The 5 Ways of Making Money from Online Content 

There are essentially five ways that you can make money from your content on the internet. As you move down the list, the stronger the relationship has to be between you and your customer to earn ever increasing sums of money from them.

Advertising requires the least commitment from visitors to your site. You often earn advertising income regardless of whether they take an action or not. At the other end of the scale is participation. This includes persuading your visitors to attend an offline event, such as a seminar or conference. This requires a lot of trust between you and your visitor. There are then multiple revenue streams in between.

Your long-term, sustainable online success is dependant on you building a strong relationship with your audience and moving them from one revenue stream to the next.


The Five Revenue Streams

The five revenue streams that can be generated from a content website are:

  1.  Advertising

  2.  Affiliate Marketing

  3.  Ecommerce

  4.  Subscription

  5.  Participation

They have been deliberately placed in this order. As you move down the list the greater the trust needed between you and your visitors . . . but as you move down the list the greater the revenue potential.


Advertising is the simplest way to generate revenues from content.

You no longer have to sell the advertising space on your site, you can simply sign-up to an ad network, integrate the ads into your site and wait for the money to roll in. The most popular ad network is Google Adsense, but there are many more that are growing in popularity.

Alternatively you can sell your own advertising or site sponsorship so you don’t have to share the revenue with the ad networks.

SubHub’s platform enables easy integration of both ad networks and your own ads.

Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is halfway between advertising and ecommerce.

You place links or ads on your website. If one of your site visitors clicks on the link, goes through to a third party merchant site AND makes a purchase, you get paid a commission on the sale. Commissions vary depending on the value and quantity of products sold.

You can easily embed affiliate links and ads into SubHub pages.


You can sell physical and digital products from your site.

Most content sites have the potential to make good revenue from selling ebooks, reports, white papers, research, podcasts and other downloadable products. Many also sell physical goods which they both stock and ship themselves, or just take the orders for a third party merchant to fulfill.

To enable ecommerce you need to have a shopping cart and payment processing integrated into your content site.


Charging access to premium content is one of the most profitable ways you can build a sustainable online business.

It is the equivalent of the traditional print newsletter or niche magazines, with all the advantages that the web has to offer including audio and video content, forums, reader feedback, real-time updates and simple administration.

To create a successful subscription website you need to be able separate public and member content, manage member’s personal data, issue passwords and process recurring payments. These capabilities should be fully automated so you don’t spend your life dealing with customer service issues.


Participation relates to the many different events that you can promote through your website.

These include webinars, tele-seminars, seminars, conferences, consultancy, etc. It could also include licensing products, franchising your services, or other creative ways of leveraging your audience.

Many successful subscription websites make 50% of their revenue from arranging offline events for their members. A good website should make it easy to arrange and manage these events.