First of all, please note that is not necessary to have an website or blog to try all this methods. You may start making money by joining forums or Facebook groups that talks about your niche. When I started out to make money online the general advice give was join ClickBank, Commission Junction or use AdSense.
Honestly I think that was probably pretty bad advise:
- Commission Junction is a nightmare for somebody starting out, it will take you a week just to learn how their site works (many such sites are like this, go and look a PayDotCom to see a site designed to extract money from you at every turn and be about as user friendly as a rabid dog on steroids).
- Clickbank is better, but there are a lot of bad products in there and it is easy to get caught up in the hype. There is also generally a huge level of competition to fight against, which is never easy.
- AdSense is a last resort in my book. If you can only make money with AdSense then you will probably make more with a CPA (Cost Per Action) promotion on your site.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to make money from your sites, however it may help you get started:
1. Affiliate Programs (Revenue Share)
For those who still don’t know in a nutshell you place a link on your site promoting another product. If somebody clicks through your link you get a % share of the sale cost. You don’t have to support the product, or deal with the tax, have a merchant account or any of the million and one issues which come with owning your own product.
Different affiliate tracking systems use different methods to track the sale, these can be: IP, Username, Referral address, Cookie, Flash cookie
1.2 How To Find Affiliate Programs
Firstly if you are a member of an affiliate marketplace like Clickbank then go and have a look there, you never know there might be something. However don’t stop at that, have a look around for possibly better programs. Spend some time looking, don’t just jump at the first product you see within the niche you are interested in.
Google: Do a search based on your niche, if its a popular with affiliate marketers you can bet the SERPs will be filled with affiliate sales pages. Go through the pages and see what products they are promoting.
Remember however these people are your competition, the fact you have just found them in Google shows other people can do and you will have to beat them, either with better SEO, backlinks, pay per view (PPV), pay per click (PPC) or long tail keywords. You will however find many programs this way that are not part of any affiliate directories.
When you are starting out you may be one of many people who have applied for the program, most will never make a single sale and so you well be ignored by the product owner or affiliate manager at first. Don’t take this to heart, once you start making some actual decent sales number they will take notice.
2. CPA – Cost Per Action
Here you don’t get a fee for the sale itself rather you get a few from some ‘action’, this could be a simple as referring the person to a site or having them submit a valid email address. Now the lines have been blurred a lot because many programs list themselves as CPA but the action is a sale, but in these cases its not a revenue share as such because you can often make more money than the initial sale.
That may sound odd, how can a program payout $100 on a $37 sale? Well put simply for them the $37 is just the tip of the iceberg, they will be extracting money from the client for a long time to come. Sounds dodgy, but it’s very common. You will find most mobile phone or subscription TV packages work this way.
Ever wonder why the mobile phone sales agent wants you do buy a particular phone? Well there is probably a nice big CPA payout on that phone, while the first month contract price on the phone may be only $50 the cost of the contract over it’s lifetime, plus the revenue from calls, is worth $1000′s and thus they can afford to payout more than $50 upfront to you for referring the sale to them.
2.1 How to find CPA Networks
You can look for CPA offers at OfferVault,but remember many networks are not included. One thing that’s important is using a network that pays out, sticking with some of the long term names in the industry is a safer option:
- http://www.ewanetwork.com/ (referral only)
There are hundreds more.
If you get stuck trying to join these networks because you don’t have any traffic to your website yet just tell them you will be using ‘social traffic and media buy’, that is Facebooks, Twitter etc along with Pay Per View or other advertising. These forms of traffic don’t have any websites associated with them so you should pass that hurdle. If they call you and ask for more information tell them you don’t want to share your traffic source at the moment but you are doing XXX leads a day with another network and looking to expand.
Unless you know what you are doing I recommend you do not mix advertising and affiliate programs on one site, many people do run AdSense on their affiliate sites in the belief they will make more money.
There are two types of advertising system, ones where you get paid if a person clicks (CPC) on the advert and others where you get paid for each impression (CPM) of the advert.
3. Paid Guest Posting
After Google updates, most of the webmasters were looking to different ways to advertise their websites and moved away from all kind of backlinks spamming to Guest Posting on sites from same niches. Webmasters of this websites are happy to receive quality, fresh, related content on their website and the contributors receive in exchange for their content a nice, related backlinks to their website.
As this advertising method became very popular bloggers started to ask money in exchange for publishing content and most of the contributors have nothing against paying from $50 to $100 for each guest post article they want to publish. So if your blog have some authority in your niche you can accept paid guest post articles and increase your revenue in a easy and profitable way.
4. Website Flipping
Here you main goal is to sell the website, you want to build it up and get some PR on it then sell it. Generally speaking unless a site is for sale because the owner simply does not want to maintain it anymore you have to wonder why any site that makes money is for sale… if you site is making money, and you have no reason for it to stop doing so, generally you are better off keeping it. If you know its making money short term, well then perhaps you want to try and pass it off to some poor unsuspecting newbie…
5. Creating Your Own Product
If you are just starting out this is probably the hardest thing to do, because you not only need to know how to be an affiliate but also a product owner. Of course you can pop your product on to a marketplace like Clickbank and have other people sell it for you, but it’s not that easy. You need to be able to sell the idea to the affiliates in the first place, this having the skills of being an affiliate marketer in the first place will really set you ahead of the pack when it comes to selling you own product.
I highly recommend you look at other options first before going down this route, and then in the future you should spend a good deal of time investigating the various options of selling your product because it is a big commitment that you will want to get right.
6. Ask for donations
It is not necessary to have thousands of visitors daily.If you have a strong, engaged readership base or a community that appreciate what are you doing then you may ask for donations. This will not make you insanely rich but will help you pay for hosting, have a decent coffee and a snack and maybe save some money for future developments.
People appreciate when receive value for nothing and they understand that someone spent time to create it so most of them will be happy to help you. All you have to do is to create quality content (video tutorials, step by step guides) in your niche showing them you’re passionate about it.
7. Add a “Hire me” page
If you have a blog or website and you’re quite an authority in your niche or at least you prove to your visitors that you know what you’re doing and you’re a hard working person you’ll get projects from visitors that don’t have the time nor knowledge to do the things you’re doing. Just prove them you’re the right person to do them.