According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are now more than 1.6 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States, generating approximately $222 billion in revenue for the economy. Despite the numbers and the fact that this segment is growing exponentially, few resources and information are available today to help

Latino entrepreneurs start, run and grow their businesses. Because more and more Hispanic SMBs are now online with some Internet presence, there is a need to provide best practices and sound advice on monetizing and building successful online businesses. This document address those needs in five easy steps, and it provides insights into:

Monetizing your online presence

  • Leveraging Blogs and Wikipedia for marketing purposes
  • Free content sources for your site and
  • Cost-effective, proven web site traffic-building tactics.

Rather than a “deep dive” into each of these topics (each of which could be the subject of its own White Paper), this document is intended to provide a uniquely Hispanic angle to the opportunities that the Internet offers today to the Latino entrepreneur.

I. Turning your content into Dinero with Search & Affiliate Marketing

One of the hardest things for U.S. companies of all sizes is producing content relevant to Hispanic online audiences. I cannot tell you how many times I ran into Marketing executives of Fortune 500 companies in the last few years that asked me things like: “Do you know anybody that can produce good copy in English for the Hispanic market?” Or “Do you know if Spanglish is appropriate for X segment of the Latino demographic?”

Meanwhile, more and more Hispanic entrepreneurs are publishing sites that, unbeknownst to them, could generate new revenue flows for their businesses. You see, it turns out that there are thousands of advertisers out there that are willing to pay money to reach your site’s visitors, and the way this is done today is through Paid Search and Affiliate Marketing. Let’s look at each of these so that we can begin to understand how you could turn your content into Dinero:

Paid Search

The model is actually quite simple. Search engines such as Google generate a good part of their revenues by charging advertisers for clicks from their search results to the advertisers’ site. This is what is commonly known as “paid search.” Yahoo! and Microsoft’s MSN are also players in this space.

Search engines evolved this concept to embed these keywords on third-party sites and share some revenues with the site’s owner. So how does this work exactly? Let’s say that an airline is interested in reaching consumers that are interested in flying to Mexico. Meanwhile, you run a site with content about Mexico,

You can open a Google AdSense account, and by simply adding a line of code to your website, Google will add a text link to the airline’s site. Any time a visitor to your site clicks on the text link, both Google and you make money. How much? On a single click, probably not much more than a few cents. The game, however, gets interesting as you build traffic to your site. A couple of things you should know:

o With Google, in particular, you have to accumulate at least $100 in AdSense commissions before they pay you. If your site has very low traffic, this could take months.

o If you click on the words yourself, Google will close your account pronto! They know when you do it and so resist the temptation for the favor.

o, Not every click-through pays the same. I have seen Google pay $1.00 plus on a single click. It’s all function of how much their advertisers are willing to pay for those clicks. It is demand and supply, and you as a publisher do not always know how they come up with your commission. Don’t worry about it; be happy that you get paid.

o Lastly, Google is not the only player in the space (just the biggest one). Yahoo! is also an option for you.

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