Running a business in the 21st century is a bizarre hodgepodge of age-old wisdom, hard work, luck, and science fiction. Whether you own a diner or a used bookstore, you probably find most days require you to burn the candle at both ends, and what you find beneath that candle’s soft glow is inevitably, the Internet.
Today’s digital and connected way of being is something that undoubtedly affects your day-to-day life — and the day-to-day life of your customers — in increasingly complex ways, which is why companies that don’t even sell their products or services on the World Wide Web have websites.
Instead of lamenting the way things are, why not take advantage of them? Here are some ways you can squeeze a little more cash out of your website, even if you run a traditional brick and mortar business.
1. Bank on Ads
Regardless of how you make your money, if you have a website, you can earn a bit of cash placing ads on it. In fact, if you aren’t concerned about visitor experience at all, you can effectively wallpaper your site so that ads make up the bulk of the user experience.
However, you should be warned: Your average Internet user is beginning to fight back with ad blockers so that today, roughly 200 million people routinely use ad blocking software. Don’t be part of the problem. While it’s true that ads of any kind will help you squeeze a bit more moolah out of your site, better ads will do it a whole lot better.
2. Step up Your Game With Better Ads
Advertisers have always been interested in capturing attention — even just sub-consciously — but if that attention garners a negative association with the brand being advertised or the vehicle of the advertisement, then little has been gained.
To counter that bit of trouble, make money using native ads that fit in more pleasingly with your site’s landscape. From content recommendation widgets that actually recommend content in which the user is interested to advertisements that don’t disrupt the flow of a page, if you want your site to make money off of ads, do it the right way.
3. Be an Affiliate
Affiliate marketing is a great way to earn a little bit of extra money from your website, and if you’re good at it, you can actually earn a lot. Basically, an affiliate marketer promotes someone else’s product or service on his website through a four-step process:
- Choose a product or service that you want to review or promote.
- Sign up for that product or service’s affiliate program.
- Embed the provided link in your content so when people click on it, the merchant knows they were referred to them via your site.
- When someone from your site makes a purchase, you get a commission.
That’s it. Of course, it works best if you only promote products or services you believe in, and ideally, you would only promote products or services that make sense to promote on your website. In other words, if you run a blog about photography, then reviewing cameras, lenses, dark room chemicals, and the like would make a good choice for you as an affiliate marketer, whereas reviewing electric drills would not.
4. Offer a Subscription Service
A subscription service is another great way to squeeze a little more money out of your site provided you have content some users will pay to get their hands on. From secret marketing tutorials to classified recipes, offering VIP content to those willing to go the extra mile to get it can line your pockets and increase demand for more VIP content.
While you need to be careful about how you go about it (such as ensuring that what you’re offering will be deemed worth the cost), if you have a decent amount of traffic, and you can offer more exclusive content, a subscription service can give a very satisfying boost to your site’s income.
5. Promote Your Site
Whether you run a blog that sells an eBook or you design one-of-a-kind aprons to sell on Etsy, one of the best ways to earn a little more money via your website is to promote your site. And it doesn’t have to be elaborate, either. Update your content twice a week. Add a video, and tell everybody on social media about it. Guest blog and link back to your site. Start sending out press releases anytime you launch a new product, win an award, or just have a good idea. The simple act of promoting your site is likely to drive more traffic to it, and some of that traffic will end up making a purchase.
So, earn a little more money from your website. Whether you turn to affiliate marketing, better ads, site promotion or all of the above, a good website can always be doing a little more work.