How to Monetize a Website


For the sake of this discussion on how to monetize a website, I will assume that you already have a site and have some traffic coming to it. If not, that is your first goal. Once you have enough daily visitors to your site (or blog), you can make that traffic into an income stream in a number of different ways.

Use Pay-Per-Click Advertising

The easiest way is to simply sign up as a publisher with any of the pay-per-click companies. Once your account is approved you place the code provided into your site pages and relevant ads are displayed. Advertisers pay for every click that the company delivers to their sites, and you get a cut of the action - usually half or more. Google and Yahoo are perhaps the largest and most well-known of these advertising sellers, but there are many others.

Use Affiliate Programs

Some of the first Internet profit opportunities, affiliate programs are simple in concept. You mention a product on your site and every time a visitor clicks on the link and then completes a purchase you get a commission. was one of the earliest big players in affiliate sales, but they are one of the worst to sign up for at the moment - at least if you plan to promote their books. They pay very little on a sale, and nothing when instead of buying a new book your prospect buys a used one - which they are encouraged to do.

There are thousands of affiliate products you can promote, ranging from vitamins to houses and pet food. Some of the best though, are those products that are digital. The production cost for each sale is essentially zero, so commissions can be higher. This includes audio downloads and ebooks. On my website,, I make $42.50 when someone buys an $85 meditation program that I promote. On some e-book publishers pay out up to 75% of the sale's price on any sale you refer to them.

Sell Related Products

If you want more control over your business, you might want to sell your own products in order to monetize a website. I know people who sell surveillance equipment and laminating machines. Some financial-topic websites have started selling their own specially minted gold and silver bars. Even if your website was set up as simply an informational site rather than an online store, you can usually find a relevant product or two to sell.

Sell Advertising

Instead of getting paid for each click on ads you have little control over, you can sell your own space. Some busy websites make hundreds of dollars per month for each of the ads on their pages. On at least one of our sites I have been offered $600 to put a line of text and a link up for one year on one page (I refused because of the nature of the site they wanted me to link to).

Sell Reviews

This is really the same as selling advertising, although you can choose to be honest in your review of products or ebooks sent to you. You need to have a well-trafficked site for it to be worth much for authors and vendors to pay you for a review. One benefit of this monetization model is that you get a lot of free products sent to you. Without asking I have received six or seven free books, courses and other things from people who hoped I would then mention their product on one of my sites, (and I did do a write-up on a credit-card-sized toothbrush for on my backpacking site - no charge).

Sell Subscribers

If you have a busy website but you do not want to create a newsletter on a relevant topic, you can let others with newsletters put their subscription forms on your site. For example, if you have a blog or website about fishing, someone with a free fishing tips newsletter might want to get subscribers from your site. I have seen rates ranging from 20 to 50 cents per subscriber. The buyer hopes to get more value than that from the ads in his or her newsletter. Have the thank-you page that subscribers are sent to hosted on your site and you will know how many sign-ups there are.

Sell Information

If you provide valuable information on your site, you might not want to give away everything for free. Save some of the best and make a simple PDF report or e-book to sell. I sell ten different e-books on various topics. One of my best sellers is an e-book on ultralight backpacking.

Sell Thank-You Page Space

If you sell anything on your site, your buyers eventually arrive at a thank-you page after their order is complete. This space can be sold to other vendors who want to offer a non-competing product. Some webmasters who don't like to promote too much on sites where they sell their own products use the thank you page because after all, the primary sale has already been made. This is also a good place to put a subscriber form for a free newsletter - which you can charge for if the newsletter is published by someone else.

Make a Newsletter

If you have your own newsletter on your site you can sell advertising in it, put affiliate links in it, or monetize it in just about any of the ways you would monetize a website. Some newsletter publishers just provide nothing but information every week to build credibility, and then once every month or two do a separate mailing to promote something that they can make a big commission on.

Ask For Money

This is by far my least favorite way how to monetize a website, but it has worked well for others. Rather than try to sell something, some people simply ask for donations to keep a website going. Personally I would prefer to sell something, but if you are offering something of real value there is no ethical reason why you can't ask for a donation. We recently downloaded a free program for reducing the file size of photos, and it works so well that my wife plans to donate to the creator of the software (and yes, the site has a donation button).

Use a Site to Find Partners

If your primary business is offline, you might still use your blog or website to help you find new opportunities and partners. For example, if you invest in real estate and you have a blog on the topic, you might ask for people to contact you if they know of a good deal that is available or if they want to partner with you on a project.

Park the Site

Sometimes a website is essentially empty of content, but still has traffic. This could be due to a catchy name or perhaps there used to be a fully-developed website there at one time before you bought the domain name, and people are still coming in from old links. If you have any sites or domain names like this, you can put them with a domain-parking service that automatically places ads on them for you and shares the revenue.

Forward the Website

If you have a site that fits the description above and don't want to park it with a service, you can forward it to another website in order to monetize that traffic. This could be another website that you own, or (for a fee) you could forward it to a site owned by someone else.

There you have it: A dozen suggestions on how to monetize a website or blog. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages, which you'll discover as you try them. One of them might lead you to a new income stream from your website.


You Can Make Money Writing - The free course, and the book sold here are more about how to generate traffic, but they do cover how to monetize a website as well.

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