A Few Simple Ways to Monetize on Your Blog or Website!

By: Daniel Imbellino
Updated: Feb 28, 2014

I’ve spent much of the last year looking for ways to monetize from my websites content, and in the process I’ve explored many Advertising methods to see how they work, if they work, and what works best. Some of the ways to make money on your blog or website include implementing affiliate Ads, cost per click, cost per measure, popups, in text advertising, etc. While some of these methods have proved useful to me, some have not. Here I’m going to show you some of the options for monetizing on the web with your content, as well as explain what options are more likely to bring a good return on investment, and which are not.

Monetizing with Affiliate Advertising:

This one is a joke! Marketers have been using this tactic for years to market products and services online, and it simply amounts to free online advertising for companies big and small. The way affiliate marketing works is like this, an online publisher of content posts the affiliate ads to their website, then when someone clicks on the Ad they are taken to the corresponding page where the full advertisement is located. The only problem is, unless the person who viewed the Ad actually buys something, you don’t get paid! Some websites like Amazon have affiliate programs where you get paid regardless of what product the person decides to buy, it doesn’t have to be the item they clicked on.

Either way, the likelihood of getting conversions (another name for making a sale in this case) is about one in 30,000! Which makes this method of monetizing pointless, and more of a waste of time, and precious space than anything. In fact, if every website online was implementing these Ads, then no one would pay to market their Ads using cost per click or implement paid contract methods. If this works so well, then how come no one wants to use it?

To make matters worse, some not so savvy affiliate marketers will write raving reviews for products, telling their audiences how wonderful a product or service is, despite the fact they never used the product themselves! What they're essentially doing is lying about the quality of a product or service in hopes of convinicing the reader to make the purchase. Google has since cracked down hard on these scammers.

Affiliate Ads can work in some cases if they’re targeted to the right audience. The idea is, you need to place affiliate Ads on pages where they are relevant to the pages actual content. Even then, making the sale is highly unlikely. You’d be more likely to get struck by lightning than make so much as a $100.00 a month from a website with more than 800 pages of content!

Monetizing with in Text Advertising:

In text ads are a great option! I recently implemented these types of advertising on this website and one other, and they started making money instantly. In text Ads work like this, you embed a script into your webpage which then highlights keywords within your pages content and turns them into links. When someone hovers over the links a popup appears with an advertisement. In text ads also don't take up space, as the ad doesn't appear unless someone actually hovers over the link.

There’s a few caveats here though as well. I tested out in text Ads from several different marketing sources, including Kontera, Clicksor, and Info-links. Kontera I was not impressed with at all. The Ads were almost pure spam, and they also caused my webpage’s to load a lot slower due to the scripts. To make matters worse, I didn’t care for how you had to use Div tags in your code in order to select placement of the Ads. Not my first choice.

Clicksor was another platform I tried. Again, Ads looked like spam, and who wants to spam their sites visitors? No good, don’t do it! Info-links had the best quality of Ads from big name companies, their scripts were simple to implement, and instead of using div tags to fine tailor the sections of a page where you want Ads to appear, they have simple comments you can place to direct the Ads within your pages HTML. I recommend info-links over the others for sure. Also, info-links pays for both cost per measure and cost per click, which we will talk about shortly. Either way, you get several methods to make money using their in text Ads, and unlike standard popups, in text Ads are non invasive in the sense that nothing pops up on the screen unless the user interacts with the links themselves.

Cost Per Measure and Cost Per Click Ads:

Cost per measure Ads, or sometimes referred to as “cost per mille”, tend to pay based on 1,000 page impressions, meaning that you get paid for every 1,000 times a page loads on your site containing the Ads. In some cases you may get paid for each individual impression of an advertisement. Info-links pays per 1,000 impressions, and from clicks on individual Ads. Another good option is using the Google Adsense program and placing banner or link Ads on your pages. Most Ads thru Adsense are cost per click, they tend to pay well depending on which keywords are targeted, and some Ads are cost per measure as well. Although Google Adsense is fraught with complaints, and they have no standard support for publishers unless you earn a certain amount of money per week, and even those with support have claimed they have had trouble getting assistance from Google with problems. Too make matters worse, the internet is now flooded with thousands upon thousands of complaints about the Adsense program and how people claim they were unrightfully banned from the program. If those claims are true, then its likely they have a very high rate of shutting down accounts, maybe even as high as 90%? Nonetheless I’ve had no problems with them myself, and I think it’s worth a try. Many of those who were banned may not have been following the rules either.

For one, if you are going to implement any sort of Advertising on your website, make sure you have a privacy policy in place that lets users know what information you collect from them if any during their visits to your website. Also include info indicating your use of cookies, and supply ways for them to remove and opt out of cookies as well. The Network Advertising Initiative Consumer Opt Out page provides the means necessary for individuals who are using your site or others to opt out of online cookies that may be used in the advertising process. I would include a link to their page within your privacy policy itself. Also, some programs, like Adsense for instance, actually require online publishers using their advertising platform to have a privacy policy readily in place.

Monetizing with Popup Advertisements:

Think carefully beofre implementing popups, as They can earn money, but they can be too invasive, and they slow down the loading time of your webpage’s. People don’t typically like visiting a site where the moment a page loads they are met with multiple popups flying out onto their screen. At least with the in text Ads there are no popups unless somebody is hovering directly over or clicking on a link within the content of your webpage articles. I’ve even noticed this last year how some websites will have popups appear several minutes into reading an article. So there you are reading something and a popup flies out, effectively breaking your concentration. Now you have to click off the Ad and figure out where you were so you can continue reading. In text Ads are a much better choice.

In the long run it looks like cost per click and cost per measure Ads are the best bets. They guarantee to pay best on some action, in which affiliate ads do not. Why post a thousand affiliate ads to your pages if they’re going to do nothing but take up space and offer free advertising for multi-million dollar companies? In text advertising, as stated before is a great option, and a good alternative to standard popups since they are a lot less invasive and don’t cause your pages to glitch or load slowly.

One last Choice to consider is creating an advertising link to a page where you offer banner or link Ads to companies right on your website for a per month, or period basis. Be sure to specify what size Ads you are looking for, how much you charge for various size Ads, and for how long. One thing to note here, if you do find advertisers who are willing to buy advertising space on your site, be sure to add a “nofollow” attribute to those links. Paid advertisements must be “nofollowed” otherwise Google will penalize you. You are not allowed to pass page rank using paid advertising with Google, so make sure you are following the rules.

The “nofollow” attribute is added to links like this:

<a href"=www.example-website.com/ad-page/ad-in-question.html target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Name of site.com</a>

Or if it’s a banner image it may look something like this:

<a href=www.example-website.com/ad-page/ad-in-question.html target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”><img src=”banner-ad.png” alt=”description” /></a>

You won’t need to “nofollow” Ads from most automated marketing platforms such as Google Adsense or Info-links, since Google knows which Ads are theirs, and Info-links does this for you already. Besides Adsense, there is also Bidvertiser, which also has banner based Ads, etc. Although I don’t think Bidvertiser is worth the time and effort as they don’t appear to pay very well. In some cases you will just need to test out various methods to see what works best for you.

Monetizing Through Paid Contracts:

This one can be really tricky to implement, as paid contracts from sponsors are generally sought for with sites that tend to have high daily traffic numbers. For sites that have a lot of traffic, its likely marketers will actually contact the site asking to display ads there. However, for a new website it can extremely difficult, if not almost impossible to find companies who are willing to advertise with them. Bringing in Sponsors who are willing to pay on a regular basis may be tough, but the rewards could be very beneficial over the long term. For one, contract advertising tends to pay more since its usually targeted marketing thats being implemented. Also, a single contract could be renewed many times over, providing a consistent form of revenue for years to come. It's likely that out of all forms of revenue we've discussed so far, contract advertising would probably have the highest return in revenue.

Google has recently implemented "Direct Campaigns" in Adsense, allowing any publisher who participates in their advertising program the ability to negotiate private advertising with sponsors directly. With Direct Campaigns you negotiate a price and time frame an ad will run, along with a designated ad unit that will house the advertisers ads. Once the campaign is setup Google provides publishers with a link that is sent to the advertiser. The advertiser can then use the link to access the campaign, make payment, and upload their ads.

Another thing you should consider is adding diversity to your web monetizing plan. Some advertising platforms may work better than others depending on a particular site or its content, so be sure to implement several methods, not just relying on one single platform like Adsense to provide the revenue you seek. There is one platform called Admedia which provides virtually all types of advertising methods you can think of, including popovers (ads that appear on top of content), popunders (ads that appear behind the screen in a separate window, in text advertising, rollover ads, banners, and more.

Another promising alternative to help you earn money from your site is through platforms like "Ad.fly" or "Linkbucks", which work by redirecting users who click on a link to an intermediate page with an advertisment. The user can choose to view the ad or skip it and go directly to the content at hand. If you're syndicating your content to social networks like Twitter, then using one of these link monetizing platforms might help as an additional path to revenue. One thing to consider here is that many people don't like the intermediary ad pages, and not without cause. Adfly has been known to be glitchy with some blogs that arent set up to redirect properly, causing the intermediary pages to reload over and over again.

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