These are the services that I use to monetize my sites. Each has it’s own benefits and I encourage you to try the ones that interest you (and those that don’t) and find the ones that fit your site. It’s important to remember that not every site is the same, so what works on one site may not necessarily work on another site. Experimentation is key to finding the right fit for each site.
Text Link Ads
You can try and sell your own text link ads if you want, but you’ll find it hard to do. I suggest you give the folks at Text-Link-Ads a try. They do take 50% of the monthly fee, but they have an immense advertiser base that usually is good for several months worth of links. After a bit of a dustup with Google, TLA isn’t performing nearly as well and has dropped several spots in my list. Still worthwhile, just not the best at the moment.
You can try and sell your own banner ads if you want, but you’ll find it hard to do. If you want to try and sell your ads through an established marketplace, give Performancing Ads a try. They only take a 20% cut of the price and allow for nofollow ads. Only downside at the moment is that they only allow 125×125 ads. They also make it super easy to make money as an affiliate!
There isn’t an easier to use revenue stream. The setup is mostly point and click. The revenue is not exactly going to replace your salary, but it should trickle in. One of the downsides of the service is the $100 payout requirement. You don’t get a check until you’ve made over $100 with them. For those of you with low traffic sites, it could be a while before you get a check. I think it was well over 6 months before I got my first check. However, I do get a check nearly every month now.
Review me is one of those services that can be really hit and miss. When it’s hitting, the payouts are really quite good. Again, it’s a 50% payout with only a $25 minimum payout. I have made some good money with this service, but it can be spotty. You’ll make money one month, then have one or two months without making any. It’s a great service and I like it a lot, just don’t count on it being a steady income stream until your review services become in demand.
You can become a paid reviewer at Review ME!
Auction Ads is a great ad network that acts as a conglomerated eBay affiliate. The ads they offer look similar to the adsense ads you’ve probably seen around. They even throw in a picture. If you have a product niche blog or gadget blog, these could end up being better than adsense ads very quickly. At the moment, they pay out 100% of the earnings with plans to start taking something between 10% and 50% sometime in the future.
If you blog about products, you should try Auction Ads!
Of all the affiliate links I’ve used that are of the more traditional affiliate types, Amazon has been my most successful. Don’t take that out of context though. My all-time earnings with Amazon don’t even compare with my earnings from someplace like TLA in one month. At some point, you’ll write about a book or an electronic item and chances are that Amazon has those items. Heck, they even have groceries! Payout rates start at 4% of the sale and increase as you sell more and more items each month.
You should be earning 4% of the items you sell for Amazon! (6.5% if you sell more than 30 items and 7.5% for 100 items or more)
Linkworth has attempted to become a one-stop shop for many of your revenue streams. They allow you to sell text links similar to TLA (but with less success in my experience) as well as let you have Pay Per Click (PPC) word links that are spread through out your posts. When I have sold links through the service, I’ve had great experiences. I just haven’t had the success with Linkworth that I have with TLA.
Give LinkWorth a try, you might have some Success!
Commission Junction (CJ)
Commission is a middleman service for many big name companies and runs their affiliate programs. Companies like GoDaddy, eBay, uBid, Wall Street Journal and Best Buy to just name a few. They make it really easy to get banners and text links that you can throw on your site. I’ve had some fair success with CJ, but it’s spotty like Review ME. Then again, affiliate revenue usually is if you don’t have a lot of traffic to push through and make sales.
If you want to do affiliate work, CJ is one of the foremost in the field!
Mike Arrington will string me up for recommending PPP, but he’s got to find me first. I’ve used PPP on my blogspot blog with mild success for several months now. The service isn’t that far off from Review ME, but the opportunities are more plentiful. The catch there is that they are also less profitable as the opportunities usually only pay about $10. Of course, if your blog is a high rank blog, you can make quite a bit more. I’ve seen some in the range of $150-$250. There is some question about the honesty in using a service like this, which is why I only have used it on my blogspot blog so far, but there is definitely some money to be made. Added: I’ve almost entirely stopped using PPP because it’s become to much work to find a decent paying opportunity for the blog that i was using. Higher ranking blogs might find it easier.
Wanna give it a try? Sign up for PPP.
Cash Crate is very similar to services like My Points where you get points or cash to sign up for free trials and other services. It’s not specifically a blog monetization source, but can be a good income earner if you participate in a lot of the programs. You can sign up at CashCrate.
If you’ve heard of Prosper, you know that it’s a P2P lending platform. Really a pretty cool site with some great ideas and lots of users. Not only that, but they have an excellent affiliate program. It was scheduled to end in September, but has been extended through the end of 2007 June 30 2008. If you get someone to sign up and the become a lender, you get $25. If they become a borrower, you get 0.5% of the loan. Either way, you win. I’ve had a fair amount of luck with this program and have reinvested all of my fees so far at an average of 22% with no defaults. Give Prosper a Try!