Whether you started a website to support your business or you started a blog to share your passion, there are many tools available to monetize a website. In the list below, we outline a number of options. When monetizing a website, consider selecting a range of tools, instead of just one. Consider different combinations and test them, until you find the right ones for your website.
How to Monetize a Website with Ads
Sell Ad Real Estate
The most common strategy to monetize a website is by selling ads space. Pay Per Click (PPC) with Google AdSense enables website owners to display text or image ads. Google serves up contextual ads based on your content and pays you when someone clicks the ad.
Getting paid with each thousand impressions is another option, known as Cost Per Impression (CPM). Advertisers pay you to display their ads and you get paid with each one thousand impressions.
However, monetizing a website through clicks and impressions doesn't ad up to much revenue and can be an unreliable source of income. More importantly, ads can negatively affect the customer experience, by making a website appear cluttered. Moreover, there is a limit to how much real estate a website can dedicate to ads.
Incorporate Native Advertising
Native advertising blurs the lines between ads and content. Sponsored content, paid posts and affiliate marketing are examples of native ads. These posts appear more seamless and blend into websites with relevant content. Done well, relevant native ads can supplement your content.
When done poorly, native ads come across as cheap and deceptive. It is a best practice to limit native advertising, in order to preserve quality content and limit the noise.
How to Monetize a Website without Ads
Set Up a Paywall
Quality content is king. Websites focused on content may opt to monetize a website with subscriptions and paywalls. However, this can be a difficult transition for websites that have never charged for content. This strategy may alienate customers and cut down on the quantity of an audience.
Sell Something or Ask for Donations
This strategy may only apply to certain websites and business models. Consider selling a product like a webinar, whitepaper or e-book. Additionally, you might offer a skill, webinar or service for a fee. If suited for your website or business model, you may consider asking visitors for a donation.
Sell Your Audience Data
Building a quality audience with content takes time. If your website gets a decent amount of traffic, you may consider selling your audience data. Marketers and advertisers will often pay for highly-qualified audiences, instead of spending the time to build one up themselves.
This strategy can be very profitable, however it is becoming more difficult to protect customer privacy.
Leverage Your Audience Data
A new option is available to website-owners that does not compromise customer privacy. OffSite marketplace is a platform that creates a marketplace for audience-owners and advertisers. Through the platform, website-owners share their audiences with advertisers.
Website-owners approve all ads, but ads don't show on the website-owner's website. The OffSite platform serves up the ads through the Google Search and Display network, so ads are never tied back to the website-owner.
It's a win-win situation for both website/audience-owners and advertisers. OffSite marketplace creates revenue for the website-owner and advertisers gain access to highly-qualified audiences.