Methods of Monetization: Part 1By R.O.B On January 28, 2010 Under Making Money Online
If you’re reading this blog, you very likely own some sort of online property (a website, a blog, etc.) or are in the planning stage of creating one. If you don’t, keep an eye out for my upcoming tutorials on taking the first step and actually creating a site. Anyway, I would like to talk a little about the various methods you can implement to monetize your websites.
Advertising Networks. Two of the networks that I hear about most often are Google AdSense and AdBrite (use my referral link!). Each available network in the industry offers its own advantages and disadvantages, but I’ll save that for another day. (Just watch out for the more suspect advertising networks, like this one.)
More to the point, you profit by placing a certain code from your advertising network on your site. It is then served with a variety of possible ads, which will generate revenue. Typically, such income is produced in these ways:
Cost Per Click (CPC): Money is earned when a visitor clicks on an advertisement.
Cost Per Milli (CPM): This method produces an income though impressions, with the rate being tailored to what you receive for every 1,000. An impression is defined as the advertisement being loaded on the page for a visitor to see.
Cost Per Action (CPA): You receive earnings every time a specific action is completed. It could be a purchase, a sign-up, etc.
Direct Selling of available advertisement space. Through this method, you will contact people who might have an interest in buying ad space on your site and tell them what you’re selling and for how much. It’s important to conduct yourself in an extremely professional manner if you decide to take this route.
Give them as much information as you can and ensure it’s both accurate and highly organized. However, remember that you’re also playing the role of salesman and should introduce them to a number of reasons why it would be in their best interest to advertise on your site. You might also consider making an ‘Advertising’ page that people can view to see what you have to offer.
Try visiting a marketing or webmaster forum and have some ‘experts’ appraise the value of an advertising slot of your site – that way, when you try the direct method mentioned above, you have an exact price on hand (you can always leave it open to negotiation) since people don’t like to be approached and then told to make an offer.
Sponsorship Links. The name gives this one away. You can sell text links and refer to the advertisers as ‘Sponsors,’ which always looks better to the average visitor than ‘These guys gave me money to put these links here!’ You can find a variety of places for these links to go on your site… the sidebar, the footer, in posts and articles, etc. Just be creative!
Physical Products. Selling physical products (online retailing) often entails a lot of work. You need to have the items in stock. You’ll need to pack and ship them, then ensure that they reach the destination safely, and handle any disputes that may arise if they don’t (Thankfully, the United States Postal Service offers Delivery Confirmation. It’s a lifesaver!) or if the customer may not be pleased with the product itself. Effectively dealing with customers is critical in all aspects of business, but the stakes are much higher when in the business of selling physical items.
Arguably, one of the best things about physical products is that you have the ability to expand your horizons and sell your inventory on your site, on eBay and Craigslist, the Amazon Marketplace, at local flea markets or garage sales, and more! So, those in the online retailing business are certainly not lacking available venues.
Furthermore, you may also try the drop shipping business. For example, I know a guy that purchases electronics at wholesale prices from China and has then shipped directly to his customers. He doesn’t have to pack or ship anything and (fortunately) never faces the dilemma of, ‘My inventory isn’t selling… what am I going to do with it?!’ You just need to do a lot of research into the company you decide to drop ship with. Scammers are everywhere!
Digital Products are the products you’re most likely to see for sale as you venture across cyberspace. They offer a lot of benefits: No unsold inventory. No shipping. No packing. No physical storage space required. The list goes on… However, there are also some downfalls to digital products. For one, they’re much easier to replicate and resell. Think about it. Are you able to just copy your toaster or microwave? Of course not. So branding your products is essential.
Digital products just don’t carry the baggage and same spectrum of up-front costs for the business owner that physical products do, making the business exponentially more versatile. However, you’ll still need to address the customer satisfaction end of things and work hard on your landing page.
Some examples of products that sell well are: e-books, content and memberships. You can also include your skills and services as a digital product and market them online. I’ve seen many people create businesses off the sole talent of writing articles, designing websites, and almost whatever else you can think of.
Well, that’s all for now! I’ll be posting Methods of Monetization: Part 2 soon, so check back often. Also, feel free to leave your comments below about which monetization methods have worked best for you and which ones weren’t so hot. They might be included in Part 2!