If you have the ability to write great content on a regular basis, then you also have it in you to make money from this skillset.
You can start a blog or content-driven website, generate traffic and then monetize it using the several website monetization options I outline below.
However, it’s not going to be easy. It used to be that way years ago when things like blogging, digital marketing and Facebook ads were just out of the oven.
Just plaster your blog or website with banner ads, and whoosh. The money started rolling in. You’ve monetized your content.
Today, things are different. People are blocking ads, and have had their fair share of experiences with online spam, scams and clickbaits. They have learned to be careful and smart when browsing, buying stuff and sharing their information online.
Good for the people. But hard for those who intend to monetize a blog, and make money by promoting or selling a product or service.
Ways To Monetize Content
So you must be wondering in times like these, what are the best ways to make money writing for a blog or website? What works and what isn’t worth the effort?
In this post, I'm going to review all of the major ways to make money from website. Let’s dive into it!
Build An Email List
Getting people to sign up for your email newsletter isn’t technically a complete website monetization strategy. But it’s a must-have part of every other way to monetize content we are going to talk about in this guide.
Your email list is the chief forecaster of the money you can make from your blog. The revenue depends on the size of your email list.
So it doesn’t feel justified to begin with ways to monetize a blog without talking about email list building first.
The most common approach is to lure website visitors to subscribe using a free incentive (like an ebook) presented in a popup.
Then build a relationship with subscribers by sharing more valuable content and offers.
You probably consider pop-ups bothersome. They pop up out of nowhere and request visitors to share personal details such as your name, email, contact number etc.
However if you seriously want to make money writing, I’ll ask you to reconsider that opinion. Practically, that’s where you source your revenue from.
If someone lands on your website and doesn't share their email with you, then the possibility of them showing up at your website again remains bleak. You probably will never get another chance.
Moreover, if you have the faith that your content is superior and can be valuable to your visitor in the near future, then you have the license to be slightly assertive in your advances in asking them to keep in touch.
What I mean to convey is that employing pop-ups isn't wrong. The slight irritation they cause is a part of the bargain.
But be wary of being exceedingly aggressive. There are genuine methods to employ pop-ups. Considering you want to make money from a website, you must utilize pop-ups to your benefit.
Sell Your Time (Service, Consulting, Coaching)
As a freelancer selling a service or coaching, you can get paid to teach or do things you’re good at.
If you’re an expert at something, you can set up a freelance business and start applying for jobs within the day.
Freelancing is fast and rewarding in monetary terms but it’s also more time-consuming in comparison to the rest of the lot.
For instance, Jordan Roper was able to make $5,000 in one month doing freelance writing, and it’s also possible for you.
Another example of a reputable blogger offering a service is Elna Cain, who continues to write content for clients.
If your skill falls in a bracket of services such as an author, designer, photographer, coder etc. that allows you to work remotely, then it’s definitely worth a try.
To sell a service through your blog or website, create a service page, along with a contact form.
Optimize it for specific keywords within your niche. For example, if you’re a health writer, your service page can be optimized for keywords such as health writer, health writing services, health and wellness content writer, etc.
Link to your service page using a new navigation menu item that says “Hire Me,” “My Services,” or anything creative to let your readers and potential clients know about your freelance service.
In addition, you’ll be using your blog to establish credibility and expertise. In fact, it’s safe to give away most of your best material for free for people who want to do it themselves. Because there will be many who wouldn’t want to, and they’ll hire you instead.
Become An Affiliate Marketer
Affiliate marketing is the process of referring people to products and services of other companies that you recommend. You are then paid a percentage of the sale by those companies.
This website monetization method is popular among bloggers because of its potential to generate passive income.
Several businesses have now started taking advantage of referral marketing programs to generate awareness surrounding the goods, services they offer. This has opened up vast amounts of possibilities for affiliate marketers to monetize content.
With a good amount of traffic, you can make decent earnings from your blog or website through affiliate marketing.
A prominent example is that of digital photography school, which amassed a commission of above $500,000 from Amazon by endorsing photography gear and accessories.
To monetize your blog with affiliate marketing, you’d need to do the following:
- Find and join an affiliate network. Clickbank, Amazon Associates, and eBay Partner Network are some of the top affiliate networks you can join.
- Search for products and services within your niche and sign up for their affiliate programs. This will enable you to get affiliate links which you can use in your blog posts.
- Write helpful blog posts, product reviews, how-to guides, or any helpful content that your readers appreciate and recommend these products or services where appropriate.
- Keep track of your links and see how your audience interacts with them using Google Analytics. Here’s a guide on how it’s done.
Moreover, there’s a reason that I am discussing affiliate marketing before a lot of other ways to make money writing like launching your own course or membership community.
This is because before you launch your own offerings, you need to ensure the willingness among the public to purchase them. You don’t want to be dedicating a hell lot of time on a product that doesn’t see enough buyers.
And affiliate marketing is a great way to not just make money but also test the waters for what type of products sell and which ones don’t.
When a product that you endorsed sells great, you should definitely consider creating it yourself. However, if that doesn’t turn out to be the case, you should consider other options to make money from website.
In my niche for example, I have learned over time that complete solutions perform better than anything else. A course which covers everything there is ever needed to know about a subject, is likely to sell the best.
In addition, tools that give people the assurance of earning are also among bestsellers, like email autoresponders and landing page builders.
Whether you are selling affiliate products or your own, the more value you can add in your offering, the better it is for website monetization.
Affiliate marketing teaches you to find ways to add value in what you sell, how you sell, how you deliver, how you support your customers and any other part of the process.
For example, many people who sell courses on blogging and internet marketing also offer the following as part of the deal:
- Domain, discount on hosting, and assistance with setting up a blog.
- Ready to use frameworks to accomplish tasks like creating content.
- Weekly one to one calls/coaching to check in, help and encourage.
These exclusive additions make the value proposition incredibly persuasive and in turn bring in more buyers.
Launch A Book
Writing and selling ebooks is another popular way to monetize content writing. This is because with one or more books, you can generate a consistent stream of income for years.
The ebook market, for instance, is currently valued at $16 million.
Many authors have secured a publishing deal on the backing of their glorious achievements as a blogger. For example, Mark Manson initially wrote a blog post by the name The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck in 2015.
The post was read by over millions of people online. Such was the success of the blog that HarperCollins offered him a book deal. The US market alone registered a sale of over 3000000 copies.
The best part is that you do not need a crazy amount of traffic to monetize blog via ebooks. All of you need is the right kind of audience.
For example, David Oudiette, author of The Landing Page Cookbook, made $13,000 in revenue from his ebook within two months, and he didn’t have a large amount of blog traffic. And here’s Taylor Pearson’s story of how she sold 5000 books in one month with just 700 email subscribers.
To make money writing and selling ebooks, here are the steps required.
- Come up with an idea. You can look up popular topics within your niche and create a book around them. You can also expand on one of your most popular blog posts and convert it into a book.
- Let your readers know about the project and intimate them on the progress. You can recruit a few volunteers as beta readers to help you write as best as you can. Also, have them on board when you’re choosing your cover image.
- After you’ve completed your ebook, it’s time to launch it. You can sell it on Amazon or host it on a page within your own blog. However, I recommend doing both.
- Ensure you reward your volunteers with free copies and request their honest reviews on Amazon.
- You’ll also need to promote the ebook through social media, email, guest blogs, etc. Also, have as many people as you can to help create awareness for your new ebook.
Even self published books have seen a fair share of takers. Choose Yourself by James Altucher stands out in this category. The book has recorded 5 million+ book sales.
Sell An Online Course
Online education is huge right now. The dominance of traditional colleges and universities is fading, while making way for specialized, on-demand learning.
If you are an expert in something, create a course and use your blog or website to sell.
Alternatively, you can also use a platform like Udemy to launch your course. Udemy will take on some of your burden of distributing and marketing your course.
In this case, your own blog or website will not host the course, but will be a marketing channel to send people to your Udemy course.
However, before going the Udemy route, be aware of the limitations they place on course sellers. Udemy has a huge audience of people interested in online courses, but some of their rules are not in your favor.
I can’t go into more details considering the scope and length of this guide, but let’s just say that the course buyers you get via Udemy are Udemy’s customers first, and yours second.
Sell A Subscription/Membership Plan
Are you familiar with the buzzword "subscription economy?" It is mostly used in reference to companies such as Netflix, Spotify, and most SaaS companies.
These companies charge you per month for access to their content, instead of a one-time fee.
Similarly, this method to make money from website is becoming increasingly popular with blogs, magazines and other content driven websites because of its potential to generate passive income.
The content on your membership site could be a complete course collection, one-off training videos, or even content upgrade providing readers with bonus material.
Here’s how it works: You basically divide the pages on your blog or website into two categories: one for free access, and others for members only.
Naturally, your premium members get a lot more value than your free readers. However, ensure you're delivering value on both ends.
Popular websites following this model include the Medium, Copyblogger, Lynda, among others.
To create a membership site, here are the steps involved in website monetization:
- Depending on your blog CMS platform, find and install a membership software.
- Add payment options clearly stating if you’re accepting annual or monthly payments. Some membership sites offer discounts for yearly payments to encourage more sales.
- You can add levels to your membership, such as gold, diamond, and platinum. However, I recommend starting with just one level.
- Create a pricing page to let your readers know about your membership plans, along with signup and login options.
Here’s a more detailed guide to help you develop an efficient membership site.
Google AdSense & Other Advertising
As I mentioned, this is one of the oldest tricks in the book to monetize content. You can make money by showing ads on your website which promote other companies’ products and services. And you’re typically paid per click.
It works especially well in certain niches like recipes, fashion and news, where it’s hard to make money via other methods to monetize a blog that we discussed.
But personally, I am not a big fan of this tactic because you can’t make a considerable income unless you’re getting millions of visitors every month. So you need a huge amount of ongoing traffic to make this work.
Now, there are two ways of going about this. Either you reach out directly to companies who might be interested in advertising on your website. Then try to strike a deal with them.
It’s a time consuming hassle but it can make you more money as compared to the 2nd approach.
The 2nd approach is to sign up on a platform that connects website owners and businesses who want to advertise. You won’t have to find and deal with businesses but the platform will cut a significant amount as its own compensation.
Google AdSense is one such platform. According to GrowthBadger, Google AdSense is among the most popular ways of make money writing. In fact, the number of people who employ Google AdSense has been on the rise.
In addition, this article by Jeremy Schoemaker talks about how he once went viral for making exactly $137,994.97 from Google Adsense in one month! This figure is insane and very rare, but it does give a glimpse of what’s possible with AdSense.
Getting started on AdSense is straightforward, here are the steps involved.
- Sign up for the program here. Ensure you meet their criteria before applying.
- Input your payment details.
- You will get a code to paste in your website HTML.
- Wait for approval.
It usually takes about seven days to get approved. But when you get approved, what’s the next step?
Picking The Right Model
So now you’re aware of a lot of website monetization options. How do you decide and pick what’s best for your blog or website? And should you use more than one?
Firstly, it is possible to implement all these methods to monetize content on a single website, as long as they’re a good match for your niche and type of content. In addition, the following pointers will help:
- Affiliate marketing works best for product review blogs.
- If you run a strictly free information-based blog with no products to sell and are unsure of how else to monetize, Google AdSense will likely work for you.
- If you have access to top-secret information and high-value tips and would love to share it seamlessly with your audience, paid memberships will work for you.
- Selling ebooks can work for any website, as long as you take responsibility for the quality of such ebooks.
These are not hard rules, though. For example, you can incorporate affiliate marketing into your blog without doing product reviews. Just weigh things up, do some research, and experiment with what will work best for you.
Indeed, it is still profitable to make money writing for a website or blog, and will remain so for years to come.
But patience and consistency are the 2 factors that cannot be compromised. Monetizing a blog is challenging, demanding massive investment of your time and labour.
Many bloggers and writers fail because they give up too soon. They quit after a couple of blog posts as they realize how laborious it can be to make money from website.
But if you can maintain consistency over the years, the reward is equally great. The freedom to work from just about any place on the globe, and keep making money without having to toll over it is a worthy proposition.
Did you try any of these methods? Did I miss anything? Share your questions or thoughts in the comments section below.