5 Core Ways to Monetize your Website or Blog

5 Core Ways to Monetize your Website or Blog

This episode will discuss the options you have to make money from your blog, your website, or as a transitioner from a physical business to online business.

We’ve dug into every area of planning possible on the podcast, social media, and blog. Now, it’s time to put those plans to action and that dream to work. 

Press play and let’s get started!
Danielle Towner | Entrepreneur + Digital Creative Resources



Danielle (17s): “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” That’s a timeless quote from the legendary Malcolm X. That quote is definitely relevant for what’s going on in the world right now, especially with the future of work. The future of work also belongs to those who prepare for it. 

Now, I remember when I first started off. I’m nine years in the game with online business, with working from home, with remote work, all of those things, but some of you are just starting out. 

You may be wondering how this goes, whether you’re transitioning from traditional work to working virtually from home, whether you are transitioning out of a brick-and-mortar business, pivoting your business, or whether you’re in a place where you’re doing a hybrid of both transitioning to take advantage of the online marketplace. 

Danielle (1m 0s): What I’m here to tell you today are the five core ways to monetize your website or blog. For some of you who are just getting started out, you may be wondering if it’s even worth it. What can I do with this? What can I get out of this? How can I make as much in my business online as I did as a brick-and-mortar. Things are definitely changing and you have to get with the times. 

Danielle (1m 33s): No one expected anything like a pandemic or a worldwide emergency to change the way people operate in their day to day lives or to change the way that business works, but we’re here. If you’ve been walking with me since day one, I remember when I did an episode with the CEO and founder of Incluzion. 

Incluzion is a freelance market place that is there to cater to the needs of minority and female freelancers to give them a platform and equal opportunity in the marketplace. One thing that he kept reiterating is that the future of work was working virtually, remotely, from home and not even he knew what was to come in the future. 

Danielle (2m 17s): That was about a year ago. It may have been a year and a half ago, but here we are now. With that being said, let’s talk about how you can continue to put your dreams to work and how you can do it online through monetizing your website or your blog. So keep on listening for more core ways of making money from home. 

Danielle (2m 48s): Welcome back for another episode of Dreamer’s Den Podcast. I am your host, Danielle Towner. If you haven’t been listening before, I own Dream Work Creatives and I help entrepreneurs build brand awareness and an online presence through website design, content marketing, and digital products. Thanks for coming on to hear what I have to say on my little soap box today. I’m excited talk about this because, as I said earlier, I’ve been around for a long time and I’ve watched things evolve. 

Danielle (3m 23s): I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work. That can be different for everybody. I just want the core ways or the base ways that everyone or most everyone uses to make money from their blog or website. They put their creative spin on it. That’s what helps it work. 

People might say that things are saturated. I remember, back in 2012, when I was figuring things out and just getting in, things had changed then from what they were previously when people started making business opportunities. 

Danielle (3m 56s): The internet changed the game for business. Things were changing. Things were becoming competitive even then. A lot of people like to use the word saturated, but just think about from then to now where more and more people are starting to enter working from home or working online and starting their online businesses, whether it’s full time or part time or side gig economy. 

Danielle (4m 28s): Think about it even more fast forward to today when people have been forced to close their business doors or are forced to work from home virtually to have a more flexible schedule so that they can care for their children, their loved ones. All of those things; just think about that and how even more people are venturing into online business. Some people may look at that as negative or look at it as unwanted competition, but I see it as opportunity. 

Danielle (5m 0s): It’s an opportunity to teach them and to them develop them. It’s just an opportunity to bring fresh ideas and creativity to the marketplace. It’s an opportunity to keep that portion of the economy flowing. Just like with anything no matter if there had been an increase in online businesses starting, you have to stand out, but in a way that you’re being authentic and being yourself. Enough about that, let’s talk about the five core ways to monetize your website or blog. 

Danielle (5m 36s): Before I get too deep into that, first, these are things that all businesses can do and benefit from—these core ways of monetizing your website or blog. When I say all businesses, I’m thinkin about all business types, whether you were previously selling a product or a service, no matter what type of business you were in. Also, nonprofits thinking they’re at a standstill right now, and it’s opportunity for you as well. 

Danielle (6m 10s): These are things that nonprofits and churches can benefit from also I’ll get more into that, but if you go back several episodes back, there are some podcast episodes that talk about starting your nonprofit and even some that talk about digital fundraising. I just want the throw that in there, but let’s keep it going. Now, let me say this it’s about ads because that is the first thing that most people do, especially when starting a blog. 

Danielle (6m 44s): They start their blog, they sign up for an ad sense account or an equivalent ad network account. They slap a bunch of ads all over the place and they think, “I’m going to be rich. I’m going to make money in my sleep.” Then it’s crickets, or they get a decent amount of traffic, but you don’t see the equivalent in your bank account or in your dashboard. 

Danielle (7m 46s): I’m not saying it’s not possible, but you have to have an enormous amount of traffic to monetize your blog with ads. I’m speaking of from the ad networks, not directly pitching people to add their link or add a banner for their product or service or business on your website. That may be something that you can do too, but starting out, they’re still going to want to see the numbers and they’re going to want to see your traffic and how they can benefit from it and what’s their return. 

Danielle (8m 21s): So starting with ads is not really the best idea from my standpoint and from my experience. Another thing is that, the people who are advertising, they are trying to get the most for their money, which is the reason why you may be getting the least from those ads. Now, it may be a little different with becoming a partner like with the video network, but definitely with ads on your website, it’s not going to be what you think. 

Danielle (9m 1s): I would say, put the ads off. Most people, if they do the ads, I would say put the ads off until a later date, or until you get more momentum with your website and by then, you may not even want to do it anymore. Another thing that may be similar to ads that works and will give you a sizeable payout is affiliate marketing. Now, some people get turned off by affiliate marketing as a revenue source, but I can say it works. It works if you do it in the right way. 

What I mean by that you want it to be something that’s related to your niche. Whatever you choose to focus on, on your website or blog, whatever it’s about, those are the products and services that you should promote through affiliate marketing because it matches. You also want to promote something that you actually like and you actually use, and that you would actually recommend. 

Danielle (9m 31s): It’s almost like you’re telling a friend about something that you love or that has been useful and helpful for you. You’re telling them about the benefits of it and they’re like, “Okay, well, I’m going to try it too.” Not something that you’re just sticking in there in the middle of your blog somewhere. That’s how affiliate marketing can work for you. 

If they click on it and they make a purchase, you get a commission from that, a percentage of that sale. If you’ve visited blogs or websites, I’m sure you see their disclaimer in their terms of service or in a banner on their side or at the top of their blog posts because it’s required. 

Danielle (10m 17s): That’s just an example of some people who are using affiliate marketing to monetize their website. 

All right. I want to share a little secret with you guys. When I was first getting started with Dreamer’s Den Podcast, I had to research to answer a lot of questions. Like how do I record an episode? How do I get my show into all the apps that people like to listen to? Of course, how do I make money from my podcast? The answer to every one of these questions is simple. Anchor. 

Anchor is a one-stop-shop for recording, hosting, and distributing your podcast. The best thing of all is that it’s 100% free and ridiculously easy to use. Now, Anchor can match you with great sponsors who want to advertise on your podcast. That means you can get paid to podcasts right away. 

One thing that I also liked about it is that it reduced the workflow so that you didn’t have to do a lot of the legwork and I could focus on getting guests and start interviewing and recording immediately. If you’ve always wanted to start a podcast and make money doing it, go to anchor.fm/start to join me and a diverse community of podcasters already using Anchor. That’s anchor.fm/start. I can’t wait to hear your podcast. 

Danielle (11m 48s): All right. A little side note: if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you probably saw a story from me recently where I shared a photo of me completing my application for my absentee ballot. I’m staying home as much as possible and keeping and mine safe, but I do understand that my vote and my voice matters, especially at critical times like these. 

Now, if you share some of the same concerns that I do, just know that voting isn’t just going to the polls on the election day anymore. Options like early voting, mail-in voting, and ballot drop boxes are available to more voters and are growing in popularity. 

How to Vote, a tool created by Democracy Works, breaks down the options your state offers for casting a ballot, empowering you to decide when and where to vote. With the How to Vote voter tool, you can sign up for election reminders, see what’s on your ballot, get step-by-step assistance requesting your mail ballot, explore your options for returning your vote at mail ballot, check your voter registration status, find your polling site, and make sure you have the appropriate ID. Decide when and where you vote this year at howto.vote. 

Danielle (12m 28s): Another popular or another well-known way of making money from your website or your blog is to offer services or products. Basically, you’re selling, but you’re selling physical items or you’re selling your work, selling things that you can do; your skills and your expertise and your value. Some people do consultation or coaching sessions. There’s endless things you can do. 

Freelance writing is very popular online because people who don’t have time to do these things need people to create their content for them, their copywriting, their social media marketing. There are countless ways to offer services. 

Just think about what you’re good at, what skills you have, and what you wouldn’t mind waking up in the morning and doing, what you almost think about, what you would do for free. don’t do it for free, of course. That’s something that you can offer. 

If you get good at blogging and you’re handling your own blog, then you may want to manage blogs for someone else or manage their website. Website design: that’s how I actually got into offering website design services. 

Danielle (13m 6s): I started a blog, I got good at it. I was dissatisfied with someone else building my website. I got my own, started a blog. I got good at it from starting a couple of them, got good at the design portion. People noticed that and asked about my services. Then, after a while, I started promoting and offering that service. Like I said, you could offer products. If you were a previous boutique or store, switch to online and start selling a product and shipping them from online. 

Danielle (13m 36s): If you weren’t doing it already, this is the perfect time to get started with it. You can sell any type of product. Even if you haven’t done that before, if you’re a blogger, then it’s the same concept. It’s something that relates to your blog niche. You can start your store and start offering it. If you’re giving fashion or style advice, then you may want to start a boutique based on the advice that you’re giving or even use affiliates. 

Danielle (14m 7s): Some people even sell products that are not their own products, but you can set up a store and offer other people’s products in your store with the same concept as an affiliate relationship. You get a commission from that. You can do custom products. Some people do t-shirts and mugs, do custom products, and use a print-on-demand service. They never even have to touch it. That’s actually something that I’m working on. Once again, it’s related to my niche. 

Danielle (14m 38s): Since I’m in business and marketing, my custom products will be related to things that entrepreneurs like and that they can use and they wouldn’t mind wearing. I’ll keep posted on that. Dropshipping, things that you don’t even have to touch; those are all examples of the services and the products that you can offer. It’s all stemming from building that relationship and building that audience around your blog. 

Danielle (15m 11s): Digital products are also popular: printables, downloadable templates, and courses. Now, a little bit about me and courses. I fought doing courses for a long time. A lot of people in this industry do it and a lot of people use that to monetize their blogs, especially when ads started to tank a while ago. I just fought doing courses. It’s just not something that I had a desire to do. 

Danielle (15m 42s): I went back and forth; should I do a course or not? People make substantial amounts of money from selling courses, but it’s just not something that I wanted to do do, but I did. I did start selling premium tutorials for different things that were related to the business and marketing needs and that worked for me. You have to do what works for you and courses. Look into courses, and if they don’t work, then there are plenty of other avenues for you to make money and have a growing, thriving business outside of that. 

Danielle (16m 20s): As I said, the printables and downloadable templates, people sometimes need help with things. They need to keep track of things. You may be better skilled at such things and be able to design it and put it together and they just want to use your resources. That’s a way to offer that to people and you can set up a store right on your blog and be able to sell those things. Now, let’s get back to what I was saying about if you’re a nonprofit or a church. 

Danielle (16m 55s): You may have been just collecting money or having fundraisers and events where you physically talk to people and you didn’t have this set up online. Even if you had a website, I’ve worked with a client who needed to set up to be able to accept donations online. 

Danielle (17m 50s): We’ve done that since everything has been going on with the pandemic. So you can set up to monetize your website by accepting donations or even accepting patronage contributions, where people sign up for a membership and they support you ongoing monthly. That can work for a nonprofit or for a regular business. 

Podcasters do that. Podcasters, bloggers do that as a source of revenue for their business. For nonprofits, there are also programs such as PayPal have different programs where they may give you a break on the amount of fees that you have to pay in order to accept those donations if you are a nonprofit. One last thing is based on ads. As I said, it’s video ads and it’s through partnerships with video platforms such as YouTube. 

Danielle (18m 22s): If you have a blog, then you can embed your videos right within your blog. As people are looking for those resources, they’re looking for information, they’re getting their entertainment from you on your blog, you can add your video to it as another thing for them to watch. Different people take their entertainment or absorb information in different ways. 

Danielle (19m 15s): You may be walking them through some steps or walking them through tips for something, and they say, “Hey, I want to see them do this.” This is something that a lot of cooks or a lot of people who share that recipes online, they add a video with it also so that people can actually see them going through the steps of baking that cake or are making that meal. They can see it in writing and they can see it through video. 

Danielle (19m 48s): Well, you as the business owner, if you have a partnership and you have those ads on that video, and they’re engaged with it, your view time is good, then you’re bringing in revenue and you’re helping people at the same time. 

The same thing works for your podcast. If people want to listen to the audio or read and listen at the same time, then you can add your podcast on your blog, and you’re helping people and generating revenue at the same time. 

Now, another thing that is important, this next step, those were those five core things. Let me recap on those. It is affiliate marketing, offering services or selling products, physical or digital, accepting donations and patronages, and adding your monetized blog or podcast. As I said, add something that you may use as a resort or in a future date when you built that up. 

Danielle (20m 18s): Trust me, you won’t even think anything of it once you get your system in place and you’re generating revenue in your business from these five core ways. There’s a certain way that you make this dream work for you, make this business work for you. I’m going to talk to you, quickly, about what you need to do to make this work for you. You have to do the work and stay committed. Now, people into this thinking, “I’m going to do this from home. 

Danielle (20m 50s): I’m going to do this online. It’s going to be easy. I’m going to make money in my sleep.” You can do all these things. You can work from home. You can have the flexibility. There may be some easy days and you can make money in your sleep, but you still have to do the work and you still have to stay committed to it. There are going to be some hard times. You have to continue to be consistent in what you’re doing. You have to do things on the backend, but you don’t give up on it. 

Danielle (21m 21s): You just keep on building that momentum and keep on promoting and keep on showing up. Things will happen. When you work consistently, you work smart, then things happen for you. As I said before, you want to be creative. These are just the ways, the strategies, or the methods of making money from your business. Put your creative spin on it. What is it about you that stands out? What is it about you that people notice and they love? 

Danielle (21m 52s): Put your personal brand into the business, be creative about it. There’s a lot of people who are using these methods, but you may not even know that this is their core method of making money because they’ve made it so tailored to them and their personality, their niche, and just creative. So just think of a creative way that fits your niche, what you would enjoy doing, and how you can make money. 

Danielle (22m 27s): If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. Remember what I talked about when I said that I went back and forth about, should I sell courses or should I not? Like I said, at this time, it may change later, but it hasn’t in the last several years. At this time, it doesn’t feel good for me. So I’m not going to do it. If it doesn’t feel good, if it doesn’t feel like something you’re going to enjoy and not saying, “Oh, I don’t want to do it because it’s too much work. ” Like I said, number one, you gotta do the work and stay committed. 

Danielle (22m 59s): If it just doesn’t feel like the right thing to do or the right time or that you’re going to do it to the best of your ability, then don’t do it. You have to make the offers and ask for the sale. You have to leave your pride where it is. Shed your pride and shed whatever you may be feeling uneasy about, about asking for the sale or making the offer. You gotta shed your embarrassment, your shyness, and go for it. 

Danielle (23m 29s): Think about the end result. Make the offer, ask for the sale, learn about call to actions in those different forms, and being creative with that. And you have to use the right tools and systems. That’s something that we’ll be talking about in more detail next week. There’s a certain method to it. Use the right tools to help you get things accomplished, to help you automate some things, and take a load off of you, delegating and outsourcing some things. 

Danielle (23m 60s): You may not be able to do that right off, but have a plan in place so that when that money starts coming in and you start reinvesting into your business, you think about, this is how I’m going to grow and build my team. Even if you don’t want to build your team, this is who I’m going to have on the back end or how I’m going to get somebody on the backend to help take some of these load off of me so that I can grow my business and not get burnt out or overextend myself, but on that spinning my wheels so that I can be consistent. 

Danielle (24m 32s): Think about that: the tools that you need, the people that you need, and the systems that you need, those proper workflows, those proper things in place to help you best monetize your website and connecting those dots between things like your social media, where you’re promoting your website and your blog, where they’re landing, and they’re getting this information, this content that’s going to help you make those sales. 

Danielle (25m 41s): Also, your email list, the VIP of your blog and your website, where you further nurture that relationship and where you can also make offers. Those are the things that are going to make this monetization methods work for you. I want you to think about these as we close. Like I said, next week, we will start to dive more into these tools and systems now that you know how to monetize your website and you can think about what direction you want to go in. 

Now that you know about planning, which was what we talked about the week before that, we’re going to put it all together and we’re going to get you bringing in some revenue. 

If you have any questions for me and you’re on the Anchor platform, you can press the record button and ask your question. You can leave a comment if you’re listening from my website, or you can reach out to me directly. I will get back to you. Thank you for listening. As I always say, dream until your dream comes true.

How to Monetize your Blog or Website

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As owner of Dream Work Creatives, LLC, Danielle has the opportunity to use her gifts of business development and creative expression. She has a passion for helping solo entrepreneurs and small businesses make their dreams work through marketing and creative strategy. Danielle’s digital marketing services have helped countless businesses build their brand awareness and online presence using social media marketing, website design and content marketing. Her blog features business and lifestyle growth tips and “Dreamer’s Den Podcast: Entrepreneurs Making the Dream Work”. During her free time, she enjoys travel, movies, books and the endless joy of her little one.