It has been a popular belief that a business needs to sell so it can prosper. Taking out the selling part could make you think that your business might get left behind. However, you still have a huge base of internet users with you who rely on Google searches to find reliable information daily. Such knowledge and learning are nowhere to be found in online shops and other marketplaces that only focus on the product and service they’re selling.
Website owners may choose not to sell due to the following reasons:
- To avoid the stress of managing inventory and dealing with customer service.
- Selling products may require a certain amount of capital to purchase your first bulk of products, organize the logistics, and pay people who will help you maintain the online store.
- Providing services also leads to the same amount of burden as selling a product where you need to hire people to keep clients satisfied and your business growing.
- Even dropshipping leads to a destroyed brand reputation due to unreliable suppliers and busy owners.
When talking about a website model that earns money without selling a product, three monetization methods come to mind: affiliate marketing, Google AdSense, and sponsored content. But as the internet matures, so do the ways of making money online.
Here are five ways to make something out of a website that sells nothing:
1. Google AdSense
One of the first steps a website owner should do after setting up everything and adding enough content is applying for a Google AdSense account. You may use this same account in the future if you decide to turn your written articles into videos and monetize them through YouTube.
The monetization program lets you earn through ad clicks and ad impressions. Due to this, you need to make sure that your website receives “quality traffic,” which means having site visits from people interested in your chosen niche. This ensures that your ads get viewed longer by people who actually read the content and probably engage with the ads you placed within and around the content.
It may take weeks or a few months before you receive a decent and steady amount of income from Google AdSense. To push things a bit faster, update your blog with winning content consistently. Having a wide knowledge of SEO is also critical if you want to increase your cost per click rates and earnings from other monetization methods you have set up.
2. Affiliate Marketing
You can arrange monetization through affiliate marketing programs even with social media pages alone. Still, you get a higher chance of approval from networks like Amazon if you have a working website. The concept of meriting commissions with a website through affiliate marketing is quite simple: share custom links having your affiliate ID and earn money when a buyer purchases through that link.
It may sound like selling an item, but you can do it in a subtle way, such as reviewing a brand or mentioning an item in an article. You can also generate affiliate banners and use them in combo with Google Ads. Unlike setting up your own online shop, you don’t have to undergo the struggles of customer service, logistics, and inventory management.
The key to a successful website monetizing on affiliate sales lies in your chosen niche, your content’s effectiveness, and the partner network’s credibility. Some would also look at the offered commission rate. Small start-up sites offer 10% of every order like this program.
Like nurturing a website that depends on ads, you would need considerable traffic from people with a vested interest in the niche. Boosting your site with social media pages and SEO would prove useful in earning money from your affiliate website.
3. Sponsored Ads and Content
When you moved up in the search rankings and gained sufficient traffic, marketers would reach out to you for promotions. Some of them might ask you to write a review of their company, pitch guest content with mentions of their brand, post their banner ads on your site or be a podcast guest in exchange for payment or a freebie.
Your site’s value would depend on its quality, and the metrics often include domain authority, domain rating, regional traffic, and SERP stats. No wonder why the best sites out there earning five to six figures every month obsess over crafting the best content and doing regular site audits.
However, avoid linking to sites that are not relevant to your niche and promote spammy resources and illegal content as they won’t be suitable with Google AdSense standards.
It’s also important to keep your lines open and check your mailbox frequently so you won’t miss any collaboration requests from these company representatives.
Passionate creators can run an exclusive series for their avid readers. This concept works like Patreon, where followers gain access to content not available to the public. While most magazines we know offer a plain subscription, you can give more options like grouping followers onto various tiers depending on the level of support they give.
Apart from subscribing to exclusive content, you can use this monetization technique depending on the kind of site that you have. Great examples of these websites are directories, membership sites, websites with top-secret case studies, access to a network of professionals, and sneak peeks.
5. Accepting Donations
If you give valuable information every day that help out people in their day to day lives, it may be high time to ask for their support so you can continue the publication. It may not guarantee a regular income, but people love the idea of raising funds for a cause. Hence, it would work with the right audience and the perfect pitch.
The best places for the donation widget would be after every post or fixed at the sidebar. Some would want their crowdfunding to be soft that they add the donation message somewhere in the footer. Although this works for frequent visitors, announcements in this section are often ignored. There are free plug-ins and apps you can use to add this feature to your website.
Angelo Chongco is a content writer for business and marketing niches. Having worked in various trades, he learned about SEO, content management, and business administration.
I am a passionate blogger sharing business tips. I write primarily on SEO, Email Marketing, CRM, Marketing Automation and covers the entire gamut of marketing.