After creating your site for free, there are dozens and dozens of ways to start profiting from your site. Below I’ll list some of the most lucrative. But remember, you’re only limited by your imagination, so start brainstorming about other ways you can take advantage of your FREE site.
Rule number one is to always try to have three different ways to monetize your site. You don’t want all your eggs in one basket. Rule number two is to always be testing and trying new methods of monetizing or making money form your site. Every niche is different and every site is different, so you need to find out what combination works for you. With that said, I’m going to show you a few of the fundamentals.
First, there’s basically to ways of making money online. You either sell goods or services or you sell advertising space.
Part 1 – Online Selling
With selling things, you need to have a online banking service or what’s called an online merchant account. You also need to warehouse and ship products or provide downloadable products. There is obviously a lot of issues with these methods and most cost money. And remember, our goal is to not spend a dime.
So, how can we get around this? First, in the FREE Tool Posts, I list FREE merchant accounts you can get. But the problem is still the cost of inventory, along with warehousing and shipping of inventory.
Now, you can always use your FREE site to sell things or services, but let me show you some ways to get around this.
If you remember, information is what people are looking for online, so if information is what they want, why not sell it. How? I’d like to suggest that downloadable products are the best way. You need to realize, Internet users are already looking for information, all online business owners have to do is put the information in front of them, package it right and then help them realize why they want it.
Downloadable products are easy to produce, sell and they have obscene markup potential! It’s a secure format, which allows you full control over the marketing and distribution of your product. There’s no printing or shipping costs and they can be delivered instantly or electronically downloaded, which makes them perfect for the Internet or the impulse buyer.
One the other hand, when you sell products that require shipping, you encounter some major problems such as shipping costs (the number one reason online shoppers turn away), stocking and packaging which decrease your profit margin, and delays in product delivery time, etc…
The only problem with this approach is our BlogSite doesn’t allow you to store downloadable products. You can setup everything else, but you still need a storage place where your information product can be stored and downloaded.
For example my eBook is stored on servers that allow you to download it, but it cost money.
Remember, I bought a lot of programs before I figured this free thing out. I bought this ebook software from eBook Pro and the package includes storgae and delivery of your eBook, you can find out about it by clicking on the link. Now, you can still setup the FREE site and merchant account, the only thing you would need to buy is this product and you could then sell ebooks.
The other option is to setup a free payment method and then ship hard copies youself. But again, the problem with both these methods are that they break our goal of FREE. So let me show you how to sell things for no cost.
The way to sell things online without having to buy inventory, warehouse or ship, both hard goods and even downloadable products for “O” costs is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is where you send people to another businesses site and if they buy something you get a percentage of the sale. It’s all tracked electronically so you get credit for every sale and the percentages range anywhere from 5% to 75% of the sale price. Obviously the goal is the higher percentage.
Now you do this by affiliating or linking to one of these sites. Tracking is often done by a third party tracking service. Some of the ways you send people is by product reviews, advertisements, banners, links, or direct sales. The best way however, is after you have established a relationship with your visitors and providing great content, and they now consider you an authority in your niche, you then give a personal endorsement.
Here are some good affiliate programs I would recommend signing up with. Then your job is to research them and find the products that best fit your niche and have great commissions (the higher the percentage the better):
ClickBank – We just mentioned how information products are great to sell online, well CB has thousands of information products to choose from. A great site for generating affiliate commissions. They provide huge commissions on every sale (as much as 75%). Commission are monitored and paid by ClickBank instead of the retailer, so you never have to worry about getting paid!
Amazon – Amazon is the largest retailer on the Internet. Amazon will pay you a commission for each sale your visitors make on their site. They stock tens of thousands of items and have the largest book store on the Internet. They have everything, so a great one-stop-shop for all your affiliate products. Note: Blogger has also recently added a new tool to help add Amazon products to all your posts. So even if you don’t signup for any others, definitely signup with this one!
Here’s a few examples of how to affiliate market:
Scenario one is where you post content on how to do something. You mention how it’s very important to use a quality “gadget“ for the job. Then you simply place an add from an affiliate at the end of the post for that very same ‘gadget” that’s on sale. If someone found the article interesting, they just might jump on over to the affiliate site and make a purchase.
In scenario two, you just publish content discussing the benefits of doing something once a week to keep you healthy. Then you have a small ad at the end of your post that offers something that helps them do it.
In scenario three, you review a product and talk about what you liked and disliked, along with all the benefits of using it. Then, of course, you provide a link to it for your visitors convenience.
In scenario four, you personally endorse a product that has helped you in some way and low and behold… look what’s displayed at the end of your post, an affiliate link to that product.
Be CLEVER! If you have a link that promotes an affiliate product you know your niche would want, use this link as another page of content and riddle the page with benefits. Then, subtly promote their product in the context of the article and you’ll have a winning web page that will earn you commissions, guaranteed! Plus, the more content you have, the better your site.
So you see, you can use affiliates for thousands of products or services and generate a nice income stream! Your job now is to signup and find the ones that fit your niche. Some online businesses are making anywhere form $5,000 a month to upwards of a $100,000 a month just utilizing affiliate programs only. The sky’s the limit!
Part 2 – Advertising Income
Advertising has to be the easiest way to make money for FREE out there. It’s a no-brainer! All you do is provide great content, driving tons of traffic to your site and then just set up the advertising programs. These companies who sell the advertising do all the rest. You’re basically being the billboard for their ads.
It’s officially called contextual advertising. What companies like Google do is sell the advertisers, they then search your site with spider programs that find out what kind of content you have and then they match up your content with the advertisers that are looking for that kind of niche content. Now, they serve the ads and if anyone clicks on the ad, you make money! That’s slick!
Of course Google’s AdSense is the big boy on the block in this arena and they take their cut for doing their part, but that’s only fair considering all you have to do is set it up and then they do the rest. You see advertisers bid on certain keywords and their ads are then placed on sites that have those keywords in their content.
Your job is to provide great content and then optimize your site and ad placements. One key point I can give you is to make your ads look like content and not ads. Make ads look like links and your clicks will go way up. As far as ad placements and optimizing, that’s a book in itself. And, lucky for you I have a link to a FREE ebook on how to do all of this.
This book was written by Joel Comm, it’s called Adsense Secerts 4 and it use to sell for around a $100 bucks. Well, if you click on the link you can get it for FREE. It has everything from A to Z on how to setup and optimize Adsense and I highly recommend you read it. There’s no reason for me to write another book on this topic when you can get it for FREE here. Remember one of the reasons I told you why people giveaway things for Free, Joel is trying to upsell you to his Top One program.
When you signup, you get a free trial membership in his Top One program and if you don’t cancel it within 30 days you’ll be charged a membership fee of $30 some dollars. I know this because $60 some dollars later I remembered to cancel, oh well. It’s actually a pretty good program and I really liked the newsletter they mailed you each month, I got some great ideas from it.
But, remember my goal is FREE, so it had to go. Again that’s up to you, just remember to cancel within 30 days if you don’t want to be charged. The good part is you get an excellent book on Adsense for FREE!
Setting Up Contextual Advertising
With that said, Google’s Adsense is the one.
Google Adsense – Start generating revenues from every click-through you receive. The links Google will display on your site will be targeted to your site’s keywords! Plus, you can optimize the ads to match the layout of your site. Your ads will be shown to a highly targeted audience, which translates into more FREE money!
Setting up Adsense is easy, just go to your Blogger dashboard and click on the “Monetize” link for your site. Seeing how you already signed up for Adsense when we were adding all the FREE tools you’re ready to go, if not sign up now. Now, after you click the “Monetize” link or tab, you’ll see a selection of how you want the ads to display on your site. Select the display style you want and then click ‘Next” (the first default setting seems to work best). That’s it your done!
That was just to easy. You can always go in and edit the ads and play with the placement, colors, etc… Joel’s FREE book will talk a lot about all that stuff. As for your site specifically, you can click on the “Layout” tab and then drag and drop the Adsense gadget where you want on the page. You can also click on the “Edit” link on the Adsense gadget and edit most of the features of the ads themselves.
Remember, always try to have 3 or more ways to monetize your site, including individual pages on your site. Research different affiliate products that will go well with your niche and then write about them. And, get Joel Comm’s book and optimize your site for advertising.
Well, now you have a FREE Online Business that makes money, so pat yourself on the back!