I am often asked the question “how can I make money on the internet with a website?” While the premise is not difficult, it does require quite a bit of time and effort on your part. If you are interested in making money fast, or are seeking a get-rich-quick scheme, you will not find that type of information here.
I am assuming you already have a website or blog, hosting account, etc. Your website should be based on a topic that interests you and of which you have knowledge. This will make it seem less like a job, and more like fun. Create your site or blog in a manner that provides your intended visitors (targeted audience) with information they will enjoy reading. Add new content and information regularly – this will ensure your visitors come back often.
To make money with a website, there are a few options we will explore: Niche Store Generator, Product Promotion via Affiliate Networks, Online Store Integrator, and Contextual Advertising
Using a niche store generator to make money with a website
If you have an idea for a website, want to use it to make money, but don’t have the knowledge or ability to create a website, you may want to consider a Niche Site Generator. This is the ideal solution as the hard work is done for you. Furthermore, you do not need to maintain an inventory or process shipping.
The most popular one out there is Build A Niche Store (aka BANS) . You need to purchase a domain name and a website hosting account. You also need to install a database on your host account, but the majority of hosts have simple “one-click” installs. The user manual provides step-by-step instructions on how to build a customized a store. In a nutshell, BANS is an eBay affiliate website creator – the script builds a website based on your desired niche with eBay products and you receive a share of ebay’s revenue.
Using product promotion via affiliate networks, aka: Affiliate Marketing
An affiliate networks is a network comprised of merchants (aka commercial entity, affiliate merchant) and affiliates (aka website owner or publisher). An affiliate can display a merchant’s ad, text link, or product link on their Web site, essentially promoting products and services. Affiliates are paid a commission by the respective advertiser when a visitor to the affiliate’s website takes a specific action such as filling out a form, subscribing to a service (both lead examples) or making a purchase (a sale). This is known as Affiliate Marketing.
To become an affiliate and start making money in affiliate marketing, simply sign up with an affiliate network, and select a company that has products you want to promote (either individual products or general promotion of all products the company offers). A few things to consider: ads, text links, and product links should represent the topic of the website page on which it resides. You will need to promote your website or blog, which is time consuming. Sales more than likely will not happen over night, therefore you will not start to earn money for a while.
1) Amazon.com Associate Program While not a true Affiliate Network, Amazon.com allows the ability for you to set up an A-Store (Amazon store) and incorporate it into your existing website or blog. You “sell” any type of item Amazon.com has , without doing the actual selling. Amazon.com takes care of all the sales, shipping, customer service. Your A-Store can have the same look and feel as your existing website or blog.
2) Commission Junction (aka CJ) Probably the most popular affiliate network. Many high quality merchants participate in the CJ network, each offering several different text and product links to place within your website. I have found the reporting structure to be a bit tempermental (sorry, CJ)
3) DoubleClick Performics I think this network is OK. It is growing, but I don’t seem to do too well here.
4) LinkShare.com A popular affiliate network, which has many merchants in their database.
5) shareasale.com This network is definately worth looking into. The Control Panel is easy to use, and has a very user friendly way of creating pages of several items for you to “sell”.
Using an online store integrator
Another option to generate money with a website is to integrate an online store into your website. Online stores come in many forms, however in this article I am going to discuss the online store technique that works with affiliate merchants (refer to affiliate marketing above), integrates smoothly into your existing website, and does not require you to have inventory or process the shipment of orders. This is a perfect option if you have a website and want to promote many items offered by affiliate merchants. Additionally, a store integrator is a good way to efficiently organize products and “offer” your site visitors many items.
In order to be successful with an online store, you first need a niche. This should be something that interests you, and something in which you have knowledge. Once you have selected a niche, you need to build a website then peruse the various Affiliate Networks for merchants that provide items that compliment your niche. Sigh-up with the particular merchant’s affiliate program. To create your sore, you have a few choices: GoldenCan and Popshops. Both these store generators are easy to use, and offer free store creation packages.
1) GoldenCANThis is a very easy to use store integration system that does not require any programming or database knowledge. You are able to select from millions of products from many merchants who are part of the various affiliate networks (Commission Junction, Linkshare…). Additionally, you are able to add a search box for your website visitors, as well as quickly integrate promotions and coupons.
2) PopShopsA very easy to use online store generator, PopShops allows for up to 10 free “stores”, that can contain up to 100 products. There is a large database of merchants who participate in the PopShops network – all of whom are part of the various affiliate networks (Commission Junction, Linkshare…). You simply select the merchant that has items you want to “sell”, select the items to add to your store, and customize the look and feel of the items to be displayed. Popshops has a subscription based service that offers unlimited stores and search engine optimization abilities.
Using contextual advertising
The most popular way to create a bit of extra money with a website is with contextual advertising. Contextual advertising is the term applied to advertisements appearing on websites or blogs where the advertisements are selected and served by automated systems based on the content within the page displayed by the user. You earn money when people either click on these advertisements, or make a purchase after following the advertisement link. Contextual Advertising Networks:
1) Google Adsense Arguably the most popular form of website income is the use of Google Adsense. This is basically the process of inserting a small amount of code within the page of your website – provided by Google – that resembles an advertisement. Google will provide code that is relevant to the content of said page. When you earn a minimum of $100.00, Adsense will either send you a check or directly deposit your earnings into your account Several choices of ad formats, including a search box, you-tube video.
2) Adbrite – Different ad formats from which to choose: Text and banner ads with customizable layout and full page ads. A high-paying full-screen ad on the third pageview of your site, shown only once per user per day. Anyone visiting your site can buy an ad directly on your site by clicking “Your Ad Here.” You can review each ad before it is placed on your site.
3) Bidvertiser – Minimum earnings for payment is $10.00. Customize the layout of your ad, filter unwanted ads, generate detailed earnings reports. This is a strong runner for Adsense.
4) Chitika – A blog advertising network, they offer several interactive merchandise kiosk formats. They provide relevant ads for product promotion.
5) Pay per Play – A newcomer to the contextual advertising world. You place a small piece of code within a page of your site and whenever the page is opened a relevant audio ad automatically plays. You are paid each time the ad plays – regardless if the visitor actually hears the ad or not. This ad service is due to start paying in February, 2008.
Visit Pay Per Play
6) ShoppingAds (formerly AuctionAds) – Allows you to make money by displaying relevant merchant ads on your website. When your visitors click on the ads you can make money. You tell them the relevant keywords of merchant ads you want displayed and they will display a matching ad.