Business websites generate profit in numerous ways. Maybe you have services or products for sale on-site, or you consider your blog posts a pathway to greater conversions. But what if your website could generate greater passive income? Though it takes strategic setup and connection development, you can program your site for profit.
What does that mean, exactly? When you take traditional SEO strategies, combine them with strong marketing. And then add in things like affiliate marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and sponsored content. Your website can become a profit creation machine.
Start With Impressions
Did you know you can make money just by getting enough people to look at your website? Though perhaps not the most efficient approach to income generation, cost-per-thousand (CPM – the M is the Roman numeral for 1,000) advertising is a great system for sites that are just getting off the ground. Site owners are paid based on ad views, rather than ad clicks. This can rack up a lot more quickly in this advertising-savvy era.
For website owners, the operative question is whether or not waiting for a thousand ads views is more profitable than waiting on a few clicks. It takes some math, but if you don’t think that readers are going to engage with ads directly, you may be better off going this route. Additionally, be sure you choose a CPM vendor that doesn’t require massive monthly page views to qualify for the service!
Call On Commissions
We’ve all heard vague things muttered about commissions, such as when an overly helpful clerk in a store won’t leave you alone. Someone might speculate that they work on commission. Well, on the internet, commission-based work tends to be a bit less intrusive and a lot less work for the person benefitting. It’s also got a new name: affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing relies on partnerships between sites, such that one site directly or indirectly helps another sell their product. They might use ads, links, or even on-site sales options. The hosting site receives a commission for supporting the other company’s sales.
These partnerships need to be honed carefully, however, if you’re to turn a profit without harming your own sales. You don’t want to play host to a better-known, competing product, for example, or host products that are too far afield from your site content.
It’s also important to remember that even though you’re only making a negligible amount from the sales of someone else’s product, affiliate marketing income is still taxable income. As the tax experts at E-File point out, you only receive a 1099 form from a company if you earn over $600 from that payer in a single year. That may not happen with affiliate marketing, especially if you’re new to the game. But you still have to record this income, or you’ll be penalized. If you spend all your extra site income paying tax penalties, it isn’t doing you much good, and you might as well end the project.
Opt For Automation
If you could stand on the shoulders of every person who browsed your website and offer them appropriate options based on their activities, you wouldn’t need marketing automation or optimization. Unfortunately, the “over-the-shoulder” approach isn’t a real marketing tactic. So we’ll have to go with automation as the next best thing.
Today’s marketing automation systems are robust and able to make suggestions or send emails based on users’ onsite behavior. All you have to do is set up the appropriate pairing of cues, pre-write the emails or scripts, and then let it run. We’ve all seen basic forms of this in the shape of shopping cart abandonment emails. But you can also shape more complex automation scripts.
In addition to behavior-based automation, automated marketing emails from a more generic class of customer outreach. These emails, written once, will reach everyone who’s opted into your mailing list or everyone with a birthday that month listed in your database. The more information you have, the more complicated your automation system can be.
Always Aim To Improve
You can always add additional layers of advertising to your website. But sometimes the most effective thing you can do to improve your profit margins is to simplify.
Reduce the website clutter, trim down content, so it contains fewer words with greater impact, and focus on factors like page speed and site responsiveness. Once you have a great site on your hands, the only things you should add are client testimonials and an email sign-up. Make sure you’ve got that sign-up box on every page. That’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on.
Between ad blocker tools, savvy web users, and a general state of marketing fatigue, making a profit from your website can be a challenge, but millions of people are doing it.
Choose wisely and be strategic – not every method will work for every site. It’s all about staying true to your brand and giving customers what they want.