Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Friday, June 18, 2010

How to monetize a website, make money online, free or cheap

Here are some ways to make money online, if you don't want to deal with auctions, making stuff, and/or stocking and sending out things.

Build a website or blog for free. (that's where this blog is) is free.  You can also build a website for free on Geocities, for example, using their online tools, or Google Pages.  But if you have hosting that comes with your internet access account, you can also build one yourself using a WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) editor.  I recommend KompoZer.  It's free.  I just got it and have been playing with it, it seems to do the job nicely.  Then upload your page with FTP (File Transfer Protocol), there are several free ones out there for trial use, or maybe your internet provider has a page for uploading files.  Build one that reflects what interests you. Build several, one for each subject.  For example, say you are interested in tropical islands, cowboys, running, frugality, etc.  Make a page about each.  If you root around, there are also free templates that you can start with. Here's some at

Use keywords.  In order to get your page higher in search engines, you should use Google AdWords' keyword tool  to find keywords to use in your page(s).  (it's free).  There is a good how-to for this tool at  It says to use keywords whose search volume is under 25,000 per month, or your page will get lost among millions.  Also (this isn't in that article), don't use a whole lot of keywords or phrases in each page, focus on one, and use it in the title of the page and a couple times in the first paragraph.  Do not stuff your page with the keyword.  Keep it to 5 or less times.

Get a domain name.  You can buy a domain name in a lot of places, but I use  It's around $9 or $10 a year for a domain name.  They also have extras, like email mailboxes and the like, if you want that sort of thing.  Then go to to point the domain name at your website. (it's free).

Write an ebook.  All an ebook is, is a PDF file.  Just write something in Word or (if you want a free office suite) OpenOffice Writer, then get a free PDF converter like at and turn it into a PDF.  Some PDF converters also will let you put links in your ebook, which can be used to direct readers to your website(s).  Sell your ebook on E-Junkie. It's $5 per month for up to 10 ebooks and you can put links to your publications on your blog or website.  They also support links from Facebook etc.  If you are a nonprofit you can get their service for free. You can also sign up to be an affiliate for other people's products through them, for free.

Sell ads.  Once you have your website up, you can not only sell your ebook, but also sign up for Google Adsense or Chitika and sell ads through them on your website.  Some make-money-online guides will tell you that you can do this immediately after creating a webpage.  My experience though, is I'm still waiting for an Adsense account, and I'm also waiting for a Chitika account. From what I understand, you have to have a very established blog or website (at least 6 months worth of regular posts), with a lot of visitors, to get with them. So I don't understand how the above advice would work if you had just created a brand new site. However, you could monetize a new site using the other techniques in this blog post without selling those kind of ads, and then add them when you got more established.

Sell art.  If you are artistic, you could design images for t-shirts and coffee mugs and the like and sell them on Zazzle and Cafepress.  You don't have to pay for the inventory, you just get a commission when they sell one.

Get stats.  Sign up with Quantcast to get your page ranked. This will help with ratings.  It will also help you know where your site stands, for free.  If you have practically no visitors, these stats won't help you much, but as you get more, it will help you see how your page is performing.

Get readers.  Sign your blog up with This will help you spread the word about your blog.  Also don't forget to go onto social networking sites like Facebook and announce your posts.  You might want to have a separate identity on FB for your blog than for your personal self, but that's up to you.

Become an affiliate. I've used before. (Commission Junction). Then you can sell other people's products on your website.  Say you made a website about cowboys, you can look for western wear affiliate programs, etc.

Be patient and persistent.  Everything I've read that isn't some hyper sales pitch indicates that it takes some time for a website or blog to "catch on".  6 months to a year is about right.  So you might not have much of an audience at first, but keep adding content so it doesn't get stale, and you'll eventually get a following.  Have good, fresh content.  You wouldn't keep going back to a site that had sucky content or content you'd already seen, either.  If you have a blog, be consistent about how often you post or your readers will get fickle.

Even if you're just starting out you can be an affiliate of Amazon.  Amazon has a decent affiliate program. You may have noticed I have Amazon links at the bottoms of some of my posts.
In fact, here are some now (betcha didn't see that one coming).  By the way SEO on that book in the middle means Search Engine Optimization.


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