~ The 14 Ways Most Websites Make Money ~
A wand that will make them rich and successful!
I can’t provide a Magic Wand, but I can provide you with perhaps the best low-cost way to get make a significant income online.
What is that, you ask?
Drum roll, please…
An authority website or blog is a popular online place where people go to for information on a particular niche or topic.
When a visitor lands on an authority site they get excited – at last, they have found what they are looking for! [Like we hope you felt when you landed on this webpage]
An authority website is a trusted, reliable source of information.
Our friends at Authority Hacker have the best step-by-step plan for creating an authority website or blog that we know!
I have built and sold several authority websites, the first over 10 years ago!
Selling a website is my favorite way to create a big payday. I have now done it several times and plan to do it again soon.
In the meantime, this article explains authority websites in more detail.
(No 14 is our favorite!)
Of all the ways to make money with a website, this has earned me the most money over the years.
It helps build a solid brand.
It encourages readers to come back to your site.
Website traffic may go up and it may go down, but with an email list and a good offer you are always in business.
Email marketing can make you money in a few different ways, such as email promotions, which deliver free reports that are monetized (have affiliate links in them). I like this method best – and it is where I recommend everyone starts.
Typically, you offer your readers a free report or eBook or access to a video in return for their email address.
This is referred to as a lead magnet.
The important thing here is to offer something of value. Ideally something that people would pay for if it was not FREE.
I see too many bloggers offering low quality lead-magnets – poorly produced and often with information that is out of date.
Don’t be that blogger!
My preferred strategy is a free report or eBook – here is an eBook we did several years ago (a little dated in places now, but still useful information)
I emphasize the need for QUALITY information. A simple word doc with quality information will beat a fancy PDF with rubbish information every time.
QUALITY information combined with QUALITY production is of course the better option.
An inexpensive product that makes that easy is SQRIBBLE
- Choose from 50 eye—grabbing designs across 15 profitable niche categories!
- Each template comes with a table of contents and professional page layouts that convert readers into buyers!
- Sqribble claims to be the only eBook creator you will ever need. [I am inclined to agree]
Recommended Reading: Making Money with Email Marketing and an Autoresponder Series
Fortunately, it is relatively easy to get visitors to subscribe – if you use the right approach.
A few years ago, we added a lightbox popup to IncomeDiary.
Over night, we went from getting 20+ subscribers a day to well over 100 per day!
At the time, most websites hated using popups because of the negative association people have with them. But these popups were different.
Instead of popping up in another browser window, they popup as part of the page you are on.
It was a lot less intrusive. Even better, it wasn’t to promote something spammy, but something of value to the reader.
After seeing the massive results, we created our own software, so that other website owners can experience the same huge gains we have.
Another list building technique you should try is a squeeze page. A squeeze page (also called a landing page) is a dedicated page on your site to getting a visitor to sign up for your mailing list.
Here is our squeeze page for our report on how to turn your blog in to a money making Authority Website.
Another example is our Traffic Domination report!
To collect and manage emails, I recommend you use an email delivery service like Aweber.
Use their service to send messages, create follow up campaigns, split test, etc.
Recommended: 10 Little-Known Email Marketing Tips for Bloggers
Essential tools for anyone who wants to make money online…
Peter Drucker is credited with perhaps the most important quote in business.
Successful online entrepreneurs are constantly measuring their results. What works? What does not work!
If you are not doing that, you will never create a successful business. When it come to measuring your online success there are in our opinion two essential tools you need. One is Google Analytics and the other is SEMRush
SEMRush is our favorite tool for checking how much traffic a website gets. Check out their Traffic Analytics tool – This is the best market competitive research tool on the market, allowing you you to get estimations of any website’s traffic. It is perfect for spotting your rivals’ strength and weaknesses and testing a fresh market or niche. If you are ready to use SEMRush then IncomeDiary readers can take advantage of a 14-Day PRO trial. [instead of the usual 7 day trial]
A hot topic here at IncomeDiary.
We earn around 30% of our income from promoting products as an affiliate.
What this means is we can receive a commission payment is a visitor clicks on an affiliate link.
Don’t be alarmed, we only promote what works for us, not because we will earn a commission. You should adopt the same policy. Never promote anything just because you receive a commission.
It is essential to believe in the products you promote.
Fortunately nearly all products that exist, have an affiliate program.
If you can’t find an affiliate program for a particular product, type product name + affiliate into Google.
For example: [product name] Affiliate. This should bring up an affiliate page, if they have an affiliate program.
In my experience, affiliate marketing works best when paired up with email marketing.[above]
Top marketers consistently agree, year after year, that email marketing is their most important income source.
Combine that with affiliate marketing and you have a winner.
There are so many ways to go about finding a product to promote, it often depends on your industry.
For a fitness blog, you could go to Clickbank, find a product about six pack abs and grab an advertising banner from their resources area and put it up on my website.
You could also do a blog post such as, 7 Best Exercises To Get Six Pack Abs, then at the end, promote the product.
We have a photography blog.
One of the ways we use affiliate marketing is to promote the cameras and accessories that we use.
All of these are available on Amazon.
So we joined the Amazons Associate program and receive a commission every time a customer buys something through our link. We also get a commission on anything else in their shopping-cart which is a nice bonus!
One of the best tips I can give you for maximizing affiliate sales, is to make sure that the products you are promoting, are as targeted as possible to your content.
Most websites have advertising space, it could be on the sidebar, above or below blog posts.
The mistake most website owners make is, always showing the same advert, on all pages.
Using condition marketing, we display different adverts depending on the topic of the page.
This is done by creating conditions for different tags, categories and authors. For example, any blog post with the tag make money online, will show an advert about making money online and any post with the tag drive traffic, will show an advert about the best ways to drive traffic to your site.
This kind of targeting will significantly boost your conversions.
This is something I’m experimenting more and more with and I’m not sure if it’s just me.
Physical products include items like books, toys, clothes and white goods. They make up the bulk of online sales.
Digital products include eBooks, software, online courses, etc. This is what we will focus on in this section.
In the past, the simplest version of creating a product was to create a 30+ page word document about a NICHE or IDEA and turn that DOC into a PDF and sell it. It is still possible to do that, but it is more likely you will create a digital training course (inc videos) these days.
You can find out more about creating a product and selling it online by reading these posts.
Personally I think your first steps would be to ask your audience what they want to know more about and then create a product around that and sell it!
Next time you email your list include a survey of potential product ideas and ask for feedback.
When it comes to selling any product of your own, I recommend using SamCart for your checkout page, upsells and affiliate program. They have a free trial, so make sure to try it out.
At IncomeDiary we make most of our money by selling our own online courses and software, plus other people’s products as an affiliate. But there are lots of different ways to make money online.
It can take a while to work out how to best way for you to make money with your website. Patience is a virtue. If something doesn’t work, try something else. Don’t give up.
The main reason people fail at blogging and website creation isn’t that their idea or website is no good but because they give up too soon.
Something else to consider if you are serious about making it online: Digital Marketing Certification
While I am not a huge fan of this myself, one of the easiest ways to make money from a website is by placing ads on it. Google AdSense is one popular way to get ads appearing on your website fast. But make sure to abide by Googles Rules – you cannot click on the ads that appear in the hope of earning a commission.
We all know what ads look like, but did you know that they function in many different ways such as Pay Per Click, Pay Per 1000 Views or Pay Per Time Frame.
The biggest downside of website adverting, is that most people know what they look like and avoid clicking them.
When selling advertising, you typically have two choices:
1. Find and work with advertisers yourself.
2. Work with a middle man who takes a cut for bringing you advertisers.
It all depends on you…
Is this a business for you or is this just an opportunity to make a bit more money?
I always lean towards finding advertisers myself. In my experience you get paid more, build better partnerships and can do a better job for them.
Advertising sales makes up only a small portion of my earnings but it’s nice to know that money is almost guaranteed to come in each month.
Be warned: Google does not like the practice of buying and selling text links.
People buy text links because Google rank sites better based on quantity and quality of links.
When you link to someone, you are telling search engines that you trust this site and you are giving them some of your authority.
Google likes this to happen organically.
Please don’t you buy/sell links on your site for the purpose of SEO and gaming the search engines. If you do this and get caught, Google will punish you by slapping your site down in the rankings. It is not worth the risk.
BuySellAds is another company that makes it easy to sell advertising space on your website or blog.
Recommended Reading: How to tell how much traffic a website gets.
I know a good number of bloggers who review products on their blogs. It makes for great content and if the product you are reviewing has an affiliate program, can make you can earn money.
You can review anything from software, to bikes, cars, hotels, holidays, food, anything you could think of and it can be tax deductible (I believe) if you buy something to review.
Check this post out about How To Start a Review Blog.
I personally want to review one product a month, it’s not so many that readers will be turned of but enough that it will make up a high proportion of my income. Doing small amount of reviews means you can pick all the best products and don’t have to speak about negative ones.
Occasionally, especially when your blog becomes more popular, you will get sent products free of charge in the hope you will write a positive review. If that happens it is important to declare that you received a free sample. Frankly, your reader may well think that in any case – and I find it best policy to always be transparent in these matters.
Additionally, your review should remain fair and impartial. Don’t make it a glowing positive review – well, not unless it deserves that!