23 January 2008

Have a website? Affiliate income?

For awhile now, I've recommended affiliate programs (Google AdSense, Amazon.com, etc.) if you have a website, and have pages that aren't designed solely to sell your art.
...Obviously, if the entire purpose of a website is to encourage people to buy your art, you don't want them to leave your website without shopping. That's one reason why many artists don't link to other websites, and my fine art website has no ads.
But, my Aisling.net website is a good example of a mostly non-commercial site. Sure, I'd love it if you buy any of my Cafe Press CDs. I also direct people to SantaFlamingo, where I have digital clipart (and I plan to add more products, soon).

But, other than that... I'm not selling anything at Aisling.net. The sole purpose of this website is to share information about creating original art. I didn't create this website to make money.

Likewise, I've created other, informational websites -- not related to art -- just to share my hobbies and interests.

So, why not put some ads here & there, so that the sites are at least self-supporting? (That's a rhetorical question. I've argued with myself about this, for years, before deciding that my info sites should at least pay for themselves.)

Anyway... I've used ads from a variety of sources. My largest income used to come from Google AdSense, but Amazon.com has surpassed it this month. I get a check most months from Commission Junction, and at least one each month from Clickbank.

I'm telling you this so that you consider monetizing your websites -- or at least some of your webpages -- that don't actually direct people towards the purchase of your art. And, based on my experiences, I suggest not putting all of your eggs in one basket. If you participate in more than one affiliate program, you income can grow each month even if one program's sales (or clicks) drop.

Even if you only make a little here & there, it adds up.

If your website is entirely to promote your artwork, affiliate ads aren't a red-hot idea. But, if you have informational sites or articles (or have been thinking of creating some), consider affiliate programs. Just be sure to use more than one for income, because their success will shift from time to time.

I'll talk about alternate income sources for artists now & then, but if you aren't already an affiliate of Google AdSense and Amazon.com... well, think about trying at least one of them, first.

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