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Perhaps you're not sure how to or are having a hard time landing sponsors for your Ning Network. If you can't afford an agency or are not a marketing company with rate cards, site metrics, and a large enough audience to justify a monthly fee for sponsors, making money by obtaining and placing the right ads on your websites is not a secret.You don't need a sales team, just a little knowledge about affiliate programs. Virtually every company you know uses this method for its low risk and high return on advertising budgets. You will make the most if the company you want to promote has an internal affiliate program. But there are THOUSANDS of offers ready for the grabbing through affiliate networks. Some of the best known are Commission Junction, LinkShare, PepperJam, and Click Bank. There are three main forms of Internet Advertising available for the picking.

  • CPM: Cost per 1000 impressions; rare in the affiliate space. Used by companies that are as interested in branding as they are in making sales or generating leads. If you don't have a big audience justifying CPM can be tough.
  • CPA: Cost per Action. You post ads for free and if your members click through your links and complete the advertiser specified action such as purchase, submit information, or sign up for the offer you get paid. CPL or cost per lead falls into this category.
  • CPC: Cost per click; the grand daddy of Internet marketing; how programs like Google Ad Sense work. Every time a member clicks on an ad the advertiser is charged an amount equal to or less then the maximum value they have bid on for the placement. The affiliate earns a portion of the fee charged per click.

  • I've run a few ads on the the Azores Connection, trying to get to the point where I can bring in enough money to pay the $50 a month to remove Ning's ad area. I'm really motivated to do so now that Ning has started using banner ads that don't match my networks theme. How many members do you have to have before the equation balances out?
    Choosing the right ads: I am very selective, only choosing to advertise companies that have Azores related products, travel, or genealogy. I have managed to make sales for Transparent Language Portuguese lessons, signed up a few people for, and sold flags, Portuguese cook books, buttons, and other Azores memorabilia through Amazon affiliate links.To be successful, it is important for an ad to complement your sites' content and members' Interests. A super huge thank you to the creators, developers, and support staff of Ning for making such an awesome platform available for free. So let's get busy making money from our networks so we can subscribe to the premium services and support the continued growth and development of!Happy Ninging!Ben
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  • Yes, we make good money by direct Ad Sales.
  • Excellent post. I am really interested in monetizing my network. I have a marketplace for paid ads and a media kit. Benjamin, which are the best affiliate programs and which way do you recommend going?

    I have attempted to put together a commission based ad team since it is so time consuming and I have a real niche which some companies would love. It's a time thing for me and figuring out the right prices.

    If anyone is interested in what I'm trying just go to my website and look under the Ad Info Tab. I would love some feedback!
  • Affiliate marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry. Of the 8000 affiliates working with the affiliate programs I manage. 5% of make at least $50 a month. 10% of that make more then I am paid by a month. And the top 1% are bringing home $10K per month regularly. There are campaigns out there that perform better then offers. So the possibility is strong people are making good money... if you have the right audience and present them with things they are looking for.
  • jeez, sounds like a lot of trouble just to break even, if the reward was greater it might seem worth it, who really making good money off these things, anyone?
  • Great post! Here's a useful direct sales study I found on OpenX - OpenX_Direct_Ad_Sales_Study.pdf

    Keep'em coming...
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