How to make money from your website

James McMath

6 Jun 2017

Updated: 19 Nov 2023

If you have a blog, or even just a prominent social media presence, it is possible for you to make money from your website. In the age of digital marketing, monetising your online activity is an increasingly viable option.

At Profit Accumulator, our aim is to help you generate extra income.

There are multiple methods of making money from a website. The best one for you will depend on several factors, including:

  • Your platform - blog, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc
  • The topic your content will cover
  • The amount of traffic you generate, followers or likes you have
  • Your skills and experience
  • The amount of time you spend on your site

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to making money from a website. Basically, you get paid for referring customers to a partner.

For example, if you review a product at John Lewis and a user then goes on to make a purchase at that shop online, you receive a percentage of the sale.

The beauty of affiliate marketing is that it is a highly adaptable way of monetising websites - because so many brands have affiliate programmes, you can write about tops that are relevant to your site, whether that's baby products, holidays, car insurance. Even Profit Accumulator has an affiliate programme.

Your referrals are usually tracked using a unique code in the links on your site, or via cookies. The tracking links can be used anywhere, meaning you can promote from Twitter, Facebook or via email - you don't necessarily need a website or blog.

You can approach brands directly or use an affiliate marketing network such as Awin - a service that groups hundreds of affiliate programmes and makes it easy to apply to become a partner.

An alternative to Awin is TradeTracker. It also has hundreds of different brands in one place, so if you are a publisher (ie, you have a website, blog or social media page, you can apply to advertise, get banners and tracking links and earn commission for your referrals).

Example of an affiliate site

You have probably visited an affiliate site in the past but might not even realise it. Most comparison and comparison sites have affiliate arrangement with major brands.

If you look closely at the URLs on HotUKDeals, for example, you will see a number, which lets the retailer know where the customer has clicked through from.

Drawbacks of affiliate marketing

The problem with making money from affiliate marketing is it relies on users actually buying a product or signing up for a service. Convincing people to part with their money is not easy - hence why big brands spend millions on their own marketing channels.

So how do you make money from affiliate marketing? Well, having a lot of traffic helps. It figures that the more visitors you have to your site, the more chance you have of one of them forking out some cash.

But big numbers aren't the be all and end all. If your content is niche and there are not too many competitors, you might be able to earn a decent amount with fairly modest levels of traffic.

Another thing to be aware of is that you are essentially advertising products, so you are bound by certain rules. Brands will usually specify the terms and conditions about what you can and can't do to promote their products and services.

This is particularly acute when it comes to the gambling industry. Bookmakers rely heavily on their affiliate networks and take great care to make sure their partners are compliant with the strict regulations around the promotion of betting.

Make money from Google Ads

Many bloggers chose to use Google Adsense as a way of making money from websites. One of the main reasons for this is because it's so easy.

It basically involves placing some code on your website, where an advert will appear. It's also a good option for vloggers using YouTube, where ads can appear before or overlaid on videos.

The exact content of the advert will be determined by Google and will be different for different users or at different time.

You earn money depending on either how many people see the ad on your page (CRM) or how many people click on the ad (click-through).

Advertisers bid for advertising space (using AdWords) and you get a share of the money - with Google getting most of it.

How much can be made from Google Adsense?

The amount you can make from each ad varies widely, depending on the value of the ad - as brands bid for advertisings space there is no set value.

On Adsense Revenue, Google says these are the following factors

  • The type of ads appearing on your pages: By displaying ads with AdSense for content, you can display ads that are paid when users click them or when users view them. All ads compete in an ad auction, and our system automatically picks advertisers who are willing to pay the most while ensuring a good user experience.
  • The pricing of ads appearing on your pages: Not all ads are priced the same, so factors such as changing advertiser budgets, your specific content and the ads your users choose to click will cause your earnings to vary even from day to day.
  • How many AdSense products you use: You can earn from AdSense in many different ways – by displaying ads on your web pages, by providing search to your users, by displaying ads in feeds, and more. Using more AdSense products will increase your potential earnings.

Large amounts of traffic will help - especially with CRM campaigns where advertisers pay a set fee per 1,000 impressions. Much like with affiliate marketing, for CTR campaigns, highly relevant content is best - so the people who visit your site are those who are most likely to click on an ad.

Sponsored content

Another way of making money from your website is by publishing sponsored content. If you have a well-established blog, you might already have been approached by brands or agencies asking to publish their content on your site.

One of the main motivations for this is for them to secure good-quality links back to their own pages, to help with their search engine optimisation.

If your site has a strong domain authority - ie, is well-respected in the eyes of Google, then you could make a good amount from sponsored posts.

Proceed with caution

How much you charge is very much up to you. The two main factors should be how authoritative your website is and how much time you will need to spend on the work - will you write it or will it be submitted.

Be careful about placing too much sponsored content on your site as this may have an adverse affect on your own raking. It's also best to ensure that any content is relevant to your site, for the same reason.

Ranking high on Google

As long as you have traffic coming to your site, you can monetise it. The trick is getting that traffic.

The most effective method of generating traffic is with search engine optimisation (SEO). This helps your site and pages rank high on Google when users search for specific words. SEO is effective because it generates organic traffic - people who are searching for something and find it on your site.

This is often more attractive than paid advertising or even social media promotion because you are more likely to attract traffic that is genuinely interested in your offering.

The best SEO tools

Because of its potential value, SEO is big business and there are hundreds of tools out there you can use to help. Most will analyse your site and some will even suggest ways you can improve. Some are free, while some cost money.

One of the the best SEO tools is SEMRush. This is a paid-for service but it is well worth the money. SEM Rush lets you enter keywords and monitors how your site ranks in Google for each one.

It also shows the overall visibility of your site and has features including site health audit and content suggestions.

Sell - or 'flip' - your site

If your site is doing really well, you might be able to sell it for a profit. Bigger brands will often look to buy out competitors - or even sites that rank highly for the key search terms they are interested in.

Even having a desirable URL might be enough to attract a buyer. There are plenty of tools to help calculate the value of your site, such as Worth of Web.

The value of your site will depend on many factors, including:

  • The type and quality of content
  • The amount of traffic it attracts
  • The keywords it ranks for
  • The domain name
  • The domain authority
  • The age of the domain

If you're interested in listing your site for sale, check out Acquisition Station.