Whether you run a product and service website or a personal blog, there are several ways to turn traffic into dollar. Creating a sustainable, self-sufficient business takes time, but you can start monetising from day one to build up a passive income stream. Here are five avenues to explore:

1) Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing involves a third party website – the affiliate – making referrals to a product or service site in return for a one-off payment or revenue share. These referral fees are negotiated through cost per thousand impressions (CPM), cost per click (CPC) or cost per acquisition (CPA) deals.

The affiliate business model can be adapted to near enough any industry, with retail, online gaming and financial services being some of the most popular. Successful affiliate sites pride themselves on strong SEO, unique content and user-friendly promotions.

Affiliate marketing has several benefits, including low start-up costs, flexible working hours and a scalable business model. Amazon Associates is a great place to get started, offering affiliates 10% in referrals for advertising Amazon products.

2) Advertising

Selling advertising space is the quickest way of monetising traffic. Through Google AdSense, you’ll receive commission every time a visitor clicks on an advert on your website. This commission – which stands at approximately 68 per cent - ranges from $0.02 to $15 depending on the competition for keywords and how much advertisers are paying Google. Google AdSense is easy implement with a single web code, although you’ll have to pass a minimum £100 payment threshold to be eligible for a cheque.

The alternative to Google AdSense involves negotiating directly with advertisers. This can lead to more lucrative commission, but outreach can be time consuming and advertisers are under less obligation to meet payment deadlines.


eCommerce is the act of selling physical goods over the internet.

Unlike other online businesses, ecommerce probably requires the highest set up and fixed costs. This is because the seller will have to set up a fully functional ecommerce website; source products; pay import duty, shipping costs and VAT; fulfillment costs; refunds and chargebacks; and then generate enough traffic to his/her website to turn a profit.

Fortunately, there are a still a number of ways to avoid the high setup costs, such as becoming an eBay power seller, an Amazon associate or even dropshipping, where the product is shipped directly from the supplier. Some of eBays top sellers make more than $100,000 per week with margins from as little as $0.20 per unit.

4) Lead generation

Lead generation websites make money when the user enters their personal details – be it email address, postcode or phone number. The webmaster can either generate leads for himself, or receive compensation from a third party website.
One of the most prolific industries for lead generation in recent years has been pay-day loans, with top ranking lead generation sites accruing more than $10,000 per day.

Webmasters incentive users to enter their details through a variety ways, including gated content, special offers and high converting landing pages.

The advantage of lead generation sites is that they are suitable for a wide variety of targeted traffic sources. This includes SEO, PPC, Facebook Ads, purchasing website ads on a network and social media.

The most successful individuals in the lead generation are experts in conversion optimisation, where they split-test various factors and run PPC targeting to maximise lead click through rate (CTR). Jeremy “ShoeMoney” Schoemaker is famous for saying that anyone could copy his ad copy and keywords, yet they would still fail to turn a profit because of his expertise in geo, user and time-zone targeting.

5) Education Services

The e-learning market is growing rapidly, as new media has revolutionised visual, interactive learning. The popularity of ted.com is testament to this. If you have a field of expertise, then you can monetise your website via consultancy services and tutorials, delivered through a range of mediums: e-books, videos and webinars.

Hosting a live streaming event – facilitated by free hosting services such as WebEx and Citrix - is a way of engaging your audience, generating sales and promoting your website brand. Meanwhile Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu, and Apple make it straightforward to self-publish and disseminate eBooks.

Author's Bio: 

Sam Miranda has been running affiliate websites in the online gaming, finance and education sectors for five years. He reviews gaming operators at www.livecasinos.co.uk, also offering industry news, advice and regulatory updates.