Many are interested in the free hosting business these days, but a question often asked is how do you make money using free hosting?
We’ve decided to list a few of the most common methods here.
- Ads – This is probably the oldest way to monetize free hosting. Offer hosting to your clients for free, but display ads on their sites. You get the ad revenue from the ads to cover the costs of the servers and other equipment.
- Upgrades – Many hosts use this as their primary source of income. Offer a free plan with limited features or resources but great service. If the client is happy with your free service, they’ll probably come to you when their website grows or when they need something more advanced. The average cost of marketing to acquire a hosting customer is estimated to be $100 to $150 for paid hosting companies. That’s quite a bit, whereas free hosts don’t have to spend much money on marketing as they’ve already brought the customer to their site and enticed them with a free service option.
- Community Participation – This is a less common model, but still a good one nonetheless. Some call this the “post4host” model. Give users a free service on the condition that they participate in your community (usually a simple discussion board). Do this and your community will be an active one in time, from there you can monetize the community site as you see fit.
There are other ways of doing this, but these are three of the most common and realistic business models. Stay tuned for more ideas!