Do you have a website or blog? Do you dream of working from home? If you answered "yes" to both those questions, you may be closer to getting paid to lounge in your pajamas than you think. See, many people attract thousands or even hundreds of thousands of visitors to their website(s) each month, but they don't really know how to make money from that traffic. Luckily, new technologies and services have made monetizing your website easier than ever before.

Building and Quantifying Website Traffic
The first step in monetizing any website is quantifying the website's traffic to get an idea of what type of advertising would work best. For instance, websites that attract a large amount of traffic or a highly specific demographic may opt for different monetization methods than those that attract lower traffic numbers or more generic demographics. The two best programs to quantify and analyze your traffic are Google Analytics and Quantcast.

Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an industry-standard free analytics program that provides statistics like the number of page views, time spent on a given page and keywords that online visitors typed into search engines to reach your pages.

Quantcast is a free service designed to provide demographic information based on a user's location.

After these programs are up and running, the next step is to build traffic to the website over time. The best way to do this is by writing strong content and optimizing that content to be easily accessible to search engines.

Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the process of building a website to enhance its visibility in search engines like Google and Yahoo!. Often, this is done by properly using HTML and identifying keywords with high traffic and little competition.

Strong Writing
With catchy headlines and interesting content, you can increase the likelihood of inbound links and reader sharing.

Google AdSense and PPC Programs
The most popular way to monetize a website that receives little to modest traffic (less than 200,000 visitors per month) is by using a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising program like Google AdSense. These programs pay website owners a variable amount of money each time a visitor clicks on an advertisement that's automatically generated based on the page's content.

Selling Ad Space on Popular Sites
Popular websites attracting more than 200,000 visitors per month, or ones that target desirable demographics, may be better off directly selling ad space. Often, these ads are usually sold on a CPM basis, but some can choose a blend of CPM, PPC and CPA advertising methods. Ultimately, the website owner should test and see what works best. Those looking to setup their own advertising systems can checkout programs like OpenX or inClick.

Parting Thoughts on Monetization
The techniques listed above are certainly not the only ways to make money from home through monetizing a website. For instance, websites or blogs with highly desirable premium content may also want to consider a subscription-based model where readers pay a monthly fee to access certain content. This can be done with programs like MagicMembers or MemberMouse. Also, website owners can attempt to sell products as affiliates and earn a commission if viewers click on the provided link and buy the products. There are many sites that allow affiliates to promote their products. ClickBank and Amazon are two popular ones, but there are many alternatives.

The Bottom Line
In the end, the best solution is usually to try different options and see what works. Google and others provide very easy ways to get started, while more complex systems can be implemented as the website grows larger. Unique ideas like subscriptions and affiliate marketing can often be hit-or-miss, depending on the visitor demographic being targeted.

Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups That Emerged in Denver

    Learn why Denver is one of the hottest markets in America for startups, and identify five of the top startups that are emerging from the Denver market.
  2. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups That Emerged in Raleigh

    Learn about the startup scene in the Research Triangle hub of Raleigh, North Carolina. Discover which startups are the hottest to emerge from this tech city.
  3. Entrepreneurship

    How Does ClassPass Work and Make Money?

    Find out how ClassPass makes money, how the company aims to help both businesses and consumers, and why it has been so successful.
  4. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups That Emerged in Detroit

    Learn how startups are changing the face of Detroit, a city long dominated by large corporations, and identify the specific Detroit startups leading the trend.
  5. Entrepreneurship

    Top 5 Startups That Emerged in Boston

    Learn why Boston is a hot market for startups, and familiarize yourself with a few of the top startups that have emerged from the city.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    Top 7 Startups That Emerged in Mexico City

    Learn why Mexico City has the potential to emerge as a major player in the startup scene, and identify several companies leading the way.
  7. Entrepreneurship

    Elon Musk Success Story: Net Worth, Education & Top Quotes

    Read more about Elon Musk, the South African immigrant turned technology and engineering entrepreneur and inventor worth $13.6 billion.
  8. Stock Analysis

    How Rollins Inc. Transformed from Radio to Pest Control

    Discover how Rollins, Inc. grew and expanded, making numerous acquisitions, transitioning from the radio industry to the pest control industry.
  9. Markets

    How TheSkimm Works and Makes Money

    Obtain information on the popular news digest newsletter, theSkimm, and understand how email newsletter publishers generate revenues.
  10. Investing

    Steve Ells Biography

    Steve Ells is a bit of an anomaly in the fast food world. By refusing to bow to the rules of fast food, Ells has created a restaurant that people will go out of their way to visit.
  1. Brand Identity

    The components of the brand are created by the business itself, ...
  2. Venture Capitalist

    An investor who either provides capital to startup ventures or ...
  3. Purchase-To-Pay

    An integrated system that fully automates the goods and services ...
  4. Negative Option Deals

    A dubious business practice that involves supplying a typically ...
  5. Drip Pricing

    A pricing technique in which only part of a product or service’s ...
  6. Quick Response (QR) Code

    A type of bar code which can be read by a digital device, and ...
  1. What is the difference between a Debit Order and a Standard Order in a bank reconciliation?

    While both debit orders and standard orders represent recurring transactions that must be considered in bank reconciliations, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How can a company execute a tax-free spin-off?

    The two commonly used methods for doing a tax-free spinoff are either to distribute shares of the spinoff company to existing ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How often should a small business owner go through a bank reconciliation process?

    Small business owners should go through the bank reconciliation process at least monthly, and many business consultants recommend ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How is the marginal cost of production used to find an optimum production level?

    The marginal cost of production can be tracked to show the optimal production level where per-unit production cost is lowest ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does a long tail become profitable?

    A long tail becomes profitable because the costs to produce, market and distribute a product or service in a niche are low, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do companies with a large product portfolio use BCG Analysis?

    BCG analysis is used to evaluate an organization's product portfolio in sales planning and marketing. It is specifically ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!