Monetizing a website can be quite the challenge, even for an experienced webmaster. There are a lot of ways to do it, and not all of them work for all sites, plus there are a lot of factors to consider, like the users response to the new ads on a site to the click through ratio of the affiliate links that you placed in the footer.
There are a lot of articles written on website monetization, and most of them keep repeating the same things over and over again, but he truth is that most of the times, you will have to find your own, proper techniques that will work. But there are some things that hold true for any website, and you need to remember when trying to maximize the income potential of your site.
Recurring income is the best form of revenue
Yes, launching and selling an ebook or software can be great. But a stream of income that is stable over months and years is even better. You should focus on creating a monetization method that will bring you money in the long run, with little input or effort from you – a truly passive income stream.
Email marketing doesn’t always work
Everyone and their grandmother say that “The money is in the list”. Well, I hate to break it to you, but that is by far not always the case. There are plenty of sites and niches where email marketing won’t work. Let’s take for example, a blog about chainsaws. People make thousands of dollars promoting affiliate links for such products, but the buyers and users will never sign up for an email list, and will be very unlikely to respond to any call to action in your following emails. Instead of wasting your time trying to make your email list profitable, you’re much better off experimenting with other monetization methods.
Price doesn’t always matter
If you offer a really good product, its price doesn’t matter as much as you think. You can offer a membership for $30 or $45 per month, and the number of people who will sign up, stay or unsubscribe will remain about the same. The only difference is that in the second case, you’ll be making much more money. If people really need your product, they will buy it. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can ramp up the price to $100+ – you still have to use your common sense!
Don’t assume, test
You should never act on your assumptions, because most of the times they’ll be incorrect, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience. If you just assume that a certain ad or banner will never work on your site, and decide not to put it up at all – well, that’s the worst thing you can do. How do you really know it’s not going to work? You don’t! That’s why you should at least give it a few weeks before deciding it’s not profitable. Always test instead of acting on assumptions.
This is a bit cliché, but you should always experiment with everything. Ad placement, affiliate links, archive page view, the writing style of your site – everything can be improved and adapted to the users, and that will directly affect your monetization strategies and end income.
Keeping all of the above in mind, you can begin to try to monetize your blog or site. Of course, you can always just slap on some ads and affiliate links and you’ll possibly make money, but just taking some time to test more things out and experiment can go a long way towards building a steady revenue stream that will last for a long time.