Many business owners, marketers, and SEOs forget a very important thing: that Search Engine Optimization is only a means to an end. Sure, traffic is important. But if you do nothing with the visitors coming to your website, then there’s literally no point to it all. In this article I’m going to break down arguably the most important element of having a website, being a digital marketer, or an SEO…monetizing your website in the most effective ways possible.
How This List Is Structured
This list is structured from least effective to most effective, so items further down the list will generally make you more money but be harder to implement in the beginning. Monetization options towards the top of the list are easier to start right away, but won’t make you as much in the grand scheme of things. Keep in mind some of these methods will fit into place more depending on the type of website or business you run. With that being said, let’s dive in!
1. Google AdSense
Google AdSense is by far the easiest monetization option you can add to your website. However, this only works well if you have a plethora of traffic already. TheWebsiteFlip has an awesome article that covers how to calculate the traffic needed to make a significant amount of income from Google Adsense.
Essentially, how this works is Google displays ads on your website. You then get paid whenever your visitors click these ads. Businesses who use Google Ads could be showing their marketing on your website through AdSense.
Besides the requirement of a substantial amount of traffic, Google AdSense also makes far less than the other options on this list. I myself do not use Google AdSense, as there are way better strategies to make money from your website. However, many blogs do quite well with this method.
2. Become A Publisher On BuySellAds
Google Adsense isn’t the only network that pays website owners to display ads. BuySellAds is another awesome option for making some cash from your site. One of the nice things about their platform is that in demand advertisers bid for impressions on your website, so you essentially get paid every time an ad gets viewed by one of your visitors.
If your blog fits a market audience that advertisers are looking to market to on their platform, often this can pay more than Google AdSense. However, they don’t approve all websites and Google AdSense does have far more advertisers. I like always diversifying when I can in my business, and I believe putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea.
There are also plenty of other platforms like BuySellAds. I recommend doing your due diligence and researching any platform before starting with it. Each has their own pros and cons, and some pay higher but are only relevant to certain niches or industries.
3. Affiliate Marketing
You’ve most likely heard of affiliate marketing, and for good reason. Essentially you promote other people’s products, and get paid a percentage of the sale in the form of a commission. This requires a lot less work upfront since you don’t have to create your own products to sell. All you have to do is place a relevant offer in front of your audience and sit back. Provided your call to action is captivating, the product you are promoting is high quality, and you properly funnel traffic to your affiliate link, this one can make you a decent amount of money.
Despite this, you’re ultimately making someone else money while building their customer database and audience for them. It’s important to be careful when choosing a product to promote as an affiliate. I personally recommend buying a copy of the product first and really sure it’s built well. If not, you’re going to face some backlash and lose a majority of the commissions you made due to chargebacks.
There are better alternatives to this which I will mention in a moment.
4. Creating Your Own Product
Creating a product is seemingly daunting to many people. I understand that this can appear overwhelming, but it’s actually very easy to do. A product can be anything you sell. There are generally two types of products: digital and physical.
Digital Product Advantages
I love digital products and they are far superior for a number of reasons. First of all, there are little to no costs to producing digital products. Besides that, once you make them you can sell them over and over without ever running out, since there’s no stock or inventory involved.
Digital courses are some of the easiest products to create. All you do is record yourself talking about a topic. This can be a facecam video, or you can present a slideshow using Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint. You can also record your screen and walk people through how to do a task, although this type of format only works in certain niches.
Obviously physical products are an option as well, although there are some additional costs and challenges that arise as part of fulfillment. Still, some businesses rely on these types of offers as it’s far more applicable to what they do. You can always route blog visitors to an ecommerce store. I’ve seen several websites pull this off and generate a decent amount of revenue this way.
There’s Huge ROI With Having Your Own Products
While creating a product does take a lot of time upfront, the return on investment is staggering. You just can’t get that kind of ROI anywhere else. Once your product is done, you can sell it over and over. People don’t realize creating a product is creating an asset in your business. You’re building something valuable that significantly increases the bottom line of your revenue.
Why This Beats Affiliate Marketing
Unlike with affiliate marketing or Google AdSense, you have complete control in this instance. You don’t have to split the revenue with someone else, and get to keep 100% of the profits.
One of the biggest things people seem to miss when it comes to having your own product is this: you have an audience. What I mean by this is your followers have a deeper connection to you than anyone else. That’s why you will almost always see a higher amount of sales promoting your own product compared to an affiliate one.
By reading your content and navigating through your website, you build trust and authority with your visitors. They will be much more comfortable purchasing something from you than you pointing them to someone random’s product. Even if that person has a good reputation in their niche or industry, your visitors are still your visitors.
5. Building An Email List
The old saying is “the money is in the list”. For those reading who know my story, before I started Local Rank Ninja I was in the internet marketing niche. Building an email list is the best way hands down to build long term monetization from your website.
Why Email Marketing Is INSANE
Some people may at first think that email marketing is dead, but that simply isn’t true. According to HubSpot, email generates $42 for every $1 spent. The reality is that everyone has an email address, as email is truly the backbone of the internet. Let me explain what I mean.
Whenever you sign up for a website or forum you always use your email to create an account. There are over 4.26 billion email accounts worldwide as of 2022. (Yes – BILLION!) What I’m getting at here is no matter what your niche is, your people have email.
Another statistic to pay attention to is that they say “the average business owner makes $1 per email subscriber per month from their list”. Now $1 may not sound impressive, but keep in mind this is per month. Having a list of 10 people won’t make you a whole lot, but now imagine a list of a couple thousand. Following this formula we multiply 1,000 x $1 and we get $1,000 a month from our list. That’s $12,000 a year!\
You Can Automate Your Business
Email can actually automate your entire business and make it run on autopilot. A perfect example of this is Local Rank Ninja itself. I funnel my traffic into my email list through the many calls to action you see across my blog. In fact, if you landed on this page most likely you’ve already seen one of these prompts.
Then, over a period of time emails are sent to my email subscribers (there’s a good chance this is you) with both value and offers. Over time a percentage of people will always buy, so my marketing and income comes in automatically without me having to do anything since the grunt work has already been done in the beginning because I created courses.
The more traffic I get to my website, the more revenue I make in the long run.
Many business owners and bloggers wouldn’t disclose this, but I don’t mind doing so. I want to give you an idea of the power of email before I move on. Right now I am averaging around $4.30 per email subscriber in profit. That means each subscriber is worth over $4 to me.
As I release more courses and products, this number will only go up. That 100% beats Google AdSense by a landslide.
Creating A Funnel
The cool thing with email is that you can have what’s called a funnel on the back end. You see, most businesses offer more than one product. For example, I have several courses and a book. How my email marketing looks is my subscribers are sent a series of offers over time automatically.
Essentially my entire business is fully automated. Because I have multiple offerings, I make more on average per paying customer since a percentage will always buy again. You can incorporate upsells, downsells, or additional relevant offers over time to your buyers.
Getting Started With Email Marketing
Email marketing is super affordable and easy to get set up. Aweber has a free starting plan up to 500 subscribers. At that point you should be making money from your list. If not, there’s no risk to you since it’s a free service. I personally have used both Aweber and GetResponse, and have had exceptional experiences with both. I am not sponsored by either, these are my takes from using their tools for my business.
You Have To Master It First
The only downside to email marketing is that it truly is a beast of its own. Just like how there are experts on SEO, this thing really is its own topic. If you expect to achieve outstanding results with email, you are going to have to educate yourself on it.
It’s important to understand how it works, how to avoid going to spam, how to write captivating subject lines that get opened, etc. If you take the time to do this, you will soar above your competitors.
6. A Combination Of All Of The Above
Alright, so email marketing is the definitive winner…but is there a way you can make even more from your website? The answer is yes, by combining everything I’ve mentioned so far! You see, you don’t have to stop at just one monetization strategy.
You can have Google AdSense ads displaying on your website, rotating with ads from a network like BuySellAds. Meanwhile, there can be a call to action in place nudging people to opting-in your email list. From there, you can promote both digital products and affiliate marketing offers that are relevant in your niche.
This is a very smart approach for several reasons. First of all, you are diversifying how your site is making income. If an issue arises with one channel of revenue, you’re not SOL.
There are many different options to monetize your website. By far the best option is creating your own products, and building an audience via email marketing. Combining different monetization methods can give you a huge advantage, and create less risk overall in your business.
Want To Become A SEO Ninja?
Discover the secret, powerful techniques to dominating search in my new book, the Rank Now Blueprint. This book is the equivalent of the SEO Bible, and walks you through how to easily rank #1 step by step. If you want to grow your business using search, this is the ultimate tome of wisdom for you.