Every person who has her/his own website or blog wants to find appropriate ways to earn money or how to monetize their traffic.
There are many ways to do so. We are going to describe the pros and cons of some of them so you can determine which suits your needs.
1. Sponsored content
Have you ever come to the end of a blog post only to see numerous links to “sponsored content?” Sponsored content is another way to monetize blogs.
Search engines are not fans of sponsored content because paying for traffic can be seen as a way of cheating the system. It is possible that this can harm your site’s rankings. Amanda Smith, an essay writer, says “however, adding a nofollow tag to sponsored links should prevent your site from being harmed”. I consider this a risk/reward type of thing. Another thing to remember is that sponsored content is not a good idea in Google News articles.
Despite some SEO issues, you can still boost your earnings with sponsored content. Various companies use this method which is proof that it does work.
- Easy to implement
- A great source of income if you receive high traffic
- Can annoy your readers (especially the click bait articles)
- Could harm your SEO rankings due to Google generally not allowing sponsored traffic
Infolinks provides a service called InText. Their system works by replacing certain words on your website with relevant advertisements. Most users do not report significant earnings with this method (as compared to Adsense), and it has the potential of annoying your users. I would look at InText more as supplemental ads.
- A great source of supplemental income
- Almost guaranteed to annoy your users if they accidentally hover over the links
3. Sell ad space
Selling ad space is another common way to monetize blogs. Unlike pay per click ads, ad space is sold at a set price for specific time periods (usually monthly). You can start selling your own space by creating information on your website and reaching out to advertisers.
I would not recommend pursuing this method unless you have consistent traffic and readers. Most people will not be willing to pay for ad space on sites with minimal viewers. Another downside is that these ads will typically stay at a fixed price. This means that if your views doubled, your revenue would still remain the same.
- The income is guaranteed
- Many advertisers are willing to pay for spots on websites with high traffic
- Your income remains the same even if your traffic doubles or triples
- Advertisers will not reach out to you until you have a large fanbase
4. Selling eBooks
Unlike the good old days, you do not have to reach out to large publishers to get your book published. Anyone can write content and have it published thanks to the internet.
Are you a skilled writer or authority in your field? You can sell eBooks on topics like weight loss, anxiety management, sports training, religion, politics, etc. As with books at the local library, you can write about almost anything and sell it to readers online!
Many people start with selling on Kindle Direct Publishing. You can submit your book in minutes and have it published within days. Amazon will take 30% of your earnings, but this can be worth it since your books will be published in the Kindle store. Once your book is uploaded, you can paste the book link across your website for your readers to find.
Amazon is not the only option for promoting eBooks. You can also opt to host your eBook right on your website. This is more difficult because you need to create blog posts, advertisements, and a way to obtain email leads.
The main thing to keep in mind is how your eBook can help or inspire the reader. If you can cross that off the checklist, then selling will be the easy part.
- The internet has removed the need to wait for getting your content published
- You get your eBook out to a large audience in a short period of time
- High monetization potential
- Can be very difficult to stand out above the competition
- You must be able to market your eBook which can be difficult
- Writing an eBook takes a lot of editorial work
5. Hidden Premium Content
Since ad block use is increasing, many sites are now opting for premium content. This is popular amongst news websites, but it can be used on other types of websites.
This monetization strategy locks your content behind a paywall. People have to pay for accessing the content inside the wall. Many marketing training sites make use of this method, and it can be used for almost any type of content. You will want to ensure that your content is worth purchasing. People will not buy poor quality content unless they are scammed into making that purchase.
If you are on WordPress, numerous plugins will allow you to create locked content. The tricky part is making sure your site is secure enough to handle credit card information correctly.
- Allows you to monetize your content
- Could be the “next big thing” to cut down on annoying advertisements
- Only paid users will have access to your content which may lower your website’s traffic
- Your content needs to stand out before people will be willing to pay for it
6. Google Consumer Surveys
Google Consumer Surveys is a nifty alternative to premium content. It has been used for news, technical, dictionary, and general information websites.
This strategy locks your content behind a survey and gives access to the content once your reader gives an answer. You’ll make around 5 cents or more per survey. This can add up quickly if you have a lot of traffic.
Please be aware that this can lead to increased bounce rates, so make sure that your audience is willing to answer a few questions in order to reach your content. I would assume that this only works well for a small range of websites. If people are not eager to read your content, then they’ll likely click away and search for another less annoying option.
- Plenty of earning potential
- Quick to set up and use
- Will increase bounce rates
- Won’t work on people who are not urgently searching for information
Asking for donations is a common way to help pay for server hosting bills and make spare cash. Wikipedia is funded by donations and has been in the business since 2001. If you have a PayPal account and site built by WordPress, you can simply find a plugin that’ll deal with the donation process. This is a common way for developers to make money from free software and content.
- Adds a way to support your site
- Doesn’t pay much unless your fanbase is very loyal
What method should You Use?
Which monetization method you choose will depend on your experience, niche, and audience. Other things could include how much work you’re willing to put into your website, the amount of spare time you have, and the type of content you create. Also, don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to one of these methods either. It’s possible to make use of multiple methods to maximize your income. Just make sure you don’t become overwhelmed.
Here’s an example. If your website consists of news articles and updates, you could have an Adsense, sponsored content, and Google Consumer Surveys account. This would create three sources of income.
Another example could be a site where you sell lawn services. Obviously, you will not want sponsored content or gated blog posts. Your site would only include advertisements for your services and possibly a few banner ads.