Making money with your web site

Copyright Stacy Beatty, 1998 - 2004. All Rights Reserved.
This article may not be reprinted or reproduced,  in whole or in part without express, written permission.

Gone are the days of making easy money on the Internet. A few years ago, anyone could create a website and easily make $100-$500 per month with minimal effort. 

in the past, there were many banner advertising companies that would pay you for every click received from your website with conversion rates from 1 cent to $2.00!  Unfortunately, Fraud and deception put an end to the majority of these programs :(

Now, the most popular structure for website advertisement is quickly becoming the CPA or Cost per action program (AKA Affiliates Programs).  Simply stated, Pay per sale, signup, etc.  Let's face it, most users want something for FREE.  If an Internet user is shopping for something, they are more than likely going to visit the manufacturer's home page and make their purchase there.  Think about it.  If you want to order a Christmas fruitcake, how likely is it that you will follow a link from a website to make that purchase?  Let's face it, unless your site is predominately focused on Christmas, the chances of actually making that sale are slim.  Likewise, if your website's focus is the sale of YOUR product, you don't want to drive traffic away from your site to make a sale, you'd rather keep that sale and get the full commission rather than a percentage!

While some sites actually DO make money from the CPA structure, many others don't.  If your website has a specific focus, ie: holidays (advertise gift items), education (advertise books),  home decorating (advertise furniture covers, home products), etc, this model may work best for you!

Built on the same CPA structure, are ad campaigns which offer Free Sweepstakes sign ups, Free DVDs, Newsletters and more.  These are very easy to convert to cash because the user gets the FREE stuff and all the have to enter is their contact information.  Many people will enter their email address and a few lines of personal information if there's a chance they'll get something for nothing!  Some of these sites will even provide you with FREE Content for your website! Free games (usually the games open a new window with your advertisement displayed), or ready to send news letters (ready made links to free catalogs, daily news letters, etc), Up-to-the-minute news feeds are just a few examples.  You simply copy the pre-made code and paste it into your website or email list.  These are great ideas to add interest to your site and pick up a bit of money every month for very little effort!  They also keep users returning again and again!

The CPM networks are increasing in popularity, but require high traffic websites to actually see revenue.  CPM stands for Cost Per Thousand (M=1,000).  For every 1000 ads you display on your website, you are paid $.30 - $3.00.  These programs work VERY well for high traffic websites, as they do not require any user interaction other than loading the ad on the page!  You may be asking yourself "Why?".  Well, it's for "branding" purposes. When a surfer sees an ad a couple thousand times it becomes "normal" to them.  For instance, Amazon is not a store you'll see in your local shopping mall.  However, when a user is shopping for books or music on the Internet, they will likely visit the Amazon site because it is "familiar" to them from the massive advertising campaigns.  It's a win/win situation for everyone.  You are paid for "branding" and the advertiser, in time, gets the sale.

There are still a few advertising agencies that work on the CPC (or Cost per Click) format.  They usually have VERY POOR conversion rates (very few clicks from users) and it has been our experience that the advertising companies offering these have very strict rules regarding "actual clicks".  Beware of any agency offering you cash for clicks, they usually don't pay.

Additionally, there are companies that will allow you to offer YOUR content for sale on their websites!  Graphics artists do especially well with these programs!  You simply upload your content to their server and set the price you'd like to receive when an item is sold.  When an order is placed, they do all the print work and you receive whatever profit you decide on!  The items sold range from posters to t-shirts, mouse pads, clicks, even flying disks! Another attractive feature about these programs, you can sell your items on a "free website" (like geocities or angelfire),  your own domain ( or via email (you don't have to have a website at all!)  All your pages may reside on their server and you are able to customize the pages in any way you desire!  Very easy indeed!

Advertising Media Types

The most common format is the 468x60 banner, this is a 468 by 60 pixels sized banner on a website, which requires the user to click on the banner to visit the advertising company. Other size adverts are becoming more common such as 120x60, 120x600, 125x125 which allow you to place the advertising in a more "design friendly" or less conspicuous area on your website and receive credit.

Text based links can be placed in your emails or in text based documents on your website.  Text links are a very nice way of providing advertising content into your pages without the increasing the time it takes a page to load on your site.

Another method of advertising are using pop-up/pop-unders, where by an advertisement is forced upon you, in a separate window. The pop-up/pop-unders can be session based (once per website visit), on page load, on page exit, or even on a timer!  Most Pop-up and Pop Under ads use the CPM model and convert at a higher rate than standard banners (up to $6 CPM),!   Keep in mind, pop-ups/pop-unders get very annoying and people are learning to close them down quickly. 


Companies we recommend

FastClick Ad Network(CPM - Pay per 1000 ads displayed)

(example of media)

Traffic Requirements for participation:  Minimum 100+ page views per day.
Media Types: 468x60, Pop Under (once every 12 hrs), 120x600 Skyscraper,  InVue Ads
Average Revenue: $3.00 per 1000 ads displayed.
Additional Comments:  Clearly the best option for HIGH Traffic Websites.
Prompt Payments - US mail or via Paypal.
Perfect for high traffic sites as you are paid for every 1000 views, as well as clicks.
Pop under and InVue ads are displayed very 12 hours, so your users don't get annoyed with multiple popups getting in the way of your content.
Skyscraper ads and standard 468x60 ads must be placed within 500 pixels of top of page

Google Adsense - (CPC - $.5 - $1.00 per click!!)

(example of media)

Traffic Requirements for participation:  No minimum page views per day.
Media Types: 468x60, 728x90, 120x600 skyscraper, 300x250 Inline Rectangle
Average Revenue: Depends on traffic/clicks
Additional Comments:  Excellent opportunity for websites with REAL CONTENT.
Customized banner ads to match the colors of your website.
Ads are relevant to the content of your page, more incentive for clicks.
Drawbacks - Clicking ads opens advertised site in same window, causing your visitor to leave your site.

Cafe Press - Sell your art in printed format

Traffic Requirements for participation:  none, Additionally, No Website Required!
Media Types: 468*60,  text links, email links
Average Revenue: You set the price!
Additional Comments:  No website required.
You choose the price.
Special Incentives! Free Shipping, Stuffed Animals, designed to Boost Sales!
Sell as many or as few items as you want!  Public and PRIVATE stores.
Buy from yourself at COST.
Prompt Payment, Real time Stats! 

Sell Our Gear and Make money!

Traffic Requirements for participation:  none
Media Types: It's up to you!  Choose from ready made banners and search boxes or create your own links to our gear.
Average Revenue: 20% commission on each sale
Additional Comments:  No preset traffic requirements
Earn 20% on each sale, for up to 30 days after link is clicked
Over 11 Million (YES MILLION) items to choose from!


While there are many, many advertising companies out there and many many different ways to earn money through your website, these are the ones we have found to be most effective.  The most important lessons we have learned are:

  1. You're not going to get rich from legitimate advertising programs.

  2. Target your advertising content to your users and you'll have decent results.

  3. Spam sucks and can get you banned from the legitimate advertising companies quickly.

  4. Anything that sounds too good to be true, probably IS too good to be true.


Good luck and God bless!  

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Copyright Stacy Beatty, 1998 - 2004.
All Rights Reserved.
This article may not be reprinted or reproduced,  in whole or in part without express, written permission.