Word of the Day: Monetize

I first came across this word a few months ago, when I started my current foray into making money online. It’s a great word, catchy.

What it means is to make money off of something you already own, generally by selling advertisements. You could monetize your car, for example, by selling ad space on it. That ad space would have a specific value, based on how popular your car was, how many people see it during the course of a normal day, where you park it, etc.

On the Internet, websites are monetized all the time. You’d be hard pressed to find a website that isn’t monetized these days, even if it’s just through a few Google ads shown discretely somewhere on the page.

The key to monetizing a web site is that advertisers want people to see their ads, and the more people the better. So a website that gets good traffic coming through is valuable to advertisers, especially if the content of the website matches what the advertiser is selling (this is called targeted traffic).

What does this have to do with making money online?

Well, one way to make money online is to start a website and sell advertising space on it. Using Google’s Adsense, you can let Google decide what ads are good fits for your website’s content. Everyone seems to want to advertise with Google, so you would have a good selection of advertisers.

Certainly, making any significant amount of money this way requires a great deal of traffic coming through your website, so a personal home page probably won’t make you rich.

My experiences with monetizing web sites have not been successful, primarily because the websites I create never get much traffic. You’ll also note that this website does not have generic advertisements on it…each advertisement on this site was picked because it represents a program for making money on the Internet that I feel is worth your time (except for the examples of Adsense ads below).

Here’s an example of what an Adsense ad block would look like.

Edit: Adsense ads are not currently displaying. Could be a problem with upgrading to WordPress 2.2, but I’m still investigating.

To get started monetizing your website, you should be comfortable editing the HTML of your pages. You should also already have a website up and running. Then sign up for Adsense using the button below, and wait a few days for approval email. The approval email will contain a link to the Adsense control panel, which will provide you with the HTML you need to paste into your site.

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