An illustration of a teacher reading to a trio of scholars, meant to represent the the educational website experience.

Are you an expert in anything? Are you a master mechanic, Phoenician history buff, marketing whiz, expert cabinet maker, a gifted magician, classically-trained bassoon player, or a crackerjack with yo-yo tricks? Do you speak fluent Klingon?

Everyone has a passion, and if you want to know how to make yours into more than just a hobby by starting and monetizing your own educational website, keep reading.     

What is an Educational Website?

(Note: if you already have your own site and you’re just looking for ways to monetize, skip down to the section labelled “Educational Website Monetization Models.”)

Sometimes known as classroom websites, educational websites are basically what the name suggests: sites designed teach their users. Educational websites provide videos, blog posts, e-books, or other informational or academic content on one or more topics.

Most successful educational websites focus on a specific niche, like the examples cited above. This is especially important if you want to monetize your website. Because there’s already so much free content on the Internet, users will be more likely to pay for yours if it occupies a niche that’s relatively hard to find information on, or if you bring a unique set of credentials to the table.

How to Make an Educational Website

If you want to make a successful educational website, the first step is to identify your niche – the thing it is you’re an expert in and want to teach people about. From there, you need to scout out the competition. Unfortunately, some areas might be swarming with competitors. This doesn’t mean you’re out of luck, just that you’ll have to rethink you’re approach. Find an angle that’s unoccupied.

In terms of actually getting online, there are numerous ways to create your own website. Purchase a domain from the registrar or hosting company of your choice, and set up your site using a CMS like WordPress. More info here.

Ultimately thought, it’s a matter of creating your content. Whether you want to use videos, blog posts, e-books, or other forms of content is up to you. Think about what you’re most comfortable with, and what will be most conducive you relaying the information you’re trying to provide.

Educational Website Monetization Models

A cartoon illustration of a bag with a dollar sign on it.Once you’ve already got an educational website up and running and you’re ready to monetize, you have a few options on how to proceed. Let’s look at some of the most popular ones.

Membership Model

With this model, users pay a monthly membership fee in exchange for access to premium or otherwise restricted content. There are numerous benefits to the subscription membership model, but chief among them is regular, reliable income from your customers. On the other hand, some users might not be willing to sign up for an ongoing membership if they only want one or two pieces of content.

“Pay-as-You-Go” Model

With this model, users will be charged a one-time fee for each piece of content they wish to access. For instance, you might charge users a flat price of $5 for an e-book PDF download, after which point they own the file as they would a book from any brick-and-mortar store.

E-Commerce Model

Another popular option is adding an e-commerce section to the site. You might sell tools or equipment related to your niche – for instance, an educational site that specializes in glass blowing lessons could sell protective gear, tubing, beginners’ kits, et cetera.  Another option would be selling branded merchandise like t-shirts or hoodies.

Hybrid Model

Of course, these models aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Paid content could be offered on a per-download basis with unlimited access offered to premium members. An onsite store or off-site e-commerce option can always be integrated into the business model.

Why not ads?

Ads might seem like the most natural solution for website monetization, but ads aren’t the cash cow you might be imagining. Most online ad services pay on a per-click basis. With click rates averaging well-under 1%, you’d need tens of thousands of unique visits every single day to make any kind of significant income. Learn more about why premium content is superior with this blog post.

Monetize with Subscription DNA

However you decide to monetize your educational website, Subscription DNA can give you the tools you need to do it right. In addition to secure cloud-based recurring billing, Subscription DNA offers robust membership management tools, paywall and premium content support, communications tools, and more.  To learn more about how Subscription DNA can help your website thrive, get in touch by filling out the form below.