The Valuation of a Website
Earning money with a website is very similar to earning income with a physical business. They both need traffic and sales to be profitable. The question of how to earn Money with a website is very closely related to the questions of how to get traffic to your website and how to convert that traffic into sales.
Comparison – Website to a Restaurant
If you were building a restaurant and once you had completed the renovations, you decided to sell that restaurant – what would it be worth? You don’t own the building as it is being leased – all you own are the renovations made to the property. The truth is, you would be lucky to get your money out of that property and it would not be easy to sell.
A website that has been beautifully developed is not worth much as it is not customized to the buyer. With a newly developed website with no traffic and no sales, there is little or no value except in the website design and perhaps the content on the site. Trying to sell your website as it stands would not be very profitable.
Now take the same restaurant that has built a large clientele and is hugely profitable. The restaurant is packed full every day and makes extra money by having a catering business. Now what is this business worth? Would it be easy to sell? How can this business generate more revenue?
Of course this restaurant is very valuable and has proof of value by the income being generated and the volume of people coming to them on a daily basis. They have options on how they want to grow or they can choose to sell the business at a very large profit.
What makes this business valuable?
- The traffic that is coming to the business.
- The proof of income over a period of time.
If you have these 2 elements working on your website then your options for generating more income from your website are immense. It will only depend on your creativity and what you want to do with that site that will determine your next step.
A 3 Part Question
Now that we have clarified what makes a website valuable it is much easier to determine how to earn money with this website. Not all methods of earning money from a website are equal and the methods that are best for a site are related to its purpose and design.
We will first look at some strategies available for earning money with a website. By knowing about these methods can help us plan the design of our website and give us better understanding of what the possibilities are.
Strategies for Earning Income from Your Website
- Sell Products –
- Sell physical products (E-commerce Site)
- Sell your own digital products (will you be a product creator?)
- Sell Services
- Sell Coaching or Consulting
- Sell Services that your Audience are looking for
- Sell products as an Affiliate
- Affiliate Marketplace (Affiliate Networks)
- Direct Affiliate Programs (Privately run Affiliate Programs)
- Build a membership site where you give training and webinars
- Sell Leads to Businesses
- Sell Text Links
- Rent the Website
- Sell(rent) Ad space on the site
- Rent Pages on a website
- Sponsored Posts and Articles
- Add Advertising through Ad Networks
- Vertical Networks – These promote high quality ads. Have Vertical Networks in specific channels ( Example: Fashion or Travel)
- Targeted Networks – Next generation networks that use targeting technology such as contextual and behavioral signals to determine if the specific Ad is a good match for being viewed on a site.
- Blind Networks – Give lower pricing but give little control as to where the Ad will be displayed.
- Specialized Ad Networks
- Mobile Ad Networks – Focus on traffic generated by mobile
- Video Ad Networks – Focus on traffic associated with Video Content
- Build an Email List
- Ask for Donations – can work with a highly engaged community.
- Check your valuation – Is it time to sell your site?
1.1 – Sell physical products
The products you can sell online are only limited by your imagination. Here is a list of popular ideas that may help:
- Handmade and Custom Products
- Apparel and Accessories
- Food and Beverage products
- Vitamins and Health products
- Home & Garden products
- Pet products
- Beauty and Personal Care Products
- Electronics and Accessories
- Games and Entertainment products
When you have decided that you would like to sell physical products online it is important to know your audience and what they are interested in buying. There are different platforms that do an excellent job in helping you set up an online store with the focus on selling physical products. These platforms help take much of the complexity out of building your Online Store (E-commerce site).
What complexity you may ask?
Since you will be handling buyers’ important information such as credit card information you need a secure and safe method of doing this. There are also government regulations that need to be met such as being PCI compliant, when handling the exchange of money over the internet.
Some hosted platforms that are very helpful in doing this are:
If you choose to do more of the work and take care of these complexities yourself then solutions like the following will work well:
1.2 – Sell your own digital products
To do this you will need to create some digital assets that you can market to your audience. These products can be created by yourself or you can hire people to create them for you. Another route that some people take is to buy PLR products, re-brand them and resell them as their own. It would be best to update and add value to a PLR product before trying to sell it.
Here is a list of some ideas for creating digital products:
- Video training courses
- Valuable reports
- Create E-books
- Create a piece of software or tools that are needed
When selling products in smaller quantities, it may be easier to use PayPal to take care of your payment processing.
2.1 – Selling services – Coaching or Consulting
As long as you are in a niche or field of interest that you are an authority or have a great deal of knowledge, you can use that knowledge as a coach or a consultant. On your website you can offer one on one coaching or a personal consultation for a specified hourly rate.
Here are some steps you could take in building your coaching offer:
- Research and know your audience
- Know the area where they need your help
- Know how best to reach your audience
- Start building a relationship with your audience
- Choose the marketing methods you will use to get your traffic
- Determine your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
- Update your Website with your USP
- Give a free 20-minute consultation to build trust
- Build a referral system
- Keep delighting your Clients. …
- Use webinars for groups sessions and to connect with your audience
2.2 – Selling Services – Develop services that can be sold
You must have a specific group or audience that you know well. Once you have your audience, you need to know their struggles and areas of pain in their lives. Develop a service to fill that void or need and bring it to the attention of your audience.
- Example – Audience is Bloggers
- Bloggers struggle with creating content
- Create a service providing articles and videos
- Example – Audience is Affiliate Marketers struggling to get traffic
- Offer service that does an Online Audit
- Speed Up Website
- Provide some quality back-links
- Example – Audience is Newly engaged women
- Offer service to help to plan wedding
- Offer step by step process to create their dream wedding
3. – Selling Products as an Affiliate
As an affiliate you will receive a commission for selling other business’s products or services. These products can be physical, digital, or in some cases when people take a specific action such as filling out a sign up form (CPA). Affiliates simply refer people to the product being promoted through their affiliate link and get paid when the product is bought. Affiliate programs abound but you must be approved before you can start promoting products. Once the buyer presses on the affiliate link the affiliate has no more responsibilities. It is a great way to make an income and is great for businesses to promote their products.
Affiliate programs can be found in the following 2 ways:
- 3.1 – Affiliate Marketplaces (Affiliate Marketing Network)
- Affiliate Marketplaces act as an intermediary between the merchant and the affiliate. Merchants can list their products at the Affiliate Marketplace and they ensure that both Affiliates and Merchants are properly informed and affiliates are paid for products that are sold. The benefit of the Marketplace is that there are many affiliate programs listed and once approved by the network it is easy to promote products.
- Some Affiliate Marketplaces are:
- Commission Junction
- Amazon Associates
- EBay Partner Network
- Purely Digital Marketplaces
- Some Affiliate Marketplaces are:
- 3.2 – Direct Affiliate Programs (Privately run Affiliate Programs)
- These are Affiliate Programs that are being run by individual businesses. You need to sign up with each business individually, but it works essentially the same as the Affiliate Network but you are working directly with a single business.
- They can be tricky to find but a good place to start is to do some online searches for – “Affiliate Program”.
- Some Direct Affiliate Programs are:
- HostGator Affiliate Program
- A2Hosting Affiliate Program
- Payoneer Affiliate Program
- There are sites that help you find affiliate programs that are available and what marketplace they are listed.
- Here are just a few:
- Here are just a few:
4. – Build Membership sites
What is great about membership sites is that they can easily build you a recurring income. To build a healthy membership site that will keep growing is to have a constant stream of new information being given on a regular basis. Normally you will start with a core training that will then be supplemented by weekly webinars, or added training videos. As your membership site grows so will your income and the information on your site becomes more valuable.
- Example of a membership site that charges 19.99/month
- With 10 members that is $199.90/month
- With 100 members that is $1999 /month
- With 500 members that is $9995/month
This is an ideal platform for someone who is already an expert in a field that has a great deal of knowledge they can share. The importance of knowing your audience and building relationships with them is crucial if you want to do well with this model.
5. – Sell Leads to Businesses
In this strategy your aim is to build a website that will rank well with the search engines. The strategy normally involves targeting long-tail keywords that have search volume but are easy to rank. The website imitates a real business website with a look and feel that appears legitimate. Once the website is ranked and getting traffic and leads, businesses in that niche are contacted and offered these leads for a price.
There are other possibilities to do this same strategy by building a popular Facebook Page or some other property that can be used to generate leads for a certain type of business.
- An example of a big player in this market is called
- HomeAdvisor.com ( formerly ServiceMagic.com)
- This company builds sites to rank and gather leads for businesses
- They then charge businesses for sending them those leads
- HomeAdvisor.com ( formerly ServiceMagic.com)
6. – Sell Text Links
This is usually used by SEOs who do what is called black hat methods. It is called black hat because Google does not allow such practices and tries to stop those who use this technique by de-indexing their sites . The idea is to build simple but relevant websites in a specific niche. Once these sites are ranked they are used to send links to a “Money Site”. The end result is the “Money Site” becomes highly ranked and favored by Google.
The way this method works is to offer to put a link onto your website linking to the buyers site for a fee. The site you build needs to be relevant to the buyers niche and the link would be a do-follow link. It can work very well but there are risks that could be costly if detected by Google.
7. – Rent the Website
Again this is normally done using SEO and ranking the website in the search engines. The idea is to build a website that is relevant to a niche. Once it has been ranked and is getting traffic, businesses can be approached and asked if they would like to rent your site for a monthly fee. The rent would include modifications to the site that would customize the website to the business while you would maintain the rankings on that site.
8. – Sell(rent) Ad Space on The Website
When you have a site that is getting lots of traffic you can contact businesses in related niches and ask is they would like to advertise on your site. You can offer different sizes, banners, side banners, popup ads, there are many possibilities.
- Help connecting with businesses
9. – Rent Pages on your site
Once you have traffic coming to your site in a niche relevant to targeted businesses, you can approach them about renting a page on your website. This page would be created for them with their content and you could add promotions for them. You simply need the proof of the traffic and the ability to show how it will help their business. You can offer a free trial period just to let them see if it works.
10. – Sponsored Posts and Articles
In this case you have found a business that is willing to pay you to write a post or an article about their product. The post or article would highlight their product and you are paid for this service. The article or post must indicate that it is sponsored and that you are compensated for what is written, plus all links need to be “no follow”.
11. – Adding Advertising through an Ad Network
Again the key here is that you are getting traffic to your website. There are different types of Ad Networks, some categorize sites by the type of content they focus upon (Vertical Networks). Some networks cater to specific verticals (example: travel). Other Networks sell based on audience behavioral, demographics, interests and other data collected (Targeted Networks).
- Vertical Networks – Categorize sites based on their Content covered
- Targeted Networks – Place ads based on audience behavioral, interests and demographics
These Ad Networks will scan your content and find the keywords to match them with relevant advertisements. These are the more advanced Ad Networks sometimes referred to as Ad Networks 2.0
- Blind Networks – Place ads where there is Ad space available ( Not targeted)
- Specialized Ad Networks
- Mobile Ad Networks
- Video Ad Networks
- Ad format specialization (specialize
An easy way to start monetizing the traffic to your website is to add advertising from one of these different Ad Networks to your site. To do this, simply sign up with an Ad network – paste a small piece of code into your website and they will begin displaying ads on your site.
- Cost-per-thousand Impressions (CPM)
- Advertiser is charged when an ad is displayed on a web-page ( but not necessarily seen by the viewer as it might be below the view-able space shown on the screen)
- viewable CPM (vCPM)
- Advertiser is charged only when the Advertisement is displayed above the fold – in the view-able space of the page.
- Cost-per-click (CPC)
- Advertiser is Charged when a click is made on the ad and the viewer follows the link.
- Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) – sometimes referred to as cost-per-action
- The Advertiser is charged only if a specified action is taken by the prospect.
- Example – Filling out a form or signing up for a trial product…
- Cost-per-Engagement (CPE)
- Used with Google LightBox Ads.
- The Advertiser is charged when a viewer simply mouses over an ad and it expands for more than 2 seconds
- Cost-per-view (CPV) – used for video
- The Advertiser is only charged if the viewer watches more than 10 seconds of their ad.
Publishers (that is you) are paid a percentage of the revenue earned from these methods but over a period of time this can add up to a decent amount of money – if you have the traffic to your site.
Google Adsense pays 68% per click to their publishers. This sounds great but since this is all calculated in an auction and using some smart algorithms it is not necessarily the highest bidder that is displayed on your site, it is determined by a “quality” score. Essentially Google is trying to get the highest income per thousand impressions for you and the advertiser and give everyone a positive result.
- Just know that you should not expect to get rich using this method. The key here for this to work is that you need a good volume of traffic to your site.
There are many Ad Networks out there to choose from – here is an incomplete list of the more popular Networks:
- Google Ad Network
- Google AdSense (PPC)
- Conversant Media
- EPOM market
- Vibrant Media
- Adscend Media
- Propel Media
Vertical Ad Networks
- Social Entertainment vertical
- Entertainment Vertical
Mobile Ad Networks
How Much Traffic Do I Need?
As a general rule you should be getting above 10,000 page views per month. If you are not getting that type of traffic, it is suggested that you hold off on adding these types of ads to your site due to some of the negative effects.
The Negative Effects of Using Display Ads on a Website
If you decide that you want to use one of these Ad Networks on your site you need to be aware that there are some negative affects that occur from doing this type of advertising.
- The Ads may distract your visitors and cause them to move away from your intended goal.
- These Ads may drive visitors away because they are simply annoying
- When a viewer actually clicks on an ad they move off your website and may never come back
- May hurt your google rankings and lower your traffic.
- May lower your reputation and relationship with your visitors
Follow the Rules of the Ad Network
Yes there are rules that need to be followed when using an Ad Network. Here are some of the basic ones from AdSense.
- Don’t Boost Clicks Artificially
- Don’t Display More Ads Than Content
- Don’t Ignore Webmaster Quality Guidelines
- Do Not create more than one AdSense Account
- Don’t try to trick visitor’s into thinking Adsense Ads are not Ads
If done correctly – using display Ads on your website can help bring in some extra monetary benefits to your online efforts. Do your research, build your traffic, and follow the rules.
12. – Build An Email List
Building an Email list is the number one rule of marketing. You can be building an Email list in combination with any one of the other strategies. Think of the Email list as your Warm Customers who know and like you – it is always easier to sell to a crowd who knows you rather then a crowd of people who have never heard of you. It is much more expensive and costly to get visitors to your site who have no knowledge of you, but much easier to bring the people back to your site with whom you have built a relationship.
Think of your Email List as a way of building relationships with your customers. While building that relationship you can be bringing them inside information and offers on products that you think they could use and would love. A great way to build income for your business.
To build an Email list you need a high value offer + an autoresponder for capturing their Emails + a Landing Page (where you bring cold traffic to capture their Emails). The basic idea is to offer a valuable product, item or information in exchange for their Name and Email Address. Once they agree you can send them free information and different offers that can produce sales. If you treat these people like friends they will reciprocate and become valuable customers for the long term.
13. – Ask for Donations
When you have a highly engaged community and the focus has been to help your community, asking for donations can help pay the bills. If you are creative you can help people to join you in your vision and help keep your business moving forward.
14. – Check Your Valuation – It May Be Time To Sell
You have arrived – you have built a successful online business. Your website has a good amount of traffic to the site and there is a good amount of monthly revenue being generated. You now have the proof of the value of your website. The typical price that will be paid is 24x – 36x the average monthly income of the website.
- Example – Website is making an average of $3300/month
- Expect to make: $79.0000 to $119,000
To sell your site the safest way to do this is through a website broker. Three popular choices for a website broker are:
- Flippa – Auction – best for websites worth less than $10,000
- run more like an auction
- Buyer beware – Flippa does not verify website information
- Bigger Risks – Higher risks of Scams
- Empire Flippers – best for websites worth > $10,000 but less than < $100,000
- Listing fee of $297 1st time – $97 after this
- Verifies information – Hands off selling
- 15% to 20% commission
- FE International – websites worth > $100,0000
- No listing Fees
- Verifies Information – Hands off selling – Handles all the legal documentation – Marketing
- around 15% commission
There are many ways to earn money with a website, all it takes is some creativity, hard work and some know how on getting traffic to your website.
This completes our list of strategies for earning money with a website.
3-Step Plan For Building A Valuable Website
As we have discussed that it takes sustainable traffic and revenue generation to make any website valuable. Here is a 3 step plan for this process. The implementation will take some time and hard work but with consistency and taking action anyone can do this.
- 1 – Plan Your Website
- Purpose of the website
- Decide how the website will generate revenue
- 2 – Plan for Converting the Traffic
- Design your website to entice visitors to take a desired action
- Plan for what products you want to be promoting
- Plan on building an Email List
- 3 – Plan for Getting Traffic to the Website
- Use good SEO techniques to allow your website to rank well in the search engines
- Use Paid Ads to start driving traffic to your site
- Use Social Media to engage with your audience and build more authority
- Use Retargeting to stay in front of visitors to your website
- Have a Referral Plan that helps build business and reputation
Step 1 – Start With a Plan for the Website
Before a website is designed or built it is good to plan the purpose and ultimate goal of the website. The purpose is closely tied to the audience or group of people that the website will be serving. Once the purpose and the audience of the website are understood, this information can be used to build the website and it’s content.
It is best if you can choose the strategy that you are planning to use for making money with your site early as it will help in your design and how you build your website.
Some examples are:
- Website 1
- Target Audience are Younger Ladies who love designer shoes
- E-commerce site built to sell shoes
- Site offers special discount for getting on their Email list
- Uses Email to promote special items and offers
- Website 2
- Target Audience are People who Customize Vehicles and resell them
- Website is built to teach techniques of car modifications
- Selling a training course on Car Modification and Car Customization
- Uses site to build an email list and Email Marketing for making more sales
- Also has a sales funnel built with a set of offers.
- A Niche or Target Audience that you know
- Know their wants and needs
- Have built an Avatar for your typical Customer
- A Purpose and Plan for your Website
- Chosen strategies for earning money from your website
- Building your Website designed for its’ intended purpose
- Building Content around the theme and purpose of the website
- Building a Free Offer – Trust Trigger for Step 2
- Lining up Products to Promote on website
Step 2 – A plan for Converting your Traffic
A plan needs to be in place for convincing your visitors to take desired actions before they leave your website. Before you go rushing out to get all those people to come to your website, you need to be thoughtful of the process that you will use to get visitors to take some action while visiting your site.
First you should have the strategies that you are planning to use for building revenue from your site decided and begin putting this plan in place.
- Building a Membership Site
- Know your audience – know your focus
- Decide on topics you are covering
- Have an offer to attract new members
- Plan ongoing content that will retain membership
- Decide how you will build an Email List
- Building a Blog – Used to promote your own products
- Know your audience – know your focus
- Plan your free offer to attract sign ups
- Design the landing page with your free offer
- Decide on the products you will be promoting
- Plan how to promote these products
- Design the sales funnel
- Plan the Up-sell products and Down-sell products
Once you have the purpose and design of your website decided, it is time to build your lead capture process (called a “funnel”). This will be the main set of steps to move a visitor(suspect) who has come to your site onto your mailing list and present them with your offers.
This funnel can be as simple as having a squeeze page where we have our free offer in exchange for their Name and Email address. You can make this funnel much more complicated where you add multiple levels of offers and educational information depending on the visitors actions.
- Suspect – cold traffic to our website (want them to become a Prospect)
–>> Prospect – Now they are on your list – educate them on who you are.
———>> Customer – If they like what you do they may become a Customer. (buy low cost item)
——————>> Client – Buyers who stay and Buy more from you
- Autoresponder (building Email List)
- Visitors sign up to receive emails from you
- Allow you to send your emails to your list automatically
- Communicate – Build relationships – Educate – Make Offers
- Funnel Builder (optional)
- Easy integration with website, autoresponder and other marketing tools.
- Makes building your Funnels much quicker and easier.
- Creates the funnel that seems complicated to be drag and drop easy
- I am part of this platform and I highly recommend this as it has a Funnel Builder + Autoresponder and much more included. You can start for as little as $9.95/month
- Affiliate Marketing friendly
- If you are just starting out this is my 2nd choice. It has both the Autoresponder and nicely designed landing pages that can be used to capture Emails.
- Affiliate Marketing friendly
- Very stable and reliable service that my suit your needs.
- Affiliate Marketing friendly
- Constant Contact
- I like MailChimp for their Free Always plan if you have less than 2000 subscribers.
- Not Affiliate Marketing Friendly
- If you are planning on doing Affiliate marketing with your Emails – You may loose your account.
- 1 Shopping Cart
- Autoresponse Plus
- Campaign Monitor
- Office Autopilot
- …..plus many more not listed
- Again I am part of the Builderall platform and they are definitely worth joining. I know a number of people who have left Clickfunnels to use Builderall because it is all round better and much lower in price. Builderall is growing and is constantly adding more features – you need to be a part of this program.
- Smarketly is a great platform for building your funnels. The system works well and has many integrations.
- Built by a Marketer for Marketers – Great tool but is very expensive.
- ..….plus many more not listed
- Have a free offer designed and built
- Designed and built a Squeeze Page (where we are presenting our free offer)
- Designed and built your sales funnel
- Setup your Autoresponder with our first set of Emails
- Have the first set of products ready to be promoted
- Have bonuses to offer for promotions
- Website is now built and ready
- Content on website has at least 10 good articles
- Good On-Page SEO has been done on site.
- Building out your Social Profiles and Connecting to Website
Step 3 – Lets Get Traffic – Visitors to your Website
Building Traffic is not as hard as it may seem. There is no one method of getting traffic but the key is always knowing who your audience is and where to find them. One of the most effective strategies is to go where your audience interacts with one another. Become part of their conversations and become known as someone who is helpful. As you build these relationships you can drop suggestions like – if you would like to know more you can drop by at mydomain.com.
Note that we will list many different ways to get traffic but you only really need to get good at one or two of these to have all the traffic that you will ever need.
- Traffic = Visitors = People
- Getting that traffic can be done through many methods and avenues
- Knowing you audience will best determine the correct method to reach them.
- Some Marketing Strategies
- Relational Marketing
- Guest Blogging
- Forum Relations
- Facebook Group Relationship Building
- LinkedIn Community Relationship Building
- Meetup Groups related to your Website Focus
- Comment Marketing (on related Blogs)
- Influencer Marketing
- Article Marketing (is not dead)
- Done correctly article marketing is still effective
- SEO Marketing
- Build content around High traffic – Low competition Keywords
- Focus on Long-Tail Keywords with low competition
- Build strong Backlinks to your important pages
- Forum Marketing
- Pay attention to Others before expecting others to be interested in you
- Content Marketing (works well with Blogs)
- Create informational content with stories
- Social Marketing
- Facebook Marketing
- Youtube Marketing
- Instagram Marketing
- Pinterest Marketing
- Social Media Stories
- Facebook Live
- Video Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Webinar Marketing
- Create Webinars to promote and build relationships with audience
- Paid Advertising
- Facebook Ads
- Youtube Advertising
- Instagram Advertising
- PPC advertising
- Relational Marketing
- The Website is built and at least 10 quality articles are posted on your website
- All the Social Media profiles have been built and connected.
- The sales Funnel and landing page are designed and built.
- Have Google Analytics Placed on your website
- Use Tracking Software and do some split testing.
- Should have Picked the Traffic Generation Methods to concentrate on
- Must be using some Relational Marketing Methods
- To get some quick traction it is recommended to initially use some Paid Advertising
- Be focusing on your chosen Traffic Generation
- Be Building More Content
- Build – Build – Build
SUMMARY OF EARNING MONEY WITH A WEBSITE
To summarize we need to be constantly improving and building on and off our website. As more visitors come to your site you need to focus on giving value and building trust with these visitors. There is a temptation to try selling at every click and on every page – but instead concentrate on giving your visitors exceptional value and a great experience. Give your visitors opportunity to see your story, to interact and build a relationship with you. It is good to promote items that you believe will be helpful but it is more important to build trust and let them connect with you.
As they begin to trust you it will be easy to promote items since they have come to know you and trust you.
As these efforts produce more traffic, your reputation and authority will grow. Now these people who now know and trust you will talk about you and create more interest and traffic. Putting this all together will bring in more and more traffic and ultimately sales.
This has been a 10,000 foot overview of earning money with a website.
We hope this has been helpful.