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Magazines > Information Today > April 2024

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Information Today
Vol. 41 No. 3 — April 2024
Insights on Content

Tips and Best Practices for Monetizing Your Website

by Linda Pophal


Amazon Selling Stats

Statista website visitor stats as of December 2023

Domain Authority

Website ‘Authority’ Checker

Pearl Lemon

Brill Media

Apple Podcast Subscriptions

Spotify’s podcast paid subscriptions


.com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising

While many people may not think of it this way, Amazon is likely one of the most successful—if not the most successful—websites from a monetization standpoint. Initially, it started as an online bookseller, but today, much of Amazon’s revenue comes through payments received from third parties selling products on its site—a practice referred to as affiliate marketing. Today, more than 60% of its sales come through independent sellers, the company reports.

Amazon, the gorilla in the room here, is the third-most-visited website in the U.S., per Statista, among other giants such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Facebook. But while Amazon delivers what successful websites must deliver to monetize effectively—an audience—that audience doesn’t have to be massive. It just has to be relevant. Any number of much smaller websites have been able to gain revenue—even significant revenue—through monetization efforts.


Chances are, whatever the content of your website is, there’s a way to monetize it. That audience doesn’t have to be huge. In fact, niche audiences can, and do, hold value for many website owners. Effectively monetizing your website, though, requires a “chicken and egg” approach that can prove challenging: You need to have an audience before you can work to grow that audience through monetization. To begin, you need to build an audience through your content—whether that’s the products and services you sell or ancillary content such as blog posts, infographics, case studies, and/or white papers that offer value to some target audience.

With that in mind, you’re going to want to ensure that your website has enough domain authority to attract the attention of search engines. Domain Authority is a metric, developed by Moz, ranging from 0 to 100, with higher authority the goal. Ahrefs offers a free tool to measure a similar metric that it refers to simply as authority. While higher is better, there’s no agreed-upon target score. It will vary by industry and the type of content that you produce. A good way to determine how you stack up, though, is to review the authority rankings of others in your business, including your competitors. Just as authority scores can vary significantly, so can the means of monetization. Website monetization isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are various options and opportunities that website owners should consider when determining what might work best not only for them, but for their audience.


Deepak Shukla is the founder of Pearl Lemon, a corporate SEO agency based in London. “Partnering with businesses that align with your niche can help promote your website through affiliate links or banner ads,” he says. It’s important, though, “to maintain high-quality content, ensuring your target audience finds value from your site.” However, there are risks. “The risks with ads are that ad impressions pay a low price and can sometimes contain spyware, which will, in turn, disincentivize other advertisers from running on your site,” states Robert Brill, CEO of Brill Media, a media buying agency based in Los Angeles. “The risk with affiliates is that they may not monetize effectively, or be of questionable quality,” he says.

Other opportunities for monetization that Shukla points to include curating ebooks, webinars, and consultation services. “These digital products can be highly profitable and attract audience members attracted to your niche to your content,” Shukla states. These efforts can be promoted to drive more traffic to your site through email marketing, newsletters, and social media posts. Your own content could also be monetized through the sale of digital products or services. Putting your content behind a gate and charging a fee to access it can provide a passive stream of revenue.

Podcasts, for example, continue to be a very popular way to monetize content, most often through advertising; however, some podcasts do charge a fee. Apple Podcast Subscriptions allows creators to offer premium content at a fee that includes ad-free listening, early access to episodes, and bonus content. According to Apple, the best-performing subscriptions can convert more than 10% of listeners to subscribers. Spotify also supports podcast paid subscriptions and exclusive content for subscribers.

Regardless of what types of monetization you pursue, two must-dos are having significant traffic coming to your website and ensuring a quality experience both for your visitors and your advertisers. “Focus on a niche that can be monetized effectively,” Brill suggests. “Put effort into search engine optimization to get organic traffic. Make your site fast to load, easy to access, and uncluttered.”


Topping the list of key considerations is alignment with your brand. Building a strong brand can take a long time and a lot of effort, but its value can be diminished quickly. That means ensuring alignment between your desired brand and any monetization efforts you undertake. Everything you do on your website can either support or detract from your brand. That includes backlinks, ads, and offers. “While backlinks are crucial to drive more traffic to your site, it’s important that they’re relevant to your content. If it’s not, it can decrease your SEO rankings, which can lessen your credibility and prominence in the niche you’re pursuing,” Shukla explains.

Maintaining your brand and its relevance requires high-quality content, which includes your own content as well as any content being used to help monetize your efforts. Gianluca Ferruggia is general manager at DesignRush, a marketplace that connects businesses with professional agencies. “There’s a balancing act between financial gain and maintaining brand integrity if you’re running a service-oriented business,” Ferruggia points out. “At DesignRush, while we’ve successfully monetized our platform, we remain vigilant about preserving our brand’s authenticity.” It can be easy to be “swayed by the promise of quick monetization,” he says, but it’s important to focus on opportunities that are aligned with your mission.

User experience, Shukla states, should be a top priority. He recommends “always putting user experience first to ensure customer satisfaction.” Content should also be aligned with user interests. Ferruggia agrees: “If we start seeming too commercial, it might turn our audience off and it might affect our traffic, ultimately affecting our monetization options anyway.” It’s always best, he says, “to make sure that monetization should never compromise the quality and relevance of our content.”

It’s also important to have a well-defined strategy. “You have to start with a well-crafted content strategy coupled with diligent execution,” Ferruggia states. “By investing in a consistent content planning and production process, we were able to grow a platform that became recognized as a trusted resource that resonates deeply with our audience,” he explains. “Our goal is to align our content with the business’ broader objectives so that every article informs and contributes to our overarching mission of connecting businesses with the right agencies.” This “might take longer than if you invested heavily in ads, but it does help drive organic growth, which naturally attracts profitable affiliate partnerships and sponsored content opportunities.”

There are legal and regulatory requirements to be aware of and to follow as well. “Transparence about sponsored content is important to maintain trust with your audience and avoid any potential loss of credibility or backlash,” Shukla says. It’s also required by the FTC. Ferruggia points out that money isn’t necessarily the only objective to consider when thinking about ways to optimize your site through strategic partnerships. In addition to financial benefits, he recommends “aligning with affiliates and sponsors whose offerings enhance content and resonate with your audience’s specific needs.”

Whatever your goals, it’s critically important to maintain a focus on quality over quantity. “Focus on a niche that can be monetized effectively,” Brill advises. Then “put effort into search engine optimization to get organic traffic. Make your site fast to load, easy to access, and uncluttered.” Providing a high-quality experience for your users and partners in monetization—including advertisers and affiliates—is the best way to nurture both audiences to achieve and maintain long-term success.

Linda PophalLINDA POPHAL (; is a freelance business journalist and content marketer with a wide range of writing credits for various business and trade publications. In addition, she does content marketing for Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and individuals on a wide range of subjects, including human resource management and employee relations, as well as marketing, technology, and healthcare industry trends. Pophal also owns and manages a content marketing and communication firm, Strategic Communications, LLC ( Send your comments about this article to