Small businesses can take advantage of the growth in online advertising with a variety of money-making strategies. Your websites and blogs can enhance revenue by hosting advertisements that appeal to your audience. Alternatively, you can place advertisements via ad services run by search-engine and social-media sites, paying only when a potential client clicks through your ad. Audiences are targeted by keywords and location. Finally, create free online advertising for your company with news releases and placement of articles on targeted news and information sites.
Host Affiliate Advertising
An easy way to begin pulling income from online advertising is to sign up for an affiliate advertising account. You allow the affiliate to place ads on your blog or website and earn money for every click-through. Major players in the affiliate ad business are LinkShare, Google Adsense and Commission Junction, as of publication. The ads that appear are tailored to match the theme of your site. You add to your earnings for each click on the ads you host. Users choose the size and quantity of ads that appear on their sites. Sites that post new material on a frequent basis are able to build a large audience and garner more income from affiliate advertising.
Facebook and Social Media
Advertising on Facebook and other social-media outlets provides opportunities for businesses of all sizes. Advertisers can reach a targeted audience for as little as $5 per day, as of publication. Ads on these sites can help to extend your existing marketing strategies, such as adding email subscribers to your blog posts or simply to drive traffic to your website. Carter recommends combining Facebook ads with setting up a Facebook page for your business. One ad strategy is to send potential clients to your business Facebook page to click on "like." A "like" notice appears on potential clients' Facebook home-page feeds where their "friends" can see it. Social-media sites Twitter and Linkedin offer similar advertising programs.
Microsoft adCenter and Google Adwords
Microsoft adCenter and Google Adwords are the big two of online advertising, as of publication. Google has the bigger market share at about 65 percent, according to search-engine expert Scott Spjut. Users create ads focused on selling their products or services, and select keywords to determine which websites or searches will show their ads. They target potential customers by location and set a maximum price they are willing to pay for each click, as well as a daily maximum budget for their ad campaign. Your ad appears in search results and on websites selected by your keywords and target location. Each click on your ad brings a potential customer to your site or blog, where you sell directly to them with a call to action. Advertisers track the results of their ads and campaigns, and make adjustments in budgets and keywords to maximize results.
Free Online Advertising
Network with colleagues and arrange to trade links and advertising on each others' websites or blogs. Create a news release about newsworthy items such as a new product release. Send the release to online media relating to your product or service such as the online local newspapers, interest-focused magazines and blogs, and trade publications. Write an article about your area of expertise and submit it to sites that cover your industry. Arrange for a link to your website and your email to appear along with the articles and news releases. Potential customers can click through to your site or email you, creating an opportunity to add a client.