Many of our modern day-to-day activities, business operations, and personal tasks are largely done online, with the help of a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Online stores, businesses, social media influencers, and more all leverage digital platforms to amplify and grow their personal brands—which is why it’s no surprise that there are currently 1.75 billion people worldwide running websites. Of those sites, there are several types that make more money than others: e-commerce, blog, subscription, and forum websites are all good examples of high-earners.
Let’s take a look at how you can best leverage one of these different types of websites to make a profit for you and your business.
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What Kinds Of Websites Will Help Me Make The Most Profit?
With so many websites out there, there are definitely several ways to make money from your online presence. But a few options tend to perform better than others. The most promising prospects for commercial growth include:
- e-commerce websites: With a strong online store, you don’t need a physical retail shop. This type of website allows you to sell your own goods or other brands’ products, build a broad customer base, and make more money for your business.
- Blog websites: A content-based site model, blog websites are a good fit for individuals who have specific niche expertise. Building thought leadership around specific topics is a great way to elevate your site and attract potential sponsors or affiliate partnerships. The more content this type of website produces, the better the revenue opportunities.
- Subscription websites: Using plugins, you can create subscription platforms or sites that have restricted access. Money can be made by selling memberships or subscriptions to users, who pay to access premium content or specific services offered through your website.
- Forum websites: A platform that allows individuals to share information on a specific subject digitally. It serves as a forum for responses to questions, both done by the users, and reviewed to ensure that the material is acceptable. You can make money from forum websites by selling ad spaces.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into each of these different website types and how you can make them work for you and your business needs.
1. e-commerce Websites
Among the most common ways to generate money through websites is to open an online retailer. An e-commerce website, similar to a regular shop, provides a virtual location from which to sell products or services. And your business revenues are then determined by the number of sales made from your site.
Luckily, numerous e-commerce systems, such as Shopify, make it simple to create an online retail website. The Shopify platform includes all of the tools required to help you build the best possible relationship with your consumers and convert positive sales. This makes the platform a great choice for any e-commerce business owner.
What should I keep in mind before starting my e-commerce website?
To help you get your e-commerce website on the right track, there are several factors you should know about first. Before you kick off your site, do a little homework:
- Choose a unique niche: It is better to sell and advertise things within the same niche (this is true with blogging sites, as well). A niche can aid you in establishing a committed consumer base. It also ensures that your site’s focus is in line with your customer’s needs. When this connection is strong, your chance is better for making the sale to your customers–instead of losing them to your competitors.
A niche helps people to recognize your brand and the products it offers. The strongest e-commerce sites have niches that attract sponsors and affiliate promotions, as well.
- Research e-commerce options: Every platform has its own unique set of functionalities, payment channels, and business tools. Investigating your options gives you greater insights into what type of site best fits your target audience. This can also build stronger connections between your target audience and your products.
- Experiment with digital marketing: Don’t hesitate to try out different e-commerce advertising techniques, including social media and email marketing. One of the cheapest ways to advertise your products and grab the attention of millions of consumers is through online marketing techniques. And, digital marketing is a surefire way to connect with your target audience without requiring much effort.
2. Blogging Websites
Blogs are one of the most popular web types for both personal and business use. In addition to being a helpful way to develop your brand, they’re also a great avenue through which you can express yourself to a wide audience. But blogging isn’t just a creative outlet, it can make you money, too.
Blogs and social media sites may be giving traditional print media a run for its money. Recent studies from HubSpot, Forbes and more point to social media and blogs becoming the preferred way for many people to access their information, entertainment, and reading materials.
With most websites and bloggers offering free access, many readers are skipping paying for a print magazine subscription and instead enjoying their daily dose of reading from free, online sources—like blogs.
How can I make money from a blogging website?
Website monetization is when you leverage exposure of your web pages to build revenue, by directing readers from your website to a partner’s business site. This can become a mutually beneficial relationship for both you and your business partner.
To learn how to monetize your blog or website, be sure to read our guide on website monetization.
Ezoic, one of the top-rated website monetization platforms, can help make your blog grow a profit. Through a robust collection of tools—from integrating display ads, selling your products or services, establishing a premium content package, building affiliate links, and much more—Ezoic can be a great revenue generator and affiliate marketing partner for any blogger.
What should I know about affiliate marketing before adding it to my blogging site?
Affiliate marketing is an excellent way for any blogger to connect services and goods with a target audience, while simultaneously earning a commission. Whenever your visitors click on links to services or goods from your site content, you get a kickback from your affiliate partner.
An important note about using affiliate or sponsored content on a blog: Although you can use affiliate website links on either your personal or business website, you should label the affiliate program as such—so visitors understand you’re able to make a profit from those links.
This labeling is considered best practice for most online content producers—and can help build greater trust between you and your users.
What steps are involved with adding affiliate links to my website or personal blog?
Adding affiliate links to your website is a pretty straightforward process. The basic steps include:
- Acquiring and adding a Shopify ad or link on your webpage or personal blog.
- A consumer clicking on your exclusive affiliate link.
- The consumer purchases something from Shopify.
- Tracking a sale through the affiliate link.
- Confirming the purchase with Shopify.
- Receiving compensation for the sale through a monetary bonus.
Revenue rates and earnings vary, depending on the company you’re affiliated with and how much you’ve been able to negotiate out of the deal. At the lower end of the scale, you’ll make approximately 5% of the transaction. On the higher end, you can sometimes earn up to 50% of the transaction. (There are a few affiliate program networks that pay a fixed sum per transaction rather than a percentage, too.)
What should I know about sponsored blog articles?
Some writers find it difficult to monetize their websites without advertisements and aren’t comfortable exposing their readers to advertisements. When you use online ads, you do give up some degree of freedom around what’s shown on your website. Some ad content may irritate or annoy visitors. And, an increasing number of individuals use ad blockers, which will reduce your website’s profitability.
An alternative to consider is sponsored content. Sponsored posts are when the blog or site owner publishes on behalf of a third-party business that’s looking to connect its product or services with the site owner’s core audience. As a blogger, you can get paid to write articles about your sponsor’s products or services—and the sponsor then gets the benefit of exposure to your readership.
The arrangement can be beneficial to you both: You get paid for featuring sponsored products or content, and the sponsor gets a boost in exposure.
3. Subscription Websites
Subscription websites make money by limiting the availability of certain materials to only those who pay for access. “Gating” content or services behind a paywall or requiring users to pay for a membership to log in, gives premium users access to better-quality content, promo coupons, video lessons, and more.
Several websites and newsgroups use this type of monetization as a promotional technique to increase the profitability of their business. Subscriptions can elevate the desirability of your content. Putting premium pieces behind a paywall piques interest and curiosity—and may contribute to a boost in sales.
What are the things I should keep in mind before building a subscription website or adding subscription plugins?
When hunting for the appropriate subscription plugin for your online platform, keep the following factors in mind:
- Choose the plugin options that satisfy your customers’ needs and fit their finances: Although premium subscription plugins offer additional services and greater flexibility, sometimes free versions hide behind higher payment requirements a few months after sign-up. Cheaper initial financing may be offered, just to help you start the website (but later lock you into higher costs down the road). Be sure to read the fine print before you select a plan for your blog site or business.
And when it comes to building subscriptions for your readers, consider your target audience. Think about building tiers; for example, consider opportunities to pay-per download or use for specific content pieces or services, monthly or short-term subscription options, and long-term discounts for extended memberships.
- Investigate the available payment methods: Making it easy for your users to make purchases on your website can create a positive snowball effect and encourage additional visitors to sign-up for memberships.
Because payment processors and plugins handle the financial transactions between you and your subscribers, it’s important to do your research and choose wisely from your top options.
To help find your best choices, look for:
- Processors that offer various methods of transactions. This can be of great benefit to you, as a site owner. For example, you’ll want your site visitors to be able to subscribe through whatever online payment is most convenient to them (debit and credit cards, Venmo, PayPal, online check, and so on).
- Transparent pricing. Outline very clearly what options are available to your potential customers, and what services their payments will receive. This allows your customers to select services that they can afford.
- Include total costs. In addition to the specific costs for your products and services, be sure you clearly map out what your transaction fees are, chargeback fees, monthly fees, cancellation costs, and more.
You’ll also want to partner with a payment company that works well for both you and your customers. Some examples of today’s top-quality payment processing companies include:
- Flagship Merchant Services
3. Forum Websites
Users can communicate with one another and share links, data, and other information through forums and community-based websites. These types of websites are highly social and can be a great way to tap into active audiences and both generate and leverage user content.
Forum websites, much like social networking websites, don’t generally offer original content or material but instead provide a platform for visitors to exchange their information and ideas with one another. Online forums are a great space for people to communicate and trade info with one another. Some good examples of forum-style websites are seen in recipe exchanges, neighborhood message boards, sports and nutrition forums, and more.
What should I know about before building a forum website?
On forum websites, you are allowing other people to share their data and links. So, it’s very important to have a plan for moderating the site content, before you launch. You’ll need to be sure you have the capacity and resources to “patrol” the community boards and forums. It will be essential that you put safeguards in place to prevent any harmful resources or misinformation from spreading through your platform.
To do this, the following two factors can be essential:
- A structured navigation system: When you’re creating a forum website, your initial priority should be to establish a structured navigation system for hosting and finding various debate threads. Many forums build their own debate threads, and others enable members to create their own. To help your users find the threads they’re most interested in, keep your navigation simple and straightforward, so people can easily find what they’re looking for.
- The ability to monitor and control forum debates: Moderators can help you examine forum posts and eliminate harmful or unlawful entries. You’ll want to establish and enforce a secure environment in which everyone can participate in the debate. There’s an opportunity to also use expert moderators that users can have access to for a fee. For health advice, niche specialists, and more, this can be an opportunity to both provide a premium subscription-style service, or connect users with specialized content.
What is the best way to make money from a forum website?
Selling advertisement space is usually the most common way to make money from a forum website. Employing a pay-per-click model is a good approach, and can help you earn money from advertising by garnering commissions for each time someone clicks on an advertisement from your website.
For example, if your standard cost-per-click (CPC) is $0.25, and you get 100 clicks every day, you’ll make $10,000 per year from your site.
In truth, there are literally hundreds of different website varieties and themes that may produce revenue. The ones listed here are among the most profitable methods employed across e-commerce channels today.