Easy Ways to Monetize Your Blog or Website

Acquiring lots of visitors is the hard part.

A blogger takes a photo of a lavishly laid breakfast table using a smartphone camera.

Alexander Spatari / Getty Images 

Organic traffic to a blog or website is earned traffic. Sometimes online coaches and gurus call this “free” traffic, but it’s not free.

It usually comes from a combination of SEO optimized posts that get ranked in the search engines and social media sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. If you’ve built up visitors to your site through these methods, then you know that traffic like this takes a lot of time and effort to develop. You typically must do keyword research, write content that people want to engage in, and promote on social media.

If you have organic earned traffic to your blog and website, it’s important to know how to monetize it so that you can make money from that traffic. Consider these four simple ways to earn money from your website’s traffic.

Google Adsense

For most people this is one of the easiest places to start monetizing web content that is getting even a small amount of traffic. That’s because unlike premium display ad networks, Adsense allows you to display ads on your website even when you only have a few visitors each day.

When you sign up for Adsense and your site is approved, you only need to put a small piece of code on your website and Adsense ads will start displaying. When a visitor clicks on an ad, you will earn a percentage of what that click is worth to Google. This can range from a few cents per click to a few dollars per click, depending on the type of ad and the niche that you are in.

Premium Display Ad Networks

Many years ago, if you wanted to run display ads on your website you either had to run Adsense or negotiate private deals yourself. This has changed in recent years with an explosion of premium ad networks available to website owners and bloggers who have built a significant amount of traffic.

Premium ad networks can pay out higher than Adsense on a revenue per 1000 visitor basis and many of them pay per impression rather than per click. Whether Adsense or a particular network pays higher depends on the site and the niche and is worth testing.

In internet advertising, an “impression” is any time an ad is shown on a website. A “click” is any time a user clicks an ad with a mouse pointer. Obviously, clicks are more valuable than impressions.

Most of the premium ad networks have a minimum traffic requirement. For example, Monumetric has one of the lower traffic requirements of the premium ad networks—requiring a minimum of 10,000 pageviews per month. At this level of traffic you still have to pay a fee of $99 to get Monumetric set up on your site. Once you reach 80,000 pageviews per month then the setup fee is waived.

There are lots of other premium display ad networks to consider, such as Playbuzz, AdPushUp, Mediavine, Media.net, Adblade, and others.

Each ad network has its own set of rules. It’s a good idea to check each company’s requirements and make sure that it’s both a good fit for your website and that your website is in compliance with their particular rules.

Selling Rights to Retarget Your Traffic

This is a relatively new option and allows you to make money from your website or blog traffic with no change to your visitor experience, and even after your visitors have left.

If you’ve ever searched for a product and considered buying it and then noticed advertisements for that product following you around the internet, that’s retargeting. One of the sites you visited placed a tracking cookie in your browser that allowed it (or others) to place follow up ads to entice you to come back and complete the sale.

When you sell the right to retarget your traffic, you put a small piece of code on your website. That code allows other advertisers to bid on retargeting the traffic that comes to your site—then you get paid for that retargeting. The primary provider of this service currently is repixel.co.

This methodology is quite new, and it doesn’t work for every website. But even if you earn your main income from display ads, it’s always good to have additional revenue sources—this is called stacking revenue. And because it doesn’t interfere with visitor experience it can be a good additional revenue stream.

Affiliate Links

There are many ways to promote affiliate products on your website, and many of them require a great deal of skill and marketing savvy. 

However, using affiliate links from Amazon, and other large-scale merchants on products you talk about naturally in your articles, is another great way to stack revenue with display ads.

The easiest solution is to use an affiliate network like Sovrn//Commerce (formerly Viglink) or Skimlinks. Both networks allow you to automate much of the process of building and associating affiliate links with your product recommendations and mentions. They also allow you to access many retail companies from a single portal.

The Bottom Line on Monetizing Your Blog or Website

If you have taken the time and effort to build organic traffic to your website or blog, then you should be making revenue from it. Display ads are one easy way to make money from a blog or website, and you should always consider other options for creating additional revenue as well.