You probably know that website creators are earning an income with digital content, but did you ever wonder HOW do websites make money? Margaret is a physical therapist who moved from the clinic to create an income on her website, Your Therapy Source and Colleen is an occupational therapist that earns money from the OT Toolbox. Over the years, we’ve generated income in many different ways on our websites, and today, we’re telling you about it!
How do Websites Make Money?
In this post, we’re expanding on how we make money on our websites. If you’ve been following along with this website or our online content on YouTube or Instagram, then you’ve seen that Margaret from Your Therapy Source and Colleen from The OT Toolbox have come together and are sharing ways that we make money online on our websites we’ve shared a lot of different ways that we create Digital content to make money on our websites.
As an occupational therapist and a physical therapist, we use our websites to make money in a variety of different ways. Not only that, but we’ve been able to move away from directly serving therapy clients and patients and work full time on our websites.
Over the years, we’ve tried many different strategies and found some that work and others that simply are a bust.
Check out our conversation on Margaret and Colleen’s experiences moving from the clinical space as a physical therapist and occupational therapist who moved to online entrepreneurship selling their knowledge and experiences:
Diversifying Streams of Income on a Website
The nice thing about using a website as a vehicle to make money is that the website is just one asset to a business. By that, I mean that you can use blog content to market products, but you can also recycle that blog content into other avenues of income generation. This strategy is also known as diversifying streams of income.
The various streams of website income can use a single piece of content, whether that be in text or digital format. We can create one piece of digital content and then recycle that material to use it in different places.
For example, as therapy practitioners, we create blog content. That website content then:
- Can be used to create a digital product that the website readers use in their therapy practice.
- Then, we can then sell that digital product on our websites in the from of a related digital product.
- Then, we can then take that digital product and turn it into an e-book and sell it on Amazon, Etsy, TPT sales, or other online marketplaces.
- Next, we can turn that topic or theme into a physical item and sell it on Etsy print it on demand, Amazon, or drop shipping marketplaces. That item sells well to our reader because it’s very relatable.
- Then, we can also use that physical and digital products that we’ve created and write additional blog posts around the topic to direct readers to all of the places they can purchase those relatable materials.
- Finally, we can use the same theme and content to create social media posts that direct readers to the website, but also build a community interested in that particular topic or theme. This can lead to sponsored posts on Instagram or other social media channels.
How Websites Make Money
Let’s get into the specifics. Say you started a website. You’ve purchased a domain, written a few blog posts…Now what?
Websites make money in a variety of ways as we described above. But taking that a step further, there are several streams that generate income on a website or blog.
- Advertising: Websites can sell ad space to companies and earn money based on the number of views or clicks the ads receive.
- Affiliate marketing: Websites can earn commissions by promoting other company’s products or services and receiving a percentage of the sales made through their unique affiliate link. Amazon affiliate marketing is a common way that websites make money, however there are affiliate programs for practically every niche.
- E-commerce: Websites can sell their own digital products or services directly to customers, often through an online store or marketplace.
- Subscription or membership fees: Websites can offer premium content, services, or features that are only available to paying subscribers or members.
- Sponsored content or partnerships: Websites can partner with companies to create sponsored content or collaborate on campaigns in exchange for payment or other benefits. This is a great strategy for professionals with specific experience in a topic.
- Donations: Websites can accept donations from their audience to support their content or mission.
- Summits and Bundle Sales- As website owners, sometimes we collaborate with other website owners in a group sale or a summit related to a specific topic.
The specific method(s) a website uses to make money will depend on its industry, target audience, and business model. Many websites use a combination of these methods to generate revenue.
Website Readers= Ad Revenue
When you’re using a website to make money, the main issue is getting an audience reading your website and visiting your website web. Traffic is the primary source of income for any website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)- The one of the most important ways that most websites gain traffic is through search engine optimization. By that we mean that visitors enter a query into a search engine, and then are presenting with a list of sites that have answers to the question.
The optimal placement for any website is in that first page of listings on Google or Bing or Yahoo, etc. When a website is placed near the top of the list readers are more likely to click on those links to find the answers to their questions.
Getting to that top placement involves a lot of tricky, SEO development and content planning on your website. There is a lot to learn about SEO for website optimization, however, that’s beyond the scope of this particular article. We do cover some aspects of search engine optimization in our course, Digital Product Creation for Professionals.
Social media- Social media is another tool to get an audience in front of your website. We love using graphics that catch the eye of people surfing on social media. Facebook, and Twitter, even LinkedIn have a feed of video, images, and updates. All of those social media posts, in most cases, want you to do something.
When you are a website creator, you want people to come to your website from social media. When readers share, like, and engage with social media post that drives engagement on that post and gets it in front of more readers. The optimal result is that they click over to the link to your website.
In Digital Product Creation for Professionals, we have many social media templates where you can plug in your brand colors, your business name, and any other features related to your business or your products. Then , you can just plug the social media graphics right into your feed.
Make Money on a Website with Ads
Once you start driving traffic to your website, the next step is using that traffic to get paid.
This is done by setting up ads through an ad network like Google AdSense, Mediavine, or Adthrive, and many others. With each of these ad networks, ads are placed on your website that target your website visitors, based on cookies on their computer.
When your reader is on your website, reading a blog post or an article, they are presented with ads that might be something related to something they’ve clicked on in the past or research term that they’ve looked up. Website owners are paid through the ad network for every view or click on the ads.
Affiliate Income on Websites
When you get traffic through social media or through search, and you know that the readers are interested in a specific topic, you can serve the reader further by presenting related products or services.
Many times, these product or service links are an affiliate link, meaning that each time a reader clicks and purchases an item through that link, the website owner is compensated for a small percentage of the sale.
Affiliate marketing is a viable source of income for website owners, especially when done correctly. You’ll want to make sure of a few things:
- Always disclose your affiliate relationship.
- Links should be “no follow” and open in a new window.
- Affiliate links should be related to the topic of the blog post. This is helpful for the reader, and will lead to more sales.
- Affiliate recommendations should be items or services that you actually have tried and recommend to your readers. You want to build authority as a website owner and part of that is authentic recommendations.
E-commerce with digital products
Finally another stream of income for a website to make money is by selling digital products. Margaret and I create and sell digital resources related to what we know as therapists. The nice thing is that you can create digital product based on what you know, your passions, and what interests you. We call this “selling what you know“. When you sell what you are knowledgable in, you have the authority to tell others about it in an authentic manner.
Then, as someone who has the knowledge and ability to write resources, you can can create related e-books or worksheets, handouts, even courses based on the topics in website articles.
What if you don’t have traffic coming to your website. How can you make money?
Both Margaret and myself, Colleen, have shops on our websites which generate income as blog owners. We both have options for other digital content creators to sell their products on our sites as shop vendors, so if your not at the point just yet to make money on your website, this is another option to get your products in front of a wider audience.
If you want to get started with making money online, and need help with creating digital products related to your knowledge as a professional, check out Digital Product Creation.
The cool thing about the digital product creation program is that we help you create the digital product based on what you know. This is a great side income for teachers, therapy providers, counselors, and even a way to earn money online as a student.
Let us know if you have any questions!