How do websites make money? [ 7 different methods]

In this post, I’ll answer the question “how do websites make money?”.

There are a lot more ways than are shown in this post but it might inspire you to try one of these methods or find new ones.

The methods I’ll talk about are:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Selling advertising space
  • Selling products
  • Online courses
  • Email Marketing
  • Membership websites
  • Selling services

So here are…

7 methods to make money from websites

Method #1: Promoting Affiliate products

How do you make money from your website by doing affiliate marketing?
In affiliate marketing, you make an arrangement with companies to promote their products in exchange for a commission for every sale that’s made based on your recommendation.

Where do you start when it comes to affiliate marketing

  • Create a “platform” (Website, social media account, YouTube channel) with a lot of traffic.
  • Find companies with affiliate programs
  • Put links received from the companies in the content of your platform so they can track your referrals

Finding companies with affiliate programs
Nowadays there are a lot of companies that have an affiliate program. You can promote products reaching from simple books on Amazon to actual products from Tesla.

Most companies don’t have this enormous banner on their website saying they have an affiliate program so you’re going to have to do a little research.

Luckily Google can do most of the research for you. If you know your niche then it’s as easy as typing in the Google search bar “Affiliate Program + Niche ” and Google will provide you with a list of companies that have affiliate programs.

Methods of promoting affiliate offers
You can promote affiliate products with the help of:

  • Ranking blog posts
    Blogs on which you create content that targets people interested in the affiliate products you promote. Most affiliate marketing blogs review products similar to their affiliate offers and attract leads that way.
  • Social Media Marketing
    Social Media Platforms such as Instagram and YouTube are popular because of the audience you can build and promote.
  • Advertising
    Paying websites and platforms to get exposure and direct leads to capture pages where you can get their information.

These are only a few examples of many when it comes to promoting affiliate offers.

How much money can I expect to make?
I can’t give a specific answer the only thing I can say is most affiliate products offer a commission that ranges from 10% to even 40%.

Some of these affiliate programs also give a monthly recurring commission based on every sale you made.

Creating a monthly income stream ranging from 4-5 figures is absolutely possible by doing affiliate marketing.

Method #2 Selling advertising space

How do you make money from selling advertising space on your website?
To sell something you need the attention of the market so that they know you exist. If you have a website that has a lot of traffic going through it on a daily basis companies are willing to part with their money in exchange for the exposure they might get if they place their ads on your website.

Where do you start when it comes to selling advertising space?

  • Create a website
  • Have traffic run through the website on a consistent basis
  • Find and join advertising networks
  • Add code received when joining on your website so they can track traffic that you directed to them.

A bit more about finding advertising networks
Just like with affiliate marketing there are special programs you can go to Google and type in “Top Advertising networks” to find websites that can help you with earning money from your website.

How much money can I expect to make?
How much money you make is based on how much traffic goes to your website and how many people click, view, or make a purchase through your ads.

This makes it hard to make a general estimation but based on the following two forms of selling ad space in combination with your own analytics you might be able to get some insight into your possible earnings.

  • CPM Pay-per-impression
    With CPM you get paid for generating impressions for companies. In most instances, you get paid for every thousand impressions. There are industries in which they pay between $1-$6 for every thousand impressions.
  • PPC Pay-Per-Click
    With PPC you get paid based on how many clicks banners get that are placed on your website. You make a few cents per click depending on your niche, but if you have a lot of traffic it can certainly add up.

It’s possible to make some money with this but I personally don’t think it’s as potent as the other methods on this list.

Method #3 Selling products on your website

How do you make money from selling products on your website?
Selling products is the most straightforward way to make money with a website. You create or get a product, you market it, and sell it on your website.

Where do I start when it comes to selling products from my website?

  • Do some research to find out if your product is wanted.
  • Create the product
  • Make a website on which you have the products
  • Direct leads to your sales pages.

There are a lot of e-commerce platforms you can join to help you with creating a website and promoting it or if you are digitally savvy you can create your own website on which you can sell products.

Examples of websites that help with these kinds of things are:

  • Shopify
  • Bigcommerce
  • Volusion
  • Big Cartel
  • and there are others.

How much money can I expect to make?

This is one of the few methods out there of which I can confidently say depending on your niche and marketing can create a 5 figure monthly income. It’s not going to be easy and it will take some time but it’s definitely possible.

Method #4 Selling online courses from your website

How do you make money from selling online courses?
You put your knowledge online for people to learn from in exchange for money

Where do you start when it comes to selling online courses?

You should always start with the content.

  • Pick a subject
  • Start by doing some research about the subject
  • Make a simple outline in which you split all your knowledge up into modules
  • Fill the modules in with bullet points about the content
  • Write everything out
  • Film all the modules ( If you’re going with video)
  • Edit the fluff out
  • Put the course online

Putting the course online
The easiest way is to find a platform that helps with putting out online courses. A few examples of websites that help with this are Teachable and Udemy.

Technically the online course won’t be on your own website with these methods but you can direct website visitors to them from your website. Teachable and Udemy simplify the technical parts of making an online course but they also have a downside. Let’s take a quick look at both.

Udemy makes it very easy to create an online course. You don’t even need to market it because they have their own audience to who they offer your course. A downside to this is that you don’t have access to their list of people which makes it hard to make a profit by upselling your customers.

Teachable also facilitates you with all the technical things that are needed when creating an online course. The downside to teachable is that you need to promote your online course yourself but because you have to market it yourself you have full access to your list of clients which makes it possible to sell more products to them.

How much money can I expect from selling online courses?
You can make a lot of money depending on the quality of your course. I’ve seen online courses reaching from $20 – $2000. If your audience is big enough you can easily expect to make a figure salary.

Method #5 Email Marketing

How do you make money with your website using email marketing?
With email marketing, you use your website to capture emails of people interested in products you might offer. Through email, you can create a relationship with your email list by consistently providing value and when the trust is there you can offer them products.

Where do you start when it comes to making money with email marketing?
You start by creating a landing page to capture emails. People don’t easily give out their email nowadays so what you do is create what we call a lead magnet in exchange for their email address. The main characteristic for your lead magnet is that it’s desirable enough that people would want to give their email address. It can be an ebook, an online course, a coupon it doesn’t really matter. After capturing emails it’s all about sending high-value emails to your list.

If you’re really successful with capturing leads writing to all of them individually will take up too much time. In these instances having an autoresponder comes in handy. Services that provide autoresponders are MailChimp and Aweber.

How much money can I expect to earn from doing email marketing?
I’ve seen people make millions from using email marketing. I’m not saying everybody that gets into email marketing becomes a millionaire but there’s a lot of money in it if you do it correctly.

Method #6 Membership websites

How do you make money with a member site?
Owners of member sites make money by giving access to their website in exchange for money.

Where do you start when it comes to making money from a member site?
There are two things you have to keep in mind when creating a membership website community and content. These are the main things people sign up for.

What to do:

  • Start making valuable content.
  • Create a website to put the content on.
  • Download an adequate membership plugin to turn your website into an actual membership website on which they can login to get access to the content you created.

Some plugins to choose from are:

  • Memberpress
  • Learndash
  • Restrict content pro
  • and there are many more.

How much money can you expect to make with a membership site?
The cool thing about it is that you can set your own price for access to your website. If you can convince people that the content on your website is worth it, it is you who can name any price seem fit. I think you know the upper limit when it comes to how much you can make when you look at websites like Facebook but it’s all dependent on how much traffic you can generate.

Method #7 Selling your service on websites

How do you make money selling your services on a website?
Use your website as a communication tool for people that are willing to pay for a service you provide.

Where do you start when it comes to selling services on a website?

  • The first thing is probably obvious but you have to have a service you can provide.
  • Have a portfolio of your work on your website for potential clients to see.
  • Gather testimonials and put them on your website to increase credibility.
  • Have a page with your contact information so people can contact you when they’re interested in hiring you.

How much money can you expect from selling services on a website?
It varies depending on your craft and the level on what you can perform your craft but undoubted people have become millionaires by selling their services.

To make all these methods work you need to be able to market your website

You can have the most technologically advanced website with insanely practical content but it won’t matter if nobody knows it exists. Attention is vital. There are a lot of people that make money just because they have a platform with a lot of eyes on it. That fact alone shows how valuable a platform is that can generate traffic.

You need to be able market your website so it gets exposed to the world.

You can do this by

  • creating an audience
  • consistently drive high targeted traffic to it.

Both of these options can be achieved by either investing time by doing content marketing or money to pay for advertising. To find out which one is perfect for the platform you want to create is something for you to decide.

I hope this answered the question “how do websites make money?” and everything around it.

If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comment section and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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About Rogier

I’m an Affiliate Marketing and SEO veteran, Blogger, and Pinterest Marketer based in The Netherlands. On this website, I share my learnings about online entrepreneurship, and digital resources while enjoying life to the fullest.

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