While many of us like to pretend like we don’t care about earning a little something online as we share our knowledge, we are then soon reminded that if we really felt this way we’d be working for the Huffington Post. Those of us living in the “real world” with a limited number of waking hours in the day are looking to gain every edge we can to build up our financial reserves. And for many people, this means earning money by learning how to monetize our Web site(s).

In this post, I will share sources I have used personally. That means I’ve actually received multiple payments from them at once time or another. Also understand though that most Web sites and blogs are not very good at monetization concepts. But I will address this later on in the article. Let’s get started, shall we?

AdSense: Without question, this is the first stop where many bloggers set their sites and think they’ll just slap some posts up and make a killing. Let me be the first to say good luck with that. I have used AdSense off and on since around 2004. Basically without giving away my own techniques completely, let me say this. There is plenty of money to be made in non-tech related content. A great exception to this, however, would be many of the anti-malware Web sites or with very niche oriented technology sites. The final exception are the large portal Web sites with lots of content. Despite the lower click through rate, it all works out due to raw numbers.

Now the niche based smaller sites work well because people are arriving there with the intention of finding a solution to their problem. When they arrive, they are surrounded with ads with “solutions” to the very same problem. That’s the big “secret” with earning quickly with AdSense. Drive targeted traffic to a Web site catering to a product/service based solution. Whether this be travel/finance or malware removal, that is completely up to you.  Just write well, share content on what you know and provide decent content to read. And for the record, no, it’s not easy… but it is possible to earn a solid part time income with a small Web site.

How To Monetize Your Website
Photo by www.CourtneyCarmody.com/

ClickBank: Despite not being active with them in over a year, I still receive a check  from them every few weeks. Nothing to drool over, but then again, I hardly tried either. Monetizing with ClickBank is a completely different animal. You’ll either be creating single page “niche sites” or perhaps using product placements within an existing blog/Web site.

As one might guess, the latter is much easier for the person just starting out. Why? Because you can buy the product, provide an honest review, and then provide an affiliate link in that article post. Helpful tip: unless you want Google to penalize you, make sure to add the “nofollow” tag to your affiliate link. I made this mistake once. It’s not something I care to repeat. The alternative to this is to cloak the address with JavaScript. This will work best when you are providing a Web site or blog that surrounds a particular subject. Also, linking back to this review in many other articles can help to drive sales. Starting out, just stay away from the get rich quick stuff on ClickBank, look for something you can actually write well about and give it a go.

Amazon: While the commissions blow big time when compared to selling eBooks from places like ClickBank, it’s often easier to get people to buy from this source. As with most affiliate sales, providing reviews of a product or even inserting topical Amazon products into an article about a related subject can do well. The biggest factor working against you though, is that you really have to create an environment whereas the person reading about the product is in a buying state of mind. Think about it. When I go to the store to buy milk, what are my chances of buying something else? If there are Oreos next to the milk with a deal where I’m getting a discount because I am buying milk, sold. If it’s a loaf of bread, perhaps the same thing. But the key is that it’s a related product and I was already there to make a purchase. That… is the key. State of mind.

Why you’re here

To conclude this, allow me to share the following tidbit of insight. If this is a social media find, you are here because you’re curious, bored or thought this sounded like an interesting topic. Some of you may have a passive interest in the topic at hand, but statistically, you’re just passing through and then onto the next article. For those who found this via Google, you’re looking for what the title promises. So in that instance… well you get the idea. Mastering this mindset will serve you very well, folks.

When driving traffic… remember why your site visitors are they reading what you’re writing in a given post or on a specific Web page. Will they be in a mindset that is going to be beneficial to your “end goal” based on the way you crafted your article? While many of you will claim this is obvious, most of you will still fail to implement it in your own efforts to monetize your own websites. It sounds mean, but it’s a fact nonetheless. You cannot simply blog or create a static Web site and expect people to visit and start doing everything you’ve ever envisioned to monetize your efforts. Remember the milk story above; that is the key to succeeding or failing. All the traffic in the world won’t mean beans otherwise.