Monetization is the process of generating revenue. Often the term is applied to web sites, applications and blogs.
Many bloggers and developers create a product that is offered for free, with the hope of monetizing it once an audience is established.
Common forms of monetization include:
- Google Adsense
- Affiliate Networks
- Direct Ad Sales
- Donations or sponsorships
- Sales of premium product or service
While ads are the easiest form of monetization, they are often the least profitable.
Selling your own product or service is often the best way to generate site revenue. The next best option is selling someone else's product. Effective affiliate marketing has the power to generate solid revenues from a moderate reader base.
Often, the most difficult question is: When should the site be monetized? Just how much traffic is needed to monetize?
While there are two schools of thought, I recommend beginning right away. It is important that blog readers are used to seeing ads and offers on your site.
The exception is with social networks or applications. They really need to be offered for free to build a user base. Once there is a user base, then the move to monetization can begin.