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How to Build and the 59 ways to Make Money From Your Website

My website WebsiteIncome.com was created to help answer the question of how to make money from a website. Both by showing how I do it and how you can do it yourself. 

Money making websites allowed me to leave my engineering day job several years ago and this 15k word monster guide and tutorial I hope will be the starting point for others to be able to do the same. 

Whether you have a site and are looking for ideas on how to improve the monetization or are new and interested in exploring how you can make money online, this will help! Make sure to bookmark/save for later as it is a big read! 

This guide is going to show you how to make a website that makes money and the 59 ways you can make money from a website. 

This post will provide you with all the goods! But if you are looking for some help with any step of the process you can checkout…

How To Make Money Online? Make a Website & Monetize It!

There are two parts to this post: 

  • Part 1 will cover how to get your website set up from scratch in 15 minutes.
  • Part 2 will give you 59 different ways to make money from your site. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have all the tools needed to build your own site and start making money!

Here’s what we’ll cover in Section 1:

  • Part 1 – How to Select and Validate a Topic in 4 Steps
  • Part 2 – How to Make a Website (in under 5 minutes – seriously set a 5 minute timer for this section!)
  • Part 3 – How to Grow Your Website (Easy Option and Advanced Option)

How to Select and Validate a Topic in 4 Steps

The objective here is to identify your topic and “blue-ocean” for your website. What is a Blue Ocean strategy? It’s pursuing and capturing an uncontested market space in order to give yourself an unfair advantage and dominate your niche. 

Step 1: Write down a list of problems/passions/knowledge areas/fears you have. If you are struggling to identify some of these aspects, try browsing through your internet history and your Amazon shopping history. Pick 1 or 2 that jump out at you and continue working through the next modules until you have validated your idea. Expect this process to take a couple of iterations!

Personal Example: For this post, I’ll use my own case study “idea” (which still needs to be validated) of wanting to build a website around one of my staff’s passions … nails and cool nail designs.

Step 2: Identify similar sites. In this step, find a list of sites that are along the lines of what you want to create.

Step 3: Define Your Blue Ocean. This step helps you define your unique “angle” where you’ll combine 2-3 sites that show what your website will be about. In the book, “Made To Stick,” the authors use the analogy of pitching Hollywood movies as an example of how to define your angle. For example, the movie Aliens was pitched as “Jaws in outer space”. 

Image result for jaws outer space
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My Case Study Example: The site will be a combination of a beauty blogger, Amazon Associate site, and consumer reports site specifically focused on the topic of nails.  

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Identifying the potential gap in the market was the central theme of Blue Ocean Strategy. In it, the authors discussed case studies where entrepreneurs identified the under-served intersection of 2 existing markets. This strategy was described in the offline world but is just as applicable online.

Step 4: Validate your idea with keyword research: At this point we don’t want you to spend TOO much time doing keyword research. It is more important to have a topic and lock down our Blue Ocean Strategy than it is to have identified the “perfect” keyword. 

However, we do need to verify that people are also interested in the topic. If your goal is to build a website for profit, then doing some basic keyword research will verify that there is a market. Below I’ll outline a couple of quick and easy ways to do this.

The key is to identify competitors who are beatable. 

From here, log into SEMRush or ahrefs, type your competitors into the search bar, and verify two things: 

  1. they are generating over 5,000 monthly visitors, and 
  2. the estimated cost of traffic (which is just a measure of how valuable the traffic is) is over $1,000. 

Note: if you don’t have an SEMRush account, you can set up a free account (with limited use and features). I do recommend getting a paid account once you get your site running and are serious about making money online. 

Although you want to hit an untapped market, you don’t want to build a site in a space where no one has been able to be successful marketing it. So seeing that both the keywords get some decent traffic AND there are successful other sites in the space is a great sign we have a niche worth pursuing.

Now that you have an idea of what your focus area is going to be, it is time to identify a domain!  

How to make a website

Over the last decade I have been making websites, starting blogs from scratch and running them. I have come across different problems and platforms (Joomla, HTML, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace) this guide is the simplest path to setting up a site for success. 

I have decided to write this post to give beginners a fast, easy-to-follow guide to starting a website or blog, without having to learn HTML or waste your time reading long, boring tutorials. 

This step-by-step guide with videos will show you how to set up a good site, as well as avoid making expensive mistakes. Today, I am going to be taking you from start to end on creating a wordpress website which will work for your business and grow your online presence. 

The goal of this post is to not only help you grow your business but to do it the right way. I have had lots of experience and I’ve seen many people make mistakes when starting their blogs. I am here to help so that does not happen. 

Take the time and read this post thoroughly. By the end, I hope you are confident in your ability to create a successful site. I am going to walk you through the entire process, one step at a time, so you get it right the first time. 

The Process:

  1. Pick out and register your website address
  2. Get started with WordPress
  3. Get your website online to be viewed by visitors on the internet

WordPress is used by millions of people all over the world, including some of the biggest companies such as Forbes, Sony, Mashable, and many famous celebrities. You can easily grow your website using WordPress and in time, gain thousands of visitors. Why use WordPress?

  1. Highly Customizable
  2. Designed for everyone, not just developers
  3. Hundreds of themes and plugins to make your website the best
  4. It’s FREE for everyone to use.
  5. Safe and Secure

Before we get started with WordPress, we will have to pick out and register a website address (aka domain name).

Step 1: Pick out and register your website address

There are a few key points to hit on when choosing a successful domain name:

1. Easy to Remember, type and pronounce

2. Trustworthy

3. Unique and Descriptive

When finding a domain name I recommend a very cool, free tool from Shopify: NameGenerator.

Here you can go to the site, enter a query that suits your business and it will generate ideas for you to use as a website domain.

What is Web Hosting and Why Do You Need it?

Web Hosting is the service that keeps your site available for all to see. It displays and stores all the files, images and content that your site has. You need a web host in order to use your own domain name and allow your visitors to access the site or blog. 

There are hundreds of different web hosting providers. They all offer you a similar service (domain + hosting) with a similar price, but after many years of experimenting and creating hundreds of sites, I definitely recommend using SiteGround as your web hosting provider. Once you have a set domain name for your site in mind, head to SiteGround to officially get started.

NOTE – I Highly recommend not using BlueHost or HostGator… these 2 hosts are most commonly recommended but the reason they are so prominently recommended is because of their affiliate commissions! They offer up to $200 affiliate commissions so be wary of any guide that is recommending them!

So what host do I recommend for your business?

SiteGround support is great, price to value is the best amongst other competitors, and it is the EASIEST to get a site setup with! You can have a domain bought, account created and WordPress installed in under 5 minutes. Trust me… set a timer here for 5 min and go through the next steps!

Click Here to go to SiteGround 

The first thing you will have to do is choose a blog hosting plan. There are three to choose from:

  • 1. StartUp
  • 2. GrowBig
  • 3. GoGeek

The StartUp plan is the best choice for one site, especially if you are new to website building. However the other available options are good if you want to have more than one site.

After choosing a plan, click “Get Started”. If you found a domain that interests you on NameGenerator then you can insert it and click “Register a New Domain”.

If you already have a domain and you are just looking to create a website you can click “I already have a Domain” and proceed. Once you have chosen your plan and found a name you like that’s available, you’ll need to register it by putting in your contact and billing information.

At Checkout, I recommend adding the Domain Privacy service so you know you are protected and all of your information is not posted to a public database.

The other extra services are not necessary.

Complete your registration and go to your email to verify your account and get started with the link. You will also get an email that shares your login information, including an Admin URL.

Software Installation will automatically create a WordPress site for you and have it installed. All of your details are located here, and your website is set. Login to your ‘Admin URL’ and get started. If you ever forget this URL, it’s easy to remember. Just add “/wp-admin” to the end of your domain. For example: www.yourblog.com/wp-admin (where “yourblog” is your domain name).

This is the easiest way to go. You are now done and WordPress is installed in no time at all! No need to worry about a download and having to find it in your files.

Did you do it? Were you able to setup your site in under 5 minutes?  

Step 2: Getting Started with WordPress

Congratulations! You have now set up your website and it is live on the internet. As you can see, it was easy and straightforward to create a website from scratch.

You will first reach your WordPress dashboard in your web browser where you will have a toolbar on the left with lots of different options such as posts, pages, comments, appearances, plugins and settings. All of these will be useful and I will tell you how they work.

Next, you’ll want to set up your site. Here is a video walkthrough we created to help you see over our shoulder as we setup a brand new website…  Before you start adding content to your new site, you will want to create the infrastructure for your site in “General Settings”.

Here’s what you’ll need to set up under General Settings:

  1. Site title: Enter the Title you want your site to be called (usually similar to the domain name).
  2. Tagline: Enter the tagline you want for your site (note this is usually not the same, as it was in this case)
  3. Site address (URL): 99% of the time keep this the same as the WordPress address URL
  4. Email address: Contact email address; used for admin purposes
  5. Choose your site language

Be sure to SAVE CHANGES before leaving General Settings to move onto the next step of building your site.  

Configuring your URL Structure

No one wants an ugly URL, but sometimes WordPress will have a default that sets it. So when you create a new Page or Post, the URL will include the date as well as the name of the post (http://mynailguru.com/2017/07/26/sample-post/). 

comedy reacting GIF by Angie Tribeca
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A much better way is to use: http://mynailguru.com/sample-post/. See the difference? One is filled with irrelevant date information and the other one is short, clean and neat. In order to change your links to a more cleaner look, click on the Settings > Permalinks and use the following settings:

Step 4: Choosing a theme and logo for your blog

After installing WordPress, it comes with a default theme. From the dashboard, hover over the home icon at the top-left of the page and click view website. This is what your WordPress website looks like straight out of the box. We are going to transform this in the next steps.

Installing your website theme

Next you have to install your website theme. Your theme is the design of your website. I recommend using ThriveThemes and getting the entire Thrive Membership (or you can use the WordPress free themes). 

It has great themes and easy-to-use plugins to make your blog awesome. It is a very useful tool and if you’re going to spend a bit of cash on your site, spending it on your sites theme is a good idea. 

Many of the tools that come with the membership will be invaluable to help grow your site/business! Again you can use a free theme but if you have the budget I strongly recommend getting setup with a ThriveThemes membership to access their awesome tool kit!

Here you will also find the themes templates. You can download and try different ones depending on the style you are aiming for. You may also use a free WordPress theme for your personal website. I recommend the Thrive templates because they work very well and look nice on all types of sites.

After downloading a theme you can add a “New Theme” on WordPress (Appearance > Themes) and choose the file to upload from your downloads. Click “Activate”, and it is ready to go.

In my example, I used the Thrive Theme “Luxe”. Now I am going to activate my theme and start making changes to Customize it. Simply click Appearance > Customize for these next steps.

Here you can change your font, the size, the colours of your site, the tag and many other things, which I’ll go over. You can also change the background of your site to a colour or pattern.

To show you an example, I will pick a pattern by going to Colours > Background pattern, then hitting “Save & Publish”.

Choosing your logo

You will need a custom logo created for your website. I recommend using Upwork to get a good logo created for as cheap as $10. On Upwork there are many prices and people to choose from to accommodate what you are looking for. I bought my logo off of Upwork and they also provided me with 4 different logo options to choose from for my site.

To add your logo to your site, go to your Thrive Dashboard. Here, in “General Settings”, you can upload your logo and choose its position. Be sure to “Save All Changes” at the bottom before viewing your site.

In my Thrive settings here, I chose the “Side Of Menu” as my logo position but the “Top Of Menu” is a great location too. Logo placement is important, but ultimately depends on your sites look and theme. This is what my header looked like after uploading the picture and saving all changes.

Before moving on, I want to make my logo slightly larger so it’s more visible to my visitors. To do this, I am going to go back to Appearance > Customize > Header, and change the logo width to make it bigger. Hit “Save & Publish”.

Great job! Your theme is all setup and you have a logo. Now you are ready to start adding content and making it your own.

Step 5: Site Set up – Customizing & Adding Content

In this section, I will show you…

  • 1) How to create a page and post
  • 2) How to create a menu for your site
  • 3) How to write a post inside WordPress
  • 4) How to add images, links and format text
  • 5) Some quick tips and tricks for writing great content

Creating Pages

I put together this video walkthrough that you can check out for Creating Pages.

Or just continue reading below!

  1. Title area: This is where you write the title of your post.
  2. Content area: This is where the body text of your post goes. Here, you can type or paste your content.
  3. Standard editing tools: Here are options like bold, italic, lists, paragraphs, and headlines.
  4. Publishing tools: You can save your draft or publish your content live by using the publishing tools on the far right menu of the page. You can even schedule the page to be published later – or make the page private so only certain people can see it.
  5. Featured image: You can select an image to be the header of your content on your page or post.

First of all, we need to set up our front page so it is a static page. To do this go to “Pages” and “Add New”.

You can name this page anything you want; something like ‘Home’ is fine. And click “Publish”.

Now go to Appearance > Customize > Static Front Page. Here we’re setting up our front page as a static page to the front page we just created. Under “Front Page”, select ‘Home’ (or whatever you named your page previously) then click on “Save & Publish”.

These are the Pages I have created for my site.

You can start with creating a title for your Page and then add content when you are ready. With these pages we want to make a menu to be seen at the top of the site. Go to Appearance > Menus. 

Name it anything you would like and then click “Create Menu”. Next, you will choose the pages you want to be seen in the menu. For mine, I clicked “Select All” which will allow me to have Home, About, and Blog in the menu. 

Now your menu will appear at the top of your site like this.

This is how you can create a menu that consists of different pages. There are also posts you can create that will be in a page. For instance, I can create different posts to be published on my blog page.

Creating a Post

Creating a post is the same process as creating a page. It is just the location of your content that is different. Post can be published and viewed on any of the pages you create. A page is on its own, visible in the menu bar (if you wish), and a post is the content that can be added to a page.

Once published, your new post can be found in the “All Posts” section of the “Posts” tab, so you can edit it at any time.

To add them to your blog page, go to Settings > Reading and select Blog for “Post Page”. Hit “Save Changes”.

Now each time a new “Post” is created and published, it will appear on the blog page.

Using Writers

Many people choose to write their own articles for their sites or personal blogs. Because I have so much on the go and many sites I am working on, I get my articles written for me. 

pretending to write blah blah blah GIF
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If you are also interested in doing this, I recommend using UpWork. On UpWork you will be able to post a job and find many qualified and talented writers from all over the world who will write for you while staying on a budget. I have been using UpWork for over 10 years and have come across lots of talent that has really helped my sites and grow my business.

If you need some help on how to hire writers for your site/blog, check out this article by Content Refined on Things To Look For When Hiring a Writer.

Adding Headings

Headings help you structure your content and make it easier for people to read. Headings are best to add for titles and for each of your main points.  

To add a heading, scroll up to the “Paragraph” drop-down menu. Select the heading you’d like to use. Note that “Heading 1” is usually reserved for the post’s title and the others are all different sizes you can choose from for the body of your content.

Adding Images

To add an image to a post as a header, click “Set a Featured Image” on the right side of your screen, select or upload your image, and update post.  

You can also add an image to your post. Just click the “Add Media” button under the title of the post. Tip: Before you click “Add Media”, be sure you’ve left your cursor inside of your blog post where you want the image to show up. Otherwise, you’ll have to move it later on.

Next, click the “Upload Files” tab on the screen that pops up, then click “Select Files”.

Once you’ve found the file, double click it and WordPress will upload it automatically.

When the upload is finished, make sure the image you want is selected, then click the “Insert into post” button to add the image to the post.

Adding a Link

To add a link to another website, highlight the word or phrase you want to link and click on the link icon in the toolbar.

You can paste the URL you want to link, or search for it. For this example, I will simply link to Google. I will type it in the box and the word will be linked so when it is clicked, the person will be brought to that page.

Adding Widgets

If you are interested in adding a sidebar menu to your new site, go to Appearance > Widgets. Here you will have many options to choose from depending on what you would like your viewers to see. There are “Available Widgets” that can be dragged over and put in “Main Sidebar” (or you can create Footers if you wish). On my site, I decided to put “Search” and “Recent Posts” for now. I will also be adding a photo of myself (Image) and a summarized biography (Text).  Your site is looking great by now and hopefully, you’re feeling good up to this point. We have covered the basics and you can stop here if you are happy with your site. I will go a bit more into detail in terms of what else can be added to your site to make it the best one out there. 

Adding Plugins

 To add plugins simply click “Plugins”, “Add New” and Search.

The Plugins I always add are:

Analytics 

In order to use the Analytics plugin effectively, you will first have to sign your site up for analytics. Once you have the tracking ID, download this plugin and insert the tracking ID.

The hit Install Now > Ok > Activate

Add a Contact Form

To add a contact form to your site you will need to add a new plugin. For this, search Contact Form 7. All contact form plugins are similar so it really does not matter what one you use, however I am most familiar with this one.

Hit Install Now > Activate.

You will now notice a Contact section in your sidebar.

Click it and open the contact form.

Here you are going to copy the shortcode and paste it into the page you want the Contact Form to appear on your site. Then hit “Update” to apply the changes.

Paste into the page text where you want it to appear (Contact Page).

Thrive Architect Plugin

Thrive Architect (formerly known as Thrive Content Builder) is a great tool to help build a site and make it look good. After you download it from your Thrive Member Dashboard simply go to Plugins > Add New > Upload File and select it from your computer files.

Then hit “Activate Plugin”.

Now, when you view your site, there will be another option to edit the page in the top bar called “Edit with Thrive Content Builder”. When you click this, you will stay on the page but be able to edit it from there.

Add a Favicon

Adding a favicon is simple. Before we set it up on your WordPress, find an image you want to use (Clipart looks best) and save it so it is easily accessible.

Now go to Appearance > Customize, then go to the “Site Identity” section.

Under “Site Icon” you are going to “Select Image” and upload and crop the image of your choice. It will show you what your Favicon will look like. When you are happy with it, click “Save & Publish”.

There you have it! Your site is done and it looks amazing. You can add more content and change your settings any time you want. 

Play around with what you have just learned and make your new website exactly how you want it.  

Part 2: 59 Ways to Make Money on Your Site

There are different levels to site monetization, from easy and passive, to a site earning you a primary income but with A LOT of work being put into it on a daily basis. So if you’re going to learn how to make money from a website, make sure it’s something you’re passionate about and love to do, otherwise you’re going to fail. 

Below I’ve listed 59 ways to earn money on your website, all of which can help people who are either just starting out or have already built out a site and are looking to earn more revenue. 

If you don’t have time to build your own site but still want get into the site monetization business, you can check out Motion Invest. They sell profitable sites and is a great place to get started even if you’re new to the game.

1. Affiliate Marketing and Links

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular tools for making extra cash online. With the number of affiliate programs available, it’s probably one of the easiest to do as well. 

To start, you’ll need to know what category or type or product you want to promote. You can figure this out by understanding your website’s niche and your audience. Once you know who your audience is and what they’ll find most attractive, you can go out and find an affiliate program or product that fits. 

For example, if you’re a sports blog with a mainly male audience between the ages of 20-45, then a sports gambling affiliate might work well. 

If you’re just starting out and aren’t sure what type of audience you’ll be targeting (or don’t have an audience yet), don’t worry! Figure out what your niche is and do some research to find out what type of audience you’ll most likely be targeting with your content. Go out and find the affiliates that fit. 

The way an affiliate program works is pretty simple: you sign up to the affiliate program (generally through an online software or portal on the company site), get your links, get your banners (if necessary), and input them into your site the most effective way possible. 

Anytime someone clicks on your unique affiliate link and purchases the specified product through it, you’ll receive an affiliate commission! It’s as simple as that. 

Commission for affiliate vary but are generally somewhere between 20% and 70% (on the high-end). So if you were using an affiliate with a split of 50% and your link led to a sale of a $100 product, you’d receive $50. 

If you’re wondering, “Okay this is great, but what if I don’t know my audience, sign up for the wrong affiliates and don’t make any sales?”. Don’t worry – this is bound to happen, especially if you’re just starting out. 

If you’re not making any sales after a while, there could be a variety of things to assess the issue. It could be your content, your traffic, your links, etc. But if you find that your audience isn’t resonating with your links, then just do some trial and error! Find some other links, input them, and see how they perform. Do this as many times as you need to and find what works for your site. 

Another important factor is making sure your links are organically placed in your site’s content. What do I mean by that?

Don’t make it sound like you’re trying to sell a product to your reader’s and instead make it seem like you are providing them with an easy and direct link to make the buying process that much easier for them. 

For instance, if you have a blog where you write reviews on home and kitchen products, that would be a great and natural place to input affiliate links. You might write a blog post on the best blender to use for a smoothie, include 5 or 6 reviews on different smoothies your readers could buy online, and then include the links to each one – with your affiliate links serving as each of these links. 

This way your readers can read your review, conveniently click on a direct link to any of the products they believe best suits their needs, purchase it, and you get the commission on it. 

So where can you find products to promote? Here’s some of the top affiliate programs on the market today:

2. Sell Ad Space On Your Site

If you have a website with a lot of traffic coming to it and you know the type of traffic is high quality, then you will benefit greatly from selling banner ads on your site. It’s also an easy way to make money in your spare time. 

There’s a number of ways to earn by selling ad space on your site. For instance, incorporating Google’s Adsense on your website is one way to make money from online advertisements. Another way is to sell ad space directly to companies, advertisers or anyone looking to promote something. 

Based on how good your traffic is, you can determine your own price for different ad space on your site. Determining your price based on traffic can be tricky so starting off low and working your way up depending on how the ads perform is the best strategy. 

You’ll know how good your traffic is based on the amount of monthly visitors and how engaging they are with the current content of your site. Once you get banner ads on your site, you’ll have a much better idea by examining the impressions, click-through rates, and conversion rates. 

How much you get paid for ad space will depend on your visitors as well as the type of rate you sell the ad space for (which we’ll get into below). 

The upside about selling ad space is that if your site gets a lot of monthly traffic from different sources, your banner pricing can earn you a ton of cash every month! And if your site is hyper-focused on a specific niche and only receives traffic from a highly-targeted audience, then that’s good too! Find out who your demographic is and sell your ad space to companies in that niche. Advertisers and marketers love when traffic is targeted – generally ads convert much better on these types of sites. 

3. Join a PPC Ad Network 

What is PPC advertising? Pay-per click ads are a pretty simple concept and one of the safest and surest ways to monetize your site. You place banner ads on your site, when they receive clicks, you get paid in your spare time. 

These are very beneficial to the publisher (site hosting the ads), however are a larger risk to the advertiser, as they are assuming each click will lead to a conversion and/or sale for them. 

You can set up pay-per click advertising yourself directly with companies and advertisers, however using an ad network is much easier. 

One of the most popular networks to use on your blog or website is Google Adsense. Google lets you display banner ads for other companies on your pages and posts. 

It’s essentially a plug and play network – go to Google Adsense, set up an account, choose your preferences, Google will then give you a code to copy/paste into any space on your site, and you’re ready to go! Everytime someone clicks on the ads, you make money! 

4. Join a CPM Ad Network

What are CPM ads? CPM (or cost per thousand impressions) advertisements pay you according to the amount of impressions received on an ad. That means that as long as your readers are viewing the ads on your site, you’re getting paid. 

CPM ads work best for blog sites that receive high volumes of traffic. Here are a few CPM ad networks: 

There are a variety of ad formats that you can use with CPM advertising, so make sure to know your audience and use a format that is attractive to them. To take full advantage of CPM advertising, make sure you have a mobile-friendly site so you can set up banners via mobile as well. 

5. Use CPA Advertising

CPA or Cost-per-Action ads go beyond a view or a click. They also require the user to take a specific action when they arrive to the advertiser’s page. Whether that be subscribing to a list, downloading a software, or purchasing a product. 

Here, the advertiser will only pay you when the action takes place, however CPA networks generally pay better than CPM or CPC ads due to higher conversions. 

These are our top 10 best CPA ad networks:

If you have a site with smaller traffic volume but a dedicated audience, then CPA advertising will be profitable for you. All the tracking and activities are managed by the CPA ad networks so running CPA ads is generally effortless on your end. 

6. Display Pop-up Advertisements

Pop-up ads are a great format for display advertising and help increase your impression count and the potential for clicks. 

A pop-up ad appears on top of the current browser page. They used to appear in a separate window/tab, however they’re now typically run as part of the page your visitor is browsing to avoid being blocked by ad blockers. 

Pop-up ads can be triggered in a few ways. 

You can have a time-driven pop-up, which appears after a user has been on you site for a set amount of time (set by you). 

A behaviour-driven pop-up, which appears once a condition is met. For example, a pop-up appears after a visitor has scrolled halfway down a blog post on your site. 

Finally, there are exit pop-ups. These are triggered when a visitor attempts to exit the site, and is a great opportunity to extend a special/limited time offer before your visitor leaves. 

Here’s our top WordPress plugin pop-up tools:

7. Display Pop-Under Advertisements

A pop-under ad is similar to a pop-up, but just appears in a different place. A pop-under appears in a new window underneath the page the visitor is currently browsing. 

These are generally less-intrusive and obstructive to the visitor, however the downside is that they can easily be blocked with modern-day ad blockers (which most users have). 

Our recommendations for pop-up and pop-under ads: 

  • Place them on your product landing pages and lead-gen pages to catch the attention of interested readers (if they’re reading your blog, they’re probably interested in what you have to say/offer). 
  • Use different pop-ups and pop-unders for each of your pages. For example, your landing page might have a pop-under that comes up right away with a certain offer, but then also have an exit pop-up with an even better offer. 
  • Don’t spam your site visitors every time they visit your site. 

8. Set Up RSS Feed Ads

If you choose to include ads in your RSS feeds, your options are mainly limited to pay-per-click ads, similar to Google AdSense. Here are a list of some of the companies that can help monetize your RSS feed:

A few things to consider before setting up RSS feed ads: 

  • Are your ads relevant to your site’s content? The ads should fit naturally in with your content so as not to be off-putting to your audience. 
  • How many ads will appear within the RSS feed? In other words, don’t bury your content between ads and piss off your readers – remember, they’re their for your content, not the ads. 
  • Make sure your ads are clearly marked so readers don’t confuse them with your site content. 

Here’s a quick video on how to set up ads in your RSS feed by BuySellAds:

9. Display Audio Ads

Audio creates a more personal experience for the user compared to other formats – there’s personality, tone and messaging and can’t be replicated via text. According to Adobe’s State of Voice 2019, almost 40% of consumers find voice ads on smart speakers to be more engaging and less intrusive than online, print, TV, and social media ads. 

With the popularity of audio ads growing, using it as a tool to monetize your site isn’t a bad idea. 

Setting up audio ads is similar to the other ad formats I mentioned: you’ll need to integrate your website to a designed ad server and dynamically insert ads via Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI). By providing a more engaging and personalized listening experience you’ll be able to naturally improve the ROI of your site. 

Here’s my top audio ad networks for your website:

10. Using Native Advertising

Native ads work within the same pricing format as any other ads (CPM, PPC, CPA, etc), with the main difference being that they are designed to fit neatly and organically within the content. 

Native ads are meant to match the look and feel of your site and look “native” to the site’s content, providing a better overall experience to your visitors. 

Visitor’s will still recognize them as advertisements, but won’t feel as intrusive. 

There are a few ways to monetize through native ads: you can code them in yourself with whatever content management system you’re using. If you want a bit more control, you can use an ad servicer to manage and run the ads through, such as Revive Adserver. However this is a much more in-depth and expensive option. Finally, you can join any one of the major ad networks that I mentioned above. 

11. Offer Coupons (with affiliate links)

With coupon affiliate marketing, you can partner up with affiliate networks that distribute promo codes to large coupon sites. Setting up coupons on your site is just as simple as setting up affiliate links … it just offers an alternate way of doing it. 

To monetize this option even further, you can include coupon offers on your newsletters, email blasts, etc. The benefit with coupons is your audience will feel like they are getting a deal by visiting your site – this will lead to more recurring visitors and a high conversion rate on the affiliate coupons. 

The affiliate coupon industry is large and because of that, it will attract spammy and illegitimate affiliate programs. To save you the effort, I’ve listed some of the best ones below:

  • Coupon marketplace sites are generally the best and work with some of the largest and highest paying advertisers in the industry. Check out Offers.com and savings.com. 
  • Curated coupon sites will list by category and brand, focusing on specific niches, which helps you pick and choose the best coupons for your site. Examples are DealsPlus and TechBargains. 
  • Cash-back coupon programs, such as Ebates and CouponCabin, have very loyal user bases due to the cash-back feature. These generally perform very well. 
  • Coupon apps and extensions like Honey and Ibotta are great if you have a lot of traffic via mobile users. 

12. Sell Your Own Digital Product

If your website has a lot of traffic coming to it and your user base is committed to your content, then creating a digital product to sell is one of the best and easiest ways to make extra cash on your site! 

There are a variety of options in terms of what you want your digital product to be. This will be largely based on who your audience is and what they find attractive about your content. 

For example, if your site offers a lot of content around lead generation efforts, you might want to offer a paid course on how to become an expert in lead gen for B2B marketing. 

You can sell digital products in two ways: through your own site or through a third party platform. While selling through a platform removes some of the effort for you, there are a number of benefits to using your own site: you’ll keep your own profits (third party platforms either charge a fee or take a percentage of your sales); better customer relationship management (more functionality and customizability); and flexibility and independence. 

13. Sell an Ebook

One of the best ways to monetize your site while doing something you love and sharing your passion with others is to sell an Ebook. 

People are coming to your site because they enjoy your content and feel like you have something important to say – they respect and listen to your expertise. An Ebook allows you to extend that knowledge into a monetized version of content. 

Creating an Ebook is simple:

  • Create the content for your Ebook – what does your audience find interesting?
  • Format your Ebook – make it a simple format so readers can easily access (PDF)
  • Proofreading – might be worth getting a professional to look it over
  • Create a cover that will sell – Hiring a freelancer through Upwork is an easy and cheap way to create a design
  • Convert your Ebook – Larger Ebook publishers like Amazon and Kindle use MOBI to format, but simply making it a downloadable PDF is easy and inexpensive 
  • Add and promote it through your site and other channels

14. Resell Web Hosting

Reseller hosting is done by purchasing a reseller website hosting package and reselling it to your clients or site visitors as your own hosting company. The appeal being you can modify your features and pricing to resell to a specific niche of users that are looking for that service.

This option is very simple however I wouldn’t jump into it before doing your research on web hosting. You also have to make sure you have the right audience for this because it’s so specific. 

Here’s our top web hosting reseller plans: 

15. Sell WordPress Themes

If you’re reading this post, I’m going to assume you’re familiar with WordPress – and if you know WordPress, then you’ll know that there are thousands of themes you can use on your WordPress site. 

Creating a WordPress theme isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a designer and/or developer, then this can be an easy and creative option to monetize yourself online. All you need to do is create the theme, get it on a marketplace, and get it into the hands of those hungry buyers. 

Below are some of my favourite marketplaces to get your theme on. Remember: offering a Freemium (basic) version of your theme is a great way to get exposure and downloads: 

16. Sell Graphics on your WordPress Site

Maybe creating WordPress themes isn’t your thing and you prefer to have more freedom when creating your designs. No problem! Take your graphic designs and sell them directly through your site. 

If you have a niche audience coming to your site and know exactly what they want, then selling graphics through your site is a great idea. You know your audience best and forming the graphics content around them will be best done by you. 

However, if you don’t have a large enough audience and don’t think the sales will come through on your site alone, you can also expand your sales through marketplaces such as Zazzle, Society6, or Redbubble. 

17. Sell a Physical Product

While the trend seems to be towards digital, physical products can be an essential and profitable revenue stream depending on your target market. People love products they can hold in their hands and place in their homes. 

Physical products are easier to build trust with, they have a higher perceived value compared to digital, and are more personal to the customer. 

However, it’s important to have all the right systems in place for a physical product. Once you’ve made the sale you’ll need to get the product out to the customer – this is where having a third party shipping and fulfillment center is crucial. Selling physical products is also much harder to scale as your customer base grows. Just some things to keep in mind. 

Check out this video for some tips on how to sell physical products online.

18. Reselling Your Content Offline

Offline content still does exist, despite the massive trend towards digital. Newspapers and magazines still sell and need content to generate those sales. Expanding your expertise and knowledge into the offline world can be a great way to increase your writing portfolio. 

Here’s some ways to go beyond the web and expand yourself offline: 

  • Free publicity through papers and magazines
  • Low-cost newspapers
  • Giveaways and cross promotions
  • Local endorsements
  • Networking
  • Vendor trade shows
  • Workshops
  • Coupons, flyers and handouts
  • Free products
  • Direct mail

19. Generate and Sell Leads

You don’t need to be a marketing wizard to operate a successful lead generation strategy. If you have a site with an audience, and you know what that audience is interested in, then you have your leads. Any site owner has a unique list of customers that are ready to be sold. 

Here’s how to monetize those leads: 

  • Understand your audience: who are your site visitors? What are they interested in?
  • Organize your lead offering: what will the product/service be?
  • Build a buyer network: reach out to retail buyers, wholesalers, etc. 
  • Establish a lead distribution strategy: how will you sell your leads?

If you need help generating and selling your leads, you can check out services like Boberdoo

20. Sell Text-Link Ads

Text-link ads are a pretty simple concept: you simply turning certain words or phrases of your content into links (ads) in order to earn revenue. 

Similar to display advertising, when a visitor clicks the link, they’re redirected to another site (generally an advertiser or company offering a service, software, etc), and then the publisher (you) is paid based on either PPC or some sort of flat fee. Sometimes, these can be affiliate-based as well. 

Setting up a text-link ad is simple: sign up with an advertiser that offers text-link ads, install the code snippet to your blog and that’s it! The most popular in-text advertising programs are Google AdSense, Amazon Associates, LinkWorth, and Amobee

21. Sell or Rent Internal Web Pages

Similar to house-flipping, many people think that website flipping is the best way to monetize a site (which we’ll cover later). However, there is a lot of time, effort and cost associated with building a site and flipping it quick, which not all of us have! 

However, renting your site (or parts of your site) is a great way to monetize and increase value from the ground up. 

So how do you do it? Figure out who your audience is and then find businesses, websites, bloggers, content writers, etc who want to reach out to that audience. You can create as many pages dedicated to rental space as you want. Just remember: don’t overload your site with other people’s content, make sure to monitor the space your rent, and don’t let the rented pages negatively affect the quality of your site. 

22. Accepting Donations from Visitors

The majority of sites offer some sort of content or service free of charge. A lot of people take this for granted because it’s become the norm, however site owners do it to help increase their traffic, which they use to sell a premium offer down the road. 

While this is one way of monetizing your site, a more straight forward approach is to simply ask for a donation from your visitors. Sites like Wikipedia rely heavily on donations and depending on the traffic coming to your site, visitors are generally willing to donate for quality content. 

In order to actually receive donations, you’ll need to create a successful donation page and call-to-action. Make sure to: 

  • Ask your visitors to donate
  • Make them feel comfortable and provide any information they want before donating
  • Process donations securely and instantly (ex. Paypal)
  • Send automated tax receipts to your donors
  • Collect donor information
  • Summarize your donations in order to see how far you are from your goal
  • Keep in touch with donors through scheduled emails

22. Accept Sponsored Posts and Articles

Similar to renting space, a sponsored post or article can monetize space on your site without much effort from your end. A sponsored post is when a blogger or writer is either paid to talk or write about a product or brand on their blog or when a site/blog owner is paid to have a brand post or write about their product on the owners site/blog. 

That being said, there’s a couple options to monetize here: you can charge companies or bloggers to post on your site for a fee OR you can get paid to write about a product or brand on your own site. The latter requires more effort but is usually simple and pays more. 

Reach out to brands (local brands in your area are a great place to start), make sure to have analytics on your site traffic, and let them know what you’re offering. Sponsored posts can often be a cheaper and better option for brands and advertisers, giving you a competitive edge. 

24. Apply for Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has been one of the most favoured and fastest-growing ways to raise money for causes, events and sites. It has changed the way businesses grow and operate, but more importantly it has changed the way consumers spend. 

Be aware: crowdfunding is not for everyone. You have to have a strong social community and project behind your site as the first step to being successful. If you do choose this option, make sure to tailor your site include messaging around why you’re crowdfunding, the cause, purpose, etc.

While popular platforms like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Indiegogo, and Patreon are accessible for anyone to use, there are benefits to doing it yourself: avoiding additional fees, retaining control, owning your customers, building your brand, and tailoring it to your audience. 

25. Create a Blog

Sounds easy enough, right? Don’t worry – everyone needs to start somewhere and one of the best places to start when monetizing your site is creating a blog. 

It’s the best way to generate content, grow your audience, and narrow down your niche. Here’s how to do it. 

  • Choose a profitable blogging niche: some bloggers are fortunate enough to create content around things they’re passionate about, however this is a limited few. The successful bloggers are the ones who create content around niche’s that generate profit. 
  • Increase your content skills: freshen up on SEO strategies, including keywords, link building, writing good headlines, etc. The best content will rise to the top of search engines.
  • Grow your email list: make sure your using that content to capture the traffic that’s coming to your site. Having thousands of visitors to your site is great but what’s even better is building a dedicated customer base. 

26. Give Away Premium Content

There’s a couple definitions of what constitutes as “Premium Content”. Some consider it as content that is provided in exchange for an email or lead. However, to monetize your content even further, creating a more strict restriction around the content’s access is the key. For example, full featured, long-form PDF that is only available for those who join the paid membership. 

How you create your premium content is up to you. For example, it can be a monthly membership fee that gives members access to online video courses and templates on a specific service. 

Premium content is attractive because it offers high value information to customers compared to the freely available content online. Here’s some ideas for your premium content: 

  • Premium downloads: reserving certain downloads to members
  • Private courses or one-on-one tutorials: a more personal experience catered to the individual is highly valuable
  • Exclusive newsletters: being privy to the latest news is always highly valued
  • Premium Community: access to members, forums, chats, etc

27. Start a Private Forum

If you spend any time on the internet, you’ve most likely stumbled upon a forum community. Private forums are one of the most popular ways to share insights and get feedback on a topic you’re passionate about. 

Forums are so popular because although you can find almost the answer to almost anything you want online, people still like to form communities, talk, and share opinions on topics of interest. 

You should have a solid traffic base coming to your site already to start a successful forum. If you have a popular blog that’s busy with comments, then getting those same readers to jump over to your forum should be an easy move. Once you have your audience and forum set up, be sure to moderate it as well – all good forums need a moderator to weed out bullying and verbal attacks. 

Starting your forum as an open forum then creating private categories is the best way to monetize it. Get users talking, then create a fee to access the private forum category. For example, your open forum is a discussion board for anyone to chat about specific topics, but a membership fee of $25 allows users to access a private forum where marketers/professionals exchange in-depth marketing information and tips. 

28. Use Content Lockers

The concept of a content locker is simple: you lock content behind a pop-up, which can only be unlocked by a visitor by taking a predefined action. Depending on your goals, this action could be entering an email address, following you on social media, making a payment, or gathering other useful information from the visitor. 

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The content you lock is also determined by you, but make sure it is highly valuable to your website visitors and fits within your niche. 

So how is this monetized? A number of ways: you can gather and grow an email list, which can be extremely valuable; increase your following; turn your visitors into paying customers; or selling a premium product online.

Here are some of the best tools to use to set up your content locker: 

29. Create a Membership Area

Similar to a private forum or content locker, a membership area is usually a set of pages with protected content behind them, which requires payment to access. This allows you to tailor content to members individually, creating a better experience for them. 

There are a number of ways to monetize a membership area, including setting up specialized online courses (which can be pre-recorded or live depending on your goals and audience needs), hosting online communities where insights and expertise is shared, or creating evergreen content available only to members. 

For best results, there should be two areas or two sets of content available on your site: free and paid. The free content will get visitors to your site, interested in the content, and create dedicated followers. Your goal is to push visitors to the membership area through your free content. 

30. Create a Paid Directory or Business Page

If you have good traffic in a particular niche, then creating a paid directory website is an easy way to monetize your site and help other businesses in the process. Offering to place a business’s contact info on you site for a monthly fee is the best way to monetize this solution. 

So how do you get started with an online directory? It’s simple: figure out what niche you’re targeting; categorize your site architecture for easy use by visitors; reach out to potential clients/businesses within that niche; provide them with information about your site, including the value of traffic; charge them a fee to be listed; consistently be writing and updating content on your site to bring traffic. 

Most online directories charge $20-$30 per listing per month. Depending on the quality of your traffic, your price can be lower or higher. But let’s say you charge $25 per listing. If you’re able to get 50 clients listed on your directory website, that’s $1,250 per month, or $15,000 passive income per month (and this is assuming you don’t grow your directory past 50). 

31. Use SEO to Optimize Your Site

In order to use any of the solutions mentioned here and monetize your site, optimizing your on-site SEO is one of the most important things you can do. This can be done in a number of ways, including blog posts, reviews, list posts, and forums. Whichever way you decide to optimize is up to you, but SEO will directly influence your page’s traffic and increase rankings on search engines. 

Here are the top factors for on-page SEO rankings:

  • Including your keyword at the start of your title page
  • Having your page title in the H1 tag
  • Including a keyword in your URL and meta description
  • Content structure focused on user experience
  • Unique content
  • LSI keywords in the content
  • Internal linking 

If you want to learn more about SEO and how to optimize your site, book a call with Content Refined.

32. Get Paid to Write Reviews

If you’re ability to generate quality, high ranking on site SEO content is high then expanding that skill into paid reviews and guest posts is easily transferable and a great way to make money. 

There’s a couple ways you can earn money this way: 

  • Reach out to other sites that offer guest posts and provide them with high quality content for a fee. Or include your own affiliate links in the reviews and take advantage of the extra traffic. 
  • Write reviews for others on your site for a fee or some sort of commission structure based on what the products/reviews are. 

When you do write a review, make sure you take the proper steps to link build, which we’ll talk about in the next step. 

33. Link Building

Link building is an important step in increasing your sites rankings and traffic. Link building is a part of the SEO process, however it needed its own section to go over some of the important points. 

Link building is generating links (or hyperlinks) from other profitable websites to your own. Search engines like Google use links to crawl the web, so the more high quality sites you have linking to your site/blog/article, the higher you’ll rank. 

Link building is beneficial to your site because it increases traffic and rankings, builds relationships within your online niche, sends referral traffic to your site, and establishes your brand in the online community. 

For a full step-by-step guide on how to get started with link building, check out this article

34. Create Video Content

Video is a powerful content tool for storytelling and can impact the success of your marketing and content efforts. It also helps connect with your audience, build your brand, and develop deeper relationships with your target audience. 

If you think SEO and content is the only strategy to focus on, consider some of these stats:

  • In 2019, video accounted for 80% of all consumer internet traffic
  • Social media videos generate 1200% more shares compared to images and text combined
  • 87% of online marketers use video content 
  • Mobile video consumption increases by 100% every year

Here’s out 9 tips to creating successful video content:

  • Create a simple SEO strategy around your video
  • Have a clear message what the video is about
  • Use social proof
  • Include a clear call-to-action
  • Choose the best publishing time
  • Offer incentives to viewers
  • Choose your distribution outlets based on your target audience
  • Engage with your viewers
  • Analyze your video performance and adjust when needed

35. Write Content For Others

With the amount of content that exists online today, writing reviews and sharing your opinion can be an easy way for good writers to make money. Linking back to your site through these reviews is an additional step that can help increase traffic back to you. 

Many sites offer good payouts depending on what niche you’re writing in. Here are some places you can check out and write a review on: 

36. Build an Email List

The possibilities for monetizing your site, product(s), service, etc are endless when you have a dedicated email list built out. Email marketing has been and continues to be one of the most powerful tools a marketer has at their disposal. 

Capturing emails through your site is simple (as described in a few points above), but we’ll go over some specific points on how to build your email list .

  • Create a personalized call-to-action for each blog or landing page
  • Create pop-ups or slide-ins for each page of your site
  • Create a pop-up survey
  • Include some humour in your call-to-actions
  • Add value to your call-to-actions 
  • Create premium content based on email opt-ins

37. Newsletters

Having a dedicated audience and email list means that you have to maintain and inform that audience consistently with new content. Creating a newsletter is the best way to do this. 

There is some stigma around monetizing your newsletters with fear of losing the trust of your subscribers. However, with the right strategy in place, earning money on your newsletters is a great way to earn revenue. 

You can sell ad space or place ads on your newsletters. The best way to do this is through native ads. As long as you don’t bombard your newsletter with ads, then your audience won’t mind it. Try and still 1-3 ads per newsletter. 

You can also create premium content for your newsletter and charge a one-time or monthly fee to those who sign up. Make sure you’re offering some sort of value-add here. 

You can also monetize your newsletters with affiliate links, which can be done a lot more naturally than regular banner ads. 

Don’t hesitate to sell or pitch your own products and services through the newsletter as well. A newsletter can actually be one of the best ways to pitch – it’s direct, targeted to your visitors, and generally receives high open rates. 

38. Host Polls on Your Site

Online polls are a fun and easy way to keep your audience highly engaged and can be used to boost user engagement on your site. In turn, it can provide feedback on your content, your site structure, your niche, your audience’s views and interests, and much more. 

When creating a poll you should make sure it’s easy to use and create, it should look nice and can be easily added to any post or page, your poll plugin should be fast without affecting site speed, and it should be able to display results with graphs and charts. 

Here’s the best WordPress plugins to use for creating polls:

39. Offer consulting 

Maybe you don’t have a digital or physical product to sell, and instead you have expertise and knowledge to provide consumers. We’ve already gone over sharing your content and expertise through blogs and articles, but what if your expertise is worth more than that? A consulting service is perfect for this. 

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Or maybe you’re already a consultant, but need to expand your reach by having a site your clients can visit to find your pricing, or a landing page to push new clients to. 

Most of the time, consulting can be offered online or via a phone call. Setting up a website and landing page to drive your traffic to is perfect for this. 

A lot of consultants get scared off by the idea of creating a website, but you have to remember that it’s an investment rather than an expense. When you’re creating your consulting site, make sure to clearly outline your pitch, service, offer, pricing, and include an area where clients can schedule meetings and/or calls. 

Here’s how your landing page should look like:

40. Create a Conference Around Your Website

Having an eye-catching and detailed website is an absolute necessity if you or your company is hosting a conference. It’s a great way to inform your audience, sell tickets, and generate buzz around the conference. It’s also an outlet for creating content and driving more traffic to your conference, in turn helping earn more revenue. 

A conference website should get attendees excited about the event and new visitors wanting to purchase tickets. This means that strong visuals and clear messaging are the most important things to focus on when building your conference site. 

The key details that a conference website needs to hit on: 

  • What you conference is about
  • Where is it located
  • When it’s happening

If you’re using WordPress (which I recommend), there are some great themes created specifically for conferences and events. Here’s some of the best ones:

41. Set Up a Teaching Program

What if the service you’re offering can’t be explained in a few blog posts or through a 1 hour consulting call? Try setting up a teaching program instead! 

Today, setting up online classes is easy, cost-efficient, allows you to reach a much larger audience, and is more suitable for both the teacher and students because it can be done from anywhere!

Setting up a teaching program is simple: create the course, develop all the documents you’ll require students to use, set your fee, set up a system to cast/stream your classes (check out Zoom), and get started! 

Remember, in addition to the fee you charge for classes, you can also include affiliate programs through text books, e-books, other course material needed; setting up ads on your site for relatable class material; or look for sponsorships. 

42. Host Paid Webinars

Hosting a webinar has become one of the more popular platforms for companies to simultaneously increase traction to their services and share expertise. A webinar is a powerful way to connect with your audience as well as generate new leads. 

While hosting a paid webinar is the obvious way to make money online, you can also host free webinars with a pitch or sale at the end of it. This is the model a lot of companies choose to take. Why? Offering a free webinar will have a much higher participation rate. Getting people in the door is half the battle – once they’re in, you have their attention, go ahead and pitch your service. 

If this is your course of action, make sure to have a clear call-to-action at the end. Offering a special discount to your webinar attendees is another good option for conversions (make them feel as if they are getting a one-time only offer for participating in the webinar). 

Other things you need to prepare before hosting a webinar are:

  • Creating a visually appealing and informative slideshow (google slide, keynote, powerpoint)
  • Get a good mic and camera (no one wants to see your blurry face)
  • Invest in a good webinar software (Webinar Jam, CrowdCast, Facebook Live, Zoom, GoToWebinar).
  • Deliver something of value to you audience!

43. Become an Online Coach

Sharing your expertise and knowledge with others in your field can be done in a number of ways, including online coaching. This has become very popular amongst personal trainers, dieticians and others in the health and fitness industry. 

Even if you have good content online, coaching can be the next step for your site visitors who are serious about learning more. It offers a more personal experience for people and allows you to make more money on your site without the hassle or added expense of traveling. 

First thing you’ll need to do is figure out what your customers want and develop your email list. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to map out what you’re going to offer to your audience. 

You’ll want to design a program with a fixed cost around a specific timeframe; set up your schedule to talk to clients regularly; and provide additional materials to encourage client progress. 

Then pitch to your target audience! A good tip is to offer your email list a free session where you go over their goals and objectives, providing some insight and knowledge, but not too much. Leave them wanting more. Then offer your paid coaching package as a follow-up. 

44. Become an Influencer Through Your Site

Influencers have become one of the hottest marketing trends in 2019. While the majority of influencers use third party platforms like Youtube and Instagram, to promote themselves and other brands, they shouldn’t limit what you can do. Using your site in combination with other social media platform to monetize yourself as an influencer can be highly beneficial. 

There are five key factors to focus on here:

  • Find and focus on a niche you’re an expert in: by this time you probably have a site where you are developing content on, so finding your niche should be easy. 
  • Share your knowledge on multiple platforms: use Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Facebook and any other social media you can (including your site obviously) to promote yourself. These can all be used in combination to drive more traffic to your site. 
  • Have an opinion and don’t be afraid to share it. 
  • Grow your followers and reach out to brands in your niche: It’s easier than it sounds – find brands and companies in your niche, email them, and get sponsored posts. 
  • Engage with your audience: whether it be through your site or through another platform, read your visitors comments and engage with them. 

45. Create an Online Course

If your site has great content and a core audience, then an online course might be the next step for you. Online courses have become popular with content sites because it offers in-depth expertise about their content for a premium price. 

Dedicated visitors to your site are most likely willing to pay a fee for a content upgrade if it helps them gain more knowledge and insight into your niche. An online course is a fast, easy and highly monetizable way to do this. 

Creating the contents of the course itself is simple: just expand on your sites content and niche. For example: if you share content on your blog about how to rank higher in Google, then you could offer an online course on how you/your business develops the procedures on SEO strategies and executes them. 

Other than that, all you need is a good camera and microphone to get started! Due to the low cost it takes to develop an online course, your profit margins on them will be solid. 

46. Offer Freelance Services

What if the services you offer can’t be taught in a course or shared through content? No problem – use a website to sell your services through freelance work! Here’s the top things you’ll need to set up and grow yourself as a freelancer:

  • Develop your portfolio to demonstrate the scope of your skills
  • Talk to your network – colleagues, friends, family, neighbours, the guy you spot at the gym.
  • Join an online community in your field
  • Join local organizations, like a Rotary Club or an Entrepreneurs network
  • Volunteer in the community to expand your network AND offer your services for free (everyone like someone who offers pro bono work)
  • Email outreach and cold call – it works, trust me

If you’re just getting started and still need to grow your client base, then it might be a good idea to sign up to a third party freelancer site. Use this initially to grow your customers and then slowly move them over to your site. 

Here’s some of the best places to sell services online and grow your business 

47. Set Up an E-commerce Site

With some effort and the help of certain site building tools, building your own e-commerce store and selling products online is easier than ever. If you have a product that you’re already selling (or an idea for a product), using an e-commerce store will help you expand your market. 

Last year, people spent almost $500 billion making online purchases and when compared to the cost of operating a storefront, setting up an eCommerce site is a no-brainer. 

Once you’ve found you’ve researched trends, explored your niche, and have your product, you’ll need to choose a domain and set up your hosting. Then you’ll need to connect to an eCommerce platform, which helps you manage your site, marketing, sales, and the overall operations of your online store. 

There’s a handful of popular eCommerce platforms out there, so here’s a quick comparison of the top competitors: 

48. Create a WordPress Event Calendar With Paid Submissions

Event submission calendars can be a great tool if you are hosting local community events, organizing functions, or generating leads and sales. By allowing users to submit events themselves is a great way to engage with your audience and make money online. 

As an additional way to monetize your site, you can also allows users to pay a fee for adding events to your calendar. For a quick guide on how to set up payment methods on your form, check out this link.

If you’re setting up your calendar in WordPress, you can choose from a variety of plugins. Here’s some of the best event calendar plugins for WordPress in 2019:

49. Create a WooCommerce Dropshipping Store

Dropshipping allows you to sell products online without actually keeping any inventory. When you receive an order, you transfer it to your supplier who packs the order items to your customer, let them know when the product is shipped, and that’s it!

So how do you get set up? First, select your niche and set up your WordPress site and hosting (if you haven’t already). Second, set up WooCommerce on your dropshipping store. Third, install a theme and plugin for your dropshipping store (here are some to check out). Fourth, fill your store with the appropriate products. Finally, promote your store to as many people as you can and make sure to fulfill your order properly!

There are a number of benefits to a dropshipping store:

  • Low initial cost and overhead: because you’re not purchasing or storing inventory, your costs are limited to site expenses only.
  • Easy setup: all you need is a domain, hosting and some plugins!
  • Not tied to location: you’re just fulfilling the orders while others are doing the grunt work for you, so you can work from anywhere. 
  • Scalability: again, expenses like staff will remain low with dropshipping, which allows you to easily scale depending on your products demand.

50. Create an Online Marketplace Website

Consider the monolith that is Amazon. Crafty marketplaces like Etsy, or even the techy Newegg as a goal for you and your website. Lofty goals, for sure – but all of these websites came from lines of code and a dream. WordPress is a great place to start here, especially if you don’t have a lot of programming experience.

Essentially, all you’ll have to do is to grab a domain, hosting, an SSL certificate, and a marketplace/ecommerce addon. Of course, you will probably need to employ a few other techniques offered here, such as in creating an auctions site within the marketplace site, an infolinks account, or even developing your own WP plugins to run the online marketplace website more efficiently.

It would also absolutely help if you had a specific niche, not only because you’ll be more knowledgeable about your potential customers, but it may even provide a way for your website to stand out from the pack. Consider how many large marketplaces we have that sell everything as opposed to those who specialize in a specific niche. Remember, the more specific your niche is, the higher the likelihood your site will perform and rank amongst your target audience. 

This could help get the ball rolling much quicker. In fact, any supplementary skills you’ve acquired to create a marketplace website will be instrumental in the site’s success. 

51. Make an Auctions Website

Creating an auction website is essentially much like creating an online marketplace website. Many of the steps are the same, such as purchasing a domain and hosting. If you’re going to have some success relatively early on, it will help to start small. 

Be sure to pick a name that the average consumer won’t forget. You’ll also want a secure way to process payments, an easy way to accept/track bids, and a searchable way for your users to bid on goods and/or services. WordPress has long been great for this.

However, regardless of the way you ultimately decide to go with the website – the best way to build a profitable website is to determine its goal. Smaller auction sites are good if you want to have more control over the auctioning process, whereas the larger sites won’t easily allow for all that.

The design should always meet the goals – whether you’re targeting eBay for competition or you’re running something smaller. Assure that all of your products/services are easily navigable and make sure the design allows for a quick and safe bid. Be sure to run your own test bids and auctions to assure that it runs smoothly. 

52. Develop a WordPress Plug-in

WordPress is the largest content management system (CMS) for marketers and bloggers, with thousands of apps being deployed every day. You can be the next rockstar WordPress developer with some decent skills – namely PHP and the ability to modify a theme.

Like other entries on this list, you’ll have to identify a need and create a product that serves that need. If you’re at all comfortable with WordPress, you understand that there are at least a few that you download for added functionality – but virtually every single one of them possess features that aren’t as fleshed out – or some that aren’t there altogether.

Selling the actual plugins can be done on your own blog, a site like codecanyon.com, or you can find specific plugins needed and code them. Freelancer or Upwork are decent for this, though your mileage may vary.

The same can be said about developing WordPress themes themselves, as the work can be similar.

53. Create a Piece of Software or an App

Creating a piece of software or an app is a great way for passive or full-time income. Both of these ventures require some level of programming experience, though app development has become much more accessible for novice developers. Some companies/software has even made it so you don’t need any programming expertise at all.

Creating software can be a bit more involved, but can be infinitely more rewarding – though it will require you to learn a programming language, such as C, C++, Java, or Python. These are infinitely rewarding languages for developers to learn. When supplemented with other languages, your options to create are limitless.

App and software development also opens the doors for supplementary contract work or even collaboration. A little bit of web development learning will also help you build a profitable website.

While they’re certainly not the same, they all have a similar basis and can work powerfully in concert with each other.

54. Use Monetization Widgets

You can add widgets on your website to get you paid – such as the Amazon Associates program. This program dynamically generates ads to your site where you can either be paid by clicks/impressions or through affiliate income. These ads are various products that Amazon has on sale, so you usually don’t have to worry about too many spammy results.

However, there’s still the need to use discretion. Not all widgets are made equally. They can make you money, but no one wants to visit a site inundated with widget ads. Find something that you like, test them one at a time and choose those that provide high value/low trouble. Shy away from those that make your page clunky or an eyesore.

It’s usually best to select ad types that are relevant to the niche of your blog/website. If you’re a sports website, having team apparel or equipment for that sport may get you some better mileage than, say, cookware. It doesn’t have to be a 1:1 match, but relevancy will always be key.

Generally, popular monetization widgets don’t require a massive amount of traffic to get started, and if you choose Amazon or something similar – set up shouldn’t take long, either.

Here’s some of the top plug-ins for monetization:

55. Create a Job Board

Job board websites serve as converging points for employers and job seekers. It works like this: employers post job vacancies, and job-seekers apply for these positions.

When you run your own job board site, you can earn revenue, build your network, and discover some of your industry’s best resources – for free! Getting started is not that straightforward. However, the good news is that anyone can create a job board with the right platform and tools. There are job board plugins out there that are user-friendly and quite easy to set up.

Before getting started with building a website, you need a few things. These include:

  • A domain name: you need to have a domain name that stands out and is easy to recall.
  • A hosting plan: your websites’s ‘home’ is your web host.
  • Narrow your focus: you need to decide what type of job board will benefit you the most: niche, general, company use only, etc.

It’s equally important to select a platform on which you can build your site. While there are several out there, the most competitive ones are WordPress and Drupal.

Regardless of the platform you choose, keep in mind that your job board website will need the following:

  • A job submission form where employers can post job vacancies.
  • A job dashboard, where employers can view and edit posts (only when they log in).
  • A job board, where job seekers will see job vacancies

Paid Listings (Optional)

Some job board website owners enable paid listings. To do this, you must purchase the WC Paid Listings add-on for the plugin. You’ll need to install this plugin manually. You will also need to install the WooCommerce plugin. This is free. After this, you will need to set the pricing for job listings.

56. Combining or Partnering With Another Website

Combining businesses can help you generate higher revenue. For example, if a website has good traffic with dozens of blogs, your site can gain from it.

When you combine websites, each site can benefit from the other one’s keywords rankings and traffic. Leveraging tools like Screaming Frog and SEMRush will help you analyze the keywords on each site. You must conduct this analysis before deciding on a merger.

Make sure to analyze website traffic to determine which blogs are most valuable in terms of getting the most traffic. It’s probably best to develop a topic cluster strategy, which should result in better lead flow to the site.

Also ensure that there is no duplicate content. Failing to detect duplicate content will end up reducing your domain authority and the SEO value of your content. However, if you manage everything according to plan, your search engine rankings will improve.

Remember, one mega site is better than multiple competitive sites. Smaller sites all under your ownership will work against you. That’s obvious because your keywords will be the same or very similar keywords across all your websites. You would be better off choosing one site as your primary focus for driving traffic.

57. Offer Writing Gigs

Offering writing gigs is one surefire way to earn money from those who visit your site. As your website gets popular, you can expect more potential writers to land on your site. Some of these visitors may be interested in writing on a freelance basis. 

You can have your site optimized with keywords to attract freelance writers. The main feature of you offering freelance writing gigs would be your credibility. With a lot of scams out there, writers want security. They will approach you when they feel your service is credible.

Before you offer any freelance writing gigs, you need to have a source through which you can generate these offers. For this, you can create your writing portfolio. Based on your write-ups, you can place bids on credible writing sites that offer gigs. Once you start landing gigs, you can write some of them on your own and then to other writers on your website. 

To remain competitive, you can keep part of the earnings and give the rest to your writers. It’s a good idea to implement good quality control to secure regular work. Some sites that you could use for getting started include:

Leveraging these types of writing portals could open up a separate stream of revenue and turn out to be pretty lucrative in the long run.

58. Add a “Hire Me” Page To Your Site

The purpose of a Hire Me page is to offer your services to potential clients directly. Many top freelancers have gotten started this way. 

While traditional Hire Me pages worked for a time, today, you need something more people-friendly. People seem to opt for a more hard-sell type of approach. It is probably best to think of your Hire Me page as a sales page.

Sales pages are more useful for bringing in clients. Unlike standard blog-post-like messages, they are not wordy. Their direct approach tells the potential client what you’re offering and how experienced and talented you are.

The main problem that people face is providing proof of their past success and capability. For fields like writing and graphic designing, you can display writing samples and sample designs. For areas like sales and SEO services, you can leverage testimonials (written or video-based ones), or you can provide rough figures as proof.

Here are some elements of a suitable Hire Me page:

  • Avoid distractions – each page element must be designed and geared toward increasing conversions.
  • State your credibility – You must say who you are and what you have achieved
    • Proof of awards you have won in the industry
    • Guest posts mentioning your expertise on well-known websites
    • Evidence of your Google partnership or any other official certificates that highlight your credibility
  • State the benefits of your service – If you’re a writer, display a list of bullet points about the importance of content. If you’re a marketer, produce calculations of traffic vs. sales for a brand. 
  • Give something for free – offer a free consultation or trial
  • Include a compelling and descriptive headline

59. Flip Your Websites (Create, Sell, Reinvest)

Flipping websites is a great way to earn a significant amount of money online. What you get paid for a website depends on the industry it belongs to, and the kind of content value it has.

The process of flipping websites includes:

  • Creating (or buying) a site: Getting the right business name and matching domain name, designing and building a website, and then marketing it to develop its value.
  • Selling: This is when the site is complete, and you contact potential buyers through suitable platforms.
  • Reinvest: Earning money from selling your first few sites can be used to buy existing websites from other owners.

The following are some strategies you could consider when you’re looking to buy a website. You can buy a site:

  • With targeted traffic for an existing product or service that you operate.
  • For generating advertising revenue.
  • For the sole purpose of flipping it.
  • That’s community-based.
  • With a highly popular keyword niche.
  • That you anticipate will become popular.
  • To remove or merge with the competition.
  • Solely for the domain name.

As you can see, the emphasis here is on identifying websites with future value. Selling and reinvesting is easier than scouting for and buying the right site. However, selling and reinvesting in website value ensures that the process continues. The more cycles you run in terms of buying, selling, and reinvesting, the more money you will make.

If you’re interested in selling or buying a website, check out Motion Invest. They can help you find a site that’s the right fit, even if you’re just starting out. Or if you have a site that you’ve built up and want to flip for profit, shoot them an email to talk about pricing.



About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

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