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.
(A quick Google search shows confusion and disagreement on the difference between native advertising and sponsored content. Some bloggers draw a distinction between the direct promotion in native advertising versus what may be valuable, less promotional information in corporate-sponsored content. Setting aside the head-scratching, it's clear there's more than one way to host paying advertisers and their content on your site.)
Bottom line: we’re not done with traditional advertising yet, but you may find some of the modern approaches more interesting at the very least. It’s important to try everything until you find a method that suits you — networks like BuySellAds offer anything from sponsored tweets to display ads and still allow you to integrate AdSense into empty ad placements, so there’s a lot of room for experimentation there. Just remember to give each type of advertising time to blossom before writing it off.
Subscription/ Premium Membership – Services such as Patreon allow people to give monthly to their favorite online content creators and website publishers – even something as small as a blog. Typical donations are $12 per month, but can start from $1 a month. It provides these creators with a dependable revenue stream in what would typically be an unreliable and unpredictable business.
Now, it’s time to start creating and uploading content. Make sure you’re using a high-enough quality camera (most smartphones will work but I’d suggest at least having a tripod so your footage isn’t shaky), but don’t worry about being perfect at first. The beauty of YouTube is that you can continue to test out different content and styles as you find what works for you. Instead, stick to a regular schedule to build up your subscriber base.
Test websites. Remote usability testing means getting paid to navigate a website for the first time and giving feedback to the website owner. Most tests take approximately 15 minutes, and you can get paid up to $10 for each test. A test involves performing a scenario on the client’s website and recording yourself doing it. For example, you might be asked to go through the process of selecting and purchasing an item on a retailer’s website.
Write and publish an eBook. You don’t need a traditional publisher and financial backing to publish your own book anymore. In fact, Amazon.com makes it possible for you to publish your own eBook and sell it independently – with no financial investment on your part. And with Kindle eBook publishing, your book will appear on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours. Just be prepared to market it yourself on social media, your blog, or elsewhere if you expect to generate sales.
If you are a creative type, then you could make money online by designing and selling crafty products on Etsy. Etsy sells a range of beautiful and original items from independent suppliers. Categories range from jewelry, clothes, and accessories, to art, collectibles, and vintage. So if you have some stunning crafty creations, Etsy is the perfect platform from which to sell from.
How much will you make? I think my best month with Google AdSense was almost $5,000 over the last ten years. That amazing month blew my mind since it was actually near the beginning of my blogging journey. When you go from making zero to $5,000 in a month, that will rock your world. For me, it also got me even more excited because I knew there were other ways to monetize.