No company can survive without marketing and if you have a high-traffic website that ranks well in the search engine results, you can capitalise on this need.
You can use your website to provide advertising and to sell leads to companies and make a decent income from that.
If you have a lot of traffic on your site, a targeted audience, and advertisers are looking to be exposed to an audience like yours, you have the winning edge.
Choosing the Type of Advertising
Unless you are going to create a business directory, you need to decide where you will be placing the ads on your site.
Spend some time going over your site's layout to see where you will be placing the ads. Decide on the best sizes of ads for your site before you start making ad space available. TIP: Try to use standard sizes for your ads. Typically sizes used by Google and other advertising platforms. Be sure that your ad zones don't look flooded with ads, because that will cause your advertisers (and you in turn) to lose revenues.
There are basically four main types of advertising you can add to your website, blog or forum:
1. Google Adsense
Google Adsense allows you to generate an income from every click on an ad placed on your website. Learn more...
2. General Advertising
When you run a successful website, you WILL be contacted by advertisers wanting to advertise on your website.
How Much to Charge Advertisers
While you want to make profit as soon as possible, you also don't want to price yourself out of the business. Use Google to search for sites in the same niche and find out what they charge for advertising. Price your ads competitively. The price will be determined by demand, and demand is dependent on your traffic and rankings.
How to Start Selling Advertising
When starting an advertising site, you will have to start with free ads in a range of categories. You may ask the companies for permission, but it's unlikely that anyone will object to a free ad. You could also offer a limited-time free advertising offer to your friends who have businesses.
Once the site is running well and you are getting more and more paid advertisers, simply replace free ads with paid ads.
2.1. Create an Advertising Pitch for Paying Advertisers
Before they pay for advertising, advertisers will want to know that they are getting a good deal. That's why you should set up a simple advertising page on your site that contains vital information, including:
- site traffic - to show how your site has grown over several months and to establish monthly unique visitors.
- site rankings - showing that your site is well-established in its niche.
- reader demographics and interest - advertisers want to know their products / services will appeal to your visitors.
- advertising options and rates with examples of ads. If you use Google Ad Manager, you can track outbound links on existing ads to give a rough estimate of potential hits.
- and how advertisers could optimize their results with ads on multiple pages, ads that work best; and by offering free quotes, free audios or videos and free trials.
Direct traffic to this page so that potential advertisers can see what you have to offer.
- A personal approach will go a long way to keeping your relationships with advertisers in good standing. Don’t send a blanket-email pitching all your potential advertisers, but rather approach them individually.
- Be loyal to your advertisers by ensuring that they get the exposure they deserve and what they have paid for.
- Keep your website on Google's first page. If your site is no longer in the search results, your advertisers will disappear too. Find out how to keep your site in the search results here (link)
- Don't overdo AdSense. By all means, use AdSense on your site, but remember that your advertisers may lose business to AdSense ads. Advertisers want to know that your site is bringing them value, so the more business you send to your advertisers, the more likely they will be to keep paying your rates.
3. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates (you) for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts. This means if you advertise another business which offers an Affiliate Marketing Program on your website, you can earn an income. Learn more...
4. Selling Leads
Many offline (and even most online) companies will gladly pay a decent amount of money for qualified leads. You can see this when you visit all the affiliate networks and you may even be using affiliate marketing as a way to earn some passive income on your site already.
However, by expanding outside of affiliate networks and selling leads from your site, you can make even more money online.
4.1. How Does it Work?
Once you have a site set up and it is featured well on Google, you can start building relationships with companies that are looking for leads. Many small local businesses know that the Internet is an excellent source of leads, but they don't know how to go about actually finding the leads. That's where you come in - you are an Internet marketer who can bring value, using your skillset, to provide these businesses with leads.
Using this approach, you will make a much better commission than on the available affiliate networks.
4.2. Focus Companies
Any company with a sales and marketing department (no matter how small) can benefit from lead generation. There are a few ways for you to structure a deal:
- Companies with established sales departments will generally gladly pay for leads. If they have reps in the field, it's even better, because you will basically perform the same function as a rep of the company and they can pay you what they are paying their reps for leads. However, be prepared to negotiate rates as sometimes there might be human intervention required to clinch some of the deals. In most cases I will then settle for a smaller percentage (50%) of what they are paying their reps.
- Sometimes you do not have to negotiate at a company level. Individual salespeople, such as insurance salespeople or network marketers will be happy to enter a revenue sharing deal with you.
Depending on who you are dealing with, you could create individual deals with each company based on who your contact is, average sale amounts, profit potential and conversion rates.
4.2.1. Sweeten the Deal
You will have to show the companies you are dealing with that you know what you are doing. Some people are skeptical about the Internet and therefore you may have to give them a few free leads to sweeten the deal.
I know a lead generation expert who earns R5000 ($500) - R6000 ($600) daily for selling leads to only two local businesses. It costs him less than R150 ($15) per day to generate those leads.
It's up to you to bring them as many leads as they can handle, and it's up to them to ensure that they close the sales. Provided those two aspects function as they should, you should be earning huge revenues in no time.
4.3. Selling Leads Step-by-Step
Now that you understand the concept, here's how you will go about it:
4.3.1. Set up a website and get it to rank well on Google to maximise on website traffic.
4.3.2. Contact one of your advertisers and negotiate a deal whereby the advertiser will pay you (either a fixed amount or a percentage of profits) for every qualified lead or successful referral you send their way.
4.3.3. Add a "Get a free quote" to your already successful website. Set it up so that every time a "free quote" form is completed, a copy of the request is emailed to you and to your partner.
4.3.4. Your partner will action the request, and pay you as per the agreement on all successful sales.
- You will have to trust your partner to pay you, and you can make it clear in the agreement that you own the customer details and that you can do regular spot checks. If you feel that you did not get commissions owed to you, you can send your leads elsewhere.
- Remember that the stakes will be high for your partner and if they understand that, they will do everything in their power to keep the agreement in good standing.