manufactured or why it interacts with the human body in the way that it does – they only care that it eliminates the blinding headache they’ve been fighting for the last three hours. Tell your visitors what benefits they will enjoy by investing in your products or services.

Get to the point. Get rid of splash pages, special plugins, music and anything else that acts as a distraction or speed bump to your visitor taking the action that you want them to take.

Tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do. If you want them to pick up the phone and call you, make sure your phone number is clearly visible near the top and bottom of every page and tell them to call you. If you want them to fill out a form, you should ostentatiously link to it from each page. Whatever it is that you want them to do, make it clear and make it easy.

Present a professional image. If your budget allows, hire a professional web design firm and copywriter.

2. Promote other company’s products or services

If you don’t want to sell your own products or services, you could promote other companies through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing can take many forms, but in this context we’re referring to placing ads with your affiliate tracking code on your website to drive traffic to the merchant’s website. Generally, you are paid for either a qualified lead or a sale, depending on the advertiser. You may have already come across several companies that offer their own affiliate programs, but you’re generally better off working with a reputable network because they ensure that you get paid as long as you’ve followed the terms of service. Commission Junction is an excellent choice for beginners and pros alike due to their wide range of advertisers, helpful staff and plentiful tutorials and other resources. Another great choice is Amazon’s affiliate program because they sell almost anything you can imaging, making it easy to monetize just about any niche.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, these steps will get you headed in the right direction:

Develop tons of original content. The key to success for a content-based website monetized through affiliate marketing is targeted traffic, and the key to earning that traffic is feeding the search engines fresh, relevant content on a regular and frequent basis.

Focus on relevancy over commissions. You will undoubtedly come across a hot product that an advertiser is offering a high payout for, sometimes over $100 per sale, but if it’s of no interest to your visitors, they simply won’t buy it. If you focus on relevant ads, your individual commissions may be smaller, but they will be more frequent and in the end, you will be far more profitable.

Focus on content, not ads. If most of your website is dominated with ads, your visitors won’t stick around long, and they won’t come back again. However, if the ads are subtle, they can actually add value for your visitors.

Test everything. Ad design, size, placement and so on. The more you test, the better you can increase your profits. You should be using tools such as Google analytics in addition to analyzing your performance and commission reports within your affiliate network.

3. Sell advertising space

Maybe you just want to keep things nice and simple. If you don’t want to sell products or services, and the idea of tracking and testing the results of your affiliate marketing efforts is only slightly more appealing than being launched from a cannon like a circus clown, then selling ad space may be a good choice for you. One of the most significant factors in making this successful is targeted traffic, after all, people are advertising because they want exposure and a website without much traffic can’t produce much exposure for them.

Selling ad space can be tough, but here are some tried and true methods to make it work:

As with affiliate marketing, your focus should be on the content rather than the ads. Having less ads doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll make less money – advertisers will be more likely to purchase ad space if there is a better chance of their ad being noticed and clicked on.

Offer ad space in several of the standard ad sizes because many advertisers already have their creative materials produced and don’t want to create a custom sized ad. You’ll want to ensure that you make space for several 125x125px ads, and either a 300x250px or 250x250px ad, as these are the most popular.

Make it clear that you sell ad space. That could be as simple as a link that says “Advertise on this site” or a muted ad that says “Your ad here.”

If you haven’t sold any ads yet, you should put some up even if you do it for free. You could temporarily populate your ad space with affiliate ads, ads for friends or business partners or even ads for your favorite charities. The idea is to create an impression of demand; think about how you would feel if you walked into an unfamiliar restaurant around dinner time and it was completely empty – you’d probably think it wasn’t a very good restaurant and consider spending your money elsewhere.

Learn what works best for you

Keep in mind, one size doesn’t fit all, so feel free to try any combination of these three revenue streams we’ve outlined. Every website is different, as is every niche, so you may have to do a bit of testing to see what works the best in your particular situation. This can take a considerable amount of time, especially with a new website, so be patient and follow through until you find what produces the best results for you.

5 Comments on "3 Effective Revenue Streams for Your Website"

  1. MikeHopley says:

    Great article, Jeremy. I’m happy to see TWS publishing more articles on this kind of topic. :)

  2. Jeremy L. Knauff says:

    Thanks Mike! :)

  3. ali says:

    l like the article, very good and would very usefull for new starters l think. well done

  4. activetrail says:

    what about email marketing like the one that have on the activetrail.com email marketing software

  5. Yup. Those are the three ways to make money on the interweb. well done. i like the second route. affiliation through amazon and suchlike. works very well for my niche.

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