Clearing out the clutter (#1) is one part of making the site easy for visitors to use. Another part is making it easy for them to do what they want to do. If they want to follow you on Twitter, is your Twitter info on every page or do they have to hunt for it? If they want to email you, is your contact page easily found? If they want to buy, are the purchase instructions and processes easy to follow? This all sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many websites aren’t very good at making it easy for readers to do what they came to do.
Two years ago, Jacco Blankenspoor wrote a wonderful article detailing the 10 best ways to earn money from your website, but as the web evolves at an accelerated rate (and as a result, the way we engage with the web evolves), it’s ever the more important that our monetization methods evolve with it. If we want to monetize our websites effectively, it’s essential that we stay up-to-date with the current web and social trends.
Writing an eBook and selling it on your blog can be a great money maker. Your eBook should be directly relevant to your blog’s content so you can sell your book to your existing audience. Creating a recipe eBook for a food blog or an eBook full of training plans to complement your fitness site are just a couple of examples that have the potential to sell.
Banner advertising is somewhat risky. Showing too many ads in a single webpage might detract users from visiting other pages, as well. Thus, the income from ads on a single page might be consistent, however it is far less than the income coming from a session of several pages visits from the same user. Thus, banner advertising should be used wisely, to maximize profits coming from this monetization source.
Outsourcing is the new and dominant wave of the business world. As businesses shed employees, they increasingly turn to independent contractors to supply what in-house staff used to do. One of the ways they do this is through virtual assistants. These are people who provide certain tasks online. Businesses can use virtual assistants as much or as little as they need to. If you can make yourself available to multiple businesses, you might have plenty of work without ever leaving your house.
Set up a roadside stand. Depending on where you live, you could profit handsomely by setting up a roadside stand. If you live near a resort area, for example, you could buy cases of bottled water, put them on ice, and sell them to passers by for twice what you paid. Selling fruit and produce you grow yourself is also a smart idea in highly-traveled areas.
Then once you’ve got your domain name and hosting sorted out, it’s time to pick a CMS, or Content Management System, that will let you update pages, build your blog and integrate with all the other services you need. It’s hard to go wrong with WordPress—the CMS powering close to a quarter of the internet. Keep in mind that eventually as you start growing traffic to your blog, you'll be wise to invest in a managed WordPress hosting plan, where all of the settings are custom-tailored and optimized to work particularly well with WordPress-powered websites.
Signing up with Google AdSense will enable you to make money from advertising on your blog. Google AdSense will place relevant ads around your site, and if your site visitors click on these ads, you will earn a fee. Although each click only amounts to small change, if your blog has high levels of traffic, this will quickly amount to a reasonable sum.
This is one of the most frequently used method of monetizing a website. It implies putting in place an online store, where users can come and order the products they like. The idea of an e-shop is not new. However, it’s a profitable income source, depending on how much you manage to distinguish the e-shop from your competitors in the online market.
Salvage and resell. Do you love antiques or have a knack for finding valuables at flea markets or yard sales? If you do, it might be time to consider salvaging items for resale – or even scouting out antiques to sell for a profit. While you’ll need to spend quite a bit of time searching for prospects and spend some money buying upfront, you could easily turn a profit if you know what you’re doing.