Making money – your website

If you have a website that is receiving a healthy level of visits, you can easily make it pay for itself. In fact, not only can you (at the very least) make enough money to cover your server expenses, but also your time developing, designing and maintaining your website and maybe even more!

In the past, I have ask many website owners, “Do you make much money from your site?”, once they have got over the plain cheek of the question, they have often replied; “I had a few sales, made a little bit” or “My site is purely a hobby, I don’t sell anything“. It is at that point I usually suggest looking into either ‘pay-per-click’ or ‘affiliate advertising’.

Pay-per-click

This is an advertising model that provides cash rewards to site owners (advertisers) for each time a published advert is clicked on. The rewards can vary to a few cents or pence to a many dollars or pounds! The publisher is paid irrespective of whether the click lead to a sale or not.

Pro’s of Pay-per-click

  • Most schemes, such as Google Adsense, generates customisable advertisement links according the context of the page that they are displayed on.
  • The adverts will automatically change and populate your page.
  • You don’t have to do a thing, apart from cut and paste a little piece of code into your page.
  • Instantly starts to generate money.
  • Very simple to install.
  • Most schemes allow you to filter out certain competitors and websites from being advertised.

Con’s of Pay-per-click

  • Lack of control: pay-per-click schemes sometimes display ambiguous advertisements or even links that directly oppose your website’s ethos. Recently, I create a website that promoted cotton nappies. Quite often, ‘disposible’ nappies appear in the advertisement block, much to the dismay of the owners of the site and their very eco-aware visitors!
  • Each click will take your visitors away from your website. This, of course is no good if you sell your own products or services.
  • Doesn’t always yield the highest revenue.

Affiliate Advertising

In recent years, this has become a very popular way of generating money from a website. It involves you providing links, buttons and banners, advertising products and services. If a visitor to your site clicks on an advert and then purchases from the advertised publisher, you receive an agreed percentage of that sale. This percentage can range anywhere from 5% to 75% depending upon the type of product. A two very popular affiliate schemes are AffiliateWindow and TradeDoubler.

Pro’s of Affiliate Advertising

  • You don’t have to carry stock or post or even get in contact with buyers! The publisher does all of that. All you have to do is recommend their products and wait for the cash to start to roll in.
  • You can ‘cherry pick’ which advertisers and adverts/products you wish to promote.
  • You can make a lot more money with affiliate advertising than with pay-per-click
  • You can set url links to open in another browser so that you don’t divert and loose visitors to your site.
  • Most affiliate schemes work with ‘session cookies’. This informs the publisher that you, the advertiser sent a buying customer to their website. It will also, in most cases lead to more commission as the customer purchases other products for many weeks if not months after the initial click!

Con’s of Affiliate Advertising

  • Trying to get people to click and buy can be a very slow process. You will need to spend a lot of time marketing your advertisements and attracting the right kind of visitors (those that buy things) to your website. Many affiliates will agree that in the first 6 months or so, you may not make a single penny! Only the persistent affiliate marketeer wins.