Happy woman working on laptop in her vibrantly painted kitchen.
If you want your website to turn a profit, you can select a website monetization model that fits your current and future plans. — Getty Images/ Drazen_

There are many ways to generate income from your website, from selling ad space to offering online courses. On average, profitable websites create several passive income streams that yield recurring revenue. Other site owners earn money passively while generating leads for the company's physical products or services.

Entrepreneurs select a website monetization model that fits their current and future plans. If you want your site to turn a profit, here are a few ways to boost your e-commerce sales or add alternative revenue streams.

Add an affiliate link

Affiliate marketing is a great way to recommend products and services to your audience and earn a commission when visitors click the link of those recommended products. You can add an affiliate link on business or personal websites; however, you must include a disclaimer on your website and blog post that you may earn money from such affiliate partners.

Develop an affiliate marketing strategy and monetize a website by:

  • Choosing products or services that complement your niche brand, in which your audience may be interested.
  • Joining an affiliate marketplace, such as ClickBank, or an individual affiliate program, like HubSpot.
  • Creating high-quality content for emails and websites that contain affiliate links.
  • Updating your links regularly, as affiliate links expire after a certain number of days.
  • Taking advantage of special offers to earn extra affiliate money.

Accept sponsored posts

Sponsored content creation can drive more traffic to your site while putting extra money in your pocket. A profitable website owner may publish sponsored posts promoting or reviewing a product. You may also accept guest posts, where a third party submits an article to your site and pays you to publish it. Like affiliate marketing, sponsored content requires a disclaimer. You'll also want to create a media kit and reach out to potential sponsors.

You can add an affiliate link on business or personal websites; however, you must include a disclaimer on your website and blog post that you may earn money from such affiliate partners.

Use Google Adsense

Join ad networks to display banner ads on your website using a cost-per-click (CPC) payment system. When your site's visitors click on an ad, your company earns ad revenue. Google Adsense is the largest advertising network and earned $131.9 billion in advertising revenue in 2020, according to Statista.

You may also use pay-per-click ads to increase web traffic from search engines. In this case, you create and pay for advertising on third-party websites and benefit when people click through to your site. Other ad networks include She Media, geared towards female audiences, and Adclickmedia, which provides advertising and affiliate opportunities.

Open an e-commerce store

Your e-commerce store could provide merchandise from many brands, or you may prefer to sell products with your brand logo. An online store is an easy way to monetize a website, as you can produce, package and mail the products yourself, or enlist a third party to manufacture products on-demand.

[Read more: How to Set up an Online Store That Drives Sales]

Sell ad space

Direct ad sales or native advertising refer to selling ad space on your website. Businesses pay website owners to host their advertisements instead of going through a third party like Google Adsense. It requires more hands-on work, including contacting potential advertisers and negotiating terms. But, you get to keep 100% of the ad revenue.

Here's where to start:

  • Join publisher forums to learn how to sell ad space and get tips.
  • Measure the value of advertising on your site, including traffic volume.
  • Create a landing page for brands to explore your advertising services.
  • Develop a media kit that details potential benefits and describes your website visitors.
  • Design a marketing and lead generation strategy for your online business.

Offer online courses, digital products or memberships

Your business can earn recurring revenue by adding an online course or digital product, as part of a monetization strategy. You make money each time a website visitor registers for a live or recorded webinar, buys an e-book or participates in a course or tutorial. Membership sites refer to a website that offers a subscription for an annual or monthly fee.

Digital products or a subscription-based business model requires premium content, and you may offer bundled or add-on services, such as coaching. Some digital products also use affiliate links to earn more money online.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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