In theory it sounds easy, just create a website, write about your favourite subject and then sit back and watch the money come rolling in. Errr…..if only it was that easy, yes ok, it’s easy to create a stunning looking website in only a few hours using WordPress, but getting traffic to it and monetizing that traffic can be an absolute labour of love.
With over one billion websites at the last count active on the internet, your site would need to be something pretty special or operate in the right niche to stand out and attract visitors.
Although “organic” traffic predominately via Google is what we all strive for, there are now a growing breed of websites (BuzzFeed for instance) that rely on Social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram etc.) to attract the bulk of their visitors and earn revenue.
So let’s say you have created a nice looking website, found the right niche to blog about and have discovered the Holy Grail of achieving a high level of daily visitors to your website…….how do you earn money from these visitors?
There are many ways to achieve this, quite often the best results are achieved by using a combination of the following.
- Google AdSense: Perhaps the quickest and easiest means to start generating an income from your blog. Once you have registered for an AdSense account, you just simply cut and paste the code that Google supply into side banners or posts on your website. This code will then render the right genre of ads for your audience, subject to your websites niche or the visitors viewing history (via tracking Cookies). You earn money when someone clicks through one of the hosted ads (whether they purchase anything or not). Although AdSense is quick and easy to set up, you do need a high amount of traffic to earn any decent revenue from it. As an example, to earn £100 you will typically need approximately 150,000 visitors. That’s a lot of traffic needed for such a relatively small return.
- Sell advertising space on your website: This has the ability to produce a much higher revenue stream. You approach companies that operate within your websites niche or a related niche and offer them a range of advertising opportunities on your website. These opportunities can be banner advertising or an advertorial feature.
- Affiliate Marketing: Similar to AdSense in some respects in that you will typically need a high amount of traffic to earn any serious revenue from it. You will need to open an account with an affiliate program directory such and Commission Junction or Affiliate Window. These directories will facilitate you to work with an affiliate provider, they will usually supply you with a range of marketing material for you to add to your website, you usually only get paid on a Cost Per Action basis (CPA), i.e. you only earn commission when someone actually buys something, unlike AdSense when you get paid for just referring a visitor whether they purchase or not.
- Lead Generation: Capture enquiries on your website for products and services and then sell them on a cost per lead basis (CPL) directly to a company. This works particularly well with companies operating within the property, investment and travel sectors.
- Email Marketing: Similar to the above. Build a database of opted-in subscribers and then offer companies the opportunity to send an email marketing campaign to them, again this works well with companies operating within the property, investment and travel sectors.
The above list is not exhaustive by any means, but it does offer a few simple and realistic ways to earn an income from your website, however as stated at the beginning of this article, it lives and dies on the ability to generate traffic to it.