We all know about Google Adsense and the contextual power that it offers. Meaning that you don’t have to do anything except insert the code and it will automatically determine the content of your page and serve relevant advertisements. This is fine for websites with a wide variety of content that don’t really have the time to hand-select advertisements for each page.
However, if your blog is pretty niche-focused, meaning that your reader base is expecting similar sorts of subjects with each post, then you may actually be able to dramatically increase your revenue by selecting targeted CPA (Cost Per Action) advertisements for your reader. CPA meaning that you are NOT getting paid by the click, but rather by the action such as a purchase that a user may take after the click.
A typical CPA is basically referring a user to a website and they buy a product and you get a set percentage. Other valuable CPA’s are for example referring a user to a subscription for Netflix and you get paid a considerable bounty.
These 5 networks may give you dramatically increased monetization. They are worth a look!
Good ole eBay. What most don’t know is that they offer a massive affiliate program for website owners. Anybody who clicks through on your eBay link will get a 7 day cookie and you will receive 50%-75% (for US traffic) of the final value fees of any product that the user buys from eBay within the next seven days.
Now to get eBay integrated, the easiest way is through the eBay toolkit which offers geo-targeting, custom displays and RSS feeds. However I have found that when using the toolkit, the click-though is rather low because nobody wants to click advertisements blaring eBay.
To solve this, you could spend considerable time in development or grab the free version of PhpBay WordPress Plugin which takes the RSS feeds and formats them in an visually pleasing way. For the power user there is also a premium version which will give added functionality.
Payments on EPN are via Paypal or Direct Deposit.
The great thing about promoting Amazon is that people are always happy to buy. They will give you 4%-8% commission depending on quantity shipped on a 1 day cookie. There are so many ways to use this service, but a great place to start is a recent article on MakeUseOf on how to turn your traffic into Amazon Cash
Personally one of the coolest things they have is the MP3 widget which you can dynamically call MP3s and albums from their DRM free catalog to be advertised to your users. That and also make sure to check out the UnBox and Carosel Widget.
CJ is one of the big daddies in the industry sporting advertisers such as Apple, Dell and players from almost any niche you can think of. After being accepted by CJ, you will have to manually apply to many of the advertisers who will hand review your website for quality before determining whether to accept you or not. Anybody seriously into CPA should get with CJ as they are the best.
One Word about LinkShare. iTunes. That is right. Among other outstanding programs, the iTunes affiliate program is run through LinkShare. What does this mean? It means that with a single click on your iTunes affiliate link you get a 365 day 10% cookie. Meaning that you will get 10% of anything that users purchase on iTunes for the next year.
Why is this a goldmine? Well because just think of everybody that has an iPod or iPhone and how much they spend. Wouldn’t you love 10% of that?
Last but not least we have NeverBlue Ads. They are one of the better mid-level CPA providers. You will generally find a different type of promotion here than on the big boys. Expect to find more promotions for ringtones, insurance, dating, online universities, auctions and those sort of things. If your audience is inclined, then this may be a potential goldmine. Payments are via Paypal.
As we mentioned above, CPA networks are not for everybody. The first thing to note is that international traffic will be lost on many of them, with you having to pick your country for the promotions. So unless you are using some sort of geo-targeting such as OpenX and have time to tinker then you may wish to look elsewhere.
Other things are that you only get paid if your user does an action. Meaning that certain types of audiences are more than happy to click on Adsense to get you paid, but would never actually buy anything. You have to determine this yourself.
Lastly, most of these networks require some sort of approval either by location or quality of site as they are only looking for the best of websites to represent their advertisers.
We might follow up in later posts about other ways to replace Adsense with alternative CPC (Cost per Click) and CPM (Cost per impression) networks.
What are your thoughts on these networks? Have you had any positive or negative experiences with any of them? Would you recommend a network not on this list? Is there one on this list that you would not recommend? Let us know in the comments.