Using the Internet to Make Money

Whether you run a company, blog for a living, or just like to create videos and write articles in your spare time, there is an opportunity for you to make money online. In this post, we will discuss three ways in which you can monetize the content you publish on line through Google AdSense, YouTube and HubPages.

Google AdsenseFirst, we will discuss Google AdSense, one of the most common revenue generators for blogs and websites. AdSense is a free program that empowers online publishers to earn revenue by displaying relevant ads on a wide variety of online content, including: site search results, websites, and mobile web pages and apps. To use Google’s AdSense, all you need is a Gmail account, content to monetize and a valid postal address!

Usually you can drastically improve your click-through rate and overall earnings by positioning the ads wisely, by improving the content targeting or by optimizing the ad units directly.

When you are looking to increase your overall earnings an important factor is finding the best spots on your sites to place the ads. The first thing to consider is to what extent the AdSense units will complement your content with important links without annoying your readers. Although placing some ad units right on the top of your website will generate many clicks, it could hurt your traffic over time if readers stop visiting your site due to the advertising intrusiveness.

Solutions:

  • place the units separated from the main content
  • insert AdSense units at the end of single posts
  • use either the large rectangle (336×280) or the banner (468×60)
  • try adding a Skyscraper to your sidebar or a Leaderboard to the footer

People looking to maximize their AdSense earnings will find that ad units close to the header or blended with the content usually perform better. On single post pages you can add a large rectangle right below the post title, either above the content or floating next to it.

One of the most common complaints about Google AdSense is that the ads are not relevant to the website’s content. Non-targeted ads can drastically reduce your earnings since visitors of your site will not necessarily be interested in ads that are not closely connected to the topic that they were looking for in the first place. Fortunately, there is a very simple way to improve your AdSense targeting, and it is called section targeting. Read the tips on section targeting here.

If you are looking to optimize your AdSense units, here are some useful tips:

  • The three top performing ad units are: 336×280 large rectangle, 300×250 inline rectangle and 160×600 wide skyscraper. Consider using those units if possible, but bear in mind that other formats might be more suitable for your website design.
  • The most successful link color is blue.
  • Apart from blue links you can also use a link color that matches the pattern of your website (i.e. If you use green links make the AdSense links of the same color).
  • As a general rule of thumb, blend (no border, same background) your AdSense units if your website has a light color scheme and contrast (border, contrasting background) the units if you are using a dark color scheme
  • If the ads are placed within the content you should avoid using borders while ad units outside of the content can use borders to call attention.
  • If your website has mainly repeat visitors (like Forums) you can rotate the background color of the units to reduce ad blindness
  • Consider removing the “Advertise on this site” message from your units. This can be done on the control panel under the “My Account” section, disabling the “Onsite Advertiser Sign-Up” feature.
  • Test, test and test. Every website is unique so make sure you test with different colors and formats and track the results to fine tune your AdSense units.

YouTubeAnother way to earn revenue online is with sharing your videos. By now everyone has heard of YouTube, the site that allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small.

In short, you make money on YouTube by becoming a YouTube partner, which allows you to display ads on your videos, and then you earn a percentage of the revenues generated by clicks on those ads, much like with AdSense. As for how much money you can actually make, we’ve heard numbers anywhere from $3 up to $10 per 1,000 video views.

YouTube partners are able to upload videos of any length and can monetize those videos by having ads served on them or by making them available to rent. In contrast, users are limited to uploading videos less than 15 minutes in length and cannot generate revenue from those videos.

According to YouTube’s FAQ, there is no specific formula that will get you invited to become a partner. However, some general factors they consider include how often you upload videos, how big your audience is (e.g. the number of views and subscribers your videos have), the number of videos you upload, and whether your content abides by their community guidelines, including respecting copyright.

Once a user or company becomes a part of the YouTube Partner Program, they can monetize their videos by having ads served on them, or making them available to rent. YouTube gives them the majority of the money generated from these ads.

However, there are some cases in which an individual video becomes very popular and YouTube invites the user to have ads accompany their video and participate in revenue sharing. YouTube gives individual video partners the majority of the money generated from these ads. David After Dentist is a good example of an individual video partner.

If you would like a more detailed explanation on becoming a YouTube partner, see Daniel Scocco’s article “How To Make Money on YouTube.”

Lastly, for those of you who enjoy writing about things that interest you, HubPages is a great platform to share your interests and earn money!

HubPagesHubPages is a free site where you can publish any article about any subject that you like and make some extra money for your efforts.

According to the website, “Hubbers (HubPages authors) earn money by publishing their Hubs (content-rich Internet pages) on topics they know and love, and earn recognition among fellow Hubbers through the community-wide HubScore ranking system. The HubPages ecosystem provides a search-friendly infrastructure which drives traffic to Hubs from search engines such as Google and Yahoo, and enables Hubbers to earn revenue from industry-standard advertising vehicles such as Google AdSense and the eBay and Amazon Affiliates program. All of this is provided free to Hubbers in an open online community.”

Basically, every time someone views one of your Hubs, HubPages displays ads. 60% of the time, these ads can generate revenue for you, and 40% of the time, the ads can generate revenue for HubPages.

Although there are revenue generating opportunities with HubPages, they are careful not to over-promise any results. The most important thing to keep in mind is that it takes time to gain the readership that leads to significant earnings. According to the website, “many Hubbers are earning hundreds of dollars, if not more, every month; continuously publishing high quality Hubs has been the key to their success.

You can also earn revenue with “share of impressions.” After you’ve joined advertising affiliate programs and/or the HubPages Earnings Program, ads from these programs may appear on your Hubs. 60% of the time, any ads appearing on your Hubs can earn money for you.

HubPages splits the impressions with you in the following ways:

  • Your own Hubs: Hubbers receive 60% of total impressions.
  • The HubPages Affiliate (or Referral) Program: You can refer new writers to HubPages and if they become Hubbers within 30 days, you receive an additional 10% of their Hubs’ lifetime impressions.
  • Traffic Referral Program: If you send traffic to any Hub, you’re entitled to either 9% or 12% of total impressions. You’ll receive 9% if the Hub you’ve referred people to already has impressions allocated to an Affiliate. If there is no Affiliate, you’ll receive 12% of the total impressions.

The HubPages Traffic Referral Program only applies to profiles and Hubs (slideshows included).

To learn more about making money on HubPages, check out this Hub!

As you can see, there are many opportunities out there for you to make money on the things you are already doing online. All you need is a little creativity, an AdSense account, a little patience and a solid community of followers! Oh, and don’t forget to share your videos, website pages, blog posts, and Hubs with your social media networks!

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