Clue Me In! I Want To Get In On This!
In 2002-2003, Google AdWords for Publishers, later Google AdSense, was just coming around. It was extremely clunky & hard to figure out. I was very interested in using Google as an advertiser, but “Google AdWords for Publishers” had a very low payout in comparison to the competition. It did not have the options & program freedoms that I had with other CPM/CPC/CPA programs. After all, my website visitors were not landing on my web page to actually BUY anything, they were there to download the device drivers from my Google Pagerank 6 web pages that their long-tail queries were matching on, right around the time of the infamous “Google Florida Update“.
Let me save you a lot of time by suggesting how to avoid messing around with the spammy, shady advertising publishers like Clicksor, with all the ridiculous pop-ups, pop-unders, pop-arounds & pop-inski’s, or the “CPA” Programs where you only get paid when someone buys something as a direct result of their click on an ad with tracking capabilities originating from your website without the last few hours…
There are additional ways to earn a little side money that I’m not going to cover in this page, such as Cost Per View (CPV) that relates to how often your web visitors play a video advertisement & Cost Per Lead (CPL) referring to sales leads. Another interesting ad type: Cost Per Interstitial (CPI) Ads. These sort of income generators are generally more advanced. I am keeping it “old school” & simple for now, once you get the hang of how to make these ad types work for you, you should check them out. Speaking of “old school”, next I will cover what “CPA” is.
Cost Per Action (CPA) is best suited for websites with content related to specific products & services, such as product reviews & business service testimonials. The idea is that your visitors are already looking to buy something specific, or sign up for a particular service, & the intelligent advertising network of your choice SHOULD be able to determine which advertisements will perform the best for your web page content. So, unless you have a ridiculous overhead cost of warehousing medium to large quantities of physical products, or you are pitching Amway, Melaleuca, or some other energy drink, vitamin, or beauty product pyramid type of product, you probably are just writing web pages about subjects that interest you & (hopefully) others with the same taste. If this describes you & your website content, then CPC & CPM is where the money is.
What the Heck is CPC & CPM?
CPC stands for “Cost Per Click” (in case you did not figure that out by now)
CPM stands for “Cost Per 1,000 Impressions” – as in the Roman Numeral “M” = 1,000
Last I checked, my personal favorite CPC/CPM advertising program is paying out varies WILDLY based on the advertising network, & whether it is from a bid-based or flat-rate based system that is delivering the ad, but I’ve been paid as much as $1.16 for a single click on a search result, & as little as $0.03 on a click to a “house ad banner” image from my various websites over the years.
What About “CPM”? And What is Considered as “Impression”?
With it no longer being the ‘beginning of Internet Money Making”, the days of CPM rates between $4 – $6 per 1,000 impressions are extremely rare, so you are probably looking at more like $1 – $2.25 per 1,000 impressions in “the post-early 2000’s real world”.
An “Impression” is basically the yardstick which an advertising network provider considers a “hit”. While each ad network is left to decide how an ad is “hit”, or what counts as a hit or impression, it usually translates to “Did the user see the ad?”. If the website visitor had the ad load on your web page, it typically counts as a “hit”, therefore you get credit for the “impression” of the advertisement to the web page visitor.
But there is another important detail that you need to know about too. It is kind of a big deal. It is known as the “Payment Threshold”.
What? Payment Threshold? Are You Saying There is Even MORE to this Whole Internet Advertising Business?
That is correct.
A “Payment Threshold” is the amount of earnings that you need to meet, usually in dollars, before the advertising network you have are using will “cut the physical paper check” & snail-mail it to your mail box if you are old school, enjoy killing defensive trees & waiting to get paid. If you are more modern & use a highly reputable ad network, there are usually at least one method available to send you the funds electronically in whatever medium they use to do so (e.g. PayPal, Google Wallet, etc).
Most networks that I have personally worked with have a threshold of either $50 or $100 in earnings before they will send you the money. Most networks will even have a “clearing” time that requires the threshold amount for your advertising efforts be satisfied for, which is usually about one month, or some determined day of the money.
Wow. This is A Lot to Take In. I Thought I Was Going to Be Some Kind of Overnight Success Story.
Ha. So did I, when I was 21 % “super green” to online money-making, fresh from my Associate Degree graduation. I’m still working for “The Man” though, whoever that is…
All that blunt honesty is not to discourage you, but enlighten you. The internet is an amazing opportunity to make truckloads of money, but it is not as easy as waving a magic wand & seeing your bank account grow like an alfalfa spout.
It takes knowledge, understanding, time, effort, patience & a splash of mental energy with a hint of FOCUS. I cannot BEGIN to tell you how much trial & error I went through (& STILL go through) with it!
If you’ve gotten this far into my semi-witty banter on the topic of Online Advertising, then maybe you have a shot as seeing some results for yourself & learning from my COUNTLESS mistakes that I will try to save you from making (because you are sure to have plenty of your own). Read all my blog posts about Internet Income, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), & the more advanced stuff like Best WordPress Practices, & hopefully you can earn some greenbacks from it like I do.