PPC, which stands for Pay Per Click is making a lot of people very very rich. The surprising thing is that very few of the top earners have much in the way of a computer background. I have taught a lot of people how do PPC and the ones that have the most success are the ones with the most patience and drive.
Here is how it works, when you do a search on google the right hand side contains paid listings. If you search for the term "online dating" all the ads you see on the right hand side are from people bidding on the term online dating.
How do these people make money? Well there are many affiliate networks out there that will pay you to promote products and services. My favorite networks are ones that pay per action, ie someone just has to give their email address or phone number. This lead pays out $5.10 for anyone that fills out the form. This singles Cell phone offer is a offshoot of a ring tone offer, you get paid $12.00 for every person that enters their cell phone number.
Here is a sample of a google Ad which you place by signing up here www.google.com/adwords, you pick a list of search terms you want this ad to display for and the max price you want to bid. You then direct traffic to a link provided by an affiliate network.
Sample Affiliate Network listings of offers you can promote
The max you can make by yourself doing PPC ads is around $100,000/month this is the point where you replace ads as fast as you can create them. There are many hot offers like ring tones that only work for 6 months or so before they are replaced. Also competition may drive up prices and its no longer profitable for you to bid on those terms.
If you have your own website affiliate networks are great. If don't have many users (under 30,000 uniques/day) and they are all focused on your subject area a good rule of thumb is you can make $2.00 off affiliate ads for every dollar you make off adsense.
Looking for inspiration? Many of the sites that show up in the non paid listings in google for travel, credit card and drug are making over $10,000 a day
For even bigger inspiration check out ebay. http://affiliates.ebay.com/affiliate-community/news/
eBay Affiliate Earns over $1.4 Million in One Month!
eBay's largest affiliate earned over $1,400,000 in February '04 commissions, $1,300,000 in January '04, and $1,000,000 in December '03! eBay has made several of our affiliates millionaires, but never before in a single month! eBay's top 25 affiliates average over $100,000 each month – well over $1.2 Million in annual earnings
eBay's top 100 affiliates earn almost $25,000 each month – that's nearly $300,000 each year