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For most people, the first things that come to mind when they think of making money from a website are advertising and online stores. However, these techniques do not work for every site. That’s why it’s good to know how to make money on your website without ads or products.
How To Make Money On A Website
Fortunately, there are many more strategies you can use to make a living online. No matter what type of site you have, you can find a method that best suits your brand to maximize your revenue potential.
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In this post, we’ll talk about why ads or products might not be the best revenue source for your site.
There is no denying that it is possible to make money on your website with ads and products. Many successful online stores, blogs and other sites have proven this. However, they are not the best sources of income for every website.
For starters, ads are an inefficient way to monetize your site. To make anything close to a substantial amount of money, you need a huge following for your site. Ironically, ads can prevent you from gaining followers.
Ads can distract from your content and lead users away from your site, potentially harming your own conversion rate. They also lower the design quality of your site, and make you seem less reputable. Without trust, you will have a hard time maintaining an audience.
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Products present a different set of challenges. The biggest problem is that you need a hefty chunk of change to start with. You have to invest in creating your product before you can actually make money from it.
What’s more, you may not have the money to get started, especially if your site is very new. This assumes that you already have a unique idea for a product that your users actually want to buy. The process of selling products is long and potentially costly.
If you don’t have the money to start a product line and don’t want to risk the negative impact advertising can have on your conversion rate, there are still ways you can make money online. The key is to find the one that best suits your site and users.
Online communities are undeniably valuable. However, there is something about personal collecting that appeals to many people. Holding personal events related to your site and charging people for admission can help bring in some revenue.
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How extensive your event should be will depend on how many people you think will attend. It can be a large conference or as small as a local meeting. Either way, it’s important to consider how much you think people are willing to pay to get in.
You also need to take into account the cost of a location, food and all other necessities. If you don’t think you can cover the costs of the event and make a profit, this method may not be for you.
Typically, hosting an in-person event will work best if you already have a large online community. People who are truly dedicated to your site and its other users are more likely to make an effort to attend, and more likely to be willing to pay for it.
Take WordCamps for example. Although these events are not for profit, the number of people involved shows how engaged the WordPress community is, and their desire to interact face-to-face and not just through a screen:
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For some, hosting a large event may seem difficult. If youare able to pull it off, you will hopefully take home a profit while also providing an opportunity for your site users to engage with each other.
If you have the design and development skills, you can get into the business of ‘flipping’ websites. The process involves buying sites, making improvements to them, and then selling them again for a profit.
While it may seem strange to sell something you’ve put so much effort into, a site with a fairly large following can sell for thousands of dollars. If your site has a decent number of regular users and you no longer want to maintain it, selling is not a bad option.
If youare not ready to part with your own site, you can always buy and reverse pages on the site. Online marketplaces like Website Broker and Flippa are popular places to find cheap sites to buy and improve, then resell later:
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This method is easiest if you already have some design and development skills. If you are a professional developer who wants to expand your portfolio and your income, flipping pages can be an efficient way to do it.
Accepting donations from users can be a simple way to bring in the money needed to run your site. If you put out quality content, you may be surprised by the number of people willing to chip in and help you keep your site online.
This method works best for sites related to charities or other good causes. While there are blogs that run on donations, it is easiest to convince users to provide funds if your site matches their values.
Take the Humane Society of the United States, for example. They have multiple call-to-action (CTA) buttons on their site that invite users to donate, and pair them with high-quality images of animals to get users’ attention:
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If you have a non-profit, adding donation options to your site is a must. You can also try it if you provide free content such as blog posts. Although it probably won’t be regular or substantial, you can still bring in some money from appreciative readers.
Creating paid content can be one of the easiest ways to make money on your website. Often you don’t have to put in much extra work. You just keep creating blog posts, online classes, or whatever content you specialize in and charge to access some of it.
The only tricky part is creating the right balance between free and paid content. Offering too much content for free can make users feel like they don’t need the content you’re paying for. On the other hand, charging for too much content can turn visitors away.
For this reason, paid content or memberships work best for sites that already have an established following. If your users already know that your content is worth paying for, they are more likely to be willing to do so.
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Additionally, educational sites that offer online courses or webinars can often use this method effectively. You can provide introductory courses for free, and then charge for intermediate and advanced courses. Codecademy is a successful example:
They offer many free courses, knowing that students who want to learn more will pay for memberships and advanced courses later. Codecademy is now a go-to platform for many people looking to learn to code for the first time.
Having multiple income streams is a smart move. If there’s ever a slow period for your blog, for example, your influencer deals on Instagram might cover you until things pick up again. Cross-promotion of your content can help you earn more on all your platforms.
No matter what kind of site you have or what your area of expertise is, you can create more and a wider variety of content by exploring multiple mediums. For example, if you have a fitness blog, you can also create workout videos on YouTube and host a podcast where you interview athletes.
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While self-promotion can feel a little awkward at first, cross-promotion is an excellent way to build your brand and authority in your industry. Check out BobWP for example:
Bob Dunn runs an informative WooCommerce blog, as well as a podcast. He receives sponsorships for both, and uses each platform to promote the other. By driving traffic from his podcast to his blog and vice versa, he makes the most of both sources of income.
Ads and products are usually the go-to methods of making money with a website. However, these strategies are not always the best. Ads can cause your users to lose trust in your site, and products require upfront investment that you may not have.
Do you have questions about how to monetize your website without ads or products? Let us know in the comment section below!
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