“Monetizing” means, according to the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, to assign a value to a metal, i.e. we take copper discs and say they’re worth a penny. But in the world of websites, it’s come to mean making money from your website in every way possible. And far be it from me to slow the evolution of the English language, as much as I sometimes hate progress. (Just don’t ask me ever to accept double negatives)
But to the subject at hand – the easiest way to try to make some money from your website is to add sponsored ads to it. Google Adsense comes to mind. It’s easy to set up and, depending on your website, easy to insert.
Here’s how it works. You sign up for it: https://www.google.com/adsense and then fill in the blanks, like the URL of your site, the name of your site, your name, etc. You choose what format of ads you want:
- A column of ads (vertical banner)
- A row of ads (horizontal banner)
- Text links (like 4 or 5 links in an invisible box)
- Ads with graphics
- Search boxes
- various other formats they keep coming up with.
You can choose the color scheme of your ads so they blend with your website. Once you’ve done all that, they present you with some code that you or your webmaster copy and paste in the appropriate place on your website.
And, here’s what’s best: Google will place ads there that are relevant to the content on that page. So, you can put the exact same code snippet on 6 different pages and if those pages focus on different subjects, those ol’ smarties at Google will deliver different ads on each page.
I can hear you thinking – but hey, I don’t want to advertise my competitor’s goods on my website. And you don’t have to. They have a feature called the Competitive Ads Filter where you can specify websites whose ads you don’t wish to show. Cool!
And now I hear you thinking – but I want them to buy my products, not go off looking at someone else products and there’s the rub. If the competition is that steep for your product, such as gift baskets or flowers, I’d suggest you do one of 2 things:
- Use the ads only on your thank-you-for-buying(order confirmation) page and your links page, or
- Use only the Google search feature.
And the big question is – will I get rich from Adsense or a similar program? If you’re like me, the short answer is no. But will you make a little spending money? Yes. I think the success of your program is entirely dependent on the popularity of your website. If you’re visitors are the kind of folks who spend money and your website gets a lot of hits (think 10’s of thousands per month minimum), then you might make enough in a year to do all your Christmas shopping.
But if your average customer is someone on a budget and you don’t get at least 1000 visitors (not hits, but visitors) each month, I suspect it could be a year before you’d accumulate enough in “click-throughs” to even warrant a check.
Still, I don’t know too many folks who wouldn’t take $25 or $50 or $100/year for a few minutes work.
The other option is affiliate programs. I’ll try to write something this next week about that.