Affiliate, Ads or Print On Demand Funding?
A website is a great way to get your cause or goal out there. Putting yourself out there makes your goal become public and will hopefully give you some encouragement. Finally nothing gives a project an edge like a following. Having a lot of interest in your project will really give you the traffic you need to succeed. Now it’s not free to run a decent website but you can pay for it with affiliate, advertisements or print on demand options.
Advertisements are probably the first thing you think of when you hear income from a website. The ultimate rule for ads is to never use pop ups. They might pay well but nothing quite annoys most, me included, when you have to close out of a pop up. Text and picture ads are both viable when placed correctly.
Google Adsense was the first big advertiser option and will always have a presence. Adsense ads aren’t too annoying but will only make money on high volume websites with certain niches. I’d stay away from Adsense unless your project is in a really unique niche. Another annoyance to regular ads is that you only have so much control on what ads are shown. Do you really want to advertise someone with a similar project to you?
Affiliate marketing is the king of advertising. Anyone you convert to a sale through affiliate marketing will make significantly more than ads. Affiliates typically place a cookie on your visitors browser that gives you a commission on said site for x amount of time. Almost every industry has some form affiliate if you look for it. Just look at your favorite homebrew supply site an affiliate program. Many hosting websites also offer a commission so feel free to promote a good host. Pay attention your affiliates and ads as some don’t like you to mix advertising.
Amazon Associates is a great all around affiliate as you get a percentage for almost anything your visitors buy. It has varying percentages for each category and pays more when you get more sales. Associates offers a wide variety of ad types from text, picture and new native ads. Amazon also offers occasional bonuses for Prime or Amazon Fresh subscriptions. Amazon has a 24 hour cookie from what I’m told. Finally don’t forget your extra disclosure!
Affiliates exist in almost every niche. Just do a quick search of almost any niche on google and you can find an affiliate to make extra money. Bakers have kitchen gadgets and cars have parts and so on… You can even find programs and subscriptions for commission. Always use affiliates that you trust and would actually use!
Some important notes for affiliate marketing. The FCC requires that you clearly identify that you are an affiliate somewhere near your affiliate links. Amazon affiliates goes one step further by requiring you to put in an extra disclosure. Affiliate cookies are timed so make sure you find one that converts within that time. Make sure you trust the affiliate you are using as your viewers will blame you directly if something goes wrong. Remember to not discuss your incomes from affiliates as many programs will ban you.
Arts and crafts are an alternate if you don’t like advertising. Problem is you have to actually be a decent artist and I can barely draw a stick figure. Teeshirts are a great way to both get your brand out and make money. Teespring, Merch by Amazon and Cafepress are just a few to name. I’ve only slightly tried Amazon but have seen many make money with these. So if you have a knack for art then throw out some designs and get them sold for free! Most Tshirt print sites are print on demand just requiring your time for making designs. Many of these print on demands also offer different items to print on from mugs to mouse pads so go hog wild. It’s hard to complain when a branded shop costs nothing to set up!
As you can see there are tons of methods to pay for your website. Advertising isn’t everyone’s favorite thing but I encourage you to have something there as long as it doesn’t take away from your site. Seriously don’t wait for the traffic to flow before turning on an income stream. People won’t complain about a few reasonably placed ads or a shop. You’ll be able to tell from the beginning if your marketing effects your viewership.