Whether you have a business website or are trying to make money off the web, invariably just being online offers you the opportunity to make money in some fashion. Many people have an idea of what making money online means to them, but it’s often a limited view, which you’ll see if you visit “make money” websites or blogs. I’m going to give you some of the basic ways that people make money, whether directly or indirectly, and a general idea of how it’s done; I’m betting most of you know these ways already.
One, you can make money by selling products. This is the easy one that most people think of, as you can sell products you make or products someone else makes. Affiliate marketing works well for some people who have niche blogs or websites.
Two, you can make money by selling services. You find this more often with people that offer coaching, counseling or consulting services.
When you think of this model, you have to think both short term and long term marketing. For instance, if I have a link up it means I’m trying to sell short term services; not necessarily that I’m hoping you’ll only use me once and go away, but these are immediate services that I want to be paid up front for.
When you have a business website and you provide services, most probably you’re working on long term services, which doesn’t mean you only offer services that last a lifetime, but are looking to build your authority and presence over time so that you can become known as an expert and thus charge more for your services.
Three, you can make money by accepting advertising. Within this model you can include things like Google Adsense and other pay-per-click (PPC) or pay per subscriber/buyer models. If you have a business website you should think long and hard as to whether you want any type of advertising on your site because there’s the potential of you sending people away. However, if you have other sites like blogs that don’t talk about business specifically, accepting advertising is a great way to build income, but you have to be cautious in how you do it.
Advertising can also take other forms. If you write a blog on a certain subject you’ll often have someone ask if they can pay for a link on an article that pertains to what they do. That’s one of the powers of being a prolific writer; there’s always someone willing to pay for some authority to link back to their site. Being known as a publisher or content curator of original information can pay well.
You need to evaluate your business to determine what your websites goals are. If you’re highlighting your business, then stay away from many forms of advertising. If you’re somewhat flexible, there are lots of options you can explore.
The best part of writing a series like this is that you have built in links to previous posts that you can take advantage of, and that others can go back to see what they might have missed. So, here’s part one, part two and part three, and now we push on to part four.
by Debbie Kerr via Imagekind
Share-a-Sale is a program like Commission Junction, Google Affiliate Network and Linkshare in that they have multiple online programs you can advertise for. The main reason I joined was because I wanted to be able to highlight images like the one on this blog through the Imagekind site.
I thought I might make some money from it, but it just hasn’t ever happened. I’ve only ever signed up with a couple other programs there, but I have to admit that other than the images I haven’t really worked hard to market any of the others. So, no dollars, and just a few clicks over the years.
Chitika is a pay-per-click program like Adsense that offers ads that kind of look like Adsense. Something else they offer you is the opportunity to have them set up to only show to people who come to your site via search engines, where if people click on those ads you earn more money, but you supposedly won’t upset your normal visitors by seeing those ads.
I have made $6.16 through 3 years with the program. I finally discontinued using it because it just seemed like it wasn’t going to get the job done. I had it on 3 different websites over the years, and that’s all I’ve made; not impressive is it? I still have it on one of my websites, and in the last 30 days I made a penny; sigh…
Bidvertiser is also a pay per click program with ads that look like Adsense. As you’re noticing, there are programs that mimic the look of Adsense if you’re ever banned, and it’s possible that you might be able to make some money from it if you set it up that way. If I thought those ads would work on this blog, where I did run it once, I’d have it up since Google banned Adsense from it. However, over the years I’ve only made 85 cents total, and I’m presently running it on my finance blog.
The final program I’m going to talk about today is much different than the others. Voxant Newsroom is basically a video of whatever type of news stories you want to show on your blog or website. If someone clicks on it to watch the video, you earn money. I had thought this would be a great addition to my finance blog so I ran it there for about 6 months. I made 3 cents, and that was that. However, I want you to see what it looks like, so I created a news feed below, which is local Syracuse NY news from one of our local stations.
It’s possible that if it’s put in the right place you might be able to make some money from it. Though I haven’t used this in a very long time, it’s possible that I might add it to one of my other sites, even this one, one day.
Hi Y’all. We’re talking affiliate programs that I’ve used and tried to make money with over the years in these last few posts. We’ve had part one and part two and now we move to part three; hold on to your seats.
Clickbank is one affiliate programs I’ve never specifically written about, hence no link to an article I’ve written. Clickbank is a program that you see a lot of big time internet marketers talking about all the time. They say they create programs, then set it up with Clickbank to help them market their products by allowing us to find products on their site to market, as publishers with their landing pages. There are some nice products there, but a lot of junk as well I have to say. I did purchase one product from them that I liked, 20 Ways To Make $100 Per Day Online, that I thought was pretty good and I marketed that thing for a long time on this blog.
And this is where things fall apart for me. According to them, I’ve never had any clicks on any of the products I’ve marketed from them, and I’ve never made a single dollar. I find that hard to believe, but it’s why I decided a long time ago I wasn’t going to market anything else they offered except for the book I’ve given the link to above. A month ago I finally removed that product from my sidebar as well; I guess just having me think it was great didn’t translate to anyone else. But over 5 years I haven’t been credited with a single sale. Maybe others have had better success than me; can’t tell you.
Solutions Medical is an affiliate program that I hooked up with to market medical billing books through my medical billing site, which I talked about on the part one post. Unfortunately, it’s another affiliate I’ve never made a single dollar from, although they do show some clicks here and there.
TTZ Media is an interesting little affiliate program in that it can highlight certain types of ads that you can put wherever and the products will rotate. You can pick one product or many products and change colors as you want to. Below is an example of the types of ads you can create:
According to TTZ, I’ve had almost 2,000 clicks over the years, but I’ve never made a single sale. Once again, it’s a program that I didn’t use a lot, but did have it on some of my other sites here and there, as well as popping it into a blog post every once in awhile. So, once again, I can’t tell you how well they pay or what payments are like. I can see how this might work for some people, but it’s never worked for me.
J-V Network is a lot like Clickbank. What you do is look through the tons of offers they have and sign up to help promote and market that program. I actually did a test with something called Tweet My Blog, which I had on this blog as the first program I used to send my blog posts to Twitter, which was neat except I couldn’t get rid of its marketing on my blog itself. That is, if anyone clicked on the link in Twitter they came to the blog and had a large banner ad at the top of the blog that obscured even the title of this blog.
Anyway, I had that post above and I heard from 3 people who said they’d added it to their blogs as well. When I went to check my stats it didn’t show I’d had any clicks, which of course means it showed me as not making any money from those sales. That was disappointing and I wrote them, but never heard a single thing back. I’ve never gone back to try it again, and I’m not sure I will. I do still get email every once in awhile from someone that’s created a new product that they’d like help marketing, but I’m just not in the mood for now.
There you go, 4 more affiliate programs I’ve dealt with. And there’s still more coming; well, you asked. 🙂
I was checking out a post by our Buddy Mike CJ talking about blogging and job security, and it sparked a memory in my mind. In his post, he’s talking about a friend of his who’s now sick and worried about his business. Mike talks about how, by making a living blogging and being online, he’s actually in a very good position because his business will not only make residual income, but he could still do blog posting from a hospital bed if he were ever in the position to have to do so.
It reminded me that the reason I actually bought my second domain many years ago was because I wanted to try to set up another source where I might be generating some online income as a just in case measure. As a consultant, there are times when I’m making mad dollars, and other times when my income is drastically deficient. There is more down time than alive time, but it’s certainly not vacation time by any stretch.
Enter internet marketing. The basic idea is to find a way to either create your own or market someone else’s products, create and market the webpage to hopefully get visitors to stop by and buy the product, then repeat the process over and over until you’re making serious bank. I mean, it sounds so easy when you hear about other people who’ve done it, right?
I’m here to tell you something you already know; it’s not so easy at that. It seems there are ideas that either work or don’t work, and products that either sell or don’t sell. There are tactics that may work such as mailing lists, or might not work such as popup ads; I’m not sure either one of these works or doesn’t work, but my friend Kelvin is wont to say (that is a legitimate phrase, Sire lol) that if people keep doing it then it’s working for someone.
Here’s the two biggest questions most of us ask about some of these things. One, if we copy what someone else has done step by step, will it necessarily make us the kind of money they’ve made? Two, if they’re making so much money doing that, why are they telling me how to make money? I’m not at that money making level, but I can answer both of those questions.
Let’s look at the first one. Do you know the origin of modern day chocolate? Though there’s an interesting history about the stuff, modern day chocolate was pretty much started by Cadbury, whom many of you have heard of. Is there anyone who would say that Cadbury is the number one chocolate maker in the world today? Nope. I could probably pop off 5 other chocolate makers who are more popular and sell better. And most of them at least initially copied the same formula as Cadbury. But there are probably at least 10’s of thousands who have come afterwards that haven’t quite made it to Cadbury’s level, who might have started, floundered, and gone away already. But many of them are making some kind of money, and are surviving by doing it their own way. They’re not the norm, but at least they’re hanging in there. Those other people are us. We could follow the model exactly as the big time marketers do, and we will either win or fail; there are no guarantees. There are lots of dolls out there, but only one Barbie; that’s just how it goes.
Let’s look at the second one. Not on the money front, but on a different front, at one time, when I was still an employee, I was one of the top ranked managers where I worked. I was tied with another guy as the top dogs based on a survey of employees; not bad, eh? This was for a corporation that had around 1,600 employees overall. When I decided it was time to go, I wanted to get into leadership and management because I felt I was pretty good at it, and I wanted to see if I could help others get there as well. That’s what led me to write the book you see there to the left side, Embrace The Lead. Sometimes it’s not enough that others have named you as something good, and it’s not enough that you’ve shown that you can do something well, even mastered it, if you will. You want to see if you can then show others how to do it for themselves, to help spread your legacy, to prove that your theories and practices are correct.
And if you can make a little bit of jack off it. so much the better. However, the second one only works if you’ve actually accomplished something, while the first one is open for everyone. On the first one, though, we all learn that there might be aspects of how someone did something that we don’t like. For instance, Sire and I don’t like mailing lists; if that keeps us from ever truly being successful, so be it. But I remember a presentation I got to see a few years ago from a Rich Jerk representative that troubled me. I don’t want to give out all the details, but in essence the entire sales pitch was based on a lie to consumers. The person who created the video even gloated and laughed, saying his only interest was making money, and at least the people would be getting something out of it, even if it was based on his lie, since he knew absolutely nothing about the product. Man, I just couldn’t live with myself if I did that.
And therein lies the issue. There really are things that hold some of us back from being successful, even though we say we’re trying as hard as we can. I commented on a post earlier this evening where the writer (another buddy of mine) said in one of his financial recommendations that people should work harder to make more money; he wasn’t talking about internet marketing, just to get that out of the way. I wrote back that I didn’t believe it had anything to do with working harder as much as all of us trying to learn how to work smarter. I truly do believe we can all be as successful as we want to be, but our thinking patterns might not be quite in line with where we want to be.
Where does this leave us? Well, it leaves me still scratching and making my little small residual income, and it leaves Mike making his living online. It leaves me with most of y’all, trying to decide when or if I’m going to lay caution to the wind and actually go for it full blast, or keep working on growing incrementally until maybe, one day, I get where I want to be. What about you? How do you see yourself online, if you’re hoping to make money? If you’re not hoping to make money, I guess this question isn’t for you, so just move on to the product. lol
For the past two years, I’ve wondered one big question over all others; what is it that makes one person get thousands of subscribers versus someone getting a hundred.
by Laurence Simon
It’s an interesting question to look at because, though we know that traffic that’s meaningless isn’t supposed to mean all that much, the truth is that traffic really is the key to everything.
If you want to make money you want traffic. If you want readers to see you as an authority on something so that you’re asked to go and speak to others in person and make money off it, you want traffic. If you’re looking for some kind of validation that you’re words are communicating with anyone, you want traffic.
Something I do that I’m sure others do from time to time is check out what some of the top bloggers are saying or doing that seems to be working for them, then compare what they’re doing with what you’re doing. Hey, you know it’s true.
In my mind, I don’t see lots out there better than what I do. I do see some things much different. I see some people write some fairly technical stuff, but not as many of them. I see some folks who write a lot of nothing and rank better than I do, and I’m not sure how that happens. I see some of the big time bloggers who may write only half the time, allowing others to guest post on their blogs. Heck, I allow that myself, but I don’t have a lot of people who take me up on it.
So, what really makes the difference? I think it has more to do with having some bonafides when it comes to whatever it is you do. For instance, John Chow is a guy who’s made a lot of money online. Truthfully, he’s made a lot of money offline as well. People know that, and it gives him a built in audience before he says word one.
Darren Rowse is the same. When you look at her early stuff you see that he had few commenters. But somewhere along the way he broke through, got advertising, was able to show that blogging could make someone a millionaire, and that was that.
Y’all see this book I’m helping to promote, Beyond Blogging, there to the side. Well, every person in that book is a 6-figure a year blogger. Some of those six figures are more than $500,000 a year. Even if those guys didn’t try to make money by blogging, they’d be making some money from blogging.
I’m not mad at anyone who makes a lot of money blogging. Heck, I’m not mad at anyone who makes a lot of money at anything. What I am, though, is wanting the knowledge to figure out how these folks do what they do. It’s not that they all help each other out. It might have been at one time, but no one would have helped anyone if they hadn’t shown something beforehand.
Also, there’s something about participating in the entire blogging community. The way I believe I’ve helped my subscriber number grow is by commenting on other blogs. There are a lot of new people visiting that I might never have met if I hadn’t visited their blogs. Okay, a big ups has also come from both Sire and Kristi in the last month, so I have to give them some big things as well. But I really believe subscribing to lots of blogs so I have something to comment on has helped greatly.
Commenting on other blogs might provide that big difference between success and failure. Things like running a contest might get you a blip, but most of those people won’t stay beyond the first entry. Truthfully, other than finding not only a niche that will bring a lot of visitors but also finding a way to stand out, I can’t think of anything other than commenting on other blogs that will help generate visitors to come to your blog. Well, maybe writing 10 posts a day; I don’t see that happening any time soon.
What do you think about all of this? Share your thoughts on the topic, and let’s see if we can come up with solutions.