Alternative ways of website monetization


I'm developing a web application that will provide several services and the only ways for monetization I can think of are ads and donations. Are there any other mechanisms for monetizing a webpage? I am not asking about alternatives to Google Adsense, I'm interested in different models of monetization.


Monetization Web App

asked Nov 15 '11 at 01:36
128 points
  • You are providing services and you can't expect people to pay for them? Then perhaps you should look for a new business or service to provide. If people don't want to pay or won't pay then perhaps it is not worth doing. – Tim J 12 years ago
  • @Tim, I don't want to force people to pay. Also, I'm not sure if splitting the service in something like basic functionality and premium functionality (premium meaning more features but paying) will work. What do you think? – Diego 12 years ago
  • if you can't charge for the product or service then either call it a hobby or charity - but don't call it a business. I have no idea how to monetize your website. You have given us no information. You just state that you don't want to "charge" for it. And that makes me think it is not worth paying for and maybe you should find another thing to make money with. – Tim J 12 years ago
  • I understand your point, let me clarify mine: take for example the stackexchange sites, they provide a service and they don't charge users. I know the majority (or all) the profits come from advertisement here, I'm curious about alternatives, what's left if I remove the advertising and donations alternatives? – Diego 12 years ago
  • SO you are saying you can get thousands of page views per day or month or week? – Tim J 12 years ago
  • Mmm, maybe, I think it's possible, but with time, not immediately. – Diego 12 years ago

2 Answers


The revenue streams that immediately spring to mind are:

  1. Sell your own service (perhaps a premium level?)
  2. Sell other people's stuff to people (affiliate marketing)
  3. Sell eyeballs to other people (advertising space)
  4. Sell good feelings to people (donation button)
  5. Sell your soul (paid reviews for merchandise)
  6. Sell good feelings to other companies (sponsorship)
  7. Sell your experience running the website to other people (employment, write a book)
  8. Sell the website code to other companies (turnkey software)

As an aside, a friend used to edit a computer magazine. The major source of revenue was apparently not the advertisers or the subscribers: it was the special offers on products bundled with the magazine. (i.e. marketing agreements with software vendors where the magazine got a cut). Perhaps there is some arrangement you could make with companies selling into the same market?

answered Nov 15 '11 at 13:21
946 points
  • This is the kind of answer I was looking for. Thanks! – Diego 12 years ago


  • Get those user stories: say you're not looking to sell anything right now but are in Limited Private Alpha.
  • Focus on one first: make it work, not suck and then awesome.
  • Cross promote with other businesses that add mutual value.
  • Meetups / events / conferences / booths.
  • Maybe the user is willing to trade other things (user generated content, code, etc.) for additional badges / status / features?

Also, people will say often say one thing and do another. Measure, measure, measure with hard stats from your tech stack.

answered Nov 15 '11 at 06:56
131 points
  • These are really good advices, I will keep them in mind, thanks! – Diego 12 years ago

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Monetization Web App