How To Monetize Your Cartoon Website
A cartoon website acts as a portfolio showcasing an artist's work. Here are a couple of additional ways a website or blog can create revenue for the cartoonist.
Once in a while a publisher or webmaster may see a cartoon displayed on your website which they would like to republish. You can license reprint rights to them. Your website should include a link to your contact information or to a page where you publish prices and terms for licensing. Additionally a publisher may want some custom cartooning and your online samples give him an idea what you can do. Custom cartooning assignments are one of the most lucrative benefits you can derive from your cartoon website.
If you are a good salesman you might be able to make a deal with some advertiser to act as a sponsor for your cartoon content. In return you would include his advertising on the pages where your cartoons appear.
Once you apply and are approved for this program, Google will give you a code to copy and paste onto your website. This code will allow them to serve ads to that space. When people click on those ads, you make money. In some cases it is only pennies, in other cases it can be quite a bit more. This is determined by the amounts advertisers are willing to pay Google for the ad space. The best way to make this pay off is to have many pages of content on your website and lots of website visitors. The hard part is getting the traffic.
These programs are offered by many companies and are similar to Google Adsense except with affiliate programs you are usually paid only if your link results in a sale, or in some cases in a lead. I have tried a few of these programs and in my case the only one I've had much luck with is with amazon.com. Others have been successful with other affiliate programs, many of which pay higher commissions than Amazon. Here are some sources where you can sign up for affiliate programs:
A note of caution: Years ago I was an affiliate with Commission Junction. They cancelled my account with no warning and no explanation as to why. They owed me about $12 in commissions at the time, which they never paid. I contacted them several times about this and never received any responses. On the plus side, I think this company is under new management since that time so they may be okay.
Tip For Amazon Associates
As I said, the affiliate program that has been most successful for me is the Amazon associates program. Here's one complaint I have about it, however. I often buy from Amazon, but if I use one of the links on my website they won't pay me a commission on that sale. I don't understand why because they make just as much money as if someone else clicked on my link and bought something. Here is a way around it that I have found. We've seen ads on tv for Ebates. If you make your purchases through them you will share in the commission they collect, which is better than nothing. Another one I've found is Mr. Rebates. I have not tried this one so I can't say how well it works and in interest of disclosure, I have an affiliate program with them as well. So now when I want to buy something from Amazon I make the purchase through Ebates or Mr. Rebates.
Donations or Subscriptions
Some websites have tried to raise support with a link for tipping or donations or by selling access by subscription. I don't know of any who have found this to be a successful technique.