Passive Income: 3 Ways to Make Your Website Work For You
When most people think of a website, they don't see it the same way a business does. They don't see it as a business asset, meant to generate leads and drive users down to your product or service, with the ultimate goal of making a sale. They see it as a place for information, that facilitates that sale. The great truth about websites is no matter what industry, no matter if you're part of a business or a single person with a website working from home, your website can, and should, be making you money. Now, that's not to say the process is as easy as clicking a button and watching the money roll in, but with the proper preparation and a little bit of elbow grease any website can be turned into a semi-passive income flow.
However, this doesn't mean its the right choice for everyone. The work that must be put into a website can take months or even years to establish before you could feasibly replace part (or all) of your usual income with income from your website. But every website should be able to cover at least the basics of domain name and hosting costs with a few simple steps, some luck, and hard work. The ways of monetizing your site below can range from passive to requiring active, almost daily work-so remember to pick ones that fit your lifestyle and the style of your website.
Selling Advertising Space
One of the most common, popular, and widespread ways of monetizing your website is through what is call Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. If you're a business owner with an internet presence, you've probably heard of Google AdWords. This service allows for advertisers to buy space from Google to sell ads, which show up at the top of Google Search Engine Result Pages. Google AdSense is the opposite, allowing for publishers of all kinds to tap into Google's network of advertising and host their ads across the internet to any website with the proper setup. It's really simple to set up, and takes only a day to verify your account and start the process - and the results can be staggering.
The other benefit of using Google AdSense is that the algorithms Google uses will identify the content on your website, and only serve ads that are relevant to the visitors of your site. Everytime someone clicks on one of those ads, you get paid (yes, it's this simple!) Depending on the advertisement and the volume of visitors to your site, you can receive anywhere from $.10 to $5 per click on the ad.
One of the largest time investments in monetizing your website comes in the form of content generation, and creating a consistant visitor count to your website. Sites that host blogs are a good way to increase the pages on your site for ads, the amount of visitors to your site, and therefore the amount of money you can potentially make. Having a system to drive users to your site is immensely important for this type of monetization, but with a little work can create a income stream that could potentially match or beat your normal income.
Another popular (and probably the quickest) way to start monetizing your website is through affiliate marketing and affiliate links. This process is pretty straightforward, with the biggest hurdle being that you need to find a product or service that someone else is selling that you would like to recommend to people. Chances are if they're a larger company selling items on the internet, they've got some sort of affiliate program that you need to be a part of. Then, you simply recommend, promote, and review that product across your website, from blog posts to social media to email subscribers. If one of your followers or visitors likes the product, clicks on your affiliate link, and buys the product, you get a commission.
Commission prices vary heavily depending on the industry, product, and company for which you're selling the product. They usually fall somewhere between 30% of the sale price, up to as high as 70%. So, for example, if the commission value is 50% of the sale price, and your visitors buy 2 affiliate items valued at $250 each, you receive $250 dollars for just referring that person to buy the product. Not bad for limited work, and usually for advertising a product that you use on a regular basis.
The biggest downfall to affiliate marketing, however, is that it can be limited. If you're selling for a small vendor, they probably don't want you to advertise for a competing item, product, or service. And if you're advertising multiple products, you need to find a good balance to how you're advertising the ones that sell, and the ones that might not. There is an added layer of management to this method to perfect it, which might not be for everyone, but this method can definitely end up being the most lucrative, especially for a smaller, more dedicated audience.
When most people hear donations, they think of tragedy or non-profit organizations. Well, the way a donation works has been changed quite a bit, especially with the introduction of services like Patreon. Accepting donations isn't a monetization effort that works for everyone, but it works especially well if you have a small, dedicated audience who likes the content you're producing, and is engaged with your sites message, content, or values. There are a couple of routes to take when it comes to accepting donations, with the most common one being a PayPal donation button. PayPal offers a quick and easy button-builder right on their site, with a codeblock that you can copy-and-paste right into your website to start accepting donations. An alternative is, as we mentioned earlier, setting up a Patreon account.
The added benefit of Patreon is that it allows for creators to set donation levels, each with their own "rewards" systems. These rewards can be anything from autographed prints, to access to exclusive blog posts, or even setting up private chatrooms for the super exclusive followers. The possibilities for rewards are basically up to your imagination, and if you have that dedicated and loyal audience we mentioned before, they'll jump at the idea of getting a behind-the-scenes look, or getting to know the person behind the content more thoroughly.
As for getting people to actually visit your donation pages and donate-all you have to do is ask! An important thing to remember about the internet is that (with the exception of bots, but they don't usually provide meaningful interaction) each username has a person on the other end - and with all people we understand hardship, we (should) understand that creating things comes at a cost, and if the information being served is relevant and interesting, they will totally understand a quick, "Hey everyone - donations help keep the site running and allow me to keep doing what I love doing! If you have a moment and would like to, please visit our donations page..." Now, don't spam your users and pester them to donate - those who are willing and able to donate will do so with a simple reminder, and don't need to feel like they're being forced to give you money.
These are just a drop in the bucket of the different ways that you can monetize your website, and get it to work for you. From selling your own ad space, to selling your own product or service, and even offering to create content as a guest blogger, the possiblities are endless. The real takeaway from all of this is that your website, no matter how large or small your "company" might be, can be and should be a tool that is making you money. It's an asset for marketing, an asset for sales, and an asset for lead generation. Using the space to your advantage can futher pad your pocket and increase your bottom line.
Are you interested in getting one of these, or hundreds of other, monetization efforts running on your site? Are you interested in a new website? Let us know below and contact the Armor Techs today for more information, or to set up a consultation!