Monetization Methods
Featured articles, Monetization

9 Different Monetization Methods You Can Use To Make Money Online

If you want to build a successful digital business, the path you take may not always be straightforward and to the point. If you’re still on the fence and aren’t sure exactly which model to pursue, we can help by laying out some of the more popular options in front of you.

The main goal with any business is to help people in some way.

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When you take a look at 9 of the different monetization methods you can use to make money online, and then figure out how you can use each one to help the people that will be coming to your site, your path to earning a livable income and building a successful business is substantially shorter.

Method #1 - Affiliate Marketing

One of the most prominent, and common business models beginners will follow is the affiliate marketing model.

If you’re not familiar with affiliate marketing, the model allows you to make money by promoting other people’s products and services. Think of yourself as a digital salesman, collecting a commission every time you recommend a product or service to someone and they make a purchase.

Many affiliates get started with Amazon’s Associates program because there are so many different products available to recommend, and nearly every niche under the sun has been covered on Amazon’s platform.

Read this amazing article on Increasing Amazon Affiliate Earnings by BrandBuilders on their blog!​

Getting started with affiliate marketing is one of the most common business models beginners follow because of how easy it is to get started. All you need to start making money as an affiliate is a website (typically a blog) and some content that your readers want to see.

affiliate marketing puzzle

Amazon’s Associates program isn’t the only platform available to affiliates. Nearly every product that is being sold on the internet right now could be opened to affiliates, giving them the opportunity to make money.

Some other popular networks are ShareASale, CommissionJunction, Clickbank, and JVZoo. Depending on the type of products you want to promote, you can usually find a network that will have offers you’re able to sign up for and start making money.

When you’ve built a successful affiliate marketing website, you can also find investors that are looking to grow their own portfolio who are willing to purchase the website from you. Selling earning websites gives you a nice influx of cash and allows you to free up your time to work on other projects.

This gives you a couple different options for the long-term growth of your affiliate marketing business, depending on whether you prefer to keep growing the sites you already own, or prefer to have large lump sums of cash infused into your business.

Method #2 - eCommerce

Another model that many people are following, especially with the growth of the Fulfillment by Amazon program, is the eCommerce business model. It’s also a natural progression for many affiliate marketers because of the method many people use to build their affiliate marketing business.

Read this amazing article on Fulfillment by Amazon program by BrandBuilders on their blog!​

For instance, if you’ve built a website that has been promoting physical products through Amazon’s Associates program, it would only be natural for you to find a manufacturer and start sourcing the products yourself to sell on the site.

Then, you could set up a shopping cart and a storefront and allow people to purchase the products directly from you. Depending on what you’ve paid for the original products through the manufacturer that you’ve found, your profit margins should increase.

Shopping cart with cardboard boxes on laptop

When you’re selling physical products yourself, rather than acting as an affiliate marketer and promoting someone else’s products, you have more control over the pricing and are not going to be paying an affiliate the commission for recommending the sale.

That means, instead of making (let’s say) 8% commission for promoting the product through Amazon’s Associates programs, you could make anywhere from 30% to 100% profit margins. That’s a very easy way to increase the amount of money a website is earning, and the hard work has already been completed by getting the site to the point where it is already making sales.

Converting an affiliate site into an eCommerce based business, or even starting from scratch and sourcing the products yourself is slightly more involved than building an affiliate marketing website is, but the financial reward is also much greater over the long-term.

eCommerce based websites can also be sold for substantially more than what most investors are willing to pay for an affiliate marketing based website, because of the additional assets like inventory, a customer database, and more long-term growth possibilities.

Method #3 - Dropshipping

Somewhere in between the affiliate marketing and eCommerce business models is where dropshipping falls. If you’re not familiar with what dropshipping is, it allows you to promote products on your website and act as an eCommerce platform, while keeping you from actually having to hold onto the inventory yourself.

Dropshipping is attractive because you’re in control of the pricing of the products that you’re selling, which allows you to increase the profit margins that you see each time a product is sold, but doesn’t require you to actually hold onto the inventory yourself.

Dropshipping Model

This type of model allows you to quickly test which types of products are going to sell well to your audience, without having to devote massive amounts of time, energy, and money into sourcing the products, working with manufacturers, shipping and storing the products, and then ensuring you always have product on hand to keep your business moving forward.

You build a dropshipping website the exact same way that you build an eCommerce website, with a storefront and shopping cart, but, instead of fulfilling the orders yourself, you ship the orders off to the company that you’re dropshipping through and allow them to fulfill the order.

Most dropshipping companies will “blind ship”, which means they’re going to put your own company’s label on the box that the products are being shipped in so that the customer will never realize they ordered from another company.

This means that you’ll need to handle all of the customer support, and that returns are going to be slightly more difficult, but when you don’t want to deal with holding inventory in a warehouse and simply want to make money and help your audience, dropshipping is an amazing way to do it.

Method #4 - Display Advertising

If you prefer to not even deal with physical products at all, and simply want to build a website and start creating new content on a regular basis, making money from display advertising is one of the best models you can follow, and one that has made a lot of people a ton of money.

In case you’re not familiar with what display advertising is, the name implies it all -- you’re displaying advertisements on your content and getting paid whenever someone either clicks an ad (in the case of Google’s AdSense program) or whenever the ad is viewed, which some advertisers offer as part of a CPM display advertising program.

Display Ads on Multiple Platforms

There are two types of display ads -- CPC and CPM. CPC stands for cost per click, while CPM stands for cost per mil. CPC, as the name implies, pays you every time somebody clicks an ad. CPM, on the other hand, pays you when the ad has been viewed 1,000 times.

Depending on your audience, one type of advertisement is always going to pay more than the other. For tightly focused niche websites that have plenty of advertisers, a CPC model is generally going to pay more. However, for bigger sites (like news websites with more generalized content), the CPM model is usually going to be more profitable.

For beginners, Google’s AdSense program is going to be one of the easiest ways to make money from display advertising. They have a huge marketplace with companies constantly bidding to appear on your website, keeping you from having to track down new advertisers all of the time.

They also pay reliably, so you don’t have to worry about chasing down payments at the end of each month. While display advertising based websites may not make as much money as an affiliate based website, it is still a great way for beginners to get started because of how easy it is to create content and start making money.

Method #5 - Lead Generation

If you enjoy helping other business owners and want to make good money in the process, helping them grow their own business can prove to be very lucrative. Generating leads for other business owners is a great model to follow, especially when you live in large cities.

Every business in existence has one thing in common: they need more customers.

It doesn’t matter what industry they’re in, if they’re in business they live and die by how many customers they’re able to bring through their doors or get on the phone on a daily basis.

Lead Generation Marbles

If you’re able to help them generate more phone calls or get more customers through their doors, you stand to make a lot of money by helping them make it happen.

There’s two different models you can follow when it comes to generating new leads for other business owners. You can either charge on a per lead basis, which is typically the most lucrative, or you can charge them a flat fee each month based on how much money they spend on advertising or how much work you do to keep new leads coming into their business.

Some marketers have even convinced business owners to give them a portion of the profits each month on new business that they generate.

While the lead generation model is fairly easy and straightforward, it does require you to have your own marketing strategies in place so you can “keep your pipeline full” and have people calling you regularly to request your services.

With that being said, generating leads for other businesses requires very low overhead, and doesn’t need a ton of capital to get started, so if you have a marketing mind and want to help other business owners, consider generating leads for them and helping them grow their business each month.

Method #6 - Selling T-Shirts

Somewhere between dropshipping and eCommerce based businesses lies another model that many people have used to make a lot of money over the last 10 years. Selling t-shirts is highly profitable, and opens a new world that isn’t necessarily the “flavor of the week” anymore.

Selling t-shirts allows you to tap into your creativity, and constantly test new ideas to see what is going to work with the market that you’re promoting the shirts to.

In fact, that is what makes selling t-shirts so competitive -- requiring you to stay creative and ahead of the pack.

T Shirts being Sold Online

As other marketers see your t-shirt designs and realize that they are consistently making sales, you’re likely to get copycats that are implementing the same designs to claim their share of the market that you’ve cut out for yourself.

If you thrive in competitive environments, and have a creative side that you’re looking to be financially rewarded for, selling t-shirts could be the perfect business model for you.

Most marketers are using print on demand platforms like Teespring and Teechip to sell their shirts through, which limits the amount of overhead they have each month and helps them increase their profit margins.

Teespring and Teechip, as the name “print on demand” implies, allow you to sell a certain number of shirts before actually placing the order. That means you can have the shirts shipped out whenever you’ve hit your sales goal, instead of having to purchase 100 or 1,000 shirts and printing them out individually as orders come in.

As your business evolves, you can upgrade and increase your profit margins by purchasing t-shirt stock that you keep on site, and a printer that allows you to custom print the shirts as orders come in. This will cut Teespring and Teechip out of your business, but give you much more sustainability and predictability as time goes on.

Method #7 - Kindle Publishing

Another model that was once the “flavor of the week” and has seemingly fallen to the wayside is Kindle book publishing. Even though many of the mainstream marketers have abandoned publishing books on the Kindle platform, there is still a ton of money to be made for writers looking to get their name out into the world.

If you’re not familiar with Kindle, it’s a platform that Amazon provides that allows publishers to create works and promote them inside of Amazon. Then, anytime someone downloads or buys the books that you’ve created, you get a cut of the money.

Earning money through the Kindle marketplace has gotten substantially less competitive over the last couple of years, due to the fact that many of the big-name marketers that once promoted it bowing out in favor of other business models.

Kindle, Book and Cup of Coffee

Even though they have practically abandoned the platform, you don’t have to worry about the model being “dried up”. You can still publish your digital books on Kindle and make money.

There’s two types of books that tend to do well on Kindle right now. The first is self-help style books and books that teach people new skills. The second is non-fiction books and books that can keep people entertained for a while.

In the past, you were able to publish the books on Kindle and then start seeing sales come in. Because the marketplace has evolved over the last few years, though, you’re now required to do some marketing for your books before sales will start coming in.

That means it’s best to start growing your following by building a website where you can gather your followers, and then start promoting your books through your own website. As you start to gain traction, your organic sales through the Kindle platform will begin to increase, allowing you to do less marketing as time goes on.

Method #8 - Coaching & Consulting

If you have skills that people are willing to pay for, or have achieved certain accolades throughout your life, you may be able to provide coaching and consulting to other people in exchange for them paying the fees that you require.

As it stands right now, business, life, and health coaching are three industries that are growing by massive proportions, with the number of coaches available growing on an everyday basis. That means that the competition is getting stiffer as time moves on.

However, one of the reasons for the substantial growth that the coaching industry has seen lately is the fact that more people are realizing how much help a coach can be for problems that they are trying to overcome.

Computer keyboard with word Online Training

Most coaching businesses today are being built around a blog, with the owner showcasing their expertise and having different products or services available that their followers can purchase.

If you’re not already familiar, there is a difference between coaches and consultants.

Consultants tend to work with other business owners, providing their expertise on a regular basis without being an actual employee. Hiring consultants allows business owners to learn how to solve problems that they’re having on their own, without requiring the additional overhead of another employee.

Coaches, on the other hand, tend to work with consumers and help them overcome problems they’re having in their personal lives. For instance, health coaches can help people lose weight and get fit, while mindset coaches can help people bust through mindset blocks that they have, and advance their life in other ways.

The model you choose depends upon who you want to help -- either consumers, or business owners.

Method #9 - Freelancing

Finally, the last business model that is popular for beginners looking to make money online is providing freelance services to other business owners.

Entrepreneurs, especially digital entrepreneurs all have needs for services that they typically can’t handle by themselves.

For instance, nearly every blogger needs copywriters at some point in time, to help them continue growing their blog, craft email messages, and create advertisements to help sell their products.

freelancing with coffee

They will also need graphic designers, accountants, web developers, and other skills that they may not possess but need to outsource in order to grow their business.

When this happens, they’ll reach out to freelancers who can quickly complete the job they need completed, in exchange for a hefty fee in some cases. If you happen to have the skills that other entrepreneurs are looking for, you can create a healthy income stream for yourself.

Becoming a freelancer is fairly simple, and one of the quickest ways to start making money because you can get paid as soon as you complete the job. Finding the jobs is as easy as hanging out where other entrepreneurs hang out, or on job boards like Upwork and Fiverr.

Freelancing is also a great way to jump start one of the other business models that we’ve laid out for you, because the initial cash influx you can create for your business can be used to invest in other areas that are slightly more hands-off than freelancing.

Or, if you enjoy what you’re doing, you can devote your entire business to providing freelance services, build up your client base, and then hire other freelancers to help you fulfill the work as it comes in.

The method you use to make money has less to do with building a business, and more to do with how you’re going to help the people that you put your business in front of.


Now that you’ve seen the 9 most popular monetization methods that people typically use to build their business, you can figure out how you want to help people and then match how you want to help them with a method for making money.

money on a laptop

Always remember, the best businesses are built around providing a solution to a problem that someone is having. When more people have that problem, you stand to make more money. The models listed above have been proven to bridge that gap between customers that have problems, and businesses like yours that can provide solutions to those problems.

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Featured articles, Passive Income

How To Earn Money Online

There are thousands of different strategies you can use when you’re learning how to earn money online, but at the end of the day they all follow the same model.

If you want to build an online business, whatever type of business that may be, there are certain steps that you’re always going to take to get from point A to point B.

Dollar Signs Coming Out of a Laptop Screen

Many people fail to make any money online because they get stuck in a state of paralysis, typically because they feel that they need to have every aspect of their new business perfected before they ever start actually doing any of the work.

The biggest cause for people failing to achieve their dreams isn’t the model that they’ve chosen, it’s their lack of action and thinking that they need to perfect the model before doing anything.

You can avoid that process by getting the big picture completed, and tweaking your model as you proceed forward. To do that, there’s 7 steps that you’re going to need to follow, regardless of the model you choose.

As long as you complete these 7 steps, and work on tweaking your model as you proceed through them, you’ll be further along than most people that are trying to make money online, and have built a solid foundation for your business.

Always remember, that taking action and working through your goals, even if your execution isn’t perfect, you will be further along than what you’ll ever be if you think that your execution needs to be perfect before you can start promoting yourself and making money from the business model you’ve chosen.

Step #1: Choose A Business Model

Before you start doing anything, the first thing you need to think about is the model that you’re going to follow to make money.

We’ve put together a post that outlines 9 of the most common monetization methods people are using for their websites, so if you haven’t already read it, you should go through it now by clicking here.

choosing a right business model

If you’re short on time, the general idea behind choosing a business model to follow is that you want to figure out how you can help people solve a problem that they’re having in their life. If you can help them solve a problem that they’re having, they aren’t going to have a problem paying you for the solution.

How you make money depends on where your skills lie, and how much time you’re wanting to devote to the business. Some models are easier than others, but the most common ways that people make money from their websites are:

  • Affiliate marketing, or getting paid to promote other people’s products and services.
  • eCommerce, or sourcing products yourself and selling them through your website.
  • ​Dropshipping, or selling products that you don’t hold in your own inventory.
  • ​Displaying advertisements through programs like Google AdSense.
  • ​Generating leads for other businesses and collecting a fee in the process.
  • ​Selling t-shirts to communities that have rabid fans.
  • ​Publishing books on Amazon’s Kindle platform.
  • ​Providing coaching and consulting services to other entrepreneurs and business owners.
  • ​Providing freelance services and using your skills to make money.

Once you’ve figured out which business model you’re going to use to make money, everything else will fall into place. To get started, you’re going to need to start building your website.

Step #2: Build Your Website

After choosing how you’re going to make money, the real fun begins. Unfortunately, building the website is another area that many people get hung up, trying to “perfect” every aspect of it. This just isn’t necessary, because some of the ugliest websites in the world have generated millions of dollars for their owners.

You can get away with using a basic WordPress website on a shared hosting account, and then allow the website to evolve as time goes on, you start making more money, and can afford to invest in the website by hiring a designer to tweak it for you.

building a website from scratch

All you need to get your website started is a basic header or logo that you can have designed through a service like Fiverr or Upwork, a couple of pages that let your visitors know what your site is about, how to contact you, and how to navigate through the site, and then content.

Everything else, as far as which platform to choose, who to host the website with, what plugins to use, which theme to use, and then tweaking everything to get it all working together is a waste of time if you’re not already making money and can justify the time you’re spending perfecting the design.

In fact, when you’re just getting started, your time is much better spent focusing on activities that are either going to bring more visitors into your website, or are going to get your existing visitors to help you make money or pay you for the services you’re offering.

To get going, a basic WordPress installation on a shared hosting account is more than enough to help you get started making money, then you can focus on income generating activities -- like creating content that will attract new visitors.

Step #3: Create Content Your Readers Want To See

Content is the backbone of every website, whether it’s designed specifically to make money or it’s more of a passion project that someone devotes their life to building.

Creating content is another area that people tend to get hung up and start overthinking the process, which ends up stopping them dead in their tracks.

creating fun reading content

You can avoid getting hung up if you stop and realize that there are 4 main types of content you should be creating:

  • Content that’s focused solely on sucking in search engine traffic.
  • Content that’s designed to be promoted on social media.
  • ​Content that’s going to get other blogs to link to you.
  • Content that’s designed to funnel your visitors and earn money for you.

Let’s break each type down, then you can start putting together a content strategy for your site.

Search engine focused content, as the name implies, is designed to rank in the search engines for various different keywords.

Social media content is focused more towards getting people to click on your links and invoke an emotion inside of them so they’re willing to share the content with their friends.

Link bait style content is typically full of information, and makes it a no-brainer for other blogs to link to you -- which increases your referral traffic and helps you rank higher in the search engines.

Your “money pages” are pieces of content that are designed solely to make you money and are generally separate because many people will not link to your money pages, won’t share them with their friends, and aren’t as easy to rank in the search results.

Now, something to keep in mind is that these aren’t hard-fast rules. Search engine content can also be promoted on social media and may even attract it’s own links. When done right, it can also be used to generate an income.

The idea behind the 4 types of content is just to give you an idea to get started so you’re not getting bogged down in the minor details.

Step #4: Promote Your Content Where Your Readers Hang Out

Your website is up and you have content ready for your readers to see, now what?

Now, you start getting that content in front of the people, where your target audience hangs out.

To get you started, there’s a few places that are easier to navigate than others when it comes to driving traffic to your brand new website.

different social media good for marketing

Here are 3 different places you can start targeting to get in front of your target audience:

  • Social media groups.
  • Other blogs.
  • Forums and message boards.

Nearly every niche topic under the sun has Facebook groups devoted to help members connect with each other and share in their interests for the topic. That means you can join the same groups and start getting involved in the conversation, while promoting the content that you’ve created.

Like Facebook groups, there are also a ton of forums and message boards available where your target audience may be hanging out, discussing the topic every day. If you contribute to the conversation, you have a built-in audience ready to see what it is you’ve created on the website.

Finally, you’re going to want to spend time getting to know other bloggers and working out how you can collaborate together to help grow each other’s audiences. When you get your content featured on their blogs, and help them grow their own following, you’re both going to win.

As you spend more time promoting your content, the search engines are going to take notice and as long as you’ve worked keywords into the content you’ve created you will start seeing trickles of traffic work their way into your site automatically.

Generating traffic to a brand new website doesn’t have to be like learning rocket science. As long as you figure out who your audience is and where they’re hanging out at online, you just have to spend time getting in front of them.

Step #5: Start Collecting Your Visitor’s Email Addresses

If there’s one way to guarantee longevity in your business (not to mention increased revenue), it’s to collect the email addresses of people that visit your site.

When you have a list of email addresses from people that have come to your website, you have a built-in audience ready to tap into anytime you want to send out a new broadcast email or have a new piece of content that you want to promote.

collecting readers email addresses

Likewise, if something should happen and your website falls out of the good graces of major search engines, you don’t have to worry about being reliant on them to continue sending you traffic.

As time goes on and the size of your email list increases, you will also stabilize your income. Any time you need a fresh influx of cash into your business, you can send out an email to your list letting them know about a sale you’re running or a new offer you’re promoting and make some quick sales.

Should you ever decide that you want to get out of the business that you’ve built, having an email list in place is also going to substantially increase the amount that you’re able to ask for the site during the sale.

Investors and business owners are going to appreciate having a built email list that they can improve upon and mail their own offers to start seeing a return on their investment.

There’s no denying that the “money is in the list” and if you’re looking to make money, especially in the long-term, you’re going to need to focus on building up your email list once you have traffic coming into your site.

Step #6: Get Other People Talking About You

One of the best things you can do when you want to make money online is to get other people talking about your website and what you’re doing to help other people.

If you can get other people talking about your website and your business, they’re going to work on your marketing for you so that you can focus more on doing what you want to do -- helping people and making money.

Others Promoting Your Website

Promoting a website and getting it in front of the market so you can make money is one of the hardest aspects of making money online, and one that most people simply don’t want to focus on. However, it’s one of the most important things you can focus on, especially in the beginning.

It doesn’t matter what business model you’re choosing to pursue, getting other people in your industry to help promote your cause can have dramatic effects on your income levels.

To get other people talking about you, you’re going to need to do some creative thinking. If you can start a movement, though, either by causing some controversy, doing something cool, giving away your products and services to help those in need (and without the financial means to afford what you’re offering), your business is going to continue growing without you having to keep working for it.

That’s the ultimate goal for any business, and if you hate doing the marketing and promoting, and would rather spend time on creating content and making money, you’re going to need to figure out how to get the rest of the community to spread the word about what you’re doing.

Step #7: Scale By Investing Profits And Hiring

The end goal for every business should be to scale what they’re doing so they make more money while doing less work, and to eventually hire other people that can help them keep their operation moving forward.

Whether you’ve build a blog focused on making money from affiliate marketing, or you’re selling your books on Kindle and t-shirts on Teespring, every business that makes money online can benefit from hiring people to help scale their income and profits.

Save and Invest Profits

By putting systems in place that other people can fulfill, you’ll be able to step back and focus on the bigger picture aspects of growing your business while freelancers and other employees help manage the day to day operations.

Even if you don’t necessarily want to hire a full team of people down the road, you want to keep the possibilities in mind when you’re just getting started so you can help your business evolve around the possibilities.

At a certain point, too, you’re going to want to start devoting some of your monthly earnings back into the business so you can help scale your efforts.

Whether you use the income to pay for advertising, writers, marketing, or even for a new website design, you want to make sure that you have a plan in place for how you’re going to return some of your profits back into the business.

Earning Money Online Isn’t Rocket Science

Earning a livable income and even growing a business that supports yourself and any employees you may hire in the future isn’t rocket science. That being said, learning how to make money online is easy, but keeping yourself focused and dedicated to the process is where things start to get difficult.

When you figure out the model that you want to follow to make money online, and then realize that every online business follows the same basic 7-step process, keeping yourself motivated becomes that much easier.

Hand from Monitor Giving Money to a Man

Taking the process slowly and making sure that you’re embracing it along the way, rather than trying to force things to happen, will ensure that you’re going to enjoy what you are doing and that you will be better equipped to help the people that you’re getting in front of.

Then, the more people you help, the more money you will have flowing into your business.

At the end of the day, every successful online business is built around helping people in some way.

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