Revenue Opportunities: Identifying Revenue Opportunities For Your Website

How does your website generate revenue – is it focused purely on sales of products and services, or does it present other opportunities for visitors to engage with your company and add value in different ways?

Direct Revenue vs. Indirect Revenue

Direct revenue generating methods require e-commerce tools such as product and service pages, shopping carts and transaction processing, or links to a 3rd party, hosted tools like Amazon, Shopify and eBay to handle payments, inventory and sometimes even shipping for you. These tools can be complicated to set up and manage but may worthwhile if you offer a wide range of products and services for sale online. For smaller businesses with fewer products and services, one or more landing pages explaining the benefits of your products and services, paired with a clear ‘buy now’ button linking to PayPal, Stripe or another payment service, can often be managed more efficiently and at a lower cost.

Indirect revenue generating methods include other channels, such as pay-per-click advertisements, referral and affiliate programs and sponsorship – these can be beneficial for content-focused websites that develop a sizeable audience but don’t have specific products or services to sell.

Popular online revenue generating activities, tools and techniques include:

  • Selling physical products that require delivery, such as clothing, shoes, razors, books, and food
  • Selling digital products that can be downloaded immediately, such as ebooks, stock images, and music
  • Selling access to services that can be used online immediately, such as taking online courses, watching videos and television shows, or grammar checking blog posts
  • Selling tickets for events and conferences
  • Booking meetings and appointments for services that will be completed offline, such as physiotherapy and hair styling sessions
  • Earning fees for ad impressions served to your website visitors
  • Providing links that earn referral and affiliate program fees and perks
  • Offering subscriptions and memberships that limit access to paying customers
  • Hosting landing pages with lead capture forms that establish connections with future customers
  • Surveying users to gain feedback about products and services
  • Featuring sponsorships and endorsements that enhance reputation and increase exposure
  • Presenting customer stories and testimonials that strengthen trust
  • Offering discounts and incentives to growing audience, mailing lists, and followers
  • Posting interesting news and information designed to attract social media shares and grow viewership

Which tools and activities would work best for your business – and your target audience?

  • Will you include e-commerce tools directly on your website, or will buyers be taken to a separate e-commerce platform to complete a purchase?

Pick a solution that makes it easy for your target audience member to find and purchase a solution to her problem.

  • Will you host ads, referrals and affiliate links on your website to generate additional revenue, or focus entirely on products and services you provide?

If you host ads and referral links on your website AND sell your own products and services, consider dropping one or the other, or splitting the activities into separate websites. Ads and referrals may be a better fit for content-focused websites. At all times, avoid introducing distractions that take the attention of your target audience away from buying your solution to their problem.

  • How could each of the activities, tools, and techniques listed above be used to generate revenue on your website?

Write down the top three activities you think would work well together.

  • Would each of the activities benefit your target audience and help sell more of your products and services?
  • Would any of the activities distract your target audience from purchasing your products and services?

Clarifying how you plan to generate revenue through your website while minimizing distractions is a crucial step in developing a well-rounded plan.

For more information and step-by-step help on how to clean up and synthesize your ideas and build a one-page business plan for your website, have a look at our Lean Web Canvas course on Udemy.

Next Steps

Learn how to build your Lean Web Canvas – a one-page business plan for your website – step by step through our Udemy Course.

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