16 Ways to Make Money Online

By on January 16, 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.

Learn More:  http://www.payperclickuniverse.com/

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.

Learn More:  http://www.affiliatetips.com/

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.

Learn More:  http://www.davesite.com/internet/webads.shtml

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.

Learn More:  http://mashable.com/2008/10/03/audio-ad-networks/

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.

Learn More:  http://www.wiliam.com.au/wiliam-blog/considering-in-text-ppc-advertising

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.

Learn More:  http://www.doshdosh.com/monetize-rss-feed-advertising/

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.

Learn More:  http://weblogs.about.com/od/monetizingablog/p/SponsoredReview.htm

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.

Learn More:  http://www.vizu.com/index.htm

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.

Learn More:  http://www.zizzoo.com/guides/ebook/index.php

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.

Learn More:  http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/266/how-to-sell-a-website-how-much-is-your-website-worth/

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.

Learn More:  http://www.jobcoin.com/

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Adam Toren

About Adam Toren

Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.