A 3-Step Guide to Making Money As a Website Owner

Website owners, also known as publishers, are in a unique position to make money. By taking advantage of many unique business ventures which the modern internet opens up, it’s easier than ever to make money online. Ad networks for publishers, sponsorship and donation models all exist to help publishers to make money.

If you own a website — or are thinking about creating one — then here’s how you can make money using your internet presence.

1. The best ad networks for publishers pay well and in a way which suits you

Ad networks for publishers exist because finding advertisers to feature banner ads on your website on a case-by-case basis is difficult and fraught with issues. How can you be sure these adverts will be relevant to your audience? How can you be sure you’ll be paid at the same time every month? How can you be sure that the advertiser even wants to work with you?

From the advertiser’s side, it’s just as awkward. This is why ad networks for publishers and for advertisers are such a blessing. By doing all of the grunt work for both advertisers and publishers, ad networks remain one of the most popular website monetization techniques.

Accumulating huge amounts of data, the aim of an affiliate ad network is to target the right ad to the right user at the right moment. Doing that requires using algorithms to perfectly match adverts, websites and web visitors in real time.
As such, the best ad networks for publishers are also the best ad networks for advertisers and web users. A good ad is relevant to the visitor, directed at the advertiser’s target market and helps to make the publisher money in turn. A bad ad is irrelevant to the visitor, a waste of money of money for the advertiser and makes the publisher no money.

2. Sponsorships are very different to ad networks, but they can be right for some websites

While finding one business to sponsor your online activity can be difficult, it can be perfect for the website owners, publishers and internet content creators who believe in brand loyalty. It’s true that some commentators claim brand loyalty is a notion which is dying, but sponsorship deals remain popular nonetheless.

Websites like Nomadasaurus and Adventurous Kate are two perfect examples of travel bloggers teaming up with a backpack brand in order to monetize their content. It’s a monetization model which requires you to put in the legwork yourself. However, if you really like a brand, there’s no harm in reaching out to see if a sponsorship deal is an option.

3. The donation model sounds crazy, though you can’t argue with its success stories

Wikipedia is a website with huge amounts of revenue and the envious title of being the fifth biggest website in the world. This level of success is usually reserved for the Silicon Valley giants such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter and Amazon. All of those websites are financed by a combination of eCommerce and advertising, whereas Wikipedia contains no adverts and sells nothing; it’s funded entirely by voluntary donations.

Ask users to voluntarily give you money to help monetize your online content. It shouldn’t work, yet it does. What’s more, it doesn’t just work for Wikipedia. While it’s easy to imagine Jimmy Wales’ enormous, free online encyclopedia as something of a unicorn, it’s not.

The Guardian newspaper is also funded by donations. True, the Guardian also sells physical newspapers and uses both banner ads and the occasional sponsor to fund itself as well. However, so too do most newspapers. By contrast, the Guardian’s foray into donations is a new venture for news media.

For plenty of other kinds of internet content creators, however, the donation model is a pretty common way for websites to monetize themselves. Wait But Why is just one of many vloggers and bloggers using Patreon and PayPal donations to fund what they do.