By Larry Larsen
One way to monetize your Web site is to sign up with affiliates. Under the typical affiliate program, you provide a link from your site to some one else’s retail site. You may find that some of the better partnerships will add another $50 or more per month to your income. Google AdSense is a popular free program that enables Web site publishers to display relevant Google ads and earn money. Other affiliates may be even more valuable to you if they are strongly focused on the visitors to your site. Most affiliate programs have an application process. After approval, you generally receive banner ads and text links for placement on your site, all with special codes that allow affiliates to track traffic from your Web site to theirs. You can make commission on people who follow your links or place orders with your promo code. Those commissions are accumulated and checks are issued.
I have two outdoor travel-related Web sites, www.larsenoutdoors.com and www.peacockbassassociation.com, which use affiliate partners. Google AdSense ads are very prominent and abundant on the former site.
On every page of both Web sites is a small display ad for OneSimCard, a business that sells products for international phones. Click on it and see all of the company’s products. One site’s sidebar has links to informational pages about passports, visas and travel concierge. These informational pages turn a profit for me when people click a link for a related service or product. In this case, the affiliate links point visitors to CIBT’s site, where they can apply for passports or visas. These very focused affiliate partnerships work well.
Additionally, there is a larger banner ad on both of my Web sites. I have a partnership with Global Rescue, a company that offers evacuation services for foreign travelers. This is a common service for anglers traveling to foreign destinations. Click on the display ads on both sites and you will go to a specific coded and designed “landing page” that tracks visits, which translates into more money for me.
I also have affiliate relationships that include pop-up ads, travel brochures on a specific landing page and Google Search. However, keep in mind that what works on one site may not work on another. Regardless, to be successful, you need to have good traffic, a focused site and very appropriate affiliate partners that pay decent commissions.
As long as you have qualifying visitor traffic, it is easy to be accepted into affiliate programs and set up links on your site to specific landing pages on an affiliate’s site. It is smart to monitor the activity and make sure you get your checks when the amount generated is sufficient for issuance per their rules. Some affiliates e-mail you with each sign-up and commission payment.
You won’t get rich unless you have a huge, top-rated site, but the commission from affiliate partnerships may help you make it through tough economic times. ◊
Larry Larsen, author of 21 books and over 2,000 magazine articles, has been publishing his two Web sites for more than 10 years. His www.peacockbassassociation.com includes a forum, articles, eZine and a traveling planning directory of agents, outfitters and resort operations. His www.larsenoutdoors.com offers a quarterly adventure travel eZine, book store and info on his writing, photography and consulting work.