Never has there been more ways to make money online, but that doesn’t mean that making money online is easy. Despite some espousing the idea that you can become a millionaire overnight, it’s rarely that simple.
So, this is not a “get rich quick” guide. Rather, this is a pragmatic breakdown of how to make money through online advertising.
Step One: Figure Out Who Your Audience Is
Who visits your website? Are they young or old? Male or female? Where are they from? Which articles are they reading the most? What platforms are they sharing your articles on? If you gather up data like that, you’ll get a pretty clear idea of your “average” reader. Once you do, you’ll get a better idea of what kind of advertising they’ll be okay with.
Or you could do something a lot simpler: you could ask them. Do a survey of your audience to get an idea of how they feel about you monetizing your website with advertising. This is something which the Vlogbrothers — two hugely successful internet personalities — do on an annual basis.
Their census allows them to best figure out how to proceed in the oncoming year, but it also encourages more engagement. In short, you’ve got nothing to lose from learning more about your audience and potentially a lot to gain.
Step Two: Know Exactly How and When You’re Getting Paid
Advertisers want to keep you happy — or at least they should do. After all, they know full well that, if you’re not satisfied, you will pull their advert. Remember that the ball is very much in your court and shopping around is perfectly normal. If you don’t like how the advertiser will pay you, when they will pay you, or how much they will pay you, go elsewhere.
Above all, be sure that you don’t agree to work with the advertiser until you are completely clear on the details. Any advertiser worth their salt should be able to explain in plain English how payment will work and — more than that — they should be willing to offer a variety of payment options.
Step Three: Ensure Your Ads Are Safe, Respectable and Aesthetically Pleasing
Web users tolerate adverts because they understand that they are what funds the internet. However, bad adverts feel like betrayal. When an advertiser acts as if it doesn’t have to work to get your attention or tries to trick you into clicking on something, it will likely damage your image of that brand. What’s more, it will also likely damage your image of the website that hosted the advert.
The ads you place on your websites are an extension of your website’s voice. By allowing them to advertise, you are endorsing what they say and how they choose to say it. This is why you should be demanding safe, respectable, good-looking adverts for your website.
The safety aspect is especially crucial. While you might forgive a website for a few bad-looking adverts, you won’t ever forgive a website which gives you a virus. The recent NHS ransomware attack goes to show just how damaging malicious software can be when it is allowed to infiltrate your computer.
Adverts can be gateways to this sort of software and it’s not always easy or even possible to remove it from a computer. For that reason, don’t settle for anything less than the highest intolerance from your advertiser towards spammy ads.
Step Four: Contact Online Advertising Networks
Online advertising has been around for a long time, and online advertising networks are the apex of this industry. In the past, website owners and advertisers had to find each other on a brand-for-brand basis. This was not time or cost-effective for the advertisers or the website owners. It required research, quality control and lots of manpower.
Online advertising networks do the grunt work for you, but that doesn’t mean you should approach just any online advertising network. Rather, contact several and compare their services, operation models and prices. Everything mentioned above still stands when you contact an online advertising network. They may be a great way of monetizing your website, but the quality of the online advertising they offer depends on the quality of the online advertising network itself.