53 Ways to Make Money From Your Website

53 Ways to Make Money From Your Website

When many start-up websites launched (including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others), they didn’t have much of a monetization plan initially.  Their primary goal was focusing on creating something that would attract attention and big traffic.

Once they had the traffic in place, lots of different ways to make money will present themselves.  Although, I suspect that none of us will be creating the next huge internet start-up (like Facebook), we would be wise to have a few things in mind when creating a new site.

First, we should make sure there is a market for our site (keyword research is big part of this).  Secondly, we should try to create something of value.  Finally, we should ideally find a niche that has money being spent in it.

Today, I want to focus on different ways that you can make money from your website.

How to Monetize a Niche Site

In the past, I’ve primarily focused on Google Adsense for my own niche sites. I did try out a few Adsense alternatives, but I came back to Adsense because its the highest paying contextual ad network out there…by far.  Its easy to implement, pays the most, and just works.

However, as I set out to start my very first public niche site project, I have decided to use something besides Google Adsense to monetize my site.  (You can learn more about the niche site project and live webinar to be held here).

I’m not going to pick a particular monetization strategy until I pick a niche and keyword.  Right now, I’m thinking that I would like to build an email list and monetize that list with affiliate offers or my own products.  However, this is not set in stone, and could change as I pick my niche OR as I test different strategies on the same site.

However, as I contemplate how I should make money from my new niche site, I am again reminded of how many options are out there.  First, I’m going to list the general ways to monetize (categories like CPA, contextual ads, etc) and then I’ll number off the specific networks or options within each of those general categories.

Pay Per Click Contextual Ad Networks

These are networks like Google Adsense that have ads displayed based on the content of your site.  Typically you will get paid per click from these types of contextual networks.  Here are a few (there are likely many many more):

1. Google Adsense

2. Media.net (now manages both the Yahoo and Bing ad Networks)

3. Infolinks

4. Kontera

5. Vibrant Media

6. GumGum (In-image ads)

7. Chitika

8. Clicksor.com (both eCPM and pay per click).

CPM Advertising Networks

Rather than paying on a per click basis, these ad networks pay on a per view basis (usually a dollar amount based on 1000 pageviews).  Most of these networks require that you have a large visitor base to be approved to their network; therefore most of these won’t work for a smaller niche sites.

9. ValueClick Media

10. Tribal Fusion (500,000 unique visitors per month required).

11. Adbrite (update – Adbrite is shutting its doors on Feb. 1st 2013).

12. Casale Media

13. ePom.com

14. Adblade.com

15. Advertising.com (part of AOL)

16. Burst Media (25,000 monthly page views)

17. CPX Interactive

18. Technorati Media

There are a TON more CPM ad networks out there, this is just a small sample.  You need to find one that fits your niche or works best for your site.

CPA (Cost Per Action) Networks

These types of ads pay a fixed dollar amount based on an action taken (like an email submit form filled out).  Many of these ad networks listed below offer both affiliate commissions (% of the actual purchase price) AND CPA opportunities.  There are also a LOT more ad networks out there than I could possibly ever list in this category – this is just a few.

19. Neverblue Media

20. Clickbooth

21. MaxBounty.com

22. PeerFly.com

23. CPAway.com

24. Adscend Media

25. ShareaSale.com

26. CPAlead.com

About a thousand others…

Affiliate Networks

An affiliate network pays out a fixed amount or a percentage of the sale amount.  You refer someone through your link and get paid if someone actually buys something. As mentioned, some of these networks bleed together; meaning some of these affiliate networks pay out on CPA offers as well.

27. Amazon Associates – Can be a good option because you get paid no matter what the person buys on Amazon within 24 hours (not just what you referred them to).

28. Commission Junction (CJ.com)

29. Clickbank

30. SkimLinks (This is actually an in-content ad network, but it pays out based on actual sales made.  So its not a per-click basis, but does display ads automatically based on the content of your site.  Its a pretty cool option actually that I’ve used and like).

31. LinkShare

32. ClixGalore

33. eBay Partner Network (Actually pays on a per click basis – but the amount you earn goes up or down based on the history of actual sales you’ve generated.  So if lots of people buy through your links, you get more per click.)

34. AvantLink.com

35. Google Affiliate Network (different than standard Google Adsense).

36. PepperJamNetwork.com

37. JVzoo.com

38. WarriorPlus.com

Direct Affiliate Programs

Thousands (yes thousands) of companies offer their own affiliate programs that are NOT listed in any network.  These can be harder to find, but often pay very well.  Here are just 2 examples of companies that run their affiliate program in house:

39. HostGator – runs affiliate program here

40. Unique Article Wizard – runs affiliate program here

This is probably the biggest category because you can also contact companies directly and ask to start an affiliate program with them or otherwise work out a deal with them directly.

Sell Ad Space Directly

This is a big market as well with lots of options.  You can contact people directly on your own or use an ad manager/network to help.  Here’s just one option:

41. BuySellAds.com

Create Your Own Product

The most profitable way to monetize your site is usually going to be with your own product.  Obviously the kinds of products you can create are only limited by your imagination. Here’s just a few common options:

42. Create a video training course

43. Create an eBook

44. Create a membership area or paid forum

45. Sell a physical product and ship it.

46. Create a piece of software

47. Create other tools, services, or information that customers are willing to pay for

Sell Text Links

Obviously this won’t be right for everyone and many consider questionable.  But there’s a huge marketplace.  Here’s just a few places you can sell links:

48. Text-Link-Ads

49. TextLinkBrokers.com

50. Digital Point Forum

51. Warrior Forum


When all else fails, you can ask for money :).  Many sites have done this in the past.

52. Ask for donations

Sell Your Site

Even if you never monetize your site, you might be able to sell out for a pretty penny!  If you build the traffic of your site or otherwise have an audience, there is value there.  If the traffic is high enough, you could sell for a lot (think Twitter kind of traffic…).  And of course, people buy brand new sites all the time that have no traffic or audience based on design and niche (but usually for very cheap).

53. Sell Your Site

Overview and Your Thoughts

To be honest, I probably missed several other ways that you can monetize your site, but this is a good start!  And most certainly there are thousands of other ad networks or affiliate programs out there that you can use.  But for the most part all your options for monetization are going to fit in these main categories covered: Pay Per Click Networks, CPM Ad Networks, CPA Networks, Affiliate Networks, Direct Affiliate Programs, Selling Ad Space, Creating a Product, Sell Text Links, Donations, or selling your site.

Overall, as I begin the process on Thursday evening on the live webinar, I’ll be thinking these different ways to monetize my site.  I’ve excluded Adsense as a choice, but I have at least 52 other ways I could make money from my niche site.

I would love to hear your thoughts!  Did I miss any major money making networks or methods?  Let’s discuss below.

How Long Tail Pro Can Help You Capture Way More Search Engine Traffic

If your business could benefit in any way from getting more search engine traffic, I have some good news.

Search engines are in love with long tail keywords! If you are able to provide relevant content targeting these long tail keywords, then you can see a dramatic increase to the amount of traffic Google and other search engines send you.

Long Tail Pro is a powerful keyword research tool that makes finding these valuable long tail keywords a breeze.

What are “long tail keywords”? Essentially, these are words or phrases that people type into the search engines to find very specific things. Rather than searching for “dog training” a user might search for “how to potty train a pitbull”.

This is an example of a Long Tail Keyword. To visualize how Long Tail Keywords work...

Click to Continue Reading

44 Comments for this entry

  1. Jacko says:

    Excellent list except UAW.

    I wrote a review about that product at my site.

    I would recommend anyone read it before they buy that product.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Pretty detailed list!

    Looking forward to seeing how you test which option is working the best. What tools you use for split testing etc.

    It can change a lot from niche to niche!

  3. Chris R Jensen says:

    Great list. Thanks a bunch. Only one chance to it. Adbrite have officially turned in their cleats. They are no more.

  4. Great post! I think you covered all the possible ways to make money (at least, all the ones I know).

    Maybe the 44. “Create a membership area or paid forum”
    could be the most profitable, but the most time consuming!

    Spencer, right about time: how do you reply all the email you receive from your 200-300 website?


  5. Tony says:

    Hey — I know Spenc was just mentioning ways to make money…

    But donttttttttttttttt use hostgator. Pick godaddy or neverblue they pay on time and dont rip you off

    hostgator is notorious for not paying (just google it)

    • Ray says:

      Wow, I’ve been an affiliate of Hostgator for well over 4 years. They have never missed a payment. Response is super fast too.

  6. Sandeep says:

    Spencer – I’ll be looking forward to your seminar…would love to see how you narrow down on your niche..this is one big struggle which ive not been able to overcome for years

  7. Gautam says:

    Great list Spencer… you forgot one

    54. LTP Affiliate Program by Spencer Haws :)

  8. Gene says:

    Hey Spencer,

    Good stuff (as usual). I just wanted to say that I’m leaning more towards non-AdSense type solutions as well as of recently. I’ve found that since both of my AdSense accounts were disabled (and my new Adsense account has yet to be approved for 2 months and counting), it’s much easier to work with different ad networks. This is because it seems like Google has tightened up their restrictions or something as of recently as far as approval is concerned. Most ad networks, from what I’ve found, don’t pay nearly as much as Adsense. However, I’m currently using Infolinks (which is decent) and also Chitika (not so good of results thus far). I’d really like to know what other companies have payouts that are reasonable as far as ad networks are concerned. Even though I’ve yet to try them, I’ve heard Altitude Digital Partners are pretty good. The same goes for Proioxis and ContextWeb, and Lijit to name a few you hopefully haven’t yet. Hope this helps everyone a bit. Please let us know what kind of experience you may have :)

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Media.net is actually a good option. I’ve been using it only a very little the past few months, but the payout is better than infolinks or kontera from what I can tell. Still not as high as Adsense, but a good alternative.

  9. Gene says:

    Thanks Spencer. I’m trying out media.net now. I’ll keep you posted. Obviously, despite the fact that the general quality of the advertiser/your site content, your particular niche stands to gain the most via the relevance of profit distribution of any ad network.

    Thanks again.

  10. Thank you,
    I know Internet Marketing historian late 2011, and have tried several business models such as Adsense and Amazon but I have never earned more than $100.

    I still believe that making money online is much easier than working offline. As someone who has been successful, do you have any recommendations for me?

  11. Karen says:

    Great post Spencer – I’m glad to see a list of PPC and CPM companies.

    You might think about adding MoreNiche to your list of affiliate networks – I’ve found them excellent for monetising health and beauty type sites.


  12. Wow, Spencer – you’ve outdone yourself here. This post is absolutely getting bookmarked. I’ll be going through this list and seeing if they make sense for some of my sites.

    I especially like #42 – Create a video training course. ;-)

    I wonder how using the YouTube partner program would fit in with this list? While it’s not exactly on your site, the views you could get on your site would help, no doubt. Anyway, just thinking out loud! Cheers!

    • Spencer Haws says:

      Good point on Youtube…I’m not very knowlegeable on that one. Although, doesn’t Youtube use Adsense to monetize their videos? Anyway, if someone has a video site or produces videos, they should absolutely look into that!

  13. Zac Johnson says:

    Quite the list! I appreciate the quality effort and time that went into creating it.

    With so many ways to make money online it’s still interesting to see how many people have no idea how to make money online (when you talk to non-internet marketers). They just give you a blank stare…

  14. minka kelly says:

    It is a great list of ways for making money online. But as beginner, I feel to have to focus on one way. It takes more time to be successful. That is what I experienced. Could you give me advice to make better? Thank you.

  15. really great list of all kinds of network, i should consider other sources too rather then Adsense only.

  16. Charley says:

    Definitely remarkable, particularly the potential Adsense substitutes. Media.net has been especially noted and I will be checking it out one of these days.

  17. Steve says:

    Great list Spencer, helps to get the mind thinking more broadly…the more options, the better!

  18. FlexOffers is a pretty decent CPA network with tons of goodpaying advertisers from several different niches.

  19. Rajiv says:

    Thanks Spencer for great lists, with lot of inspiration

  20. Jason says:

    Hi Spencer,

    I have a site that is trickling in a small amount each month but I’m convinced it could do so much more.

    I was wondering what your opinion was on whether its a good idea to monetize a single from a few different places? E.g Adsence plus affiliate network. Or is it better to stick to one stream per site?

  21. I every time used to study paragraph in news papers but now as I am
    a user of net therefore from now I am using net for articles, thanks to

  22. seogene says:

    I one of your post http://www.nichepursuits.com/how-to-get-a-google-penalty-using-affiliate-links-and-how-to-recover/# you told about affiliate link penalty. I noticed that Google penalized all my sites one by one for affiliate links. But I have only one link – not 100 as you said. The penalty is -30 position for my “domainname” query. How do you think what can I do in such case?
    Thank you

  23. Honestly you are my legend! Have been looking for a simple to read list of ways to make money online! Now just have to see if I can make a nice income!

    Thanks! Keep up the great work!

  24. TellTales says:

    Thanks for the tips!

    Been investigating all the options for the last week and ended up applying for infolinks and media.net. I have tried Adsense before but I am only now seeing some traffic improvements on my site so I guess I will go with them 1st.

    What would you specifically recommend for a website like mine dealing with entertainment, music and movies?


  25. deepak says:

    pls tell me how can i make more online money by my educational site.

  26. Dock00 says:

    Really useful stuff.Thanks for the info.

  27. I just started looking into all of this. It’s all a little confusing as to the different choices but I’ll be checking out a few of the options that you posted.
    Thanks for the info!

  28. Hi, I would like to subscribe for this weblog to take most
    recent updates, thus where can i do it please help out.

  29. Riaan van Vuuren says:

    Hi, I want to start, or create my own website and try these thing all you guys are talking about. I dont have alot of experience in the web/internet field, but I know one can make money with it. I tried alot of these affiliate sites and paid money for money making sites and they are all scams.

    Can someone help me in information to create the correct website and what must be on thet site, and how to put links on the site to make money.


Comments are now closed.