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
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. Investing Basics

    How To Invest In Private Companies

    Owning a private firm means sharing more directly in the underlying firm’s profits.
  2. Entrepreneurship

    How to Run a One-Person Business

    Learn how to get a successful one-person business up and running with a business plan, financing, time-management tricks and delegation of tasks.
  3. Stock Analysis

    Google's 5 Key Financial Ratios (GOOG)

    Learn how calculating financial ratios such as the debt-to-equity ratio and price-to-earnings ratio helps investors evaluate Google's core business.
  4. Entrepreneurship

    Top Legal Tips for Starting a Business

    Before you launch a new business, make sure you're on top of the key issues that most startups face.
  5. Investing News

    The 10 Fastest Growing Green Startups in 2016

    These social entrepreneurs adopt triple bottom lines that champion urgent environmental problems while generating returns for shareholders.
  6. Economics

    The Oscars and Golden Globes: Worth Their Weight In Gold!

    The Oscars and Golden Globes set off a wave of spending that creates new flows of funds in the economy and has major financial impact.
  7. Retirement

    Roth IRAs Tutorial

    This comprehensive guide goes through what a Roth IRA is and how to set one up, contribute to it and withdraw from it.
  8. Entrepreneurship

    Multilevel Marketing Isn't Always A Scam, But It Often Is

    Nerium and Amway are popular direct sales companies that recruit new buyers and sellers to make a profit. Sadly, many direct sales firms are scams.
  9. Term

    The History and Purpose of TQM

    Total quality management explores processes to enhance quality and productivity.
  10. Term

    How Market Segments Work

    A market segment is a group of people who share similar qualities.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Is a financial advisor allowed to pay a referral fee?

    A financial advisor is allowed to pay a referral fee to a third party for soliciting clients. However, the Securities and ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. 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 >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. 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 >>
  6. 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 >>
Trading Center