How to make more money from your website
In this article, we look at what affiliate marketing is, how it can benefit your website, plus some of the most popular alternative strategies to making money online in 2018.
Making money online, or more specifically, from your own website, is one of the many ways in which you can fully realize your entrepreneurial ambitions. And by effectively becoming your own boss, you’ll find plenty of perks coming your way, too.
With a steady stream of income generated by your website, you can say goodbye to the 9-to-5 slog, which will inevitably free up more time to spend with family, friends, travel or work on other ventures.
That said, for many budding online entrepreneurs, the rosy picture painted above is merely a pipe dream. The reason? They’re not willing to invest a sufficient amount of time and energy – and so it remains exactly that: a dream.
However, if you dedicate yourself to following a set of relatively straightforward (and proven) online money-making strategies, such as affiliate marketing, you will start to see results. Whether you already have a website set up, or just an idea, these strategies are guaranteed to put you on the path to success from day-one.
Affiliate Marketing – what is it?
When it comes to making money from your website, affiliate marketing is still one of the most effective ways you can generate income.
The concept is simple: whenever you mention a product or service (i.e. something for sale online) in the copy of your own website, you provide a link to the page selling that same product or service. Then, if the person who has been referred via your website completes a purchase, you, as the website publisher, receive commission from that sale.
The only slightly technical (and definitely important) part here is to make sure you obtain a unique affiliate code; this can be done through any number of affiliate programs who act as the middleman between you and the selling party.
What are my chances of success with affiliate marketing?
When it comes to making money online with affiliate marketing, there are two golden rules to obey: (1) build up traffic to your website through both search engines and social media, and (2) understand who is visiting your website and what they are interested in.
The first point here – building up traffic – is a whole science in itself, with entire textbooks dedicated to each and every strategy in which this can be done. For a more concise list of traffic-boosting pointers, check out these 25 tips from WordStream.
The second ‘golden rule’ boils down to choosing the right affiliate products for the right audience. For example, if you run a blog about outdoor exploration, links to say, The North Face clothing products would be a common-sense idea. Let’s say you write game reviews and have amassed a large following; links to buying new consoles, games and gaming accessories, again, would make sense as this would be relevant and of interest to your target audience.
For those running a website or blog that is less niche, signing up to an affiliate ad network is also a good way to make money online. This way, you gain exposure to a wider range of affiliates with linked products and services placed throughout your site. Over time, you can track which affiliate channels are providing revenue to your site and which ones are not, enabling you to tweak as you go along and increase your income.
What are the alternatives to Affiliate Marketing?
One of the best alternatives to affiliate marketing is Google AdSense. It’s incredibly quick and simple to use, as Google does most of the hard work for you in terms of picking relevant ads for your site, calculating your earnings and tracking all your key metrics.
Once your website or blog is live, simply sign up with a free Google AdSense Account to receive a code that needs to be linked to your website. You’ll then have access to the AdSense dashboard where you link your bank account and manually select where you want Google’s ads to appear on your site.
The income is generated on a pay per click (PPC) basis, whereby the advertiser (the company wishing to promote their products or services via Google) pays a certain amount for every time their ad is clicked by a user.
Part of this sum goes into the content publisher’s pocket (i.e. you) and part goes to Google for their role.
It sounds simple, and it is – but your level of success with Google AdSense will all depend on how much traffic your site receives on a daily basis. This goes for both organic traffic (from people searching for related terms on Google), referral traffic and page views via social media platforms such as Facebook.
Aside from affiliate marketing and Google AdSense, there are literally dozens of other ways you can make money from your website.
While the two previously-mentioned strategies are both surefire ways of earning cash from your site, the success of some of the other methods will all depend on the nature of your website – i.e. what its main function is, what its niche is, how much traffic it gets, who are the main visitors etc.
Some of these other strategies include selling backlinks, writing sponsored posts (or ‘advertorials’), churning out products reviews, providing online courses and selling e-books and consultation services.