Monetising a website is where money is generated from it. There are many different options for how to do it most effectively. Often, the form of monetisation that works best is dependent on the niche or industry that the website is operating in. For instance, a stay-at-home mum with a “mum blog” will find that Pinterest is a key traffic driver, whereas a startup elsewhere may discover something different. While Google can deliver traffic to affiliate reviews that provide sales and commissions, with Pinterest traffic, it’s best monetised with ads because of the lack of buyer-intent. Let’s look at a few monetisation options that perform well.
For websites, advertising is the easiest way to monetise a site. There’s no need to find your own companies to place an advert on your site. Advertising networks like Google Adsense, Media.Net, Ezoic, and MediaVine have already done that for you. Ad networks require the site to be approved for traffic levels, suitability, and advertisers’ interest. The amount earned is usually based on the cost-per-click for the advertiser to place an ad relating to a particular search term/keyword.
Multiple Ad Models
Adverting is based around several models; the main one is cost-per-click (CPC), but there is also cost-per-impression. The major difference is with CPC – advertisers pay for every click made by a user. With cost-per-impression, advertisers pay for every 1,000 times the advert is shown. A ‘publisher’ on a website, is remunerated based on the amount made per 1,000-page views (because each page view loads a different set of advertisements).
With CPC, the rate differs based on demand, commercial interest, and the usefulness of the niche. For instance, a non-commercial, unrelated niche might only pay 50p to £1 per 1,000 views, but an advert within the internet marketing niche might earn £7 per 1,000 views. Cost per impression ads tend to pay less.
Benefits of Signing Up with an Ad Manager
Using an ad manager that consolidates multiple ad network’s ad inventory and manages placement can increase earning considerably. MediaVine, AdThrive, and Ezoic all tend to boost revenues vs Adsense for a niche that performs well; 2-3X is not uncommon. There are different minimum monthly page view requirements for each of these ad managers.
Affiliate sales are where a website recommends a product, refers the visitor to the provider’s site and if they buy the product or service, the originating website receives a commission.
Affiliate sales perform several times better on pages or websites that have a commercial flavour. Where a product recommendation is well-received, visitors may make a purchase. The commission paid by the website or affiliate network depends on the affiliate, type of goods, and average commission rates.
Different affiliate networks offer a select group of products. Some specialise very specifically and only sell certain items:
- Clickbank – This site offers digital products like eBooks, downloadable courses and software with high commission rates up to 75%
- CJ Affiliate – Formally known as Commission Junction, they cover a wide range of physical goods and has been in business over a decade
- ShareASale – Focuses primarily on Clothing, knick-knacks and physical goods
Amazon is currently the leader in the affiliate space. It runs its own program. Their commission rates tend to be lower than other affiliate networks, but many people are familiar with the brand and already trust them. Because of this, conversion rates are higher which acts as a counterbalance for the lower commission rate.
Pay Per Lead (CPA)
Pay per lead or cost per action (CPA) is where the website owner gets paid if the site visitor takes a certain action.
For instance, college course websites cover hundreds of courses provided by educational establishments. They receive a payment for every potential new student who clicks through to their college and provides certain information, like their name, location, and the course they’re interested in.
No commission is paid based on the value of the course; only a fixed payment based on the desired action. Email newsletter opt-ins or providing certain customer information fall under CPA monetisation.
It should be noted that while some CPA offers can be lucrative, the CPA networks tend to be nit-picky about which websites can sign up. Just getting into a CPA network and then receiving approval to promote a certain CPA offer are significant hurdles to overcome.
Own Products and Membership Site
Offering your own product like an eBook or digital course on your own membership site is an excellent way to monetise certain niches. Many bloggers sell ads, making affiliate coin but also earn money from producing their own courses.
Let your audience tell you what products they’d like to see. This is better than producing something that you think they’d like and getting it completely wrong. Find out their pain points. Create a product that solves them and/or offers a better solution than current products in the marketplace. With a membership site, this is a separate website that is under your control. It’s a different approach than selling a digital course on a course platform like Udemy, but you keep more of the proceeds.
Why Web Hosting Matters for Monetisation
Web hosting is important for monetisation. When adding ad networks, affiliate links, product images, and sophisticated coding to a website to earn money, it slows it down considerably. Sites that are hosted on slow, inadequate web servers cannot take the strain and often crash!
When making money from your website is important, the first thing you should invest in is better web hosting from a reputable provider such as HostPresto.com. Cheap deals are ten a penny, but ensuring your website loads faster and keeps doing so as traffic ramps up, especially during sales periods, is very important. The money lost during peak periods because a server crashed is not recoverable. This point cannot be stressed enough with pure-play online sites.
Monetisation is a tough nut to crack. Website owners must look carefully at what works for their peers and try similar things. Don’t be afraid to give new ideas a try but understand clearly what tends to work in each niche or industry and don’t stray too far from it.