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Using Your Site To Generate Income

Probably one of the most common ways to generate an income using your web site is to set up an online store, and then advertise your web site to bring in visitors. However, there are also other ways you can bring in income with little to no effort at all. Keep in mind though, that what you make depends on your advertising techniques and how many visitors you bring to your site.

Affiliate Programs

Probably the easiest way to earn some extra money with your web site it by joining an affiliate program. An affiliate program is usually run by a merchant who will pay you a certain amount of the profits if one of your visitors clicks on and buys their product. Sometimes, the visitor just needs to click on the ad. Some affiliate programs even pay you per page impressions, meaning each time someone visits your page and the advertisement is viewed. In order to get these counted, you would display an ad for the merchant's product or service on your web site where your visitors can see it. We've all seen sites with many ads on them. These ads generate revenue (income) for the people running these sites. You can earn extra money the same way.

Chosing A Program:

There are many types of affiliate programs out there. Some may even be scams so you will want to be careful. One suggestion is to go to the merchant of products or services you have had good experiences with and see if they have an affiliate or partner program you can join. Usually these are all free. Be careful when joining programs you have to pay for. Be sure you trust the merchant and are sure of the terms. Always read their terms carefully and see what is expected of you, and how much they pay, and when. Also check if your earnings are taken back or not paid if you do not earn enough in a certain period of time. Programs that are 2-tier or more are best. This means that when a visitor goes to the merchant from your site and becomes and affiliate, you not only get credit for referring them, you also earn a percentage of what they earn as well. These are sometimes called sub-affiliates. You can join as many programs as you wish. But keep in mind you'll have to display their ads on your site and this may clutter your site, making it unattractive to your visitors.

Placing Ads On Your Site:

The best way to generate income on your site is to place the ad where you know visitors can't miss it. It's also best not to have too many ads on the page. This is especially true for pop-ups. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Text Link: Placed at the top or near top of your page, where your visitors can see it. This usually contains a link and a short description, or can just be a text link.

  • Banner: A graphical banner placed at the top or near top where your visitors can see it. These are nice if you have signed up in multiple affiliate programs. you can place a JavaScript Random Content script at the top of your page and rotate your affiliate banners randomly.

  • Pop-Ups & Pop-Under: You can use pop-up ads so that when a visitor comes to your site, they will see another window pop up that has your affiliate ad in it. Pop-Under windows will be seen only after the visitor has closed their main browser window. Note that many people now use pop-up blockers so there is reduced likelihood of these being viewed. Here are a couple scripts that you can use for pop-ups and pop-under windows:

Affiliate Program Links:

Here are a list of links to different affiliate programs to get you started. Note that these are only suggestions. Choose affiliate programs you are comfortable with.

Other Methods:

You can also put your affiliate links in our online newsletters and updates. Be sure that your readers have a way to opt out of receiving your newsletter if they choose. Be sure to read the affiliate program terms and rules to see what types of advertising is permissible. Some programs restrict use of their links in online forums, newsgroups, or emails. You could put your affiliate links also in your blog, or content management system or portal site.

Sell Advertising Space:

Another income generator is to offer advertising space on your web site. Note that you'll want to be generating quite a bit of traffic for merchants to be interested in buying space. You could offer text or banner links or even pop-ups and pop-under advertising. Be sure that your merchants will understand the likelihood of their ad being seen (if you have a random banner rotation, etc.), what your prices are and how long you'll have their ad on your web site.

Subscription Content & Publications:

Using PayPal, you could collect subscriptions to various content on your site. You could use a Content Management System to control registered users who paid and those visitors coming in and viewing the site for free. Be sure that you have content people would be interested in, such as free graphics, web templates, or articles and information of interest. Another subscription service would be an eZine or Electronic Magazine which you could publish via an opt-in email list, or online in a password-protected area of your web site.

Ask For Donations:

You could ask for donations as a Thank You from your visitors for the hard work you put into providing useful content on your web site. PayPal has special programs and buttons for those who run their site on donations.

Tax Considerations:

You may be required to report your income as part of your yearly income tax. You may also be required in some states to collect sales tax, depending if you're actually selling a service (such as a subscription, for example). You will want to consult your tax offices in your jurisdiction just in case. This is especially true if your web site is generating a significant income. Some programs such as Google AdSense may require you to fill out tax information, just in case your earnings become substantial.

How Much Can You Make?

How much you make with your web site depends a lot on the type of program you are doing, and how you advertise your web site. Many people may not make a lot of money, especially when they first get started. Some make enough to cover their hosting and other expenses of running the web site. If you keep in mind that this should be a fun project, and not something you depend on to live, you can always enjoy that extra cash when it comes in. Who knows, it may even pay for your hosting and a bit more.


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