Finding advertisers for your web site
try to find advertisers who are willing to pay to advertise on their site
they are often bitterly disappointed.
They find out that advertisers like talking to webmasters whose sites
attract at least 10,000 visitors a month - or a lot more - and often expect
detailed demographics on those visitors.
Even if you can meet those tough demands, the amount of money advertisers
are willing to pay you can also be extremely disappointing.
Hire an advertising agency?
You could hire advertising agencies to find advertisers for you, but don't
expect them to show a lot of interest if you're still in the "need to
attract more visitors" category.
If you're in this situation, take heart. You don't have to waste valuable
time trying to find advertisers. There are other ways of earning revenue
- suitable for web sites large and small.
One option is to use a service such as ClickTrade. You can go to
the site, sign up, and choose from various advertisers willing to pay
you on a pay-per-click basis. It's a good service, but one disadvantage
is that you need to monitor the deals closely because the advertiser can
agree to pay you, for example, 20 cents per click-through but then lower
the payout rate to 5 cents or even less the day after you sign up.
Using an affiliate program
Another option is to join associate or affiliate programs - the sort of
thing made popular by Amazon.com and its 60,000 associates and now used
by hundreds of companies to sell everything from candy to watches to sportswear.
In these programs the webmaster gets paid by results - when a sale takes
place as result of a someone clicking on a banner ad or a link.
Well organised companies make joining associate/affiliate programs extremely
easy. You usually sign up - after reading the contract carefully - and
simply paste a bit of HTML code into your web page. In some cases, you
even receive a free web site. Joining a program is usually free.
For an example of how they can work, have a look at the main page at LinkExchange
and you may notice a small link to the Internet News
Bureau. That's not a mere advertisement. If you owned the LinkExchange
site and someone clicked on that referring link and signed up to publicize
a web site using the bureau, you would earn 10% of the fee paid.
I've placed a similar link on my site, the Associate Programs Directory,
because I've tried the Internet News Bureau and found it gave my site
a nice burst of publicity.
Another of my favorites is the book Insider Internet Marketing,
an excellent introduction to marketing on the Internet, which pays a generous
commission of $US10 per book sold.
Choose an appropriate program
When choosing an associate program from the hundreds available, remember
that your visitors probably came to your site for a reason. About 98%
or 99% of them are unlikely to be distracted and click on a banner ad
- unless that banner ad is selling a service or product they want.
If you choose a product that is right for your site, you will raise the
click-through rate - and your commissions.
Selling real estate? You could find books and magazines on home decorating
help on this topic...
find further help on this topic, or closely related issues,
in the side columns on this page..
Got a children's site? There are even associate programs for candy and
Aiming at teenagers? Try CDs from CDnow or CD Universe, or perhaps careers
Want to go upmarket a little? You can find advertisers of wine and restaurants
If your target market is web marketers, you can choose from companies
offering web hosting, URL promotion, a large range of range of marketing
and promotion services, software and all sorts of other Internet services.
If you have a low-traffic site, don't expect brilliant results from associate
programs. Whatever you do, don't merely plonk ten advertising banners
on one page. Why would anyone want to visit - or revisit - a page like
How to increase the click-through rate
As well an choosing appropriate programs you can increase your click-through
rate - and commissions - by writing an article about the product or service.
You can even create a whole web site designed to attract people interested
in that product.
For example, a site containing hints on how to make your own Christmas
gifts could sell books on the same subject. A site on Mother's Day could
sell a huge range of gifts for mothers.
You can also increase the click-through rate by sandwiching a paragraph
describing a product between two similar banner ads.
Corey Rudl, who really ought to be embarrassed by the huge sales he has
achieved marketing on the Internet - but seems proud of them - says you
can increase sales of his Internet
marketing course by 400% by writing a personal recommendation for
it. Some companies encourage you to do that but some won't even allow
you to write a few words beside their banner ad. Read the contract carefully.
If you have managed to find advertisers, you're probably like most webmasters
and don't have enough of them. Associate programs can be a convenient
way of filling the unsold gaps.
Not convinced yet?
Here's another reason why associate programs are great. Because many of
the associate programs allow you to use links instead of banner ads, you
can have faster loading pages. Many affiliate programs also give you the
option of using traditional banner ads, as well as commission-earning,
fast-loading links, such as the Web Card site at http://www.printing.com
That link is to my favourite associate program - favourite because you
don't have to persuade people to buy anything. All they have to do is
ask for a free sample of a Web Card, a postcard with a picture of your
site on it.
A bonus is that Web Cards allows you to use your special URL in newsletters,
mailing lists, newsgroups (no spamming!) and even in articles like this
one! Click on the link, ask for a free sample of an excellent, very useful
product, and I'll earn $1. It's as simple as that.
Collect a few good money-earning links like that one, and you should be
able to raise the income from your web site very nicely.