We all need money, it’s what makes the world go round. So recently I’ve been reading the book ‘Get Out While You Can – Escape The Rat Race‘. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make money quickly and easily. It basically explains how you can share your knowledge on the internet and make a secondary income from this. Seeing as I talk a lot I figured I’d give it a go.
I’ve been quite happily sharing what I know anyway free on the internet I’m a big contributor over at stackoverflow but earning extra money means I can buy that new laptop to surf the web more to help you guys out more!
The basics are, put advertisements on your page, people click on them, the websites that you link to pay you money, done! When you get into it, there is a bit more involvement than that. You have to sign up to many programs, figure out what the best advertisement it would be and where the best placement is.
I was already writing my blog and I didn’t want to ruin my users experience by throwing massive flashing banners all over it, right in your face. So I’ve tried to tone it down, just a gentle nudge.
My first affiliate program was Amazon Associates (UK) and quickly followed by Amazon Associates (US), they make it real easy to sign up and once you have done there is a walk through guide of how to use amazon as an affiliate (although they call it an associate just to be special). You can give text links / image links or a mix of both and the cool thing I think is you can ‘deep link’ to any product. That means you can send your users (er you) straight to a product page. I’ve got some examples at the bottom if you want to take a look.
The differences with the UK and US associates program (for a UK developer) is the US program will only pay you out in vouchers or by cheque ( cheque minimum value $100 ). Where as the UK program goes direct into your bank account. I doubt I’ll ever reach $100 dollars and that’s probably what amazon think as well but I’ve opted for cheque anyway. I do want to look at figuring out if you (my user) is from the UK or US then I can send you to a product in your country instead of a hefty postage and packaging price, but that’s the future.
The second way I monetize is with Google AdSense. Adsense pays when someone clicks on the advertisements where as Amazon pay when someone purchases after clicking on your advertisements. So for Adsense you get paid less more often .. is the idea. Google does it’s own thing in figuring what adverts to show you, it can be based on what you’ve been surfing on during the day or what the content of the current page is. Most the time when I see them I think Google has got it wrong (maybe I’m cleverererer than them are).
Finally I’ll be using Affiliate Window at some point. AW is where all the smaller business list there affiliate programs, once you’ve signed up there are 100′s of businesses to choose from. So at some point I’ll be joining some book sellers affiliate programs to show relevant Android development books on my blog. I’ll probably recommend some that I’ve read in the past as well. This is the same as with Amazon you don’t get paid when someone clicks the link, you get paid if they continue on and make a purchase. Affiliate Window also let’s you create deeplinks and a gallery widget that I haven’t grappled with yet.
So yeah that is how I monetize my blog. I might update this page in a couple of months, give some statistics on how many click throughs etc I get. I hope this helps and gives you some information on how and why monetization happens. Follow any of the links I’ve posted for more information good luck! Below are some examples of the types of advertisements I’ve talked about.
This is an Amazon ‘Gallery’ widget, you can add multiple items, below I picked 5 books to match this blog:
Here’s AdSense in action showing you what it thinks are related links (728 x 15)
and here’s an adsense banner (468 x 60), go on click it just this once
Lastly is an AffiliateWindow selected merchant, Foyles books:
I’m pending approval for Foyles Books, one of the caveats of applying for affiliate programs.