A professional website is an essential part of doing business in the digital age. Fortunately, a small business website isn’t a big expense. Still, it can help the business bottom line to add revenue using your website. This article outlines how to monetize a website.
There are many reasons to have a business website. A good business website helps people find your business. This is where you make a first impression on prospects and retain regular customers. A successful business website answers your customers’ questions and helps solve their problems. The website can also help generate interest in your business and be a starting point for collaborations, business partnerships, and media coverage.
Then, there are the following website monetization strategies. They can help you take that professional website design and earn revenue from your online real estate.
The many ways to earn money from a business website can include:
- Online store
- Affiliate marketing
- Course offerings
- Sponsored reviews
Let’s look in further detail at what each of these proven ways to monetize a website involves.
An obvious way to make money online is to sell merchandise via your business website. Of course, this is easiest if you are already producing a product or service available in a real-life storefront. You’ve likely done some of the work involving marketing the product, inventory management, fulfillment, and shipping.
Nevertheless, any business can add a merchandise line. You can add product offerings to your website by connecting with on-demand services that take care of product customizations, fulfillment, and logistics. Popular options include:
- Teespring: on-demand apparel printing
- Spreadshirt: apparel, phone cases, and accessories
- KITE: over 250 product types supported
Your website design will need to be set up for e-commerce, which could require you to revisit your web hosting platform. It’s also important to have SSL certificates to give your customers peace of mind while browsing and purchasing your products. This is another element to tackle in a web redesign to include online shopping.
Another approach? Use your website to promote your in-person services. You can use this as a place to pitch workshops, consulting, speaking engagements, or customized retreats.
Affiliate marketing is another common way to monetize a website. If you’ve been on a tax professional’s website and seen a link to relevant accounting software or a book explaining economic principles, that’s affiliate marketing. The website owner earns a commission every time they refer business.
When deciding what affiliates to market with, consider the online brand you are trying to build. You don’t want to sully your brand reputation by promoting auto wax and champagne-filled chocolates if you’re a sports injury lawyer. Choose to partner with other businesses that share your target audience. This will improve your chances of actually driving sales (which is what gets you that commission). Plus, you are more likely to be seen as doing a service for your website visitors.
Dropshipping is another profitable website idea. In this straightforward monetization model, you partner with a distributor, manufacturer, or wholesaler to sell its product on your website.
You add an online store component to your site (as mentioned above). Then, you try out different product offerings with third-party retailers who manage the inventory, fulfillment, and shipping.
There are many advantages with this approach:
- You don’t have to commit to a minimum order.
- You’re not required to give up physical space to a store product.
- You can experiment with products without risk.
Sound like too much work? Read our article on how to start an online dropshipping business in under an hour.
When you have a successful website, a great way to leverage that popularity is to offer webinars or online courses. You might also create an e-book or other useful content that readers can download. This could include templates, how-to guides, and more.
All of these are an opportunity for your business to share its knowledge and experience. Plus, they are a good source of passive income. After all, once you put in the effort of writing and designing that e-book or creating that online course material, it can continue to earn income for you without your direct involvement.
This popular monetization strategy is a good way also to repurpose content you’ve already created. You might turn blogs into short-form videos pulled together as an online learning opportunity. Or create a tutorial video that goes beyond the insights your audience could find elsewhere.
Again, it’s best to pick an approach that suits your audience. A spa could offer beauty and makeup tips, but that wouldn’t make much sense for a home hardware store!
You may have to do a little website redesign to highlight your course offerings, but many professional website builder options are available to make this easier.
Learn how to create a popular online course and launch in just five days in this YSB how-to.
Simple websites that make money often start with advertising. It’s what most people think of when wondering how to make money from a website. An advantage of this approach is that you’re not the one doing the heavy lifting.
Your business only needs to connect its website with an online ads platform such as Google AdSense. As long as you have a website, a Google account, and a phone number and postal address, you can take the code AdSense gives you and put it into your website and passively earn an income with ads. You can also block ads that don’t suit your business, customize where the ads appear on your site, and choose the ad type appropriate for your site.
Ads are everywhere online, so why not leverage this for business income? You’ll have a few options to choose from, including static ads (e.g., a banner ad), animated ads (e.g., short videos), or native ads (which look like an article or infographic on your site).
Once you have a business website audience, you have another monetization option. You could charge other businesses to publish sponsored product reviews or posts on your site.
If you review a sponsor’s product in a relevant blog article, you can earn some income. Plus, you can charge an additional fee for social media promotion too. If you have an email newsletter, you could monetize mention of their content in that too.
Of course, you’ll need to disclose that you are providing sponsored content. Plus, you need to be cautious about how often you take this approach. You’ll risk losing your audience if you begin churning out advertorials.
Building a profitable website is within reach. Having a professional design and copywriting will help give your website credibility and can drive greater visibility. Need help with website design for your small business? We’re here to help with that and website hosting, and more.