When it comes to making money with a website, advertising, as in getting paid to advertise for companies on your website, is one of the easiest and most profitable ways.
According to Statista.com, worldwide companies spent 325 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 on digital advertising. And considering that most companies spend the bulk of their advertising budget on online ads, optimizing your website and its ad space becomes a crucial component if you want to make money with your website.
Although there are seemingly many different ways you can make money on the internet by advertising on your website, they all come down to three categories:
- Selling ad space directly to individuals and companies.
- Affiliate marketing, which is where you promote and advertise other people’s products and get a commission for every sale you make.
- And the third and easiest of the two (if you have good traffic coming into your site) is through ad networks where you display ads and get paid for every click your visitors make on those ads.
Here is a quick guide on how to start earning money on your website, blog, or any other online space you can display ads on, by posting ads on your website.
What will I learn?
A. Making Money with Ad & Affiliate Networks
The easiest way of getting paid for advertising is through displaying ads on your site, which of course, requires registering with an ad network or two.
The top choice among website owners, when it comes to good ad networks, is Google AdSense (which is really one of the few legit ways to make money with Google). However, there are also lots of AdSense alternatives nowadays that are becoming stiff competition for Google AdSense.
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1. Sign up With an Ad/Affiliate Network
Before you apply for any network, make sure your site is live and ready to go. Many networks such as AdSense will deny your application if your site is under construction or doesn’t have enough pages. So, be sure your site is up to standards before applying.
Top ad networks for monetizing your website
There are a few hundred ad networks out there. But out of all of them, only a few have enough advertisers that will make it worth your while to display their ads on your site.
Again, with this kind of ad, you get paid whenever someone click on them. They don’t have to buy anything or subscribe, or anything else, just a click and you are credited.
- Google Adsense
- Media.net (also known as Yahoo!/Bing Network Contextual Ads)
- Vibrant Media
- Sovrn //Commerce
- MadAds Media
- SHE Media
- Amazon Native Shopping Ads
Top 10 Affiliate Networks
You could also monetize your online space with ads from affiliate networks. This is also known as affiliate marketing, and there are many ways to promote products as an affiliate.
But the easiest way (again, if you do have decent traffic) to make a profit as an affiliate marketer is to display banner ads or use links within the content of your page.
Making money from affiliate networks is basically the same as with other ad networks like AdSense, with one big difference – you only get paid when the person who clicks on it takes the required action -. Now, that action can be purchasing a product, subscribing to the advertiser’s newsletter or website, filling out a form, taking a small survey, etc.
That makes it a bit harder when compared to say AdSense ads where you are paid just for the clicks, but, the flip side is that the payout from affiliate ads is much higher.
Depending on the product and the required action, you can earn anywhere from $0.50 to $300-$400 or even more.
Some of the top affiliate marketing networks that I personally use are:
- Amazon Associates
- CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction)
- Walmart Affiliates
- Target Affiliates
- Avangate Affiliate Network
- eBay Partner Network (EPN)
- Rakuten Marketing (formerly LinkShare)
2. Displaying Ads on Your Site
No matter which one of the above networks you sign up with, the process of getting ads up and running is the same.
However, as you will see below, with ad networks like AdSense, you only have to add one piece of code into your site where you want the ad to show, but with affiliate ads, you will have to get
After getting approved for any ad network, you will be presented with a piece of code that you have to insert into your site. If you don’t know how to do that, don’t worry, most networks have step by step guide that shows you exactly what to do and where to put the code.
Once you insert the ad, the network will start displaying ads, and what makes it interesting and highly successful is that with their technology, these networks display ads that are relevant to the content of your site.
So, if your site is about gardening and plants, the ad network will display advertisements for gardening related products and services. Needless to say that these ads are highly targeted and so are more likely to get clicked on since your visitors are looking for more info on gardening related topics.
Please take note that the above describes how ads from ad networks like Adsense work. With affiliate ads, you will be given a code for each product you want to promote separately.
For example, if you want to promote “Turbo Tax” as an affiliate, the network you signed up with will give you a code that is specific to “Turbo Tax”. So, when the visitor clicks on the link, they will always be taken to Turbo Tax’s website.
This is a hugely important part of the process. You must test the way and the position in which these ads are displayed on your site. A simple change in the color of the ad can be a game changer.
Be sure to test different colors, styles and even locations of your ads to ensure you find the most profitable combination.
4. Increase Traffic
Traffic, targeted traffic to be specific, is the most important piece of the puzzle here. The more traffic you have, the more money you are likely to make.
There are many different ways to generate traffic, from guest posting and forum participation to social networking and more. I am not going to get into the details here as it’s beyond the scope of this post. But with a little research online, you can find hundreds of traffic generation techniques.
5. Get Paid
Once your traffic starts coming in, you will start to see your earnings grow little by little. And depending on the content of your site and therefore the kind of ads being displayed on it, you could expect to earn anywhere from $0.01 to up to $50 and in some rare cases even more for each click.
And in the case of affiliate products you are promoting, you can expect anywhere from a few dollars up to a few hundred depending on the product/service being advertised.
Most networks such as Google Adsense pay on a monthly basis, assuming you have at least $50 in your account. There are some networks (usually affiliate networks) that pay weekly. MaxBounty is one of those that pays me weekly via PayPal.
B. Selling Ad Space Directly
This option is usually great with bigger sites that get good traffic.
You can simply create an “Advertise” page, and let people know your prices, the exact spot where their ad will be displayed, along with some website statistics (page views, daily visitors, etc).
This one worked well for me on my first blog, BlogStash.com. The most I sold a spot for $800/month for a 300 x 250 ad spot in the sidebar.
Again, the price will depend on your traffic numbers, niche, and how targeted that traffic is.
You could also use sites like BuySellAds which will match interested advertisers with websites selling ad space. But then they’ll take a cut as their commission, but they do make it easier to get your available ad spots filled out every month.
These methods are great and proven ways of making money through advertising.
Basically, whenever you have space, whether online or offline, that sees lots of eyeballs, you can monetize that space with ads and make money.
I mean, people are getting paid to put ads on their car even. So, there are many ways to get paid to advertise, you just need that space!