Setting up a website and maintaining it takes hours of work, but you can essentially get rewarded by selling space directly to advertisers. In return for an advertising fee that you set, advertisers can be featured on your blog or website with the prospect of reaching thousands of readers each month, depending on your site's traffic level.
Install a traffic analytics tool on your website, such as Google Analytics, Clicky or Woopra, and monitor its statistics for one month or longer. Check how many page views your site receives, which pages get the most traffic and the location of your visitors. Look at how much time, on average, each visitor stays on your website and what keywords visitors use to find your site.
Develop a poll using a free polling service, such as Survey Monkey, PollDaddy or Micropoll. Write questions to gather basic profile information about your visitors, such as readers' income levels, ages, race and ethnicity, Internet habits and other interests. Offer a small token of appreciation or reward to visitors who participate in the poll.
Create empty blocks of banner spaces, such as 125-by-125, 300-by-250, 468-by-60 and 120-by-600 pixels. Set these banner spaces up in varied locations around your site in the header, sidebar, footer and the middle of your site's content. Alternatively, install a free ad management software on your web hosting server, such as OpenX, AdCycle or the WPads plugin for a Wordpress website, to automatically serve and manage the advertising spaces and banners on your site.
Set advertising rates for the banner ads based on the cost-per-thousand (CPM) page views. Price your banner ads low, such as $0.50 per CPM, if your site does not have a consistent traffic flow. Set a higher price for banner ads placed in a prominent spot on your website, such as in the header or near the top of the sidebar. Set a lower price for banner ads below the fold, near the footer and in other less-visible spaces.
Create an "Advertising" page on your website that gives your advertising rates, your site's traffic statistics and your contact information. Post a message on social networks like Twitter and Facebook to spread the word.
Look for websites that currently link to yours that may make good advertisers. Research websites with similar content as yours and look at the ads to determine what companies or businesses are advertising. Type keywords and phrases that your website is optimized for in search engines and look at the "Sponsored" advertisements to find appropriate advertisers. Send a letter to these advertisers, introducing your site, giving details about traffic and listing your rates.
Accept payment from the advertisers who want to advertise on your site. Obtain the banner design from the advertisers and place it on your site.