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Unless you have plenty of your own money to spare, you will need to find ways of making your site produce an income to help cover the costs of running it. Advertising is the only way of achieving this, unless of course you choose the free option (a Blog or free homepage), but even then, adverts will still appear on your pages, because nothing in life is free!

A Blog or a free homepage is nothing more than an advertising platform for the people who supply them. If you produce a popular page, more people will see it (and the adverts they place on it). This is a fair system and many people are happy to use it. But what if you don't want their adverts, what if you would like to try and make some money for yourself?

You can place your own adverts on a Blog if you wish, but unless it is well established and receiving plenty of visitors, not every company will agree to let you advertise their service or products in this way.

The best option is still to create your own site and use a domain name that ends with .com or .net (as these still command a great deal of respect). But what sort of adverts should you place on your site and which companies will agree to this?

Affiliate Marketing is perhaps the first choice for most people and you can choose to join a third party run affiliate program, or deal direct with the merchants yourself. What is Affiliate Marketing? Simply put, it is a method used by some merchants to advertise their products or service. You place one of their links on your site (this can be a banner or text link for example) and if a person clicks on your link and makes a purchase, you receive a commission for this.

It is a very popular arrangement because the merchant only pays on results, no sale, no payment! It usually costs nothing to get involved in this (if they ask for money, don't touch it!), so you have nothing to lose either.

We have provided a list of some of the Third Party affiliate programs available in the column on the right, together with some links to companies that offer direct "in-house" programs. The difference between a third party run program and an in-house one is this. A third party run program offers more than one merchant for you to choose from (could be thousands!) and they monitor the sales. This is designed to protect you from the less honest merchants who might "forget" to notice one of your sales, in order to avoid paying you your commission. Whilst this system works fairly well most of the time, it is not perfect!

If you decide to deal direct with the merchant and use their own program, you have to trust them to be honest, because they monitor their own program. This sounds more risky, but if you are careful and select companies that have been around a while, it can often be a much better deal.

We deal direct with many companies ourselves, and the list on the right are merchants that we personally trust and do business with. Most we have used for several years, so you can be confident that these are safe, should you wish to advertise them on your site too.

What type of adverts should you place on your site? Try and choose one that has some relevance to the content you provide. If you are providing information about health (for example), select companies that fit in with this theme (the Hypnosis affiliate program would be perfect for this). Basically, use your commonsense, if a person has come to your site because you supply information on family values, they may not take too kindly to seeing a banner to a sex site! If it's about Autos, stick to things related to this subject.

Apart from Affiliate Marketing, what other options are available to you? You could sell links on your site, but you need a good Page Rank and many Search Engines do not approve of sites doing this (so be very careful).

You can sell adverts, but you really need at least 1,000 visitors a day before anyone is going to consider this (most will want proof that you are getting the traffic you claim you are).

Sponsorship is just another name for an advert, and again, who is going to do this unless you have a reasonable amount of traffic? Sponsors (or advertisers) want to get noticed, they are not people who just give money away for nothing.

Banner exchanges have been popular, but they are usually based on traffic flows. They are difficult to monitor and not really all that effective.

MLM (Multi Level Marketing) is a great concept, but most of these schemes are illegal (pyramid schemes). If your "income" comes from membership fees, it is not legal. We have actually used the principal of MLM for our own scheme, but it costs nothing to join and commissions are paid from sales members introduce, not from membership fees. With ProFindSearch, you can make money without spending any!

You can off course sell your own products on your site (eBooks are very popular), but you need a payment system that people trust. You can set up a merchant account (with a third party company) to accept payments on your behalf and many people use companies like StormPay or PayPal for this.

If you need any advice or help with a project, we might be able to help you. Drop us a line with details of your request/problem and we will see what we can do.










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