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MONETIZATION OPTIONS 

Review These Monetization Options and Incorporate Them Into Your Plans.

There is nothing limiting the ways you can monetize a website or blog, other than your creativity.  If you can dream it up, you can implement it.  However, if you don't want to work your brain too hard, review these monetization options.

Each of these categories and methods of making money from a website or blog has been successfully used by countless thousands of online entrepreneurs.  Evaluate each one.  Consider the potential for seamless integration with your website.  If an option looks like it will work, try it out.  Diversify.  Try several.  Stick with whichever ones work.

Be aware, however, that most revenue-generating monetization options will require you to enter a contract or agreement.  Many will require you to limit the monetization methods you may like to use.  So, be sure to read all the fine print of every agreement you enter into.

Monetization Options: Contextual Ads     Monetization Options Context

Contextual advertising all started with Google AdSense.  With contextual advertising programs, the text-based content of a webpage will be scanned and analyzed.  Based on the context of the page, advertisements will then be displayed in areas and windows on that page that are designated by the website designer.

Since the ads are specific to the content of the webpage, and since people are most likely to find a particular content page because it is addressing the informational desires that led them to search for such a page, it makes sense that using contextual ads can increase revenue.  People are more likely to click ads that are of interest to them.  If the context of the page matches the context of the advertisements, people who like the content will often be interested in the ads as well.

Contextual ads allow a website to present ads and generate income from them in various ways.  This method of advertising can be particularly beneficial for small or new websites that don't have the resources to develop a full-scale revenue-generating program for their website or blog.  Here are the major players in contextual advertising:

Google AdSense: AdSense is the industry leader.  If you have ever searched for information on anything online, you almost certainly have come across them.  They usually are text-based ads displayed within boxes that are labeled "Ads by Google."  While text ads are most common, they can also take the form of image and video advertisements.  Income can be generated on a per-impression basis (usually based on cost per mille (CPM), where credit is ascribed each 1000 times an ad is displayed to visitors on your website) or on a per-click basis (each time a visitor actually clicks on one of the advertisements).  AdSense can be used in RSS feeds, on searches that originate from a webstie, and multiple other ways as well.  It is tremendously popular for a reason.  AdSense does restrict certain aspects of your website if you use it since you must agree to their terms and policies, so be sure to read all of the fine print if you sign up.

Yahoo! Publisher Network: YPN utilizes Content Match and is Yahoo!'s version of Google AdSense.  It is currently still in the beta phase and only available for U.S. accounts, assuming you meet their content guidelines.  You can sign up here.  YPN will review your website and notify you if you are not eligible to participate in their program.  The entire process should not take more than 14 days.  YPN ads can also include image and video formats, and they only pay out on a cost-per-click basis at this time.

Microsoft pubCenter: Microsoft had to get in on the contextual advertising market too.  Microsoft pubCenter is their alternative to Google AdSense.  It allows you to block ads you don't want on your website by either URL or keyword.  You can sign up here.

Oxado: Oxado is a good option for Europeans.  They pay in Euros and use moneybookers.com for payment outside of Europe.  If you live in Europe, they will deposit your earnings directly into your bank account via wire transfer.  You can sign up via the link at the end of this page.

Miva: Miva provides contextual advertising options as well.  Additionally, they offer ways to monetize email and RSS feeds.  Miva was recently acquired by AdKnowledge which gave them a larger base.  To sign up with Miva, click to become a publisher.

AdBrite: AdBrite is a tremendously versatile option.  Blogs and bloggers are welcome at AdBrite, unlike some other advertising programs.  They provide not only contextual advertising options, but they also provide in-text ads and other means to monetize your website or blog.  One of the best aspects of AdBrite is the level of control you maintain over the advertising content that is displayed alongside your website content.  You are fully in control via a publisher dashboard.  The dashboard also gives you detailed information about the ads that are displayed on your website or blog.  To sign up for AdBrite, go to their sign up page.

Monetization Options: Search-Targeted Ads     Monetization Options ST Ads

Search-targeted advertising is based on traffic generated from your Basic Search Engine Optimization Strategy.  These ads will be served up on your website to visitors who come to your site directly from a search engine.  The ad that is displayed will be determined based upon the term that was entered into the search engine.  This type of advertising is also referred to as search engine optimization advertising or SEO advertising.

One of the benefits of this type of advertising network is that it can usually be used alongside other advertising programs, most notably Google AdSense.

Chitika - If you choose to use search-targeted advertising, Chitika | Premium is a good option.  It can be difficult to generate much revenue using Chitika alone, so it is best to incorporate it into a comprehensive monetization strategy that includes other methods as well.  Using Chitika will allow you to display ads to individuals that find your site directly from one of the major search engines.  For example, if you write a review of a particular brand of pancake syrup, ads for that brand and a few competitors may pop up in the dedicated  advertising space.  If a visitor clicks through and buys a product, you can get a commission.  You can also be compensated on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis.

Monetization Options: In-Text Ads and Interstitial Ads     Monetization Options IT Ads

In-text ads and interstitial ads can be profitable.  They also have a tendency to irritate a website visitor and negatively predispose them to your website.  In-text ads work by converting certain words in your content to ads.  The ads will usually be differentiated from normal words in the content by changing the color of the word and underlining it one or more times.  When a cursor moves over the "advertised" words, it causes a larger ad to be displayed over the content.

 

Interstitial ads are advertisments that are designed to be read within your content.  The ads are designed to get people to read them (what ad isn't, right?!).  However, they are often set up so that the reader isn't immediately aware that he has transitioned from reading your content to an advertisement.  Naturally, this can be frustrating for people and, in a worst case scenario, cause them to look elsewhere for their information, thereby decreasing your website traffic.  Yikes!  But, as with anything else, these can be tremendously profitable if used on the right websites or blogs and in the right way.  Here are some of the major players: 

Text Link Ads - Text Link Ads is one of the biggest names in this genre of advertising.  Their claim to fame is that they boast the highest ratio of website real estate used to revenue generated versus any other advertising program, including Google AdSense (the Granddaddy of them all).  You can learn more by clicking this link.  To sign up, go here.

 

Infolinks - Infolinks is available to any website, no matter how big or small it may be.  There are no sign-up fees or term contracts to sign.  They also do not discriminate against blog sites.  For more information, click here or here.  Follow this link to sign up.

 

AdBrite  - As mentioned above, AdBrite also serves up in-text advertising.  See above in the Contextual Ads section for more information on AdBrite.  Or, you can click here to sign up.

 

Clicksor - Clicksor caters to only the medium and larger websites.  The little start-up website will likely be rejected if they have fewer than 5000 page views per day at the time of application.  In addition to in-text ads, however, Clicksor also offers a variety of other advertisement formats including: text ads, graphical/rich media banners, graphical banners, pop-unders, and interstitial ads.  You can apply here.  Learn more about Clicksor here.

Monetization Options: Rotating Ads     Monetization Options Space

Rotating ads are often image or banner ads that advertisers pay to have displayed on your website.  Most of these programs rotate advertisments of various advertisers in the same designated location on your website.

 

You can also develop your own direct-sale advertising space independent of any third-party advertising solution if your website generates a high traffic volume.

AdToll - AdToll is a fairly versatile program that pays per click.  One of the nice features of the program is that you can opt-in to a system that allows your ads to automatically generate more revenue for you as your website becomes more valuable (as your traffic increases).  You will keep 75% of all ad sale revenues.  25% will go to AdToll for facilitating and serving the advertisements.  View their FAQ for the details of the program, and click the link if you would like to sign up.

 

AdBrite  - AdBrite also provides image and banner advertising.  See above in the Contextual Ads section for more information on AdBrite.  Or, you can click here to sign up.

 

Bidvertiser - Bidvertiser auctions ad space on your website to their network of advertisers.  High bid wins, and the advertiser's ad will be displayed on your website.  Obviously, the more successful (in terms of traffic) your website is, the more value the advertisers will perceive your site as having and, consequently, they will bid up the price of advertising on your webstie.  This makes you more money!  Funny how the success of virtually every monetization strategy is directly linked the website's success in drawing traffic, isnt it?  Getting Website Traffic is critical!  To learn more about Bidvertiser's publisher program, click here and here.  To sign up, click here.

Monetization Options: Page Exit Ads and Pop Unders     Monetization Options Exit

Exit ads and "pop unders" are two of the less-intrusive means of presenting site visitors with ads that can generate revenue for you.  Exit ads are displayed to your website traffic when they elect to leave your website.  When they leave, they are re-directed to an advertisement page.  Of course, many visitors may not appreciate having their efforts to leave your website thwarted by advertisements.

 

Pop unders are basically pop-up windows that automatically minimize themselves or display behind the active window.  When a visitor comes to your website, the ads open and are temporarily "hidden."  When the web surfer closes his browser, he is confronted with the ad.

 

There is some speculation that Google and some of the other search engines may penalize a website whose code contains the programming for using these ads.  Regardless, many websites use them successfully as a revenue-generating advertising solution for their online ventures.

Exit Junction - Exit Junction works by displaying advertisements when a website visitor clicks the back button after arriving at your website.  Code is inserted into the header so that the visitor is taken to an ad page prior to returning to the page he previously visited.  The ads are displayed based on the keyword or search terms that were entered into the search engine.  To see if you want to venture down this road, click the link to get more information.  To sign up, click here.

 

ValueClick - ValueClick includes pop unders in their advertising program.  You can also take advantage of other advertising modes, including video.  More information can be found here.  To participate, go to the sign-up page.

Monetization Options: Affiliate Programs     Monetization Options Context

Affiliate programs are a great option for the internet marketer.  If you don't have the time or desire to develop your own products or services from scratch, you can profit by selling beneficial products that others have already created, tested, and proved effective.

 

If you write content of any kind for a website, it is highly likely that you will end up talking about products or services at some point.  Many of the things you mention in your content will be part of an affiliate program.  For example, if you sign up to be an Amazon affiliate, you can earn a commission from any product that is sold on Amazon.com as a result of your website.

 

There are literally hundreds of thousands (and probably millions) of things you can sell as an affiliate.  You earn commission on every affiliate sale you generate.  Here are some of the largest affiliate hotspots.  Take a look.  You can sign up for free for the vast majority of affiliate networks.

Amazon Associates - Amazon is the leader in online retail.  They sell virtually everything.  Signing up to be an affiliate through the Amazon Associates program allows you to receive a commission on any Amazon product that you advertise and help sell.  Because of Amazon's size and scope, there is a good chance that your content will mention or be related to a product sold on Amazon.  If so, put a link to the product you reference.  If someone clicks through and buys that product, you'll earn a commission.  The commissions vary, but can be as much as 15%.  To find out more or sign up, click here

 

LinkShare - LinkShare is different from Amazon in that it is a network instead of a single retail outlet.  The way that it works is by bringing a multitude of businesses and products together into a network.  When you sign up to be a publisher, you gain access (on approval) to the affiliate programs of all the participating businesses.  Then, you can choose from among the products you would like to advertise or sell, and you get commissions based on your success.  The biggest participant in the LinkShare network is Wal-Mart, but they also have Apple iTunes, OfficeDepot, and hundreds more.  Most affiliate networks are free to join, and LinkShare is included in that group.  To sign up as a publisher, use this link.

 

ClickBank - ClickBank has been around for a decade and has a great reputation.  They have paid out close to 1.5 billion dollars to participating publishers.  Commissions on sales go as high as 75% on tens of thousands of products.  For mor information, click here.  Free signup is available here.

 

Commission Junction - Another very large and well-respected affiliate network is Commission Junction.  They publish the performance metrics of all their advertisers so that you can choose which will be best for you.  When you sign up, you gain access to already-made links and banners and tools to help you successfully monetize and earn commissions.  More information is here.  Sign up by clicking this link.

 

ClixGalore - ClixGalore has thousands of advertisers and products to choose from when looking for options.  As a publisher, they provide you with many tools and services, including tutorials.  It is free to join, which you can do by clicking here.  If you want more information before signing up, it is available by clicking this link.

 

RegNow - RegNow is an affiliate network dedicated to software only.  For more information or to sign up, click here.

Monetization Options: Donations     Monetization Options Donations

If your website gives away lots of free information, by all means include a method for the appreciative folks to show their appreciation voluntarily and monetarily.  It is easy to put a PayPal "Donate" button on your website or blog.  Give your visitors that option!  Additionally, the donations can end up being a significant source of revenue and can be a good indicator of which types of articles and content are benefitting the most people.

Monetization Options: E-Product Sales     Monetization Options E-Sales

Selling e-products online can be quite lucrative.  You can sell e-books, e-manuals, audio files/content, video files/content, or even access to your entire website through a membership subscription. 

 

Learn about re-sell rights to e-books if you don't want to create anything yourself.  Or, look into them if you do want to create your own stuff but want to have something to sell when you launch your website.

 

This monetization method is an ideal way to make money for several reasions.  First, there is only an initial one-time time investment in the creation of the product.  After it is created, you can sell it an unlimited number of times at essentially no extra cost to you.  Second, there is little or no overhead associated with selling digits.  Third, there is no meaningful space requirements.  You store the unlimited supply of the product on a disk drive with essentially no real space requirements.  Fourth, selling digits is compatible with virtually every other monetization method you might like to incorporate into you monetization plans.

 

A tip is in order here: beware of strange psychological barriers.  For whatever reason, many people have an aversion to reading "e-books."  They want to hold bound pages in their hands, not read on-screen.  So, how is this bias overcome?

 

Interestingly, the bias seems to be held against "e-books" only.  It is not nearly as strong when it comes to "e-manuals" or other forms of labeling a digital product.  Consequently, e-manuals will often sell for much more than e-books, even if they contain the same information.  So, consider selling e-manuals if the content allows.  Even make the information look like a manual instead of a book.  Use a 13-point font with unjustified right-hand margins.  Many people will happily pay 5 to 10 times what they would for an "e-book."  It is all in the packaging.

Monetization Options: Physical Product Sales     Monetization Options Sales

Set up a website to sell whatever you make, modify, wholesale, or retail.  You can even arrange to sell other people's products through drop-shipping.  Most Inexpensive Website Hosting Services include shopping cart functions that make creating an online store easy.

Monetization Options: Online Traffic Boosting     Monetization Options Boost

So, what if you already have a website or blog?  Use a free, content-driven website to increase traffic to your online store or business website.

 

Monetization Options: Referral/Finder Fees     Monetization Options Fees

Another monetization option for a website is to develop relationships with both online and offline businesses.  As part of the relationship, you can arrange to get a commission for every lead you generate for the businesses.  If you do this, however, only develop referrals that fall within the context of your niche.  If your website is about Victorian Homes, a finder's fee arrangement with a local realtor who specializes in them would be a good idea.  Trying to connect people who are interested in buying a Victorian house to a gourmet hot dog salesman would not likely serve their needs.

Monetization Options: Services Promotion     Monetization Options Services

If you have a business based on services and skills you provide, use a website to increase the clientele.  If you can provide expertise or service, you can probably expand to a website.  If you don't already have a service business, you can start one!  The quality content you publish to your website or blog will demonstrate your competency and knowledge in the field in which you provide the services.  A website will help you develop your credibility and will help bring to you people who are interested in contracting with you.

Monetization Options: Offline Business Boosting     Monetization Options Offline

Simply having a website that represents an offline physical business will end up driving customers to that business.  In addition to providing legitimacy, a world of marketing options opens up once you get online.  Use a website to increase your customer base for an existing physical business.

Monetization Options: Auction Selling     Monetization Options Auction

Auction websites like eBay are here to stay.  You can use a website to advertise your own products that are listed on auction sites.  Point bidders to your eBay auctions to increase the revenue they generate.  Or, get paid for sending bidders to other eBay sellers' auctions.

Monetization Options: Web Professional     Monetization Options Web

If you thoroughly learn the material on this website, you may be able to become a web professional and help others do what you have done.  You may want to create a side business to do consulting, teaching, assisting in the practical aspects of website design, and seeing others through to completion.  You could do it for others or serve as a coach on a pay-for-services basis.  Help others share what they are passionate about on the internet!

Monetization Options: Sales and Rentals     Monetization Options S&R

If you can sell it or rent it, you can sell it or rent it online.  If you have a condo on the beach, a piece of rare equipment, or anything else, the internet can expand your market significantly.  If you are already doing this in the physical world, moving online will likely increase both sales and rentals.

Monetization Options: Conclusion     Monetization Options Conclusion

There is no single best way to monetize a website or blog.  Use your imagination.  Deploy multiple, diverse means of monetization if your website allows it.  There are lots of advertising programs available.  If you don't like any of the big names listed above, you can look into these: Adhere, ADSDAQ Exchange, AZN Network, Claxon Media, Kanoodle, Kontera, Nixxie, Suite 66, or Vibrant Media.  And, don't get hung up on ads.  Many websites will work best and serve visitors better utilizing monetization methods that include no advertising at all.  Determine what will work best for you within your niche.

 

Remember, you should understand When Should You Monetize before jumping into your monetization plan.  Also, everything depends on getting those visitors to your website.  So, once you have an idea of how you want to monetize your website traffic, you need to focus on Getting Website Traffic.

 

 

Copyright © 2009-2010, Issachar Knowledge, LLC: Monetization Options

 

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