How 40+ Big and Small Websites Make Good Money

How 40+ Big and Small Websites Make Good Money

There are plenty of methods you can choose from to monetize your website. They are all opportunities for you to earn money and either make a living or get an additional income from your website. Keep reading, to see how you can effectively do this.

1. Monetize your website with Podcasts

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.

Guide to podcasting:

  • Check this source to see how you can monetize a website with podcasts
  • Check this to see how Growth Everywhere went from 0 to 80,000 downloads per month

Famous podcasters:

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

Requirements:

  • a fast computer, a mixer, a good microphone, lighting, website plugins

Budget: around $20 to $30 per month

Podcast specific expenses – media hosting, voiceover, 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

Must have skills:

  • Audio recording skills
  • Sociability, interviewer abilities

2. Monetize your website with Ad Networks (e.g. Google AdSense)

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.

Other viable ad networks are Immobi, Conversant Media, Exponential, AdKnowledge, Outbrain, etc.

Guide to Google AdSense:

  • Check this source to see how you can monetize a website with Google AdSense
  • Check this to see how AdSenseflippers became an expert at generating income from AdSense ads

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:

  • Optimized website
  • Subscription to a Google AdSense account

Budget: $30 to $50 (Budget needed to keep the website up and running )

Estimated time for profitability: three months to six months

Growth and marketing methods: SEO / Content writing / publish articles frequently

Must have skills:

  • SEO skills
  • PPC skills
  • Story teller
  • Publishing information-rich articles

3. 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

Guide to Affiliate Marketing:

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.

Requirements:

  • Optimized website
  • High traffic volumes
  • Subscription to an affiliate program

Budget: $30 to $50 (Budget to keep the website up and running )

Estimated time for profitability: about 2 months to get the first $100 commission

Growth and marketing methods: SEO / Content writing / Product Descriptions / Reviews

Must have skills:

  • SEO skills
  • Social media skills
  • PPC
  • Content writing (product descriptions)

4. Monetize your website by selling 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.

Guide to Selling Ad Space:

  • Refer to this source to see how you can monetize a website by directly selling ads on your website pages
  • Check this to see how you can be part of a program where advertisers buy online ad space
  • The average profitable websites can earn about $1500 in a month

Requirements:

  • Good-looking design
  • High traffic volumes
  • In-person meetings, directly contacting advertisers

Budget: $30 to $50 (Budget to keep the website up and running )

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

Must have skills:

  • Blogging talent
  • Social media
  • Negotiation skills
  • Analytical skills

5. Monetize your website with donations

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.

Guide to Accepting Donations:

  • Check this source to see how exactly you can gain money from accepting donations
  • Visit this link to see more on best practices regarding donations, and examples
  • Check Patreon and its functioning system.

Famous websites monetized with donations:

  • Acumen.org
  • Care.org
  • Wikipedia.com
  • Brainpickings.org

Estimated income:

  • Up to $5000
  • Most commonly $1000

Requirements:

  • Good-looking design
  • Transparency in dealing with gained donations

Budget: Budget to keep the website up and running

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.

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

Must have skills:

  • Professional-looking website
  • A supporting money source for keeping the website running
  • Community moderator
  • Social media
  • Crowdfunding.

6. Monetize your website by adding a HIRE ME section

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.

Guide to Including a HIRE ME section in the website:

  • Check this source to see how you can build a HIRE ME page within the website
  • Here’s an example of a HIRE ME page in a website, that helps monetizing the website

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

Requirements:

  • A neat and clean template to build your website
  • A professional presentation of yourself

Budget: $30 to $50/semester for keeping the site up and running

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

Must have skills:

  • Professional-looking website
  • Content writing which observes a certain tone of voice
  • PPC skills
  • Marketing abilities to showcase your expertise.

7. Monetize your website by selling products online

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.

Requirements:

  • Self-hosted ecommerce solution
  • Complete solution including stock management, payment methods integration
  • Support system

Budget: minimum $500 to set up the online store. The costs could range from $5 thousand to more than $5 million, depending on the ecommerce website you want to build

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

Must have skills:

  • Selling skills
  • PPC skills
  • Content writing (product descriptions)
  • Organizational skills
  • Product management

8. Monetize your website by selling 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.

Guide to Selling E-books:

  • Check this article guiding you through selling e-books on your website
  • Here’s another resource on how to create an e-book, no matter what your budget is
  • Check this case study showing how to make money from selling e-books

Famous websites monetized by selling e-books:

Estimated income:

  • An E-book can give you about $2,000 in about a year.
  • The average e-book sells 3000 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.

Requirements:

  • Provide the e-book in an easy-to-read PDF format
  • Give a PayPal link for the payment or any other payment method
  • Optimize the e-book landing page accordingly, for high visibility in the search engines.

Budget: the minimum cost of writing and publishing an ebook can be as low as $0, but if you want custom graphics, and other nifty features you might have to pay a designer.

Costs divided by steps you take to publishing an e-book

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

Growth and marketing methods: Networking / Affiliates / Offline Press / Social Media / Buzz Marketing

Must have skills:

  • A polished style and at the same time, a natural tone of voice
  • Structured thinking to clearly present your topics
  • A sense of what content would be useful and pleasant to read
  • An accessible writing style
  • PPC skills
  • Social media skills

9. Monetize your website with sponsored posts and reviews

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.

Guide to adding sponsored posts and reviews to your website:

  • Turn to this article for guidance on accepting sponsored posts on your website
  • Check this resource for a case study on sponsored posts

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

Requirements:

  • Create a media kit telling publishers important facts about your blog audience
  • An extended audience (considerable amounts of traffic)
  • An audience that represents a good target for the sponsored posts, as these should be relevant to them, and help them.

Budget:

No budget needed for accepting sponsored posts on your website.

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

Must have skills:

  • Negotiation skills
  • Content writing
  • Analytical skills
  • PPC skills

10. Monetize your website by gating 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.

Guide to adding gated premium content to the website:

  • Check this article to see when it’s appropriate to use gated content and when it’s not
  • Check this post for the examples of premium gated content it provides

Famous websites monetized with gated content:

  • Backlinko.com
  • Doubleyourfreelancing.com
  • Fs.blog

The average profitable website monetized with gated content:

Estimated income:

  • The income might not appear directly from gating 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.

Requirements:

  • Contact form that gates content
  • A carefully designed landing page where users will find gated content

Budget:

  • about $10 for popups software
  • about $20 for gating content software (e.g. Optinmonster)

Estimated time for profitability: about 6 months for the landing page to be discovered by web surfers

Growth and marketing methods: off-site SEO & linkbuilding, social media marketing, branding

Must have skills:

  • Content writing
  • Marketing tactics
  • Social media

11. Monetize your website by generating and selling 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.

Guide to generating and selling leads:

  • Check this source to see how the system of generating and selling leads functions
  • Find out more about the system, by reading this
  • Check this article including a case study on generating and selling leads

Famous websites performing well at generating leads:

  • Ellevest.com
  • Bookofthemonth.com

Estimated income:

  • $1000’s in Revenue A Month
  • Start $10 per lead.

Requirements:

  • Putting in place referral forms
  • Establishing the conditions under which you get paid by the company benefiting from leads you refer to them

Budget: about $300 for marketing your website pages

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

Must have skills:

  • Marketing skills
  • Communication skills to catch the audience with your copy
  • Analytical skills to have the lead generation process under the radar
  • PPC skills

12. Monetize your website by offering 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.

Guide to offering consulting services:

  • Read this article on how to turn your strengths into valuable consulting services
  • Check this article for some case studies regarding consulting services Mazars provided to their clients

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

Requirements:

  • A clear, concise and trustful presentation of your strengths, skills and expertise
  • Some data that serve as proof for all of the above

Budget: about $100 to keep the website up and running

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

Must have skills:

  • Marketing skills
  • Self-presentation skills
  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Social media

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.

Guide to providing membership content:

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

Requirements:

  • A website built on WordPress
  • A membership plugin (such as MemberPress)

Budget: about $100 to keep the website up and running

Estimated time for profitability: 1 month to 3 months

Growth and marketing methods: buzz marketing / content blitz / promoted website launch

Must have skills:

  • Marketing skills
  • Community management
  • Positioning yourself as an expert in a certain industry area
  • Social media

14. Monetize with 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.

Guide to writing product reviews:

  • Check this source on how to write product reviews

Famous websites providing product reviews:

  • Consumersearch.com
  • Slant.co

Estimated income:

  • from $300-$500 and upwards/review

Requirements:

  • Specific section in the website, dedicated to product reviews
  • Objective tone and impartial writing

Budget: $30 to $50 to keep the website up and running

Estimated time for profitability: 1 month to 3 months

Growth and marketing methods: social media marketing / content writing / community gathering

Must have skills:

  • Marketing skills
  • Community management
  • Objectivity
  • PPC

15. Monetize your website by creating an 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.

Guide to creating online video courses:

  • Read this article on how to create an online video course that’ll bring you money
  • Check this for more in-depth advice on creating online video courses
  • Here’s a collection of case studies about creating online video courses

Famous websites providing online video courses:

  • Lynda.com
  • Pluralsight.com

The average profitable website monetized with online video courses:

  • Onlinecookingschool.com

Estimated income:

Requirements:

  • A course outline
  • Some research on the subject
  • Video making software
  • A transcript for the video
  • A camera & a microphone

Budget: recommended reading this for having an idea of how much creating an online video course costs

Estimated time for profitability: about 6 months

Growth and marketing methods: social media / pay per click / Facebook ads / content marketing

Must have skills:

  • Teaching skills
  • Clear & friendly voice
  • A propensity for clearly structuring things
  • Social media

Here’s a tool we recommend for creating your own online course.

16. Monetize your website with CPM/CPA/CPC/PPC networks

Below are explained all these models:

Here are the best CPM networks that users like to use.

Guide to advertising:

  • Check this source to see some of the recommended CPM networks for bloggers
  • Here are some examples that better explain the CPM models

Estimated income:

  • Calculate the income you can expect from CPM advertising, by using this calculator

Requirements:

  • Subscription to a CPM network
  • Considerable traffic on your website/blog
  • Consistent article publishing, to keep the audience engaged

Budget: no specific budget required for the website’s owner

Estimated time for profitability: about 3 months

Growth and marketing methods: social media / content marketing

Must have skills:

  • Content writing
  • Community management

17. Monetize your website with dropshipping e-commerce

Dropshipping 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.

Guide to dropshipping e-commerce:

  • Check this source for a complete explanation of the dropshipping business model
  • Here’s a case study on how to get over $3,000 in less than a month, with dropshipping
  • Another case study about how dropshipping brings profit

Websites monetized with dropshipping e-commerce:

  • Shop.ugmonk.com
  • Bremont.com

Estimated income:

  • About $5,000/month

Requirements:

  • Choose a dropshipping platform
  • Choose an e-commerce template to build your store on
  • Install WooCommerce for your website

Budget: about $500 for a startup to implement dropshipping

Estimated time for profitability: about 3 months

Growth and marketing methods: social media / Facebook ads / content marketing / SEO

Must have skills:

  • Online sales techniques
  • Writing attractive product descriptions
  • Sales management

18. Monetize your website with 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.

Guide to crowdfunding:

Websites monetized with crowdfunding:

  • Kickstarter.com
  • Indiegogo.com

Requirements:

  • Know the regulations regarding crowdfunding

Budget: Product Design ($3,000 – $7,500) + Prototype Manufacturing ($5,000 – $10,000) + Professional Photographer ($500 – $2,500) + Video ($1,000-$5,000+)

Estimated time for profitability: about 6 months

Growth and marketing methods: advertising / expos & trade shows / press releases distribution

Must have skills:

  • Community management
  • Marketing skills
  • Capacity of persuasion

19. Monetizing your website with 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 copywriting 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.

20. Monetize your website by using 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.

Here’s a link explaining how some of these plugins function.

Here’s another source about WordPress monetization plugins.

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.

21. Monetize your website 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.

22. Monetize your website with 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.

Instead, here’s a resource you should check and a tool for using native advertising.

23. Monetize your website by reselling 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!

Guide to reselling content offline:

Check this case study about how to make money reselling online content to offline channels.

24. Monetize your website by 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).

25. Monetize your website with 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.

Guide to banner advertising:

  • Check this article to see what the technique of banner advertising implies

Estimated income:

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

26. Monetize by 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.

27. Monetize by flipping your website

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.

 

A closing word

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

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