There are tons of articles online written about how to monetize a website. However, most of them talk about commonly used methods such as Google Adsense, Amazon Associates Program, and so on.
But, to truly succeed online, you have to go beyond what everyone else is doing.
This article focuses on methods of website monetization that will help you stand apart from the rest so you can effectively transform your website traffic into a reliable source of income. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the 8 unique ways to monetize your website in 2021.
Website Monetization Is Changing
The vast majority of website owners don’t make a consistent income from their sites. That’s because many of them are doing what everyone else is doing, and so they get the same results like most other people.
The people who succeed online are those who employ unique website monetization methods such as the ones we’re going to discuss below.
The reason for this is that website monetization is changing, and it’s changing fast. It’s not like it was back in the early 2000’s where anyone could simply set up their site, add in a few hundred word posts, then add ads. The digital universe has changed a lot more than you might imagine.
To get better results from your monetization efforts, you have to adapt and improve your strategies to keep up with the evolving digital landscape. This is particularly true right now as businesses struggle to survive the negative impacts of the current global pandemic.
Businesses have been affected by everything from reduced affiliate commissions for major retailers like Amazon to Google algorithm updates that caused traffic to dry up overnight for some businesses. There are also instances of people losing money with Google AdSense due to invalid clicks.
These are just a few of the things that have made 2020 such a tough year for most online businesses, and it’s the reason why it’s crucial for you to diversify your revenue sources when planning your blog monetization strategy for 2021.
Ways to Monetize Your Website Better in 2021
Below are 8 unique strategies you can use to monetize your website in the coming year – and beyond.
Used properly, each of these strategies will serve to provide you with a healthy source of income on its own.
But, if you implement a variety of monetization methods on the list, you will have a reliable source of income that will help you thrive and survive even in the most challenging times.
1. Affiliate Marketing Outside of Amazon
Amazon has been a major source of affiliate income for many businesses online. But, since the giant retailer dropped its rates, a lot of businesses have experienced a huge drop in their revenue (some as high as 70%).
Amazon is no longer as lucrative as it once was, which is why it’s time for affiliates to look outside of Amazon to help diversify their income.
Here are a few effective ways to find Amazon alternatives:
Manufacturers’ Websites: Search for, or contact manufacturers of products relevant to your niche to join their affiliate programs or to set up partner accounts.
Niche Affiliate Marketplaces: Find lucrative affiliate programs in your niche by searching <your niche> affiliate programs in Google.
Other Affiliate Networks: ShareASale, Avantlink, and Commission Junction are affiliate programs that deal with digital products and physical products (sometimes both). They are popular networks with tons of high-paying products in different niches.
2. Use an Ad Platform – NOT Adsense
I recently lost thousands of dollars on my site due to invalid clicks on Google AdSense. Unfortunately, my situation is far from unique, and countless other business owners are faced with the same problem.
This experience forced me to look for alternatives to relying on AdSense, and I have since determined that an effective way to fix AdSense invalid clicks is to join an ad network.
An ad network will help you fix this problem quickly and completely. When faced with such issues, the network will handle everything, as opposed to you trying to take Google on by yourself.
There are many ways to implement ads on a website; however, sophisticated configurations that leverage more than a single ad network (AdSense alone) can be tricky, and often involve outsourcing to ad ops professionals. Platforms, like Ezoic, streamline that process and allow sites to do it themselves.
Ezoic, in particular, has a built-in system for detecting invalid click fraud which helps to mitigate your risk in this regard. This is why I choose to use them in this case.
3. Start a YouTube Channel
A YouTube channel is a great way to complement your website monetization efforts and help generate more income.
Video consumption is on the rise. YouTube currently has 2 billion users, and the number continues to grow with each passing year.
Your audience is on YouTube. They are watching videos on the platform, and if you can create high-quality, engaging videos for your business, there’s never been a better time to start a YouTube channel as a way to build a brand and monetize your business.
YouTube allows you to create multiple revenue streams, including:
- YouTube Partner Program
- Paid endorsements
- Selling video rights
And before you shrug this particular monetization tactic off, you should know that starting a YouTube video channel is a lot easier than you think.
Many of the perceived obstacles, such as resources, time, and budget simply aren’t as profound as most people think. There are also plenty of online tools such as thumbnail makers that make creating YouTube content so much easier.
By following a step-by-step guide to starting your own YouTube channel, you’ll soon have a steady stream of income from your video marketing efforts. You can also promote your channel on various social media platforms and for best results on social media marketing use tools like Eclincher, Buffer, etc.
4. Try The Ezoic Video Player
The average viewing time for video content has risen consistently over the past few years. A study shows that in 2019, the average user spent 6.8 hours watching video content online each week.
What’s more, video is indexed in Google Search and attracting video viewers to your site diversifies and expands the size and scope of your audience.
Video results in Google results are dominated by YouTube, but there’s no preference Google is supposed to give those URLs. Sites can tap into the large volume of searchers clicking on video results by self-hosting video via Ezoic. Ezoic will then index these videos in search, just like YouTube.
There is no denying that video is on the rise, but YouTube isn’t the only platform where you can monetize your video content.
Outside of YouTube, you can monetize videos on your website by using Ezoic Video Player to embed videos on your blog pages. This helps to enhance your user metrics, like time spent on page, page views per visit, and so on.
It also allows for better monetization on your blog or website (in addition to the display ads you may already have on your site) by giving you access to pre-roll ads, mid-roll ads, and post-roll ads.
5. Create a Packaged Consulting Service
Another way to monetize your website is to evaluate if you have services you can package for consulting.
Intangible services typically involve business consulting, but it can also mean other services such as personal coaching, public relations, insurance, tax advice, and so on. These types of services are valuable and come with a wealth of benefits, such as the following:
- Consulting can be done over the phone, using email, or written documents, etc.
- Consulting services are easily replicable
- Consulting makes an excellent add-on to existing businesses. For instance, if you had a successful business selling on Etsy, or practicing retail arbitrage, you’d likely be able to sell it as a consulting opportunity to others.
- Consulting allows you to develop skills, nurture your expertise, and position yourself as an expert (which means you can charge a lot of money).
With benefits like these, it’s no surprise that more and more small businesses are using consulting services as a means to diversify their income and generate steady revenue.
Here are the steps to follow to make your consulting work successful:
1. Outline your consulting services
2. Evaluate the market and your audience
3. Choose the consulting services to package
4. Map out your process and determine the deliverables
5. Evaluate costs and time to determine profit
6. Set the pricing for your consulting package
7. Craft your sales copy
8. Design your consulting landing page
This article goes into more detail on the steps to take when packaging your consulting services.
6. Develop a Paid Directory
A directory website is a catalog or online list of websites. It is an organized website listing dedicated to a specific subject or region. Its main purpose is to put together a bunch of websites in a single category to make it easier for users to find what they’re searching for.
Website owners list their businesses in directory websites to increase the visibility of their products or services to a broader audience.
Online directories, particularly those with autosuggestion capabilities and advanced filtering options can help website owners easily connect with their target audience. This makes directory websites excellent ways of generating income.
You can launch various directory websites that target specific niches. Some examples of directory websites you can create include:
- Real Estate Directory Website
- Online Business Directory
- Job Directory Website
- Restaurant/Hotel Directory
- Online Events Portal
You can make money from your directory website in the following ways:
- Charge for listings on your site
- Allow businesses to claim their listings
- Sell ad space to monetize your directory site
- Make individual listings private and charge visitors to view content
- Set up a directory website exclusive to members
- Sell products and services on your directory website
These are just a few of the many different ways you can make money with your directory website.
Depending on the type of site you have, there are additional monetization tactics that you can add, such as getting sponsorships from other websites in your niche, joining affiliate networks to refer customers from listed sites, and so on.
7. Create a Paid-Membership Community
A membership website is any part of your online business where you offer exclusive content and privileges to paying members.
This type of business model is a great source of recurring income. It allows you to leverage your content in time in a powerful way because the content is reusable, you create it only once and then sell it to multiple members for years to come.
An example of a successful membership website is Magnetic Memory Method, a website that offers a fixed term online program that helps people improve their memory.
Or, take card gaming site Solitaired as another example. They offer premium solitaire games, strategy guides and customization features to their subscribing members.
If you really want to get creative, you could even create an online learning membership platform and work with instructors to white-label their courses whereby you have all the rights to market and sell the courses they’ve created.
By creating a premium content or something unique, you can sell a membership service around that and drive recurring revenue.
8. Generate Leads for Other Companies
Lead generation involves attracting the attention of strangers and converting them into prospects with an interest in a company’s product or service. You can use your own blog or website to generate leads for other businesses and get paid for it.
Businesses in every niche are always on the lookout for ways to generate more leads, and if you have the ability to send people through their doors to inquire about their products and services, it’s a great way to monetize your own website.
Just one or two of these strategies is enough to help you monetize your website effectively in the new year.
But, the more monetization methods you can implement on your site, the more diverse your income sources, and the lower the risk of your business being significantly affected by changing market conditions.
Over to you. Which of the website monetization methods outlined above appeal to you the most? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Ron Stefanski is an online entrepreneur and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online business. He spent 8+ years in the corporate marketing space until he became self-employed in 2014. He teaches internet marketing and business courses at three different colleges and owns a media company that consists of a portfolio of websites. You can learn more from him by visiting OneHourProfessor.com.