You might already have a blog or an online presence, and you’re considering to monetize it. There are several proven ways to make a decent amount of money. Many successful sites started out small, and now they’re making millions.

Mega sites with millions of monthly visitors monetize with several revenue models. Mashable, for instance, make money from sponsored contents, affiliates, job posts, ads, and merchandise sales. While having colossal traffic brings in revenue, every monetized page with proper embedded SEO keywords also has the potential to attract more visitors.

This being said, great content entices visitors and the more traffic the site receives, the more revenue you can expect from the monetization.

In this article, we’ll discuss the 8 popular business models for monetizing your site, their tools, and why you should consider them individually.

1. Ads

You can make a decent amount of money depending on the number of visitors and total hits your site receives with Google Adsense and its alternatives, such as (Yahoo/Bing Ad Network), Infolinks, Chitika, Kontera, MadAds Media, ClickSor, Qadabra, Buy Sell Ads, Adclick Media, Adside, and Ayboll.

2. Sponsored Contents

If you run an online publication with regular articles, consider having sponsored contents. They’ll be published just like any other unsponsored regular articles. However, US FTC requires that any post contains paid content should be disclosed. A good-size label in a readable font should say something like this “Sponsored” or “Paid” at the top of the article.

3. Affiliate Commissions

Affiliate links can be sprinkled throughout articles published on your site, or you can dedicate a shopping page solely for products that earn you commissions. However, FTC requires all pages containing affiliate links to be disclosed. Include a disclosure like this, “Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.” (Source: Amy Lynn Andrews). Such disclosure ensures transparency and fair practices.

4. Job Posts

Visitors love scouring job posts and opportunity pages because most people are always looking for new ways to make money. You can install a job post plugin like these 10 for WordPress sites. Or, you can become an Indeed publisher and start earning from running Indeed job posts on your site.

5. Digital Products

A myriad of digital products can be created, so visitors can purchase them per download or become a paid member of the site. You can sell e-books, info products, small apps, plugins, templates, and other intangible products. You can offer per-download or membership option, depending on the type of digital products and the variety of the products. For instance, the world’s largest e-book publisher based in Denmark BookBoon offers per-download purchase and monthly membership. The membership option would work well if you have hundreds or even thousands of products to download and you release new items every month.

6. Affiliate Marketing

Instead of receiving commissions from selling products through your site, you can actually become the business that gives out commissions when products are sold by affiliates. Whatever product or service you sell, when starting an affiliate marketing program, you’d need ad tracking software like Voluum, iDevAffiliate, and LeadDyno.

7. Physical Products

Selling physical products can be quite rewarding. So, whether you create the products by yourself or have them purchased from suppliers, it’s up to you. If the number of orders is still doable manually from home or a warehouse, by all means, fulfill orders conventionally. However, once the orders have started to pour or you started a membership box business, you probably need an automated fulfillment service like ShipMonk and IDS Fulfillment. Instead of yourself or your team, they will fulfill and ship all orders on your behalf.

Drop shipping business model is another model that allows convenience, low startup capital, and flexibility. What is dropshipping? It’s basically a business arrangement in which the dropshipping suppliers will fulfill and ship all products from their warehouse, instead of yours.

You also don’t need to keep any inventory, as you’ll only purchase the products after they have been sold to customers. This model allows for almost zero capital, especially if you use an e-commerce platform like Shopify and a dropshipping management app.

8. SaaS (software as a service)

If you have a knack for programming, consider developing your own SaaS, so people can sign up, subscribe, and pay monthly for using the services. Many successful startups use this business model, which is very scalable from tens to millions of users in a very short time. Many SaaS businesses started out as a hobby or a side business.

In conclusion, monetizing your site can be done in many ways. You can choose one or two primary ways and include other methods as auxiliaries.

About the Author

Jennifer Xue is an award-winning author, columnist, and serial entrepreneur based in Northern California. She is also a digital strategist for Oberlo. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, Fortune, Esquire, Cosmopolitan,, Business2Community, Addicted2Success, Good Men Project, Positively Positive, and others. Her blog is

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