Creating Multiple Streams of Income Online
You started a website or blog and you want to make some money (that is the goal of a business, so that’s not a bad thing). Maybe you created a product to sell, or maybe you’re using AdSense, direct ads, affiliate ads, promotion of services, or some other method to monetize your site. In order to maximize the income potential of your website you’ll almost certainly have to take advantage of multiple income sources.
Why Should You Have Multiple Streams of Income?
1. Security. Probably the most important reason is that multiple income sources provide you with increased security. There is no guarantee that any source of income will continue. What if your site only uses AdSense to make money, and suddenly you find out that Google has banned you from AdSense for one reason or another? It’s happened to plenty of people, and many of them didn’t even realize they were doing anything wrong. When you have money coming in from a variety of sources you’re much safer if one of them dries up. It might still hurt your bottom line, but it won’t kill you.
2. You can benefit more from the traffic you already have. If you’re trying to make more money online you may be thinking of ways to get more traffic. Why not try to find some ways to make more money from the traffic that is already coming to your site?
3. Higher income potential. If you’re getting all of your income from one source, you’re leaving more money on the table. All of the top earners online have found a mix that works for them.
4. More to offer to your customers. Having multiple streams of income will most likely mean that you are offering more to your customers. In How I Multiplied My Profits by Packaging Services Christine O’Kelly talks about the value of packing related services. In her case, she was packaging web hosting along with her primary service of web design. There’s a logical connection between the two services, and many customers would rather get both from the same place than go to two different places. Christine was able to offer her customers a needed service while making more money for herself.
5. Allows you to take more chances. Have you had an idea recently about a great new way to make money but held back because of the potential risk? If you have a stable income flowing from multiple sources you’ll be free to take more chances. If your ideas don’t pan out at least you’ll still have your existing income. This can be a big advantage for those who want to really aim high and push the limits.
Common Sources of Income for Blogs and Websites:
Selling Ad Space - Most major websites make money by selling ad space. This can also be done by smaller websites, but the ad revenue alone will not be enough to support the website owner. Ad prices are based on factors like traffic, the topic of the site, rankings (PageRank, Technorati, etc.) and more.
If you are selling ads on your website you can still make money in other ways. After all, what if your advertisers stop buying ads?
Affiliate Programs – Affiliate programs are a great opportunity for blogs of any size. New blogs with small audiences may not be able to find advertisers, but they have plenty of opportunities to use affiliate ads. Bloggers with large, established audiences will have the opportunity to unlimited income. (If you are interested in affiliate marketing, please see a recent post I wrote at Blogtrepreneur, 81 Useful Affiliate Marketing Resources.)
Paid Reviews – Although Google’s penalties have reduced the number of paid reviews that are being done, plenty of bloggers are still making good money with them.
Pay-Per-Click Ads – AdSense may not be right for every website or blog, but it can be profitable in the right niche. If you’re interested in learning more about making money with AdSense, read the series that Courtney Tuttle is currently working through about keyword sniping.
Product Sales – Selling your own products provides you with the opportunity to make more money than many of the other methods listed here, but it can also be more work and more of an investment. If you are looking to maximize your income it is something that you should consider.
Job Boards – This one is not really that common yet, but it can be highly effective in the right situation. Darren Rowse of ProBlogger has a job board for blogging positions that charges $50 for a 30 day listing. At the time of this writing there are 17 jobs posted, which would account for $850 of income. Of course, most websites do not have the type of traffic and community that ProBlogger has, but even on a smaller scale this could be a great additional income opportunity for an industry-specific job board.
The Approach to Creating Multiple Streams of Income:
The idea, of course, is that a little bit (or a lot) of income from several different sources will add up to a higher end result. If you want to see this in action, check out income reports by the likes of John Chow or Blogging Experiment. You will see just how several different sources can really add up.
When monetizing your website or blog, it is important to realize that not everything that produces income is good. What may produce $50 for you this month may cost you in the long run if it has caused you to turn off a number of your readers. Be careful not to alienate your readers/visitors as they are the critical element to your success.
Those that have been able to successfully earn money from several different sources with their website have been able to find several specific ways to add value to their visitors. Ads can bring value to visitors if they are relevant to what visitors are looking seeking. Products sales and affiliate programs can also ad value if the products being promoted are top-notch and meet the needs of the purchasers. Paid reviews can even bring value to visitors if the right products and services are being reviewed, and if the review focuses on what readers will want to know.
Share Your Thoughts:
What types of income opportunities are you pursuing, or what do you plan on pursuing? From a reader/visitor’s perspective, what ways do you like to see a site create income, and what turns you off?
Published January 21st, 2008 by Steven Snell