Over the last few years, we've tried a number
of approaches to earn money through
and the one that has worked the best
include advertising on our pages. The
way to get paid through advertising
join up with companies that pay "affiliates"
or that serve ads.|
Affiliate Programs and Ad Servers
Affiliate programs generally pay you
sending customers (not just 'visitors')
their site. To be considered a customer,
the person you send must link to their
through a special link that has your
code number embedded in it and then
or buy something. Many sites also will
a 'cookie' on a user's machine once
reaches their site; this cookie will
you to get credit for return visits
site provided that the user's PC accepts
cookies, the cookie hasn't expired,
cookie isn't overwritten by another
Web sites that offer affiliate programs
pay higher than they would if you showed
their ad through an ad server, but
off is that you must generate the minimum
amount of commissions at their web
they send you a check.
Ad servers are different. In many cases,
they will pool the earnings you get from
multiple websites and then pay you one check
when the combined total reaches the minimum
amount. This way, you can get paid on a nickel
here and a dollar there instead of waiting
for the totals to accumulate. Ad servers
also are more likely (although in general
not likely at all) to offer "pay per
click" programs that reward you for
sending traffic to another site without regard
to whether the visitor actually buys anything.
DirectResponse offers some of these "pay
per click" programs, but qualification
for them is much more stringent because they
want to make sure that they are not paying
for bogus traffic.
Where to Put Ads
Where is the best place to put ads
web site? As we gleaned from our experience,
the best place is to put them at the
your visitor is ready to move on to
web site. The common wisdom is, your
are not going to hang around your site
so why not, even if they are headed
a competitor, get paid for their leaving?
So your homepage or the page that people
land on most frequently is a good page.
way, if their initial impression of
site is "this isn't for me,"
let them find something more appealing
one of your paid links to elsewhere.
The second best place to place ads
someone reaches the logical end of
dealings with your site. For example,
are far more likely to leave after
page or a search page than they are
middle of "doing something."
look through your web site like a user
and place ads at the point that they
most likely to say "I'm done."
Ad placement on a page works the same
Place the ads in prominent positions
"landing" page -- up at the
or on the side. You want visitors to
the ads while they are scanning your
so that if they don't see what they
in your page, they click an ad. For
where a user is likely to leave because
done, place the ads just below the
that he reached that conclusion --
just below the confirmation message
end of the results table.
And, if you don't have a "storefront"
yet, take a look at ebaystores.com, where you can open a site with all the
eBay bells and whistles for free for the
first 30 days and then its less than $10
a month after that.
Choosing a Program
There are many affiliate programs and ad
servers to choose from. Below is the list
of the ones we have used successfully (and
yes, we're getting paid if you join, but
it is at no cost to you). Find the ones that
appear that they will be the most profitable
to you and sign-up.
Signing up to a lot of places is a
a pain (how many more times do I have
type my address???), but you should
a large list of ads, run them for a
or so, and then cull out the best performing.
That may mean that you earned $12 from
company that you ultimately abandon
get paid (because you never met the
but chalk that up to learning and focus
the ads that are bringing you the real
Create and use a new e-mail ID for receiving
mail from the program managers. You will
want to be aware of special promotions, etc.,
but you may find that there is a lot of communication
that you will want to delete. A separate
e-mail ID makes this easier to manage. Just
remember to keep checking it.
Lastly, keep a list or spreadsheet
- the programs you join
- the URL to reach them
- your program ID and passwords
- minimum payout amount and frequency
- where on your web site you run their ads
This info is important because you will want
to query the statistics from time to time
to manage the productivity of your ads, and
you will quickly forget where and how to
Driving Traffic to Your Site
And finally, all the web advertising in the
world will not do you any good unless others
visit your site. Three main options here
are: (1) get listed by search engines, (2)
buy advertising and/or search engine listings,
and (3) exchange links with others through
formal or informal banner exchanges.
By far, the most cost effective method
to get listed by search engines. Many,
companies will offer to help you do
for a fee, because there is a bit of
to the methodology -- perhaps comparable
to learning the rules of gambling before
playing blackjack: you can win with
luck, but your chances of winning are
if you know how to play the odds. You
read what Google has published about their search methodology and how to get your site including, but
he bottomline is that it is a lengthy and
cumbersome process -- but the value of getting
a good ranking can pay off enormously.
Buying advertising required a large investment
until Google came along selling their "Adwords"
program. There, you can create a text ad
to appear along side of the results from
searches that include specific keywords.
This enables you to build traffic quickly.
There is one drawback to the Adwords program,
however, if you are trying to keep your costs
down: although the ads start at $0.05 per
click, Google gives priority to the ads with
the highest cost-per-click, which for many
popular searches can be over a dollar a click.
So, if you want to increase the number of
visitors who click through your ad to your
site, you have to bid a higher cost-per-click
amount in order to be near the top of the
list, which receives the most clicks.
An alternative or a supplement to running
Adwords is to use other cost-per click services
such as . The CliqueRouter service allows you to
add your site to topic-specific pages and
pay a flat per-click amount (as low as $0.055
per click). River2u currently covers about
a hundred topics and is expanding its coverage
weekly. If River2u doesn't currently cover
a topic appropriate to an advertiser, they
will consider adding a page.
Collecting Money from Users
If you plan on charging for products or services, you will also need a way of collecting payments. We recommend signing up for
PayPal so that you can start accepting credit
instantly. Owned by eBay, they have wide
acceptance worldwide, accept payment via
major credit cards, debit to checking, or
a user's cash on deposit. Their charges are
competitive, their excellent tools make tracking
payments easy, and for those with programming
ability, the confirmation process can be
integrated into your website.
(click to visit)
|DatingTech aka TangoWire
||We once thought highly of this program --
that is, until they left us with no recourse
other than trotting out to the west coast
and filing suit against them. Without notice or discussion, they unilaterally
booted us from their program,
shut off the
"contact us" option
to make themselves
unreachable, and kept our revenue
(that we had invested heavily
||High paying, opt-in mailing lists on a wide
variety of topics. We've been very pleased
at the ability of this program to generate
a steady stream of revenue simply by adding
a sign-up box at the end of our registration
process. We use this program very effectively
to cover the cost of advertising for our
free penpal site.
||General population matchmaking service with reasonable payouts.
(click to visit)
||Small ad server that accepts most sites except
"paid to surf" sites.
||Excellent ad server with wide variety of
advertisers to choose from and excellent
customer support. We have been a happy member
of DirectResponse since day one. Occasionally,
we even find higher payouts here than for some affiliate programs
offered directly by web sites.
||Perhaps the best ad server. If you want to
have ads for leading name companies such
as American Express, AT&T, Avon, Dell,
Foot Locker, FTD,
and most other Fortune 500 companies that
have an affiliate program, this is the program
to join. This is a free program but because
of the top quality of their merchants they
are selective in the websites they accept.