Case Study: Six ways websites listed on Flippa are being monetized
Six ways websites listed on Flippa are being monetized

Effectively monetizing a website might be hard work, but despite the struggle, it is possible. Of course, the first step is understanding which monetization methods are available, and which methods best align with your individual objectives. On that note, I’ve prepared this article by analyzing and summarizing six website monetization methods and the circumstances under which each method is useful. Lastly, along with each method, I’ve also included an example of a real site listed on Flippa using that method. So enjoy this article, and start monetizing your website today!

Website English-Test.net is up for sale on Flippa
English-Test.net uses an AdSense based monetization method.

Monetization via Google AdSense: English-Test.net

AdSense is generally the widest used and most accessible form of advertising available to self-publishing webmasters. Webmasters simply place a brief JavaScript code on the websites’ pages. Then AdSense will choose the highest paying ads that are targeted based on the content of the sites and the interests of the users accessing those sites. It has been particularly important for delivering advertising revenue to small websites that do not have the resources for developing advertising sales programs. Using AdSense to monetize your website traffic is a good option if you have a content-rich site with family-friendly content.

English-Test.net is the self-proclaimed largest collection of interactive online English tests in the world. The site boasts over 1.1 million Unique Visitors a month and about 2.7 million Page Views a month. This massive amount of traffic is being monetized with Google AdSense to the tune of about $5,000/month in revenue.

Website Rewrite My Paper is for sale on Flippa
RewriteMyPaper.com uses a SaaS monetization method.

Monetization via SaaS: RewriteMyPaper.com

Compared to the traditional model of software distribution, in which software is purchased for and installed on personal computers, the Software as a Service (SaaS) model delivers the software service by making it available to the users over the Internet. SaaS is becoming an increasingly prevalent delivery model because of its many benefits such as easy accessibility, painless upgrade, lower initial costs, etc. Some SaaS businesses charge their users on a subscription base, such as Spotify and Evernote, while other SaaS businesses charge their users based on the usage, such as RewriteMyPaper.com and Heroku.com. If your website provides a valuable software service and your users are willing to pay for using it, SaaS would be a good option for you to maximize your revenue from the value of the service.

RewriteMyPaper.com provides a software service that helps college students rewrite their papers and essays. Students simply copy and paste the papers to the website and it automatically rewrites the papers for them. Users are charged for credits that they use based on the number of words in the papers they would like to have rewritten. With 1.5k Unique Visitors and 15.4k Page Views per month, the website generates an average monthly revenue of $725 during the past 6 months.

The Rocking Chair Company is for sale on Flippa
TheRockingChairCompany.com uses a dropship eCommerce monetization method.

Monetization via Dropship eCommerce: TheRockingChairCompany.com

Since businesses being monetized via dropship ecommerce do not carry inventory, they usually take less time to operate and require less cash to start up, compared to an eCommerce business that has to manage the inventory and shipment in-house. It is an attractive business model from an operations standpoint. However, the profit margin of a given dropship eCommerce business would generally be much lower compared to a similar inventory-holding eCommere business. There is also an underlying risk since the dropship business has little control over their inventory and shipment. In general when you go the dropship route, there are likely to be many other stores that carry the exact same products. You really need to differentiate your business from the many other competitors in order to win more orders. The dropship business model is a good option for you to bring in extra income, as it is relatively easy to start and operate.

TheRockingChairCompany.com (TRCC) is a dropship eCommerce website selling chairs and tables. The website is 9 years old with 5.4k unique visits and 25.3k page views per month. It generates $12k products sales and $2.7k gross profits per month with a profit margin of 22.5%. Currently 100% of items on the site are drop-shipped, which means TRCC doesn’t keep any products it sells in stock. When TRCC sells a product, it automatically purchases the product from the manufacturer and the manufacturer ships out the product to the end customer.

Website EVERYTHINGbutWINE.com is for sale on Flippa!
EverythingButWine.com uses an inventory holding eCommerce method.

Monetization via Inventory Holding Ecommerce: EverythingButWine.com

If you want to run a full-time eCommerce business and you have money to invest in it, inventory-holding eCommerce might be a good option for you considering the hefty profit margin. However, you’ll generally need a larger initial investment to get setup. You’ll also need to think about where you will physically store your inventory, and what your fulfillment processes will be.

EverythingButWine.com (EBW) is an inventory-holding eCommerce website that sells wine accessories. With 3.9k unique visits and 34.8k page views, it generates $3.9k in revenue and $1.9k in net profit per month, with a high profit margin of 48.7%. Different from the dropship business TheRockingChairCompany.com (TRCC), EverythingButWine.com would stock products based on what customer ordered and manage the shipment in-house. EBW’s profit margin is 48.7%, more than double the dropship business TRCC’s 22.5% profit margin. Even though the monthly gross revenue of EBW is only $3.9k, the company could retain $1.9k as profit, while TRCC has to give up 77.5% of their revenue to others. However, EBW is currently holding inventory items that cost $13.9k while TRCC is free from the cash flow constraint caused by holding inventory.

Website for sale on Flippa: MyCoverDesigner.com
MyCoverDeisgner.com is monetized via online services.

Monetization via Online Services: MyCoverDesigner.com

Monetization via online services is one of the most common methods of monetization encountered on Flippa. In demand online services include copywriting, graphic design, web development, and online marketing. Hiring specialists from major freelancing communities such as UpWork is a typical growth strategy employed by these web businesses, but it tends to squeeze the margins. On the flip side, though it is less passive and more time intensive, someone who already has the skills necessary to successfully perform a service that people are willing to pay for can widen the margins by performing the service themselves. In the end, service based online businesses can be quite lucrative, but it takes the right mix of skills and human capital to make them successful.

MyCoverDesigner.com is an eBook and print cover design website which offers professional book cover design services. The seller of the site claims to have a high proportion of repeat buyers, and they attribute this to the fact that the authors they work with generally write multiple books and are frequently in need of cover design services. The website is currently generating an average of $223/month profit off of an average of 111 unique visitors/month and 860 page views/month.

Website PhoneDetectiveTech.com is for sale on Flippa
PhoneDetectiveTech.com uses a Click Bank Affiliate monetization method.

Monetization via Click Bank Affiliate Program: PhoneDetectiveTech.com

Joining one of the various Clickbank affiliate programs is a good monetization option for websites that are able to attract niche-specific traffic and convert it into sales. There are, of course, an almost endless number of affiliate marketing strategies, but one of the most successful seems to revolve around creating niche sites that cater to the same audience as the products/services being offered by the affiliate program. For instance, if you have a blog all about online dating, you might monetize that site by joining an affiliate program that sells a book about online dating, and by placing ads on your site that direct users to a location where they can purchase that book.

PhoneDetectiveTech.com is a phone lookup tool showing the details behind the phone numbers. It’s a Click Bank affiliate website and the website database is maintained by the vendor. With 6,043 page views and 1,648 unique visits per month, it generates $232 automated income for the owner every month. By joining an affiliate program such as Click Bank Affiliate Program, the affiliates could earn commissions by promoting other company’s products. Through SEO and referral marketing efforts, the PhoneDetectiveTech.com is able to attract reasonable amount of daily traffic to the website and convert the traffic into sales. In this way, the website could automatically generate passive income for the owner from the affiliate program commissions.

Did we capture all of your favorite website monetization methods? Make sure to chime in with your thoughts below!

  • isloooboy

    You have provided some very good examples to understand the myth, thanks I will keep following your tips and trick in future as well to improve my monetizing strategy.

  • Nice post. I would generally categorize all of the monetization models mentioned above into 5 major sections.

    1. Sales Revenue Model – Self your own digital product or service. In demand online services include copywriting, graphic design, web development, and online marketing.

    2. Advertising Revenue Model – Sell spaces directly on your site for advertisement or through a traffic broker. Combine local market directory with advertising.

    3. Affiliate Revenue Model – Sell other people products. This is unique. So much offers from Amazon, Clickbank, Share-A-Sale and many more affiliate agencies out there.

    4. Subscription Revenue Model – SaaS and Paid memberships.

    5. Newsletter sign up – Revenue through leads.

    Thanks for your post.