See also -
UK Affiliate sites
Listings of the best UK Affiliate schemes.
The aim of this article is to explain to webmasters of sports and hobby sites how they can make a modest income of roughly 10p to £10 per day from their sites.
If you run such a site, then perhaps you have wondered about placing some advertising on it, if only to help with costs.
Of course, nothing is guaranteed on the internet. This is not a "get rich quick" monologue. However, hopefully this article can help you earn some realistic income from your site, with no more than a few hours work, followed by a minimal amount of ongoing work.
What if I want to earn more?
What is more, even if you are only making, say, £3 a day from a site, the 'residual' nature of this income means that if you are interested in putting more time into your internet activities, then you can earn considerable amounts from starting up new pages, or new sites. Another way to increase your income is to spend time getting more visitors to your site.
First things First
But the most important thing to do first is to get to the stage where you are earning SOME money from ONE page or site. Then you will be able to see how to earn more if you want to. You will have a feel for how to make money, from which pages, from which advertisers and how long it takes to do this.
Double your visitors to a page and you will probably double the earnings. You can also take statistics and see the type of adverts that your readers will click. Add a similar page or site and the story is the same.
But the first task is to think small! If you try to earn a stash of money straight away you will almost certainly fail. However, if you are realistic, and get the pennies and 10 pences rolling in, then you will be in a good position Never forget the crucial difference between 'income' and 'residual income'. Lets say that you may put an hour or so into putting an advert up on site - don't forget that this will usually continue earning money for many months without much, if any, further work from you. In the long run this type of income is of far more value than being paid say £30 for your hour's work. 'Residual income' is like interest from money in the bank - except that you don't need any capital to create it. In addition, once you get some money rolling in (however small) then you can do the statistical calculations to see how to go on and make more.
How it works
The way that most websites make money through advertising is through 'affiliate marketing'. This involves putting a link on your site to an advertisers site. Mostly you will have probably noticed this as a 'banner advertisement' near the top of a web page. This is fine, however, we are going to suggest using mostly 'text links' as these are proven to be far more effective. 2 years ago you could put a few banners up and wait. But now people are suspicious of banner adverts.
Tracking the sale
Whether you use banners or text links, the general principle is the same. When a visitor clicks one of these links and goes to an advertisers website, your details are recorded. Then, depending on the advertiser you will get one or more of the following
1) 2p-10p immediately the visitor clicks the link on your site.
2) 5p-£1.50 for a 'lead'
3) A % or a fixed payment for any sale - usually 5-10%
The 'Small Valley volleyball club'
Lets look at how a small hypothetical Volleyball site can go about trying to make an average of 10p-£1 a day. (Of course the technique will be much the same for other sports and hobby sites. It will also be of some relevance to other types of sites.) The basic rule is keep it relevant to the readers!
The first step is to find advertisers that will advertise on your site. This is far easier than it might seem and is best done as follows. Most advertisers use specialist sites to offer their banners and text links to website owners.
Step 1 - Join an Affiliate Scheme Website
There are a number of these specialist sites but the best one to start with is Tradedoubler (Where it says "Become an affiliate" on the right hand side of the page, type your email address and click ok.) It has lots of choice, is free to join and has some very well known merchants which will give your site credibility such as WH Smith, Tesco, Debenhams etc. There are also some excellent reporting tools and plenty of useful help pages. They will also help you out if you email them. You can easily find more such sites at Google by typing something like "+uk affiliate schemes" but you should start off with Tradedoubler. The reason is that the other sites such as Affiliatewindow tend to deal more in Sales and Leads (See Tracking the Sale above). In the long run it is these Sales and Leads that will probably earn you most money. However, it takes a long while to get these rolling and if you only rely on these you will probably lose interest before you start to earn any money. Tradedoubler have a number or advertisers that will pay you everytime one of your surfers clicks a link. This will help to motivate you to keep going and will also provide valuable statistical information on trends.
Choose relevant advertisers
Tradedoubler have many advertisers to choose from. You will find full details of how to apply for each and how to set up the links. I would only add that you should in general use more text links than banner links and make links relevant to your site. That is not to say that you can't have any that are totally unconnected. Advertisng.com pay 10p per click and will run a number of different banner adverts. With Advertising.com you simply put up their code and the adverts automatically adjust themselves to the ones that are best suited to your page.
First Advertiser for our Volleyball site
But lets start with a sports shop. Tradedoubler have one called www.newitts.com They sell Sports equipment, toys and games superstore. In particular they sell all types of Volleyball Accessories.
All you need to do is to join Tradedoubler, then join the N4Sports program and put up a text link. Then you could do a detailed review of the site relevant to your surfers. Other sites you could put on are lycos search, this is a search box for Lycos that your surfers will be able to use to search the net. And you will get 2p everytime they do so! So everyone is happy! Then there is abe books rare and used books ... and many other sites that are relevant. You will see them clearly laid out in sections on the Tradedouber site. And they have plenty of new ones joining all the time.
Make your first aim is to make your first 2p or 5p and don't be put off if you don't make a lot of money straight away. Keep going and keep providing your surfers with a service. Do detailed reviews of your advertisers and keep it relevant.Most probably you will have to wait some time to make much more than pennies per day. This is quite normal. Don't be put off. Be inspired by small amounts, get excited by every 5p you earn. Remember, it is residual money which will continue to roll in over the weeks and months ahead.
Don't ever be tempted to click the pay per click links yourself to make money! The affiliate software is very sophisticated and it will soon be detected if there is cheating of any kind. What is acceptable of course is for you to click the pay per sale links. Most sales give 5-10% discount and so you will be getting this on any things you buy from say N4Sports (5%) or other sites.
You can also ask your club members to use your site adverts when they are making purchases on the net. They will probably be only too pleased to help with the running costs of the site. You could even offer them some of the discount in return.
Over time it will build. Sales should eventually earn you more than clicks but this takes months to build.
You must remember that it is not like normal pay. Say you spend half an hour putting a link to a sports shop. You may wait 10 months for a sale but you have still only put 30 mins work in. Even if you are only earning 10p a day then keep going. Imagine your computer as a fruit machine ... every day it spills out 10p!
Increasing the money
Once you have built up some ongoing income and you can see exactly what you had to do to do it. You can easily add pages and links to replicate that success. Plus remember, if you build hits you will also inevitably increase your earnings. A good way to do this it to update your pages frequently which will keep people returning to the site. Don't forget that Tradedoubler have email advice available.
Keep in Touch
Keep in touch with us at Easytorecall. We are happy to run features on any Sports and Hobby websites. We would be happy to interview you about your site and run a feature at Easytorecall. Of course, we will also give you a free and review for you site. A link with us can give you good targetted traffic since we have a lot of Sports and Hobby readers to our articles and reviews.
Good luck with your affiliate marketing!
• UK Affiliate Schemes - Listings and Reviews - Includes another article on affiliate marketing Dodging the pyramids by Graham Brown.