Author Avatar Business Income

by Webnme on Sep 4th 2011

Web Site Planning Tips - Business Income

Income – Web Site Advertising  

Even if you are only operating a personal web site, there is the potential to make some money from advertising.  “Potential” is the key word.  Small sites with limited audiences may not make much money from ads while sites with large followings may produce considerable revenue.

While actual rates may vary depending on your ad strategy and service, it takes about a thousand ad views to generate a dollar of revenue.  If your site has or gains a large following, this can worth considering as part of your business plan.

There are several ad services available with many different options that you can use on your site.  Probably the best known ad services are:

  • AdSense (Banners, text, search) (Relevant to your content) (Generally pay per ad click)

Adsense ads generate revenue each time an ad is clicked.  (Be careful not to click on your own ad – that is grounds for disqualification from the program.)  Adsense reports detailed information on which ad unit generated revenue and provides you with daily and monthly totals.

  • Amazon (Banners, text, words in your text) (You can pick many options) (Pay per purchase from visit after using your link)

Amazon ads generate revenue only when a purchase is made on Amazon.  A cookie is  set when a visitor clicks through your ad, so you may sell things other than what you advertised directly.  Amazon also provides detailed reporting.  Care should be taken with Amazon Ads to pick items that are relevant to the site.  Generally linked product pictures are better than text.

  • Other Popular Ad Services
    • BuySellAds
    • BlogAds
    • Federated Media

Income – Affiliate Programs

In addition to ad services there are countless affiliate programs available which support advertising on web sites.   Generally, these ads require a visitor to buy a product in order to generate revenue for you.

Income – Direct Donations

PayPal and several other services offer widgets for use on websites that offer visitors the opportunity to make a direct donation to you to support your website.  These are particularly effective on charitable and cause/advocacy type websites.

Income – Direct Sales, Secondary Sales, & Licenses

Determine whether or not you plan to sell anything from your web site.  If you do, there are many ways to sell a product.  Most sites use one of these approaches.

Direct Sales

If you plan to sell a product directly from your web site, you will want to consider:

  • Shopping cart software or capability via a 3rd party application or service
  • Secure HTTPS transactions
  • Privacy statement that specifies how information provided may be used, including whether you plan to sell or share customer lists or data
  • How you are going to protect any collected data from inappropriate disclosure
  • Whether or not you will need to contract for a fulfillment agent or do it yourself

 Secondary Sales

While less profitable than direct sales, sales through a third party have far few headaches when you are getting started.   Many web site owners use the services of:

  • for books and other items
  • Café Press for novelty items
  • 3DRose for novelty items


If you are going to feature creative work like sketches, graphics, and writing, you may want to think about selling rights to re-use the creative work from you site.   If so, you should consider:

  • Licensing fees
  • License agreements
  • Watermarks and other marks to identify your work prior to sale
  • Secure HTTPS transactions
  • Privacy
  • Security of collected information
  • Non-disclosure agreements, if appropriate
  • Exclusive use agreements, if appropriate

About Webnme

The developer's first experience with computers was with Fortran IV. Wow that's ancient. After graduate school, he taught history for a number of years at a community college before attending law school and becoming an attorney. In 1997 he changed careers to become a web developer/designer with an interest in all things web related. He currently maintains several dozen websites including a family of websites for a non-profit corporation that gets over five million page views monthly. This is his developer website. The opinions expressed are his own.

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