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June 2010The monthly newsletter by Felgall Pty Ltd

My Word

Making Money From A Web Site

How you make money from having a web site depends on what sort of web site it is.

To start with not all business web sites are there to actually make money directly. If you have a "bricks and mortar" business then the purpose of your web site might be advertising. The site provides information about your business so that more people will use your business. Where this is the case the site itself is not making any money directly at all, instead the money is made through the extra off web work that the business gets as a result of having the web site.

Another type of business web site is the one belonging to a web based business where the purpose of the business is the selling of physical or electronic products over the internet. This type of business makes its money through the sales of those products. Where the products are electronic in nature they can be delivered directly via the internet and so there are no delivery charges and next to no costs associated with additional sales of the same product.

The sale of electronic products is very attractive to those looking to make lots of money over the internet since all they need is a few junk products (usually ebooks since they are often the easiest and quickest to create) and a web site to sell them on. A large group calling themselves "internet marketers" try to make money this way. The vast majority probably end up spending more money on buying junk products from other internet marketers than they ever make out of it themselves. Very few succeed and those that do generally don't do it using junk products (at least not as the only things they sell).

This group unfortunately have a bad reputation which to some extent spills over to include anyone selling electronic products over the internet. There are many sites where worthwhile electronic products can be purchased that probably get fewer buyers than they would if there weren't so many competitors selling junk. On this web site I do have a few PH scripts that I offer for sale which all include twelve months support and in most cases I don't charge extra for modifying the script to do what a particular buyer wants it to be able to do (since that makes the script more flexible for future buyers).

There are also a lot of web sites around that are not selling anything. For example, most of the pages on this site are "how to" pages that just provide information on how to fix an error or carry out spme specific task. The way informational web sites can best make money is through advertising. The web pages provide information that people are looking for and so some of the people looking for that information end up on that page. Other sites looking to advertise so as to get more visitors to their site will be prepared to pay in order to get a link to their site displayed on your page so that your visitors will see it and hopefully some of them will follow the link.

There are several different ways of getting advertisers to pay to display their ad links on your page. The simplest way is to sign up with an advertising service that provides the ad links for you. In most cases these services work on a "pay per click" basis where the advertiser pays them based on the number of click throughs that they get on their ad and the ad service pays you a percentage of what they earn from the clickthoughs that originated on your site.A less common payment method for such advertising (which used to be a lot more popular) is "pay per view" where the payment is based on the number of times the ad is displayed.

There are a couple of different ways such ads can be displayed. One is to have the ads displayed in specific ad blocks within the page and another is to have some parts of the actual text content of the page converted into ad links. The other variant is whether the ad service makes an attempt to match the type of ads to the page content or whether you just get generic ads regardless of what your content is about.

Another form of advertising where you get to choose exactly what ads you display works on a commission basis. You don't get anything for displaying the ads but if someone actually clicks on the ad and then goes on to buty the product then you get a commission on te sale. Some peole take this a step further to where their web pages are basically sales pages for someone else's products where they hope to make an income from the commissions. Such affiliate marketing saves them the trouble of getting their own products to sell.

Not so easy to get advertising is where you deal direct with the advertiser who wants to display a specific ad on a specific page (or pages) of your site. To be able to get this sort of advertising you need a quality information site with lots of web pages and lots of visitors. Hopefully then you will have other sites that are selling products that relate to the topics covered on one or more of your pages and they will be prepared to pay you to advertise their product on those pages. This sort of advertising usually involves a fixed regular payment. In some cases advertisers with unrelated products will approach you about advertising on your pages. Two things to watch out for with this are that what they will offer for the ads will be a lot less than what an advertiser with a relevant ad will offer (since a much lower percentage will click on the ad) and having such ads on your site may put off the advertisers with the more relevant ads from wanting to advertise on your site in the first place.

In order to make money from your web site you may decide to use a combination of several of these options. of course if you use too many of them on the one page then the page will appear too "busy" and you'll find that you are driving visitors away and eventually get to the point where you make no money from your site because no one visits it. Of course displaying too few ads on your pages may also result in your earning a lot less than you could.

It is all a matter of trying to strike the right balance so as to get the best income you can and giving your visitors the best experience you can at the same time. I deliberately avoided having in text ad links in my web pages until the changing economic situation reduced my income from the blocks of ads displayed on my web pages to less than half. Adding that type of advertising helped to make up a part of the loss from the other advertising.

Over time the types of advertising that are most effective will change and so with an informational web site you need to review where things stand and be prepared to modify the types of advertising you have and where you are using them. My preference is to use relevant advertising for quality products that are related to my informational pages since that provides a better experience for those visiting my site and so I am always on the lookout for ways to substitute better advertising into web pages.

On Site

This month I have published the first three articles in my new series on learning PHP when you already know JavaScript as well as a couple of book reviews and a software product review. One of the book reviews took me most of my writing time for a whole week as it was so good and what it covered brought back lots of memories. Should have more PHP lessons next month.

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