If we want to monetize our websites effectively, it’s essential that we stay up-to-date with the current web and social trends.
Let’s discuss 10 of the best proven ways to monetize your site.
1. Cost-Per-Click Ads (CPC)
Cost-Per-Click advertising (CPC for short) is still very relevant. CPC works by displaying ads on your website, and when a visitor clicks on one of those ads, your website generates revenue.
First of all, Infolinks works by finding relevant keywords in your content and displaying ads when you hover over those keywords, which is far less intrusive than Adsense. Other than inline ads, Infolinks offers several other options, and a useful self-serve ad buying platform for those who’d like to boost their own traffic.
Infolinks ads are also loaded after the content so that the ads don’t affect your website loading speeds. Despite still being the third largest ad marketplace, Infolinks actively try to help their publishers increase revenue, whereas AdSense tends to save these efforts for their more premium users.
2. Cost-Per-Mille Ads (CPM)
Cost-Per-Mille (CPM) basically means “cost-per-thousand-impressions” — it’s all about how much traffic your blog has.
BuySellAds offers you 75% of the revenue share and pays out on-demand, and with no minimum traffic requirements, it becomes an ideal option for those starting out. Even better, you can substitute unsold space for AdSense ads, ensuring that you’re always making money. Personally, the only downside that I’ve noticed is that there’s a lot of competition among design blogs.
Exponential (formerly Tribal Fusion) is at the other end of this spectrum, requiring a whopping 500,000 monthly views. That being said, the payout rates are very lucrative. Its highly targeted ads make it an excellent choice for niche websites, so it’s certainly something to aim towards while building up your audience with Adsense or BSA.
3. Fixed-Price Ads
Fixed-price advertising is when you set a flat fee for your ads, a setup that tends to attract smaller advertisers with a very specific budget. I’d also recommend BuySiteAds for this due their extensive range of tools that can help the smaller website (those with less than 100,000 impressions) sell their inventory directly to advertisers. You select the format, time and price.
4. Sponsored Content
Sponsored content is a terrific way of monetizing your website without using up your screen real estate, for those that like to keep the focus on the content without distracting the user with web ads. Sponsored content is supposed to be cohesive with the webpage, as if the content would still be there even if it wasn’t sponsored to be. When you observe eye-tracking studies it’s clear that traditional ads tend to be ignored — that’s if they aren’t blocked by ad-blockers that is.
Sponsored ads (sometimes called “advertorials”) can deliver relevant, useful, high-quality content, and when relevant content equals higher engagement, higher engagement equals more value, and more value equals more revenue. If you’re looking for a modern monetization method, make sure you consider sponsored content.
Remember to stay in the ethical clear and disclose sponsorship, at the top of the content before the user invests time in reading the piece.
5. Subscriptions and Paywalls
Subscription-based content isn’t anything new, but as traditional web ads start to fall out of favor, paywalled content can generate high income when done right and with integrity. It also gives you full control over what actually appears on your site. By paywalled content I mean online courses, ebooks, downloadable goodies and so on.
Looking for inspiration? Check out our eBook Store site.
6. Affiliate Marketing
New trends for affiliate marketing is connect directly with affiliates you feel are relevant to your website. Have a blog about iOS apps or books? Try the iTunes Affiliate Program. Sell design resources? Try promoting other makers on Creative Market. I’m a digital nomad that lives in a different country every month (and sometimes blogs about it), and so on.
Connect with affiliates that mean something to you. By working directly with affiliates you’ll find that the revenue share is a lot more competitive as well!
7. Related Posts
While this type of advertising does have a bit of a bad reputation for being spammy, there are a number of ad networks serving relevant, useful content — Disqus is making bold leaps with their “Sponsored Story” and “Sponsored Links” advertising that are built into the comment widget you might already be using. Even though Disqus take 50% of the revenue, you don’t really have much to lose if your website already has Disqus installed.
8. Email Advertising
Email advertising falls into two categories: sponsored content and traditional display ads, both of which are effective. You can find advertisers using many of the same techniques as you would with web advertising (BuySiteAds, having an “Advertise Here” webpage, etc); the difference is that email advertising doesn’t take up any screen real estate on your website and in fact engagement rates tend to be higher (users often know what areas of a website to avoid if they don’t want to see ads).
9. Podcast Advertising
Podcasting is a unique skill I must admit, but the results are, well, they’re good. Midroll claims that 61% of listeners made a purchase after listening to an advert, so it’s no wonder that their customers are pretty world class (Dunkin’ Donuts, HBO, Squarespace, etc). If you’re not much of writer but you’re not exactly shy either, podcasting could be for you.
Do you know any other method that really works?