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Posts Tagged ‘AdSense’

How to Monetize Your Domain Names

This is a blog post that was planned for some time, and then a friend asked me this exact question, so I knew it was time to pull it from the archives.

To make money online, you have to facilitate money changing hands. Making money with a domain is similar to making money with any other website in that you ultimately have to drive people to the domain and get them to take an action which ultimately results in money changing hands. It doesn’t even have to be their money, but an action has to be taken. The big take away here is that you need to have visitors to your domain – and lots of them – to make any money of substance.

That said, here are several ways you can monetize a domain and most are based on my personal experiences.

1. Contextual Ads. This is one of the most popular domain monetization strategies. The most widely known contextual ad network is Google’s AdSense. To make money with AdSense, you simply place a snippet of code on your website and ads are displayed. When visitors click on the ads, Google gives you a percentage of what that advertiser paid for the click. In essence, this is an affiliate program for Google AdWords (Google’s Pay Per Click platform).

How much money you make per click will depend on the industry your content represents. If advertisers are paying a lot for a click (such as lawyers), then you can expect to see a few dollars per click that is generated from your site. In other instances, where the cost per click is low, you will just see a few pennies per click.

If you have lots of content, this might be a good option for you, but if you are just starting out, you will likely be disappointed with your initial earnings.

2. Selling Advertising. If you want to have more control of the ads that are served on your site (because you won’ with AdSense), you can solicit advertisers for your website. What you earn will be proportionate to how many visitors your website has. Ads are typically sold in terms of “x” dollars per thousand visitors (known as CPM pricing). For example if your website gets 10,000 visitors per month and you have a price of $5/CPM, you would charge $50 per month to your advertisers. Ads can be sold in many formats including banner ads, text link ads, and in context ads.

3. Selling Affiliate Products. If you can find companies that are related to your website that have an affiliate program where you can get paid for sales referred to them from your website, this can be a lucrative proposition. Unlike selling advertising where you are paid up front, this is more of a performance based ad, where you are compensated whenever a sale is made or a lead is produced (depending on the program). I recommend using affiliate ads in conjunction with other types of ads because the returns can be quite significant. For example, one company I run affiliate ads for pays a $100 commission for referred sales and others pay ongoing monthly commissions.

4. Domain Parking. I have tried this with a few different companies and found that if I had enough traffic to make money with a domain parking program, I would make even more if I controlled the content. Essentially these companies run contextual ads on your domains and share the revenue with you. It’s pretty simply to put up a single page website using WordPress and you can keep 100% of the ad revenue or any other revenue you generate from the website.

5. Sell Your Own Products. If people are coming and buying they might as well buy from you. Ecommerce systems are easier and easier to set up, and you could be up and running in no time.

6. Lead Generation. If your domain has traffic that is geared towards a certain niche market, you could sell leads either through a lead company or by negotiating a deal with a business owner.

The more revenue your domain (website) generates, the more value it will have. You might even be tempted to sell a domain if you get a decent offer, but before saying yes, you have to look at a few factors:

– How much money the site brings in for you and how long it would take to rebuild that income.
– How long it would take to earn what they are offering you.
I like to get at least 24 times the monthly revenue for a sale, but there are times when selling for less than that makes sense (i.e. the market may not be around for a long time). I will address selling domains in a future blog post because there is a lot to be said on the topic.

If you have any further questions about monetizing domains, please feel free to comment below and I will respond as soon as I can.

How You Might Lose Your Google AdSense Account

Do you publish Google AdSense ads on your website? If so, do you recall getting a recent email about the privacy changes at Google? I did and I didn’t really pay much attention to it… until today.

I was reminded today (thanks to Jennifer Slegg via Twitter) that today is that last day in which to make your website compliant with Google’s new privacy requirements for AdSense publishers. I know some of you might be saying “but I don’t have a privacy policy” and if that is you, you might want to read the Google AdSense Program Policies which have stated (at least since August of 2008) that and publisher using AdSense must have a privacy policy.

Not having this in place is just one of a host of reasons that Google could ban you or your website from the AdSense program. If you don’t have a privacy policy in place, Jennifer has a sample privacy policy that you can use on your website.

If you are not able to add the privacy policy to one of your sites, ny advice is to remove the AdSense code from that site as it is not worth the risk all of your sites for just one. When Google removes you from their program, there is no coming back (also spelled out in the guidelines).

Have a profitable day!

The top 10 things I love (and THE #1 thing I hate) about Google

For the most part, I am VERY thankful for Google. I was one of the original users back in the late 90’s when they first launched. In fact, I was a Google evangelist, telling everyone who would listen to me about this great new search engine. Of course, people did listen to me, because I was a “web guy”. No one outside of the industry really knew what I did (and not much has changed) as SEO and SEM were rarely heard acronyms. People just knew I was glued to my computer most of the time, carrying at least one with me when I traveled (I think my record was 3 when I had to travel with a company laptop and 2 personal laptops during a hard drive changeover).

Anyhow, I am overall appreciative of Google. Not for the near $4.00 my AdSense account sees on a really good day, but for things like:

1. Great search results. If I can’t find something on Google, I know I am pretty much in trouble as I will likely not find it anywhere else on the web.

2. Google AdWords – Web Traffic anyone?

3. Webmaster Tool – Free Analytics anyone?

4. Blogger – Google’s Free Blogging platform. Even better since they added tagging.

5. Matt Cutts. I am sure they would pay almost anything to keep him if he was tempted by a serious offer. BTW, I met Matt back before he was THE Matt Cutts – unofficial, but maybe official Google spokesman to the Internet Marketing World – (Matt – I still have your card from SES 2001).

6. Google Earth. The first to make satellite mapping mainstream on the web, although some might say it’s one the few things that MSN has over them (i.e. MSN Live)

7. Free Local Business Listings

8. Google Toolbar.

9. PageRank – Contrary to what some may say, I think it can serve as a great benchmark (I’ll leave it at that).

10. Gmail. Although it seemed more cool when you had to be invited.

I didn’t include YouTube because they didn’t create it, and I am sure we would still have them without Big G.

So what’s my beef with Google? Two of their partners. I will only name one right now, because, well, they are in control, right?

So, who is the culprit? None other than The Open Directory (a.k.a. DMOZ). I am amazed that Google continues to rely on them as the source of their directory as I am confident that the users that use the directory are not getting good results. I won’t rant about this because it has been done for years by many, even those that seem to have a strong voice in the industry. I know that most people have written them off as a reliable source and therefore no longer even submit sites there, which makes my point even more valid in that Google is relying on outdated information.

I have written to Google, and even the Wall Street Journal about it because I think what goes on in the little “sub world” called The Open Directory is not something that responsible companies should tolerate, namely AOL and Google. I am not a stockholder, but I could quickly become one and perhaps bring it up at a meeting.

There are plenty of alternatives, but I think the one that makes the most sense is for Google to buy the Open Directory and do a clean sweep of the current editors, replacing them with trusted editors, or internal staff. Of course, they could just create their own directory and if they needed more revenue, they could monetize it with AdSense 🙂


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