Find Advertisers for Your Web Site the Easy Way
by Allan Gardyne
When webmasters try to find advertisers who are willing to pay to advertise on their site they are often bitterly disappointed.
They find out that advertisers like talking to webmasters whose sites attract at least 10,000 visitors a month - or a lot more - and often expect detailed demographics on those visitors.
Even if you can meet those tough demands, the amount of money advertisers are willing to pay you can also be extremely disappointing.
You could hire advertising agencies to find advertisers for you, but don't expect them to show a lot of interest if you're still in the "need to attract more visitors" category.
If you're in this situation, take heart. You don't have to waste valuable time trying to find advertisers. There are other ways of earning revenue - suitable for web sites large and small.
One option is to use a service such as ClickTrade . You can go to the site, sign up, and choose from various advertisers willing to pay you on a pay-per-click basis. It's a good service, but one disadvantage is that you need to monitor the deals closely because the advertiser can agree to pay you, for example, 20 cents per click-through but then lower the payout rate to 5 cents or even less the day after you sign up.
Another option is to join associate or affiliate programs - the sort of thing made popular by Amazon.com and its 60,000 associates and now used by hundreds of companies to sell everything from candy to watches to sportswear. In these programs the webmaster gets paid by results - when a sale takes place as result of a someone clicking on a banner ad or a link.
Well organised companies make joining associate/affiliate programs extremely easy. You usually sign up - after reading the contract carefully - and simply paste a bit of HTML code into your web page. In some cases, you even receive a free web site. Joining a program is usually free.
For an example of how they can work, have a look at the main page at LinkExchange and you may notice a small link to the Internet News Bureau . That's not a mere advertisement. If you owned the LinkExchange site and someone clicked on that referring link and signed up to publicize a web site using the bureau, you would earn 10% of the fee paid.
I've placed a similar link on my site, the Associate Programs Directory , because I've tried the Internet News Bureau and found it gave my site a nice burst of publicity.
Another of my favorites is the book Insider Internet Marketing , an excellent introduction to marketing on the Internet, which pays a generous commission of $US10 per book sold.
When choosing an associate program from the hundreds available, remember that your visitors probably came to your site for a reason. About 98% or 99% of them are unlikely to be distracted and click on a banner ad - unless that banner ad is selling a service or product they want.
If you choose a product that is right for your site, you will raise the click-through rate - and your commissions.
Got a sports site? You could advertise the Magazine Mall , which sells subscriptions (at huge discounts) to sports magazines - along more than 750 other popular magazines including Elle, Rolling Stone and ZD Internet.
Selling real estate? You could find books and magazines on home decorating to advertise.
Got a children's site? There are even associate programs for candy and comics.
Aiming at teenagers? Try CDs from CDnow or CD Universe, or perhaps careers at USjob.network.
Want to go upmarket a little? You can find advertisers of wine and restaurants
If your target market is web marketers, you can choose from companies offering web hosting, URL promotion, a large range of range of marketing and promotion services, software and all sorts of other Internet services.
If you have a low-traffic site, don't expect brilliant results from associate programs. Whatever you do, don't merely plonk ten advertising banners on one page. Why would anyone want to visit - or revisit - a page like that?
As well an choosing appropriate programs you can increase your click-through rate - and commissions - By writing an article about the product or service. You can even create a whole web site designed to attract people interested in that product.
For example, a site containing hints on how to make your own Christmas gifts could sell books on the same subject. A site on Mother's Day could sell a huge range of gifts for mothers.
You can also increase the click-through rate by sandwiching a paragraph describing a product between two similar banner ads.
Corey Rudl, who really ought to be embarrassed by the huge sales he has achieved marketing on the Internet - but seems proud of them - says you can increase sales of his Internet marketing course by 400% by writing a personal recommendation for it. Some companies encourage you to do that but some won't even allow you to write a few words beside their banner ad. Read the contract carefully.
If you have managed to find advertisers, you're probably like most webmasters and don't have enough of them. Associate programs can be a convenient way of filling the unsold gaps.
Not convinced yet?
Here's another reason why associate programs are great. Because many of the associate programs allow you to use links instead of banner ads, you can have faster loading pages. Many affiliate programs also give you the option of using traditional banner ads, as well as commission-earning, fast-loading links, such as this one:

That link is to my favourite associate program - favourite because you don't have to persuade people to buy anything. All they have to do is ask for a free sample of a Web Card, a postcard with a picture of your site on it.
A bonus is that Web Cards allows you to use your special URL in newsletters, mailing lists, newsgroups (no spamming!) and even in articles like this one! Click on the link, ask for a free sample of an excellent, very useful product, and I'll earn $1. It's as simple as that.
Collect a few good money-earning links like that one, and you should be able to raise the income from your web site very nicely.
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Allan Gardyne is a part-time journalist and full-time owner of the Associate Programs Directory which lists over 1,500 associate programs which enable webmasters to earn commissions by referring people to other sites. Allan lives in a pole house in a tiny fishing village in sub-tropical Queensland, Australia.

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