The two most popular ways to make money online with ads is to join an advertising network or post ads on social media for products or services. Online ads are often paid on a pay-per-click (PPC) or pay-per-view (PPV) basis. Learning how to make money with online ads typically involves building a large following.
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1. Join Advertising Networks & Make Money Online with Ads
The first step to make money online with ads it to learn how to start a blog or create a website. Then you can join an online advertising network. These networks work with companies that need to promote their products and services as well as website owners and bloggers who want to make money with ads.
Online advertising networks take care of all the advertising details for you, including:
- Collect advertising fees from the companies placing ads.
- Provide you, the ad publisher, with advertisement HTML code to add to your website.
- Monitor your site traffic and the number of clicks or views the ads receive.
- Pay you for posting ads on your site, according to the terms you agree to when joining the network.
There are ad networks that accept beginners as well as networks that focus on more established websites that average more visitors each day. The size of your website audience, which can be tracked by Google Analytics, is a key driver of ad revenues.
The nature of your website audience and the type of content on your website can also influence how much money you’ll make online with ads. For example, if you have a website all about home heating and cooling, don’t be surprised if furnace and air conditioner sellers want to place ads on your website. They are willing to pay a premium for ads because home HVAC systems are high-priced items, and hence, can bear the cost of higher-priced ads.
What You Can Earn from Online Ads
Most ad networks pay on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis, where you are paid when someone clicks on an advertisement on your website. Others pay you for advertising on a pay-per-view (PPV) basis or pay-per-thousand (PPM), where you’re paid a fee that’s tied to the total ad impressions.
Though less popular, some advertising programs pay on a pay-per-action (PPA) basis, where the action could vary. For example, the action in a PPA model could be that a sale is made or someone signed up for a free trial.
Placing ads on your website from ad networks won’t make you rich, but it can be a nice supplemental income, especially as your site traffic grows. With ad networks like Google Adsense or Media.net, you can expect to average between 50 cents and $3 per 1,000 advertising impressions on your website. The amount you make varies based on the type of site you have, your audience size, and the types of ads served. Keep in mind that ads are just one way of making money blogging.
One Reason Advertising Earnings Can Vary So Much
Ad networks often serve ads based on a user’s recent online search behavior. For instance, if you search for vacations in Hawaii, you can expect to see Hawaii vacation ads for the next several weeks on many of the websites you visit, even if those sites have nothing to do with Hawaii or vacations. If you searched for waffle makers, you may start seeing waffle maker ads.
Naturally, you’ll pay more for a Hawaii vacation than a waffle maker and, not surprisingly, the amount that Google can charge the company advertising these two very different items too. Hence, the payout to you for hosting these wildly different ads will vary too.
Join Popular Ad Networks
There are several popular ad networks you can join to make money online with ads. Each network has unique requirements about where and how ads can be placed on your website. Every advertising network also has clear and established rules for how you will be paid for advertisements you post on your website.
Here are a few of the most popular advertising networks you can join:
- Google AdSense: Even beginning bloggers post Google Adsense ads on their sites. This is by far the most popular network for bloggers.
- Media.net: This alternative to Google AdSense is the ad network for Yahoo! Bing. This network is suitable for both new and experienced bloggers.
- PopAds: This network features pop-under ads, which appear behind the browser window of a website. There are no minimum traffic requirements to join the PopAds network. You control the minimum advertising bid you’ll accept.
- Infolinks: This ad network uses contextual ads to show highly relevant content to your blog visitors.
- Propeller Ads: This network shares 80% of its ad revenue with its publishers, which is more than any other ad network. Beginners can join the network, but you’ll need to grow your traffic quickly to make money online with ads on this network.
- Monumetric: This ad network offers four distinct advertising programs based on your website’s traffic. The lowest Propel plan is for sites with 10K to 80K monthly page views and costs $99 to set up. Network fans say the initial investment pays off by yielding ad revenues that dwarf what can be earned through Google Adsense.
- MediaVine: For sites with at least 25,000 sessions per month, as verified by Google Analytics, MediaVine is a premium network you’ll want to check out. You can earn two to three times as much on MediaVine as Google AdSense.
- Adbuff: If your blog traffic is 2,000 or more unique visitors per day, you can join this premium network. Some users report that they often twice as much from Adbuff compared to what they were earning with Google AdSense with the same size audience.
Most people join Google AdSense first. Google is the biggest ad network, and hence, represents the most advertisers. If you try Google Adsense and find it doesn’t work well for you, the other options on the above list are all terrific solutions to test.
Once your website traffic scales to greater than 25,000 sessions per month, it’s time to take a closer look at higher-end networks that specialize in placing online ads on websites with massive traffic. You’ll likely make more money with ads if you switch to a premium network, such as MediaVine, Adbuff, or Monumetric.
Sell Ads for Your Website Directly
Another option is to create your own media kit and start directly selling ads to companies so you can keep 100% of the advertising revenue rather than just getting the small cut that advertising networks share with you. This becomes more viable as your site traffic soars into high five- and six-digit page views each month.
Once you establish a popular online presence with a large following or a highly specialized in-demand audience, consider establishing advertising rates for your website. You can post your advertising rates directly on your website or create a media kit for advertisers.
When setting ad rates for your website, consider the size of the ad you’ll post and where you’ll post those ads. You can charge more for ads in the header or higher up on the page. Also, the larger the ad, the more you can charge for it.
There are no hard-and-fast rules for what you can charge for ads on your website. When you establish your advertising rates, you might want to start by charging $2 to $5 per month for every 1,000 page views.
Advertising Fee Calculation Example
100,000 page views
Charge $3 per thousand page views
Your Advertising Rate: (100,000/1000) * $3 = $300
Promote Advertising Rates & Services on Your Site
Some bloggers just add a post at the footer of their sites that instructs visitors who to contact for advertising information. The upside to not listing exact advertising rates on your site is that you have more room to negotiate with would-be advertisers. The downside is that potential advertisers might be leary to contact you if they don’t have an idea of what your blog ads might cost.
Other bloggers and website owners post a link to a media kit on their websites, which is often placed in the footer but sometimes included in the navigation bar under “advertise with us.” A media kit is a downloadable document that describes certain parameters and statistics related to your site, such as your website traffic, the number of followers on various social media channels, demographics of your visitors, and a list of companies or advertisers with whom you’ve already worked.
Your media kit should also list advertising and sponsorship opportunities. This is where you state the number and sizes of ads available, as well as ad placement parameters. You should also take this opportunity to talk about sponsored posts on your site, on your social media channels, and through your email campaigns if you conduct email marketing.
You can create a media kit yourself using a popular online tool like Canva, or you can hire a professional designer on Fiverr to create a custom media kit for you. If your design skills aren’t stellar, outsourcing this task is highly recommended. Since your media kit is used to help you make money with online ads and sponsored posts, it’s important that you impress those who read it.
2. Create Sponsored Posts to Make Money Online
Creating sponsored posts is another way to make money online with ads, which is technically what a sponsored post is since a company is paying you to post content on your site. Many bloggers and website owners work directly with companies to negotiate sponsored post agreements. Others work with sponsored content and influencer networks that facilitate relationships with site owners and advertisers.
Popular influencer networks you might want to join to start making money with sponsored posts include:
- AspireIQ (formerly Revfluence)
- Influence Central
- Famebit by YouTube
- Blog Meets Brand
Each influencer network sets different parameters for joining their programs. Your income potential with sponsored posts will vary by network and opportunity, too. Jenna from the Butternut Bakery blog makes over $3,000 a month from sponsored content. Jeremy from the Living the Dream blog makes about $500 monthly from sponsored content, though he makes nearly $5,000 from ads. Celebrities with social followers in the millions can easily earn six figures from a single sponsored post on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.
Before posting any sponsored content on your website, familiarize yourself with the FTC guidelines on sponsored content. In a nutshell, if anyone is paying you to create content that promotes their goods and services, you need to prominently declare that arrangement at the top of the sponsored post. Failure to do so could land you in a costly legal battle with the FTC.
When sharing sponsored posts with your social media followers, it’s also important that you declare that you are being paid for the post. Failure to do so could lead to your social media account being closed.
3. Use Social Media to Make Money with Ads
Sponsored posts are not the only way you can make money with ads online with social media. You can also place ads on social media to sell your products and services. In fact, social media advertising is one of the most affordable ways to make money with ads online because you can target your ad to an ultra-precise audience. That sophisticated targeting technology helps you be more efficient with your advertising dollars and achieve strong results from the ads you place.
Use Twitter to Make Money Online with Ads
You can build a buzz around your business, services, or products by placing ads on Twitter. That buzz can lead to big boosts to your bottom-line.
When advertising on Twitter, you can choose from a variety of ad types, including eye-catching video pre-roll ads. You can promote your tweets to reach more people or promote your Twitter account to get more Twitter followers. You can also create ads to drive more traffic to your website.
Twitter ads run on an auction basis. You establish a daily budget for your ad campaigns, focusing on around four to five tweets that you want to include in your campaigns. Expect to pay an average of 80 cents to $1.50 per engagement for a promoted post on Twitter.
Use LinkedIn to Make Money Online with Ads
If you offer services or products to business or business professionals, you might want to explore making money with LinkedIn ads. The audience you target, and how competitive that audience marketplace is, will determine how much you’ll pay per advertising click on LinkedIn. Expect to pay at least $2 to $7 per click, but imagine what that traffic could mean for your business revenues.
Consider advertising on LinkedIn to generate leads for your sales team, introduce new products, and drive traffic to your website. Since LinkedIn is the number one B2B lead generation platform for marketers, advertising on LinkedIn could be a terrific money-maker for you and your business.
Use YouTube to Make Money Online with Ads
There are two ways you can make money on YouTube. The first is to create your own YouTube channel and the second is to purchase ads on YouTube to generate sales for your products or services.
Create Your Own YouTube Channel
You can make money on YouTube by creating your own YouTube channel where you post compelling content on this video network. Once you’ve set up your account for monetization, you can earn money when people view your videos—videos that contain ads. The more people who view your videos and their corresponding ads, the more money you’ll make.
YouTube pays around $1.75 to $4 per thousand video views. This means if you get 100,000 views on your videos in a month, and YouTube pays you $2 per thousand, you will make $200 per month.
Though rare, some YouTube video makers have made a fortune on the channel. For example, six-year-old Ryan of Ryan’s Toy Review has earned $11 million for his YouTube videos thus far. Mark Fischbach, known on YouTube as Markiplier, has earned over $17 million playing video games and adding his own personal commentary throughout his gameplay.
Purchase Ads to Sell Your Products or Services
The second way to make money on YouTube is to invest in purchasing ads on the site to generate sales or sales leads for your products and services. Google bought YouTube in 2006 and all ads on YouTube are run by the Google Ad network You’ll pay an average of 10 to 50 cents whenever someone views or clicks on your ad on YouTube. Since YouTube has a wide variety of video audiences available, you can target your ads by keyword, location, and audience demographics.
YouTube offers both skippable and non-skippable in-stream ads. You can also post display ads on the site. TrueView In-Stream ads are the ads you see when a YouTube video first starts; users can skip these ads after six seconds. Bumper ads are short six-second video ads that work especially well on mobile devices. TrueView Discovery ads show up on YouTube’s homepage and search results. You can also buy YouTube Masthead ads that appear at the top of the YouTube home feed.
Use Facebook to Make Money with Ads Online
All types of businesses flock to Facebook to make money online with ads. Facebook makes it easy and affordable for even small players to get exposure for their products and services through online ads.
Facebook ad costs vary by industry, ranging from 45 cents to over $3 per click. Apparel ads tend to have the lowest per-click costs while finance and insurance ads experience the highest costs. The highest conversion rates for Facebook ads are in the fitness, education, and employment and job training sectors.
Use Instagram to Make Money with Ads Online
Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, and so Instagram ads are managed by Facebook Ad Manager. Advertising costs for Instagram are similar to those for Facebook ads. You can start advertising for just a few dollars a day. Your Instagram ads are interspersed in the feed and stories sections of users’ Instagram boards and can include calls-to-action, such as “Learn More,” “Shop Now,” or “Sign Up.” With Instagram Advertising, you can create different types of ads, including stories, photo ads, videos, carousel ads, and collections ads.
Use Pinterest to Make Money Online with Ads
One way to make money online with ads on Pinterest is to create and post pins for free on Pinterest, and then direct pin viewers to your affiliate links. Pinterest allows you to advertise affiliate programs that you are associated with as long as you mark the posts as affiliate links.
When learning how to make money with online ads, you’ll want to be sure to explore the many ways to use Pinterest for Business. With Pinterest, you can create and target promoted pins by audience type, interests, locations, demographics, and keywords. You can promote individual pins or groups of pins, and stop and start your ad at any time.
It’s easy to get start advertising on Pinterest for just a few dollars a day. You make money online with ads on Pinterest by promoting your products or services or driving traffic to your fully monetized website.
4. Post Ads with Google Ads & Make Money Online
When you’re learning how to make money with online ads, you want to be sure to explore how to drive traffic to your website through Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords). If you want to get exposure for your business services or products—or just about anything else—purchasing keyword-targeted ads through Google can be an effective and profitable strategy.
How Google Ads Works
Millions of companies advertise on Google to generate phenomenal business results. You create and self-manage your ads by setting up a Google Ads Manager account. You can get started for free, though you’ll need to first create a Gmail account if you don’t already have one.
Google provides everything you need to research, create, manage, and analyze the results of ads placed on its network. The Keyword Planner tool helps you research keywords to target in your ads, providing you with average cost-per-click (CPC) information as well as monthly search volume. You set a budget for your campaign, so you never spend more than you can afford.
Average CPCs on Google vary by industry. For example, the average CPC for legal services is $6.75 while the average click for travel and hospitality ads is $1.53. Competitive areas, like local plumbing ads, can see average CPCs well above $10.
Once you submit an ad through Google Ads Manager, the team at Google will review your ad and as long as it adheres to Google’s advertising policies, your ad will go live on Google.
5. Accept Donations from Visitors with “Donate Now” Ads
Many nonprofits make money online with ads by asking people to donate money. Online fundraising is a critical tool for most nonprofit organizations and it’s relatively simple to create a “donate now” or “support this cause” ad on your site.
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You can make money online with ads by joining an advertising network or by selling ads yourself. As your site traffic grows, so will your ad revenues. When learning how to make money with online ads, try posting ads on social media sites or through Google Ads to generate more sales for your products or services.
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