In this second article on the subject of generating an online income – you can read my first post on the prerequisites here … [link id=’524′]- we are going to consider three simple methods that anyone could use and examine the pros and cons of each method.
Probably the easiest way to make money online is using Google’s Adsense program. I am amazed at how few people seem to realise how it works and just how easy it is. After struggling to make money online for over a year, my first real success came through Adsense. You have seen Google’s ads all over the internet, but what you may not realise is that when someone clicks on one of those ads, the referring site gets paid. Yes, that’s it – just for the click!
Now I hope that’s got you thinking a bit. Probably the easiest way to make money online is to set up a blog, write some good content around a single theme, put Adsense on the blog and watch the cheques roll in. Now I know I made it sound easy and it really is. The difficulties are that you will have to get a lot of visitors, you will have to put those ugly ads on your site and you will have to put them in a prominent position, but that’s all there is to it. Once you are setup, all you need to do is blog your brains out.
In essence, more posts equals more traffic because two things will happen: Google will get more interested as your site becomes populated, and so too will other bloggers. If you write well, people will start referencing your site and so you will start to build links naturally. These factors will cause your blog to rise in the search engines. That means you will get more traffic, more clicks and more money as a result. This model is not for everyone because of the tremendous effort involved in writing original, quality posts, but it is a solid and reliable way of generating passive income. My site currently makes four figures annually just from Adsense and it is not my main income stream.
My second recommendation is to consider affiliate marketing. It is a good way to get started making money; you simply promote other people’s products or services. All you need to do is join an affiliate program, get a referral link and start referring visitors. You earn a commission, not for sending the visitor, but as a slice of each sale your referral generates. It’s a great model because you don’t have to hold stock or deal with customer support issues and the commissions can be very good indeed. Our own affiliate program, for example, pays a 65% commission for referrals (see here for full details).
With affiliate marketing, you need to solve the problem of acquiring targeted traffic i.e. traffic that is interested in the offers you will be recommending. Once you know how to get targeted traffic, you can send it, or some of it, through your affiliate link to an offer and bank the commissions. Getting targeted traffic can be as simple as buying it or it can be acquired completely free. The trade-off is that buying traffic is instantaneous whereas getting free traffic takes putting a system in place that needs to be designed and built.
Let’s just consider buying traffic for a moment. Suppose you found a great offer that paid you, say, twenty dollars commission and suppose you discover that its sales page converts at 5%. Well, that means that for every 100 visitors you send to that sales page, you would make 5 x 20 = $100 in commission. Now if you could buy that one hundred visitors for, say, $50, you can see how easy this all becomes. So how could you go about buying that traffic? There are various ways, but here are a few: Google Adwords, purchase an advertisement slot on a relevant blog, use classified ads, advertise in a newsletter. It’s not complicated, you just need to get the numbers right. Now, what about free traffic? Well, that’s a big subject and one that we’ll leave for a future post.
My third recommendation is selling your own services. There are many people searching the internet right now looking for people to perform small services for them and this is a very simple way of getting started making money. All you need to do is find something you can do well and advertise your skills in the right places. Typically, you get paid by Paypal 50% in advance and 50% on completion. There are many sites that operate as a kind of middle-man allowing you to connect yourself with customers. I am not intending to produce a comprehensive list but here are a few good ones to give you an idea:
If this idea appeals to you, get brainstorming your skills and then start Googling. The chances are that you will find a site that offers you the opportunity to connect with your target market. Typically, these sites take a small cut of the profit which is their payment for providing the service. The difficulty with this approach is that you need to find something that is in demand, that you can also do well enough and price competitively so you consistently win business. Once you get rolling offering a service, you can create a blog, or website, that advertises yourself and gets the word out to a wider audience.
Now, in a future post we’ll consider other options, but the thing to understand is that you don’t need a multitude of options; you need just one tried and tested method. All of the above methods work, but to get good at them requires practice. So, resolve to choose just one method and stick with it until you become an expert. Read everything you can find about it. Try out everything you learn, then refine your approach. Do more of what is working and less of what is not. Keep doing this an you will begin to see results. Don’t get disappointed if the result are not what you expected. As long as you are making money, see this as success, then learn to optimise your processes.