How to make money on websites: the pros and cons of popular monetization methods
How to make money on websites
What way to monetize your site to get stable income? Practitioners’ advice.
According to analysts , about 92% of innovative projects are closed in the first year of life. Each new site is also a startup, even if it was conceived as one of the working tools for business. How to make money on your website, make it an independent profitable enterprise and not burn out – about this in the material.
In the article:
- When the site starts to pay off
- Website monetization methods
- What kind of advertising can be sold on the site
- How to sell ads on the site
- Main conclusions
It takes a lot of work to keep the site out of the sad 92% of startups. Resource monetization is a full-fledged commercial enterprise, not passive income. The webmaster must become a team of professionals in one person, responsible for web development and design, paid advertising channels, SEO, copywriting, SMM, administration and other tasks.
There are many ways to get income from the site, you need to test them, look for the most profitable ones, based on the features of the site and thousands more factors. Do not forget that in parallel it is necessary to develop the resource, increase traffic.
When the site starts to pay off
To get a steady income, you need traffic. Everything that is posted on the resource, with the exception of links, is intended for the attention of users. The more visitors to your site, the more attractive it is for those who want to get this audience, that is, advertisers. And the more profitable for you.Spending a month developing a resource and starting to fill it with ads is a failed strategy. You can talk about the start of sales and making a profit if at least 500 visitors per day are consistently coming to the site
Let’s say you’ve created a website and gathered a live active audience on it. Then you can choose a monetization strategy and watch the growth of your bank account. Technically it is. However, there is no instant profit, for a start you need an investment of time and money in these areas:
- site customization;
- content creation;
- SEO for a steady increase in traffic;
- developing a permanent audience.
You will have to work hard and wait, but this strategy has the effect of a snowball: over time, the results will multiply and without interruption. And this is a good moment to start making money.
Website monetization methods-How to make money on websites
A site can sell traffic and content: information, products, services, web space, or both.
Sales of goods and services
The obvious way to generate income through a website is to use it to sell products and services, which is what most modern companies do.
There are projects that make money without being the online sales representative of the brand. An example is marketplaces. These are marketplaces where sellers and buyers meet. The resource receives income for its intermediary services, promotion of residents.
Direct content sales
Even information projects can practice direct selling. For example, you can sell subscriptions to special publications or block access to full versions of content. This method of monetization is called paywall .
Popular online magazines, resources with valuable industry information on finance, law, research and analytics, or media personalities – industry experts, coaches, and others – do this. To implement paywall, you can use the services Piano , Pigeon , Mediapass , Paywall or others.
For this method of monetization, the site must have enough valuable information, a loyal audience and a certain reputation of the resource itself or its owner.
There is a huge amount of information on the topic of direct sales of goods and services from the site, so let’s move on to the most popular and profitable ways of monetization.
Now there is a decline in this area. But links are still taken into account by search engines when ranking, which means that this method of monetizing a site can also be considered.
In order to consistently receive income from the sale of links, your site itself must be of high quality and occupy a strong position in the search.
Typically, a webmaster is paid:
- for installation and a certain time of placement – rental links;
- for placement for the entire lifetime of the site – perpetual links are more expensive than rental ones.
By posting an excessive number of perpetual links on a resource, you risk clogging it with garbage and worsening your reputation in the eyes of users and search engines.
Alternatively, post links along with content . For example, publish five relevant unique articles and place a paid link in only one of them. So you can both earn and fill the site with useful content.
Don’t sell links while the site is young. As soon as the level of traffic reaches two or three thousand per day, you can afford to seldom sell a link, but unfortunately, this will not bring a quick and tangible income.
What else can you sell on the site
A more complex and multivariate way to get income from the site is to monetize traffic. For example, it could be a sale:
- advertising spaces on the resource;
- advertising in mailing lists;
- information about the audience, for example, for retargeting.
What kind of advertising can be sold on the site-How to make money on websites
Once you understand what kind of advertising you can sell, you will understand how and with whom to work in order to make a profit.
How to make money on websites with Direct and native advertising
With direct advertising, everything is clear – a message with the explicit purpose of selling something. These can be ads in contextual advertising and display ads: videos, banners.
Contextual advertising on the site – ads inside articles, under articles, in sidebars. They look like a title plus a description and a link to the resource.
Video advertising – the name speaks for itself. The video is more difficult to embed into the site, and some video formats require special content. But video advertising is effective, it has a high demand for placement, so this format is more expensive than a banner.
Display advertising on the site:
- banners – static, animated, interactive, Rich Media and streamers, branding;
- teaser ads – typical square banners with short text like: “Breast / brain / income will triple if every evening …” plus a shock picture.
All these formats can be organically inserted into any site.
No matter how strong the temptation to make money, do not fill the pages with ads –
four or five blocks is enough , otherwise you risk losing your audience.
To get access to a larger number of advertisers, it is more profitable and easier for publishers to work with partners: media and contextual networks, stock exchanges, digital agencies. But they act on the side of advertisers and try to buy advertising space as cheaply as possible, which is unprofitable for site owners.
Native advertising – in general, it is advertising that organically fits into the content of the site. While consumers get frustrated with direct and intrusive ads, publishers are using native ads to monetize their sites with personalized ad content. It is less visible and does not bother users.
For example, a review article on the topic of the site, a video on the topic, a clickable logo or a link in the text, news, a selection of services, links that will be useful to the visitor to solve his problem will be native.
Banners can also be native. For example, an advertisement for an event on one of the beauty sites. It is located on the right side of the screen among the recommended articles on the topic. Can’t be distinguished from publications.
Selling articles is one way to monetize content sites. You can work with advertisers directly or through an exchange. Such publications, as a rule, are placed with the mark “for advertising rights”, but many advertisers prefer to publish their information in the form of regular content, seeking to be native. Some popular content resources offer companies to blog on the site. You can earn money and fill the site with useful content.
Desktop and mobile advertising
This classification is based on the methods of delivery: from which devices the information will be displayed to the user – mobile or stationary, since advertising formats differ.
For example, fullscreen formats are often used for mobile visitors, there is a separate in-app format – inside mobile applications, rewarded video, when the user is given bonuses for watching a video, for example, in-game currency.
How to sell ads on the site
The most popular methods are selling ad space. Let’s highlight the following:
- direct advertising sales;
- participation in partnership programs;
- advertising using RTB technologies.
How to make money on websites with Direct advertising sales
The method is widespread and reliable, but not the most profitable.
Create a section “Advertisers”, place the necessary information in it and wait for messages from those interested. No intermediaries, exchanges or agencies: placed a creative and received a fixed amount as a subscription fee. And not for views, clicks or purchases, but simply for the fact that the banner is on the site, and it is seen by your target audience for the advertiser.
This also includes the sale of advertising articles. Let’s say you have a website about web design or copywriting with good traffic and a steady audience. It is likely that a startup, such as a new freelance exchange, will contact you to post an overview of its capabilities.
You need to cooperate only with those companies that will not harm your reputation. And you shouldn’t sell your ad to two competing customers at the same time.
With this method of monetization, the situation is under your control. But where are the guarantees that advertisers will roll over and your costs will pay off?
Therefore, among some webmasters, there is a belief that earnings can be passive: they spent a minimum of time on settings, launched a stream of advertising on the site and you see a stable replenishment of your bank account.
Unfortunately, in reality they will have a small percentage of traffic buybacks, low advertising costs, constant manual optimization and performance monitoring. All this takes a tremendous amount of time, and income often does not justify the investment.
How to make money on websites with Partnership programs
How to make money on websites
Earning money on affiliate programs is a way to get money for attracting a client base to other resources.
Basic working principle:
- you place advertising materials on your website that direct traffic to the advertiser’s resource;
- your users perform certain actions;
- the advertiser pays a reward — a percentage of the transaction or a fixed amount.
The amount of income directly depends on the quality of traffic on the site, the number of targeted actions and the size of the commission.However, the principle “where they pay more, I will go there” does not work. Revenue will depend on the type of your traffic, how interesting the product is to your audience, how you place your advertising materials, and many other factors.
The easiest way to participate in affiliate programs is through specialized networks – these are intermediaries between publishers and clients. You register a site on the network, and she offers it to customers at their request for advertising space.
Types of affiliate programs
How to make money on websites
Affiliate programs can be divided by types of advertising – contextual, teaser, media, and so on – or by payment models. You got acquainted with the first one above, let’s go through the second – this is important for forecasting income.
CPA, or PPA (cost per action) – payment for conversion actions, “white” type of earnings on the site. You get a reward if a visitor goes to the advertiser’s website and performs useful actions there – registers, leaves a request or downloads the program – there are a lot of options.
You can find partners through partner CPA networks.
- If the site is narrow in scope, the audience is well targeted, you can make good money on conversions. For example, travel sites use the service’s affiliate program to buy tickets, book hotels. The cost per conversion is higher than the cost per click or thousand impressions.
- Conversion to action, and even more to purchase, is lower than conversion per click, so a significant part of traffic does not bring money.
СPC (cost per click) – pay per click, that is, a transition. You place advertising materials on the site that are relevant to the topic of the site and audience. When visitors click on them and go to the advertiser’s site, you receive a reward. On the pages of the resource, a code is installed that displays relevant banners and ads to each visitor.
The most common scheme, which is available in almost any advertising network, with the exception, perhaps, of the media one. Most often found in contextual and teaser networks.
Contextual networks (for example, Google AdSense , and others) practice strict moderation, do not accept sites with non-unique content, adult and shock content, torrents, casinos, and other resources of dubious topics.
In teaser networks , for example MarketGid , DirectAdvert , Kadam , TeaserNet and about 50 more, moderation is usually softer and there are “gray” advertising platforms – adults, torrents, casinos and others. This is a very popular ad format, there is a great temptation to use everything to make more money. But cooperation with some of them can have a bad effect on the site’s position in the search results, and therefore on traffic.
How much you can earn from contextual advertising depends on the total amount of traffic, its quality and the topic of the site.
- If you have good traffic, then the profit will be higher, but the advertiser only pays for targeted clicks.
- To increase the ctr in a teaser block, there may be several different creatives, and their content does not always correspond to the content of the page, and sometimes is generally unacceptable. You could lose money if your audience doesn’t click on these ads.
CPM (cost per Mille) – payment per thousand impressions. The model is most often used when it is coverage that is important, that is, in media (banner) networks. Such as Soloway , Wizard Banners , Advmaker , TeaserMedia , Advego and others. You get paid for the number of ad impressions, and the number of clicks on the link does not matter and is not counted.
Such networks are also conventionally divided into “gray” and “white”. In whites there is moderation, the exclusion of adult and shock, there are no “infinite” formats – clickanders, popunders, vk message and the like.
- Guaranteed payment for impressions, even if there were no ad clicks.
- If an ad network pays for impressions, it is usually possible to find out for each impression whether it was purchased or not. In case of non-redemption, you can call the code of another ad network.
- CPM is not always high, you can often earn more on good live traffic on CPC.
СPS (сost per sale) – payment for the sale. You will receive a percentage of the purchases that users make by clicking on your ad from your site. Often this form of payment is offered by online stores through product partnerships.
However, there are also such options, the advertising of which is essentially insignificant, but still deceiving the visitor. A striking example is sms affiliate programs. You subscribe users to paid sms-mailings of horoscopes, predictions, anecdotes, demotivators or entertaining features such as “Your appearance in old age” – in general, something entertaining. Often, the user does not even know that sms is paid, and finds out about it only when the money on the phone account runs out suspiciously quickly.
Such monetization methods are usually associated with arbitrage – buying cheap traffic and reselling it to business owners, where the difference goes to the webmaster. We do not recommend using such dubious and risky methods of monetization, it is better to invest this money in the development of a site or technology.
What is more profitable and how much you can earn on your site is up to you, based on the specific conditions of remuneration, the quality of your audience, and the relevance of the offer.
RTB – selling ads through an auction
How to make money on websites
There is another option for earning – selling advertising through the network.
RTB (Real Time Bidding) allows ad networks to organize an auction between sellers and buyers of online ads in real time. Advertising sale takes place in a split second.
All remain in the black:
- the webmaster sells space on the site to someone who is willing to pay more;
- the advertiser receives a site with a suitable topic and target audience;
- user – information relevant to his interests.
- rivalry between advertisers from different networks;
- the increase in the cost of advertising and the percentage of its redemption due to such competition;
- automatic accounting of all factors affecting the increase in income at any given time;
- automation of settings.
The platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to automate routine stages: testing, continuous manual revenue optimization, analytics and performance monitoring. For example, a single installation code for all ad units, automatic control mode
Recently, the “Multi-advertising” option has appeared: the system can sell several creatives within one advertising space.
- there is a standard block 160×600, but the AI accepts requests for placement of all creatives that are included in these sizes (for example, 120×600), increasing the buyout of ad space by an average of more than 30%;
- if there is a demand for placing a video of this size, the system will be able to show it too, increasing the cost of showing up to five times;
- within one ad slot, AI can launch chains of four to five short videos, which in total will be more profitable than one long video;
- at the same time, requests were received for one creative 970×250 at 15 rubles CPM and three creatives 300×250 at 10 rubles CPM. The technology will choose a profitable option: three creatives for 30 rubles CPM instead of 15.
That is, the exhaust from advertising on the site increases not only due to its quantity, but also due to the quality of placement – sell profitably everything you can sell.
Main conclusions-How to make money on websites
One article is not enough to tell in detail about all the existing methods of monetization and how to make money on websites especially since everything is learned in practice and personal experience.
Remember the main principles on which your income really depends:
- The most important thing is traffic. A user comes to your site for content to solve a problem. If, instead of the necessary information, he needs to wade through a sea of irrelevant advertising, then instead of income, you will only receive low visitor loyalty and bad behavioral factors. Guess how the search engines will take it?
- The amount of income depends on the quality of the site, niche and approach to monetization. Your site is as unique as any other because of the audience, its behavior and content. What works for one site may not work for you.
- Don’t focus on just one monetization method or one ad format. Try, test, combine several techniques at the same time. Look for an ad network that combines many advertisers and ad formats at once.
- Look for, study and apply tools and technologies that would simplify the management part of the work as much as possible, free up time for website development and increase traffic – the main values of a webmaster.
Is it possible to get good income from your site and not burn out? The answer is unequivocal: yes. But this requires thoughtful and forward-looking work.