Website Monetization Ideas

Whether your primary goal is to make money from your website or not, there are many website monetization ideas available for your use.

These monetization techniques can be classified into two high-level categories - Active and Passive.

Active monetization ideas include obvious efforts to generate revenue. You actively pursue a transaction, and your visitor realizes they are making a purchase.

Passive monetization ideas are subtle, or almost "hidden" techniques that generate website income without your visitor's knowledge.

It is important that you diversify and utilize as many monetization ideas as possible on your site. Having multiple revenue sources is a great way to stabilize your income stream, while reducing risk.

The next section will list and explain various examples of both categories.

Active Website Monetization Ideas

There is really only one Active Monetization technique that has many different options which can be employed. That technique is Selling.

Selling a good or service from your website is an obvious means for making money on the internet. Thousands do it, and you can too. Listed below are suggested techniques you can utilize to generate website income.

Sell Hard Goods - Your Own

If you have a gadget you've created, or already own a brick and mortar store that sells products, then you can very easily begin to sell these hard goods online.

Most "build-your-own-website" softwares include an egoods, or storefront plugin which will allow you to define, categorize, list and sell your hard goods. Some offer transaction processing.

You can also choose a transaction processor like PayPal, or

These are two of the more widely known and used Payment Gateways.

Sell Hard Goods - Drop Shipping

Drop Shipping is a great source of website income and also very easy to setup.

While this concept reduces the effort required on your part, you do potentially earn less per sale.

The concept is this - you find a drop shipping company that handles the product you would like to sell, and you setup an account with them. Many drop shippers will have a plugin for your website, which you can use to sell their products.

You don't need to worry about inventory, or any physical aspects of the transaction. When visitors purchase an item, the drop shipper handles the fulfillment or shipping of the product, and any returns.

This monetization idea requires very little ongoing effort on your part once you've set your site up.

To learn more Drop Shipping and How You Can Create Your Own Storefront, Click Here.


An eGood is something which can be purchased, and delivered completely online. Some examples include ebooks, software, programs for cell phones, music, digital art, manuals, forms, files, and anything else that you can think of that is stored online.

The selling concept remains the same as Hard Goods. The difference is you control the complete transaction, but with minimal effort required to deal with a physical product.

TIP: An eGood is a great website monetization idea for an informational website. You can easily collect the information from your site, and put it into an eBook, which can be sold.

Payloadz offers a great service for selling eGoods. Their automated service delivers eGoods to customers instantly after payment. Their system coordinates with PayPal's online payment system, and Google Checkout.

You can start using their system for free - you are just limited to the amount of $$ transactions per month. They will automatically upgrade you as your sales surpass the threshold. This is a great service, especially for beginners.

Affiliate Programs

You can choose an Affiliate Program as your sole source of website income, or as a means to supplement your other core revenue source.

Affiliate Programs or Affiliate Marketing is an internet-based practice where one company rewards you for delivering a lead, click or sale of their product. Basically, you become an extension of their sales team, and are paid for your performance.

There are thousands of affiliate programs offering almost any service or product you can think of - making affiliate marketing a great website monetization idea.

Generally speaking, you send a request to become an affiliate to the company or via an affiliate program manager (Clickbank, Commission Junction, Linkshare).

Once you've been approved, you are given access to "promotion HTML code", and other information which allows you to sell their products either via ads, or by listing their products directly on your site.

Transactions are tracked and you are paid a commission based on the business you create.

TIP: If you do not plan on utilizing an Affiliate Program for your core business, you should find a program that is related to your business as a supplementary website income source.

To learn more about Affiliate Programs, and how you can also promote your own product via an Affiliate Program, Click Here.

Passive Website Monetization Ideas

Passive Website Monetization Ideas are revenue generating options that typically do not cost your visitor any money - at least not while they're on your site.

Some Passive Monetization Ideas include:

If possible, include as many passive techniques as possible. Remember, however you don't want to create a negative experience for your visitor. Be sure that you don't overwhelm them with ads, requests for donations, etc.

Google Adsense

Google has become a household name, and everyone who has been on a website has no doubt seen ads from Google Adsense.

The concept is simple - you sign up for an Adsense account, put some code on your site, Google places ads into the area you specify, you get paid for visitors clicking on those ads.

This is a very simple tool to generate website income. Be careful, however to realize that your revenue per click probably will not be significant. Be careful also not to use too much webpage real estate for this technique - you don't want to turn off your visitor.

There are many variations of Adsense which you can put on your site. Review each type when you sign up.

TIP: You can also include a Google Search bar on your site. It works just like Google, but your visitors can search directly from your site. This does a couple of things - it allows you to generate click revenue, but also keeps track of what keywords that your visitors are searching on. This information can be very valuable in helping you provide what your visitors want (or didn't find on your site).

To learn more about how to generate revenue from Adsense, Click Here.

Selling Advertising Space

When you build your website, you want to create a specific area(s) for advertising.

You can use this area to promote other Affiliate Programs or to sell advertising space to merchants who want to market their product or service on your website.

When used effectively, advertising can be a great website monetization idea, that can augment (or even drive) your website income stream.

There are a couple of ways to sell advertising. First, you can put a link that says "Advertise Here", which takes interested parties to a webpage with instructions, and with your rates.

Or perhaps you want to allow a third party to manage and promote your site for advertising. There are many companies which will manage your website advertising. We've listed a few below:

  • Adbrite - Sell Advertising space by click, by the week/month/etc. This service is very easy to use.
  • Kontera offers contextual ads - keywords are highlighted in your content which, when clicked, open an ad popup.

TIP: Sell Your Own - This is more profitable, and easily controlled by you. It might require a bit of up front work to find advertisers - visit your competition to get ideas. You should manage at least some of "your own" advertising.

Membership Dues

If your site lends itself toward offering additional benefits to members, this is another means of website monetization.

Some ideas that warrant a membership fee might include:

  • Newsletter with additional tips, suggestions, or information.
  • Password protected access to additional webpages
  • Added functionality for tools, forums, etc.

Affiliate Partners

Affiliate Programs are a great website monetization idea, especially if your affiliate relationships complement or augment your website's offering.

Utilize Affiliate banners where it makes sense, and text links throughout your content. Remember your visitor when leveraging your Affiliate links and advertising. You want to enhance their experience, and over deliver value. You do NOT want to fill your pages with links, banner ads, and other distractions.

Use this income channel to fill voids or provide additional non-competing services that you do not offer.


You may want to consider Donations as a form of website income. Generally a Donation Button, or "Contribute to Our Cause" can be used if your site is purely informational.

You should NOT include a Donation Button if your site has any Active Monetization functions. This can be a "turn off" to your visitors, and should be avoided.

While you should not consider donations to be one of your core website monetization ideas, it can possibly generate some additional income that you would otherwise not receive.

You can easily get the code for a Donation Button if you have a PayPal account.

Click Here to Setup a FREE Paypal Account

Return to the Top of Website Monetization Ideas

Return to Plan Your Website Go to Home Page