Your business website exists to make your business money. It can do that directly, by taking payments online, or indirectly, by enabling you to get paid in another way. Whether your business sell services or products, there are ways to earn more through your website. Let's look at 9 ways you can make money with your website.
Note: This page contains affiliate links. Please see Affiliate Disclosure.
If you sell services, you likely have your clients create appointments with you. Maybe those are for sales calls, or consultative meetings, or for work to be done at the client's location. Maybe you charge for the appointments themselves, or maybe you just treat them as a cost of doing business, intending to earn your money through a future sale.
You can have clients schedule appointments through your website. It can be as simple as the client filling out a contact form, and you following up with them to schedule, or as robust as the client choosing the date and time in a calendar on your website. You can choose to take payment for the appointment through your website, or not. Maybe you'd rather handle payment outside your website, such as by invoicing the client.
If you sell services, you can sell them directly through your website. These could be services performed in person or remotely (such as IT services). They could be one-time services, or ongoing services.
If your services are "productized," meaning that they aren't customized to the buyer, you can sell them the same way you'd sell products through your website. A client could see a menu of your services on your website, choose one or more, and pay.
If your services are customized to buyers, then you may not be able to offer a full menu of services on your website, but perhaps you have one or a few services that can be productized, such as an evaluation, audit, report, or consultation.
Have you considered selling digital products through your website? Your business is probably brimming with information that's valuable to your customers. Why not package it into digital products? These could be ebooks, videos, courses, software, reports, or a range of other items. You can make them available for purchase around the clock, through your website.
If you sell products, why not sell them through your website in addition to your current channels (retail, wholesale, online markets, etc.)? It's easier (and less expensive) than ever to add ecommerce functionality through your website. You can make them available for purchase around the clock, through your website.
What if yours is a service business? Don't assume you can't sell products, too. Just as you can package information into digital products, you can package it into physical products. Could you sell booklets, books, USB drives, or DVDs? Or maybe you'd like to sell items with your company logo, such as coffee mugs, shirts, or hats? To know whether it would be worthwhile, think about not only the expected profit on the products themselves, but any intangible benefits, such as branding and relationship-building.
How many subscriptions does your business pay for? How many subscriptions does your home pay for? Is there anything your business could offer as a subscription to your clients or customers?
Subscriptions can be for information (such as a premium newsletter or consulting calls) or for access to a community (such as a mastermind group or online forum). Could you create one of these, and sell it through your website?
You probably pay others to advertise your business. Have you thought about getting others to pay you to advertise their businesses?
Consider putting ads on your website. Ads can be text, images, or video, and a variety of sizes. You can coordinate directly with the company that's advertising, or go through an ad network (AdThrive, Mediavine, Monumetric, Adsense, Media.net, etc.).
Your website probably mentions products and services by other companies. What if you could earn a commission by turning those mentions into links? Affiliate links are links to products and services, for which you receive a commission if the person clicking the link makes a purchase.
You can coordinate directly with a company that has an affiliate program, or you can go through an affiliate link platform such as ShareASale (this itself is an affiliate link), Rakuten LinkShare, and Viglink.
Has your business ever sponsored an event, conference, or team? Sponsoring is similar to advertising, except that the promotion is usually "softer" or less prominent. Have you thought about allowing others to sponsor any areas of your website?
Another company could sponsor any of your content (text, podcast, videos, etc.) by paying for some or all of it. You'd give them credit by putting the words "sponsored by," "brought to you by," or similar near the content.
You can also accept donations, through your website, in addition to making money using the methods above. This is most commonly done by nonprofits, but even for-profit businesses can invite donations. Some call them "tips" or some other word. Whatever you call it, you're giving people a way to financially support your business without needing to purchase a service or product.
It's common practice to allow people to choose the amount of their donation, as well as to choose whether to make a one-time donation or a recurring donation. If it's recurring, it's a good idea to provide plenty of scheduling options (weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.).
Which of these methods could work for your business? Maybe several would be a good fit. Are you missing out on any revenue streams your website could provide for your business? Contact us if you'd like to talk through any of your ideas, or get suggestions tailored to your business.