Making a personal website profitable is a major challenge. It’s not necessarily that hard to start generating a little bit of spare change here and there with your online efforts. But to turn your site into a legitimate side source of income, or even a full-time job, you’ll need to take a thorough, strategic approach.
Unfortunately there is no exact blueprint as to how you can make a profit online. Your site needs to be legitimately useful to visitors in one way or another, and you’ll need to get a little bit lucky as well! That’s just how it is. But there are a few ways you can at least set yourself up for profitability if all else goes well.
1. Get In With Google
This is probably the easiest way to start generating a little bit of money on your site, though Google does have some fairly strict conditions you’ll want to keep an eye on. Nevertheless, it’s easy to get started. You need online apply for AdSense, which is basically how Google promotes websites and services using similar websites and services. Once you’re signed up, Google will analyze the content of your site and then place ads on it that go to relevant services elsewhere online. When site visitors click on those ads, you will make a commission on any purchases they wind up making. You need regular traffic to make it worth much money, but in terms of setup this is about as simple as it gets.
2. Make Yourself Easy To Spot
With Google AdSense installed and working, or with some other methods of advertising, traffic is still the key to revenue. You can have fairly automatic ways of generating income based on visitors, but it’s up to you to get the visitors themselves. One of the important steps in that process is setting up your site as a recognizable “brand” rather than just a loosely defined blog or something of the like. That comes down largely to design. Take the time you need to make the site look clean and uncomplicated, and work on a look that will stick people. You may want to design a logo, stick with a relatively limited color scheme, and even stay consistent with small details like the font used on different pages. You want your site easy to spot, pleasant to use, and easy to remember – you’ll be more likely to get return visitors this way.
3. Look Into SEO
SEO can be a little aggravating to hear and read about, because the term gets thrown around a lot. It seems like one of those buzz terms we use to explain away business success or failure – sort of like “networking” became a few years ago. As with networking, however, SEO is a useful and vital concept, provided you know what it’s for and how to use it. The concept takes some explaining, but the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to do it on your own. If your site is ready to grow, you can look for a professional service to provide SEO services, which ultimately seek to improve your ranking in Google searches, making you easier to find. It incorporates a lot of specific efforts, but broadly speaking SEO is the way to expand your traffic, and by extension your revenue.
4. Sell A Product
One of the better ways to make money in larger sums and on a shorter timeline is to sell a product that’s separate from whatever your website is offering to begin with. This might be anything from an eBook to a subscription to “premium” services, shopping discounts, etc. For instance, if you’re already running a site selling products you’ve handcrafted, you might also feature a link to an eBook you’ve written about your process or inspiration for crafting. If you’re running more of a blog than a shop, you might still sell a book about whatever topic you’re covering, or you could offer a subscription rate for longer and better articles that are only accessible to members. These days, you may even be able to sell subscriptions or one-time fees for a podcast you record!
5. Focus On Content
Content is key. Whether you’re running a blog, an online shop, or any other kind of site, you should always have room for written content. It’s easy to engage with, encouraging to share, and it’s set up for other sites to reference. For example, if you’re selling crafts and the holiday season is nearing, a short article titled “Why Craft Necklaces Make The Perfect Gifts” is a lot likelier to be read and shared around (and possibly referenced by other sites) than a simple catalogue of the goods you’re recommending for the holidays. In general, this is just about making sure your site is easy to reference and refer to.