When should you start monetizing your website? [Specific Guidelines]

First of all, let’s dispel all notions of feeling guilty about monetizing a website.

It’s a business, after all.

And the sooner you start treating your website as an online business, the better.

For multiple reasons.

Earning money from your passion project doesn’t cheapen it in any way, shape, or form.

In fact, it enables you to dedicate even more time to it which will make you even happier.

The idea of ditching your day job and earning a living by doing something you love is exciting, isn’t it?

And even if your only goal is to make money, there’s nothing wrong with that.

People create businesses to make money all the time.

Online businesses are no different.

Now that we’ve established that, let’s carry with the article.

A lot of people struggle with this question of “When should I start monetizing my website?”

On the one hand, everyone wants their website to start making money as soon as possible.

It’s only natural to want to be compensated for the work you put in.

That moment can’t come soon enough, right?

On the other hand, everyone has this gut feeling that there’s such a thing as monetizing too soon.

And there definitely is.

If you struggle with this feeling too, you’re right to want to shed some light on it.

Because monetizing too soon can have negative impacts.

How do you monetize your website?

Let’s first talk about the five main ways to monetize your website for a moment.

In reality, there are more ways than five, but these five cover the most ground and are considered the pillars of monetizing any website.

I will not cover things like membership programs, premium content, selling your website, etc.

These are advanced monetization methods that novice marketers usually don’t use until they’re a bit further down-the-line.

Sure, you can keep some of them in mind as a long-term business strategy, but this is more of a beginner-oriented article.

The five main ways to monetize a website are:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Ads
  • Information Products
  • Services
  • Email Marketing

Don’t be fooled by the fact that novice marketers use these methods.

They’re neither easy nor weak.

In fact, when employed the right way, they yield fantastic results.

There are no guarantees, however.

I’m not one of those gurus that make statements like “Do this, and you will see these kinds of results.”

Success depends on too many variables.

The only thing I will say is – create better content and MORE of it and you will be moving the needle in the direction of success.

Anyway, let’s carry on…

Using affiliate marketing to monetize your website

Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting someone else’s products in return for a commission when said promotion leads to sales.

How do companies know where a particular sale came from?

Affiliate links.

Each affiliate is provided with unique links to products that they wish to promote.

This way, companies keep track of where the customers come from and which affiliate to attribute a sale to.

It’s quite an elegant system liked by all of the sides involved.

Companies benefit from increased sales, affiliates benefit from collecting commissions, and customers benefit from being turned on to solutions to their problems in a more targeted and relevant way.

When should you start using affiliate marketing to monetize your website

I’m going to throw at you a ballpark number of quality posts or articles you should write before bothering with planting affiliate links into your content.

That number is 30-50.

There are a few reasons why.

Let’s start with the Google algorithm side of things.

It takes 6-10 months for an article to reach its peak Google search results placement.

Take the upper estimate for newer websites.


Because Google doesn’t particularly trust new websites and it takes a long time for the algorithm to deem your website worthy of recommending to other people.

Especially when it comes to health and money-related niches.

This is one of the biggest barriers to entry when it comes to blogging.

Since we’re talking months before you start getting barely any traffic to your website, it makes no sense to focus on anything other than creating as much content as possible.

Next, think “people.”

As a content creator, you’re not just trying to build trust with Google algorithm.

You’re trying to build trust with your audience as well.

How would you react if you landed on a website that had just three articles, but it had every monetization method known to man up and running?

You’d probably feel very uncomfortable and suspicious.

And with good reason.

That’s why creating 30-50 articles first and providing as much value as possible to your audience is the best way of building foundations for your business.

Once you actually start helping people out, they will gladly click on your affiliate links and help you out in return.

What is the best way to use affiliate marketing for your website

By far, the best way to use affiliate marketing is to incorporate it into your content in an organic fashion.

What does that mean?

Simply telling people to buy this or that doesn’t really work.

Your content has to be relevant and you have to connect people with the solutions to their problems.

The focus should always be on the problem, not the product.

When you try to cram in as many affiliate links into an article as possible, it usually turns into a Review post and those are very impersonal and dry.

The more effective way of doing this is talking about the problems and mentioning affiliate offers only when it feels organic.

For example, if you have a blog in the running niche, you could create an article on heel pain or plantar fasciitis.

The less effective way of having affiliate offers in the article is to outright recommend shoes and make it a shoe review post.

The more effective way is to talk about causes, treatments, and prevention of plantar fasciitis.

In the part about the prevention, you could briefly recommend good running shoes that help prevent this issue.

Notice that the affiliate offer came only after providing a ton of value first.

In fact, most of your articles won’t even contain affiliate links because not always does it feel organic to recommend products.

Now, I’m not against the Review posts entirely.

They certainly have a place because sometimes it’s very useful to compare products side-by-side and recommend the best ones.

It’s more about the ratio between informative and affiliate links heavy content.

The “3:1” content ratio

This is more of a guideline than a rule.

Having three informative, value-driven articles for every affiliate links heavy article is often considered as a good ratio.

Obviously, the more informative content you have, the better.

Tip: a good way of sending your audience from the informative posts to the affiliate links heavy posts is to just interlink.

For example, in an informative post on plantar fasciitis, you can add a sentence like, “By the way, if you want to know what running shoes are the best for preventing plantar fasciitis, here’s a link to my Top 5 Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis article.”

Or something to that extent.

It’s important to recognize a distinction between strictly review-based sites and brand sites when it comes to the 3:1 content ratio.

Review-based websites have a much higher ration in favor of the affiliate links heavy content.

And that’s fine.

It’s acceptable to find a lot of reviews on a review-based website.

However, seeing a lot of review-based content on a brand type website cheapens the experience.

You don’t want your brand to be associated with such negative perceptions by your audience.

That’s just how it is and you shouldn’t push against it.

Brand websites more than make up for the lack of affiliate offers in other areas like consumer trust, conversions, etc.

Amazon Associates

A lot of people turn to Amazon for their affiliate program called Amazon Associates.

Not because Amazon is paying higher commissions than others (they don’t), but because Amazon sells almost everything and is trusted by consumers globally.

Not everyone can join, however.

Amazon Associates program has certain requirements to meet.

Namely, you have to be a reputable publisher and already have a decent amount of content on your website.

Various people report that a website should have at least 15 articles and at least 50% of the content should be original to get approved by Amazon.

Why should you wait until the 30-50 article mark before applying for Amazon Associates?

Because Amazon automatically terminates accounts that don’t make at least 3 sales within 180 days.

That’s not too hard, but you don’t want to risk your account being terminated.

You can re-apply if that happens, but you want to have the best possible standing with Amazon.

Amazon Associates bans can be tricky to appeal and they are domain-wide.

So waiting a month or two longer is worth it.

Using ads to monetize your website

Ads are another great way to monetize your website.

Of course, some people are annoyed by ads.

This shouldn’t play a role in your decision to display ads on your website or not, however.

Most people who don’t want to see ads simply install ad-blockers on their internet browsers.

What should play a role in your decision to have ads or not is the fact that ads pay next-to-nothing at first.

There’s literally no point in risking negatively impacting the user experience of your website visitors for a few cents or dollars per month.

Rather, forego having ads at first and build trust with your audience and the Google algorithm that tracks everything that goes on your website.

After your website reaches a certain level of maturity and starts being taken seriously by the algorithm, everything changes.

How much does Google AdSense pay for 1,000 page views a month

Google AdSense is usually the first ad network content creators turn to for ads because it’s easy to get approved and it’s free.

AdSense pays very little, though.

The math usually comes down to half a cent per page view.

So a thousand page views will earn you five dollars.

Even at 30,000 page views per month, which is fairly difficult to accomplish, we’re only talking about $150 per month.

Only you can decide if that amount of money is worth negatively impacting your audience’s user experience.

Remember, not only are some people annoyed by ads but having ads on your website also makes it messier.

In my opinion, Google AdSense just isn’t worth it.

It pays dividends to have the best possible user experience on your website.


Because user experience is one of the most important things Google search engine algorithm tracks.

And when the Google algorithm realizes users are having a good time on your website, it will recommend it to even more people.

Thus, increasing the number of page views.

Page views that will help you get approved to join a premium ad network.

When should you start using ads to monetize your website

You should start using ads to monetize your website only when you start meeting the requirements to join one of the decent premium ad networks out there.

What’s the difference between AdSense and premium ad networks?

Premium ad networks simply pay better and have more optimized ads.

First such a decent premium ad network you might consider joining is Monumetric.

Monumetric requires you to reach 10,000 page views per month, among other things.

In my opinion, you should hold off joining any premium ad networks until you have around 30,000 page views per month, however.

At that point, you can apply to join Mediavine.

Mediavine is a very solid ad network that you’ll probably stay with for a long time.

Why hold off until you can join Mediavine?

Because it gives you that much more time to concentrate on the content creation and user experience side of things.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to get into Google algorithm’s good graces.

Ultimately, it’s up to you which ad network to join and when.

I know earning even a couple of hundreds of dollars might be a game-changer for someone, especially in less developed countries where that’s significantly more money than in the US, for instance.

Only you know your situation and only you can make the best decision for yourself.

So please take my recommendations in this section with a grain of salt.

Using information products to monetize your website

There are various kinds of information products you could use to monetize your website.

Some of them include:

  • E-Books
  • Courses
  • Templates
  • Apps
  • Webinars

In this section, we’re not going to talk about someone else’s information products that you could be selling on your website through affiliate links.

We’re going to talk about ‘your’ information products.

Meaning, the information products that you pour your soul into and through which you provide tremendous value to your audience.

Because that’s what it takes for an information product to be successful.

Unless you want to trick your audience into selling them BS.

No one in their right state of mind who cares about their audience and their business would want to do that.

Now that that’s out of the way, I love information products.

They’re a fantastic way of monetizing your website.

You could be selling them or giving them away as lead magnets.

Either way, offering information products of your own can add quite a bit of revenue to your earnings.

There are a couple of problems with information products, however.

Or, rather, when to start using them to monetize your website.

When should you use information products to monetize your website

The first problem is the fact that information products take a lot of time to create if you want to do it the right way.

For example, if you had a fishing-related website, and you wanted to write an e-book on the subject of Lake Fishing, it would take a lot of time and effort.

Time and effort that could be put into creating those 30-50 articles mentioned at the beginning of this article.

Sure, you could re-purpose a lot of the content, but charging money for a bunch of articles sewn together would not be adding tremendous amounts of value to your audience.

You would still have to spend hours upon hours editing the material and expanding it to do it right.

The second problem with offering information products on your website is even more important than the first.

Your audience doesn’t particularly care about your information products before you build trust with them.

You have to demonstrate to them that you know what you’re talking about through free content first.

So spending a couple of weeks on an e-book that no one cares about, simply because they don’t know you or trust you yet, is a couple of weeks wasted.

Plus, your understanding of the subject you would want to cover in an e-book could become even deeper if you first wrote 30-50 articles on it.

Not to mention your skill as a writer.

This all points to the conclusion that you shouldn’t rush creating the information products to monetize your website.

Build trust with your audience and the Google algorithm first.

Offering services to your audience to monetize your website

This is another fantastic way to earn money from your website.

Especially when those services are what you do as a job anyway.

For example, let’s say you’re a divorce attorney from Youngstown, Ohio, and you create a website with the end goal of offering your services to the people of Youngstown.

In that case, there’s nothing wrong with offering your services from the get-go.

A divorce attorney is just an example, but the same could be said for any business that’s strictly focused on providing services to their local community.


Because it’s not that hard to compete for local keywords, outside of major metropolitan areas.

The competition is usually very low.

What does that mean?

Going with our example, there aren’t many divorce attorneys from Youngstown, Ohio, creating content online.

You would easily rank at the top of the search results when someone searches for a “divorce attorney in Youngstown, Ohio.”

Creating relevant content with your local community in mind would make you the #1 divorce attorney in Youngstown in the eyes of the Google algorithm.

And that’s all you care about, right?

You don’t care about someone in Singapore reading your content because you would never be able to sign them on as a client anyway.

Local businesses aren’t the only ones that should offer their services from the start.

If you’re in the fitness niche and you can sell personalized meal plans, for example, there’s nothing wrong with offering this service straight away.

In closing, it’s fine to offer any service on your website from the very beginning as long as it doesn’t take a lot of time to set it up.

Using email marketing to monetize your website

To a lot of content creators out there, email marketing is the holy grail of website monetization.


Because collecting email addresses of your audience members means you have access to them 24/7.

People don’t just give out their emails to anyone who asks, though.

No one likes their email inbox cluttered with spam.

You have to earn their trust and provide value first.

Only then will people feel safe giving you direct access to them.

There are ways to further entice them to do that.

For example, giving away information products for free is a great way.

Something like an e-book or a course works well.

Once you get people on your email list, make sure to keep them subscribed by constantly providing values through your email outreach.

Don’t just sell them stuff.

That’s a sure way to getting people to unsubscribe or stop opening your emails.

If you do your email outreach right, you can occasionally send them affiliate offers or sell your own products to them and make quite a bit of money.

Depending on your email list size and your execution, of course.

When should you start using email marketing to monetize your website

To use email marketing effectively, you need an audience first.

Only a small fraction of your audience will ever subscribe to your email list, to begin with.

This means you need thousands upon thousands of page views per month before it becomes a good idea for you to start collecting emails.

There are a few reasons why tackling email marketing from the get-go is a bad idea.

For one, the job doesn’t stop when someone subscribes to your email list.

At that point, it only just began.

To monetize your email list, you have to keep providing value to the people subscribed to it.

This means creating exclusive content for them, which adds up to your workload.

It doesn’t make any sense to do that extra work for just a few subscribers.

Another problem is the fact that hardly anyone subscribes to email lists.

This means you need volume to grow your list.

And getting volume means getting a lot of visitors, which means having a lot of quality content on your website.

Content that requires time and effort to produce.

Plus, you need to entice your audience to subscribe by offering them something of value first.

An e-book or a course, usually. Remember?

Furthermore, to effectively run an email list you need an email autoresponder.

Email autoresponders are software solutions that enable you to send out massive amounts of emails all at once.

They have more features than just that, but that’s a topic for another article.

What’s important for you at the beginning stages of your website is that email autoresponders cost money.

They’re usually a monthly subscription-based service.

Some of them are free up until a certain number of subscribers, but that still doesn’t justify spending time and energy on email marketing for all the other reasons.

I would put off collecting emails until your website starts earning you enough money for an email autoresponder subscription.

Not because subscribing to one breaks the bank.

But because that would be a clear sign there’s traffic on your website and it’s slowly starting to earn revenue.

We’re only talking about $20-50 per month for a basic monthly subscription for most email autoresponders.

Still, it usually takes months before a website starts earning that much.

Which leads us back to those 30-50 quality articles you should focus on before tackling anything else.

How long does it take to start earning a full-time living from your website

If you’ve been paying attention, this one will not surprise you.

It takes years to start earning a full-time income from your website.

There are exceptions to this general rule, but they’re rare.

Some people do get into the right niche at the right time and profit from the lack of competition, but those opportunities usually find them, and not the other way around.

Meaning, if you’re into an activity or a trend that goes viral and explodes in popularity, and you’re already creating content on it, you’ve struck gold.

Because you can then take advantage of the huge audience interest and the lack of competition.

But opportunities like that are rare and far between.

And they don’t last for long.

So spending weeks or months seeking them out instead of creating content is a waste of time.

If you’re hearing about such an opportunity online, odds are the trend has already passed or the competition has caught up with it.

A good example of this is cryptocurrencies.

People that were creating content about them a few years ago were ahead of the curve.

Right now, the competition in the crypto world has gone up a lot.

Not that you couldn’t get into this subject and crush it by offering better content than others.

Because you totally could.

Content marketing is also a game of being the best, not necessarily only the game of being the first.


#1 tip for the first 6 months to a year of your website is to create as much content as possible.

A good goal to shoot for in the first three months is 30-50 articles.

That’s roughly 3-4 articles a week.

A word of caution, creating this much content per week is very hard.

Be prepared for your brain to push back and try to coerce you into giving up, though.

Just push through the pain.

In this early stage, your enthusiasm for the project should hopefully carry a big part of the load as well.

As long as you picked something you’re interested in, that is.

There are no guarantees, but if you write 30-50 quality articles on the low-competition keywords in your niche in such a short amount of time, your website should start picking up traction.

Once again, there are no guarantees.

Do more research if you need to.

Start by learning what low-competition keywords are and how to find them.

Be mindful of not to get stuck in a permanent research mode.

At some point, you have to stop overthinking things and start doing.

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