Making Money With a Website: Everything you need to know
Making money with a website is not beyond anyone’s capabilities. It is definitely a doable way of making a living. Some people work to make money online as a way to supplement their income, but some (like me) use websites to earn their living full time. In this post I am going to tell you all about making money with a website and how you can do it too.
Why Start An Online Business
Starting an online business has many advantages. By doing it properly, you can enjoy a great income and the lifestyle that you want. Here are a few good reasons why your next business business venture should be based around a website.
1. Not Tied To A Specific Location
A physical “bricks and mortar” business is limited to operating in a radius of its geographical location. By having you business online, you have a worldwide market to earn money from. Additionally, the fact that everyone uses mobile devices now, people can make purchases literally anywhere with a connection to the internet.
2. Customers Come To You
By using proper search engine optimisation techniques, your customers will find you. By targeting people’s needs and what they search for on the internet, you can put yourself in front of your audience by giving them the answers they require.
3. Accessible To More People
The main advantage of actually starting up an online business over a physical business, is the startup costs. For example, the proper SEO techniques I mentioned above bring traffic to your website for free. Additionally, in many cases you don’t need to buy, store or ship products which bring the startup costs down. This also means that you don’t have to buy or rent premises to work from, as you can do it from home or anywhere with an internet connection.
4. Always Open
A website has the potential to make you money 24/7. This is it because it is always available for people to find anywhere in the world. In many cases, you can wake up in the morning to have made sales while you were sleeping.
5. Total Flexibility
The fact that you website is based online, means that you can chose your own working hours. Of course, you need to be productive enough to make your business successful, but you can work in the middle of the night if you wanted to, especially if it means you can do something else of value to you during the day.
Disadvantages Of An Online Business
1. Takes A Long Time To Make Money
There are a few reasons why it takes a while to make money from a website. The niche it operates in, the marketplace, the individual, search engine algorithms and plain luck will have an influence on how quickly a website will make money. It is a case of being consistent and persistent to increase your chances of success.
2. Customer Service Issues
Depending on what your business is, you can have trouble with customer service issues. In many cases, these won’t be your fault. But, some people find it difficult to overcome the lack of face to face contact with their customers
3. Difficult To Gain Credibility
The lack of face to face contact makes it difficult to gain trust with your audience. If done correctly, this will come over time, but it does remain a challenge.
4. Lots Of Competition
Depending on your niche, you may have a huge amount of competition that is already established. This can be managed by proper research in the early stages of starting your business.
We live in a world of serious potential. We have the ability to start a business from our sofas and build it in to a highly successful enterprise, without even needing to go outside.
To give yourself more chance of success, you need to be realistic and understand what you have available to you i.e. time. You also need to be aware of the barriers you face and find a way to overcome them.
How To Get Traffic To A Website
If you already have a website that has a good amount of traffic, that is excellent. You may want to skip this part and scroll down to the different ways of making money with a website.
For those of you that want to attract more traffic to your website, keep reading. I am going to go through different way for you to get your website in front of more people.
People search the internet for answers to problems or for information. If you create content that solves these problems and has the information they require, they will find you. This is because you will have created content around specific keywords. Search engines such as Google, rank the most relevant content to people’s searches at the top of the search results.
This is a tried and tested method of getting organic traffic to your website. It is actually where you should put the majority of your effort, as you don’t need to spend any money on adverts and promotions to attract people to your wesbsite.
Question And Answer Websites
After you have created some good content, you can trawl websites such as Quora. Quora is full of people asking questions about certain topics. You can answer these questions and drop links to the relevant content for people to read.
When you do certain searches on Google, you will notice that at the top of your search results, you will get sponsored links. These are indicated with a green “Ad” symbol.
These are paid for by the website owners. Depending on your business, this may suit you. You can do this through signing up to Google Adwords.
By building up a good following on social media, you can attract a serious amount of traffic. Social media is a great way of interacting with your audience and getting your name out there. By creating content that is entertaining, engaging and informative, you will soon have a good fanbase. These people are potential customers that will buy from you and share your content to like minded individuals.
A backlink is when another website has a link to your website on it. This shows search engines that your website is trusted by others. This means that it will rank more easily. These backlinks need to be on reputable websites, as backlinks on poor quality websites will have a negative effect on your rankings.
Ways Of Making Money With A Website
Here is a list of ways of making money with a website. Some are more involved than others. This means that some are good foe working on part time and some are more suited to the committed entrepreneur.
1. Flipping a Website
If you have a website to have a good following and a good amount of traffic, you will be able to flip it. Flipping is the process of buying a website, improving it and then selling it for a higher price.
Flipping is normally done by an individual investor or an investor group. By increasing traffic and how much money it makes (I will go in to ways of monetisation shortly), the value of the website goes up.
Investors are becoming more attracted to flipped websites these days. This is because buying an already established website is quicker to make money than building one from scratch. The main reason for this, is because someone has already put in all the hard work getting the content to rank highly in search engines.
If flipping a website is something you like the sound of, there are three steps you need to go through:
- Buying – First you need to find a suitable website too flip. Don’t just buy a website that you like the look of, you need to do some homework. You need to look in to the niche the website is in and its earning potential. To buy a website, you can go to Flippa. Flippa is a great place to buy and sell online businesses. The listings have all sorts of information of each website (this is also a great way to benchmark your own website, to see what you need to do to improve it).
- Improvement – Once you have bought a website, you need to improve it. You do this by increasing traffic, either by paid ads, social media or organic growth using SEO techniques. These improvements will increase its value.
- Selling – Once you have added value to the website, you can sell it. It is recommended that you sell it at the same place you bought it from. This means that the market value will be determined in the same way and you will be able to demonstrate the increased value of it more easily.
Advantages Of Flipping
- Low capital investment in comparison to buying real estate property.
- You earn money from the website, while you are improving it, rather than having an investment sitting there stagnant until it is sold.
- Accessible to most people
- Easy to determine your amount of income and how much you are willing to spend.
Disdvantages Of Flipping
- Difficult to determine the value of the website in comparison to the hours you have put in to improving it.
- Steep learning curve
- Need to be aware of hidden costs
There are three different types of flipping:
- Beginner’s Flipping – This isn’t exactly flipping. This is when you build a website from scratch, develop some good traffic and then sell it.
- Standard Flipping – This is the most common way flippers make money. You buy a website with some potential, improve it as quick as you can before selling it at a higher price.
- Long Term Investment – Many investors buy websites that are proven to make money every month.
2. Start an eCommerce Website
Basically, eCommerce is online shopping and you can set up your own website in order to sell product or services online.
eCommerce websites are portals with the means to transfer money over the internet. By using services such as Shopify, it is much easier to do these days, this allows you to sell directly to the customer.
By starting an eCommerce website, you can make lots of money. However, there is a huge amount of competition. To get anywhere near your competition you need to do your research in to choosing a niche to work in. But your website needs to be very unique and stand out from the everyone else.
3. Lead Generation
Businesses are always looking for new leads in order to sell their products and services. If you have a creative way of helping people grow their business, you can make omens from it.
If you have a website about learning how to speak French, your reader’s information (email address or phone number) is valuable to online language schools that want to sell their courses.
You are basically introducing a potential customer to a service provider. By doing this, the service provider will give you money for the introduction, through a link on your website. They don’t even need to buy the course in order for you to get paid.
4. Sponsored Content
Once you have built up a following with your website, it is possible to get paid by other companies for you to feature their content. This is called “native advertising” and is great because it lines up with the content you already have on your website. It blends in seamlessly with everything else you have, as it is relevant to your niche.
You can also review people’s products in an advatorial post. This is part review, part advert that you are paid to write and have on your website. If you manage to pull this off, you cannot lose. However, if you get it wrong, it can make your website look unprofessional and inauthentic.
5. Ask For Donations
If you don’t have a huge following, but your audience is committed and engaged with your website, you can actually ask for donations.
This is unlikely to get you rich, but it will help you with expenses and possibly help you to invest a bit of money in order to grow your website to increase your traffic.
6. Sell Your Own Digital Products
Digital products can be anything from training courses, eBooks, software music or videos that you can create yourself. By producing digital products, you can make you lots of money. It is a case of create once, sell many times.
Advantages Of Selling Digital Products
- High profit margins
- Sell one thing multiple times
- Don’t need to ship products, as they are downloaded instantly
Disadvantages Of Selling Digital Products
- Easy for people to plagiarise certain products
- It take a long time to create the content
- If you need to use other people’s skills (graphic design, photography etc), profit margins are reduced
- Need to ensure that your landing page is found by your audience, which may cost money
7. Sell Advertising Space
One way to make money from advertising space, is to sign up to Google Adsense. This is just a case of copying some code to your website and there will be strategically placed adverts on your website. These adverts are usually relevant to your content and your audience’s interests.
Another way, is to simply sell some advertising space on your website to companies that want to sponsor blogs relevant to them. You need to come up with a price for each space available on your website.
The amount you get paid depends on how much traffic you get. You usually get $1 per thousand impressions (known as CPM). However, this could increase if you get significant traffic. For example, you may get $5 per thousand visitors, which means that you will get $500 if you get 100,000 people to your website per month.
Advantages Of Selling Advertising Space
- Can be very lucrative if you have a significant amount of traffic
- Requires little effort
- A good way of earning extra money to an already successful website
Disadvantages Of Selling Advertising Space
- You need a large amount of traffic to make noticeable money
- If you have other things that you are promoting on the web page, adverts can distract them from higher value sales
8. Pay Per Click (Google AdSense)
I touched on AdSense above, but you know those banner adverts you see on websites that are in sidebars or placed within the content of a website? Well this is Google Adsense. By signing up to Adsense, Google gives you a bit of code to copy on to your website. This will look at the content and show relevant adverts to it on pages of your choice.
For example, if your website is about skiing, Google Adsense will display adverts for skiing holidays, equipment and clothing to your audience. When people click on these adverts, you get paid for it. This ranges from $0.50 to $5 per click. Therefore, you can see that it is possible to make a nice amount of money if you have enough traffic to your website.
9. Affiliate Marketing
This is my method of making money with a website. Affiliate marketing is becoming one of the most popular ways of monetising a website.
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other peoples products and services in exchange for a commission. This can be done by writing reviews, “best of…” posts, or guides. You make money via affiliate links that track the sales through your website and automatically pay you for your efforts.
Advantages Of Affiliate Marketing
- You can do it anywhere
- You can do it at any time
- High earning potential
- Cheap to start
- Great passive income
Disdvantages Of Affiliate Marketing
- Takes a long time to earn any money at all
- Steep learning curve
Do Any Of These Ways Of Making Money With a Website Appeal To You?
If you are thinking of starting an online business on order to make money with a website, you now have a few options. For me affiliate marketing is the way forward. It can be done in your spare time and eventually get you to a point where you can earn enough money to sustain a great lifestyle.
Please let me know what your thoughts and questions are in the comments section below.