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The internet has made some people very, very rich, but it's also made people very, very skeptical. After all, everywhere you go online, you'll find someone touting some magic formula or classified information that's designed to get you rich in just an hour or two. Yet, quite a few people have figure out how to turn traffic into money. While making money online does take work, it can also be very lucrative.

And that brings us to the big question.

How do I Convert Traffic into Money?

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With the dawn of the internet, we've seen some industries rise and others fall. Blockbuster has gone bust and Amazon has gone boom. Some seem to struggle while others seem to generate loads of cash with the click of a mouse button. So how do you become successful and convert traffic into money?

There are several ways, and they're all based on one simple concept: selling. If you have a product, such as a digital download, an app, or a physical product, then you can convert traffic into money by selling your product.

If that doesn't apply to you, then you can do the next best thing…sell someone else's products or services.

Advertising

This is the simplest way to monetize your website, app, or online content. If, for example, you have a website that gets traffic, then the fastest and easiest way to start monetizing your traffic is by signing up for an ad network. In the case of a network such as Google AdSense, all you need to do is put a snippet of code on your site. Google will automatically generate text ads relevant to your visitors, and you get paid when visitors click through.

There are a few down sides to this type of advertising, however. Unless you have lots of traffic in a high-competition niche, you won't be making too much money. And, with certain platforms, such as AdSense, once visitors click on the ad, they've left your site for good, so you can't market to them anymore.

But if your site does get a lot of traffic, you'll probably have the option of choosing direct placement ads. These are ads that are negotiated directly with the merchant, so you get to set the price. Sponsored blog posts are one type of ad that can generate significant revenue. A vendor pays you to write or at least publish an editorial blog post that promotes their product or service.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a form of commissioned sales. When you place a link to a product, say, on Amazon, and the visitor clicks through that link and makes a purchase, you get paid. Affiliate networks are the companies that maintain relationships between the merchant, the affiliate, and the customers.

There are quite a few affiliate networks to choose from, and some are better than others. Most large merchants, such as Nordstrom and other retail outlets, work with major affiliate networks. Other sites, such as Amazon or eBay, run their own program. Chances are, if you have a blog or website with traffic, you'll be able to find relevant affiliate offers to promote.

Email Lists

If you haven't started building an email list from your traffic, get started as soon as possible. Email lists are like traffic in a bottle. A lot of traffic flows through your site and never returns, but when you have an email list, you can market to them on a regular basis.

To grab an email address, make sure you have a call-to-action clearly visible on every page, compelling users to sign up for your email list. Some online marketers strongly advocate using pop-ups to grab users. Floating sign-up boxes are another option that convert well, and websites such as Social Triggers even use three sign-up boxes on the same page. Treat your traffic like you would any other relationship. Create trust and add value.

Treat your traffic poorly, and they will leave, probably with a bad taste in their mouths.

When you have built a solid relationship with your audience, they are more likely to click through your affiliate offers and advertisements. The more your email list trusts you, the easier it is to turn that audience into loyal, paying customers.

Traffic, Trust, and Value

Let's quickly recap. You convert traffic into money — monetize — by selling to them through methods such as advertising and affiliate marketing. Create a relationship with your audience by adding value, which builds trust. The more your audience trusts you, the more effective your marketing will be.

Now that you know the answer to the question "How do I convert traffic into money?" it's time to research monetization methods that apply to your situation. Are you an app developer? Try advertising during installation, with solutions such as InstallFuel, or other methods of contextual advertising. If you're a website owner, research ad networks or affiliate programs that carry products relevant to your audience.

Once you get the hang of making money online, you probably won't want to stop.

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