The topic of having a website has been blowing up even more than usual here in the Caribbean, with people wanting to know if they really need one or if their social media platform is good enough. Whereas in countries like the US/Canada/UK/Australia/etc, not having a website has a very negative impact on your business, as people view your business and not being legitimate.
A website for a business is like having the verified account status (the blue check) on social media. There are also more technical reasons as to why having a website, does more good for you than not having one but that’s an article for another time.
This week, I wanted to get into how your website can generate revenue for you. As we know, the name of the game is to have multiple streams of revenue and if you can add some passive income streams in the mix, even better.
Websites primarily generate revenue in 3 ways:
- Affiliate Marketing
Let’s breakdown how your website can monetize each of these.
Ecommerce or Electronic Commerce is the selling of goods or services using the internet and the transfer of money and data to execute the transactions. It’s never been easier to set up a website that allows you to sell products on your website and use a payment processor like PayPal, Stripe, Wipay, First Atlantic or Buzzpay and collect money online.
The reason why eCommerce stores have exploded is that now you technically do not need a physical location and you can service people anywhere in the world (business dependent) or at least the people in your country. Now that we have access to payment processors and more local couriers popping up, selling a product to someone in another part of the country is even easier because you know longer need to meet up with them to exchange the goods for money. They can order online through your website and you can fulfil the order through a courier.
Dropshipping has become even bigger now due to sites like Amazon, where stores no longer need to stock the items that they are selling and they will only bring in a product for a customer after the order is placed. This deserves its own article and we will get into this another day.
E-commerce websites are great for services too because you can use booking services on your website, so clients can see what dates and times you are available and pay to book your services, without having to speak to you. It’s a great feeling when you see your calendar is booked and every client has pre-paid for your services.
Advertising on your website is a great way to earn passive revenue. Yes, you still need to put in the work to drive traffic to your website but when your website starts to get that traffic, you will be able to earn some good money from ads.
One of the most popular ways to set up ads on your website is to register for a Google AdSense account and have Google set up ads on your website. Google does all of the hard work and tailors the ads through various sizes and puts the right ads that people want to see that are specific to them or what they have searched for in the past, onto your website.
You will then start to generate revenue in US currency and when your account hits the minimum monthly threshold of $100usd, Google sends you a cheque in the mail. If you do not hit the minimum threshold, the balance simply rolls over until you hit it.
You can also sell ad space yourself on the website. WordPress for example, allows you to customize pages and gives you the dimensions for ads, which you can then offer up those slots for a price and terms that you set. This is also a great way to earn money because you have a bit more control in the process. The more traffic your website gets, the more you can charge for space on your website. Clients will also be able to track the referral traffic and you can share those details with each other.
Another amazing way that your website can generate traffic is through affiliate marketing. Now Amazon has the largest affiliate marketing program to date but there are many many more programs available.
If you are someone who creates a lot of content on your website, you can add affiliate links to products that you are talking about and when someone purchases that product, you earn a commission for it.
The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you do not supply the product or handle any of the logistics. You simply need to advertise the product or talk about it in one of your pieces of content and if you have built the trust of your audience, they will purchase those products that you recommend and this is one of best ways to earn money online.
Amazon-like Google pays out in USD and has a minimum $100 threshold before cutting that cheque and sending it out to you in the mail.
You can also do this for local products as well, you just need to work out a commission structure with a local supplier and then set up the ads on your website.
Whether you decide to build your own website through popular platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, Joomla, Drupal, etc, it will take a little time and money to get it up and running just how you would like it too, but do not just settle for having a website that does not generate money for you.
Many people in the Caribbean have static websites, that do not generate traffic (due to a lack of knowledge), nor does it generate any revenue for you.
Your website can use all 3 methods at the same time to generate revenue and not only will it pay for itself, but add some much-needed cash flow into your pocket.