Hey, good for you. You put up a website to sell your goods, market your services or promote your cause. Welcome to the neighborhood. It’s fun.
However, if you rely solely on making direct sales and signing up new buyers, clients and adherents, well, you’re not taking full advantage of that little piece of digital real estate you now own. The fact is, there are lots of other ways to make money with your website.
Here are just a few:
You see the ubiquitous blue cube skyscrapers on every search engine result page (SERP) and on lots of websites. You can add these cubes to your site, as well, and collect every time a site visitor clicks or view that.
Adsense places contextual ads on your site automatically. You determine where these ad blocks appear, when they appear and even which advertisers can appear on your site. (No competitors, please). You won’t get rich, put Adsense can easily cover your monthly hosting costs and maybe even buy a dinner for you and your spouse each month.
Create a nav tab called Our Trusted Friends and create an affiliates’ page advertising companies that pay each time a site visitor clicks from your site to theirs and performs the most desired action, called the MDA.
Choose affiliates that appeal to your target market. If you’re selling baby clothes, a link to a car tire chain won’t help you with affiliate income. It’ll also annoy search engine bots who recognize an inappropriate link. All affiliates should be related to the topicality of your site and should be able to further visitor searches. That’s what search engines look for in affiliates.
Consider contacting small companies that don’t have an affiliate program, talking to their marketing director and creating an affiliate program. Trade shows are great places to find these small companies, and you’re the only site selling their products. Cool.
You can also add a tag to your affiliates page and Google won’t spider that page. Find affiliate companies at Commission Junction. It’s easy.
Some solid businesses have finally recognized the value of paid, online advertising, and while traditional print and electronic ad revenues are in decline, W3 ad revenues have grown 15% to date in’09 according to the pros.
Contact companies that sell products that have pull with your demographic. If you’re selling hearing health services, chances are you’re after the 50+ crowd in the sales arc of purchasing a hearing aid. Companies like Oticon, ReSound, Beltone and other hearing aid makers would love a banner above the fold, or an image of their latest hearing device on your home page or contact page.
And they’ll pay for it! Another way to earn passive income and help site visitors learn more about the products you sell. Whoa, a win-win situation.
Success coaches, life coaches, stock pickers and other experts earn their dough on their credibility. That’s what makes them “masterminds,” and worth paying $1,000 for a webinar. These experts often pay to place their articles on well-trafficked websites – hey, like yours!
Expand service and product offerings
What else would a buyer of your products or services want? If you’re a local insurance agent with a small site, hook up with a law firm that can draw up wills, insurance agreements, identify risk and so on.
You refer clients through your website and collect a flat fee or a percentage simply by directing site visitors to your friend down the street. Make use of every pixel.
Selling customized racing bikes? Got helmets, spandex by the pound, water bottles and all those other accessories? These simple add-ons expand your presence, create more doorways to your site and, if a visitor doesn’t buy a bike, she might buy a helmet. The more related products listed on your site, the more selling opps you have.
An e-book download
If you aren’t a writer, hire one. Upwork is a good place to start. The book should provide detailed, utile information and it doesn’t have to be 250 pages long. Would you print out 250 pages? Keep it short, on-point and sell it for less than $9.95. People don’t think about spending 10 bucks so you’ll see more sales.
Special note: Let site visitors download the first chapter free. That’s the bait.
Selling subscriptions online is tough. Most of us can find the same information free. But, if you’re a genius day trader with tips and picks, you can charge a lot for a short subscription.
Subscribers must recognize the value of the information you provide but if it makes them better at what they do, or if it generates increased revenue, your newsletter, delivered via e-mail every other week, could really boost site revenues.
Host a webinar
A realtor in the U.S. put together a Power Point presentation and advertised on one mortgage-lending site for 30 days. He got 160 people to sign up at $100 apiece for a webinar on making home sales. This realtor, after expenses, cleared $14K in an hour. You can, too.
No one of these revenue generating opportunities will necessarily make you rich (though they can), but they will add to the cash generated by your site, improve your margins and help visitors find what they’re looking for.
And isn’t that a good thing for all of us? You bet it is. So take advantage of every pixel. Squeeze your site for every extra penny you can generate.
After all, that’s why you built the site, isn’t it?