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Over the past 15 years I’ve had the pleasure and unfortunately sometimes displeasure of working with countless advertising networks, affiliate networks & affiliate programs. I’ve had experience on all sides of the table, as a publisher, an advertiser, an affiliate & even briefly as an intern in college during the very early days of the ad network formerly known as interclick (I helped them recruit many of their earliest publishers, one of them being yours truly), which was acquired by Yahoo! for $270 million in 2011 and is now called Genome.
Suffice to say this experience has given me significant insight into the options out there and their relative quality. And so, without further adieu, here are the aforementioned ways to make money online (blogging or otherwise) in 2013.
Casale Media is a great second-tier ad network to consider using to make money by backfilling your primary CPM ad inventory.
BuySellAds is the best direct ad sale network to be in. Get in and start running their ads if you can!
OIO Publisher is a great alternative if you’re unable to get into BuySellAds, but you still want to sell ads directly.
Google AdSense is a great option for any website to make money with, but the results vary greatly from site-to-site. More premium ad networks generally provide higher eCPM rates, especially if you have low click-through-rates and/or a low CPC average for the ads your website is being served by AdSense. AdSense is also good candidate to place at the bottom of your chain of CPM ads, since they have such an exhaustive inventory.
Neverblue is an established performance-based affiliate network that offers hundreds of campaigns to its publishers. It’s worth checking out to see if any of their active campaigns are relevant to your website visitors.
Being a member of any Envato Marketplace such as ThemeForest (their most popular Marketplace) makes you an account on all of their Marketplaces, which also include: ActiveDen, AudioJungle, VideoHive, GraphicRiver, 3DOcean, CodeCanyon & PhotoDune. This gives you access to an insane amount of great premium content to refer your visitors to such as popular CMS themes, flash & flex files, music, video, photos, design templates, 3D models, plugins, extensions, scripts, etc.
DISQUS is not only the best comment system for any website (especially blogs), but it also offers options to drive more traffic & generate revenue from your website by promoting other people’s content and appending merchant codes to product links on your website pages automatically via VigLink (but only if you want it to).
Use Skimlinks to automatically add affiliate links to relevant keywords on your website where you choose and earn referral income from them. The best part is that Skimlinks instantly gives you access to over 17,000 affiliate programs that you get access to just by joining Skimlinks, no need to apply to them individually.
VigLink is very similar to Skimlinks, only more popular & integrated with DISQUS. While VigLink seems to add less affiliate links to your site by far, it seems to add affiliate links in a much more elegant, less obtrusive fashion than Skimlinks (which is precisely why I prefer it to Skimlinks). For example, when blogging it is far less likely to ruin the core message of your content by placing seemingly irrelevant links where they would likely just cause confusion, if not annoy your valued readers.
Cloak & track your affiliate links, among a plethora of other extremely useful & time-saving features.