Farmer Marketing

Simple, inventive ways to increase the value of farm fresh products through direct marketing, internet marketing, and creativity.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Internet Revenue for Farmers

Over the last few months I have researched extensively on the web presence of farmers and growers. Looking at these sites I have seen a lot of good things and a lot of areas for improvement. Basically, the three main sources of internet revenue for farmers and growers will come from direct internet sales, affiliate marketing, and advertising.

Direct Sales

The natural/organic movement is extremely well suited for direct internet sales because of the focus on local production and freshness. Web site domain names sell for as low as $2.95. Hosting services such as BlueHost provide a year's web hosting for around $84 a year. Don't have the web savvy to build your own site? Simple web design can be contracted for on sites like eLance for around $500. Still need a secure way to take credit card orders? Paypal provides an easy way to just add a button to your website that sends all of your transactions through Paypal with a $0.30 transaction fee and around 3% commission. So, to make your first sale online, you only need to spend around $600. Therefore, just ask yourself how many sales you'll need to pay off your internet investment.

Affiliate Marketing

Once you already have an internet presence established and regular traffic to your site, you have the additional opportunities to use affiliate marketing programs and advertising. Affiliate marketing programs allow you to choose which companies you want to advertise on your site. Through services like Commission Junction you can search through a database of companies to find the one you like. You cut and paste a piece of HTML code into your website and you're ready to go.


This basically translates into using Google Adsense on your site. If you don't know what Google ads look like you only need to look above the title of this article and you'll see two text ads provided by Google. Adsense has become the service of choice because Google searches over the text of your site and puts ads up that are related to the content of your site. Take a moment to notice what the ads are at the top of this page for an example. Google gets paid every time a visitor to your site clicks on the ads and you get a percentage of that fee. It adds up slowly, but if you generate a lot of traffic and a lot of clicks you can make some extra revenue from your internet site.

In conclusion, just remember that internet revenue is not a magic bullet that will instantly make you thousands of dollars and replace your physical sales avenues. Internet revenue is a supplement to your existing business that will increase your visibility and profitability.