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Can you make money with a website?
Yes, you actually can!! Although its not as easy as it once was.
Can you make a million $$?
I don't know about that, but you can make a few $$.  The most work is setting things up.

This page is evolving (updated Aug - 2005 - NOTE HERE), I myself am obviously trying to make a few dollars so I have spent time looking at my options and I want to share with folks that visit this site what I have found.

If you don't want to read about how I got started go right to your options by clicking here.

There are many options out there but the 1st thing you need is a website that attracts visitors.  And not just a couple a day, you will need 100 a day to be eligible for many pay banner sites.

I had two sites out on the net that were generating hits, the first one was a site centered around a video chat program called CUSEEME that I used for several years.  Even though I neglected it for the last couple of years I saw it was still getting a lot of hits a week.  More recently I created a couple of "Flash" movies related to the reality TV show "Big Brother."  One page on the site I set up for that will get many many hits a day during the summer.

So in a way I had the traffic and decided to spend a couple of dollars (ninety-five to be exact) and get my own website (which is where you are now).

First I found a host - and that host is Ipowerweb - I was up and running within 24 hours and for the $95 total cost (12 month subscription) I got my own domain name, 500 megs of web space and 30 gig of bandwidth a month.  I have been EXTREMELY happy with them so far.  If you are looking for an in-expensive web host solution for a site I would strongly reccomend checking them out. (note - they now offer 800 megs and 40 gig - I plan on making sure I get that deal when I re-up with them).

Ok, so I had the site, what about the chance to make money?

There are several ways to generate some money for yourself (links are provided to samples of each).

  • Referral Programs - % of purchases:  You get folks to click on a link and if they spend money on the site you get a %.
  • Referral Programs - Pay to send members (one time): You send a company people who join the site and you get a small fee.  Unlike the 1st option you only get 1 payment per person (usually called "Leads"). 
  • Pay per Click sites:  Most of these companies only will deal with you if you have a lot of traffic.  You get a flat rate per "Click" (people actually CLICK on the banner).
  • Pop-up/Pop-under: These sites also usually want you to have a lot of traffic.  You are paid per "impression" or per thousand impressions. 
  • "Multi-Level" Referral: Would be great if you can get it to work, Folks in these programs get a percentage of the $ that people that sign up through them. 
Here is what I have ended up with.

The majority of the banners are sponsored by the FastClick Ad Network (Joined June 2003).  They require a minimum number of hits per month to qualify as an affiliate but if you have enough content on your site its not hard to acheive.  The $ per impression is very small so you need a lot of hits to generate any kind of income.  Some of their ads are also pay per click but I have found that on a site such as mine not many folks are clicking on random ads.  Their reporting statistics are excellent and the ease of use of their website beats every other affiliate program I am in (The possible exception being  Google's which is very good too).

I also joined ValueClick(Joined Jan. 2004) - they also do banner ads and to be honest they are not as easy to work with in some ways as FastClick Ad Network but I suspect they are easier to join (less restrictions).  A couple of their advertisers do the "Gator" style of ads (you might also remember a thing called "comet cursor") that to me drive traffic away from a site.  I removed those advertisers from my account which probably means less money for me but frankly I really really dislike sites that have advertisers that want to install programs on your computer.  Fastclick also offers these same ads but it is MUCH easier to exclude them from being displayed than it is with Valueclick.. 

Google offers an ad program called Adsensewhich seems it could hold some real possibilities (Joined Jan 2004).  The only problem is I can't have their ads on the same page as "Fastclicks" because some of "Fastclick's" ads look similar.  So I generally have Google ads on pages that have no other banners.  The reporting is very nice but they only pay per click and the reports don't really tell you how much you get per click.  I thought I was averaging 4 cents per click the first few days and then one day I earned 92 cents for 3 clicks (not complaining!!) but I have no idea which ads generated that revenue.

I joined Amazon Associates (Joined June 2003) so that I could hopefully refer some folks there who were looking for merchandise.  The buyer gets the same price, Amazon gives you a small commision if they buy something after clicking through your site.  I have made a few dollars with the amazon links.

I joined a site called Commision Junction (Joined June 2003)which has affiliation with a lot of advertisers, specifically in my case with E-bay.  Hosting links to auctions items is a way to earn a little bit of money - for every bid made via the links on my site I get 5 cents.  I have made a few dollars with this program.

I also affiliated with Netflix and the Discovery Store (Joined both June 2003) through their sites - Netflix offers commisions when people join via a link and the Discovery Store pays a small commision on items purchased via links.  So far I have not made a dime via Netflix and though I have made some commisions from Discovery Store it has not been enough yet to get a check from them.

August 2005 - NOTE: I don't have time to write a whole new thing on my site - but some things have changed over the last year and a half since I wrote that and I want to summarize them here.

There has been a major consolidation among the online advertisers I work with.  These are the advertising companies I work with:

  • Fastclick
  • Valueclick
  • Google Adsense
  • Bidclix
  • Commision Junction
  • Reporting.net (B-fast?) - Discovery Store/NBC Store/Netflix
  • Amazon 
As I type this the following companies have combined in some fasion even though I log in through different ways.....

Valueclick, Fastclick, Commision Junction and 'Reporting.net' (B-Fast?) have ALL combined - I am hoping they all remain seperate from my perspective (I still log in to each site to check my stats)  - Fastclick is by far the best money making company for me - and if they become more like 'Valueclick' my profits will go in the tank!!!

I upped my membership with Ipowerweb last weekend - I was going to go over the currently alloted 50 gig a month bandwidth (yes the maximum bandwidth and webspace has gone up over time - they seem to raise the amount each year although my cost did not increase).  I have now paid for the next 'tier' of their service which gives me 80 gig of bandwidth a month, 6 gig of storage and in theory I can go get 2 more domain names for free.  My annual cost will be just under $160 a year - but asd I said - the advertising more than covers that cost.

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