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Making money from your website using advertising

By Yaro Starak
99 Comments

You have managed to get your website to that magical point where you have established popularity, traffic, loyalty and a community of fans. Your site contains a wealth of information, resources and services that you provide free because that’s just the kind of person you are. You may not have intended to make money from your site but now that you have an audience you realise that it’s possible, or perhaps you have to start thinking about generating income because your costs to manage the site have increased and it’s starting to hurt.

You have been diligent over the years to build up your community, but now you wonder how to go about making some revenue by leveraging this audience (as the marketers would say, you want to monetise your site). Maybe you have some big dreams and plan to one day generate advertising income from your new web project. This is a very common plan for online business given people tend to expect information and services to be free on the web. Advertising may be one of the only revenue generation strategies available to you.

How much traffic do I have to have to make money?

In my experience once you have about 500-1000 unique visitors per day to your site *at least* before you can start to make real money. You can make chimps change from day one from your 50 hits, but this article is targeted at those that have a larger audience, or perhaps are constructing a business plan (either real or in your head) and would like to know how to go about monetising your website. If you get more then 1000 unique visitors a day chances are you already make money from your site (if not you should be!) but my points are still relevant.

As per usual I will illustrate my article using real world examples from what I did to make money. Over about five years I managed a hobby site that started off as a very local site focusing on people in my area that played the game Magic: The Gathering. I wrote reports and did news coverage for the game. Later I expanded the site to Australia and eventually opened it to the world although it remained mostly Australian with a good chunk of Asians and New Zealanders.

Banner programs

At around the time I was getting 500 unique visitors a day I decided to start playing with advertising methods. This was before the advent of Google Adsense (more on this later) but there were many banner programs available that paid either on cost per click (CPC) or per impression basis. An impression is a banner being displayed to a user once, a click is someone clicking the banner and visiting the site being advertised.

These networks act as a middle man between business that want to advertise and people like me that have an audience and want to make some money by displaying banners. Unfortunately these programs display banners that often don’t match your audience. I tried a few but it was a short lived experiment that made me a few dollars if that.

I recommend you avoid any banner programs. If you are confused about what I am talking about regarding banner programs take a look at Burst Media to get a grasp of how they work. For small sites they just don’t make much money. For large sites there are much better ways to make money. I’m sure there are people out there that make good money from these programs (I’m sure the program owners do!) but in my experience a little effort to find the right type of advertising can yield much better results.

I decided the best way to make money was to really leverage the demographics of my audience. I had a fairly focused niche, card game playing young males. I started by emailing all the local and international card game shops and asked if they were interested in exposure to my market. Instantly I had responses but I had to come up with a pricing structure first.

How much should you charge?

By this time my site was getting close to 1000 unique visitors per day, with about 300,000 impressions per month. I had done my research and I knew that advertising on websites was usually via a standard 468×60 banner so I would start with that. I also knew that many companies charged by what is called CPM or cost per 1000 impressions. Back then this was by far the most commonly used scale for pricing of web advertising and you could expect to earn anywhere from $0.10 to $10.00 CPM. I never liked this method of advertising because it didn’t guarantee any visitors. Charging by click-throughs is a far better method, but didn’t become mainstream until later.

I decided that in order to keep my advertisers I had to offer value so I went for a blanket approach. I started charging a flat rate of $30 per month to have a banner on my site which offered as many impressions that my traffic could provide. I signed up my first few advertisers at this rate.

Banner management software

In order to “rotate” different banners across my site I needed some special software that would dynamically place banners. This allowed me to have more than one advertiser banner in a single location so I could optimise my adspace and make sure my audience didn’t get too bored from seeing the same banner over and over again.

Let me save you some time, phpAdsNew is the best banner management software out there. It’s under an open source license and has all the features you could ever wish for at a price you can’t beat, it’s free. If you don’t believe me and absolutely have to try searching elsewhere try this category at the PHP Resource Index.

There is a learning curve with phpAdsNew and you do have to install it on your own server. If you are like me and you do things like this yourself most of the time you shouldn’t have too much trouble. Otherwise you might try contacting your favourite ITGeek and get them to give you a hand.

Statistics are important

The best feature with phpAdsNew is that it allows you to provide a unique user login for your advertisers to check their banner statistics in real time. This means at any point in time they can learn how many impressions and clicks their banners are receiving from your site.

Before you start searching for advertisers you should be very familiar with the statistics of your site. Do you know how many unique visitors you get? How many hits you get? How many impressions? Do you even know what the differences are between these? Try this stats terminology primer on for size if you don’t.

Most web servers come with a statistics package. Ask your web host if you don’t know. The most common are Awstats (demo) and Webalizer (demo) which often are preinstalled on many hosting packages. Become familiar with these packages so you can accurately assess your site traffic.

Increasing ad revenue

I now had the foundations laid and was serving the ads of my first few advertisers. From the point onwards I went to work attracting more advertisers by directly emailing North American online card stores and other related sites. I kept an excel file to track which websites I had emailed and their responses so I could follow up in a timely manner.

I created new banner positions and started initiatives like a newsletter to generate more revenue. I created monthly packages that combined newsletter advertising and different banner positions and offered them at $500 per quarter. I increased the top prime banner position fee to $50 per month and started offering a tower banner position for $50 as well.

Eventually I had to limit the number of banners I could take in the prime positions to avoid dilution. I had a guarantee in place that offered at least 30,000 impressions per month (averaging 40,000-60,000) to advertisers so that they always received a good equivalent CPM rate. I even had some advertisers purchase the rights to “own” a position for a certain period to make sure no other advertisers banners would be displayed.

Eventually I reached a point where I was averaging $500 per month and peaked at $1000 in one month. Some advertisers came and went quickly but many stayed loyal and in fact still advertise today though I sold the site a long time ago. The niche for the site was so focused that it became the pre-eminent site for Australia in it’s marketplace and consequently some Australian advertisers simply stuck their banners up as a branding exercise. They knew that the exposure from the site would help to align their business as one of the pre-eminent retailers or event organisers for the game. Some advertisers stopped caring about click through stats and kept advertising purely for the branding exposure.

Google adsense

At some point Google Adsense popped up and I was in with other early adopters to try it out. My results were okay. The money wasn’t nearly as good as the established relationships with advertisers I had, however the ads being displayed were a lot more targeted than banner networks I had tested early on.

I eventually stopped using Adsense because I could better monetise the adspace with my traditional advertisers. However that was before Google went to work providing such a variety of banner sizes and display options. Nowadays Google Adsense is a viable income source for many websites so I definitely suggest you look into it as a possible option for generating revenue, but remember it’s not the only means and you can earn more if you get busy chasing targeted advertisers.

Ongoing maintenance

I wouldn’t call web advertising income passive, but it sure is close. The systems I had in place handled everything automatically. While I did have to manually create advertiser accounts, pursue advertisers and control billing, once the systems were in place, in particular phpAdsNew, I didn’t have to do much. Of course depending on your website often the maintenance of your community is were the labour is involved, but chances are if you started the site you either enjoy it or have plans in place to eventually remove yourself from the maintenance role.

In the end I sold my site but if it wasn’t for the advertiser revenue my asset would not have been valued nearly as highly as the final sale price. Investing in advertising is like investing in any asset, the time and labour you put in today will lead to benefits in the future.

Yaro Starak
Web Entrepreneur

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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99 Comments

  • Rory

    Nice Article
    Very Informative for me
    Someone going into the Online Market very soon

    • where can i get paid for having adds on my site??

    • I am actually in the process of implementing this exact strategy, and your article reaffirmed that I am on the right path. My site gets 400-600 uniques per day from a very targeted audience, similar to your Magic Site I would gather. Can’t wait til I can start adding this revenue stream, thus far I have relied on sales but I think that has actually made my site more valuable for future advertisers.

    • Great post I loved it!!!

  • Glad you liked it Rory. Good luck with your future ventures.

  • Hi, thanks for the article yaro. I saw your link from a post on sitepoint. Nice clear cut info, am going to check out the rest of the site.

  • Hi Allan,

    No problem, thanks for visiting. I just discovered sitepoint myself and I think I might spend some time there.

    Yaro

  • Great article. It’s definately better when the writer can speak from hand-on experiences.

  • Chris_E

    A resourceful account, thank you. What I wanted to learn at the end was what price the website sold for. Or at least a range of which similar sites sell for. This would close the loop on the process of generating income – but also generating an asset – we learned how much revenue could be created from such a site as yours, but what was the value of the web site itself?

    Thanks, Chris

  • As part of the agreement with the new owners I can’t disclose how much it was sold for.

    As a guide though you can usually get between 1-3 years worth of revenue, sometimes gross profit, as the final price for a business. We used something like that to price MTGParadise.com

  • Raj

    A Great write-up, echoes GaramChai.com’s evolution model.

    Would like to hear about your “exit strategy” and how you valued your portal while selling it.
    - Raj

  • Hi, Yaro. Dealing directly with advertisers, were there any issues with auditing your impression and click-through stats?

    -TimK

  • Tim – none whatsoever. PHPAdsNew handled statistics and no one ever argued about the validity. I did lose some advertisers because of poor click through rates but most of the advertisers did it for the branding as well as the clicks so they didn’t care so much. At $50 a month to get exposure on the main MTG site in Australia it wasn’t hard to justify.

  • EG

    Yaro – I really liked your article. I’m looking to start my own website soon. Do you have any sugestions as to where to go to get some help with developing a professional looking website.

    Thanks
    EG

  • Wonderful article. What I didn’t get was how frequently you updated your content and what did you do to increase your visitors.

    Any tips on my site would be more than welcome.

  • Angsuman – The site was a community site with lots of volunteer writers. I had about 2-3 new articles and reports go up per week that were contributed by the community. The forums of course were constantly active.

    After I reached a tipping point of users I didn’t do any more work on promotion – word of mouth kept new people coming in to trade cards.

    The site is still going under new ownership at http://www.mtgparadise.com if you want to check it out.

  • raj

    Yaro,

    Thanks for the excellent, informative article, and an offering of options for blog revenue. I’ve reference you in a recent posting.

  • Not only another exceptional artical but can i congratulate you on a wonderfull blog. Your article writing skills and guru like knoledge enable you to make everything you write crystal clear to even the newbie webmasters like myself.
    Having just launched my first website and reserching how to market it for some time now ive came to learn (alot from your blog) that im going to need to find a very talented SEO’er to work with.
    Ill be refering to your blog on many occasions in the coming years im sure not only to keep learning more myself, but to make sure the SEO’er i do use is doing things right. (want a job?) :)
    Keep up the good work and i wish you every success … and im sure you will be !!

    Before i go , can you point me in the direction of any quality people who can help me develop my site to increase its brand, search engine placement (organic), run a blog, write good articles, develop links etc.

    I think id prefer to work closely with one imdividual and develop a long term relationship ,maybe a freelancer.
    But then how do i find one that is trustworthy and capable? Have you wrote a article on that yet? (probably) lol

    GREAT BLOG

  • Hi Clive – thanks for your feedback, much appreciated.

    It sounds like you need a pretty darn good freelancer if you want them to do all the tasks you list – sounds more like you need an employee really though.

    You can try the sites like elance/rentacoder but my advice is to watch a few blogs for a while, find people you like and seem to know what they are talking about and then ask the author if they are interested in paid work. Just make sure you are really clear on what you want done – don’t be general, be specific.

    Good luck!

  • wow yaro,u r a kid-wonder!!I had similar passions on the Internet where I was first exposed in Jan 1st,2000 but had no/limited exposure to these advertising tasks.
    I want to make money to support my higher education all by myself.Im good at .Net and smartphone blogging skills.Kindly evaluate my blog and lemme know if I cud really support my education.
    Thank you!!

  • Dear Yaro,

    Superb article mate! I love seeing the Aussie battler get up online. Approaching advertisers is a tough gig if you arent in a good niche. I am really focused on developing niches right now and was wondering what your thoughts or ideas on this process were?

    Fred

  • Thanks for the comment Fred. My thoughts on niches – well I love niches! If you have a look through my articles archive you will find plenty of articles that refer to niche marketing – it’s a staple of successful business.

  • thanks for the article, i learnt a bit, esp opening up the idea that adsense may not give as much as finding advertisers myself…

    i guess the hard part is getting a good community, btw good on the attitude for writing good content to attract readers instead of splashing ads everywhere =)

  • This is one of the better and clearer articles I have read on the topic of web advertising. Many thanks! I just found your website today and am quite enthralled. I can’t stop reading your posts! You have a new and regular reader from now on.

  • Hi Yaro,

    Great Article! I was hoping you can take a look at my website and offer suggestions in developing traffic. I do receive about 200-300 unique visitors a day, but its been a little over a year since its been up. What is the average time frame before you see 500 unique users and more? It’s an online music community and there’s a lot of features for Musicians to promote their work. Your opinions would be appreciated!

  • Hello Khoa Le,

    Thanks for your comment and question. I’d prefer if you posted questions like that to the my forum (click the link at the top).

    I’ll see you in the forums.

    Yaro

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts regarding your online career. I appreciate it.

    Regards,

    René
    ProBloggerWorld

  • Hello Yaro,

    Thanks for the nice article and I enjoyed reading it. Although it has been written nearly two years ago, the material is still very useful (especially for the new users). I also added a link to your post, in my collection of articles on the same topic:

    http://colorfulmoment.com/en/?p=1302

  • Hi Yaro,

    Thanks for writing a a very informative article. I salute you for sharing good links and good stuff on yur site.

    I have projects of my own too. A streewear portal and a social network site for singaporeans. I know how tough it can be to make one’s project a success.

    Regards,
    Ardy

  • Tim

    Can you tell how much you earn from just AdSense having 1000 unique visitors per day?

    Tim
    GTD tools

  • Great article, since I read it I have developed some goals so that I can start making serious money using online ads.

    Thanks,
    Chad

  • Very helpful article. Thanks! I’m at that crossroads point where I’m generating enough traffic to my site to try to put this guidance to use.

  • michael strobert

    hey i learned a lot also.. and i wanted to know if there was anyway around just making a revenue through clicks and maybe just revenue from hitting a site. and are there any sites like adsense with monthly ad prices instead of clicks….sorry i have a lot of questions.. but im working on a userbased site.. that i feel change the way of a certain market like youtube or myspace… how do you feel i should go about it… with advertising to bring in a income like those specifics sites… just to ask someone who already went through the ups and downs of the market.?

  • Michael you might want to ask questions like this in my forums.

    Click the forums link at the top.

  • Greg

    Hey Yaro, Thanks alot for this, Even though this was a few years ago, It seems to be up to date. I was looking for information to learn about, and this was the first place i came through. If its possible to ask you a few quiestions email me. Thanks

  • Well, one thing you need to know if you monetize for sure is: “Put your eggs into different baskets”.

    Try to get advertising on different sections and use different methods.

    For blog. You can do podcasts, and get advertising into that. You can also add a bottom post advertising to each post, and sell that on monthly basis.

    Even pay per post or posting reviews.

    Good luck juicing your project. ;-)

  • Butch

    Yaro,

    How many advertisers did you end up with when you sold?

  • Very interesting post, brings back a lot of memories. I started IM in 1995 and went through the whole changing structure for banner advertising, in fact I think it was in 1995 when banner’s first hit the Web. You talk about the move to click through, it was far too hard to manage having 100 banners on 100 different sites. One of the reasons for my success was I always tracked my results. So I discovered quickly paying for impressions was the gravy train for the bot guys. So the industry had to move to click through, than to unique click through, as those that watched their logs discovered more scammers. Eventually the industry had to move towards profit-sharing, which we now call affiliate programs. It was the wild West for marketing in them days.

  • That’s Awesome Article Yaro…Hope It make’s me an advantage because I right now have create a Blog..Success For You…

  • Hi Yaro,

    Your article means a lot to me because currently I am owning a blog which is very similar in the way you started. I have a very focused niche and receive local traffic. I am closing in on 1000 unique visitors a day. Was just wondering how 1000 unique visitors a day were giving you 300,000 impressions a month?!! That’s amazing stickiness! How to catch up on that?

    But the best part for me was your idea of actively searching for advertisers related to your niche. That’s the next step.

    Thanks,
    Abhinav

  • Jack Sullivan

    WOW, really cool stuff. It’s all floating around in my head while I am here at corperate hell putting in my 8 hours. This is all new to me and I have no idea where to start. But I really want to start.\

    Yaro everything I just read from you seems very informative and has given me ambition. At the same time I am completly lost. It all seems a bit overwhelming to get to your status quo. Where do I start?

    • Hi Jack,

      To answer your question where you should begin, the simplest response is to put something out there.

      Pick a topic, provide value to people who actively seek that information and then start building a list. Fill your knowledge gap with experiments and education and you will get there eventually.

      Good luck!

      Yaro

  • Hi Yaro!

    I use google adsense on my blog but have little success in making money, I do make around $5 a day (which is a start) but only average around 5 – 10 cents a click; which to me seems pretty low.

    Are there any good Adsense alternatives with high CPC rates?
    Thanks

    • Hey again Carl – Have a read through my articles page under the monetization and blogging section and also check out my blog profits blueprint document for lots of thoughts on alternatives to AdSense.

  • Would that be Openx now that manages the banners?

  • AS

    Its getting really frustrating. Earnings are plummeting like a stone. Don’t know if its just the recession or if blogging is losing its fad status.

  • Steve

    Hi Yaro,

    I’m Australian and am looking to set up something with a verys imilar model to what yout alked about in your article. My question is, what about tax? Did you ahve to register for an ABN? If not, how did you declare the money on your tax return?

    Thanks,

    Steve

  • I love that this article is still relevant four years after its original posting. Well done! I’m using your suggestions to help shape my launch strategy for a new (non-blog) site that I am developing. Thanks so much for your great content!

  • Yaro,

    Great article. I currently own a music distribution blog and am averaging about 600 unique visits per day.

    My questions are as follows: Should I be looking at ad sponsors in the music industry?

    and

    Should I update my blog to a .com website or will advertisers still pay the same money for a blog to host their ads?

    Thanks in advance

    Piques

  • …was just googling ‘how much sites make’ and voila stumbled upon a genius in Yaro. The only link am at ease with in your article is Adsense and still learning. Great piece and how do i know? still fresh and relevant after almost five years and yap, am off to your site(s). Am a newb, niche humour blogger in Kenya. Any suggestions on how to sell laughter?

  • I’m new at this just started 3 months ago.Thank you it was very helpful info.

  • It’s tough sometimes to find private advertisers when you’re starting out… one good tip is contact those that are already buying ads elsewhere.. maybe even in magazines

  • Thanks for this wonderful article with real figures and statistics. This was exactly what I was looking for.

  • Thanks for the article. Pricing is really hard to determine. And then there’s the hassle of putting the ad code in your site, tracking clicks, and billing.

    I’d been looking for a quick and easy solution to displaing ads, and tracking/billing. Tried several of them, didn’t do what I needed.

    So I decided to write my own. The result is CellarWebAds. There’s only lines of code to add the ad to your site. And I think that it’s easy to use. The best part is that it’s free! All the info is at http://www.cellarwebads.com .

  • I’ve often wondered if people might like to advertise their sites by posting a banner at a one-time cost. The other question I have is whether the advertising method itself can draw people to advertise on a site, as opposed to building traffic with content.

    I know the general rule of thumb is “Content is King” but I’ve decided to experiment a little. Think about The Million Dollar Homepage: there wasn’t any content, just a buzz. There must be other ways to build traffic, no?

    Spheres of the Web (spheresoftheweb.com) is the name of my experiment. Hopefully it will shed some light on a few advertising questions.

  • You are spot on about 500-1000 daily part. I was expecting miracles once i started getting 100 uniques every day, lol. Experience always helps.

  • There’s so much to learn and so many paths to navigate when first starting out, like I am. My biggest question is with the banner rotation method, does your site need to be formatted with php instead of html?

    I sometimes wonder if Google adsense doesn’t turn users off. Sometimes I think it looks a bit amateurish to some, but I guess that depends on who you’re asking. For right now it’s really the only thing I have making me any money (though not much) so I’m sticking with it.

    How about a PayPal donate button? Have you ever experimented with that, and what are your thoughts there? I wonder if that too might turn some people off with the thinking, you already have ads on a site, so why should I tip you? Then again it could be something that a handful of people might want to engage in, tipping you so to speak for your efforts. Has anyone had any luck with a PayPal donate button?

    Anyway, thanks for this, Yaro. I’ll be staying up to date on your posts from now on. You seem to have quality content.

    • Joe in Toledo

      A Paypal “Donate” button? Are you kidding me? I would stop visiting a website on principle if the author flat out asked for money. Millions of free websites online, everyone posting information for anybody to use, and millions of worthwhile charitable causes to support, and you want people to just *give* money to *you* because you have the character flaw of begging?

      • Really! You think a Donate button is begging. This is just plain wrong. Many sites have simple donate buttons because the designer is trying to hold onto the artistic integrity of the site. They don’t want to clutter the site with junk adds to unrelated topics. They are simply saying. “Hay I have provided this service to you free of charge. If you feel you would like to contribute, go ahead and donate, if not then just keep using the site and enjoy the clean add free environment.” Its not begging. Adds on Wikipedia saying we don’t want to clutter our page with adds so please donate” … That is begging. But a blanket statement of donate buttons being a character flaw rude and snobbish and untrue.

      • WTF

        What a shmuck. It’s a DONATION. Nobody is *forcing* you to give. You either give if you want to or you don’t. Very simple. If your objecting due to some kind of twisted principle, then maybe you need to re-evaluate your screwedup principles.

    • This was somehow a nostalgic post:)

      There are great revenues thanks to online advertising, but you should keep in mind that starting your own website just for earning money by advertising equals to fail. Just create some content about things you ( and others ) like, start it as an hobby and only after some time you can consider earning some money from it.

  • I notice you posted this post back in 2005. It must have been something for you at that time to make money with your blog. I wonder what it was like. There was as nearly as much blogs at that time and so, I guess, not as much people on the internet. But I sure do think that blogging was much easier at that time?

  • Very Cool, just trying to get my site up and going with online advertising as well. Obviously its all about traffic, the more traffic the higher price you can demand. Kind of like a billboard.

  • How do you ensure that no one else steals the basic idea for you website? Essentially every website could be reproduced at any point in time. Are there any copyright or patent process that you must go through if you are trying to commercialize your website?

    Did you set up a bank account for your website or can you use a personal account? Do you need a special license to be able to make money through advertisers?

  • I noticed this was written in 2005. Do you have any data to support current traffic needs to create income or has it remained the same for the last 6 years? Thanks for the post

    • It fluctuates based on the number of active sponsors I have Chris, but in terms of an overall stable and near-passive income stream, advertising has been by far the best. It’s not the largest source but it has been there the longest in my career.

  • “How much should you charge?

    By this time my site was getting close to 1000 unique visitors per day, with about 300,000 impressions per month. I also knew that many companies charged by what is called CPM or cost per 1000 impressions. Back then this was by far the most commonly used scale for pricing of web advertising and you could expect to earn anywhere from $0.10 to $10.00 CPM.”

    So lets say ONE advertiser pays you $3.00 CPM. At the rate stated above your already averaging about $900 a month with only one advertiser.

    but later near the end of the article you say…

    “Increasing ad revenue

    Eventually I reached a point where I was averaging $500 per month and peaked at $1000 in one month.”

    So….if you peaked at $1000 dollars one month how is that a step up from the CPM method stated above with multiple advertisers not just one? it’s like 4 A.M where i am so maybe im just out of it, but if you could explain that’d be great?

    • Because getting a uniform $3 CPM every month from one advertiser is not easy AND my original stats packages report a lot more impressions than what Google Analytics would report.

      However you are right, there are no doubt ways I could have made money with CPM, but I never liked it, I preferred to be paid a set monthly amount regardless of how much traffic the advertiser received.

      • Okay thank you i have a better understanding now. The only question i have left is if you have a high impression rate, would you have a greater chance of being able to get more money out of an advertiser for the payment method CPM? And what would you say in your professional opinion is a fair price to ask (with the CPM method) for a site averaging 500,000 impressions monthly ? 1,000,000?

        I know this may be hard to answer considering you didn’t prefer the method i’m asking about but i would still love to hear your advice. Thank you for your time Yaro, I’m fairly new to this and you have already helped greatly from your article here and your responses. I really appreciate it.

  • Oh! and also, do i need my own dedicated server to run a site that may have a high traffic of users? I’m sorry for all the questions =x

  • Can you explain what a unique visitor is? If you get 500-1000 unique visitors per day does this mean that you are getting 500-1000 new people checking your website everyday who haven’t done so previously or can it be the same clientele of 500-1000 unique people coming back every day to use your website?
    Thanks
    Feargal

  • Awesome article as always Yaro!! I have always been a firm believer in advertising, although up until now my audience wasn’t really big enough to “make it happen” so to speak, but I honestly am not gonna give up, and I believe it will happen eventually if I stick to it. My preferred method is Adsense, although I haven’t made very much with it yet, but I’m gonna stick with and see what happens. Like you said it’s very well targeted to whatever site you have, which is very important as we all know. I haven’t made any money with direct advertising yet, but I haven’t ruled it out, as I know the huge potential with it. At some point I’m gonna bring direct advertising back to my blog, once I get my readership up big enough. I do definitely agree that you should have a steady flow of visitors before you attempt to make money this way. Thanks for the great post Yaro!

  • Hi! Great info! I was wondering, don’t you maybe know of a good online site that allows for listings of sites that allow advertising. I’m using addynamo, but like you said…the ads are not relevant to content. I want a place where I can list my site…where other people who want to advertise can find me…so that i can work with them individually. Any suggestions?

  • Thanks for the info, and although it’s quite old it’s still all relevant. I’ve recently closed down my advertising spots as the pay sucks. Appreciate the tips though.

  • I have only use adsence and some affiliate links on my site and even though I have enough traffic I don’t have enough revenues from those programs, I will try that kind of advertising placement and see if I will have better results

  • This is an excellent article! Ive just put up my website and am working on generating traffic. Eventually, I’ll find ways to make some revenue. Thanks for the great tips, Yaro!

  • Awesome article!
    Initially I had not even noticed that it was an article of 2005, it seemed so relevant
    However, I believe that for very small niches, focus on local business partners, is today the best solution
    Generic banner ads are useless and often harmful, while in a program like adsense you can not find enough companies that invest in advertising, with the risk of having only generic banner as in other programs

  • Hi Yaro,

    I’m Australian and am looking to set up something with a verys imilar model to what yout alked about in your article. My question is, what about tax? Did you ahve to register for an ABN? If not, how did you declare the money on your tax return?

    Thanks,

    • any one who makes money has to pay tax so if you are making money from ads then that is class as a income and you will have to pay tax and reg that as a company of income

  • I am a beginner….getting about 600 unique visitors per day. Your article is quite useful for me. Thanks a lot.

  • I can only speak from experience but Google does such a good job optimizing ads for the highest revenue that it’s hard to compete. I have just opted to use Adsense and focus on building better content for the site. Your post is absolutely true though, its all about the statistics and numbers.

  • I haven’t make money with banner programs and adsense yet…i found your story and found awesome and helpful…anyway thanks for your tips…

  • I found this article very informative. I agree with the author that selling ads to businesses in your niche seems like the most productive way to monetize your sites traffic. I am just now setting up advertising spots on our golf review hq website. Thank you

  • Okay thank you i have a better understanding now. The only question i have left is if you have a high impression rate, would you have a greater chance of being able to get more money out of an advertiser for the payment method CPM? And what would you say in your professional opinion is a fair price to ask (with the CPM method) for a site averaging 500,000 impressions monthly ? 1,000,000?

    I know this may be hard to answer considering you didn’t prefer the method i’m asking about but i would still love to hear your advice. Thank you for your time Yaro, I’m fairly new to this and you have already helped greatly from your article here and your responses. I really appreciate it.

    • CPM is definitely a viable option if you have the impressions. Bear in mind that it’s not easy to get CPM rates above $2 in many niches. What you should do is look at how much traffic you have and what CPM amount would make it worth while for you and see if that is something you think you could sell. If it’s$10CPM you might have trouble convincing advertisers to give you that if you are not in a high value nice.

  • Ok. This article was really helpful and confirmed what I wanted to do. As of right now I have affiliate links on my site, but I definitely don’t want to have to depend on another company giving me a certain percentage, like 8% of total sales. I definitely like the idea of hunting for advertisers and offering a flat rate.

  • I made my website over a year ago and it has Alot of members I was just wondering if there could be a way to make a lil extra cash to keep the site maintained

  • Thanks for the information, is there a formula one can use to determine how much google will pay per click for ads on my site?

  • Thanks for the really informative information. You have just explained and simplified so many aspects as to make it a really user friendly information page.

  • David

    Hi I am very new to this and to be honest I bearly know how to use a computer but I am keen to learn and I was just wondering in your opinion what you think the best type of internet site would be to create the most traffic and what is the best way to approach companies for banners ect

  • I have a community site where people can find friend world wide, but the problem is how to introduce it with people to make their IDs and increase my daily visitors. http://www.apple-esco.com anyone can help me I will ignore that. Thnks if you interest to create your ID in chatebook(www.apple-esco.com) plz not wait longer and also invite your friends there. Thanks

  • Excellent advice. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I will put some of your suggestions to good use. I’m just starting to build my website. I was using Google AdSense. The targeted ads were pretty precise, but their support staff was not very good. The first sign of a problem, they didn’t give me the courtesy of contacting me to tell me they thought there was a problem. They just flipped the switch to stop it and sent me a condescending message. I sent a very sharply worded response which they never answered and I dumped their code off of my site since I’m tired of dealing with people like that in the automation industry. I guess they’re like Microsoft. Very arrogant. They’re both so big that they don’t care if they offend anyone or have bad business practices, thinking that they have enough business coming in the front door that they don’t give a flip how much goes out the back door. But we see what happens to giants that think they are too big to care. Sooner or later, someone sets up a better business plan and cuts the rug right out from under them. It has happened many times before and it will happen to both Microsoft and Google one day in the near future. Best regards.
    Sincerely,
    Del Chambers

  • Ryan Dollery

    Great advice! Bit out of date now! How about some new up to date advice/stories bearing in mind how much the internet has changed!

  • Vijay

    Mr Starak

    Kudos on the success of your website venture.

    I found this article particularly interesting and informative. I am a young university student and have been deliberating entrepreneurship for a long time now, but struggled to incept a platform for which I can benefit from my perceived business acumen. I have some ideas for which I believe the web would be the perfect medium to reach furthest, but have minimal IT skills that range no further than simple consumer realms.

    Could you please offer some advice regarding the means of developing my own site? In particular I am referring to the best, free (tight budget) aid or educational resource to make this a reality in a short time frame. I would like to avoid companies that allow you to use software that forces the user to incorporate their name into the URL, so as to appear as professional and sovereign as possible.

    I would really appreciate any help and once again, congratulations!

    Vijay Rabheru

    • Start with my blog profits blueprint (free) and go from there Vijay!

    • Ryan Dollery

      Vijay i am in a very similar situation to you and would love to maybe exchange notes and chat about the similar things we are doing!

  • Vijay

    Ryan

    That sounds good, leave a comment with your email and ill contact you when i get th notification!

  • Hi Vijay,

    This article is very informative and has cleared up allot of grey areas I had with regards to my online ventures. I am new at this, but seem to be doing something right- I have a new niche job portal http://www.medijobs.co.za and am averaging 3000-6000 unique visitors per day. (according to my report) but at this stage I am steadily growing my data base and have a small selection of online advertisers who pay a minimal fee to advertise vacancies. I would ideally like to make my site free to all users and generate funds from advertising space. Do you think this is the right move? Many thanks for the great post once again!

  • Thanks man I recommend you use pop up ads to make the most out off your site though It can be a little annoying to your visitors!

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