Season 1, Episode 7 – 5 ways to make money from your website

Are you looking to make money from your website?

You have some ideas but you're not sure what's best for you.

Websites done well can be a great source of income. You can sell your products or services  and there's so much more when it comes to making money from them.

Whether you look at pay per click angles or you'd like a sponsor other methods that you hadn't thought of, this episode delves into the different ways you can sell from your website. The pros and cons of each and encourages you to consider the best ways that you can make money from your website, your way.

Are you ready to start making money from your website? 

Episode Transcript

I’m Holly Christie, your host. I’m a website designer, small business mentor and strategist. I have 2 website companies; This Demanding Life - for small businesses looking to make a big impact and Simply Sites, for micro businesses and start-ups who want a stellar website. If you’re a small business owner or are thinking of starting a small business, then this podcast is for you! With over a decade of experience in the small business industry, I’m here to help you grow, whilst avoiding the pitfalls that most of us fall into.

This week we’re talking about the different ways you can make money from your website. Ready? Let’s get started.

When we create a website, it’s usually because we’re looking to make money from it in some way or another.  Even when we create a first website using free tools such as Wix or WordPress, there will be a reason you’ve created it, beyond personal satisfaction. After all people are busy and we don't tend to do things just for the sake of it. With more and more active consumers leaving Social Media for a more simplistic experience, personal websites are back in vogue and when done right, are a great way to earn money.

Here are five ways you can make money from your website.

Professionally build to sell your product or services

This feels like the most obvious one because if you're a small business owner you’ll be looking to create a website to sell your products or services.

Your small business website should have an excellent user journey. This means that the visitor should be able to easily navigate the website. They should be able to find what they're looking for and have their choices confirmed by the compelling website copy and visual design. Ultimately all websites are created to sell something or ask someone to engage with them so you’re looking at having a Call to Action of ‘buy now’, ‘book a call’ or ‘get in touch’. We also look at how to reduce friction at turning website visitors into customers. One of the good ways to reduce friction is to have as few clicks as possible.

Initially you’ll need to invest in your website, have it built professionally so you can make sure the site nails the user journey, that it speaks to your audience, it is mobile responsive and search engine optimised. Otherwise it’s not going to rank in Google’s search results and it will be harder for you to sell your products or services.

Create an AdSense account

An AdSense account is a Google account where you register your website with them and they approve you to be an AdSense partner. This means that you can then include advertising blocks on your website which will tailor the ads according to the user’s history. For example, if a visitor has been searching Google, Facebook, other sites which retain your viewing data, for earrings, then they come to your website which has ad blocks on it, they’ll see adverts for earrings. If another visitor has been searching for hoodies, they’ll then have adverts for hoodies presented to them when on your website.

If your visitors click through to discover more from the advert and go onto buy the earrings/hoodie/other product, you’ll earn a small commission from Google. There are a few caveats with this:

  1. Google has to approve your website for an AdSense account and not every website will get through.
  2. You need to already be generating traffic to your website so you can’t set it all up at the beginning, it will be at least a 2 page process.
  3. You will have some control of the ads that are shown on your website, for example you can choose to not have explicit content or immoral content such as gambling, high interest loans etc, but it does mean that your opportunity to earn money from it may go down as the ads are restricted.
  4. You don’t always have a lot of say in how the ad blocks are displayed and they can take over your website somewhat so if the design is tight, you may regret installing Adblocks.
  5. You’ll need relevant cookie notices and policies as AdSense monitors user data.

You also need a high rate of click throughs and purchases to make money from this. I know it sounds quite negative but if you have a blog which has a good amount of traffic, it can be worth it.

Affiliate

Affiliates are one of my favourite ways of recommending people make money through their website. You recommend a product, someone buys it through your link/mentioning you, and you earn a commission as a thank you. The money involved can range from a few pennies for an Amazon product to £££s from bigger companies and courses. Affiliating is so popular and lucrative if you get into the right ones, that some people make an entire career from just selling other peoples’ products. I’m a big fan of authenticity and integrity when it comes to affiliate selling and therefore I only recommend and link to products and services I genuinely believe in and use myself.

You can be an affiliate regardless of how much traffic you bring to your website. You’ll often need to join an affiliate scheme if you want to link and sell to tech products such as website themes, hosting and other bits. But in some cases, such as Siteground, just being an account holder for your own website is enough for you to be an affiliate.

You can also be an affiliate for other peoples’ courses, memberships etc, it’s always worth asking what their affiliate terms are and even suggesting it if there’s a product or service you know you can sell well for them.

Just remember that if you are advertising something in this way and earning an affiliate commission you’ll need to declare it, and not bury it in the footer or your terms and conditions, but let people know that there are affiliate links on the page/site and what this means. I like to change colours of any affiliate links on my site and let people know that the links in that colour are affiliates, it’s honest, it’s clear and usually, if someone’s hanging around on their site it’s because they like you and want you to earn the commission from their clicking the link.

Sponsorship

If you have a good amount of traffic to your website and an engaged audience then you may like to find a sponsor for your website. This could be limited to blog posts, podcast episodes or across the whole site. You’d be looking for people who aren’t your competitors, who offer a complementary service to yours. For example, and Estate Agent may have a sponsorship banner on their website from Surveyors or Lawyers. A website developer may have sponsorship from photographers, copywriters or branding specialists.

Sponsorship can be a great way to make money from your website as it’s for a set amount each month and for a set period of time. Therefore it doesn’t rely on people clicking through and buying something before you get paid.

Create a course

This might not be for everyone but most service led businesses will have a wealth of knowledge that their clients would pay to have access to.  Creating a course, specific to one issue you would usually work with 1:1 with a client, at a lower cost as it’s self-study, could make a big difference to how many people get access to you, as well as generate a passive income. Courses can be quite a lot of work, particularly when it comes to promoting them, so they’re not always a quick fix, but they can be a  good way to generate additional funds in the long term.

The five ways we’ve discussed to make money from your website are all quite different and you won’t want to implement all of them, particularly as one may negate the other,  in the case of sponsorship and AdSense accounts. Have a go at which one feels right for you. If you have an engaged audience and good traffic to your website, creating a course and sponsorship could be the most lucrative options. If you’re just starting out, look at creating really good quality content through blog posts, podcast transcripts and portfolio items, this will help Google choose your website and drive the type of traffic which can help you get started with making money from your website.

That’s all for this week. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please do leave a rating and review from wherever you get your podcasts. It helps other people to find the show and I’d love to help this free resource be available to as many people as possible.

Thanks and see you next week!

Brilliant first episode!!

The first episode of “Your Business, Your Way” is a refreshing take on the entrepreneurial journey I needed to hear this morning . I felt reassured hearing Holly emphasise a crucial point: you don’t need to know everything to get started. This approach is a game-changer, especially for those new to the business world, breaking down the barriers of perfection and complete readiness that often hold us back.

What I loved about this first episode of the podcast is its blend of practical advice with an undercurrent of motivation. It reassured me that starting with what I know and learning as I go is not just okay, but a smart way to grow. The podcast feels like a supportive friend, nudging you to take those first steps while keeping the mood light and approachable.

For anyone at the crossroads of starting or scaling a business, this podcast could be the push you need. It’s a promising mix of insights, stories, and encouragement. I’m eager for the next episodes and recommend it to anyone looking to embark on a business venture in a way that’s true to them. It’s an exciting start, and I’m genuinely looking forward to where this podcast will take its listeners next.

wmbaggs

Small Business Growth

I love listening to each new episode of Holly’s podcast. It feels like she has read my mind and understands the challenges I find myself up against when running my business. Her advice and insights are fantastic and I’m looking forward to hearing her future episodes. This is a great resource for any small business owner trying to establish a successful business in the online (and/or offline) world.

Fay Wallis

It’s a great podcast Holly, you’ve covered some really useful topics and had fantastic guests. It’s like your topics were written with me in mind…

Natalie Trembecki

Feeling inspired

Would definitely recommend this podcast. Aimed at those small business owners, but for someone who has recently started a new role in my company, this definitely motivated me on this cold wet Monday morning to not be afraid of being vulnerable in the workplace and putting myself out there!

Can’t wait for the next episode

izagoo9067

Really Refreshing

Looking forward to the next episode, I’m hooked already. Really easy to listen to and definitely strikes a chord with me. 

MrsH68

Just listened to your first podcast episode and it’s absolutely brilliant! Good work Holly!

Mike Cottam

Small Business Growth

I’m so excited to have your podcast alongside me as I grow my business. Looking forward to taking action on your steps and learn from someone who knows what they are talking about. Thanks Holly – you’re a star!

LisaJaneYork