At one time or another, I tried all the programs you mentioned. Net result - zilch. However, I do make money simply selling ad space the old fashioned way. It's also a lot easier and the income is a known amount you can base expenses on, not a variable paid whenever the program decides to send you a check.
my expereince is similar to marshall's.
We offer a package of:
1. banner ads on specific relevant pages, non standard sizes
2. text links
3. 50 words in our newsletters.
That has succeeded when doing one by itself has not been worth the trouble.
We never even tries pop up ads, as we respect the control over content a user to a well known specialist web magazine in its field should have.
Affiliate programs are generally not specific enough or require code and external links we dont want.
We so have some amazon search boxes, but very little revenue from that. Plus we dont want to seem similar to other sites which has the same. (Same reason we dropped moreover)
Referrer programs.. nothing specific enough and dont want to dilute our brand with a group we know little about in practice. We have to take our referrals seriously, as our readers trust us!
Is your site a subscritption based site?
Personally I have websites that are affiliate sites for products that are in demand. If the products are usuful and generate an OK stream, then they are worth keeping. I also use a popunder to promote other complementary products/services which don't bring in a lot, but every $100 per month helps for putting in a simple popunder.
If you are an affiliate marketer, use that spam email that you receive as a little marketing tool. If you get a bunch of spam about XYZ, chances are it's a well paying affiliate program and you received this spam from an unscrupulous affiilate.
no subscription, however the readership is at CEO or upper management level and academics. It's a fairly touchy group re advertising. The main objective of the sites are to generate leads for consultants and research companies in return for generating monthly content. 19 out or 20 referrals go nowhere of course but every 20th one can generate thousands of dollars of work. So we have to balance big contracts being closed with smaller revenues from advertising. Losing credibility by linking to ad, referral and affiliate networks is something we need to be very careful of. That's why we dont use networks but close deals personally, and deliver ads totally from the same domain.
I think the learning point is that depending on the objective of the site, you have to use different mixes.
two of the last three long term contracts I've had are with sites reliant entirely upon sponsorship...it's much easier to deal with than advertising, and seems to be surviving the recession better
only works for fairly high profile sites though
I must say when I first started out I was very disappointed in affiliate programs. Now that I get steady unique targted traffic, I am doing pretty well.
I thought I would never sell anything when I first started. I kept checking constantly to see if I made a sale. Patience has rewrded me though in the long term. I now see steady sales from my affiliate programs, and I love it! :)
For my pubs:
> affiliate programs
> banner advertising
> search boxes
Sponsorships and sale of targeted, opt-in leads gathered by my sites.
Though they were high revenue producers, I just dropped buttons and cubes. They were too commercial-looking and three or four of them could slow a page. I will allow a text ad similar to Google's ad words on the hubs. These will fire a pop-up. I've just booked a nice ($$$$) one.
- referrer programs
- affiliate programs
- pop-up advertising (Bad, No One Likes Them)
- banner advertising (Terrible Conversion Rate)
- search boxes (Bad, Customers should not have to search your site to find what they are looking for.
Work on customer conversion rates and writing better copy. Also, a GOOD email program works wonders.
Selling Ad space is the way to go here, too! People love sponsoring features and content.
Selling Advertisement space:
My web site has done pretty well with selling advertisement space. When you are in a niche market you can target all the fields along with you and it is sure to get them traffic.
Affiliate programs seem nice I just havnt found one to work with my paypal store i setup (;
Stealing a line from the thread seo for BIG companies [webmasterworld.com]
they just want a non-intrusive methodlogy which they can farm out and forget
My bread-and-butter accounts are small companies within a specific geographic, travel-related niche. For often different reasons, they want the same as the big companies from their web advertising programs, i.e., farm it out and forget it.
One of the first things we tell them is they don't have to do anything (except send a check). Since sponsorships are typically long term, flat-rate deals, they set it up and forget it. You'd be surprised at how many just ask us to design the program that we think would be best and give them a quote. They aren't likely to spend the time it takes to manage PFP, and those few that have tried it are woefully unprepared in selecting keywords and/or targeting the conversion.
Perhaps it's because it's a niche, but I've found the webzine format to continue to be an ad revenue generator when it comes to sponsorships.