Writers Making Money With Affiliate Programs

There are hundreds of ways for a writer to make money online with their writing. The most commonly used is advertising. The most commonly used advertising network is Google Ads, called AdSense. AdSense is the easiest ad program to use.

Google advertising is sold through the Google AdWords program. The ads sold there are then published on Google’s websites (like search results) and also on other websites. Getting those ads on your website is easy. Just sign up for the Google AdSense program. (Notice the similar, but different names to avoid being confused.)

Google does the rest for you. You don’t have to pick which ads to show on your web pages, Google selects ads based upon the content of the page. Theoretically, this makes it more likely that people will click on the ads, which in turn means that you will make more money from the advertisements displayed on your websites.

Google Ads, both AdWords and AdSense are some of the most talked about and studied ad programs on the planet. Take that plus the fact that Google is a big, well regarded company, that makes a ton of money already, and it is a pretty good bet that they won’t be screwing you over by not counting your clicks, or not paying you, or whatever.

The downside is that as the most studied and examined advertising program online, there are many people out there, both website owners and advertisers, who have the whole Google Ads thing down to a science. That does not mean that you won’t make money with Google Ads, but it does mean that it isn’t quite as simple as it seems. Just plugging the Google AdSense code into your HTML code isn’t good enough. You need to keep studying, reading, and analyzing to ensure maximum profit.

Grab the Make Money Writing Online RSS Feed and we’ll keep you constantly up to date on all the latest REAL, CONFIRMED, Google AdSense tips, tricks, and advice.

While Google AdSense may be the easiest advertising program for webmasters to use, there are few people who thing it is the most profitable. That makes sense. Generally, earning more money requires more skill or more effort.

Affiliate programs are the second tier of website income that you can build by writing online articles and content for your own website publishing empire. The most well-known of these is Amazon Associates.

Much like Google, Amazon is a large, well-respected online behemoth, that makes plenty of money without having to cheat a tiny little website owner like you. Again, this provides a measure of comfort and confidence with using the Amazon affiliates program.

Each month, the guys over at Amazon push a specific product or category of products by offering a higher than normal payout, and sometimes improved tools to make putting affiliate ads for those products on your sites that you make money by writing online with.

This month, the category is "Digital" for whatever that means. One of the featured tools is a MP3 Widget which provides an active, updating ad for your site. I built one by selecting "Alternative Music" to get a feel for what they look like and how they perform. You saw it earlier in this article.

If you are planning on buying some music, or anything else, from Amazon, click on that ad and go buy your stuff. It won’t cost you any more, and it will help generate some extra data for our research which means that our reports will be even more helpful and accurate. You get to help yourself, and make some money for us at the same time 🙂 We’re also running some experiments on our sites to see if things like putting a big fat widget like this in the middle of your post messes up your search engine rankings for that article.

Stick around, or grab that RSS Feed.

Google AdSense Privacy Policy Interest Based Advertising and the DoubleClick DART Cookie

One of the most common ways to make money online by writing or any other type of website is with Google’s AdSense program.  We’ll be covering it in some detail very soon, but for now, there is an important update that you should be aware of.

Google is rolling out something it is calling Interest Based Advertising (IBA).  Theoretically, the concept is that instead of only serving up ads based on the words that are on your site, IBA would also serve up ads based on the user’s interests regardless of, or in conjunction with, what keywords or key phrases were on your webpage.

Of course, to know what someone is interested in, you either A) Have to ask them, or B) Have to keep an eye on what they are doing.

With a bazillion users a day, which one do you think Google is doing?

DoubleClick DART Cookie

This is where the DoubleClick DART Cookie comes in.  In case you weren’t aware, Google bought out DoubleClick and now owns them.  DoubleClick will be handling the IBA apparently, so the cookie that tries to figure out your interests gets served from DoubleClick. 

This is dumb on so many levels, but they don’t ask me.

What it does mean, is that the required privacy policy that your website must have for Google AdSense must now include some new language to also inform visitors to your sites that in addition to having third-party ads served by Google, that there might also be a tracking cookie from DoubleClick dropped on the user’s computer as they roam around your site.  So, you have to ad language that specifically mentions ANOTHER company that is getting their potentially private information beyond Google.  (Reason Number 1 Why This Is a Dumb Idea).

The Google AdSense website offers this guidance:

Your posted privacy policy should include the following information about Google and the DoubleClick DART cookie:

  • Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on your site.
  • Google’s use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to your users based on their visit to your sites and other sites on the Internet.
  • Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.

So, if you are using Google AdSense, be sure your privacy policy is updated soon.  The official deadline was April 8, 2009.