Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur, a small business owner, or the CEO of a large business, your website is a massive opportunity to diversify your revenues and build consistent income streams in addition to how you make your primary income, whether that be sales of products, services, consultancy, or something else.
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There are several ways you can increase revenue streams from your website.
- If your site is high quality, you’ll find that people contact you and offer to pay you for guest posting opportunities, although many sites don’t like to take up this option as it can be obvious that content is promotional.
- You can directly approach companies with traffic data for your website and attempt to sell advertising space directly.
- You can use a service such as Google Adsense or Yahoo Contextual Ads, which tends to be the most popular option.
Why are These Choices Popular?
These services are the most hassle-free way to monetize a website further. Whichever partner you choose, you simply implement the ads on your site, and they automatically show browsers ads that are relevant to them, based on their search and browsing history, in addition to the content present on your website. This is clearly a big advantage in terms of your own money making potential, as relevant ads are far likelier to be clicked on.
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In contrast, selling the space yourself can be difficult. Yes, you might achieve 2,000 hits every month, but how can you show a potential advertising partner that a healthy percentage of them are likely to head to their site, and justify charging them whatever fee you offer your space at?
The benefits of using Google Adsense or Yahoo Contextual Ads are clear; which one should you choose?
Using Google Adsense
You’ll probably be instantly attracted to Google given their name and market power (although, in fairness, Yahoo! has a huge name, too) and their presence on a large number of sites. Google offers the largest number of ad choices for users, and because other businesses want to feature in Adsense, if your site can offer good traffic there is potential for some very lucrative ads to appear on your site that will add healthy growth to your bottom line.
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Adsense is also well known for its variety of static text or image, animated, full video, or sound based adverts, meaning you can choose the ads that best reflect your own brand and will be acceptable and welcomed by regular browsers.
Using Yahoo Contextual Ads
Yahoo! sell their services on the basis that searchers buy more from their ads than they do from Google, which makes more money both for the affiliate advertiser as well as the advertising business.
Yahoo! and Bing also work in partnership with the likes of Facebook, Amazon, and Monster, among others, so you will perhaps have earlier opportunities to feature real ‘blue chip’ names on your website. Yahoo Contextual Ads also has a useful autopilot mode, and the mobile ads are cleaner and better looking than those from Google.
Which One to Use?
Earlier this year, Google and Yahoo! actually did a deal to work together with many ads, so the services are closer than they have ever been before.
In terms of your own choice, it is probably worth trying both for a period of time to discover which service can bring you ads that are most relevant to your site. Remember that you’ll be more successful by targeting these ads, rather than by going for the ones that you believe might drive the largest overall volume; consider how many clicks these ads likely will receive from your browsers.
Don’t think that an ad partner is going to grow your website revenues overnight. In time, however, you will have the opportunity to attract the best ads to your site, and see your income grow steadily as a result.
Robert McKinley is a technology consultant who works with small businesses to discover the most profitable solutions for the websites, including VPS hosting options, ad partners, and other digital marketing streams.