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How to Make Money Online

The Ultimate Free Guide, by Gary Simon

Beneath, you will find a very elaborate guide (22,000 words) I personally wrote about making money online. I wrote it with the anticipation of selling it, but because I'm so giving, I decided to make it free (the same day I launched the version that cost money.)

So if you really want to learn how to make money online and quit your lame job, just read my guide and you will have a very good understanding of where and how to begin.

Table of Contents

How to Make Money Online

Publisher: Banners

    Banner advertising is one of the most popular methods of publisher monetization.  A banner is a promotional graphic placed on a publisher's website.  Advertisers (those who own products/services that wish to promote what they're selling) pay publishers to place their banners on their websites.  Most people who are familiar with browsing websites understand what banners are. 

As a publisher, the amount you can earn through banner placements on your website's layout depends on several factors.

  • How much traffic your website receives
    The more traffic your website receives, the more money you can make.  There are 2 ways to earn money from banner advertising.  One way is through CPM (cost per thousand page views) advertising, and the other is through CPC (cost per click) advertising.  The more traffic you have, the more money you will make through either method.

  • Industry / Niche
    The industry that your website is involved in will determine how much money you can make from banner advertisers.  For example, a gaming website will make less from gaming advertisers than a health website would make from health advertisers.  Reason being, the typical demographic of a gaming website is younger adults with less income and less potential to purchase - a health website has an older age demographic who is more likely to spend money online.

  • Banner Placements
    The size and location of the banners your website's layout allows also greatly determines the amount of money you can make.  Banners come in many different sizes.  Generally speaking, the bigger the banner, the more you can charge.  The same holds true for location, the more visible a banner is in your layout, the more you can charge.

    Advertisers want one thing, and that's maximum exposure of the banner.  In an advertiser's ideal world, every visitor who visits your website would also click on their banner advertisement.  But that's just not so, because most visitors have become trained to ignore banner advertisements.  Many of the tech savy internet crowd have even used popular browser plugins that entirely hide banner advertisements from all websites they visit.  But that's not to say you can't make money with banner advertising.

CPM Banner Advertising

    CPM means Cost Per Thousand.  Most website owners will charge advertisers based on CPM.  To be more specific, the "Thousand" of Cost Per Thousand means Cost Per Thousand Page Impressions.  An impression is simply a page view.  Let's say for example Joe visits a website, and on this particular website he visits 5 different pages.  Joe himself is considered 1 unique visitor, but he viewed 5 different pages on that website.  Joe created 5 page impressions, or in other words, at 5 different times during his visit to that website, he was subjected to banner advertisements at 5 different times.

    The industry your website falls under will determine the amount of money you can charge per CPM (per thousand impressions).  Industries known for low CPMs like gaming charge as low as $0.30 per CPM.  On the opposite side of the coin, other websites involved in higher paying industries can charge as much as $10.00 CPM.

    So how do you know how much you can charge advertisers?  One way is to see what your competitors are charging.  Another way is to charge a lower amount and see if any advertisers will pay it.  And then another way is to test it yourself.  Join an affiliate network (this is covered in the Affiliate Marketing section) and try to promote something that your website's visitors might be interested in.  This way you will gain valuable insight into how many of your visitors click on your banner (CTR, Click-Thru Ratio), and how many convert to sales.

    Advertisers want to profit, if you charge too much then they obviously won't want to buy any banner space.  For example, let's say that CompanyA sells a product that costs $30.00.  They approach your WebsiteA for banner advertising.  You charge them $4.00 CPM and they purchase a total of 100,000 impressions (This would cost them $400.00 - remember, CPM = 1,000 impressions, you multiply this by $4.00 and you get $400).  Their current conversion ratio is 1 order out of 200 unique visitors.  Their banner on your WebsiteA provides a 1% CTR.  So let's do some math:

  • 200,000 multiplied by 1% = 2,000 Visitors.
  • 2,000 Visitors multiplied by 200 unique visitors = 10 orders.
  • 10 orders multiplied by $30 = $300 gross that they earn.
  • They paid you $400, therefore they end up losing $100.

This is why it's important to remain cost effective for advertisers, else you won't attract any advertisers and you won't make any money.

CPC Banner Advertising

    CPC means Cost Per Click.  In the case of CPC advertising, the publisher charges the advertiser based on the amount of visitors who clicked on their banner.  Just as with CPM advertising, the amount you can charge per click is based on the industry and the quality of traffic.  CPC advertising on the publisher end is less popular than CPM advertising.

Banner Services

    There are many services which automate the process of banner advertising.  All of these services provide options for either the publisher or the advertiser.  You're a publisher if you own a website in which you want to sell banner space on, and you're an advertiser if you own a business you want to advertise.  In the list below, I will provide an overview of the most popular banner services.

  • Google Adsense (Paid Per Click)
    Adsense allows you as the advertiser to place a snippet of code on your website where you want the banner to appear.  You can have up to 3 separate Adsense banners showing on one page.  The great thing about Adsense is that you don't have to seek out advertisers, it's entirely automated and within minutes of placing the code snippets on your site, you will have banners showing to your visitors.  You have the option to specify whether or not you want an image ad, text-based ad, or even a video ad.  Once a visitor clicks on the ad, you're paid a certain amount of money based on the factors mentioned above (Quality of traffic and Industry).  The way in which Adsense determines what type of banner ads, text ads or video ads to show, is based on the content of the particular page it's being shown on.  It analyzes the keywords, and displays ads that advertisers have chosen on the counterpart to Adsense, which is Google Adwords.

  • Yahoo Publisher Network (Paid Per Click)
    This is Yahoo's version of Google Adsense.  The service functions in exactly the same manner.

  • BidVertiser (Paid Per Click)

  • Chitika (Paid Per Click & CPM)
    Chitika allows advertisers to specify whether or not they want their ad to run on a CPC (Cost Per Click) basis or a CPM (Cost Per 1,000 Impressions) basis.

  • Tribal Fusion (CPM), Casale Media (CPM), Burst Media (CPM), Value Click (CPM), Platform-A (CPM), Right Media (CPM)
    These networks all offer advertising based on a CPM pay out.  It is however often difficult to be accepted as a publisher through these networks, as they require certain stipulations such as minimum traffic volumes, design criteria, and content criteria.

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