How to monetize any website

How are people making money online with their own websites these days? The internet has changed, and we've collected a list of all available monetization options for site owners today.

Monetize any website
18. July 2024 by Click insider / Affiliate

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Before we begin, just a quick reminder that we already have hundreds of examples on profitable websites. Learning from examples can be very practical, and you will find links to the websites we have directly on our homepage:

The usual ways to make money with websites

If you are a site owner, you are probably familiar with the most common monetization strategies for websites:

  • Create and sell digital products. Typical example here would be an eBook or an information product. You can accept payment with PayPal, Stripe or use services like ClickBank. Here is probably the best example site on how to make money with ClickBank, learn how this site has been monetized and you will understand how to make serious money online. Our guess is some CB sites are probably making $10 to $20 million/year, these are one-man shows, run by one single individual. Many CB sites are passive income too, needs few or none updates (not like blogs or online shops you have to update and take care of all the time). These are the open secrets (i.e. not really secrets) on how to make really big money online by almost anyone, one just needs to invest the time (not really investing any money or at most very little money up front in return for a yearly income of six to seven figures).
  • Sell ad space on your site if you can attract advertisers on your own, get rid of the middle men, you don't have to join other advertising networks. Sell ads based on the positioning, or install advertising software to help manage your own advertising space. Getting advertisers to buy ad space is tedious and hard work, so most website owners typically find other options for generating advertising revenue, such as affiliate marketing or PPC.
  • Affiliate marketing is perhaps the most popular method to make money online. Site owners can join affiliate programs and affiliate networks, and then use their affiliate links on their own site. ClickBank is popular affiliate network, sign up there and you will be able to promote tens of thousands of websites and earn a commission if your referrals buy something from their site. ClickBank University is a great place to begin if you are new to affiliate marketing.
  • Super affiliate marketing is basically identical to other types of affiliate marketing, but instead of targeting customers or end users, you are targeting other affiliates. If you refer an affiliate, and they begin promoting and earning revenue from the affiliate program you've referred them to, you will earn a percentage of whatever they are earning. So, if you have 100 affiliates as second tier, and 99 of them will probably make very little money, but one in a hundred will make it, and could be earning 100K a month, and with 10% commission you will make 10K monthly without any additional work. Then keep on finding new second tier affiliates. Some people are making tons of money doing this, and must be the closest thing to passive income ever. A good place to start will be this resource for super affiliates.
  • Web shops, or eCommerce stores is not that hard to build these days, all the information you need is available online, mostly for free, but to become truly successful you must know what you are doing, and you will have to invest time and money to get somewhere. Building it might be easy, but competing with, say, Amazon: very, very, very hard.
  • Dropshipping is the alternative method when selling physical products online. You could do this with your own website, or even use sites such as eBay or Amazon. First step will be to find a good product or even many products to sell, and then find the companies that can ship those products directly to the customer. You will never be shipping or even see the products yourself. It's competition in dropshipping just as in any other commercial field on the web, but you could be making huge money from this. A good place to begin is with this dropshipping and wholeseller resource.
  • PPC advertising or Pay Per Click advertising, most known here is Google Adsense. You will need a lot of traffic before making a lot of money with Adsense, and probably much harder today than just a few years ago.
  • Accept sponsored posts. Similar to the one above, you will sell ad space, but to be more specific, you sell the opportunity for others to promote their content on your website.
  • Lead generation from your own website. Affiliates will often get paid for sales, and sometimes for leads, views or other. In the lead generating business you will get paid for leads. Of course you may negotiate better deals if you bring higher quality leads.
  • Build online contacts. A website can be a gateway for building a list of contacts, typically this will be an e-mail list. The list itself can be sold, repackaged and you can do tons of stuff with it without actually using the contacts directly yourself. There are legal considerations as well as ethical ones when doing this, so be sure to know what you are doing before even thinking of going this route. The more obvious way to monetize contacts will be to send out emails with offers, affiliate links or other type of commercial activity that will generate money for you. Don't be spamming and, well, don't be evil.
  • Website flipping has been a known strategy for probably a quarter century now. If your site is making $100K a year, you could easily sell this site for $400.000 and perhaps as much as a million. Flippa is a popular service, but some people don't like it, and think EmpireFlippers is better, but the latter is a place for more established websites, typical sales price would be hundreds of thousads of dollars to a few million dollars. Another option will be to contact site owners directly, tell them that you might be interested in buying their site. Website brokers might assist you when looking to buy, sell or flip websites.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) is basically some kind of software which can be used directly from within a website. HR apps, SEO software, and accounting software would be some examples. These services require huge upfront investments, either in capital or time invested. If you are a developer you could make a SaaS for "free", but you need skills and it will take time to gain momentum.
  • Membership sites. Netflix can be regarded as a membership website, although it's also an app and more than a website. There are also tiny websites making money from memberships and recurring income. If you produce fresh quality content and place it behind a paywall, people can access this with a one time fee or a membership. Thousands of membership sites you've probably never heard of are generating massive revenue right now, and the tactics are fairly simple too, one straight forward path would be the so called membership method.

Other clever ideas for making money with a site

The above are probably the most popular ways to monetize a website today.

Sometimes, doing what is popular is not the best option. There are so many opportunities for people who would like to build profitable websites.

Let's explore some other ways to make money with websites:

  • Build an online forum. Large social media players like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter have made web forums much less lucrative then it used to, but forums are not dead yet. Probably the best would be to start a forum because you want to gather some people with similar interest, and not because you expect to get rich from it.
  • Online tutorials is a thing, and some people are making good money from publishing tutorials on their own site, behind a paywall.
  • Online courses is another thing which generates decent revenues for website owners.
  • Online video courses can be set up easily, for example with Vimeo.
  • Sell offline services with your website. If you are providing offline services, these can be sold directly from your website. Or just market your services on the site, and have the customer the regular way.
  • Consulting can be sold through a website, and the consulting itself can also be done from within the website, or in combination with e-mail, Skype or similar.

Your own domain, your own site, pay for hosting

Should you use your own domain and pay for hosting, or can you get it for free? While Blogger, Medium, Twitter and many other options will let you put your content out there for free, there's a catch: They own the platform, and they determine the terms and limit your actions.

It's best to own your own domain, pay for the hosting, and own your own site. Why? Because.

Which web hosting services or domain registrars should you be using?

Search the web, and you will find many opinions, most of those opinions are paid for by the hosting companies through affiliate links.

If you would like one final idea on how to make money with a website, it would be to create yet another affiliate website for domain registrars and hosting services, the top players in this field are killing it, probably making millions every month.

But we're not going to suggest a domain registrar or a hosting service. If you are serious about building web sites, you will try many hosting solutions, and buy domains from more than one registrar.

We could tell you where to register your domain, where to host your content, and what to eat for dinner. But what is best for you? We don't know, and generic affiliate websites won't give you the answer.

Take some time and research every major domain registrar and hosting provider, and you will eventually have some idea of where to begin. Most hosting providers have a refund policy too, so you can try them out at no risk.

More examples of profitable sites

Need more examples and inspiration on how to make money with websites?

  • In 2014 there were 1 billion sites on the web.
  • in 2017 there were 1.8 billion.
  • Now we're probably well past two billion websites.

Need inspiration? Examples?

How about doing your own research and observe how those websites make money. That's what we do. And that's what this website is all about:

We study and review other websites, and write about how these sites are making money. Examples, here you go: These websites are making money right now - and you could be copying them!

Yes, Show Me How To Make Money! (NO B.S. Guaranteed) Learn the truth about how to make real money online: Start Earning, Click Here