This guide has been written for anyone who either wants to get into making money online through owning their own websites, or for those who already have a website with traffic and are wanting to learn how to best monetize their traffic.

The key theme in this guide is monetising based on traffic your website receives. There are many ways to monetize websites such as offer Software as a Service (SaaS) or starting a membership website I which your members pay monthly in order to access and read your content. This guide deals with selling advertising to create an income from your visitors eyes. Your visitors are the product you sell!

Whats included?

Included in this guide is everything you will need to turn your web traffic  into an income producing website. This guide outlines all you need to know, and the accompanying files provide templates for sales tracking, contracts, and sales letters.

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Why I wrote this Guide

Too often I see owners of small to medium websites leaving money on the table. I wrote this guide so the knowledge in the hands of big publishers who are making the big money is available to everyone. I personally have worked for multiple websites each bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in advertising income (a mix of display, AdSense, sponsorships, and directory listings) and can assure you many of the websites you visit daily will be making much more than this – unbeknown to their readers.


8 Types of Income for Bloggers

Display Advertising

Display advertising is what most people think of when they hear the words online advertising. It is the typical banners you see on nearly every website on the internet. Display banners come in a range of standard formats – such as 300 pixels wide by 250 pixels high – and can either be animated of static. Many websites have multiple display banners per page to multiply their earnings.

Blog Advertising Income

The website screenshot above shows two examples of display advertising – the Rip Curl Pro banner at the top of the page, and the same advertiser on the right side of the page.

Display advertising is what you might know as Banner Ads. They are the standard, run of the mill, boring adverts you see on most websites.

This is how display advertising makes you money:

  • Option 1: The website owner will receive a small amount (typically 25cents to $1) every time the banner is clicked. If the banner isn’t clicked, you make no money despite how many times it is viewed.
  • Option 2: The website owner will receive a set amount of income for every 1000 times the banner is viewed on their website. This is called the CPM. So if an advertiser is offering an $8 CPM – they are offering you $8 every 1000 times their banner is viewed on your website.

There is sometimes a third option as well, known as CPA.

  • Option 3: CPA stands for Cost per Acquisition. It means that if someone clicks your banner, then goes to the advertisers website, and makes a purchase, you will get a set amount of money such as $5.

So now that we have covered the multiple ways to get paid from banner ads, I need to explain the different types of banner ads, and when they are appropriate.

The role of Media and Advertising Agencies

When a big advertising, such as Coca Cola, decide they have $500,000 to spend on an online display campaign, there is multiple ways they can allocate that budget,

Typically what they will do is give it to their media agency who will plan what websites to spend it with. They might either call up 5 of the leading websites which match their target audience and offer them $100,000 for an advertising campaign on their website, or they can give the $500,000 to a company such as Google who will then display the advert on tens of thousands of websites simultaneously around the globe until the Budget has been depleted.

This example shows that it is much more lucrative to make direct contact with advertisers and media agencies to try to get allocated some of the advertisers advertising budget before it is spent through channels such as Googles display network.

Google AdSense Blog Make MoneyNot every website owner has time to track down advertisers directly, and for this reason services such as Google AdSense were created. To get a banner on your website you have two options. The first is calling up potential advertisers and selling them advertising.

Obviously this can be time consuming, ego destroying, and a full time job depending on how much traffic you have available to sell. The second, and easier option, is to sign up with a service like Google Adsense, who will display banners on your website and give you a portion of the money they make. These two distinct types of display advertising are covered later below.

Summary of Display

  • Display advertising is generally either CPM or CPC
    • CPM – You get paid per 1000 banner views
    • CPC – You get paid every time the banner is clicked
  • You can get banner ads placed on your website by any of the following”
    • Calling/Emailing a potential advertiser directly
    • Getting in front of media/advertising agencies and hoping they choose to place ads on your website on behalf of their clients
    • Using a third partner provider such as Google to display ads on your website


Affiliate Links

Affiliate links are used when you promote someone else’s product or service, and in return you get a percentage of the sale. If you own a website about travelling to Australia, you could have an affiliate link to Hertz Australia on your website. Any time one of your visitors clicks that link and decides to rent a car from Hertz, you will get a percentage of their booking value – which could be a few dollars to a few hundred dollars.



Directories on the internet have been around since close to day one. There are literally tens of thousands of directories on the internet covering every single niche you can image. The most common way to monetize a directory is simply a monthly or annual fee to be listed. Some directories go an alternate route which is to provide free listings, but charge for featured listings which may appear more prominently amongst their competition.

Blog Advertising Income

Most of us are familiar with directories, most countries, cities, and industries have their own directory. However your standard blog can also have a directory as a source of income. Look in the bottom left of above – you will see a ‘Hot Links’ heading, which underneath says “List Your Business Today”. This little area of the website, which most people wouldn’t even be interested in, can turn a good amount of annual revenue.

We outlined how directories can make you money previously. I’ll now explain in greater depth how you can set up your own directory and what the best way to contact advertisers is.

Directories can either be a subsection of a larger website or community, or the directory can be an entire site in itself.

Selling Directory Listings

The way I generally go about contacting potential advertisers depends on how many people there are in the industry to contact. If there are less than 200 I will call or email them individually – one by one. Sometimes the sale will require a mixture of both email and calling to ensure you make contact with every single potential advertiser. Below is a sample of an email I often use:

Hi there,

I am writing from which as you might know is a leading website  on the topic of trout fishing in New Zealand

We have just started a new Accommodation directory which showcases potential accommodation for trout fisherman closet to New Zealand’s key fishing locations.

Our website gets over 10,000 visitors a month, and exciting advertisers have been very happy with the exposure we have given them.

I was wondering if you would like me to add your accommodation to our directory? The cost is $129 per annum, and I can get it up and running tonight – just in time for the fishing season when our traffic booms!

Let me know if you have any questions. We can sort out payment next week – at the moment I am just working hard to get the listings loaded up as our visitors are looking!


First Name, Last Name



This was a favourite of mine that not many sites seem to use these days. It’s leaving money on the table if you don’t try to sell naming or branding rights to features on your website. To give you an example of how lucrative this can be, I once consulted to a surfing related website (not the website I am using in screenshots), which gave forecasts on the upcoming week’s weather and swell details. Originally this section was simply named Surf Forecast but after a bit a negotiating with the sponsor of the local surf tour it became known as BRAND NAME Surf reports. This 1 deal earned the website owner approximately $25,000 per year, for 3 years. Admittedly the sponsor also got free banner advertising, logo placement, and sponsorship rights to the weekly newsletter – but that was very little work to get those set up. The website below has a similar arrangement. You can clearly see Subaru are the key sponsor on all of this websites surf reports pages. Go check out other sports websites and there will often be a sponsor of key sections. THIS is what brings in large amounts of easy revenue!

Blog Advertising Income


Social Media Posts

Social Media SponsorshipsIf you have social media profiles with a decent size following advertisers will be willing to pay for you to post to your fans. Generally you will need 10,000+ fans/followers for this to make good money, but you can always start with a price that suits the number of followers you have – no matter how small that might be.

Throwing in free social media posts is also a good way to get a larger display advertising deal signed off. Facebook/Twitter posts literally cost you nothing, so throwing in a line such as “We will offer 1 Facebook post per week for 3 months to our 8,000 fans” might just be the final straw that gets a $10,000 advertising deal signed off.



Start collected emails from your website and start sending a weekly newsletter to your subscribers. This can be a wrap up of what’s new in your industry, a summary of the new content on your website, or any other general information your subscribers might find interesting or useful. By creating a regular newsletter you are simply creating one more medium through which you can deliver advertising to make additional dollars from. You can sell naming rights to the newsletter, or sell multiple banners per newsletter depending on your design. Services such as Aweber or Mailchimp allow you to easily start a mailing list with very little technical knowledge.


Bringing it all together

While reading this book you have learnt that there are many ways to monetize your website. This chapter hopes to teach you how to maximize by showing how to being it all together to squeeze every last cent from your web traffic.

Below is a common oversight to those new to monetizing websites:

[st_quote author=””]My website gets 5000 visitors a week, and I have heard that the average CPM in my industry is $5 – therefore my site will only make $25 a week[/st_quote]

This sort of thinking is what puts many people of seriously attempting to monetize their websites. Let’s look at how we can add a few multipliers and layers of advertising to this website.

Scenario: 5000 weekly page views in the motocross niche

CPM: $5

Weekly Income: $25

Now lets add two more ads to the website, all CPM based.

Scenario: 5000 weekly page views in the motocross niche

CPM ad #1: $5

CPM ad #2: $4

CPM ad #3: $3

Weekly Income: $60

Adding two more ads more than doubled our income. It is still not enough to retire on! It’s time to reach out to a sponsor. Let’s assume your website has something like a Forum, Gallery, Video player, Directory or a special written weekly feature. You can reach out to people in the motocross industry and ask them to sponsor one of these sections. Don’t just think the leading bike brands, think the local tracks, energy drinks, apparel, riding gear, mechanics…..anybody related to the industry who might want long term exposure. It’s up to you to negotiate the value of this, but lets assume you get $1000 per year – approximately $20 per week.

Scenario: 5000 weekly page views in the motocross niche

CPM ad #1: $5

CPM ad #2: $4

CPM ad #3: $3

Sponsored media gallery: $20

Sponsored weekly article: $20

Weekly Income: $100

Directories on sites like this are also a good money earner. Add in a ‘Latest Gear’ or ‘Recommended Retailers’ section and email/call anyone who might be interested. Initially you might only get 20 listings per category, but over time you can get hundreds of listings. Lets assume a listing is $130

Scenario: 5000 weekly page views in the motocross niche

CPM ad #1: $5

CPM ad #2: $4

CPM ad #3: $3

Sponsored media gallery: $20

Sponsored weekly article: $20

Latest Gear Directory with 20 Listings: $50

Recommended Retailers Directory with 20 Listings: $50

Weekly Income: $200

I’ll leave this example here for now and not take it any further. It goes to show my point of having many different layers of income to absolutely squeeze your websites traffic for every cent you can. Most people will stop at the $25 weekly income the example site was initially making. However just by putting in a little more effort we multiplied the earning by EIGHT!

You might be thinking $200 is not much – which is true – but they amount of income you make is only limited by how much traffic you get and how much effort you are willing to put in. My first job selling advertising was for a snow sports related website. The website received very little visitors over summer, but as soon as the snow started falling, traffic shot to over 1 million page views a month and we were making over $50,000 a month as long as there was snow on the hills.