There are a huge number of ways to make money online, you don’t even have to dig that hard to find them. If you invest the time and effort to build your own website, a whole new set of options open up for creating cash flow.
Don’t know how to make a website? It’s not that hard, and it could easily be worth your time. Sometimes that little cash flow can turn into some serious money. Here’s a few examples.
1. Selling Ad Space
The best-known way of making money from a website is to sell advertising. Although it may be the best known, it probably isn’t the best. To make a significant income, you need to either have a lot of visitors to your site, or a lot of ads, or both. Getting people to come to your site can be tough. You need good content or some other draw to get them there.
Once they are there you don’t want to drive them away. But an ad heavy page can be a real drag… on the CPU. There are sites with so many ads, using graphics, video, or even popovers blocking the screen that some computers slow to a crawl.
Besides, think about your own behavior. Do you pay attention to ads? What happens when a window pops up in front of the website you are browsing? You automatically close the ad. Some even close the whole page. And a quick review of the payout from these ads can make you wonder if they are worth the trouble.
2. Affiliate Marketing
The next step up in advertising might be the affiliate programs offered by a lot of companies. One common one is Amazon. Add links to products available on Amazon to your website and when visitors buy those products using those links, you get a commission. Common practice now is to put a disclaimer stating you are an affiliate for some of the links on your page and you feel these companies are worthy of you recommending their products.
Many include a reminder that the commission is not added to the price, that the affiliate pays it, not the customer. This lets you choose companies you would recommend and join their program and get rewarded for giving your honest advice that they have good products. Sounds like a win all around.
3. Selling Digital Products
If advertising in general is not that attractive, you can go a somewhat more traditional route and sell things on your website. Many people sell physical products, which then need to be shipped to the customer, but the most cost-effective products are digital. E-books, pictures, art, music, designs, or programs, anything that lives in bits and bytes is fair game. Obviously, you need to own the item, but one of the advantages of digital is you can sell it over and over again. You write a book, then sell as many copies of it as you please. Draw a picture, you still have it after you sell it. If you don’t have the skills necessary to make it yourself, you can make a larger investment and hire someone to make it for you.
Ghostwriters, programmers for hire, graphic artists, and more all are willing to do ‘work for hire’ and get paid to produce digital products you, as the person commissioning it, now own. Obviously doing it yourself reduces the monetary risk, but your time is worth something, so keep in mind it can be worthwhile to hire things done.
4. Selling Services
At the other end of the ‘work for hire’ equation is selling your talents. If you are a graphic artist, cover designer, freelance editor, or any other trade where your services have cash value, you can use your website to sell your service to visitors. The site itself can act as a portfolio of your work to show off what you can do.
Testimonials from satisfied customers fit nicely on this kind of site. Details of your costs and contractual arrangements can save you a lot of time negotiating and filling in customers on what you can, can’t, will, and won’t do.
5. Sell Your Website
If you’ve created a good website that draws a lot of visitors regularly, the site itself may be a valuable asset. A popular website can be sold to help companies increase their online presence or to simply let a newcomer get a good start on the web. Sites with a strong value for corporations can sell for quite a lot of money.
Along the way you have probably made a fair income building it up, you’ve learned a lot about how to start and maintain a website, and now someone is willing to pay you for it. And you can start again, much more experienced, and probably do it faster. Not a bad deal.
Every one of these ideas can be expanded or modified, and these are only a small sample of the monetization strategies available. Take a look at your skills and see how you can profit from a presence on the web.
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