An entrepreneur's website is often one of the most under-utilised sources of income at their disposal.
After working hard to create an attractive site that encourages the user to take action, what about the times when business is slow?
What about when an audience doesn't want to click 'buy now'?
Did you know that regardless of your product, service, niche, or the behaviour of your target market, you can still use your website to generate revenue?
Here are 13 ways you can use your website to make money, which don't involve making a sale!
1) Sell A Digital Product
Write an eBook (or pay someone to do it for you!) that provides value to your target market. The hard work only needs to be done once, and while you work on your other projects, the sales from your eBook will generate a potentially substantial passive income.
2) Host Paid Webinars
Webinars are an effective addition to personal development because they're cheap, convenient, and effective. Without leaving the house, and with minimal additional equipment, both the student and the tutor can achieve their goals. If you have valuable experience in any area, host a paid webinar once a month which you can deliver through your site.
3) Build Your Email List
The value of a healthy email list is often overlooked as one of the best ways to make money through a website. Tailor your copy to encourage viewers to subscribe to your mailing list and make sure you have a lead magnet and plenty of call to action boxes so that people are left in no doubt how they can subscribe. Once you have the key to their inboxes, you then have limitless potential to sell your own product, and other products and services through paid email advertising (see below).
4) Email Promotions
Email advertising is cost-effective and has been proven to offer the highest ROI of any form of sales or marketing campaign. Email advertising works similarly to website advertising (both CPC and fixed price), but with the added bonus that it doesn't distract viewers from your own content.
5) CPC Advertising
CPC stands for Cost-Per-Click and is one of the most powerful ways to generate revenue from your site. If you're unfamiliar with the term, cost-per-click advertising does what it says on the tin.
Platforms such as Infolinks and Google Adsense are services which deliver relevant ads based on your user's previous browsing history and keyword searching. Every time one of your user's clicks on the ad that appears on your site, you'll receive income.
If you're worried about the extra content from so many links slowing your website down, don't! The ads don't appear until your content has loaded so they won't affect your user's browsing experience in any way.
6) CPM Advertising
CPM advertising stands for Cost-Per-Mille, or per ‘thousand impressions'. This is an easy way for blog sites with a lot of traffic to generate substantial revenue.
To start generating income through online advertising networks such as BuySellAds, you must submit your blog for approval, and, if it meets the criteria, you can begin generating revenue and you'll be financially rewarded for every thousand people who click on your page.
There are different criteria for different advertising platforms and some sites, such as Exponential, have a much higher volume of traffic requirement which you must meet.
7) Sell Advertising At A Fixed Price.
Fixed-price advertising is often the preferred option for those smaller business owners for whom budget is a concern. You can use the same online advertising networks as BuySellAds, but rather than the success of the campaign affecting both party's revenue, you'll both know where you stand financially from the outset.
8) Invite Sponsored Content
Sponsored content is when a company pays you to promote their content but in a much more subtle way than a personalised ad. Whether this is a blog review of their service or a recommendation of their product, sponsored content is presented in line with your brand so people in your audience don't feel like they're directly being sold a product that they didn't search for. Create a unique sales code so your sponsors can monitor the success of your campaign.
9) Subscription-only Content
Subscription-only, or paywalled, content is content provided by you which your viewers must pay for. This could be anything unavailable to an everyday browser like a specific series of blogs, or a members-only forum which only paid subscribers can access.
10) Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is by no means a new concept, and, despite the recent evolution of online marketing, it's still just an effective tool for generating income through your website as it's always been. While there are platforms available for you to connect with brands where you can write reviews, or cross promote their product, affiliate marketing doesn't necessarily require a middle man. It's just as easy for you to approach brands that align with yours directly in order to submit your pitch.
11) Advertise Related Posts
Related posts can appear on your blogging site as a recommendation to your readers who have read and enjoyed your content. Disqus is a flexible site which can add sponsored related links to your blog posts. Every time someone clicks on them, you get paid! It's free to install and as a website owner, you have everything to gain, and absolutely nothing to lose!
12) Advertise Through Your Podcasts and Videos
Let's face it, not all websites are created around the words these days! If you have a penchant for the podcast or you're a video enthusiast, then advertising products, services, and websites at the end of your recording is a lucrative way to generate income. You can also save money by promoting services through this medium, rather than paying for them.
13) Sell Your Website to the Highest bidder!
If you have a high traffic website, you could make a substantial amount of income from your site by selling it to the highest bidder. This isn't a recommendation for someone who's in the throes of reaching their business goals, but if you're no longer achieving what you want to, or you're planning your own change of direction, don't let it go stale. Sell your site to someone who can continue to reap the benefits of the seeds you've sown.
Your website isn't just a one-stop-shop for your own product or service. Try some of these ideas to earn residual income through your website for years to come.
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