I’ve noticed from reading other blogs, readers seem to enjoy learning how other sites make money.
So I’ve developed a “Top 7″ list of my top income generators based on nothing more than monthly income earned.
Note: This list is from all my sites combined.
This program is a great example of why you should look for affiliate or reseller programs in your niche that pay residual commissions.
If my site got wiped out today, I would still be able to live off the residual income I’ve generated since joining this program in 2002.
If you have a site that targets future Webmasters/Bloggers, reselling domains and web hosting is a great way to build a long-term income that continues to grow and grow.
This is also a great idea if you know people in your personal life who need websites. You can just send them to your reseller store and earn commissions on their hosting and domain fees.
As a reseller, you receive your own customizable website that allows you to set your prices and determine your profit. The parent company handles all the customer and technical support, so all you do is promote your own reseller store.
It would be hard for any other affiliate program to bump this from the #1 spot because of the residual income.
I’ve been receiving checks from SiteSell’s affiliate program since 1999, but nothing like the ones I started getting when I bought Site Build It! and displayed my own success story.
This was my biggest lesson in the importance of knowing and actually using products you refer from your site.
SiteSell’s affiliate program pays a generous $75 per Site Build It! sale, plus residuals on all yearly renewals. I really wish more affiliate programs would put the same amount of time and energy SiteSell does into helping affiliates.
I’ve never known another company to offer so many tools to help their affiliates make sales. From videos with your affiliate links embedded in them to over 60 audience-relevant landing pages, this program has it all.
3. Affiliate Networks (CJ.com, ShareASale.com, etc.)
I promote a variety of products that I find on some of the larger affiliate networks. From web software, web hosting, HTML editors, to anything I can find that’s useful and related to my audience.
Belonging to an affiliate network has its advantages…
1) If you’re looking for a specific product to promote, you can do a search to see if there are any relevant affiliate programs that offer the product.
2) You can join multiple programs with a few mouse clicks.
3) All of your earnings are tracked in one place, so you have one-stop reporting instead of multiple affiliate account logins.
The downside is that many companies who run their affiliate programs through large networks tend to have sub-par customer support.
There have been many occasions where I’ve sent an email to a company I’m affiliated with through CJ and never received a response. Companies that run their own in-house affiliate programs seem to have better customer support over all.
Nevertheless, large affiliate networks are definitely worth exploring, particularly if you’re looking for a specific product to promote on your site or blog.
I hate using the term “easy money”, but if you have enough traffic, AdSense has got to be one of the easiest ways to generate an income from your site or blog.
AdSense performs much better on my sites not targeted to Webmasters and Bloggers – which is a big reason why you don’t see many AdSense units on this blog.
Bloggers and Webmasters tend to be immune to Google ads so they ignore them. However on my fitness site, my click-thru ratio is a bit higher.
Even though my main site, 2CreateAWebSite.com targets Webmasters/Bloggers, it does OK with AdSense because it gets enough traffic to make displaying the ads worthwhile.
Watch a video about my record Google AdSense Earnings…
5. Sales of My Own Products
When setting out to make money online, your ultimate goal should be to sell your own product. Today I have three digital products I sell:
1) Easy Starter (CSS) Templates – customizable templates for static HTML websites
2) WP Starter Guide – WordPress tutorial for beginners
3) Niche Website Success – a very detailed, practical guide to making money with a content niche website
With ClickBank, you really have to feel it out and see what works for you. Even though it’s on my Top 7 list, I must admit there is a lot of garbage on ClickBank.
Many of the eBooks you can sell are a bunch of recycled facts you can find anywhere on the Web.
They are usually promoted by an over-hyped landing page with a loud sales pitch that promises you to either get rich quick, lose weight tomorrow, or get out of debt in seconds.
However, if you really comb through the ClickBank marketplace, you can find some winners. I was able to find a few good e-books to promote that convert very well on my sites.
The great thing about ClickBank is that the commissions are extremely high since product development and delivery costs are low. You could earn up to $75 on certain products in their marketplace.
Here’s a video where I show my Clickbank earnings and how I promote it.
7. Ad Sales
I sell ads on my static website, 2 Create a Website. I use Ad Peeps to manage the ads. I used to sell ads here but I wasn’t happy with the click-through rates (traffic is much lower here than on my static site), so I discontinued ad sales here.
I used to use AdBrite, but there was a glitch with their system and my ads stopped displaying properly. It was good to get rid of them anyway because now I don’t have to share my revenue with anyone except PayPal. (They take a very small percentage.)
These aren’t the only programs I earn money from, but these are the highest paying by far. The rest of my income comes from a collection of other affiliate programs.
This post was not created to encourage you to join all these programs. Quite frankly, if your site does not target the same people and does not have the same kind of traffic, your income will be drastically less than mine.
But hopefully this shows you what is possible if you build a website that allows you to become the “expert” in your niche, and you recommend quality products that you use and are relevant to your audience. You can apply this strategy to any niche.
If you’d like to learn more about how to make money with affiliate programs, AdSense and more, check out my book Niche Website Success.