With the average person spending anywhere from 2 to 7 hours online per day (believe it), it makes sense that you would want to find ways to direct the attention of this global market and cash in on it.

Every day more and more browsers, niche site owners, and dabbling bloggers are taking the plunge and supplementing their monthly income through online means. It’s just the logical thing to do because on a daily basis, online is where the traffic really is. With more and more brick and mortar stores closing shop and products moving online – it’s a cheaper, safer, and more convenient all around.

So once you have your website up and running, what ways can you use to monetize your website? What works in the current environment?

New to online marketing? Pay-Per-Click Ads using Google Adsense

If you’re not intent on marketing other people’s products, or linking out to affiliates isn’t on your list of how to make money from your website options…pay per click ads may be your best option.

What makes this one of the easiest (though not always the most effective) routes to take is the fact that Google Adsense will use your content to identify your site’s themes and niche, after which it will display ads that are as relevant as possible to your content. All you need to to do is sign up for Google Adsense.

What happens with PPC ads is, whenever someone clicks on the ad link, you’ll make a commission; starting from a few cents and reaching up into the dollars per click, it all depends on the ad and the nature of your content.

CPM or “cost per 1000 impressions” ads, operate on the basis of payout per set number of site visits. These are a viable option for beginners with growing sites, as they don’t actually require a click to payout…only a view!

No matter the nature and topic of your blog or website, the fact is, every single spare inch of screen space is prime monetizing real estate. If you’re wondering how do you make money on a website that’s not an online store or affiliate marketing site, pay per click or CPM ads are your answer but, as with every monetizing idea in this article, traffic is key.

Have growing traffic? Sell Ad Space, Magazine Style!

While Google Adsense won’t require you to have a massive readership to get going, the option of directly selling ad space is really more of an option for those of us who’ve already built up a following. In this option you’d use your impressive readership stats as a basis for approaching companies with products relevant to your content, offering them site space for advertising at a fixed rate per month, the exact same way you’d sell ad space in a printed magazine.

If you’re interested in this option but your readership stats aren’t exactly enticing, don’t worry, there may still be hope: entice them with a low cost to start, ad space at cents per visit, that way, as your readership increases, payment for ads can increase accordingly.

In the long run, this is one of the most secure ways of earning through advertising, especially if you can secure a handful of long term contracts from big names that will not only pay you for your services but whose presence on your site’s banners and sidebars will increase your reputation and street cred in the online market place.

Like the idea of guest posting? Content Sponsors

Although ads and pay per click can be a lucrative way to monetize your website, the fact is, most people avoid even looking at the advertising when they visit a site out of interest in its content; you’re probably the same. Click ads can be irritating and seriously detract from your site’s aesthetic appeal and general cred if not placed properly or are irrelevant to your visitor. If this is a sensitive point for you, then sponsored content may be the way to go.

While this is also a form of advertising, it’s somewhat more reader friendly and engaging and can actually be a valuable source of content for your site. This option involves allowing other blog owners to have your audiences’ eyes for a price. They get to write a blog post with a link to their website or product and you charge them for the opportunity to either sell to your audience, build their list, or build more exposure.

This works best if you can show you have a solid, engaged readership.

Enjoy raving about products you’ve tried? Affiliate Marketing 

This is one of the most lucrative and potentially the most enjoyable options for monetizing your website or blog. And let’s face it, it’s an excuse for you to test products of your choice, rant and rave, and do what you do best, craft content, all while making money in the process.

Affiliate marketing works on the basis of endorsing, reviewing, or promoting products and having your content link out, through what’s known as affiliate link to a place where the items can be purchased. This provides you with a commission on sales, sweet!

Places like Amazon, ShareASale, Clickbank, and Commission Junction offer trusted affiliate programs. You can also locate and try out online stores who have an Affiliate Program. If you’re blogging about wine, for example, do a search for ‘discount wines affiliate program’, sign up for a listed site’s affiliate program (you can make anything between 10 % and 70 % of affiliate sales), and get busy sampling and writing about their products…like I said, this can be the most enjoyable option by far! Searching the sites you love for affiliate programs is also an option.

When it comes to figuring out how to make money from a website, there’s no shortage of viable options. One of the reasons this is a favorite option, is that this option provides you with content ideas and income!

Get your content ideas from the things you love. Products you spend money on can end up paying you far more than they cost you. Of course, once again, none of this is going to make a difference unless you can pull the traffic to your site!

Are you the expert in your niche? Don’t Sell Yourself Short!

If you’ve built up a steady readership and your visitors value your opinions, advice and general content, it may be time to start offering courses, VIP member access, and special tidbits for a fee.

Paywalled content is basically VIP content that your readers will have to pay to access. We’re not saying shut it all down to anyone who doesn’t hand over their cash, we’re just saying…let your general content wet people’s appetites for more and then paywall that last tidbit so that you can start making money through your content crafting efforts.

Subscriptions work on a similar basis but you’ll offer weekly/monthly/daily VIP content that only subscribers can access. Still…it all starts with building up a readership and for that, you need traffic!

Getting Started with Traffic

So, how do you start getting the right type of traffic that will pay you for the content on your site?

The trouble is, most of us can’t afford to pay an expert hourly to ramp up traffic figures for our site, prime our content for SEO, and do our homework monetizing our website for us.

Effective keyword research is a great way to start determining what is going to be the best content to put on your website. You want to have content plan based on good keyword research. Of course you want to write on topics that people are interested in, but you will need to balance that with topics that people are searching for.

Efficient long tail keyword research will not only help you to ensure that you’re able to stay consistently ahead of your competition (and you’ll encounter a lot of competition online!), with advanced insight into long tail keywords, you’ll be able to understand which keywords give you the most bang for your buck or time. A competitive long tail keyword provides more than just a general direction, it practically delivers your next post title right into your hand.

Once you have your keyword research complete and your content all set up, the best way to know what the ideal monetization method is for your own site, is to test them all and see which ones give you the best return on investment. You need to find the methods that not only benefit you in the short term but also offer a sustainable solution, in line with your long term goals.