When you have an affiliate site earning from Amazon or another program, it’s likely that your primary objective is to increase that income.
There’s a few different ways that you can do that.
You can increase your affiliate site income by taking one of the following actions:
- Add more content promoting new offers/products
- Put ads on the site, like Adsense, Ezoic or Mediavine
- Work on boosting traffic via methods like gaining new backlinks, social campaigns, or PPC
- Negotiate better payout rates with your affiliate manager
- Sell sponsored posts
- Sell ad space on the site to relevant companies
Depending on your niche, there’s likely even more things that you can do.
One of the easiest ways that I’ve found to boost income, and thus the value of the site when it comes time to flip it, is by offering ad space to brands in the industry.
This post contains some affiliate links to products that I use and love. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
Types Of Ads You Can Sell
Once your site starts ranking #1 for money keywords, you’ll probably start getting contacted by brands in your niche in regards to advertising on your site. At least that’s how it’s worked in the past with my sites.
But, you don’t have to wait for them to reach out to you!
Once you reach that coveted number one spot for a a good money keyword, then reach out to relevant brands and try to sell them some advertising. Heck, you don’t really even need to wait for that.
Here’s some of ideas of what you can try to sell to them:
- banner or text link at the top of your #1 ranked money post
- sitewide sponsorship banner or link
- focus callout on the #1 ranked money post
- sponsored post
You’ll also probably get some brands wanting to pay you for that top spot in your chart of best products. But, we’ll get to that in a moment.
What You Need To Know Before You Sell Advertising On Your Site
In order to keep everything 100% legal and above board, there’s a few things you need to remember before selling advertising.
You’ve got to disclose that an ad is an ad.
For instance, if I have a mattress site and Casper pays me for a focused call out on my ‘best mattress’ article, then I have to disclose that we have a paid relationship.
Why do you need to do this? Because the FTC has some rules about deceptive advertising, like promoting a product as the best simply because you’re paid to do so.
For instance, if someone emails you an offer to put them in your #1 spot for a pay off, like in the image below, you can legally only do so if you disclose it.
And, you can’t just disclose it at the bottom of the page. It has to be as close to the “ad” as possible, preferably before people see the “ad.”
You can see a good example of mine for affiliate links above.
You need a way to accept payment, preferably on a recurring basis.
Sure, you can send out an invoice using PayPal to the advertiser.
You can do that … but damn, doesn’t that shit look like amateur hour.
Get yourself a merchant account, i.e. Stripe, so that you look like a real business. You might not think this is a big deal, but you’ll get taken more seriously.
While you can send invoice directly from the Stripe dashboard, I suggest signing up for a bookkeeping tool that integrates with Stripe. This way, you can send out invoice from it and accept payment all from within the same tool.
You need to come up with your rates.
Now, you can go all out with a media kit and a full rate card, like the big boys do. I don’t go all out like that.
I come up with a price and I offer that price via email. That’s it.
So, how do you come up with the rate to charge the advertisers? Well, it depends on what type of ad you’re selling.
Is it just a sponsored post? The base the rate on your DA, traffic, or something else. I like to look at the media kits of the big players in my industry and see what they are charging. Then, I calculate the same RPM for my site by comparing my traffic to theirs.
Is it for a call out on your money post or preferred placement in your top products list? If so, the rate I would charge depends on if I still get to use my affiliate link or if they want the link to go direct to their site.
Basically, if I’m going to be losing out on money because they want the link to their site, then I calculate how much I normally make from that post and that’s what I charge…with a little more to pad it to cover an potential affiliate income increases I’d be missing out on.
But, if I still get to use my affiliate link, then I price the ad lower – typically for the same price as a sponsored post. The only time I wouldn’t do this is if I know that the item/brand doesn’t convert as well as the other products on the page.
For another viewpoint, read this.
Should You Sell Ads On Your Site?
As long as you’ve got decent traffic, then I don’t see why you wouldn’t try to sell some ads!
I think it’s easy money and once you get it setup, it’s just recurring passive income.
Most of the time …
Sometimes you’ll get a deadbeat advertiser who doesn’t pay their monthly bill on time. Sure, you can set up a recurring invoice in Freshbooks and the advertiser can store their credit card for auto-payments.
But sometimes that advertiser’s credit card is maxed out when your invoice is due.
Freshbooks will try to charge them again, or you can manually force it to try again. But that doesn’t matter if they are tapped out.
So, you might have to do a little accounts receivable work and follow-up on that past due account.
Often, a simple reminder will get that invoice paid. Sometimes, they ask for more time though.
So, you’ve got to keep on top of it, otherwise you’re giving away free advertising.
Now, if you don’t want to manage all of this, then there are services out there that will manage 100% of the process for you. But, those services take a cut of your money.
Overall, I think this is a seriously underutilized way to boost the income of your site. For one of my sites, I banked an extra $4,000 last year just from selling ad space. And when I sold that site earlier this year, I was able to get $9,300 more for it than if I hadn’t sold the ad space.
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