Just recently again I found myself in a discussion with a friend about how a WAHM can make money on a website.
There are two basic approaches to making money on a website, which I’ll refer to as directly and indirectly.
How to Make Money on a Website Directly
When I’m talking about how to make money on a website directly, this mostly refers to either
- finding clients for a service you provide or
- selling a product or products on your website, usually with some sort of shopping cart system.
Shopping Cart Issues
When it comes to being able to make money on a website directly, you’ll usually need some way of accepting payments (be it Paypal, or some other Merchant Account), and some mechanism for allowing a customer to check out securely from your website. Most of these issues I’ve covered in my post about shopping cart systems.
Direct sales tend to be a bit more complex because we have the added consideration of shipping (unless our products are being drop shipped from the manufacturer for us or delivered electronically as with ebooks), and other customer service details.
As a WAHM (Work from Home Mom) I don’t want to be too busy with minutia that takes me away from spending time with my kids.
Third Party Websites
Another way is to keep pointing to another website where you are selling your goods, such as Amazon.com or Smashwords (for authors like me). A shop like Amazon.com sells my books and ebooks from my original website, and ships or delivers them for me. They provide all of the customer services. When someone is confused about how to load an ebook onto their Kindle, Amazon helps them out instead of me staying up until 2 am explaining it over and over again. At the end of the month, all of my earnings are directly deposited into my account — only one entry in QuickBooks instead of one entry for every sale. So much more efficient.
For crafters, a site like etsy.com also can help you to create a store where you can sell your handcrafted goods.
How to Make Money on a Website Indirectly
You can also make money on a website indirectly, without hard selling or time-consuming customer service issues.
When I talk about how to make money on a website indirectly, this mostly involves the use of advertising. In the case of what I do most of the time, I use advertising from Google’s Adsense program on this website.
After signing up for an account with Google’s Adsense program, you’ll be able to copy and paste some HTML code into your website’s template that will allow Google to display ads on your site based on what your site is about or recent sites your visitors have visited. Many websites pay Google for advertising, and Google will share in some of that profit with you for allowing them to display ads on your site.
There are many Themes for WordPress that allow you to paste those ads in once, in the Theme Options, and always display on your website.
When a visitor clicks on the ad, you’ll receive a small amount of money. You’ll also earn a small amount for every 1000 impressions of the ad. That means, for every 1000 times ads are displayed on your website, you’ll receive a commission.
Adsense for Search provides a nifty search box for your website (see mine on the right side of my navigation bar above), with Google AdSense ads on it. This allows you to make a little extra money while providing a good search feature on your website.
I also use an affiliate program called MySavings Media. With My Savings Media, I get ads that help promote free offers, coupons, and special deals. I get a small commission when someone signs up for one of these deals. To find out more, click here: MySavings Media – Promote brand name coupons and free product samples on your website or blog.
Another option is to feature other affiliate links. An affiliate program is where you receive a commission for promoting a product or service every time someone uses your link to purchase that product or service. In my experience, affiliate programs work best when you are actively promoting the service you’re an affiliate for, rather than simply putting an ad up on your website.
The best way to find affiliate programs is to look at the bottom of any site you’re visiting, and see if they have an affiliate program or “associate”s program. Sometimes this is also called a “referral program”. It goes without saying that promoting products you know well and love work best.