30 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do on the Internet

Make $$ From Your Site

Illustration: Doug Ross

Just because you missed the dot-com boom doesn't mean the gravy train has passed you by completely. Here are a handful of ways you can make your Web site pay for itself and maybe bring in a little bit of extra cash as well.

Text ads: Programs like Google AdSense let you carry text ads relevant to your site's content. Every time a visitor views or clicks an ad, you'll earn a few pennies.

Affiliate programs: Many online merchants depend on networks of affiliate sites to move product. Affiliate aggregators like LinkShare or Commission Junction let you pick from hundreds of affiliate advertisers, some offering commissions as high as 40 percent.

Subscriptions: Is your Web content worth paying for? You could charge users for access. But be aware that subscription management services like VisionGate or MemberGate can cost from a few hundred to several thousand dollars a month, depending on the number of subscribers.

Self-publishing: Aaron Gleeman, editor in chief of the Hardball Times baseball site, used a more traditional method of generating income from his hobby. He published a couple of books, including The Hardball Times Baseball Annual, through Lulu Press. The royalties allow him to pay his writers a small stipend and to make a comfortable if not cushy living.

Contributing Editor Dan Tynan is the author of Computer Privacy Annoyances (O'Reilly Media, 2005). He also writes PC World's Gadget Freak column.

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