How to Make Money From Your Blog or Content Website

It is the blinkered thinking which is stopping many bloggers and content website owners from realising the commercial potential of their sites. There are actually dozens of ways of making money from a good content website. Here are over 30 ways that I have come across. Please add any others in the comments below.

Advertising

Text Ads – short text ads automatically displayed on a page based on the context of the content. Google AdSense dominates the market.

Display Ads – Banner and button ads displayed at the top or to the side of content

Video Ads – Short video ads embedded into a page. They can be auto-play (annoying!) or be clicked to play. There is usually an example on the Yahoo.com home page

In-Content Ads – Ads that are linked to keywords within articles. Learn more at InLinks.com

Classifieds – User submitted classified ads. Craigslist is the gorilla, but lots of content websites have niche classifieds. Take a look at RockyMountainNews.com

Classifieds

Jobs Board – Paid job listings. A good example is SmashingMagazine Jobs

Pre-roll/post-roll video ads – Short ads at the beginning and end of video clips. Being trialled by YouTube

Paid Reviews – charge companies or individuals to review their book, product or service. Learn more at ReviewMe.com

Pay Per Post – offer to write posts mentioning a product, company or service for a fee. Can be unethical if commercial interest not declared. Learn more at PayPerPost.com

Advertorial – Allow customers to publish their own articles promoting their products or services for a fee. Make sure you clearly mark articles as advertorial to maintain your independence and integrity. Example of Rackspace Advertorial

Sponsorship – Charge for sponsorship for all or part of your website. Usually fixed price agreements for a fixed period of time. Example of a Time article sponsored by FedEx

Directory Listings – create a directory and charge suppliers to be listed, or list every supplier and charge for an enhanced listing. Example of an enhanced directory listing on financial advisors website

Affiliate Marketing

Commissions for Actions – you get paid every time an action is completed e.g. email newsletter sign up, trial sign-up, survey completed, etc. For example you can get paid a commission every time a free copy of the Firefox browser is downloaded. Sign up for a Google AdSense account

Commissions for Sales – you get paid a fixed commission or percentage share of sales value. Learn from Commission Junction

Lead Generation – generate leads on the website and sell them to prospects. Learn from Approved Index

Commission For Events Promotion – promote events in your industry in exchange for a commission on ticket sales. Approach any event organiser

Ecommerce

Digital Product Sales – sell products that can be downloaded over the internet. They can include ebooks, research, software, reports, music, video clips, etc. Go to Clickbank.com to see dozens of downloadable products

Physical Product Sales – stock, sell and ship your own products. For example CannotStopSmoking.com sells electric cigarettes

Dropship Sales – sell products that are stocked and shipped by the manufacturer or wholesaler. To learn more have a read of Wikipedia Dropship entry

Pay Per View – sell one-off access to service. Take a look at The Geological Society for an example
Pay Per Article – sell one-off articles. Example on the RSC Journal website
Auction Sales – auction products or services from your site

Marketplace – match buyers and sellers and facilitate payment.Take a look at EditAvenue.com, a marketplace for editors.

Merchandise – If you have a popular site with a loyal audience you can sell branded merchandise. Try using CafePress.com

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