Nick Schäferhoff
Editor in Chief

monetize-a-websiteMaking money from your website isn’t a myth. It’s doable by anyone.

In fact – turning a part-time, hobby blog or website into an income-generating asset is fairly common with a bit of luck and some hard work.

At the very least, you should be able to make enough to cover your basic expenses for a domain and hosting. You might even be able to replace your income (and then earn some more).

Keep in mind that the strategies listed below range from easy and passive, to the ones which require a TON of on-going work (so make sure you pick something that suits your site and lifestyle preferences).

There are 33 total tips in this guide, but let’s start with the ten most popular (and predictable) site monetization tips.

If you wish to create a website that you plan to monetize, you can use this step-by-step guides to create your own self-hosted website at the cheapest cost.

10 Most Common Ways to Make Money with Your Website

Making money from your website isn’t easy. These ten tips are probably your best bet to get started.

1. Affiliate Marketing (.. and Affiliate Links)

Affiliate marketing (Method 1)
Examples of a successful affiliate site: Booking.com

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular (not to mention quickest) ways to make money from your website or blog.

Start by finding a product you like and would recommend. Then on your website, you endorse the product and promote it to your website visitors and email subscribers. If the product or service resonates with these people, they’ll click on your affiliate link, purchasing the product (while you get a split of the sale price).

The commission might be anywhere from 30% of the product or service price, up to as high as 70%. For example, if the split is 50% and you promote an e-book that costs $100, you’ll get $50 for simply referring the buyer. Pretty sweet deal, huh?!

Where can I find products to promote?

  • Commission junction – offers reliable products with on-time payments.
  • ShareASale – mostly clothes, accessories, and other offline goods.
  • Clickbank – high percentage payouts, but there’s a lack of GOOD products to promote.

2. “Pay Per Click” Advertising (Google Adsense)

AdWords are the advertisements that show up on the top of Google search result pages.

AdSense is the reverse, allowing publishers to tap into Google’s immense advertising network so that other advertisers can run ads on their website.

The best part about this system is how simple everything is.

Once you sign up, Google will place a simple code on your website that will identify the content of your site and start displaying relevant advertisements. For example, if your site is about pets (dogs & cats), Google AdSense will start showing your visitors ads for cat food, dog training, and more.

You get paid each time someone clicks on the ad. (Yes, it’s really that easy!)

Your cut might be anywhere from $0.50 to $5 per click. When your site has enough traffic, you can make hundreds (if not thousands of dollars) each month.

How to apply for Google Adsense?

  • Apply for AdSense – Before applying, make sure you keep up with their latest Terms Of Service. Google has very strict rules, so it’s hard to get (and stay) approved.

3. Sell Ad Space

InSelling ad space (method 3)corporating Google’s AdSense on your website is just one way to make money from online advertisements.

Another is to simply sell your own ad space directly to companies looking to sponsor different blogs. You can come up with a price for each space, for example: advertising_on_website“Sidebar banner ads will cost $xxx per month”.

You can get paid depending on how many visitors you get. Typically it’s quoted as a dollar amount per one thousand impressions (or CPM). You might see it as $5 CPM. If the website gets 100,000 visits a month, that ad price translates into $500 bucks.

The good thing about this approach is that if your site gets a ton of traffic from different sources, your simple banner ad pricing can go up to as high as $5000 per month! The obvious downside is that if your site doesn’t get a lot of traffic, you can’t expect to earn much either.

The other common method when selling ad space directly from your website is a simple direct price. You simply name a price (based on what you think it’s worth, relative to what the competition might be charging), and get paid upfront at the beginning of each month. This pricing is also generally a simple flat fee, not tied to a Cost Per Click like AdSense.

Where can I let others know that my website is selling ad space?

  • BuySellAds – The most popular environment to let everybody know you’re selling ad space.

4. Sell Your Own Digital Product (Ebook for Example)

Selling digital product (method 4)You have the potential to make the most money on a per-sale basis when you can sell your own directly.

That’s because there’s no middle-man or person in between you and the buyer that’s taking a ‘cut’ from the money earned.

This approach seems fairly straightforward because you can simply sell these products directly through your website and get paid immediately. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple in reality.

Creating good products that are well made and polished requires a ton of time and additional resources (like design, content, etc.). There’s a lot of ‘hidden costs’ in both time spent and the contractors to collaborate with. Selling your own products on your site also brings up problematic issues like payment gateways, shipping, and taxes.

If it doesn’t sound like enough work already, you’ll also need a well designed, persuasive landing page to make sure your product has a strong conversion rate. A list of best landing page builders can be found here.

Additional resources:

How to sell products on your website.

5. Accept Donations From Visitors

Accept donations (method 5)If you don’t have a ton of monthly visits, but you do have a strong, engaged community? Simply ask your readers to donate!

Accepting one-off donations isn’t a fast road to wealth, but it can help you cover expenses in the short-term if people like what you have to say and want to support your journey.

For example, PayPal offers little donation buttons that only take about ten minutes to add to your website. These buttons offer you a quick way to recoup what you might want to be spending on a good web hosting, new product creation, research, and all of the other costs to maintain a healthy, active blog.h

For example, web.archive.org makes a lot of money from donations (most likely due to their millions of visitors per month).

How to set up donation buttons?

6. Sell Sponsored Posts (…but Use Nofollow Tag)

Sponsored posts and articles (method 6)One of the common ways to make more money from your website means getting those visitor numbers UP.

Once you’ve done the hard work of building steady traffic to your site with an engaged community, there are a few different ways to monetize your hard work.

For example, many companies go out of their way to look for blogs that will feature their sponsored content. ‘Native advertising‘ like this works well because it lines up with your site’s primary content and it comes across as relevant and transparent.

You can also review the products from a company in an ‘advertorial’ that’s part content, part advertisement. For example, if your website is all about the latest iOS games for iPhones and iPads, the creator of one of those ads would LOVE to have you review and feature their app to your fans.

When done right, this can create a win/win scenario. However – done poorly, with irrelevant or inauthentic site content, it can erode all of the reader’s goodwill you’ve worked so hard to create in the first place.

For further reading:

7. Generate ‘Leads’ for Other Companies

Get leads to other companies (method 7)Businesses thrive on new leads coming in their doors to inquire about their products or services.

It’s no surprise that they’re always on the lookout, searching for creative ways to find new sources of leads to help them grow.

For example:

Let’s say you have a website about teaching math skills. Your reader’s information (like their email address or phone number) would be of great value to different online schools who’re looking to sell their courses to eager, proactive students.

Basically, you’re connecting the dots; playing the matchmaker by introducing two parties who can benefit one another. While it’s similar to how affiliate marketing works, in this case, it doesn’t actually matter if your reader ends up purchasing their product or not. They’re just looking for an introduction at this point.

Where can I find such offers?

8. Build an ‘Email List’

Build an email list (method 8)Spend any amount of time reading blog growth tips, and you’re sure to come across people saying “the money’s in the list“.

They’re referring to your email list, which comprises your most loyal readers. The objective is to convert as many strangers who visit your site for the first time into passionate followers who want to stay up-to-date on your latest work or content.

Admittedly this is a long term strategy (and you definitely won’t get rich overnight). But it’s one of the best, long-term methods to profitably growing your blog into a full-fledged, money-making enterprise.

Never lose sight of creating relationships with your followers. Offering great information or free help is a perfect way to start. Spamming people with unsolicited offers is one of the fastest ways to abuse the reader’s trust and sabotage your long-term goals.

How does it EXACTLY work?

9. Set Up an eCommerce Site (Hard Work Is Required)

Set up an ecommerce site (method 9)Websites don’t just have to be about content. They can be centered around tools or products on an online store.

Be forewarned:

There are literally hundreds of thousands of eCommerce websites or online stores. Make sure that yours is filling a unique niche, with a detailed strategy and the latest marketing techniques to stand out from the crowd.

How do I create a successful online store/shop?

10. Flip Your Websites (Create -> Sell -> Reinvest)

Sell your website (method 10)Believe it or not, there’s almost always a market out there for your website.

That means if you’ve built up a following  (or possibly even sold a few products or included advertising on your site), you might be able to sell it to someone else and make a quick buck.

To be honest, we typically don’t suggest people plan on flipping their website or blog (we’re a bigger fan of creating something for the long term).

You can’t deny how lucrative it can be. For example, if your website is making $500 per/month through selling ad space, you might be able to sell the site for $5,000 – $10,000 (which is about 12x – 22x monthly income).sellwebsite

Another interesting option is to sell ready-made sites, These are MUCH cheaper, but there’s still some money to be made.

Where can I sell my site?

By now we have counted down some of the most popular ways to earn money from your website.

Yet, we’re still only just scratching the surface.

Below are another 23 ways to make money with your website.

(Keep in mind that some of them are slightly connected with the ones above yet they are little ‘out of the box’.)

Another 23 Ways to Monetize Your Website

23-ways-to-make-money-with-your-website11. Sell text-link ads (NOT RECOMMENDED) – There’s still a demand for text-links ads (believe it or not). But please keep in mind that these violate Google’s Terms of Service (which means you run the risk of getting penalized).

To avoid it, simply keep the ‘nofollow‘.

12. Set up “infolinks” – Infolinks are a great alternative to AdSense advertisements, that are very easy to setup. The downside is that they aren’t high in converting, and the payouts (on a per-click basis) are also quite small.

13. Use monetization widgets – These are also very similar to Google Adsense, so they’re worth trying out as an alternative.

14. Set up RSS feed ads. – Exactly what they sound like. Ad space for sale in-line with content from an RSS feed.

15. Give away premium content for extra $$$ – If you are producing mind-blowing, awesome content that visitors can’t get enough of… you can always try asking them to pay for some of it! (Crazy concept, huh?!) I’m personally fine with paying for premium content. Bear in mind – don’t ask people to pay right away. Instead, stay focused on growing an audience and visitors first.

16. Start a private forum or coaching class(es) – Most of us have unique skills that others can benefit from. Setting up a simple forum or classes is an easy way to help others and generate recurring income at the same time.

17. Create a job board – Setting up a job board on your website is another simple, easy way to collect additional money when people are accepting different job offers from various companies or individuals.

18. Offer consulting – Offering consulting gigs and providing services can help you bring in decent sums of money while other forms of ‘passive’ revenue take a little time to build up. You can offer these services via email, forum or even Skype.

19. Add the “hire me” page on your website – Your new website or blog is also a perfect place to feature your freelancing services. Showcasing samples or evidence of past work will help greatly increase your chances of getting hired.

20. Sell or rent internal pages – These aren’t very common, but you might be surprised at what people would be willing to rent or spend money on!

21. Display pop-ups advertisements – Pop-ups can be extremely annoying. However, they’re also another easy way to make some quick money.

22. Use content lockers – ‘Content locking’ is similar to hiding or protecting pieces of content until a visitor takes some action to redeem it. For example, maybe you want them to pay a small amount, or perhaps click on an advertisement.

23. Display audio ads – These are relatively new and are becoming increasingly more common. Personally, I haven’t tried it. But I have read some articles and it definitely looks promising.

24. Sell an e-book – This one is a no-brainer. Many people sell e-books through their site. Some examples: If you have a website about recipes and cooking, you can easily create and sell your own recipe book. The same applies to almost every niche.

25. Create a conference around your website – Lots of work but a huge potential payoff as well.

26. Set up a teaching program – Kinda like a cross between selling your own content and offering consulting or services.

27. Host paid webinars – Similar to the last tip, which is largely a mix of consulting through content and a teaching program.

28. Create a membership site – Yet another tier on the ‘info-business’ model that has the added benefit of bringing in recurring revenue.

29. Offer coupons (with affiliate links) – People are eagerly looking for discount & promo codes for everything from clothes to travel vacations. If you can (find and) offer a valid one, you can also get a cut of that revenue too.

30. Host polls on your website – Hard to believe, but easy to do!

31. Offer writing gigs – You can easily make $20 – $30 per 500-word article writing for other companies or individuals. There’s also a huge potential for fluent speakers of different languages, as many companies want their websites translated by those who speak the native language.

32. Create a paid directory/business page – You charge people for listing or subscribing to the page.

33. Just copy what others are doing – Our personal favorite! 😉

P.S. If you wish to use this infographic on your website, feel free to do so.

P.S.S. If you know any other ways to monetize websites, let me know in the comment section. We’ll add it to the list and credit you by putting your name under it.

Want to ask a question or leave a comment?

Ask me anything

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
  • Avatar
  • Avatar
  • Avatar
  • +


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Avatar

    Hello, my name is Deborah and I own deborahdevaultweddings.com. I am a Wedding Officiant/Event Planner as well as a DIY Wedding Blogger. I do not have a big following yet, by any means, but am working on building that as we speak. My biggest traffic booster has been through Pinterest , since adding my wedding blogs, and is now at 41k monthly viewers. My question is how do I turn those monthly viewers into website viewers and what is my best plan of attack with regards to monetization? Also, I am not on a self-hosted site and really don’t want to go to WordPress but will if necessary. Any advice??

    1. Avatar

      Hey Deborah, I’m not an expert on Pinterest but there are many guides out there that help you get traffic from the platform, so I would start by reading them and applying their advice.

      I had a look at your website and I think there is a lot of good stuff there but it could also use some improvement. I would avoid using a one-page template and instead divide the information into several pages. I also think you could use a more professional template. Your blog content is also decent but could be presented better.

      Overall, moving over to a self-hosted website and buying a professional theme would make a big difference. You don’t have to get any expensive hosting for the beginning and you already have a domain, so that doesn’t come at extra cost. WordPress is free and you can get a great template for $40.

      As for monetization strategies, I would think ebooks, affiliate marketing for relevant products, maybe some consulting. Besides event planning and officiating of course.

      Hope this helps! Feel free to follow up with more questions.

  2. Avatar

    Hi Nick,
    I am a French Bulldog Breeder with really great puppy whelping skills learned over 11 years of home delivering puppies as well as being hands on, reviving puppies after c-section deliveries. I have been working with the same Veterinarian’s Team and basically they have been mentoring me I am in the process of making a website to offer consultation and step by step instruction beginning with pre-labor care of the Dam (mother) all the way through delivery and beyond. I want to do the consultations and assistance by phone and/or chat that is available on the site . My biggest issue is how to charge . Whether it should be per case or for hourly sessions. I will also be blogging and offering affiliate Whelping products as well as other dog related products I am wondering if writing e-books for sale would be a good idea. Do you have any other ideas that might be helpful?

    1. Avatar

      Hi Colleen, honestly it sounds like you have it all figured out already. Your plan sounds pretty solid and like you can start executing.

      As for your question marks, my advice is to just try it out. Charge some cases per hour, some with a lump sum and you will quickly figure out which makes the most sense for you.

      Same for the e-books. Start blogging, see if there is an interest in the topics you publish and which are most popular and make decisions from there. There are plenty of bloggers who have created their first e-book by combining their most popular blog post and selling them with supplemental material as a PDF.

      Good luck and let me know if you have additional questions.

  3. Avatar


    This a very informative article and I intend to use your tips to grow my blog soon. I created a blog last month and have post a couple of articles till now, but I intent to increase my frequency as much as I can. My question is, how do I build a foundation to earn money at this stage? I understand it’s not possible to earn money so early, but I wanna get started on affiliate marketing and I was also wondering if there are easier ways for a new blog to generate a small revenue. I do not intend to use ads much as I wanna keep my blog looking clean.

    1. Avatar

      Hey Rishabh, all of this really depends on the topic of your blog. You can apply the monetization tactics in this post to all sorts of industries and businesses, however, some will be more suited than others. The easiest way to start earning money is to offer a service like consulting for which you get paid hourly. Only you know if this applies to your situation.

      Aside from that, in the beginning, your focus should be on growing traffic. Nothing you can offer will earn you money if nobody visits your website to see and purchase it. We have an article on that topic if you haven’t seen it yet: https://websitesetup.org/increase-website-traffic/.

  4. Avatar

    Surveys? Google opinions reward and pollfish are great in monetization through making vistitors complete short surveys. It also pays very well!

  5. Avatar

    I have a website and forum that has been online continuously since 2004. I have over 14,000 registered members, 170,000 plus page views pm, 50k unique visitors, 900 subscriber mailing list and am regularly on the first page of Google. I have tried all sorts of things to monetize the site but so far nothing has worked. Got banned from Adsense without any reason or explanation and yet I had done nothing different to the past 7 years I had been signed up so now cannot use that. Have tried Media.net but that brought in nothing. Plus a load of other affiliate networks, all with the same results.

    Signed up to Peerfly following the link on your site but after submitting photo id and going through the whole sign up I then get an email saying they are not accepting new affiliates at the moment! But happy to promote their paid forum subscription service.

    Also registered with BuySellads and Maxbounty but still waiting on their response.

    I am at a loss as to how to make money from the site. Surely there is something to be made from this traffic?

    1. Avatar

      I am part of a forum that offers premium memberships. They are quite cheap and I am currently not sure about what benefits are included, however, they pay for the operating costs of the forum apparently.
      Aside from that, can you maybe bundle the collected knowledge of your forum on different topics into an ebook or something and then sell it? I don’t know what topic you forum is on but it could be a beginner guide aimed at new members or something. Just from the top of my head.

  6. Avatar

    Hi Nick,
    I have a website about life science. I am aiming to build an educational website that provides detailed notes about a topic on different subjects in life science. Any idea how to get an income from the website, any suggestions?

    1. Avatar

      Hey Husna, thanks for your comment! From the top of my head, I would see if there are any books on your topics that you could review and create affiliate links to (for example, via Amazon). You could also think about if there is anything you could consult on or provide services for in exchange for payment. Finally, maybe you could get some advertisement agreements with museums or other institutions in your field? These are the first things I would think of.
      Hope it helps! Let me know if you have more questions.

      1. Avatar

        Hello Husna. You can also start an online course on related topics by yourself and with other teachers. This will take some money to invest, but then the returns are good.

  7. Avatar

    I pay a text based browser game that is in desperate need of recurring revenue (rather than one time donations) in order to maintain updates and maintenance. I don’t think they need to generate a large revenue just steady. The owner of the game is insistent that he does not want it to be pay-to-win and does not want to bog down the site with advertising, which he fears, may drive away dedicated players. The game is business oriented and has been around for over a decade. I know that this is a long shot but I am looking for out of the box ideas. Many dedicated players are offering a one time sizeable donation but the consensus is that this would not necessarily help long-term, which is what we are looking for. The game in question uses strategy to build and manage a virtual company to compete in three month competitions to see who can generate the highest company value by the end of the round. Any suggestions?

    1. Avatar

      Hey Emily, that’s very nice of you that you are trying to help someone else with their business. Here are a few things that came to my mind:

      1. Introduce low-cost memberships for playing the game for recurring income
      2. Alternatively, offer premium memberships where people get something extra that normal players don’t (doesn’t have to be anything that changes the gameplay, maybe content?)
      3. Open up a Patreon account where people can become sponsors
      4. Put targeted advertisement on the site, meaning not something like Google AdSense but find a product that gels well with the audience and negotiate a banner placement with the maker
      5. Maybe it would be possible to open up a pay-to-post job board or something on the site?
      6. Look for companies who would sponsor the competitions, including prizes

      Hope this helps. I’ll come back if I can think of more but this is what came to me from the top of my head.

    1. Avatar

      Hey Elyas, that’s very hard to say without seeing your website. Generally, monetization is all about asking yourself “how can I provide enough value to my audience so that they would be willing to pay me”. If you can answer that question to yourself, you are well on your way. After that, it’s about figuring out the exact method to monetize your traffic.

    1. Avatar

      The best way is to actively reach out to websites. Create blog post ideas that you think would be useful for them and pitch those to them. Build a portfolio with author profiles linking back to your site so that others can find you. This way, you might get inquiries for your services over time.