Is it easy to make money online?
Hey guys and welcome back. Today, I wanted to tackle something that most people tend to struggle with. Including myself on occasions. Well, at least I used to for a long time.
Making money online is not as easy as some people would make it out to be. I can only tell you from my experience what I went through for years until I kinda started figuring out how this stuff works.
Honestly, it's simple, but not easy. You gotta have some since of where you're going before you start or you'll wind up spending a lot of money on a bunch of useless stuff. You've probably heard of the "shiny object syndrome", right? Sure you have, but if you haven't, let me give you a little insight into it.
Firstly, let me ask you this question?
Since you've been online, have you ever bought a product or products and just thought you were going to be able to make a lot of money with them? It could have been some software, plugins, coaching program, mentoring or whatever. The bottom line is you spent the money and after a few days, weeks, or months, you found out later that you didn't make any money with it.
So you QUIT. Well, you stop pursuing trying to make money with that one, until another one comes along and grabs your attention......and
You bite again. You buy into the hopes and dreams of making money with this one because of the slick sales copy or persuasive video sales letter you come across.
I mean....hey, it looks good and sounds good. It appears to be the very thing that is going to make the difference for me. Right (with a little sarcasm).
The REAL truth....
Here it is. If you're online and trying to make money you need to do one of two things:
- 1. Sell your own product (s)
- 2. Sell someone else' product(s)
Let's talk Products
Some may be saying but Jerry, I don't want to be selling anything. Well you will definitely not make any money here. Now let me say this really quick. When I refer to selling, it's not the kind of high pressure stuff that you may be used to. I'll explain more about that later, but for now, let's dive into what you need to really make money online.
You may be wondering, well what kind of product can I sell? I don't know where to start? That's cool and I'll just share my personal view on what I think about that. First of all, some may have the opinion that all they need to do is grab a product from the thousands of affiliate offers (somebody else products) and just run with it.
That's not a bad idea, but there are some downsides to doing that. Firstly, there may be some issues with not being able to really make a positive return on your investment. I'll share more on that as well in a few minutes.
I think you need to figure you out initially. Find out what really makes you tick and what it is that you gravitate towards. Well, what do I mean you ask? Take myself for example. I knew that I was one who liked to educate and empower individuals to be the best they can be.
It was something that I've known since around the mid 80's since I had felt a calling on my life to help out in our local ministry. It gives me great pleasure when I can share something with someone that can change their lives for the better.
Now that didn't mean that I was walking in the profession of a teacher or anything like that, but just that I felt a connection with purpose and destiny when I do it.
May sound a little bit weird, but for some folk, they don't have a clue. Maybe ask yourself what is it that you love to do? Where is that inner passion that makes you tick from day to day. Do you love the health and wellness field? How about the gaming industry or golf? What about real estate or the construction of buildings?
Kinda sound like simple questions, but trust me, once you find that out it will become easier for you to figure out how you can make money and not just online.
You may be asking...but Jerry, what does this have to do with making money online? It has everything to do with it. If you're thinking all you need to do is find a product, send some traffic or visitors to it and you're going to be making money. If you think like that, you're thinking short term. It's something that is not going to last long for you.
You need to be thinking LONG TERM.
Think about what it is that you are drawn towards and focus strongly on that. When you figure that out, you're headed in the right direction. It will be there for years and years to come. It will not be work for you, but complete fulfillment and enjoyment.
Finding that product is just the beginning of the sales process. You need to have one that is in big demand in your particular niche and solves a problem for the end user. In my case, I'm in the make money online/online marketing niche. Now because I enjoy education, the logical route for me was to learn about online marketing and share that knowledge with those who were looking for it.
I needed to focus on individuals who was looking for the what I had to offer. Someone who had little or no knowledge of how online marketing really worked and how they could make money with it.
You feel me. It's as simple as that. You just need to figure that out in your own world and get the proper education and information to prepare yourself to serve your audience.
Now that you have your product idea figured out.....next step is TRAFFIC.
For some marketers, they believe that all you need is to have a product and get some traffic or visitors in front of it. That may be partly true, but not completely. You got to understand that not all traffic is created equal.
If I'm into the make money online niche, then I need to find visitors or traffic that are from that market. If I'm into gaming or construction, well I need to focus on traffic from that particular segment of the market place.
The bottom line is that traffic is everywhere. There is definitely no shortage of traffic especially in the online world. It's available in bucket loads. But, it all comes in different ways. Let me explain.
There are FREE methods and paid methods that you can tap in to get to your product offer(s). It's just a matter of which direction is best for your particular budget. Most marketers want to focus on the FREE methods because it appears that it doesn't cost you anything. NOT TRUE. It cost you more than you know and I'll explain a little bit about that in a second.
You see, that's been a myth for quite some time. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever worked for an employer? Did the employer require that you work a certain number of hours in the day? Was there a wage per hour that he or she was willing to pay you? Of course.
So in essence you were trading your time for the money they were willing to pay you per hour....correct? If that be the case, then your time is worth something. So if you engage in generating your traffic with FREE methods, you're going to spend your time doing it. Let me share a couple of the methods with you below:
Blog Hopping or Blog Commenting
What exactly is that? It's a very simple traffic method that is used by a huge number of marketers on a daily basis. Take for example this blog. I share a lot of valuable content from time to time and there are visitors who come and read it.
When that happens, if the content connected with them and they would like to share their feedback with me or any blog owner for that matter, they can by leaving a response in the commenting section. See image below
Can you see how that comment was left on this blog? What just happened is there was something that James related to he wanted to give me his feedback on what he thought. Now, because of that, there are couple of things going on here. Actually, a few things, but here is the point.
He not only made a comment, but he was able to leave a link to his website or blog embedded within his name. So that if someone wanted to find out about him, all they need to do is click on his name and they would be re-directed to his site. Secondly, because I use a plugin called comment luv, he also is leaving a link below his post "Ripping off Nike and getting away with it". That link will also redirect you back to his blog or website as well. Thirdly, if you're into trying to get your site ranked in the search engines, when you post on others blogs, you are creating backlinks which will give you a little more ranking potential from an SEO standpoint.
That's the power of commenting on niche blogs within your market. You do enough of this on a daily basis, you will have a number of targeted visitors coming to your site wanting to find out more about you. Now especially if your comments are of quality or helpful to someone. Not just saying "great post" to take advantage of the stuff I mentioned earlier.
The blog owner will quickly realize what you're all about and may not approve your comment going live on his or her blog.
Forum Marketing is sorta similar to blog hopping or blog commenting in that you are basically doing the same thing. Leaving a comment.
What you simply need to do is find a few top forums in your particular niche market and register. They should be free of charge, but there are some who actually charge a fee.
Once you're registered, you will be given an opportunity to create a profile. In that profile, you'll be able to insert a signature file there. That signature link is what you're after, because it will be the path back to your blog or website.
The idea is to go into the community and share value. It's not for you to spam or to blurt out your business opportunities, but to give some form of experience with something you know about or advice on how you would address a certain problem the posters are having.
It's an awesome way to get targeted traffic back to your site. As you are doing this on a regular basis, if and when you leave something that really helped them, if they find it useful, they will want to know more from you and thus click your signature link to find you.
Take a look at how I used this particular strategy below. It was a thread that I started in the Warrior Forum and people began commenting on it and I replied. See my signature below? It says "I made no money online until I learned this stuff".
It was basically there to create curiosity and "sell" the click. Believe it or not, we are some curious and should I say, nosy people. So some will click out of curiosity and others because they want to know what you're all about.
Forum Marketing is something that will continue to be utilized for the days, weeks, and years to come. It is a traffic strategy that you can spend a lot of time on and create some pretty good results. But again, it is going to require a huge time investment on your part. But hey, it's FREE, so you think right? I think you get the point. There is no such thing as free. You are going to invest a little sweat equity my friends.
This one is pretty simple and straight forward. If you're into the ol video thing, this might be your best traffic generation strategy. This method for some people can be a little uncomfortable, but yields huge results.
Understand, that when you're online, the whole name of the game is getting people to know, like and trust you. What better way than by video. There is nothing that you can hide with it and that is why it's one of the methods that I use in my marketing. Video is personal and up close.
You've probably heard of the big YOUTUBE, correct? Sure you have and that's because it's the absolute greatest resource for millions of visitors.
That's why you need to be taking advantage of it. All you need is a webcam or camcorder or even your iPhone and you're in business. Just shoot a quick video (keep it short) and upload it and you're done. Of course you need to put in all the title, tag words, descriptions and stuff, but other than that you're good to go.
Make sure you're addressing an issue or maybe even teaching them something they are interested in. Remember, if you know your passion product, it's easy to come up with things that your niche market is looking for. Now is it starting to make sense? Getting that passion down first will translate into any traffic arena you want to go into.
Those are just a few of the videos that i've done over the last few weeks that were designed to assist entrepreneurs in reaching their business potential. Some of them were created for my iStartup Membership program and some are set for "public" so that any and everyone looking for a certain topic could take advantage of it.
Now that you've learned a little bit about FREE traffic and what you need to do in order to take advantage of it, it's time to dig into a little bit of the paid method strategies. If you've got somewhat of a marketing budget, you might want to take advantage of these.
This is by far my best method of traffic generation. It's as simple as 1, 2, 3.
What is a Solo Ad? Basically all you're wanting to do is find a newsletter vendor who has a list of thousands and even tens of thousands of subscribers on their list. Make sure this vendor is in your niche market.
What they are willing to do is to sell you a solo ad (an email advertisement) that will be sent out to their list.
You can negotiate how many clicks you want to send to your offer. Usually you are paying anywhere from .30 and up for each click. So if you order a 100 click solo add, you will get 100 or more clicks to your offer within a certain time frame. Usually within 24 hours or so.
One thing they can't guarantee is whether or not their list will be responsive to your offer. That's your part. You have to make sure that your lead capture page converts well or you'll lose money fast.
I could get into more detail, but I don't have the time to really open this up. We can discuss the specifics at a later date if you request it. Solo Ads are a quick and sure way to get traffic pretty much on demand. If you've got the budget to drive the traffic, there are hundreds of sellers in the market that can provide you with as many clicks as you need. This method is used by thousands of marketers and that's why the supply is so great.
Pay Per Click
I dabbled in this traffic generation strategy a while back with some pretty good results. It involves using the major search engines like google, yahoo, or bing.
All that is needed is an ad budget. What you are wanting to do is set up an ad campaign, set your bid price for your key words, select your geographic radius and you're set.
The hard part is that you will have to research certain key words and on some occasions they can be pretty expensive. If you for example wanted to use "make money online" as a key word that you are targeting, it will cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 plus per click. Too expensive and not advisable for the newbie marketers.
I can't go into the specifics of how all of this works as it requires a lot of explanation to really understand this method. The only part I'm wanting you to undertand is that it's available and a pretty quick way to get traffic to your site. I gotta ad, that one of the reasons that I don't use this strategy as much today, is because I was google slapped.
That means that they basically shut down my advertising because of not adhering to some of their terms of conditions. It was really tricky and dicey trying to figure out exactly what they wanted. One minute I was fine and the next, it wasn't. So I moved on.
If you're going to get into to PPC marketing, make sure you understand exactly how it works before you jump into it. It can cost you dearly if you are uneducated about it.
I stuck this one in here because it is something that I plan to explore. I know that a lot of marketers are using this form with some success and it has peaked my interest.
I know that there are certain ways that you can do this and you need to be aware of what Facebook allows or disallows. It's no secret that facebook is one, if not the biggest source of traffic on the internet. Everybody and their mother is on it.
Understand, that this has nothing to do with you contacting your friends and family on facebook. It is actually the advertising portion of their site. If you try to blast your link to your friends, it may be not long afterwards that they are blocking you. They are not there for buying, but for socializing.
This is by no means all of the traffic methods, but it will get you moving in the right direction. They are several more techniques that you can learn about, but I warn you. When you're attempting to build a traffic strategy, do only one at first. When that one starts to yield results (get you traffic), then move on to a second one. That way you don't get overwhelmed and burnt out because you're trying to spread yourself to thin.
Now that we've dealt with the products and traffic, there is yet but one more piece of the puzzle to construct.
You can have the best products or the greatest traffic sources to boot, but if you don't get them to convert, what's the point? There is none because that's where the real money is made.
Remember when I said earlier that you have to sale something. Either your own products or someone else's? But I also said that you don't have to engage in strong armed selling tactics like some others have done to you.
Selling online is an art. It involves using the "right words" called ad copy. Some serious marketers don't even deal with this portion of their business. They actually have it outsourced to the professional copywriters. Those who know how to sell with their words for a living.
This skill can take years to develop and years of testing what works and what doesn't work. That's why it can cost you anywhere from a couple thousand dollars and up to create a good sales letter. I've known them to cost as much as twelve grand on one particular occasion. Yes, it's not cheap, but honestly you can't look at it as a cost, but rather an investment.
One good sales letter could cost you dearly, but it can also reap huge returns if done right and that's why some marketers don't have a problem paying for them.
Now sales letters can in the form of text or video. The trend currently is leaning moreso along the lines of video marketing. It's huge. Think about it for a second. Let's just take it offline for a second and dig into our little world.
How many televisions do you have in your home? One, two, three or more? The average home has approximately 2.5 televisions and for good reason. We love to be spoon fed information and that is our choice of consumption. Major companies know that and that's why they are willing to spend millions of dollars to get their OFFER in front of you.
Now the internet is no different and with the advent of high speed broadband services, it's now easier to get streaming video in front of you on your trusty little computer. They won't hesitate to get their screen recording software out and slap together a little powerpoint or keynote presentation (for my mac users) with some type of video sales letter on it.
Either way, you need to convert your visitors or traffic through one form or another. As I mentioned it comes a little easier when your ad copy is persuasive enough to compel your visitor to take action. Let's for a second think about what it takes for you to take action. More than likely it's a testimony or some story that you can relate to. They are used on you all the time and it is very much one of the key factors that is utilized in any sales presentation and for good reason.
Always remember this: Facts tell, but stories sell. Never forget that. In your marketing, that is critical for your conversion success.
Think about this for a second even in your own life. When you come across something that you are interested in buying, where do you go?
Let me answer that for you. You "Google" it! If not Google, then you are going to youtube.com to find a testimonial or feedback from some previous buyer. It's just what we do to help solidify our pending purchase.
Getting the best conversions will always involve stories or testimonies. Now some believe that getting on the phone is devastating to make a sale, but it doesn't have to be. It is still a viable way to make sales, but not necessary if you have the persuasive copy writing in your corner.
We could get into the metrics of what's a good conversion number with cold traffic (visitors who don't know you when they land on your site) versus those who you may have established a relationship with, but we won't in this post. Maybe later....
So as you can see, there are a few components you need to have in place to really have any chance at success. It's the basic sales formula for online success or making money online. It's really simple, but not easy.
As I mentioned earlier, you need to get a good grip on your product whether you create your own or use use someone else's. If you're like me, I didn't have any product to promote at first. I had to take advantage of a system that had been proven to create success for the little guys like me. People who had absolutely no success since coming online.
As a matter of fact it was created for the person just getting their first taste of online marketing and for those who have had a little experience under their belts, but hadn't made any real money.
It was single handed the best program that was responsible for creating multiple four figure days for me as a marketer. Without it I would have been completely lost. What was the advantage for me?
- 1. I didn't have to create products
- 2. I didn't have to worry about copy writing
None of that stuff was necessary. All I had to do was get traffic or visitors to the offer and the system took care of the rest. They even got on the phone with my leads to help figure out how they could help them further. That made a huge difference for me as I was able to leverage a proven marketing system and products and let the professionals do the heavy lifting.
It was something that I felt good about because the products actually was of educational value for the customers. The products taught them more about online marketing, product creation, and branding yourself for online marketing success. It all was a necessary ingredient for those in my respective market or niche. So it was a no brainer for me and on top of that, it allowed me the opportunity to make money while helping others. Win-Win situation for all involved.
I know this has been a rather long post, but it was for good reason. Education. You've got to have access and exposure to the right information before you can start having any type of success online. That is my intent as well as my desire to make sure that my readers are educated as best I know. I may not know everything, but one thing for sure, I know where to get it.
Let me know below your thoughts. What have you done or doing to make money online. Have you tried any of the above methods? If so, how well did it go for you?
thanks so much,
Jerry Handy Sr.