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Web Site Cookbook by Doug Addison

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8.9. Generating Income from Traffic and Content

Problem

You want to use your site's content and traffic to produce revenue, even if you don't directly sell any products or services.

Solution

Build a site that can reliably send its visitors to e-commerce sites through pay-per-click ads and affiliate programs, where the money they spend will yield a small commission or finder's fee for you.

Discussion

Generating income from web site content is by no means a get-rich-quick scheme. Compared with the effort involved in running a true e-commerce site (such as the daily grind of order processing, inventory management, and fraud avoidance), web site builders might be tempted to think that selling their traffic through pay-per-click and affiliate programs offers a more efficient means of landing on dot-com Easy Street. In truth, the gains to be made by this method require a fair amount of handson tactics applied to the ongoing operation of the site.

To understand the steps involved, let's consider the hypothetical case of Walter Evans, the owner of a small construction company that specializes in ecologically friendly, energy-efficient new homes and remodels. Walter is an experienced contractor who has long been passionate about things like solar power, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and SEER ratings on air-conditioning systems. He has a web site that promotes his business and generates a few sales leads, but he'd like the site to do more to improve his bottom line.

Walter's extensive knowledge ...

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