Affiliates and Banner Ads: Two Ways to Make Money Online

by Stu Lisonbee, originally published on EzineArticles

My interest in making money online first started in the mid 90's. I had just been in a motorcycle accident which left me with permanent injuries – dashing my dreams of becoming a helicopter pilot – and I had my first child on the way.

My first website was meant to compliment a brick-and-mortar computer store that I had invested heavily in. But, after blowing $30 grand on the business, it went under. Heavily in debt – and therefore unable to borrow anymore money – I turned to the internet to help me find a very inexpensive method to make up the cash I had lost.

Thus would start my journey of the many ways to make money online.

Affiliate Marketing

It was around this time that I was first introduced to the man who would give me my first taste of affiliate marketing. In essence, affiliate marketing is the promoting of other people's products in exchange for a percentage of the profit when a referral actually makes a purchase.

One of the most common affiliate programs back then was for the Amazon online bookstore. I, having an interest in all things computer related, joined the affiliate programs of several online computer stores and placed their banners on my website. I even started my first blog, posting regularly about computer and technology related breakthroughs, in a time when virtually nobody had ever even heard the term.

I did poorly because of one important skill I lacked, which I'll reveal later.

Ad Revenue

Revenue from selling ad space on your website can be quite lucrative… if you have the traffic.

Banner ads are sold on a CPM (cost per mil (thousand) impressions) basis. As of this writing, the typical take for a webmaster displaying banners is $1 to $2 CPM. In other words, you must have 1,000 banner displays to make $2.

It's tough to make a good living by selling banner ad space. It was many years ago I first met a person who operates a banner creation website; that's right – he makes money from banner ads operating a site where people go to make banners. Using CPM advertising, he makes six figures per year and has been since the late 90's. He spends about an hour per week (that's not an exaggeration!) maintaining his website.

I gave this a shot myself, but instead of displaying banners on a CPM basis, I went for the CPC (cost per click) method – i.e. I got paid only when someone clicked on an ad. I did poorly there too… again because of an important skill I lacked.

To Make Money Online, You Must…

The important skill I lacked was an ability to get my websites to rank in the search engines for high-traffic keywords. Just imagine the traffic you'd receive if you ranked for a really hot term such as "mp3 player."

Learn how to do that, and your CPM and affiliate sales will both take off and you could very well find yourself rolling in the dough!

After three years of working in the online marketing department for a major online wholesaler and two more at one of the nation's top online ad agencies as a manager of search engine optimization fulfillment, I've come full circle and have learned to turn my failures into successes.

Have the tenacity, determination, and willingness to learn whenever and wherever you can, and you too could be the next big internet money making success.

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