Making Money with Affiliates and Advertising

You have probably seen hundreds of spam emails over the years informing you that thousands of dollars can be made all from the comfort of your own home. These messages were undoubtedly too good to be true, as the spammer was just trying to get rich off of your hopes. The internet is a wonderful market, but making those thousands of dollars is not as easy as 1-2-3.

Trying to make money off an internet business or web site is no different than trying to earn a living with a traditional business. You must choose a product or service for which there is a market and sell that item to your potential customers. The product that web sites often try to sell fall into one of these three categories.

Three Ways to Earn Revenue

  1. Banners - Pay-per-click banners are the most commonly seen form of revenue for web sites. A typical banner will have a catchy phrase, accompanied by a flashy picture, that will earn the web site owner a small sum of money if the visitor were to click it.
  2. Affiliate's Product/Serivce - Refer a visitor who wishes to purchase an affiliate's product and you will be in the green. The payout to the owner often takes the form of a percentage of the sale or a flat rate for the referral.
  3. Internal Product/Service - The web site should be designed to convince each visitor to purchase the advertised product. Every dollar on the sale will go into the owner's pocket.

The majority of web sites will not have a product themselves for sale and must rely on banners and affiliates to bring in revenue. Many feared that the earning potential of the internet would disappear after the internet boom of the late 1990's, but to this day the internet is still a viable marketplace.

Making the sale to a potential customer, in this ever changing market, will require you to do your homework. How are you going to get your visitor to make that oh so important click on your banner? To answer that question, you must first know how to answer these following questions.

  1. Attracting Potential Customers - How are you going to get potential customers to your web site? Without a good deal of traffic to your web site, the chances that you will make a suitable income is slight. A solid idea would be to create useful content for your potential customer, that some how relates to the product being sold. The closer the product and useful content are, the higher your earnings-per-visitor will become.
  2. Target audience - Who are you going to be selling the product to? What age are they? What are their interests? Do they like flashy, lively advertisements, or would they prefer classy, humorous ones? When choosing your banners and affiliates be sure that their product would most likely be used by the type of vistor who frequents your web site.
  3. Return Customers - How do you get your visitors to return later, so you will have even more money in the long run? You only get to make a first impression once, don't ruin it by blasting a new visitor with pop-ups, pop-unders and pages that trick them into visiting advertisers. Design a professional site that makes the user feel at ease and you've got a chance at that sacred place known as "bookmarks"!
  4. Sell it! - How are you going to encourage users to visit your advertisers? Many web sites will simply throw out tens of flashy, attention grabbing, and often annoying banners at the visitor, but this is not the best way to solve this problem. Consider dedicating a paragraph or two that informs the visitor about the benefits of your advertiser's good and offer them a text link to their web site. This method will lead to a much more user-friendly experience and often increase your click-through-rate (CTR).
  5. Quality Counts - How much do you know about the advertiser you are sending countless visitors to? Does this company have a favorable reputation? If you are referring customers to a dubious business this will reflect badly on you. Do your homework on your sponsors and be sure you are providing access to a quality good. Your customers will thank you and your reputation will remain intact.
  6. Where's The Money?? - Where's the paycheck? Does your advertiser have a history of not paying out to web site owners? Before you start using a revenue program you should ask other web site owners and read online reviews of revenue programs to get an idea of which program will be right for you. It is worth your time, if in the long run you find a revenue program that not only pays well, but is also reliable.

Finally, you have to experiment a great deal to find which advertisers, what layout, and what sales pitch will get you the highest earnings-per-visitor. Expect to try out several revenue programs before you settle down with one that fits your needs.

Good luck my fellow web designer. Make me proud.

This article was written by Brian Pearl, a free-lance web designer and co-creator of Tizag Tutorials. Feel free to contact Brian Pearl with any questions or comments.

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