6 ways to monetize your website without a sea of ads

Batsirai Chikadaya Avatar

After realising the unfavourable effects of ads on user experience and data consumption, I found it necessary to investigate alternative ways an online publication can monetize their website.

Yes, it is possible to let go of Google AdSense (pay per click), banners and pop-ups and go ad-free.

The ad-free diet doesn’t have to be full blown, but should at least limit the number of ads your website carries for the time being.

However, going the ad-free route may not be the best approach for newcomers in the blogging or website scene.

Most likely you will have to go the Google AdSense and Ads route whilst building your site, content, and following, so look here for advice on how to make money through ads.

My advice, don’t try this just as yet, but keep it in the back of your mind, you will know and feel when the time is right.

So here are some interesting ways you can monetize without the use of ads:

  1. Sell your own products: If you have gathered solid experience and knowledge in a field, consider using the website as a launchpad to sell your own product, you could create a section to showcase your own product. Another option  to consider would be selling products related to the subject of your blog or website. 
  2. Apply Native Advertising: Sometimes referred to as “disguised adverts”. The adverts are either in an article, video or infographic form. The articles match the general style of and form of other articles published on the website but created to promote a specific product or service. The product becomes the subject of the content and is, therefore, merged as one.
  3. Do Consultation Work: Services like consulting are also an attractive option for website owners with training and experience in their respective fields. This is definitely not a monetizing method for someone who is just starting out or having a brand new website. Experience can be leveraged to start your own consultation company.
  4. Sponsored Reviews: You could partner with companies to write reviews on some of their products  within the scope of the blog or website. These paid reviews are a win-win as you are paid to review a product your readers have a genuine interest in.
  5. Donations: If your viewership is as loyal to you as you are to them, there would be no problems in asking for donations to help the ship stay afloat. I would not recommend this a primary source of revenue as donations fluctuate and cannot be predicted.
  6. Subscription: You could ask your readers to pay a subscription fee to view content, you have to leverage the quality of your content vs the demand for it to set a reasonable subscription price.

Not everyone can implement these measures for their blogs or websites.

You have to be aware of the market you are operating in and the type viewership you have.

It is interesting to note that sites like NewDay, Daily News, and Herald, who receive considerably high traffic, have not gone the subscription route.

If one can pay for a newspaper in print form then why not subscribe to get content? They have realized something in our market that doesn’t allow for this move.

I think online Ads will never die, they will always be presented in new ways and forms.

As long as there is a product or service to sell and an audience to target the internet will be a hive of ad activity.




  1. Muzukuru

    I have an original content website which receives 10 000+ views per day.
    It does offer value
    However my audience is poor and so here are problems and pitfalls of your suggested monetization methods:
    Option 1) Have you tried selling anything online in Zimbabwe or this some kind of a joke?
    Option 2) Native ads are just ads and no better than Google Adsense as they will still much through data. Hosting them using DFP will simply see them being blocked by adblockers. Honestly have you tried selling ads directly? It’s a logistical nightmare which distracts from the core business of providing content. Zim ad buyers are notorious defaulters who do not settle their accounts ontime. Adsense pays on time every time
    Option 3) Consultation in this economy? You are a news blog for example 3-mob, who would want to consult you?
    Option 4) Hello bias,lies and propaganda.
    Option 5) Look at the stage of crowdfunding. Have you ever seen the measly coins in the plates held by beggars at traffick lights? Zimbabweans are not in a giving mood.
    Option 6) The micropayments problem still persists. 20cents will translate into $3 once the banks and Paynow get their cut and no one is going to pay you $3 for news.

    Ads work, they are cheap and less of a hassle. It’s not just the Herald. Wired does it, Arstechnica, Techcruch, Nytimes, the Guardian, even the BBC does it. Adblockers should allow reputable networks otherwise they are not going to be succesful.

    FYI. On my site I have implimented a simple plugin a la Forbes. You block me I block you. If Econet blocks ads I block Econet at CDN level. Less server resources required at the end of the day.

    1. Visitor

      Could you please provide a link to your website? I agree with you on most of your points but my question on the blocking at a CDN level will you not lose more viewers that way?

      1. Muzukuru

        Oh it’s simple really just block the Econet ASN period. The subscribers will see a message telling them they have been blocked because they are trying to access the site using an Econet Network that blocks ads. The CDN takes care of filtering the Econet ASN and the traffic never reaches my site.

    2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      What’s your website so we can see if it’s worth the hassle..?

  2. Peter Raeth

    Wanted to offer two examples of benign ads that do not dominate the site nor cost much data. People have told me that the sites are rich in content with only subtle advertising. 1) Each article at http://informationanthology.net/CareerMentor makes a reference to a related commercial publication that is for sale. References are through Amazon since I am an affiliate with them. 2) For each search through http://informationanthology.net/Open-Access-Search.html there are references to commercial literature based on the keywords. In both sites, the ads are on the right side of the page and do not dominate the main content.

    Consulting is certainly an option. One is not limited to Zimbabwe. If you want to give this a try, peruse these two sites: https://www.upwork.com, https://www.virtualvocations.com. Both sites make use of remote distributed teams that you can apply to join. It is not necessarily the case that you have to physically move but you do have to think outside the borders of Zimbabwe.

2023 © Techzim All rights reserved. Hosted By Cloud Unboxed