Have you ever wondered whether it is possible to monetize your website without running ads?
Many websites are indeed storefronts for the business. You want it sleek, fast, responsive. And you want to make money selling your goods and services.
Perhaps you run a blog on your website as a way to increase traffic and get that ranking. As a matter of fact, many business owners do. Hope is that you get more eyes on it and perhaps someone will end up using your service. That is definitely a way to monetize your business.
But with free content, we get many viewers who don’t buy. Yet, running a business and a website has costs associated with it. To close the gap, may business owners fall pray to running ads to generate additional income.
Yes, I know, ads provide revenue. But having bunch of ads all over your page can make your site look messy. And depending on how you structure the ad space, it may list all kinds of things, some of which you may not be proud to showcase.
In addition to looking messy and delivering irrelevant content it can muck up what you are trying to do. And that is deliver your content without distractions. And if you have many pop ups, it can also potentially turn your audience away. Especially if those are not relevant to the content you deliver.
Yes, I am fully aware that an occasional and relevant pop up may increase sales. I happen to run some pop ups myself and you might experience one while reading this. But, when you don’t run ads, you get to be in control of what pops up and when.
Truth About Ads and Consumers
Okay, so we all agree that it’s a bit of a problem and a conundrum. And if we don’t run ads, how to we make some side income to help with operational expenses? We’ll get to that.
But first, let’s consider some facts and then model our friends from big businesses.
“An estimated 38 commercials air every minute across national TV, and the average viewer spends about 15 minutes out of every hour just watching ads. That adds up to more than an hour of total TV time each day.” – information provided by CreditDonkey
And that’s TV ONLY.
Let’s jump to online media and other media.
It turns out that everyone gets fed 19% more ads in recent years and the number is rising. Every newspaper, blog, and YouTube channel seem to run ads these days.
And it turns out that nearly 90% of us skip through ads, whether on TV or YouTube whenever we can. However, the remaining 10% doesn’t really watch the ad because they want to. It appears they do it because they don’t have an ability to skip it.
And only about 1% or less ends up clicking. Which breaks down into something like this (provided by thebalancesmb.com):
- You have 100,000 ad impressions (views).
- You have a click-through rate (CTR) of 1%, which is standard.
- 1% of 100,000 is 1,000.
- If the CPC of the ad is $0.01, you make $10.
- If the CPC of the ad is $1.00, you make $1,000.
For this to work, you have to have a constant 100,000 views per day (at least).
Final piece to add is that many of us (me included) will use ad blockers, pop up blockers and browsers that eliminate ads. Yup, a nice clean way to view my content ad free. Additionally, some folks will pay just to not see an ad.
In conclusion, you can make some money with ads, but you also may lose customers by doing so.
Some of the bigger businesses and smart entrepreneurs have figured this out quite some time ago. It turns out that you can become a bit creative to solve the problem of annoying ads and needing extra cash.
One of those solutions is to have premium content. This would be videos, newsletters, information, etc. that you provide to individuals who are willing to pay a bit every month just so they don’t have to see those pesky ads.
Don’t think that it works? Think again and consider many big companies that offer just that. List includes Amazon, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and many others.
Another solution, which YouTubers have figured out is donations.
Yes, you can actually ask your readers and followers to donate to your project and channel. And, it appears that if you commit to run your website or channel free of ads, people tend to donate more.
So your jobs now it to focus on delivering a WOW factor to your audience and provide incredible service. Then simply mention that you are committed to providing ad-free content and that donation to help support the effort is appreciated.
You can make it into a contest. Again, YouTube has figured that out. Or you can have them make a donation when they really like the content. And you can do a combination of it all, including adding “kindly donate to request content” or “donate to ask a question”.
Get creative, but I think you get the idea.
How Do You Monetize Your Website Without Ads?
Well, we just explained ideas of how to do it. Now let’s jump into a bit of technical as to HOW to implement it.
If you are selling anything on your website, you likely have payment processing in place. Things like Stripe, PayPal, of maybe even BitPay. You can always utilize that for the service, place a button underneath your content and you are done. The challenge with this strategy is that your fees will eat up quite a bit of your donations. Unless your readers, viewers and followers make payments larger than $25.
If you have a programmer on your team, they can likely integrate some very cool features, but if you don’t and you have to hire some, that can be an expensive project. Obviously, if you know how to code, then go for it and have fun.
For the rest of us, who don’t want our small donations to be eaten by fees and don’t have programming skills, here are two free ways to get the job done.
- Utilize popular apps like Venmo. I don’t know if you knew it, but you can pop your QR code from Venmo on your website. Visitors will see it and if they decide to donate, it makes it rather simple. The nice part is that it’s free for them and for you (fee wise). And it will only take a few minutes.
- Open your Venmo app
- Click on “scan”
- Select “my code”
- Then save the image and import it to your website
- Another option is to leverage the power of cryptocurrencies. If you have a wallet you have a public key (sort of like account address). With this you have two options, you can either post your public key on your website or use crypto QR code for faster and easier donations:
- Open your wallet
- Find your address
- Copy address
- Past into crypto QR code generator
- Save the QR code
- Post it on your site
The nice part about Venmo is that many people use it and depending on how you structure the withdrawal it’s free. However, if you have a bit of distrust in fiat, the process of banks, you can go to crypto payments. Fees are small and typically paid by the senders. And you get to collect assets that have potential to go up in value.
I hope this was helpful and that you’ll consider taking charge of your own content and website. If you like the idea of having crypto donations, but have no clue what I said about it, I invite you to check out my Crypto 101 course.
And finally, here is the model. Wanna test it out?!
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