How Do Websites Make Money

Alexandra Belski Alexandra Belski
Reading time:  8  min.

How can you make money from a website and provide high and stable income? We’ve rounded up some win-win solutions to help you take the first step in digital marketing.

How Websites Earn With Their Own Content

How websites earn with their own content

Actually, there are plenty of ways of website monetization. You can choose one method or try a few of them to find what works better for your blog. Keep reading to know how to ensure the website’s fast growth.

Selling Products and Services

This way of making money is usually called e-commerce: the website aims at selling goods and services online. Visitors purchase a product and make payments to the seller, just like in a traditional offline shop.

Keep in mind that today, there are hundreds of thousands of online stores. It requires finding a unique niche, developing a deliberate strategy, and using valid marketing tools to overtake the competitors.

E-commerce is rising rapidly as a quarter of the Earth’s population prefers to buy online:

How much do websites make this way? The income depends on goods, traffic and conversion. Imagine, you need 100 sales per month to get $5,000 of pure income. Since only 2.86% of the visitors convert into purchasers, you need 286,000 visitors each month to provide the desired revenue. However, conversion and other indicators might vary, subject to the product’s specs.

To start selling, you should pass through several stages:

  • Build a website (pick a hosting, register a domain name, customize the design, etc.).
  • Set up a merchant account to accept payments.
  • Add some top-quality images.
  • Write a killer sales copy.
  • Start and develop promotion.

For a newcomer to ecommerce who has no previous experience in the area, one of the most preferable business models is dropshipping. It lets a person start a fully functioning legal enterprise without creating inventory, running stock, and managing any product-related issues whatsoever. This business owner only needs to launch a trustworthy and easy to operate website fill its product pages with the information provided by these items’ manufacturers, and transfer the order details to the original suppliers when purchases are made. The difference between the initial product cost and its price in the store constitutes the dropshipping profit.

Selling Ebooks and Online Courses

Tons of websites make money online selling digital products – ebooks or courses. The basic principles stay the same as if you sell goods but get rid of storages and shipping. All you need is to develop one product and then sell it repeatedly to your customers. Or, you can create new courses and ebooks constantly and please your fans with novelties.

Since you’re selling info products, the revenue depends on both the product’s quality and quantity, as well as on its popularity. For example, an American writer Hugh C. Howey managed to sell 30,000 copies of his science fiction series in one month that brought him $150K.

You can sell books on other platforms or directly from the website. Note that if you wrote a thriller or a romance, it’s better to use Amazon Kindle. However, if you prefer to sell your ebook through your own platform, it should be focused on a certain narrow topic. Don’t forget to promote your book with the aid of social media and your blog. To know more about creating and promoting online courses and ebooks, read the article Making Money with Ebooks and Courses.

Offering a Premium Subscription

People have always been ready to pay for information. Decades ago, everyone subscribed to newspapers. Nowadays, people look for digital sources to facilitate their lives, that’s why you can easily monetize the content on your website by adding a premium membership feature.

How much money does a website make if it’s offering paid content? It depends on the cost of the subscription and the number of sales.

For example, the website Orchids Made Easy offers membership for just $4.95 per month for those who want to learn how to take care of orchids.

Orchids Made Easy

More wide-spread topics can bring a higher income, for instance, in the software niche, a monthly price can reach $400 and more: the marketing platform Semrush offers a premium membership for $99.95/month for freelancers and in-house marketers and for $399.95/month for agencies and large e-commerce projects.

To implement the idea of a premium subscription, it’s necessary to install a membership plugin and a payment processor, as well as to think of an email marketing service and media hosting. Create top-quality content for both free and paid access and generate it regularly.

In terms of promotion, use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social platforms to market your subscription. Build an email list to send out a newsletter on a regular basis. You can send special newsletters to your current subscribers and motivate them to attract new users.

Making Research

When thinking of how to make money with a website, consider conducting research to be able to answer some of the questions your website visitors might have. Let’s say you own a travel website offering flights and transportation. Airlines seek greater profitability and, very often, they’re ready to sacrifice passenger comfort. Your research can provide detailed information about the level of comfort of a certain airline or flight so your website readers will make more informed decisions.

You can do research on your own or delegate the task to an expert. There are numerous platforms that you can use to find relevant data. For example, 10EQS features experts with business experience, while Appen has a range of search engine evaluators.


Email Marketing

When wondering about how to make money with websites, pay attention to email marketing. It’s a versatile strategy that helps promote any business. If you sell goods, build a chain of newsletters to increase your sales. If your website deals with traveling, use email marketing to drive traffic to advertisers (, TripAdvisor, etc.) and get a commission for each customer. For example, affiliate program offers 4% commission rates. In general, email marketing average Return On Investment (ROI) is $38 for $1 spent.

How to get started?

  • Find an email marketing service provider.
  • Collect your visitor’s emails to create a solid database.
  • Add contacts to your account.
  • Create a welcome letter.
  • Design a branded email template.
  • Create content for newsletters.
  • Test the email by sending it to yourself.

More details are at your disposal in the article “How to Build an Email List for Affiliate Marketing.”

How Do Websites Make Money From Its Traffic

How do websites make money from its traffic

Affiliate Marketing

There’re plenty of affiliate niches to choose from. For example, those who are keen on traveling can find partners in this industry and promote their products on the website.

How does it work? For example, you’ve joined the Travelpayouts affiliate network and got a unique affiliate link since all the transactions should be identified and accurately tracked. This link contains your affiliate ID in order to let the vendor know who exactly generated a sale. As a result, you get a commission for each purchase made through your link.

If you are new to all this, you can find more detail in our post “How does affiliate marketing work?”.

How much money can affiliate programs generate for the website? The participants of the STM Forum provided the following statistics: around 19% of affiliate marketers make $20,000 or less per year, 13% publishers earn $121,000 – $200,000 per year, and only 6% marketers make over $2,000,000 annually.

However, the income will depend on the time that you spend marketing every day. If you’re only going to dedicate a couple of hours a day, your income might not be significant.

Before participating in a certain affiliate program, you should think of your website’s design and its content quality, since many vendors have strict requirements. Here are the basic steps to join affiliate marketing:

  • Pick your niche and an affiliate program.
  • Build a website taking into consideration the program requirements.
  • Sign up for that affiliate program.
  • Create unique and high-quality content.
  • Start optimizing and promoting your website to reach a high ranking in search engines to generate sales.

Where can you find profitable affiliate programs? The list of vendors is updated from year to year that’s why you can research on your own or look through the ready-to-use list in the article “25 Best Affiliate Programs in 2019”.

Be wary of the common mistakes aspiring affiliates make. For example, when choosing a niche, consider your knowledge and interests to not dive into something you don’t understand and even like. Then, don’t only focus on expensive products since they might not feature a good conversion rate. You can find some other great tips here.


When attracting advertisers for the website, you can sell the place for ads or choose a PPC (pay per click) model when you get revenue for each click users make on ad. You can learn about other types of advertising in the post “Ways to turn your website traffic into money.”

Note, that many people use ad blockers, but advertising is still lucrative when combined with other money making techniques. Your income depends on the competition in your industry.

In general, if your average Page CTR (click through rate) is 1%, the average CPC (cost per click) is $0.25, and if you want to earn $10K per year, you need 10,000/0.25 = 40,000 clicks a year (or approximately 110 clicks a day). However, to reach a page CTR of 1%, 100K page views a day are required.

If you need ads for the website and want to compare Google AdSense with other advertising networks, pay attention to other profitable options in the post “Best AdSense Alternatives for Travel Blogs in 2019

Hosting a Job Board

If your web resource has managed to reach the guru status within your industry, you can build a job board and start making money on job placements from companies that look for employees. The average price ranges from $50 to $500 per posting. Your job board can be marketed via social media, SEO strategies and unique content that can help people start their careers.

If your website is new, you can use affiliate programs such as Job2Careers or ZipRecruiter to promote your platform with their listings.

Hosting Webinars

Does your platform feature a high trust flow and authority to engage people to sign up and pay? If so, you can start charging for webinars. For example, if you have a travel blog, teach people how to save money while traveling.

The income depends on the cost of the webinar and the number of attendees. To calculate your revenue, consider the investments that are in the range of $100–$3,000.

To get started, you should choose the right webinar platform and then create a series of free webinars to “heat” your audience for buying a paid one. To succeed, you should enrich your webinar with various pieces of content, including videos, integrated audio, presentations, demonstrations, live polls and other engaging formats.

To get more tips on how to make as much money as possible via webinars, read “An Ultimate Guide on How to Make Webinars.”

Sponsored Articles

This money making method means that you post other bloggers’/entrepreneurs’/companies’ posts and get paid for this service. For example, a sponsor can publish their review, video guideline or tutorial on your website, or simply add their link to the existing content.

If you are a famous influencer within your niche, you’ll be able to attract more sponsors and increase your income, as a result. To make estimated calculations, you can use the formula that Babble offers:

  • Page Views + Social Media Followers / Page Rank X $0.01 / 2

Thus number will be an average price per post that can be reduced if it deals with links or multiplied if talking about a review.

To engage sponsors, you should think of top-notch blogs with well-built domain authority and relevant traffic. It’s highly recommended to increase your social media following. Then, create a page for sponsored content. To market your blog, it would be great to join blogger networks like ValuedVoice or BlogHer to present your website. Find brands that correspond to your audience and send them emails.

You Can Do It Too

Digital marketing is not limited to what’s mentioned in this article. Your opportunities are much wider but these are the basic tactics to get your business off the ground and start earning. The main trick is to choose a set of solutions that resonates with your website and its specificity. Then, it is only a matter of time before money flows in.

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