If you are just starting online with your first website, you have quite a learning curve in front of you. I know that your learning curve is still long, because I have been making money online for years, and I am still learning new stuff everyday.
Every year, more people are coming online. And every year, people struggle to figure out how to tap into the economic engine powered by the Internet. The one thing that newcomers to the Internet frequently fail to realize is that those of us, who are making the most money online, spent years learning our trades.
The good news is that Internet newcomers have one major advantage that my mentors and myself did not have when we started our online enterprises. The newcomers have people like us who are willing to teach others what they have learned.
First And Most Important Lesson To Learn
There are three kinds of commercial websites on the Internet: product/service merchants, advertising providers, and non-profit websites.
Now, the Red Cross and the United Way are non-profit websites by choice and mission. But, the majority of non-profit websites on the Internet were designed to be for-profit websites, but the website owner will have been lucky to have earned enough to pay their web hosting costs.
By the end of this article, I hope that I will have provided you enough information to be able to turn any non-profit website into a profit generating machine.
Merchants sell services. They also sell products made by others or themselves. Some merchants produce their own informational books and e-books, on a wide variety of topics.
Many people make the mistake of assuming that they do not know anything of value that other people would want to know. But, that just isn’t true. Call me an optimist if you will, but I believe everyone knows something that other people would be willing to pay a certain amount of money to learn.
Ii is a fact that some of the smartest online entrepreneurs I know make a lot of money by writing and selling books and e-books, on topics ranging from cryptograms (http://www.cryptogramsbylouise.com/), to how-to cure acid reflux (http://www.refluxgoneforever.com/), to finding the hero within (http://www.herosoul.com/), to how to be more successful with an online business.
I have bought many e-books and I have to say that some were better than others, but all of them helped me to learn what I needed to know in order to be successful with whatever endeavor I was undertaking.
Advertising Providers build websites with the intent of attracting a huge and loyal audience, so that advertisers will consider their website to be a good place to spend their advertising dollars.
In those dark days before Google Adsense (http://adsense.Google.com) and Yahoo’s Publisher Network (http://publisher.yahoo.com/), we little guys were just tough out-of-luck if we wanted to sell our advertising space through a larger network of advertisers.
I remember having a website that was finally serving one thousand unique page views per day, or 30,000 page views per month. I remember thinking that it was time for me to see whom I could sell advertising space. So, I started doing my research.
I looked at one advertising network, and then another, and another. Without fail, most advertising networks required one million page views per month in order for a website to participate in their network. I was just poop out of luck.
So, I started advertising space on my site to my visitors. I sold some advertising, but I did not make a living doing it. The main issue here is that the people on my site are looking to learn about travel and other things, and advertisers generally spend their time on sites learning about doing business online.
Finally, my information website had a method for earning money that did not require for me to spend all of my waking hours chasing one sale after another.
Three rooms of my home were committed to storing merchandise that I was buying for resale. When I made a product purchase, I had to take photos and then sit down to my computer, upload the image and make an appropriate product description. Then I had to spend all of my spare time, making new listings at Yahoo and running to the post office to ship the merchandise I had sold.
One day I realized that the reason I had started my business is to provide my family a better standard of living. I had accomplished that goal, at the cost of time with my family. I was literally working from the moment I got out of bed, until I collapsed into my bed at the end of the day.
After parting ways with Yahoo, I researched other profit models and settled on a membership site. In order to be successful with a membership website, one must be willing and able to add new good quality content to the website at least three or four times per week. That is a job in itself.
While my membership site did well monetarily, I found myself in a position similar to when I had my Yahoo store. I was spending all of my spare time with my business and not my family.
Finally, I Wrapped My Head Around The Solution
What I needed for myself was a website where I could sell other people’s products and services, then let the other person handle the entire process of collecting the money and delivering the product or service. I needed to build my business in such a way that I could build my website, when I wanted to invest the time, and I could collect my checks at the end of the month.
The advertising website is the best kind of site to have when your goals are the same as mine.
So, I embarked on building a website that had information on a wide variety of topics.
Three years after I started my current website, Google launched their Adsense program. I applied to Google’s Adsense program and was accepted within just a few days. I then applied my Google Adsense code to my website.
Over the years, I have been building links to my website so that people could find me. The articles and directory links have produced good traffic results for me on a consistent basis, since I started the process of building them.
The Next Lesson Can Literally Double And Triple Your Income
When you undertake to design a website that will host advertising, don’t be shy about it!
• Don’t stick your advertising in a corner somewhere; • Don’t design your advertising to look like something other than an advertisement; • Don’t be afraid to test your advertising placement; • Don’t be afraid to tell people that they can buy advertising on your website; • Don’t be afraid to charge good money to advertisers to have a placement on your website.
Don’t be afraid and don’t be shy. Your reason for putting advertising on your website is to give YOU a way to make money from your work. But, in order to keep your advertisers happy, you need to make sure that they get a good return for their investment.
When you can help your advertisers make money, then you will by extension earn money from your website. It is a beautiful concept; when I help put money in my advertiser’s pockets, they put money in my pocket.
Specific Tips To Maximize Your Advertising Click-Through Rates (CTRs)
The default link color on the Internet is blue; so make the links in your advertising blue.
The default text color on the Internet is black; so make the text in your advertisement black or whatever color is the default text color on your website.
Make your advertisement block stand out from the rest of the content on the page. Putting your ads directly in your visitor’s face is good. Within a text block, I have found the 300×250 to be the most effective ad block size. To see an example of the 300×250 text block in action, view my blog here: http://www.clintondouglasiv.com
Other ad block sizes that we have seen good results include: the 728×90 leaderboard, 468×60 banner, and the160×600 wide skyscraper.
Be The Next Advertising Success Story
I advised a friend of mine to make these kinds of changes on his own website. He already had great traffic, but he was not making as much money as I thought he should be making.
On my suggestion, he changed his Google ads from the bottom of his left sidebar to the main part of his pages. He told me that his CTR increased from 0.8% to 2.4%. I told him to change his ads from the 468×15 link unit to the 468×60 banner ad. He told me that his CTR increased from 2.4% to 4.7%. Then I told him to change his links from black to blue. Within just a few weeks, he reported back to me that his click-through rates jumped again, this time from 4.7% to 7.8%. He even reported that on some individual days, his new layout generated as high as 11.4% CTRs.
On my friend’s website, his CTR jumped from 0.8% where it had been for a couple years, since he started using Google Adsense, to 7.8% on average. While most webmasters will see an average increase of two- to three-times, my friend has experienced a nearly tenfold (+9.75%) increase in his advertising revenue through that website.
What could you do with ten times more advertising revenue from your website? You will never know until you implement these kinds of changes on your website to increase your own advertising revenue.