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How Do I get Paid For My Website?

So how, exactly, does a writer get paid for what s/he offers on a website?

You don't hear "the check is in the mail" when you publish your own content online. The checks usually show up like clockwork (or, more to the point, computers) or, more often, it just slides right into your bank account right on time.

Advertisers & Affiliate Partners
Advertisers such as Google AdSense pay by check or direct bank deposit. (For me, my Adsense earnings are automatically deposited in my bank account less than 30 days following the last day of the previous month. That is, my earnings for May are in my bank account before the end of June.)

Affiliates also pay by check or direct deposit. My earnings from Commission Junction are deposited directly every month, and those from Amazon.com every three months.

Storefronts & Shopping Carts
What if you sell your own products (books, photos, mini travel guide print-outs, MP3 music or lecture recordings)? Many large commercial websites offer "virtual storefront" and shopping-cart services. You list your products or services, people click on a few buttons, put in their payment info, and you get money. You may receive a check, or a credit on account, or a direct download into your bank account. Yahoo! has storefronts, as does PayPal (see below). Your own web-hosting company may already have the mechanisms in place. You may only need to activate them.

The largest person-to-person payment system, now a division of eBay, has a storefront and shopping cart system, with credit card payment, all set up. People wanting to pay you need not have an existing PayPal account. They can pay by credit card; or you can send them a "bill" via email, and soon the money is in your PayPal account. It can be downloaded to your bank account at any time. Click on the PayPal logo below for details:

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.

Credit Cards
If a shopping cart is not what you need, and you need to accept credit cards only occasionally, there's ProPay, a simple system for accepting credit card payments that costs only US$35 per year, plus a small transaction percentage charge.

Before I signed up with PayPal and ProPay, I asked people who bought things—books and itinerary consultations—to send me a personal check. I have accounts in the USA and the UK, so the check could be in either US$ or UK£, and 99% of my customers had no problem with this (Canadians and Australians are used to sending payments in US$). I don't recall ever getting "burned" (ie, a check was returned).

I've even had some people send me cash in the mail. This is not recommended, especially if the letter will pass through an unreliable mail system somewhere in the world. I don't recommend it, but it happens—and, as Yogi Berra so rightly said, "cash is as good as money."

What Makes a Good Website?

Will My Website Make Money?

Long-Term Earnings

Pay-per-Click Advertising

Google Adsense

How to Make Money from a Website

Site Index

Tom Brosnahan