There are three basic ways that a site or blog (like mine) can make money without costing readers a red cent: direct advertising, per-click advertising, and affiliate marketing. I will explain each one in turn:
- Direct advertising – somebody pays $X to run an ad on a blog for Y amount of time. This can be direct or through an agency such as BlogAds. The amount that a blogger makes is not dependent on the number of times the ad is clicked, though the advertiser is certainly looking at those statistics to see it he’s getting his money’s worth from that blog. Readers who click on those links help the blogger indirectly by increasing the amount of exposure an advertiser can expect from a particular blog, and readers in general help by increasing the number of displays the advertiser can expect. This is all taken into consideration when trying to determine which blogs are worth advertising on.
- Per-click advertising – this is how Google makes its billions. The idea is that advertisers pay an agency, usually Google, for their ad to appear whenever certain keywords appear. These ads make money only when the ads are clicked, a certain number of cents per click. Some of that ad money goes to Google, and some to the website host. Nobody really understands the whole algorithm as Google is very protective of it. There are also safeguards to prevent the siteowner from simply clicking his own ads. Google’s very smart that way. Sites with high volume can end up making lots of money with Google Ads – some even into the millions annually.
- Affiliate marketing – this is basically sale by commission. A website which sells goods makes a deal with a site – you link to us, and we’ll give you a cut of every sale made as a result of that link. Even if the link is to a specific product, anything purchased during that session qualifies for the commission, which is generally about 5%. If you regularly make purchases from online retailers, you could be doing someone you know a favor by making the purchase through their affiliate link, without it costing you a thing. The fundraising potential for affiliaye marketing is enormous, and actually pretty easy to set-up. Contact me if you want some help turning your organization’s website into a commission generator.