During the Middle Ages, more of the general public understood numbers and pictures than those who could read the words on storefront signs, much less the things printed on the page of a newspaper. Entrepreneurs began using images when advertising cobbler or tailoring services, or even for specific items like hats or food staples. These images, combined with the use of town criers who went about broadcasting the news of the day, made it more convenient to reach a wider audience. As the printing press made paper advertising more affordable, more and more retailers took advantage of the practice.
In today’s technology, advertising is everywhere and no longer just a way for retailers to market their goods and services. Much of what we see of advertising in various forms of media is based on the marketing mix developed in the 1960s by E. Jerome McCarthy, a professor at Michigan State University. The process involves the four P’s – product, price, place, and promotion.
When I first began using the internet, my experience with advertising was limited to two types of computer advertising – banners and popups. Even before programming languages like Java and platforms like Adobe Flash gave these types of advertisements oomph to attract attention, nefarious online spammers were using these types of ads in ways that led to the creation of safeguards such as popup blockers.
Banners are a static advertisement embedded into the webpage, and are known as “click through” advertisements, and clicking on one can lead to anything from online colleges and game design schools to businesses and services of a more adult nature. On the other hand, popup ads open a whole new webpage. Both are annoying because they take away from the content of the webpage itself. As I transitioned to my current job as a full-time blogger, I knew I didn’t want either type of advertising on my website, but also knew that I needed a way to generate passive income to keep working at home.
Affiliate marketer James Martell’s podcasts were instrumental in helping get my blog off the ground. One that helped the most was an interview with stay-at-home-mom, scrapbooking enthusiast, and online business woman Tammy Morales. Shortly into the interview I recognized Tammy as a kindred spirit – someone who wanted to combine sharing what they love with others while creating a passive income. Reflecting back on the four P’s – product, price, place, and promotion – I took a new look at conversion rates and overhauled my website.
Generating passive income means having a constant source of income without putting forth a lot of effort. Copyright royalties, dividends and interests on stocks, money from property you rent to someone else, and internet advertisements are all forms of passive income. The type that my website uses is the latter.
When looking for ways to use advertisements in generating passive income, I had to look at ones that not only complemented my website, but also paid me enough of a commission to be worth it. But it’s not just about price – other things matter, like communication. In the podcast interview, Tammy recounted a time when she worked with a merchant who had a great product but she couldn’t close a single sale. After talking with another affiliate marketer at a convention, she switched to a different merchant which led to a lead that produced a nice amount of passive income for her home business.
Placement of advertisements on the website is important. You have to find just the right balance of attracting someone’s attention to the advertisement without completely detracting from the other copywriting on your site.
If you don’t advertise your site, then chances are you’ll not make a single dollar of passive income. And it can be really frustrating! Here you’ve put all this work into an amazing website, and nobody is visiting it. Social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and even Pinterest are great ways to advertise your site and get people to visit. Once they get to your site, keep the initial page simple. If you use that page to offer opt-in for an email list, try offering a little promotional material, like a how-to guide or an exclusive podcast, that they can’t get anywhere else except by signing up for your email list.
One of my favorite quotes is, “The score never interested me, only the game.” Although when Mae West said this she wasn’t talking about computers, the statement still holds true in today’s technology. It’s not about whether you win or lose – it’s about how much fun you’re having. But if visitors to your website aren’t enjoying themselves, not only will they avoid doing anything to help increase your conversion rate, but they may decide to never return at all.
About the Author:
Freelance author Jason Munroe has set up enough webpages to know where to find professional results at reasonable prices. When using graphics to help increase the conversion rates on his last website, he looked to the services of an outsourcing company for the graphics, and hired a student game designer to create the header and some other graphics. When Jason isn’t writing or researching new ways to generate passive income, he enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with activities like hiking and camping.