If you have a website that provides free information or a free service, you may be sitting on a potential goldmine. It is possible to generate ad revenue with any website, even if it is just a blog or a message board. For our purposes here, we will review each of the different income streams available to you as a webmaster so that you can formulate a plan to turn your free service into a money making business.
The simplest way to get some ads running on your website is by displaying banners or text links for affiliate programs, strategically placed on your webpage where people will see the advertisements and subsequently click on them.
An affiliate program is a program whereby you, the affiliate, display a banner or text link advertising the products or services of another business. If someone clicks on that ad and then purchases something from that other company, you will be paid a commission on that sale.
There are thousands of affiliate programs available to you. Major corporations such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble have affiliate opportunities, as do smaller online businesses such as insurance quoting websites and internet dating services.
I recommend that you perform a search on Google for affiliate programs and sign up for those that either somehow relate to the topics being discussed on your website or are enticing enough that people will click on the banner ad. You should rotate different banners on to your website each day of the week, and then stick with those that work best. Try several different affiliate programs and see what works.
Another way you can make money with your site is by displaying pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements on your webpage. You need to sign up with companies that deliver PPC ads. Nextag has a pay-per-click program, as do several ad delivery services such as Adrevolver. Google Adsense is probably the most popular pay-per-click advertisement delivery service on the internet, and you should sign up with them as well.
It is also possible to make some significant ad revenue from your site by actually charging companies a fee to advertise on your website. This is easier said than done; your website has to establish itself as receiving a lot of high quality traffic.
If you have a website that gets thousands of hits per day, you need to have statistics that prove it so that you can justify someone paying a fee to advertise on your website. The more popular your site is, the more you can charge. Only if your website receives a ton of traffic will you be able to charge other websites a fee to display their banner on your site.
The best way to make money online is with a dealer program, which is a little different from an affiliate program. With a dealer program, you actually add a webpage to your own site that is tailored to fit the look and feel of your own website, rather than simply displaying an affiliate banner.
With a dealer program, the products or services of the other company are actually sold directly through your own website, so that you are in total control of the sale. Meanwhile, the parent company does all the order processing and shipping, etc. You can just sit back and collect your money.
I hope this information has been helpful. Sometimes, it is easier to make money with a website that provides nothing but free information than it is with an actual business. However, you will need to run ads for products or services that somehow relate to the subject matter of your site.
If your site provides information about obtaining a mortgage, then your site should have affiliate banners or links to mortgage quoting services. There needs to be a relationship between between what kind of information your site provides and what you are advertising. Doing this will enable you to turn your free website into a real business.
About the Author: Jim Pretin is the owner of http://www.forms4free.com, a service that helps programmers make free HTML forms.