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Friday, August 20, 2010

Monetizing a Website or Blog...just the Basics

Ok, I have had several conversations in the last few days about monetizing websites or web businesses (Blogs certainly included here). Basically, it comes down to adding up the value of each visitor, plus any services or products a site sells.

But for a simple lawyer like me, I needed to have a basic course in what revenue streams were available for a content based site.

After a bit of reading...the core seems to be: (Article)

1. AdSense
2. Affiliate Marketing (Article)
3. Banners
4. Sponsors

AdSense pays a percentage of the (reportedly 1/3) of the Google Adwords fee paid by the advertiser. Affiliate marketing (like Amazon's program) is similar, except the payment is a sales commission. Banners are similar to AdSense, especially if you use a banner management program.

In all of these situations, click through rate ("CTR") is very important. Typical CTRs are in the range of 1-5%, but there are occasional reports of higher rates. (Article)

Sponsors (and sometimes banners) are simply companies paying a fee for a branding presence or maybe even individual donations. The drawback with site sponsorship are that they usually need to be individually sold (which requires time), but they have the benefit of bringing a potentially larger revenue stream into the site owner if the correct fit is available.

If all that revenue grows substantial the time may eventually come to sell..., but that is another topic for another day.

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