Anyone can make money online – but money doesn’t grow on trees. You can plant your own seeds online though, and over time they will grow a sustainable stream of income. Here are 5 steps you can use to plant those seeds for maximum growth.
I want to talk to you about a way that anyone can start building income online. Anyone. If you can search Google – you can do this. The world of “making money online” can be simply overwhelming and you can get caught up trying to learn too many things when I firmly believe you should concentrate on the basics in the beginning and learn everything else as you go.
Step #1: Write About What You Know
Most people looking to make money online already have a blog. The most important advice I can give anyone trying to earn money on the web is to stick to writing about what you know. Don’t try and write about things that cost a lot of money just because you think you’ll make more money. Until you get some experience under your belt managing, monetizing, and marketing a blog – just stick to what you know for at least 6 – 10 months. You will learn more about blogging as you go, but by sticking to things you have lots of experience in and are passionate about you will let your expertise carry you along the way.
I read a forum post once where the poster said “a sale is the number one action per page – period”. I don’t think that kind of mentality will help you in the long run, mainly because the average person is turned off by being “sold” and marketed to every second – they even become blind to it after awhile. The number one action per page should be giving people relevant information each and every time they visit your blog or web site. Part of that might be a sale – but people aren’t always shopping are they? You goal is to reach visitors that like the topics you write about that will return on a regular basis.
In marketing terms this is what they call “branding”. You should just see it as a way to make friends online. You’re not looking to become the next Bob Villa, but if your trade is carpentry – people that visit your blog over time will come to know you as the guy that can help build cool projects, and has an affinity for beer and football. It doesn’t matter who you are – anyone can do this, Grandpa can write about the differences between the 50’s and today and gardening and Mom can write about how to plan meals and a budget for a household of 5 while working in the office.
You could learn all kinds of things about “online marketing”, but you don’t need any of that to get started or to be successful. Write a list of things you know how to do well, and if somebody were in front of you right now you could teach them. That’s what you can blog about – and you should write in a style that is conversational. Write as if you were talking to a person right in front of you. Over time write about things that you like as if you had a penpal and were trying to get to know them. By doing these things you will be creating truly “original content”.
Step #2: Add Relevant Content and Resources
The Internet is literally clogged with information. The key to turn a one-time visitor into a repeat visitor is to surprise them with a little “cache” of information. Give them more than they expected and a reason to remember you as a resource. Let’s say I’m writing a post about my new digital camera. First I’ll write about how I decided it was the best purchase for me. I may link to or quote reviews I read at other web sites and include a product picture. If YouTube has a video demo of the camera, I’ll include that. Sometimes what you’re writing about isn’t a product at all – maybe it’s TV show or a physical place. Use online resources to complement your post.
The most used resources of mine are usually YouTube and Wikipedia. These are followed close behind by Google Blog Search and Google Image Search. More importantly, most of my posts are peppered with links to others sites where people can read about either where I got the idea or what others think about that topic. Do not be afraid to link to or quote competitors (big or small), and good blog has lots of outgoing links. Your visitors will return, and other blogs will begin to link back to you (and even read your blog).
Step #3: Monetize Every Post with Something Relevant
Think of every post as a seed that you plant in a garden. Over time you expect it to sprout into a plant and bear fruit. Some seeds will never spout, others will grow slowly, and some will even shoot up higher than all the rest beyond your wildest expectations. Every time you write a post you have the ability before and after the content (and sometimes within it) to complement it with a relevant and tasteful ad. I’ll give you three easy ways to plant seeds.
AdSense Ads: The easiest way to monetize a blog post is with adsense, because Google can intuitively read your content and place highly targeted ads on your blog. If you have an ad block above every post you will eventually build pennies per day into $ 1-$ 5 per day in passive income. A well written blog with 4-5 new posts every week can easily make monthly income with fewer than 100 visitors per day. The more posts you write, the more traffic you get, the more your daily AdSense income will grow.
eBay Auctions: Nearly anything is for sale on eBay and nearly everyone has used it at one time or another. Why not add a few live relevant eBay auctions to your post? You can do this with various blog software plugins, or just use one of the “eBay to go” widgets from the eBay Partner Network.
Two of the largest affiliate programs in the world are Commission Junction and Amazon. Amazon sells nearly everything, and you can promote any product they sell. Through Commission Junction you can promote thousands of merchants from goDaddy to H&R Block. Use one or both of these affiliate programs you could add nearly any product at the end of a blog post, and earn a commission for sales through it.
Most of these programs require a working web site or blog with at least some minimal content on it in order to approve your application, so note that beore you apply. There are other affiliates you should sign up for (later). For now – these are the largest and most well known ones, get signed up now if you already aren’t. It doesn’t cost a thing and will help you get established as an online marketer.
Step #4: Lather, Rinse, and Repeat Posting
I cannot stress enough the importance of persistence. It is my greatest weakness – not being diligent enough. Remember in high school your economics teacher who told you if you saved $ 5 per week for 20 years it would (with interest) turn into $ 1 million dollars? I don’t know a single person that managed to do that. I can guarantee you that if you post 4-5 quality posts per week on a blog, add some relevant resources, and monetize with relevant products – within 6 months you will be making monthly income. I’m not going to lie and say “you will be a millionaire” – you won’t. But you should be earning at that point some kind of monthly check. With 4-5 posts per week at the 6 month point you should have about 100+ posts on your blog.
If you wrote in the conversational style that I told you to – about topics you know best, you will have attracted some good stable organic search engine traffic – in fact you should at that point have about 100+ regular readers and/or subscribers to your RSS feed. Even if you did nothing at all beyond what I said in this post you should be getting some kind of small monthly check of some kind.
Step #5: Learn As You Go
I said if you did nothing more than this post you would make money. Sheer persistence in posting will earn you money by default. But if you only spend about 5-6 hours per week learning more about online marketing you could be making say $ 1,000 per month (like me) instead of say $ 100. You will get better over time and eventually (if you stick with it) be able to earn enough per month to work permanently for yourself. Just remember, only a select few of you will get this far.
Think about it like school. If you could attach a dollar amount to education and be guaranteed a certain salary dependent on how much time you put into your education – would you have gone farther? What if high school was worth $ 25,000 per year, a 4 year college degree was $ 50,000, a Master’s degree was $ 100,000, and a doctorate was worth $ 250,000 per year (for the rest of your life)? Which level would you strive for? Would you stop before reaching the top?
Nothing comes for free, and working online is no different. There is no magic software to make you into a millionaire overnight, and a hundred shiny ebooks won’t make you into a “guru”. The only guarantee I can give you is that you more you learn, the more you’ll make. Always remember, if it sounds too good to be true – it probably is. Be sure to read blogs and take advice from online mentors who seem honest and transparent, revealing their online struggles as they go to help you pave you own way to building a sustainable monthly income.