Once you have your website up and running with a healthy stream of visitors, you want to begin monetizing your site.
You can make money in a number of ways from your site and these are some of the main ones that are covered by internet marketers:
- Affiliate program
- Google Adsense or other 3rd party advertising
- Relevant Advertisers
- Create Your Own Product
I will explain each in further detail.
Perhaps the easiest way to illustrate how affiliate programs work is to show you the below info-graphic:
As you can see, the premise is essentially that you take a commission from purchases made by customers that you have “referred”. The Amazon portion of the info-graphic actually simply represents a whole host of companies that offer their products or services under affiliate programs.
Customers that have been referred by you are those that have visited your site or blog and clicked on the relevant link/ad to the merchants store page. Cookies are stored on your visitors computers for a certain amount of time depending on the merchant (Amazon for example use 30 day cookies) so referrals can be tracked. You will get paid for purchases even if they are made on the same day so long as the cookies are still on the users machine.
You could create a review site comparing and reviewing products in a particular niche such as mountain bikes and earn commissions from your affiliate links referring readers to the merchants page where the customer can make the purchase.
Its entirely feasible to focus on Amazon alone as they have thousands of products. Amazon will typically pay 6%-15% commission depending on the type of product and that’s on all products purchased by that customer, not just what you referred!
There are tons of affiliate programs out there and the easiest ways to find them are through what are called Affiliate Networks such as:
- Commission Junction
- Market Health
These sites bring merchants and marketers together so that marketers can choose what to promote on their niche site and make commission.
Be careful when using these networks as lots of the products whilst offering commissions as high as 75%, can be of poor quality so take care in selecting the products for your niche as you do not want to be recommending poor products. You can find some real gems in there.
One of the earliest sites I set up was focused purely on testing out AdSense and its a great way of making passive income online.
Essentially, Google will place and manage ads on your sites in the locations you identify for its clients. This means you are not required to manage the advertisers – Google does that.
You simply need to set up an Adsense account with Google which is free and easy to do and submit your sites URL which they will need to approve (note you will need your own domain name to set up an Adsense Account).
Google needs to do this as they need to be able to get a certain amount of info from your site so make sure your site is populated with a decent amount of content before submitting for approval.
Once you have been approved, its very simple to use and involves copying ad codes that you get from Google and pasting them to your sites post, pages or sidebars. You will then get paid every time someone clicks on the ad. Depending on the competition for the word, you could get anything from $0.01 to $20 per click.
The trick is to make the ads blend in with your theme and not obliterate you pages with loads of ads. A good rule of thumb is no more than 3 ads per page.
Google is not the only company that offers 3rd party ads though it is by far the most commonly used.
Advertisers In Your Niche
You can leverage your site by contacting relevant companies within your niche and ask if they would like to advertise on your site. You will need some traffic and stats to be able to present any worth to the companies but this is a feasible money generating technique once your site is a bit more established. If you do decide to go down this route look into a plug in called OIO Publisher which automates the whole process so that the advertiser can visit your site and select the ad blocks they want to advertise on and pay via PayPal.
Create Your Own Product
This is something that you could look into later down the line and newcomers should stick to Adsense and affiliate marketing. However once you have become a bit more experienced, you could totally create your own product.
You would typically submit your product to Clickbank and let internet marketers sell it for you but you could market it yourself too.
The great thing is that once the effort has been made and the product is created, it is out there on the market for eternity and could bring in a income for the rest of your life. Its worth setting this as a long term goal.