Natalie Lesyk
Natalie Lesyk
How to monetize a website: 32 expert tips proved by time and sweat
4.84 (96.73%) 49 votes

“Monetize website” – by this query Google shows About 1,700,000 results. And the trend is constantly growing:

(data via Google Trends)

For sure, users want to monetize their endeavors as managing a website…is a complicated task indeed. We listen to our community and always keep a finger on the pulse, that’s why the following decision came really naturally for us.
That’s why NING is launching e-commerce platform which will allow network creators to set up paid access to the published content and raise funds via the ‘Donate’ button.

All right, but what do the experts say? Can they shed some light on this issue and give the best tips on how to monetize a website? Professional approach is always a key to success, right?
We’ve collected opinions from 32 experts in order to help you monetize website powered by NING.com.

Expert #1 – Ann Handley

Ann Handley is a veteran of creating and managing digital content to build relationships for organizations and individuals. Ann is the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller  “Everybody Writes”  and co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, “Content Rules” (2011, Wiley). She is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a LinkedIn Influencer, a keynote speaker, mom, and writer.

Think of your site content as a gift you give your community of subscribers, and give generously and freely and consistently. (That last point is key.) Focusing on useful and unique content first. Only THEN think about monetizing.

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Expert #2 – Natalie Lesyk

Natalie Lesyk – Digital marketing geek at NING. She writes about community building, social media, growth hacking, brand ambassadors, and much more.

 “Monetize website” – Ning’s creators have broached this issue multiple times and we’ve received lots of requests. This is why we’ve finally launched this particular service.
So my advice is the following:
When starting, determine exactly which type of the content it will be: free or paid.  In free content, you can include more hooks to stimulate your reader to go for paid content.

Launch a Paid access feature on your blog – monetize posts, articles. Ning could be a good fit here. And! Don’t forget to put Donate button – for sure if you are pursuing non-profit goals, then it’s a must. But also there are some grateful readers who will be happy to express their appreciation.
By the way, if you still don’t have website, create it on Ning.com. Our support will be glad to help you with launching all e-com functions and consult upon all monetization questions.

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Expert #3 – John Rampton

John Rampton – Entrepreneur and connector. Founder of Due and Calendar. He blogs about his successes and epic failures for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch and Mashable

 I’m a big fan of content. Real content that engages your audience. I prefer longer form content to shorter content. Try to write posts 2000-10000 words in length and then have 10 supporting 1000 word articles that link back and support those articles. I’ve found this drives a lot of organic traffic to our site. Then it’s up to us to convert.

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Expert #4 – Tim Soulo

Tim Soulo is the head of marketing and product strategy at Ahrefs, which is deemed one of industry’s leading SEO tools, powered by big data.

The best way of monetizing a website that I know of is offering more of what you have there and hiding it behind the paywall.
I mean if you have a website about training dog and you share a lot of good advice on how to train dogs, you should probably record videos with same advice, but more detailed and more structured. And then sell these videos to people.

If you have a website about productivity, and you advocate certain productivity routines – you should sell templates or notebooks, that would be tailored to your routines. And you can also go the “video course” route too.

You might also build some plugin or software, that would help people to track their productivity and make sure they stick to your advice.

So yeah, no matter what you have on your website, there should be a way to offer an extra layer of value and charge for it.

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Expert #5 – Jeff Bullas

#1 Content Marketing Influencer, Social Media Marketing Strategist & Speaker, Forbes Top 10 Social Media Influencer, Leading #1 Global Business Blog jeffbullas.com

Monetizing content is not something that means that you are selling soon as someone turns up to read or view the content on your blog or website. So the first step is adding value.
But in exchange for that you would require someone to provide their email in exchange. That is “email list building”. That now means that you have the opportunity to continue the conversation and build trust and then offer a product to sell such as an ebook or even a course.

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Expert #6 – Neil Patel

Neil Patel – The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 online marketers. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue.

 Launch a virtual summit
No matter where you’re as a blogger, you can monetize your website by launching virtual summits, which are growing in popularity these days.
Many bloggers are using summits to connect and build relationship with influencers. Influencers can bring you credibility, reach, and engagement.”
Source: neilpatel.com

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Expert #7 – Wendy Keller

Wendy Keller, Content Monetization Expert and author of many books including “The Ultimate Guide to Platform Building” (Entrepreneur Press) KellerMedia.com

 Here’s my #1 tip: Help others first. To monetize in this economy, we all need a huge bank of trust and credibility, before we can even hint that we’re selling something. That happens when you 1) Stay true to your topic 2) Write for your public, not your ego and 3) Give before you seek to get. Help people believe that you know what you’re talking about and are in it (at least in part) to help them and then the money WILL come.

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Expert #8 – Karen Evans

Karen Evans – the founder of Start Blogging Online – the one-stop resource center for anyone who’s interested in starting a blog.

eBooks
Writing eBooks is a super popular way to start selling a unique product in your industry, and it’s ideal for pretty much any niche. With so many self-publishing opportunities available, too, it’s easy to get your book published and ready to sell with major retailers like Amazon or directly on your site.
Source: startbloggingonline.com

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Expert #9 – Mike Allton

Mike Allton – Content Marketing Practitioner, CMO, Author, Award Winning Social Media Blogger, thesocialmediahat.com

While there are lots of ways to monetize your website, and some are more effective for particular niches and styles of websites than others, the technique that I’ve enjoyed the most is Brand Relationships.
Time and again, whenever I’m able to create a relationships with a brand that leads to things like sponsored content, co-marketing campaigns, webinars or ambassadorships, those are the most rewarding.
They’re harder to come by than, say, a straight affiliate relationship, which might have some effect on the appeal. You have to work on relationships. And they have to be mutually beneficial. I might use a product, like it, and feel comfortable signing up as an affiliate and recommending it here and there. But if I’m going to be an ambassador for a brand, I’d better love that brand and be truly excited about using their product regularly. And they’d need to be truly excited about having me on board.
That when online monetization can be an absolute delight, and I think that’s an important element. Sure, you might be able to make even more money with a different tactic, but how do you feel doing it? Is it boring, lonely, monotonous work? Or is it exciting and collaborative?

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Expert #10 – Kean Graham

CEO of MonetizeMore, a leading ad tech firm that is a Google Certified Partner


Implement the Google Ad Server called DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP);
Integrate DoubleClick Ad Exchange into DFP via Dynamic Allocation;
Implement Header Bidding Optimally

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Expert #11 – Andrei Vasilescu

CEO and Digital Marketing Specialist, DontPayFull

The most effective ways to reach in higher ranks in search engines are Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which includes Search Engine Optimization, Paid Search Advertising etc. and Social Media Marketing which includes publicity through Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs.
The more Twitter followers you have, more traffic will hit your website, and hence you can earn more revenue.

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Expert #12 – Larry Kim

Founder WordStream, MobileMonkey, Top Columnist, Inc. Magazine

We drive millions of people to our blog and monetize the traffic by selling software and services (as opposed to selling ad space). Usually the margins on software are remarkably high. We sold tens of millions of dollars of software last year. So, I think bloggers hoping to monetize their blog traffic should try to figure out a way to actually sell stuff — ideally higher margin products rather than lower margin services.
Source: Solo Build It! Blog

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Expert #13 – Neal Schaffer

Neal helps businesses generate ROI from social media. Author, Speaker & Consultant. His website nealschaffer.com

The best way to monetize a website is not based on advertising review or even affiliate marketing but by having your own product. Instead of making money for others, the best profit margin you can obtain is when you use your own content creation as a stepping stone to providing more value to your website visitors through your own uniquely branded product or service.

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Expert #14 – Sarah Arrow

One of the UK’s leading business bloggers, Forbes listed 3 times – sarkemedia.com

This means content like buyer’s guides and comparative reviews can help readers make better decisions around purchasing your services. Quizzes can help them understand their own needs, and content upgrades attached to this type of content will enable you to show your prospects that you know what you’re doing.
If you don’t have your own product or service with which to monetize your business blog, then the product demo is your best friend. When you partner with someone as an affiliate you can demo the product to your audience. If you do an effective job of understanding your audience, your product demos can be backed up with product reviews in order to monetize your website.
Source: Solo Build It! Blog

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Expert #15 – Shana Haynie

Shana Haynie is the Co-Founder and COO at Vulpine Interactive: A social media marketing agency that helps exciting brands create passionate fans on social media.

Most bloggers with high traffic numbers use a pass through solution like AdSense advertising to monetize, but this is not ideal since you are sending people away from your site every time they click on an ad, and you are only making pennies at best. The smart way to monetize site is through selling your own products or the relevant products of well-vetted affiliates.
Once you’ve built a solid audience of passionate fans, ask them what they want and go from there.

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Expert #16 – Michael Brenner

Marketer, consultant, speaker, author, and CEO of marketinginsidergroup.com. Teaching leaders to focus on work that creates more impact by championing others.

Subscribers have been my the best way to monetize website. But this requires follow-up programs and email nurturing of other offers.
Source: Solo Build It! Blog

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Expert #17 – Will Azevedo

Will is a photography enthusiast and writer. He worked for a while freelancing as a ghost-writer for others, but then he decided to create his own website reviewing cameras for vlogging. In his free time, he also loves gaming and watching esports. vloggerpro.com

Keyword research is the most important aspect of making money with your blog. Know what your possible visitors want when they type a query on Google. You can have 100k monthly visits and barely make $100 if you try to sell something to the wrong kind of traffic. This is called knowing the keyword intent.

Expert #18 – Nathan Chan

Publisher & CEO, Entrepreneur and Dreamer FoundrMag.com

How to monetize a website?
By selling something that people want, and selling it before it even exists by testing.
Source: Solo Build It! Blog

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Expert #19 – Stan Tan

Stan Tan – digital marketing manager at Selby’s and founder of OwlGuru.com with over 100,000 monthly visitors.

1. Sell information (eBook, research reports, premium newsletters)
2. Sell a physical product
3. Sell a software (SaaS, mobile app)
4. Sell your time as a service (consulting service)
5. Sell advertisements

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Expert #20 – Ian Cleary

Founder of RazorSocial, CoFounder OutreachPlus online marketer with passion for marketing tech!

We’ve done well selling on webinars. I get a buzz out of doing webinars and I share some great content but also have a bit of fun. This keeps the audience interested and more stay around for the sales bit at the end.
Source: Solo Build It! Blog

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Expert #21 – Brandon Chopp

Brandon Chopp is the Digital Marketing Strategist for iHeartRaves and INTO THE AM, world leaders in music festival fashion and curators of all over print clothing. When he’s not buried up to his elbows in keywords, you can find him attending music festivals or hanging out at the beach.

We shed spotlights on individual musical artists while discussing recent albums, new singles, performances, and interviews. We also tie in festival fashion with some of our blog posts, which highlight a variety of the products that we sell on our online store. We’ve become an authority in the dance music world, so people come to our blog for news and information related to the industry. It is for this reason that our blog complements the products we sell in a way that doesn’t come across as spammy or unwarranted. People come to our blog and end up purchasing festival gear.

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Expert #22 – Adam Connell

Blogging Expert, Founder BloggingWizard, adamconnell.me

So, if you’re just starting out as a blogger, offering your blogging skills as a service is a great way to start earning money. If you can get to the point where you can plug more people into your business, you’ll be able to scale faster. The key is to work towards working on your business, not in your business.
Source: Solo Build It! Blog

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Expert #23 – Matthew Woodward

Matthew Woodward – a multiple award winning business & internet marketing blogger. matthewwoodward.co.uk

Charge For ‘Premium’ Content
I’m a firm believer in giving away as much as you can for free.But there comes a point where you do need to draw a line in the sand and say, “Hey, I’m going to need something back for the time I spent on this!”
He decided to keep giving away free content on the blog, and valuable eBooks to free members and the general public. But, he sorted the wheat from the chaff by only allowing paying readers the opportunity to read their most valuable content.
It benefits you because you know your readers are getting their best results. It helps your readers because they get exclusive content nobody else can. And, you get an actual return on your time invested in your longer, more actionable content. That what we in the business call a win/win/win.
Source: matthewwoodward.co.uk

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Expert #24 – Andy Crestodina

Content Marketer, Speaker and Author OrbitMedia.com

Content Jam is my best web monetization effort. It’s our annual conference. Like any event, it’s not cheap to do it right. The food and beverage? $50,000. And we pay all of those costs before we sell the tickets. It’s an act of faith.
But the event is a huge hit. A-list speakers in a beautiful venue, right downtown on the Chicago river. It sells out every year and the rooms are packed with 300 marketers, prospects and fans. It’s like a little holiday. Some people come year after year.
The indirect benefits are amazing. It has a huge impact on brand awareness, lead gen and the sales funnel. But it’s also profitable. The event pays for itself and then some. It’s a profitable little venture.
Source: Solo Build It! Blog

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Expert #25 – Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz, started a blog on search engine optimization insights back in 2004. In less than five years, Moz had over 100,000 email subscribers.

Rand originally monetized his audience through consulting services; but in 2007 Moz launched a beta subscription service that offered relevant software tools and reports on a paid basis. By 2009, Moz closed its consulting business entirely and focused on selling software to its audience.
Source: allbusiness.com

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Expert #26 – Ian Anderson Gray

Founder of Seriously Social. Live Video & Social Media Tool Guy. International Speaker, Coach, Consultant & singer. iag.me

Growing followers and traffic is also important. Affiliate links have been useful, however launching a course has been my most effective content monetization technique. I am passionate about teaching and training.
Source: Solo Build It! Blog

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Expert #27 – Bryan Kramer

“The Zen Master of Marketing” Forbes. TEDTalk & Keynote Speaker, Author – Shareology & Human to Human, CEO PureMatter & H2H Companies, Forbes Contributor bryankramer.com

I built a personal brand quiz that anyone can take and figure out within a couple minutes what kind of personal brand they are out of the six types identified in a New York Times-based study. This generated over 15k emails in several months. Eventually, I offered a course for personal branding offered to these opt-ins, filling my course to capacity.
Source: Solo Build It! Blog

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Expert #28 – A.J. Ghergich

SEO & Content Marketing Expert, leading agency ghergich.com

Email is still the easy way to monetize any site. It’s not sexy but it’s effective.
Pros:
1. You own your audience, not FB or Google
2. You can reach your audience anytime for free
3. You don’t have to sell directly to your list
4. Email lists are free audience amplification
5. You can take an email audience with you
6. Cheap to maintain
7. No need for high-tech (use Mailchimp)
Cons:
1. Can take a while to grow
Tip: Use sumo.com and create email offers that provide actual value. Like a free expert guide. You should get 3 %to 5% conversion on offers from visits to email subscribers.

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Expert #29 – Jason Wuerch

Jason Wuerch – running a personal finance blog called Frugal For Less. His goal is to help everyone and anyone willing to make and save money through easy and simple ways that don’t require much effort. Just because you’re frugal doesn’t mean you have to give up life’s luxuries.

The quickest way to get your content to the top of the page is to write long (5,000 words or more), detailed content that your readers love.
From there, work on promoting these articles in as many ways as you can: Pinterest, Facebook, other social media outlets and getting guest posts back to your site.
From there, the ball will start rolling and you’ll be surprised at just how quickly your readership and traffic will grow.
Not only will you start to notice a strong increase in organic traffic, but people will directly go back to your site asking for more.

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Expert #30 – Aaron Lee

Social Media Manager and Entrepreneur ShortOfHeight.com

The most effective traffic monetization strategy for my blog is through affiliate marketing. What I do is write reviews on tools that I love and that has helped me.
I figured that if it can help me, someone must be looking to see if it can help them too. A mistake many make is reviewing everything. That won’t convert readers into buyers because it doesn’t have that connection.
Source: Solo Build It! Blog

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Expert #31 – Brian Honigman

Brian Honigman is a content marketing consultant that helps marketers and business owners better tell their story and focus their marketing on the right goals and priorities brianhonigman.com

One of the best ways to monetize a website is to create content that’s distinct, actionable and high quality to capture the attention of your audience in the long-term, whether it’s free courses, video, articles, charts, data or otherwise. This way the people you’re trying to reach have a reason to return to your site on an ongoing basis to continue to get educated on a relevant subject area. The goal here is to eventually build enough trust and rapport with them to convert them into customers through purchasing your relevant product and services also included on your website. It’s important that the content you’re creating is similar topic-wise to what your company offers, otherwise, visitors will be confused and there will be a disconnect between what you’re known for and what you’re actually selling.

 

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Expert #32 – Jay Meattle

Entrepreneur and CEO, Shareaholic Shareaholic.com

Anchor Overlay Ads. Period. Because they’re always in view, advertisers tend to pay 4x more for them vs. plain banner ads.
Source: Solo Build It! Blog

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CONCLUSION

As you can see, there are countless ways to earn money in the Internet. No matter if you are a travel blogger or a tech journalist, a handmade postcard vendor or a shoe factory owner – you are free to choose your own way and seek your own strategy.

To make your start easier, NING has improved its platform adding the tools you need to provide paid access to your content. Create your own website with NING.com!