Making Money Online
Making money online is a goal of many bloggers and website owner/publishers. How easy is it and what tools do you need to get the cash rolling in? First of all you need a good site, one that gets under people’s skin and they have to visit your site every week or preferably everyday. Unique visits can give a site good numbers for a day, return visits give your site real growth.
Affiliate programs, such as Amazon.com’s Associates Program, provided the first ways for early solo and small Web publishers to make a few bucks on their websites. In these programs, an online retailer will pay you, the publisher, a percentage on sales made after customers click through from your website to the retailer’s site. Links can include traditional banner ads, search forms and links to individual products.
Because you only earn money when sales are made, affiliate programs will work best for you if your site’s readers are consistently looking to make high-priced purchases — for example, if you run a product review site.
If you’re interested in affiliate program, browse through merchant directories like Commission Junction and LinkShare to find retailers that offer products that fit your site’s topic and audience.
Once registered with a merchant’s program, you can create an ad or product link on your site using a snippet of Web code downloaded from the retailer. Some merchants go further and allow you to create virtual storefronts that match the design of your site, but where the retailer still handles all the inventory and commerce. Be careful setting up such arrangements — unless you want customers coming to you for return and refund questions instead of to the retailer.
You’ll want to note what percentage of a sale the retailer pays back to you, as well as the length of time after a sale that you get credit for the purchase. Some retailers limit credit to sales made on the initial click-through, but others will give credit for any sales made within a day or so. Also, some retailers will pay a commission on purchases you personally make after clicking your own links; others may kick you out of the program for doing that. Check a retailer’s affiliate agreement and shop around for what you consider the best deal before putting links on your site.
Many publishers have found that links to individual products return more commissions than banner ads going to a retailer’s home page. But the additional money those links earn might not be enough to justify the extra time that selecting and maintaining them requires.
How Much Traffic Do You Need?
With advertising, the more readers you have and page views you serve, the more money you can make. But how much traffic do you need to make a living from your website?
To make $36,500 a year, you’d need to earn $100 a day on your site (plus whatever expenses you incur). Let’s assume your site is attractive to advertisers and earns $10 in ad revenue for every thousand page views. That would mean you’d need to serve 10,000 page views a day to meet this target. (And more if your site earns less than $10 per thousand page views.)
How can you attract that much traffic? If you are writing one article a day on subjects that will be out of date within 24 hours, it’s going to be tough. You’ll need to attract nearly 10,000 views each day for that’s day article, since few people will bother reading your old, out-of-date work. If you write a fair number of “evergreen” features, which keep attracting page views long after they are written, you’ll find the task much easier. If your site naturally deals with “perishable” news content, at least publish each day’s new news to the same URL, overwriting or pushing down the old content, so that URL can build the in-bound links and search engine traffic that will help you attract new readers you need each day.
Reader-contributed content can also help you meet your page view goals. Well-managed, thoughtfully organized discussion boards and wikis can add dozens of new content pages a day to your site, with much less effort on your part than writing that many original articles.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY ON LINE
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