5 ways your website will make you money (that aren’t e-commerce)
Often, when you tell someone that a website can make them money, they point out they don’t want to sell things online.
Most people think that the only way to make money with a website is to use it as e-commerce, selling some hard goods or software just like a retail store. In reality, websites can make money even when you aren’t directly selling something.
Here are 5 ways to make money from your website without selling products or services directly through it.
1) Brand recognition
In the world of marketing, one thing you’ll hear everyone talking about is brand recognition. While many business owners think in terms of sales at the moment, smart owners are thinking about brand recognition.
Brand recognition is how well your brand is known by the people that you want to have heard of it. If your business is in a specific niche, you want the people who are part of the niche to have heard of your brand.
Unlike simply advertising, brand recognition is the long-term way to keep your business thriving. It’s the reason that Coca-Cola and McDonalds constantly advertise, even though they’re way ahead of their competition. Keeping their brand first in consumers minds is the best way to stay at the front of the pack.
2) Narrative control
Competitors love to tell your story, especially if you’re the leading company in your niche. They might not use your business’s name, but they’re referring to you in their social media, blogs, and advertising.
You can control the narrative by having a website that represents your business. It’s literally “from the horse’s mouth” information as opposed to being filtered through someone else.
One example might be a public persona. Rather than relying on Instagram or Facebook to host their story, a famous person might create a website where they can tell their own story, dispel rumors, and set the record straight.
Every brand will find it useful to do the same thing, have a place where they control the entire narrative and don’t have to rely on anyone else.
3) Online/In-person Events
In the time of COVID-19, our worlds changed. We went from being in person for most conferences and courses to doing everything remotely. This creates an opportunity for any expert in their field or even someone who has a bit to tell people.
You can use your website to host events. You would sell tickets to an event, whether virtual or in-person.
Your website can become the go-to place for anyone looking to learn about or talk about whatever subject you’re expert in. There are online events for networking computer programmers, people who want to learn to knit, and those who are trying to learn to speak English. In-person events can be playdates with the kids, golf lessons, or geocaching events.
Using your website can be a great way to begin purple together and people will pay for the privilege of getting together.
Your website can cross-promote other aspects of your business life. For example, if you have an ecommerce store and a speaking business on golf, you can create a golf blog that allows you to cross-promote to those sites, as well as other people’s sites.
Your website doesn’t need to generate its own revenue if it’s generating revenue for you elsewhere.
Another outstanding example is that you have a real world cleaning business. You can create a website that’s a cleaning products review site. It might not make its own money, but you can use your cleaning business as the laboratory and it will get mentioned in every review.
Cross-promotion is perfect for serial entrepreneurs who have 100 irons in the fire. Bring them together to a site that highlights your hard work.
5) Sponsored posts
Once you’ve got traffic to your website, you can get sponsors for posts. Businesses and people will pay you to write about their businesses or offerings.
Sponsored posts can be a tough ethical call for some blog owners. They don’t want to be forced to say nice things about products or services they’ve either not tried or didn’t like. It’s a matter of setting out editorial guidelines that allow you to keep your integrity and still have sponsored posts. Require that anyone who wants you to write a sponsored post must supply you with the goods or services first.
Websites Making Money (without an ecommerce store)
Making money with a website that’s not an ecommerce store is simply a matter of thinking outside the box.
Start by looking at how you can bring value or traffic to your existing brands or businesses. If you’re a service provider, could you use a place to display your expertise? If you have multiple businesses, you can use your website to cross-promote everything.
As you can see, ecommerce isn’t the only way to make money with a website. Look for new ideas and additional revenue streams. They’re out there and you can make good money for things you’re already doing.