Home Traffic Monetization How to Make Money from a Website? Let’s See How Hard or Easy It Is

How to Make Money from a Website? Let’s See How Hard or Easy It Is

by Patrick D

Many people want to start websites but wonder how to profit from it. Advertising is the most common answer because publishers can easily earn revenue by placing advertisements for external brands. However, there are many other ways to monetize a website, including subscriptions, donations, selling products, etc. 

This article will explain how to make money from a website in several ways.

What do you need before making money from a website?

Making money online is not something you just jump into, even though it can seem exciting to a newbie. You need to meet several conditions before considering how to get paid from your website. For one, you need a unique domain name to differentiate your own website from the competition. You also need to choose a niche where you can build a significant following and plan a content strategy to help your website rank high on search engines.

Below, we’ll dive deeper into the steps to fulfill before thinking about how to generate money from a website. 

With massive or moderate web traffic, you can increase earnings by placing ad codes from Adsterra. Choose your best format!

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Pick a niche and a target market

A niche refers to the specialized part of the online market that you decide to focus on. For example, you open a cosmetics blog because you want to appeal to people interested in beauty products.

The niche you pick should be something you’re passionate about. This way, you would find it easy to create content in the early stages when you haven’t found a significant audience. You would also find it easier to stick to your site in the long term, as opposed to most websites that shut down after a short period of time.

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Pick a domain

A domain name is a unique address that takes people to your website, e.g., Adsterra.com. It differentiates your site from the competition and plays a big role in your branding. 

A domain name includes a unique word followed by a dot (.) symbol and an extension. .COM is the most popular extension, but many others exist, such as .CO, .NET, .RU, .TV, etc.


You can only register a domain name once, which belongs to you as long as you renew it. If the name you want has already been registered, you will likely need to find another one, unless you want it so much that you contact the owner with an offer. 

Many registrars let you purchase a domain name in a few steps. You can also get a free domain name in some cases.

Implement a content strategy

The content is the most important part of your site, as it’s what will attract visitors. You should devise a content plan for your website. How often will you post a day? How long would the posts be? What type of posts will be prominent on the site?

It’s essential to consider your target audience and what content they’ll be receptive to. Put yourself in their shoes and ask just what you would want to see on a website. Have clear goals on how much traffic you want to achieve and work towards it.

If your strategy involves publishing various posts daily, it can be too much for one person to handle. You can enlist the help of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that writes content according to your instructions. However, ensure you edit the content afterward to sound more human. Search engines punish purely AI-written articles because they are the hallmark of spammers. If you are interested in AI, read how to monetize ChatGPT.

Use search engine optimization (SEO)

Optimizing your content to rank high on search engines like Google and Bing is crucial. Search engines are the number one source of organic traffic; appearing high on them can give you considerable readership.

The main tenet of search engine optimization is including relevant keywords people search for. Also, find ways for other websites to link to your content, which are called backlinks. Likewise, when you write a post, you should insert internal links to other posts that you have published. See our on-page SEO guide for more information.

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How to make money with a website

There are endless options for how to make money with a website. Advertising is the most common strategy, but many others exist. For example, you can sell subscriptions if you have a loyal customer base or accept donations from readers who appreciate your content. You can even sell your own physical and digital products. Below, we’ll list and explain 10 proven strategies for making money from a website.

1. Affiliate marketing

Ease of setup — ⅘

Affiliate marketing involves promoting a product or service to your audience and collecting commissions for each sale you generate. You advertise a product relevant to your website audience, some of whom may buy it. You’ll collect a commission on each sale originating from your website, which can be lucrative if done right.

How does affiliate marketing work?

Cost per acquisition (CPA) is the primary method of affiliate marketing, meaning you get paid for each sale you generate. To start, you’ll need to join a suitable affiliate program that gives you access to potentially lucrative offers. You can get to work once you find a suitable offer to promote.

You’ll insert a trackable affiliate link in your website, which leads to the product or service you’re advertising. The advertiser and affiliate program can monitor every link originating from your website and whether the person bought an item after seeing it on your site. If so, the conversion will be tracked, and you’ll be paid the agreed commission at the due date.

The key is to promote products relevant to your audience because they have the highest chances of leading to a sale.

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Success story: Darren Rowse of ProBlogger

Darren Rowse founded ProBlogger, a website that provides blogging tips and tutorials. Many existing or intending bloggers visit ProBlogger for tips on improving their careers. The website has over 2 million monthly readers.


It’s difficult to find a website with a massive audience of bloggers and writers, so advertisers covet ProBlogger. Rowse advertises blogging and marketing tools on his website and earns lucrative affiliate commissions when people sign up for them. 

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2. Ad network

Ease of setup — 5/5

You can sign up on an ad network and get paid for placing ads on your website. Ad networks simplify the process of selling ad space on your website. The network already has advertisers that you can link up with, avoiding the hassle of direct negotiations. The network collects a percentage of your ad revenue for its service.

How does an ad network work?

You can sign up on a suitable ad network and wait for website approval. If approved, the network gives you access to their inventory of ads you can place on your website. Payment is usually cost per click (CPC) or cost per mille (CPM). 

Ad networks make it easy to set up and place ads on your website. You only need to insert a code on your website to load the ads from an external server.

Success story: Full-Time Blogger on Adsterra

Waseem Afzal, a full-time cricket blogger, makes $100 daily from his blog with Adsterra ads. He successfully turned his favorite hobby into a moneymaker by placing Popunders and Social Bar ads from Adsterra. 

Adsterra gives Waseem Afzal a steady stream of high-quality ads to earn money through his website. He focuses primarily on writing, while Adsterra delivers relevant ads to his audience, constituting a successful partnership.

Adsterra links website publishers to relevant ads that’ll earn them optimal revenue. We give you access to a network of 13,000+ reputable advertisers across many niches

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3. Sell ad space

Ease of setup — 2.5/5

You can make money by selling ad space directly on your website. This method gives you more revenue because no ad network collects a cut of your sales. However, it’s more challenging because you have to court and negotiate directly with advertisers, unlike an ad network, which handles that process for you.

How to sell ad space

There’s no single method of selling ad space directly. You can follow many approaches, such as placing ad space announcements on your website or cold-emailing and calling potential advertisers. You can negotiate flat rates with advertisers or charge them for each click or thousand views. As we said, this method is more challenging but brings more rewards if you play your cards right.

The key to selling advertising space directly is having a media kit that potential advertisers can view on your website. This media kit contains relevant information about your website, such as its traffic level, demographics, and other detailed information. It’s a pitch on what advertisers will gain from working with you. Also, endeavor to provide contact information on your website so advertisers can reach out.

Example of a media kit
Example of a media kit from Studio La Terre
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Success story: Apartment Therapy

Apartment Therapy is a popular home design and decor blog. It teamed up with Home Depot, one of America’s biggest home improvement products retailers, for a native advertising campaign. 

Apartment Therapy created an interactive advertisement in the form of a virtual house design concept people could click around. The virtual home concept tour showed Apartment Therapy’s readers the ideal ways to design homes and sneaked in some ads promoting Home Depot products. This native advertising program was very successful, generating significant sales for Home Depot and thousands of dollars in revenue for Apartment Therapy.

Screenshot of Apartment Therapy
Screenshot of Apartment Therapy
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4. Selling products

Ease of setup — ⅗

You can make money by selling physical and digital products related to your niche. Let’s say you run a baking blog with a large following. You can create your own brand of baking ingredients or utensils and sell them to your audience. You already have a large following that constitutes your potential customers.

How to sell products online

The good news is that creating an online store has become easier than ever. You can use ready-made tools like Shopify and BigCommerce. These tools provide pre-made templates you can edit to create a professional-looking online store. You’ll handle the design aspects while the platform handles the complex backend processes, such as payment processing.

Success story: Into The Gloss

Into The Gloss is a popular beauty and cosmetics blog created by Emily Weiss. She founded the blog in 2010 and began writing beauty tips, makeup tutorials, cosmetic product reviews, and features on industry luminaries.

Screenshot of IntoTheGloss.com.
Screenshot of IntoTheGloss.com

In 2014, Weiss launched Glossier, a brand of makeup products to sell to her audience. Glossier became successful quickly and grew much bigger than the blog it was built upon. Today, Glossier is one of the biggest direct-to-consumer makeup brands, with over $200 million in annual sales.

Source: BuynShip
Source: BuynShip
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5. Selling service

Ease of setup — ⅘ 

You can make significant money by selling a service relevant to your niche. If you already have significant web traffic and following, finding customers to patronize your service should be easy.

This method works similarly to selling products on an online store. The difference is you’re selling your expertise and knowledge instead of physical or digital items.

How to sell your services online

You can place announcements on your website or blog, letting readers know you’re offering services. You can showcase your portfolio to prove to potential customers that you’re good at the service you’re offering. Creating an interactive portfolio site is easy with a website builder like Wix, Google Sites, Weebly, etc.

The key is to identify a unique selling point and latch onto it. Why should customers patronize you and not the numerous other competitors?

Success story: Neil Patel

Neil Patel is an entrepreneur who runs a popular blog about search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing. His blog, NeilPatel.com, has millions of monthly visitors seeking tips about optimizing their websites and digital ads to get conversions. 

Patel offers consulting services to interested individuals and businesses and has worked with top companies like SoFi, CNN, Adobe, Intuit, etc. Patel earns tens of thousands of dollars from his consulting business, funneling customers through this popular blog.

Screenshot of neilpatel.com
Screenshot of neilpatel.com
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6. Sponsored content

Ease of setup — ⅘ 

You can make money by placing sponsored content on your website. If you have significant traffic in your niche, companies will likely contact you about placing sponsored content on your website. You can also be the one reaching out to potential advertisers.

How to set up sponsored content

As we’ve said, you can reach out to potential advertisers or wait for them to come to you. Always place contact information on your website in case any interested advertiser wants to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

The key is to create sponsored content relevant to your audience. Never stray out of your niche, or you’ll annoy visitors. For example, if you run a furniture blog with high traffic, you can team up with a furniture retailer to create sponsored content your audience will appreciate.

It’s advisable always to disclose when another party sponsors a post on your website. This disclosure is a legal requirement in some jurisdictions.

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Success story: Politico

Politico is one of the biggest news sites covering American politics. It averages over 20 million monthly visits, putting it in an elite class among news sites. Politico frequently runs sponsored content for clients like Goldman Sachs, Bayer, Eni, etc. These clients covet Politico’s exclusive audience and are willing to pay top dollar for sponsored content slots.

Screenshot of Politico
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7. Accepting donations

Ease of setup — 5/5

You can accept donations from loyal readers and followers who appreciate your content. This method works if you have a very engaged audience you interact with frequently. It’s not suitable for all types of websites.

How to earn money through website donations

Many payment processors allow you to embed a donate button on your website. Readers can quickly use this donate button to send funds and encourage you to create more content. PayPal is the most commonly used payment gateway for donation buttons. 

Example of a PayPal donation button
Example of a PayPal donation button.
Source: PayPal
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Success story: Wikipedia

Wikipedia is the world’s most popular online encyclopedia, with millions of volunteer contributors. It relies solely on donations to fund its infrastructure and administrative activities. Wikipedia receives millions of dollars annually from loyal readers and some big businesses funding it for goodwill. It’s the biggest success story of a website funded entirely by donations.

Source: Wikipedia
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8. Subscriptions

Ease of setup — ⅘

You can make money from a website by selling subscriptions. You can charge recurring fees for users to access specific content and features. Based on this model, many websites have built successful, long-term businesses, and you can imitate them.

How to sell subscriptions

Many website builders allow you to create member-only pages. You can lock specific content and features behind paywalls, requiring visitors to pay to access them. It’s advisable to use the freemium model: offer some content for free to entice users to pay for the full package. People will hardly subscribe to your website if they can’t first interact with free content to get a hint of what they’re missing.

Success story: The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal is one of the most popular business and economy newspapers in the world. Originally a print paper founded in the 19th century, it successfully pivoted to a digital strategy and has amassed nearly 3 million digital subscribers, giving it hundreds of millions in annual revenue.

Screenshot of WSJ.com
Screenshot of WSJ.com
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9. Sell your website

Ease of setup — ⅗

A layman will say that the easiest way of making money from a website is to sell it. If you’ve built a website with high traffic and a successful monetization strategy, you can sell it to someone who wants to continue maintaining the website while you put your money elsewhere.

How to sell your website

The easiest way to sell your website is by listing it on a website flipping platform. Many such platforms exist, including prominent ones like Flippa, Sedo, Empire Flippers, and Investors Club. You can list your websites on these platforms to find interested buyers. You’ll negotiate the price with the buyer, and the platform takes a cut for its service.

Success story: Electric.Travel

John Ahbury, a serial entrepreneur, founded a website to review electric bikes and related accessories. He grew the website, Electric.Travel, and amassed thousands of monthly page views, earning money primarily from affiliate commissions.

After years of running Electric.Travel, Asbury listed it for sale on Flippa. He received several bids and sold the website for $55,000, not bad for a one-man business. 

Screenshot from Flippa
Screenshot from Flippa
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10.  Premium articles

Ease of setup – ⅘

You can charge people to read premium articles on your website. You’ll provide free articles to attract the viewers and entice them to pay for more in-depth articles. 

Let’s say you have a website where you write about tips & walkthroughs for video games. You can write simple gaming articles anyone can read but charge users a fee to access premium, in-depth guides for different games. This strategy can earn you significant revenue if you play your cards right.

How to make money from premium articles

WordPress and other website-building tools make it easy to add paywalls to specific content. You can lock premium content behind paywalls, making it accessible only to users who pay a fee.

Success story: Tech In Asia

Tech In Asia is a technology news site covering startups in the Asian continent. It provides many free articles but requires a one-time payment to access specific articles. The company has built a sustainable business model wherein the premium content covers the cost of producing free articles to keep users happy.

Screenshot of TechInAsia.com.
Screenshot of TechInAsia.com.
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11.  Referral programs

Ease of setup — ⅘

You can make money from a website by participating in referral programs for external brands. Many online service providers run programs that allow website owners to earn money by referring people for a purchase or sign-up. It’s similar to affiliate marketing, but referral programs don’t always involve product sales. The targeted action could be newsletter signups, survey completions, form fills, app downloads, etc.

How to make money from referral programs

You can sign up for any suitable referral program that fits your target audience. The payment terms will be agreed upon, and you can start promoting referrals to your readers. You can offer perks like unlocking paywalled content to readers who sign up for your referrals.

Ensure the brand you’re referring to is relevant to your target audience or traffic. Otherwise, you won’t get good results.

Success story: The Points Guy

In 2010, Brian Kelly, an American IT recruiter, founded a travel blog to guide people on maximizing their air miles and reward points. The blog – The Points Guy – grew rapidly and Kelly had to hire employees to help him manage it. Unlike most blogs that make money through advertising, The Points Guy focused on referrals to travel agencies and credit card companies offering air miles as rewards for using their service.

Kelly grew The Points Guy into a multi-million dollar business and sold it for over $20 million two years after its founding. 

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Useful tips on how to make money from a website

1. Post content regularly

Posting content and updating your website frequently keeps users attached and maintains web traffic. This means advertisers will want to stick with you and showcase themselves to your audience.

2. You can combine multiple strategies

You do not have to limit yourself to one monetization strategy. You can combine different ones to get optimal results. For example, your website can have ads for free users and an ad-free experience for subscribers. You can also sell services and products while running advertisements.

3. Don’t be too pushy

You don’t have to bombard your readers with advertisements, subscription offers, and the like to make money. Do it healthily, or you risk annoying your users and making them stop visiting your site.

Adsterra helps you monetize your website with high-paying ads from global advertisers. Our Anti-AdBlock feature helps you increase your revenue by up to 35%, and we offer various ad formats for mobile and desktop views.

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How to make money off a website? Summary

There are endless answers for how to make money from a website. Advertising is the most common, and there are several ways to do it. You can also promote affiliate products for a fee, sell subscriptions, sell your own products and services, solicit donations, etc. 

We’ve listed the best ways of monetizing a website and provided tips on what method best fits different types of websites. Follow our guide, and you’ll likely make money from your site effectively.

Making money with a website — FAQs

How much money does a website make?

There’s no accurate answer to how much money a website makes. It depends on various factors, including your traffic, monetization method, type of advertisements and promoted products, etc.

There’s effectively no limit to how much a website can generate. Some make hundreds of dollars, some make thousands, and a select few make millions of dollars from websites and blogs.

Why is monetizing your website worth it?

It takes a lot of effort to develop and maintain a website. You’ll likely want to earn money to reward your efforts and support ongoing efforts to keep your site in shape. Monetization ensures you earn income as a publisher and keep doing what you’re passionate about. With enough revenue, you could even hire more staff to help grow your website.

How much traffic is required to make money on a website?

No specific amount of traffic is required to make money from a website. The trend is that websites with larger traffic make more money, but there’s room to monetize your site and earn income even with relatively small traffic. But note that some ad networks require a minimum amount of traffic for a site to get approved.

How do websites monetize their traffic?

Advertising is the most common way to make money from a website. But there are still many other ways to monetize your web traffic, such as subscriptions, selling physical or digital products, donations, sponsorships, etc.

What kinds of websites make money?

The right answer to this question is that all kinds of websites make money. There’s room to monetize every type of website using various strategies. You can find ad networks catering to all types of websites. Similarly, there are brands willing to advertise to all kinds of niche audiences. The difference is that some monetization strategies are best suited for specific types of websites than others.

How to make money with a website without selling anything?

You can solicit donations from loyal readers to support your website’s operations. To succeed with this model, you must build an engaging relationship with your readers and make them feel valued for their monetary contributions. Wikipedia is the most successful example of a website based on this model.

How to make money with ads on a website?

You can join a suitable platform that gives you access to an inventory of ads to monetize your traffic. You can also negotiate directly with interested advertisers and place their ads on your website. The latter brings more money but is more difficult than signing up for a platform with an existing ad inventory you can tap into. 

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It’s essential for publishers to consider monetizing their websites. Websites take a lot of effort to develop and, hence, should reap enough profit to justify the effort. We have mentioned the eight best ways of monetizing a site and valuable tips to help you do that effectively.

Advertising has remained the most common way to make money off a website. Ad networks make it easy to find advertisers and earn income. And we’re glad to announce that Adsterra is an excellent example of a network with high cost-per-mille rates, friendly support, and regular payouts.

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