Every business believes it must have a website in this modern age in order to attract customers. This might be true, 59% of consumers are now using Google to find local businesses to solve their problems and it is harder to appear on Google without a website.
Yet, having a website is not the end of the business journey. You have to find ways for that website to generate an income. If you don’t, all you have done is purchased an expensive online business card.
There are many options for your business to generate an income. Here are five just to get you started.
1. Sell Your Product / Service
This is the simplest option for your business. It doesn’t matter if you’re a SaaS company with revenues in the millions or a local dog walker – you could take payments and orders on your website quickly and easily. One of the easiest options is to use PayPal, most of the back-end work is done for you and they have excellent customer service when you need it.
They are also cost effective for small businesses, charging a small percentage on each transaction. When you are a large organisation, you might want to consider other payment gateways which can offer you better rates, but if you have revenue that is less than £100,000 per year, PayPal is more than suitable.
2. Email Marketing
You don’t have to make an instant impression on your audience. In fact, modern audiences like to visit potential suppliers seven or eight times before they make a purchasing decision. However, 70% of your audience will not return to your website unless you sign them up to your mailing list.
In addition, email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing avenues for your business. While social media only accounts for 1% of all online transactions, email marketing is responsible for 18% of all online sales – the best avenue after organic searching and direct visits. It can also be highly cost effective, especially if you have a small mailing list and use MailChimp.
So speak to your web developer about installing an application that can help you build your email marketing list and start a regular mailing campaign to drive customers back your site.
Although we personally don’t like advertisements, it can be a good source of income for some businesses. Using organisations like Bing and Google, you can have a header or sidebar where adverts are located that visitors may be interested in. Every time that your visitor clicks on a link you earn some money.
It sounds simple, but there are few issues with this revenue model.
- Per click revenue is very low so it takes hundreds of clicks to generate a ‘reasonable’ income.
- You have no control on what adverts are displayed, so rival organisations could appear.
- Adverts can slow down your site, meaning that the user’s experience is poor – impacting on your return.
Yet, for small businesses that have limited functionality on their website, but high visitor rates, this could be a good option for generating income.
A subscription service is the new age model for businesses. Your customers will pay a regular fee for a period of time to receive a consistent service / product. There are many businesses that are operating this way like Netflix, Riverford and even our own membership service.
Subscription services can be really good for your business because it can cut down on administration if you have the right software. Invoices and management of access can be automated using programs like S2Member and Membership 2.
However, subscription services are not always easy to manage or suitable for some business models. You have to consider if it is the right option for you.
5. Affiliate Programs
Finally, you can advertise other products through your content where you have an affiliate program. An affiliate program works by you attaching a code to the end of a URL when you link to a seller’s website, which will identify you as the referring business.
Many entrepreneurs have made a living out of being affiliate marketers and this can be an effective online income generator. There are just a few things you have to consider:
- Can you create enough content to sell to your audience?
- Is the affiliate product suitable for your audience?
- Are you willing to risk your reputation on the product?
Joining sites like ClickBank or Affiliate Window are good first steps, although eBay and Amazon also offer affiliate programs.
Generate An Income From Your Website!
Don’t let your website be an expensive business card that doesn’t generate you a decent income. Consider the options to create a stream of customers that can help you grow your business and make it a success.
How do you generate an income from your business’ website? Do you use any of the above revenue paths?
Let us know in the comments.