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'Make a little extra money from your web site'

Sun 21/01/07 at 22:44:
cjh
Regular
"It goes so quickly"
Posts: 4,083
Make a little extra money from your web site

As a Freeola customer*, you’re given the opportunity to build your own web site and host it on the Internet as part of your custom, either as a broadband, dial-up or freedom customer.

Being able to set up your own web site can be fun, and relatively cheap (or free if you’re a Freeola broadband customer who uses a Freeola500 web address rather than your own domain name), but can also be a vehicle for revenue.

As you’ve no doubt seen while web browsing, many web sites carry advertising links and banners, which are to help pay for their costs, and of course make a profit. While your own little web site may not be able to encourage ITV to sponsor your site for Ł1 million, there are many options available to you that allow you to get a very tiny piece of advertising world pie, most of which cost zero in start-up fees, and zero a month thereafter. Such options are generally referred to as affiliate programs, and all it’ll cost you is a little of your time, and willingness to place some advert-like content on your web pages.

Affiliate Programs?

An affiliate (or associate) program is a method of advertising that sees the affiliate [this could be you] place text or image banners on their own web site, and directing their own visitors to the web site of the advertiser. If the user were to then subscribe to or purchase goods from the advertising web site, the affiliate would be awarded, generally earning a small percentage (%) of the sale as commission.

You probably won’t become a millionaire!

While these types of associate programs are designed to make you money, you shouldn’t expect to make the kind of money that means you can quit your job, or not study for your GCSE’s. That being said, for smaller web sites, they may make enough to cover your domain name, MySQL and freedom package costs, and if you stick at it, building up your web sites content and user base, you may make yourself some extra beer money (and possibly more).

Which associate program to sign-up for?

While there are a whole horde of associate opportunities available to web site owners, this article will focus on two of the most widely used systems, Google AdSense and Amazon Associates. Both require you to sign-up, but after that, it’ll just be a case of creating the HTML that needs to be copy-and-pasted to your web pages.

No pop-ups, no flash-over!

When browsing the web, the last thing many people want to encounter is a web site that is so desperate to make money that they utilise pop-up advert windows, flash animations that cover the page content when you mouse over them (and sometimes when you don’t), or place full pages adverts between link clicks. The two programs mentioned below do not follow these irritating practices. The style and layout of the adverts that are placed on your web site are controllable by you.

Google or Amazon, what is the difference?

Google’s offering is suited to general web sites / pages that don’t refer to or advertise a specific product or service that can be bought. It is a simple format in which Google provide the adverts, you provide advert space. You will receive commission from Google if the advert is clicked, or viewed 1000 times.

Amazon on the other hand is a web store, and you would be linking either to their web site only, or products that they sell. This program is aimed at sites that perhaps review, recommend or discuss particular products that Amazon sell. For example, if a web site was dedicated to the new Playstation 3, each page containing a review / preview of new games could link to that game on Amazon’s web site. You will receive commission from Amazon if a link is clicked and a product is purchased.

Google AdSense

You may have heard of the small company known as Google, who provide a free web search service to Internet users. Google make their small earnings through adverts place on search results pages, which other site owners pay to appear. A search for PS2 games will show that sites such as Amazon, eBay, Play, and Argos (to name but a few) have paid to be advertised in such a manor, with the intention of encouraging users to click to their web site.

Google AdSense is designed to allow web site owners (that includes you) a chance to have the same type of adverts appear on their sites, and earn money when the advert is clicked.

The appealing thing about Google’s affiliate program is that the adverts aren’t just randomly selected and placed on your site. The ads that are displayed will be dependent on the content of each web page that the ad is to appear on. This kind of targeting enables the adverts to be more appealing to the person browsing your web site, and hence you’ll have a greater chance of earning commission from a link to related content, as opposed to yet another advert for O2 mobile phones.

While Google’s search result pages use their classic Text Ads, AdSense offer you more choice of advert placement methods. Once you’ve signed up, you can go through their AdSense creation process to generate the desired advert style layout you wish to go with your web site. Once done, you only need to copy-and-paste the generated HTML code to your web pages, and let Google do the rest. You’ll be able to keep track of how your AdSense affiliation is working out via the reports Google provide for you, showing you how much you’ve made.

Text Ads, Link Units and Themed Units

Text Ads are Google’s first, and probably most widely used ad placement option. Each advert block contains a heading, small piece of text and in the case of vertical adverts - the web address of the advertiser. How many advert blocks are displayed will depend on which layout you choose, but range from one to five.

The style of the Text Ads can be customised to suite your web site, in terms of colour and size. For example, you can choose between a tall / thin block of four adverts to go down the side of your page, or a short / wide block of two adverts to go along the top / bottom of your page.

Link Units are a reduced version of Text Ads, and rather than linking directly to an advertisers web site, will instead link to a selection of adverts based on the link provided. These offer the user more choice, as the links that appear on your site are a list that relates to the content of your web page, which may entice the users interest more so.

Themed Units follow the basic Text Ads format, but are presented to the visitor in a manor that reflects a particular holiday session or special event, using themed colours and small, unobtrusive images. Themes are dictated by Google, and only require you to select weather or not you want a themed display to be used.

Image and Video Ads

Image Ads are more like the old fashioned banner advert days, with the exception that they still use Google’s targeting system. The Image Ads come in a variety of sizes, and may catch the eye of the user more so than a text link, but may also add to the time it takes for the web page to load.

Video Ads come in a single square shaped, and are available in four different sizes, as seen here. A Video Ad looks and work in a similar way to how YouTube videos are added to web pages. Clicking the Video Ad will play it first, with a subsequent click taking the user to the advertised web site.

Making use of a Video Ad should not slow down your page loading times, as the video clip will be downloaded (or buffered) only when a user clicks it.

Referrals

Referral buttons are ad links that consist of a single image or line of text that link to one of Google’s own products, rather than an advert from a third-party. These are static links, and aren’t dependent on the content of your pages.

Alternate Ads

Because Google Ads are based on page content, at times a particular web page may contain content that Google can’t match up to a particular advert. In this case, Google give you the options of displaying alternative ads. By default, the alternative ads are public service ads, but you can change this.

Ad Filters

Because of the possibility that a competitor to you could be using Google to advertise their web site, you’re able to filter out web address that you do not want to appear on your web site.

Size and Layout

When creating your AdSense placeholder, you should consider how the ads will effect your current layout, as you don’t really want ads to negatively effect your web sites content layout.

As a rule of thumb, wider ad formats tend to outperform their taller counterparts due to their reader-friendly format.” – Google AdSense

AdSense for Feeds

If you have a web feed then you may want to keep an eye out for when Google launch their AdSense for feeds service, which is currently in BETA form. When it becomes available, it’ll most likely work in the same way as the current AdSense system, except that it’ll be tailored for a web feed environment. If you’re confident enough, you can apply to participate in the BETA tests for Google.

No cheating

Google are very strict with how its ads are used on your web site, so as to not undermine their product and services. If you participate in AdSense, ads cannot be click on by you, the site owner, and nor can you include incentives to users who click on AdSense links (such as using “Click the Google AdSense links to see my content”) to name a few of Google’s AdSense policies.

Amazon Associates

Amazon is an international web site that sells products to users, from DVD’s, computer games, to things for your new-born. A user can browse the online store, select their desired goods, pays with a credit card, and Amazon ships the order to them in the post.

The Amazon Associates program is designed to allow web site owners (remember, that’s you) to advertises the products sold by Amazon, in exchange for a small percentage of any achieved sale.

Once you’ve signed-up, you can start building your links using the online link builder. You can also view reports of how many clicks you received, and how much you have earned over a period of time.

Product Links

Linking directly to a product Amazon sells can be done in a number of ways, from a single image or text link, to a small segment that contains an image, price, and an Amazon branded buy button. An image or text link are small and easy to manage, and are useful as inline links, which may appear as part of a paragraph on your web page.

Small segment links may be suited to the side of the main content, as they take up a little more space, but provide more information about the product being advertised.

Self-Optimising Links

Similar to how Google’s AdSense works (detailed above), Amazon’s Self-Optimising Links will generate the associate banner / text links based on the content of the web page it is hosted on. For example, if your web page is about “Singapore Food”, the associate links will mostly likely reflect that, advertising books or DVD’s about “Singapore”, “Food”, or “Food from Singapore”. Like Google, you can customise the style and layout of these type of ads to suite your web site.

This is currently in BETA though (which means it isn’t officially released and is still in the testing phase), so you shouldn’t rely on it too much just yet, as Amazon reserve the right to withdraw it without notice.

Banner Links

A Banner Link is generally aimed at linking to sections of Amazon, or the home page itself, rather than to a particular product. Banners come in different shapes and sizes, allowing you to pick which one(s) will fit in best with your web pages.

You can’t refer yourself

As appealing as the idea may be, you are not allowed to click on your own links when buying goods from Amazon.

Amazon aStore

Amazon have recently launched a new type of associate program, branded “aStore”, which enables you to effectively build your own online web store, but have Amazon take care of the payment and delivery aspects of your shop. Creating an aStore along side your web site may also be a viable option, although may not look to appealing to a user if there is not a lot on offer.


And you’re done

As mentioned, there are many more affiliate programs available, but Google and Amazon should provide you with a means to a little extra money. Both offer more options than is mentioned above, so if you decide to go down the affiliate route, make sure you look over what is on offer closely, and pick the options which best suite your own web site(s). Good luck, and here’s hoping you make some money.



*While this article makes references to users as being “Freeola customers”, the content of this article can be put to use on non-Freeola hosted web sites.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

As always, any comments, questions, and especially corrections are welcome.
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Sun 21/01/07 at 22:44:
cjh
Regular
"It goes so quickly"
Posts: 4,083
Make a little extra money from your web site

As a Freeola customer*, you’re given the opportunity to build your own web site and host it on the Internet as part of your custom, either as a broadband, dial-up or freedom customer.

Being able to set up your own web site can be fun, and relatively cheap (or free if you’re a Freeola broadband customer who uses a Freeola500 web address rather than your own domain name), but can also be a vehicle for revenue.

As you’ve no doubt seen while web browsing, many web sites carry advertising links and banners, which are to help pay for their costs, and of course make a profit. While your own little web site may not be able to encourage ITV to sponsor your site for Ł1 million, there are many options available to you that allow you to get a very tiny piece of advertising world pie, most of which cost zero in start-up fees, and zero a month thereafter. Such options are generally referred to as affiliate programs, and all it’ll cost you is a little of your time, and willingness to place some advert-like content on your web pages.

Affiliate Programs?

An affiliate (or associate) program is a method of advertising that sees the affiliate [this could be you] place text or image banners on their own web site, and directing their own visitors to the web site of the advertiser. If the user were to then subscribe to or purchase goods from the advertising web site, the affiliate would be awarded, generally earning a small percentage (%) of the sale as commission.

You probably won’t become a millionaire!

While these types of associate programs are designed to make you money, you shouldn’t expect to make the kind of money that means you can quit your job, or not study for your GCSE’s. That being said, for smaller web sites, they may make enough to cover your domain name, MySQL and freedom package costs, and if you stick at it, building up your web sites content and user base, you may make yourself some extra beer money (and possibly more).

Which associate program to sign-up for?

While there are a whole horde of associate opportunities available to web site owners, this article will focus on two of the most widely used systems, Google AdSense and Amazon Associates. Both require you to sign-up, but after that, it’ll just be a case of creating the HTML that needs to be copy-and-pasted to your web pages.

No pop-ups, no flash-over!

When browsing the web, the last thing many people want to encounter is a web site that is so desperate to make money that they utilise pop-up advert windows, flash animations that cover the page content when you mouse over them (and sometimes when you don’t), or place full pages adverts between link clicks. The two programs mentioned below do not follow these irritating practices. The style and layout of the adverts that are placed on your web site are controllable by you.

Google or Amazon, what is the difference?

Google’s offering is suited to general web sites / pages that don’t refer to or advertise a specific product or service that can be bought. It is a simple format in which Google provide the adverts, you provide advert space. You will receive commission from Google if the advert is clicked, or viewed 1000 times.

Amazon on the other hand is a web store, and you would be linking either to their web site only, or products that they sell. This program is aimed at sites that perhaps review, recommend or discuss particular products that Amazon sell. For example, if a web site was dedicated to the new Playstation 3, each page containing a review / preview of new games could link to that game on Amazon’s web site. You will receive commission from Amazon if a link is clicked and a product is purchased.

Google AdSense

You may have heard of the small company known as Google, who provide a free web search service to Internet users. Google make their small earnings through adverts place on search results pages, which other site owners pay to appear. A search for PS2 games will show that sites such as Amazon, eBay, Play, and Argos (to name but a few) have paid to be advertised in such a manor, with the intention of encouraging users to click to their web site.

Google AdSense is designed to allow web site owners (that includes you) a chance to have the same type of adverts appear on their sites, and earn money when the advert is clicked.

The appealing thing about Google’s affiliate program is that the adverts aren’t just randomly selected and placed on your site. The ads that are displayed will be dependent on the content of each web page that the ad is to appear on. This kind of targeting enables the adverts to be more appealing to the person browsing your web site, and hence you’ll have a greater chance of earning commission from a link to related content, as opposed to yet another advert for O2 mobile phones.

While Google’s search result pages use their classic Text Ads, AdSense offer you more choice of advert placement methods. Once you’ve signed up, you can go through their AdSense creation process to generate the desired advert style layout you wish to go with your web site. Once done, you only need to copy-and-paste the generated HTML code to your web pages, and let Google do the rest. You’ll be able to keep track of how your AdSense affiliation is working out via the reports Google provide for you, showing you how much you’ve made.

Text Ads, Link Units and Themed Units

Text Ads are Google’s first, and probably most widely used ad placement option. Each advert block contains a heading, small piece of text and in the case of vertical adverts - the web address of the advertiser. How many advert blocks are displayed will depend on which layout you choose, but range from one to five.

The style of the Text Ads can be customised to suite your web site, in terms of colour and size. For example, you can choose between a tall / thin block of four adverts to go down the side of your page, or a short / wide block of two adverts to go along the top / bottom of your page.

Link Units are a reduced version of Text Ads, and rather than linking directly to an advertisers web site, will instead link to a selection of adverts based on the link provided. These offer the user more choice, as the links that appear on your site are a list that relates to the content of your web page, which may entice the users interest more so.

Themed Units follow the basic Text Ads format, but are presented to the visitor in a manor that reflects a particular holiday session or special event, using themed colours and small, unobtrusive images. Themes are dictated by Google, and only require you to select weather or not you want a themed display to be used.

Image and Video Ads

Image Ads are more like the old fashioned banner advert days, with the exception that they still use Google’s targeting system. The Image Ads come in a variety of sizes, and may catch the eye of the user more so than a text link, but may also add to the time it takes for the web page to load.

Video Ads come in a single square shaped, and are available in four different sizes, as seen here. A Video Ad looks and work in a similar way to how YouTube videos are added to web pages. Clicking the Video Ad will play it first, with a subsequent click taking the user to the advertised web site.

Making use of a Video Ad should not slow down your page loading times, as the video clip will be downloaded (or buffered) only when a user clicks it.

Referrals

Referral buttons are ad links that consist of a single image or line of text that link to one of Google’s own products, rather than an advert from a third-party. These are static links, and aren’t dependent on the content of your pages.

Alternate Ads

Because Google Ads are based on page content, at times a particular web page may contain content that Google can’t match up to a particular advert. In this case, Google give you the options of displaying alternative ads. By default, the alternative ads are public service ads, but you can change this.

Ad Filters

Because of the possibility that a competitor to you could be using Google to advertise their web site, you’re able to filter out web address that you do not want to appear on your web site.

Size and Layout

When creating your AdSense placeholder, you should consider how the ads will effect your current layout, as you don’t really want ads to negatively effect your web sites content layout.

As a rule of thumb, wider ad formats tend to outperform their taller counterparts due to their reader-friendly format.” – Google AdSense

AdSense for Feeds

If you have a web feed then you may want to keep an eye out for when Google launch their AdSense for feeds service, which is currently in BETA form. When it becomes available, it’ll most likely work in the same way as the current AdSense system, except that it’ll be tailored for a web feed environment. If you’re confident enough, you can apply to participate in the BETA tests for Google.

No cheating

Google are very strict with how its ads are used on your web site, so as to not undermine their product and services. If you participate in AdSense, ads cannot be click on by you, the site owner, and nor can you include incentives to users who click on AdSense links (such as using “Click the Google AdSense links to see my content”) to name a few of Google’s AdSense policies.

Amazon Associates

Amazon is an international web site that sells products to users, from DVD’s, computer games, to things for your new-born. A user can browse the online store, select their desired goods, pays with a credit card, and Amazon ships the order to them in the post.

The Amazon Associates program is designed to allow web site owners (remember, that’s you) to advertises the products sold by Amazon, in exchange for a small percentage of any achieved sale.

Once you’ve signed-up, you can start building your links using the online link builder. You can also view reports of how many clicks you received, and how much you have earned over a period of time.

Product Links

Linking directly to a product Amazon sells can be done in a number of ways, from a single image or text link, to a small segment that contains an image, price, and an Amazon branded buy button. An image or text link are small and easy to manage, and are useful as inline links, which may appear as part of a paragraph on your web page.

Small segment links may be suited to the side of the main content, as they take up a little more space, but provide more information about the product being advertised.

Self-Optimising Links

Similar to how Google’s AdSense works (detailed above), Amazon’s Self-Optimising Links will generate the associate banner / text links based on the content of the web page it is hosted on. For example, if your web page is about “Singapore Food”, the associate links will mostly likely reflect that, advertising books or DVD’s about “Singapore”, “Food”, or “Food from Singapore”. Like Google, you can customise the style and layout of these type of ads to suite your web site.

This is currently in BETA though (which means it isn’t officially released and is still in the testing phase), so you shouldn’t rely on it too much just yet, as Amazon reserve the right to withdraw it without notice.

Banner Links

A Banner Link is generally aimed at linking to sections of Amazon, or the home page itself, rather than to a particular product. Banners come in different shapes and sizes, allowing you to pick which one(s) will fit in best with your web pages.

You can’t refer yourself

As appealing as the idea may be, you are not allowed to click on your own links when buying goods from Amazon.

Amazon aStore

Amazon have recently launched a new type of associate program, branded “aStore”, which enables you to effectively build your own online web store, but have Amazon take care of the payment and delivery aspects of your shop. Creating an aStore along side your web site may also be a viable option, although may not look to appealing to a user if there is not a lot on offer.


And you’re done

As mentioned, there are many more affiliate programs available, but Google and Amazon should provide you with a means to a little extra money. Both offer more options than is mentioned above, so if you decide to go down the affiliate route, make sure you look over what is on offer closely, and pick the options which best suite your own web site(s). Good luck, and here’s hoping you make some money.



*While this article makes references to users as being “Freeola customers”, the content of this article can be put to use on non-Freeola hosted web sites.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

As always, any comments, questions, and especially corrections are welcome.

Freeola is a UK internet service provider offering the best value and extensive free services. Please compare our domain name registration prices or check out our UK high speed internet access. If you are in business please see examples of our free hosting at Freeola.com/customer-sites.

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