Earning money on your website may feel like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be that complicated. Sure, you will need to attract more visitors in order to see the fruits of your monetization, but getting set up to earn that money is fairly simple. Here are seven ways that you can get started earning money on your website today.
1. Join Affiliate Marketing
Start your monetization journey by setting up affiliate marketing. The Amazon Associates Affiliate Program is the easiest program for people new to affiliate marketing. After you're set up there, you can start looking into other programs like Target, Clickbank or Rakuten.
With Amazon Associates' program, you can simply include a referral link in your blog posts for products you mention or embed the code for an affiliate ad. You'll earn up to 10 percent of every sale. Getting started is easy. Create an account on Amazon Associates and follow all the steps, including entering your site URL, name and description. Amazon will send you a notification when it approves your site.
2. Sign Up for Google AdSense
Next, you'll want to earn money by running ads on your website. Google AdSense is a great jumping off point for this, and Weebly makes it easy to get started. Just drag the Google AdSense element under ECommerce to any page on your site. You'll be prompted to connect to or create a Google AdSense account. If you don't already have an account, fill out an application. Once approved, you can start placing ads on your site. Make sure you follow all of Google's policies, or you might get kicked out. Follow this step-by-step article to get started.
3. Offer Sponsored Blog Posts
If you already have a pretty good audience, consider selling sponsored blog posts. You'll need to have a clear disclaimer at the beginning of the post about who is sponsoring the article. To find sponsors, let your social media followers know about the opportunity. Or find sponsors through companies like TapInfluence, Izea and One2One. Once you've got this process mastered, you can consider selling ad space too!
4. Make Ads for Your Own Products
An easy way to make money on your website is to create ads that advertise your own products. For example, if your website is about cat training, then you might want to write an ebook with the best training tips. Create an ad for your ebook and set it up so users who click on the ad are taken directly to where they can buy the book. You can place the ad in a widget on the side or top of your website or make a clickable ad "photo" within the copy of a blog post.
5. Accept Donations
Some people can earn quite a bit of money by simply accepting donations. This is easiest if your blog offers a niche service people would be willing to support, such as creating works of art or offering advice on a niche topic. Weebly makes it easy to accept donations, either through PayPal, the Donorbox app or fixed-price donations. Another option is creating a Patreon account, which allows people to pay a recurring subscription for exclusive content or just to support your work.
6. Join Independent Ad Networks
Once you've got the hang of Google AdSense, you might want to branch out into other ad networks. It's always good to sign up for AdSense alternatives, since a slight breach in AdSense's policy could get you kicked out permanently. Consider networks like Media.net, Adversal, InfoLinks, RevContent, Propeller Ads, AdClick Media or Chitika. You can even run ads through your Amazon Associates account.
7. Hire a Consultant
If all of this feels a little overwhelming or if you've tried these options and now want to improve your results, consider hiring a monetization consultant to optimize your efforts. Google has a list of suggestions for third-party consultants.
Final Advice: Don't Skimp on the Disclaimers
When you're trying any of these options, don't forget that the FTC requires that you be upfront about any ads or affiliate links you're using. (AWeber has great advice about disclosures.) Each program has its own rules. For example, Google AdSense requires that you don't use deceptive practices to get people to click on ads. For Amazon Associates, you need to identify clearly that you're participating in the program. Make sure that you know the policy rules for each service you use, including the FTC's rules, and you follow them closely.
Monetizing your blog or website can open a new world of opportunities for you. Try one of these methods above and then share in the comments below how it works for you.