13 Ways To Make Money From A Website (And How To Get Started)

Ways To Make Money From A Website

Want to know how to make money from a website? You’re in the right place.

There are thousands of bloggers and entrepreneurs out there that make a full-time income from their websites. The most successful make thousands (or even tens of thousands) of dollars every month. 

And in this post, we’re going to show you how you can do the same.

It all starts with traffic. Once you’ve grown your blog and started getting traffic, you can monetize that traffic and turn your website into a money-making machine. 

Below, we’ve outlined our favorite monetization strategies that you can use to make money online from your site. 

Ready? Let’s get started!

1. Ebooks

One of the best ways to make money online from a website is to use it to sell digital products—and ebooks are one of the easiest digital products to sell

The average ebook sells for around $2.99 so if you can sell a thousand copies per month, that’s $2,990. Granted, that’s no small feat—but it’s doable.

That said, some publishers have commented that they have been able to earn more profit by increasing prices. While they sell fewer copies, profit can be much higher overall. Ultimately, you’ll need to find a pricing strategy that works for you.

And don’t worry, your ebook doesn’t have to be a huge, 100,000-word fiction novel that takes years to write. Shorter ebooks still sell well and can be as little as 10,000-words long. 

Creating the content for your ebook is quite easy. If you enjoy writing, you can write an ebook yourself for free, and create covers and promotional graphics using free tools like Canva. Alternatively, you can have a seasoned writer ghostwrite it for you for a fee. Sometimes this can be more cost-effective if you don’t have the time to devote to a large-scale writing project. 

If you fancy yourself an expert on a certain topic, try writing a non-fiction, informational ebook on that topic and sell it on your website. If you already have a successful blog in that niche, even better! You can promote your ebook to your existing audience to drive sales.

For example, let’s say you already have a website on which you publish blog posts about wild camping. You might write a comprehensive ebook titled “The definitive guide to wild camping”. Then, you could advertise it to your site visitors as a popup or inline ad within your posts.

How to get started

To sell ebooks online, you’ll need to set up an ecommerce store. And for that, we recommend Sellfy.

01 Digital products - Sellfy

Sellfy is the simplest way to sell ebooks from your own website. You can use it to build online stores from the ground up.

Unlike other ecommerce platforms, Sellfy doesn’t charge any transaction fees and comes with everything you need to run your digital business out of the box, including built-in order management, marketing, and analytics.

We’ve already written an in-depth review of Sellfy if you want to learn more. 

You might also want to distribute your ebooks to online marketplaces (like Amazon, Apple Books, Google Play, etc) using PublishDrive. This can help you to reach a wider market and make more sales. However, you’ll typically have to share your profits so you’ll only get paid a fraction of the sale price in royalties.

That’s why it’s best to sell primarily through your own website, where you get to keep 100% of the profits. Regardless, there are plenty of platforms to sell ebooks, whichever option you choose.

2. Print-on-demand merchandise

Another great way to make money online from your website is to sell print-on-demand merchandise. Print-on-demand (POD) is a business model in which printing doesn’t take place until the company receives an order. It works like this:

First, you find a supplier of white-label products that can be customized. For example, popular products include things like T-shirts, baseball caps, stickers, and hoodies.

Then, you can customize those products with your own branding. If you’re a YouTuber, for example, you might add your channel logo or a funny/iconic quote from your channel onto the merch.

Once a customer places an order from your store, a print-on-demand supplier fulfills the order by printing the merch and shipping it to the customer. They charge you for the fulfillment, and you keep the difference as profit. 

Selling print-on-demand merchandise can be especially profitable if you’re an influencer who already has an engaged audience.

For example, Ola Englund is a well-known guitarist and YouTuber with over 700,000 subscribers. He launched his own website to sell branded POD merch like t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, coasters, and drink bottles and regularly promotes this online shop merch to his fans in his videos. Given that his videos get tens of thousands of views, you can bet he makes a ton of sales.

02 Print on demand - Ola Englund

However, you don’t have to be an influencer to make money online from selling POD, you just need to think of some products that might be appealing to your niche. For example, if you run a site about animals and pets, the POD products featuring pets’ names might be a great choice. You could also consider selling items with generic slogans or jokes printed on them that would be appealing to a wider market. 

How to get started

Again, Sellfy is a great solution for selling print-on-demand merchandise.

You can sign up for their free plan, create your store in a couple of clicks, design and add your products, and start making sales! 

Just bear in mind that the free plan limits you to a maximum of 10 products. If you want to remove that cap or connect your own domain, upgrade to a premium plan, which starts from $19/month.

3. Online courses

The e-learning industry is booming. There’s a huge market demand for online courses out there, so if you have knowledge or expertise that you think others might be willing to pay for, try creating and selling online courses from your website.

With online courses, you create a series of members-only video or text lessons, then sell subscriptions that give customers access to them. You can sweeten the deal by offering things like access to a community forum or offering built-in assessments and certification on course completion.

The great thing about online courses is that they have a higher perceived value than other digital products, like ebooks. As such, you can sell them at a higher price point and increase your profit margins.

This is because online courses look super professional once they’re up and running, however, they don’t need to cost a ton of money to create. If you have a decent camera and microphone, you can create your courses using your laptop or computer, and edit them yourself online to make them more professional. 

There are also tons of other ways to make additional money from your courses. For example, you can use your course to promote affiliate products to your students like software and tools that might be useful to them. You can also sell add-on resources like useful items, additional information packs, and templates.

Better still, you can also create your own affiliate program for your online course, and generate extra income by having other marketers in your niche promote your course in exchange for a commission.

How to get started

In order to build your online course, you’ll first need some sort of learning management system (LMS) or online course platform. You can find a list of the best online course platforms here.

Podia is the best option for those who want to be able to sell other digital products, in addition to courses. They have a free plan and allow you to sell other types of digital products. You can also create communities and monetize those as well.

Once you’ve chosen a platform, you can use it to build your website and create your course. Usually, you’ll split the course up into a series of lessons and modules.

Most online course platforms also come with tools to help you market your courses and drive sales. 

4. Affiliate marketing

Many bloggers monetize their websites through affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you don’t have to sell your own products. Instead, you promote the products and services of third-party companies with an affiliate link and take a cut of the sales.

Affiliate marketing works by joining an affiliate program that you want to promote. Then, you grab your own unique affiliate link and use it to link out to the product whenever you promote it in your blog posts or elsewhere on your site. 

When one of your site visitors clicks your affiliate link and makes a purchase from the company you’re promoting, you’ll get paid a commission. Commissions are often around 10% of the sales price but can be anywhere from 1% to 50%+.

The great thing about affiliate marketing is that there are tons of products to promote, so just about any website in any niche can find a product that is suited to their audience. 

The products with the highest commission rates are usually digital products like SaaS tools and online courses, but there’s money to be made promoting physical products too. 

How to get started

The first step is to sign up as an affiliate. There are two ways to go about this: sign up directly to a specific affiliate program or join an affiliate network.

Affiliate marketing networks are the easiest option as they give you access to hundreds (sometimes thousands) of different affiliate programs in one place, making it easier to find something that’s a good fit for your audience.

We’d recommend starting with ShareASale. It has over 16,550 merchants in its database so you’re sure to find a program you like on there.

04 Affiliate marketing - Shareasale

Another option is to sign up directly for the Amazon affiliate program. It’s easy to sign up and you can instantly start earning commission on any of the hundreds of thousands of products listed on the Amazon marketplace. The biggest downside to this is that the commission rates aren’t as high as most of the merchants on ShareASale.

Once you have your affiliate links, you can start driving traffic to them through your site. The more traffic you have, the more money you can make. Focus on SEO and try to get your posts to rank in the search engines to maximize your organic traffic.

5. Recurring subscriptions

Another way to monetize your site is to sell recurring subscriptions. The great thing about this is that it provides you with a consistent, regular source of revenue. Instead of making a one-off purchase, your customers subscribe to a monthly package so you get repeat sales every month.

One way to create a subscription business is to charge your site visitors a monthly fee to access your existing library of content. Alternatively, they may involve delivering regular new content to subscribers.

05 Recurring subscriptions - Mythical Society
Image Credit: Mythical Society

Online news sites, for example, often release premium content that’s only available to their premium subscribers.

How to get started

There are plenty of ecommerce platforms out there that you can use to create a subscription site, but we’d recommend Sellfy or Podia

Both are super easy to use and beginner-friendly.

To paygate premium content use a tool such as Restrict Content Pro.

6. Launch an ecommerce store

So far, we’ve talked a lot about selling digital products, but another way to make money online from a website is to set up an ecommerce store and sell physical products.

06 Launch an ecommerce store
Image Credit: Home Of Tone

There are a few ways to go about this. Most people choose to buy products that they think will sell well from suppliers at wholesale prices, then sell them through their ecommerce store at retail rates and pocket the difference. If you go down this route, you’ll need a warehouse or space in your home to store the products you sell.

If you don’t want to have to store products and fulfill orders yourself, you can look into dropshipping instead. Dropshipping involves selling products to customers through your ecommerce store but having your supplier fulfill the order for you and deliver it to the customer.

And of course, if you don’t want to buy from suppliers, you can always sell your own homemade products on your online store instead, much like sellers on Etsy.

How to get started

You’ll need an ecommerce platform to set up your own online store and start making money online. We’ve written a roundup of the best ecommerce platforms here.

In particular, we’d recommend checking out BigCommerce. It’s a full-featured ecommerce solution that’s flexible and powers some of the world’s biggest ecommerce stores.

If you’d prefer a simpler solution, Sellfy is another good choice. They offer a free tier that you can use for a limited number of physical products and POD merch. 

If you already have a WordPress website that you want to turn into an ecommerce store, you can use the WooCommerce plugin instead.

7. Collect donations

If you don’t want to sell products or promote affiliate offers, another way to monetize your site is to accept donations. It’s one of the simplest ways to make money online from a website and has no upfront costs.

If you’re providing great content to your audience for free, there are probably going to be some grateful readers that want to give a little something back. By accepting donations, you’re providing these website visitors with a way to help fund your site so you can continue to make great content.

In fact, this is something we do ourselves here at Blogging Wizard.

07 Collect donations - Adam Connell
Image Credit: Adam Connell

If you scroll down to the footer of this page, you’ll notice there’s a link to our Buy Me a Coffee page, where we collect donations from users that found our advice useful and want to show their appreciation. We also include it in emails and on other pages on the site.

How to get started

The easiest way to collect donations is to use a donation platform like Buy Me a Coffee. That’s what we use at Blogging Wizard. It’s a completely free service so there are no upfront costs, but they take a 5% cut of donations. 

If you want to try it out, just head to the website and you can create your page in a few clicks.

8. Sponsored posts

If you have an authoritative website that gets a good amount of traffic, you can potentially monetize it by offering sponsored posts. 

A sponsored post is when a sponsor pays you to publish a blog post that promotes their brand on your website. It’s common for brands to sponsor posts on popular websites in order to tap into their audience. 

08 Sponsored posts - Now This News
Image Credit: Now This News

With sponsored posts, you set the terms and pricing. If the sponsor doesn’t want to write the post themselves, you can outsource the writing and incorporate that cost into the price. You can use one of these freelance job sites to find a writer.

There are a couple of important things to bear in mind if you sell sponsored posts. 

First of all, FTC guidelines require that you always disclose sponsored content. This is usually done with a disclaimer at the top of the post, but you’ll need to do your own research to make sure you’re disclosing it correctly and are fully compliant with all relevant laws and guidelines.

Secondly, Google requires that any links in sponsored posts are no-followed. The reason for this is that sponsors often pay for posts in order to build DoFollow backlinks that artificially improve their website authority. Paying for links goes against Google’s webmaster guidelines. 

How to get started

Getting started is as easy as creating an “advertise here” page on your website and filling it out with all the necessary details. 

Add a link to it in your footer (and/or navigation bar) so that potential sponsors can easily find it, and make sure to include a contact form that they can fill out to inquire and find out more.

9. Ad networks

Display ads have fallen out of favor in recent years, but they remain one of the easiest ways for publishers to earn money from their websites. 

To monetize their sites with ads, bloggers and website owners usually rely on ad networks—services that connect groups of advertisers to groups of publishers.

Once you sign up for an ad network, the network will start serving up relevant ads to your visitors. Depending on what kind of pricing model you sign up for, you may be paid per click (we call this CPC advertising) or per thousand impressions (CPM).

How to get started

To get started, you can sign up for Google AdSense. Google Adsense is by far the most popular ad network out there, but it’s not the only one — and it isn’t necessarily the best choice for every website.

The amount you can earn with AdSense will depend on how much traffic your site gets, where your visitors are geographically based (visitors from locations in North America tend to generate higher ad revenues), and the kind of niche/industry/category of your content. 

As an example, if your website content is all about finance, and you have 50,000 monthly page views from users in North America, you could earn over $19,000 USD per year. You can visit the Google Adsense site and use the calculator to work out exactly how much you could earn per month.

09 Ad networks - Google Adsense

If you feel Google Adsense doesn’t pay enough, there are plenty of alternatives out there. Media.net is another great option for those just getting started. Once your traffic increases, you can move onto networks such as Monumetric and AdThrive. Check out our roundup of the best ad networks to explore all your options.

10. Sell ad space

Selling ad space directly to companies is a great alternative to ad networks. If you go down this route, you’ll have more control over the ads you serve and can earn more money. Because there’s no middleman taking a cut, you can negotiate a higher payout per click and keep 100% of your profits.

The downside to selling ad space independently is it requires a lot more legwork on your part. You’ll have to find advertisers to work with, which can be tough to manage, especially if you have a large site with plenty of ad space.

How to get started

If your website is built on WordPress, selling ad space is incredibly easy if you use a WordPress plugin to manage your ad sales. We’ve listed our favorite WordPress ad management plugins here, so check that out if you want to explore your options.

Alternatively, you can use a self-serve ad platform like BuySellAds to access a built-in network of trustworthy, relevant brands.

10 Sell ad space - BuySellAds

11. Native advertising

We’ve covered several different types of advertising already. But there’s another way to use advertising to make money from your website—native advertising.

Unlike display ads, native ads look like they’re a part of your website. They’re ads that don’t look like ads and are typically included within a block of related posts below your content.

Because they’re not intrusive and blend in with your site’s organic content, they don’t negatively impact the user experience. 

11 Native advertising - The Guardian
Image Credit: The Guardian

They also typically generate much better click-through rates and engagement than traditional display ads, which makes them a preferred form of advertising for many publishers and advertisers.

The flip side of the coin is that a lot of consumers have a problem with native ads as they’re seen as deceptive. When it’s not clear that an ad is an ad, consumers can feel that the wool has been pulled over their eyes, so to speak. 

It’s a controversial issue, and it’s up to you where you stand on it. If you want to explore native advertising, here’s how to do it.

How to get started

You’ll need to sign up to a native advertising platform to get started. These are similar to other digital ad platforms but use advanced technology to programmatically serve native ads instead of banner ads and other types of display ads.

Two popular platforms for this are Outbrain and Taboola. However, they typically only work with very large publishers. Outbrain, for example, will only work with websites that generate at least 10 million page views. It’s used by some of the biggest publishers including the BBC and The Guardian.

If you’re a smaller publisher with a low-traffic site, you can explore alternatives like Nativo and Yahoo Gemini.

12. Services & consulting

Another way to make money from a website is to use it to generate leads for your online service or consulting business.

Think of your website as an online portfolio. You can use it to showcase your work, advertise your services to potential customers, generate leads, and even take payments.

You can offer almost any service you can think of that would be relevant to your audience. For example, let’s say you already have a successful blog in the health and wellbeing niche. You could brand yourself as a wellness professional and offer a paid life coaching service to help guide your audience towards greater fulfillment.

12 Services and consulting - Jacqueline Harvey
Image Credit: Jacqueline Harvey

Or how about this? Let’s imagine your website is in the fitness niche, and you regularly publish blog posts about getting in shape. You know you already have an audience of people looking to get fit, so you could start offering online personal training services and tap into that market of potential customers.

How to get started

If you don’t have a website yet, start by thinking about what kind of services you could offer and go from there. For example, if you’re an avid writer, set yourself up as a freelance content writer then create a website advertising your services.

Then, add a blog to your site and start publishing articles related to content writing and digital marketing in order to generate traffic through SEO (search engine optimization). 

Once you have traffic, set up a lead magnet and opt-in form to turn those site visitors into leads and continue to advertise your services to them through email marketing.

And if you have a ton of success and start generating more sales than you can handle, use it as an opportunity to expand. Productize your service, branch out, and turn your freelancing work into an agency, then outsource work to others or hire your own employees. The sky’s the limit!

13. Paid webinars & live streams

A final way to make money from your website is to host paid webinars and live streams. 

Most people think of webinars as lead generation tools. They let people register for them for free in order to attract new leads to their websites. But another option is to run online training sessions and charge for access to them. This is a great way to make money from your website’s existing audience.

13 Webinars and live streams - Business Gateway
Image Credit: Business Gateway

It’s a lot like selling online courses, except instead of selling access to pre-recorded video lessons, you’re selling access to a live video event. The advantage of this is that at live events, you can interact with your audience directly. You can offer a Q&A at the end of the webinar when attendees can ask questions and get answers there and then.

How to get started

You can use dedicated webinar software to create and host your webinars. We’d recommend checking out WebinarNinja or Podia. Podia is a nice option if you also want to sell other types of digital products in addition to webinars.

Once you’ve chosen your software and set up a registration page, you can start advertising the event and collecting registrations. At a minimum, you’ll probably want to add CTAs across your entire website inviting people to register.

To reach a larger audience, you could also promote your webinar or live stream to your social media followers and email subscribers, or even consider running paid ads.

Summary

That concludes our comprehensive guide on how to make money from a website!

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to monetize your site, and we’ve only really scratched the surface here.

Here’s a summary of these 13 ways you can make money online from your website:

  1. A lot of website owners put their expertise into use by selling digital ebooks – a simple and easy way to make money online.
  2. If you’re a brand or an influencer, print-on-demand merchandise can be an extra source of income from your website.
  3. Online courses are growing in popularity and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
  4. Affiliate marketing is an easy way to generate income from your website, and if you write all the content yourself – it’s free to do!
  5. One-off payments can stunt your revenue growth, however, by creating recurring subscriptions with memberships to tools or paygating premium content, you can see revenue on a recurring basis.
  6. Similar to print-on-demand, launching your own ecommerce store is a great way to make money online especially if you focus on physical products such as handmade jewelry or custom cards.
  7. Not everyone has a fully-fledged business yet, so donations are a great way to help generate revenue for your future project.
  8. Offering sponsored posts can generate a healthy revenue stream especially if you have a high authority site.
  9. Signing up to an ad network is an easy way to make money online, though the ad revenue is highly dependent on the niche you’re in.
  10. There are an abundance of websites, and maybe you want to sell ad space directly to companies rather than pay a middle-man to get the job done.
  11. Using native advertising on your website is a great way for ads to blend into your website without looking too obtrusive to the visitor.
  12. Perhaps you’re a website builder, or a songwriting expert – offering your services in ways of tutoring and consulting is a great way to earn money.
  13. Grown massively over the past 2 years, webinars and live streams are a fantastic way to expose your content to the world without them having to leave their home.

Which is best for me? 

The best option for you will depend on the nature of your site, your audience, and how much effort you’re willing to put in.

If you already have a blog (or plan on making one), you can start by signing up for an ad network like Google Adsense or Media.net. It requires minimal effort to set up and is a great way to earn a passive income from your site without investing too much time.

If you want to increase your earnings, sign up for affiliate programs and promote products to your audience within your posts. This is how most bloggers make the bulk of their revenue. You can get started straight away with ShareASale.

And if you’re happy to put in a little more work, think about what kind of digital product or service you might be able to sell to your audience. Then, turn your site into an ecommerce store with a platform like Sellfy and start making sales. 

This has a much higher earning potential than relying on affiliate income and advertising revenue alone, but it also requires more legwork to get started.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we may make a small commission if you make a purchase.

Ways To Make Money From A Website