A Beginner’s Guide to Making Money on the Internet
Last modified on 30th August, 2007
When I first learned the ropes in Internet marketing, I was lucky to find several useful websites that had guided me in the right direction.
It was good that I wasn’t trying to get rich overnight since I understood that it takes hard work to be successful. That had helped me avoid pitfalls or getting involved in more seedy methods of making money online.
Today, a quick search on Google returns a plethora of information to help you make money online. Instead of explaining every money making methods conceivable, I am going to focus on methods that I’ve been using to help me make a living online.
- Setup a Website to Promote Affiliate Programs
Instead of explaining what affiliate program all over again, you can check my earlier article where I explained almost everything to help you get started with affiliate program.
Getting involved in affiliate marketing these days has the advantage in that you don’t have to have technical skills to create websites and promote affiliate programs. Content Management Software (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal, Xoops allows everyone to create and maintain a website easily.
When I first got started, I had to learn HTML and hand coded all my websites. But it didn’t bother at all because it was a fun learning experience.
Creating a website dedicated to promoting affiliate programs gives you some flexibility in the products and service you want to promote. You are basically in the same playing field with other big companies, regardless of where you are located in the world. I’ve been doing affiliate marketing since the late 90s and it’s something that has been making me money consistently.
These days successful affiliate marketing often involves the use of pay per click search engines as part of the promotion effort. Pay per click search engines allow you to buy instant traffic and drive them to your website. Some of the popular ones are Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and MSN AdCenter.
It’s not unheard of someone pulling $10,000 or more in pure profit or more per month using pay per click search engines to promote affiliate programs.
Here’s a video from Amit Mehta, a PPC super affiliate where he shares his methods how he was able to grow his business from making $10,000/month profits in December 2005 to $90,000/month in April 2007. I was somewhat reluctant to include this video here because I don’t want my potential competitors to get their hands on this gem but here it is anyway.
The video is over an hour long so grab a drink, sit back and enjoy :). Depending on your connection speed though, it can be real slow to download.
To see the rest of the videos, you need to register with the Affiliate Summit website. Attendees paid hundreds of dollars to attend the seminar but you get to watch them for free!
While most of what Amit talks about in the video are common sense, that is if you are not a beginner in PPC marketing, try to read between the lines where he spills the beans about the methods that work for him.
To learn more about affiliate programs and affiliate marketing, check out the affiliate program category.
- Create of Blog and Start Blogging
Blogging is way to share your thoughts and ideas with other people online. Blogs are online journals or diaries like Sabahan.com where I share information and ideas about Internet marketing, affiliate programs, blogging, search engines and so on.
A blog is often frequently updated on an ongoing basis. It can be a personal website featuring diary-type commentary, links to articles or other Web sites or products reviews.
The best way to make money from a blog is to create one that focuses on a particular topic such as parenting, technology, sports, or politics and so on. These are popular topics which could capture the general Internet surfers’ interest.
If you can help it, avoid creating another “how to make money” blog or a blog about blogging. I find that they often attract a low number of visitors from the search engines. These topics attract a specific audience type that’s used to seeing ads, therefore they don’t usually response to ads. You’ll be better off selling products or services by writing reviews if you have a loyal audience.
In addition, I feel that the supply and demand for such information has nearly reached its saturation point on the Internet. Unless you can offer something unique that differentiates your blog from your competitors, you need to explore other high demand niches, ideally one that has less competition.
While blogging offers one of the easiest ways to make money online, it takes time, often over a year before you see any meaningful results.
- Create and Market Your Own Products
Owning your own products offers the stability and control in your business that no affiliate programs could offer. While there are more works involved in term of customer support, you can keep 100% of your profits for each sale.
I think this should be everyone’s ultimate goal when trying to make money online. You can write an ebook, develop a software, or sell physical products that can be shipped from your home.
I personally prefer intangible products such as ebooks and software because I don’t have to manage the inventory and shipping.
If you are a skillful web designer, you can sell website templates or artworks. If you are adept in photography, you can sell your photos online. Once you have your own products, your can even start your own affiliate program and let others sell the products for you in exchange for a commission.
Owning a product doesn’t mean you have to create it yourself. You can always hire someone to create it for you. Sites like elance.com or RentACoder.com should be handy in such case
Alternatively, you can purchase products reprint or resale rights to someone else’s. Depending on the type of rights, you may keep a percentage of the sales or all of the proceeds.
Ideally you should buy the rights for already established products so that you can capitalise on the brand name without spending any time developing your own.
Most of the products that offer resale rights are information-based products such as ebook and software. So it’s a good way to get your feet wet in selling your own products.
There are other ways to make money online but if you are just getting started, these are the three that you could focus on.