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  • 16 Ways to Make Money Online

    16 January 2009

    make-money-onlineThe internet is not just good for reading The Onion and posting pictures of your pet hamster to your social networking sites.  If you spend any amount of time online, you know that there is money to be made out here in cyberspace; and many of the pioneers in this still vastly uncharted territory have struck it rich with little more than their personal computers and an eye for opportunity.  So, how can you get in on the action?  Here’s 16 ways that just about anyone (not just geeks) can use to make money online:

    1.     PPC and CPM Advertising

    PPC (Pay Per Click) and CPM (Cost Per Mille) advertising are similar animals.  Both require that you place a small bit of code on your site which automatically generates ads of various shapes and sizes (usually depending on your preferences).  PPC ads pay you per number of time someone actually clicks on the ad; CPM pays you per number of impressions that their ads get on your site.  The amount of the payout is very small—often a fraction of a cent per click or impression–but if you have a large volume of traffic to your site, it can add up quickly.

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    2.    Affiliate Marketing (a/k/a CPA)

    Affiliate Marketing requires that apply for membership in an ‘affiliate network.’  That is, an agency that maintains and monitors accounts for various companies who are willing to pay individuals for sales generated through their websites.  Again, a small bit of code is placed on your site to generate ads; and when someone clicks on the ad, your unique affiliate number is automatically associated with that person’s IP address.  If that individual buys a product from the advertiser, you receive a commission on the sale.  Commissions can range between 5-20%, or they can be a flat fee per sale.

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    3.    Banner Advertising

    Banner advertising is used along with PPC, CPM, and Affiliate marketing.  A banner is simply a graphic ad that you can sell in any size or shape you wish.  Banner ads can be animated, they can rotate through a series of images, or they can be static.  In addition to being used with other types of advertising, individual website owners can simply sell banner space at a flat fee or negotiate their own PPC/CPM with independent advertisers which don’t belong to an affiliate network.

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    4.    Audio Ads

    Audio ads begin playing as soon as you land on a website where they are installed.  This is a relatively new development in the world of online advertising, and there is some debate about whether or not these are effective or annoying.  Audio ad pioneers say they are incredibly effective in getting the user to respond to the ad.   Like other ads, you get paid per play or per impression, depending on the advertiser.

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    5.    In-Text Advertising

    In-Text advertising is one of the least obtrusive internet advertising techniques.  Basically, hyperlinks are placed within relevant text on your website and distinguished from regular links by a double underline.   When you place your mouse cursor over the text, a small box appears with additional information on the product or service being advertised.  There are advertising services which, when installed, will automatically place the links for you and will even allow you to set parameters for the products you allow to be sold through your site.

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    6.    RSS Feed Ads

    RSS Feeds are incredibly convenient for websites that update content frequently.  The feeds deliver all the new content from websites that the reader subscribes to; making it possible to stay updated on news and information on multiple websites without having to visit each one.  That’s great for the reader, but not so much for you if you rely on fresh eyes for your advertising revenues.  Thankfully RSS Feed Ads are now available.  These allow you to place both graphic and text ads within your RSS feeds so that they are visible to all your subscribers.

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    7.    Popups

    Popup ads were, at one time, all the rage with online advertisers.  When you visited a site, a box would immediately pop up (hence the name), preventing you from seeing the information you needed until you either entered the information required by the advertiser or at the very least, read through the ad inside.  Then, tragedy struck!  Someone invented the popup blocker.  To be fair, pop ups are pretty annoying; but they are still fairly popular with online advertisers.  They are especially useful for capturing bits of information for PPA (pay per action) ad campaigns where you are paid for capturing email addresses or other pieces of information from the user.

    8.    Sponsored Reviews

    A sponsored review is basically an advertiser paying a blogger to write about their product or service.  This can either be done through a ‘review site’ which facilitates the meet ups between bloggers and advertisers; or it can be done by individual bloggers who offer the service to advertisers for a flat fee.

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    9.    Paid Surveys and Polls

    You get paid when someone takes the poll that you place on your site on behalf of an advertiser.  Polls encourage people to interact with them, and they can be a lot more engaging than regular old banner ads.

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    10.    Private Forums

    A lot of popular websites will incorporate a message board or forum for their readers to interact with one another.  You can generate revenues by charging a small fee for membership on the board, or for access to special sections of the board.  This creates a sort of ‘exclusive club’ where members can talk about industry-related topics, exchange valuable information, and socialize.  Charging $5-10 a year per user can add up after membership starts to grow.

    11.    Donations

    Don’t laugh.  This actually works.  If you have valuable content on your site that you are offering for free, it doesn’t hurt to put up a donation link and point people to it once in a while.

    12.    Ebook Sales

    If you’ve got a blog or website about a particular niche, why not capitalize on it by writing an ebook?  Believe it or not, you don’t have to be a brilliant writer to create a useful handbook on a subject that you are familiar with.  If you write a blog, you can write a decent ebook.  However, if you don’t have the time or the energy to write one you can hire a ghostwriter and then all you need to do is worry about marketing and selling it.

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    13.    Sell Your Website

    Some people live for the thrill of a new project.  If this sounds like you, then you may want to consider earning money by starting up and establishing new websites and then selling them off for profit.

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    14.    Sponsored columns, events, or posts

    This is a simple idea that gets back to basics.  Simply having a sponsor for regular columns or posts on your site is a great way to earn money.  “The Weekly So-and-So brought to you by…” not only earns you money from your sponsor, but it builds a steady readership as people come back week after week for your special content.

    15.    Premium Content

    If you’ve built up a solid website with some really excellent resources, you may consider charging people for access to your premium content.  That means creating an area that non-members cannot access unless they pay a small fee.  For people who are able to offer readers valuable information, this is a great way to generate some income and help your readers appreciate your content more.

    16.    Job Listing Bulletin Boards

    If you’re involved in a specific market, you may consider creating a job listing board and either charging employers to place ads there, or charging job seekers to access it.  (Or both).  This may take a little time to maintain and will require special software, but if you’ve got a loyal following it can definitely bring in revenues.

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    31 Responses to 16 Ways to Make Money Online

    1. Tom - January 16, 2009 at 3:43 am #

      A great list! Personally I am working towards using my blog to build influence and a strong following allowing me to launch successful products from my blog.

    2. Donny Gamble January 16, 2009 at 6:31 am #

      This is a solid list. You pretty much covered all of the ways that you can possibly monetize your blog. I am planning on focusing on a couple of these when I launch my new design for my website

    3. seosoeasy January 16, 2009 at 2:24 pm #

      Sure this article provides a great inspiration for everyone who likes to make money through online.Thanks for the effrot made!

    4. beauty salon equipment January 16, 2009 at 6:10 pm #

      Wow, very long list. Most of this things I knew but some I didn’t.I will try my best to remember all of this.It will help me a lot. Good idea “Donation”. I would use this one as soon as possible.


    5. Regan January 17, 2009 at 4:42 am #


      Your post is wonderful! Thanks for sharing such informative post.

    6. Mikael January 18, 2009 at 12:39 pm #

      Personally I favor the PPC way of making money. I think one of the most important things to succeed with making money online is to stick to only one (or a few) ways of making money and then getting really good at them.

      I’ve seen a lot of people trying PPC one day and then affiliate marketing the next and in almost every single case they end up with nothing.

      Sticking to one thing and doing it well has been the best way ahead for me.

    7. Article Spinning January 18, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

      These are all very good ways to make money online. I know people who have stuck to just one or few and have made very good money online. Thanks for sharing, Adam. I sure hope someone doesn’t try to make money from all the 16 ways. Instead, focusing on one or a few will give more results.

    8. 4x4 Pickup trucks January 19, 2009 at 12:48 am #

      Selling websites is a hot fav for now … as many are into flipping websites and blogs.

      i would recommend in-text links and Sponsored Reviews are much better options to generate good revenue

    9. Jimmy January 20, 2009 at 9:58 pm #


      Lovely post. I feel the best way to make money is affiliate marketing and list building.

    10. Joe Connor January 23, 2009 at 10:10 am #

      Hey great, tips, there some very useful and efective methods that you have posted here, thanks!

    11. Blogging Tips January 31, 2009 at 10:40 pm #

      What a powerful list! You have covered lots of ground, Adam. Even the less popular way of asking “donation”. Yes, I’m laughing but I believe it works.


    12. Web Design February 16, 2009 at 4:59 am #

      Pretty cool list – what about selling digital products?

    13. Mike K. February 16, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

      Nice list, but there was no mention of traffic, with out traffic even the best website will not make a dime.

    14. hamid March 13, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

      Great advice…kinda new at this, but came in real handy info…thanks a lot Adam :)

    15. Kim May 30, 2009 at 7:39 pm #

      Hi there,

      I periodically read your posts and I found this post extremely informative and helpful. There are so many ways that people can make money online. Your list has some creative ways I’ve never heard of too!

    16. Easy ways to make money online June 27, 2009 at 7:04 am #

      Creating a winning formula moneylist has proven to be a successful money making scheme for me and the other members. Great article though and please keep em coming!

    17. William Livingston September 10, 2009 at 11:56 pm #

      A useful list of tips. Thanks, will try them all.

    18. James Huntington September 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

      That’s a big list. It’ll take awhile to try them all out.

    19. Csahflow WAYS TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE February 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

      Yes this is a very big list I can say that I have tried some of these idea’s and they have worked for me to some extent. Great post, keep up the good work. Thanks alots.

    20. Avio karte June 27, 2010 at 5:10 am #

      Very nice make money list

    21. Karn from My Online Business Strategy September 3, 2010 at 3:42 am #

      Hi Adam,

      Great List! My favourite is definately No. 2 using affiliate and CPA networks.


    22. Decatrim June 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

      Good content Adam.
      Whatever you chose it will take time. When I first started looking online it looked so easy to make money….well at least the sharks told me it was.
      Good to read honest content like this.

    23. Pozycjonowanie December 14, 2011 at 4:59 am #

      Hi I am so happy I found your blog page, I really found you by accident, while I was looking on Askjeeve for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a tremendous post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the great work.

    24. Thanh April 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

      Excellent article. I absolutely love this
      website. Keep it up!

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