Don’t Just Build Sites: Monetize Them

Written by Marc on May 4th, 2009

I have been talking to a number of people lately in some Skype rooms I frequent, and for the most part, most of them have at least a site or two.  Their sites cover many topics, and it is great to see that the Internet can provide an outlet for you to express your passion, no matter what it is.

But at the same time, I hear a lot of grumbling from these same people that they really aren’t making any money online.  I know that this can be a challenge for some people, but in the case of these people that I have been talking to, they are all doing something wrong:  they aren’t monetizing their sites.

Now, I suppose that this would be common sense if you were to look in from the outside, but somehow during the time that these people have been building their sites and promoting them, they forgot that in order to make money from their sites, they need some sort of monetization strategy.

Some of the more common monetization strategies are as follows:

  1. Contextual/Banner Ads:  The goal of this monetization strategy is to get people to click on your ads and then you make money.  Some examples of this include Google Adsense, Bidvertiser, Adbrite, etc.
  2. Affiliate products:  By including a link or banner to an affiliate program, you make a commission each time someone buys something through your link.  Some examples of this would include Clickbank, Pepperjam, CJ, eBay Partner Network, and Amazon.
  3. Your Own Product Sales:  If you have a product that you have created (whether physical or digital), you can sell it on your site and make a profit each time someone makes a purchase.  Some examples would be an ebook, course, or video series.

Even though that you need to monetize your site in some fashion to make it profitable, you should still hold the customer experience to be more important than the money making aspect.  What I mean by this statement is that you should make sure that your site still has value for the visitor and is not just a collection of ads with no content.  Even though you want to make money off of each visitor, it makes sense to try and get them to be a repeat visitor so that you will have opportunities to make money from them in the future.

In conclusion, you can’t expect to build websites and automatically make money from them.  You need to remember to monetize your sites through such things as advertising, affiliate products and even your own products to make them a profitable part of your online portfolio.

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