Websites are one of the best passive income sources in the modern world, but if you’re focused on optimizing your site and growing your investment, how much room is left to keep the site’s passive income for yourself?
By ERIC PORAT, online entrepreneur
If you enter the website flipping business, you’re doing so for profit. Even if you’re thinking of yourself as an “investor” you’re eventually planning on selling, most likely, once your site has been optimized, traffic has grown, and it’s worth significantly more than what it was worth when you bought it.
But can you make money while you’re growing your site? Obviously yes, but it’s more complicated than a simple yes or no.
“Websites are one of the best sources of passive income in the modern world. If you can build a site with reliable, diverse traffic, multiple streams of revenue, and a solid social media standing, you have the potential to earn quite a bit. Whether from affiliate marketing, ad revenue, or direct product or service sales, there is massive potential for high levels of passive income from a heavily trafficked site,” I have said before.
However, if you’re putting a lot of money into growing the site, improving SEO and UX, running email campaigns, and so on, then oftentimes a lot of that passive income coming in each month is reverted and poured back into site optimization.
So, can you earn reasonable passive income while investing in websites?
Yes, if you play your cards right. Below we’ll get into a few different ways in which you can maximize the monthly income your site is bringing in. Keep in mind these methods are only passive if you can have someone running the game here. However, if you have a site that’s growing, we’re assuming you have someone running it already.
Sponsored posts are a great way to make more passive income if you have a self-sustaining blog with a reasonably engaged audience. Essentially, a sponsored post is when a brand or individual comes to you and pays you to have an article published on your site. You can reach out to them, or they might contact you to write and publish content regarding their products or services.
Sponsored posts are worth big money, depending on your audience size. That said, they generally require a writer on your end or the sponsor’s end. If you already have someone writing the blog, however, it isn’t any different to switch them over to writing sponsored posts, so this is an excellent way to make passive income. Try to negotiate long-term contracts with brands so that you’re publishing a certain amount of sponsored posts for them per month, for example. This saves time and keeps the process hands-free on your end.
You probably know what a paywall is, but in case you don’t, a paywall is basically just a barrier that requires readers or users to pay to access content beyond it. This means users have restricted access to some valuable pieces of content, and to reach that content, they have to pay for it.
This is really useful to gather email addresses and other key info about your readers so you can better reach out to them in the future. Also, by offering access to premium content for a fee, you’re earning passive income (ideally you want them paying a monthly or annual fee, as opposed to a flat rate). A hybrid gating experience is a great idea here, where you have different tiers of content and users can pay higher rates to get deeper access.
Generate and Sell Leads
Lead generation is another great option to monetize your site. What you do here is, through the content published on your site, you attract readers or users that can register as leads which a company will then turn into customers in the future. However, if you want to get paid for bringing in leads to a company, you need to make sure they’re qualified. The payment models are typically either pay per lead or pay per call.
Writing product reviews is a fast method to get income for your site. Just choose products that are relevant to your niche and then have your writer pen product reviews. Your opinion on these products will matter to your users, and the product brands will pay you well, because you’re promoting their products to a target audience that is relevant for their brand. It’s that simple. You can also make money by signing up for an affiliate program with those products, earning a percentage of every sell you bring in.
Podcasts aren’t exactly passive, but if you get one up and running, it can generate a lot of income overtime. If you do well, you can start hiding it behind a paywall where users have to pay to access it. Brands will also pay for time on your podcast, product reviews, sponsoring various episodes to promote their product or service to your audience. The trick is getting a reasonable amount of listeners for your podcast, but if you’re already working on growing your site traffic, this should be your bread and butter anyway.
Don’t forget there are tons of widgets and plugins available on WordPress sites to monetize your site. These plugins allow you to insert ads or links into the posts or pages of the website. Via this method, you can earn a large amount of extra cash, if you have enough traffic.