The internet has provided many enterprising individuals and businesses numerous opportunities to make money online. But the percentage of people actually making money from an online business remains to be low.
Many people are tricked into believing marketing “gurus” that preach easy ways to make money online. However, the secret to a successful online business is to find one that works with your expertise. So the next time you’re contemplating of starting your online money making campaign, here are four guaranteed ways to make money online.
Personal blogs have come a long way from being mere sites that provide people a personal medium for expressing their thoughts. But some of the most successful personal blogs have commanded thousands of followers making them an attractive place for marketing and advertising.
Paid guest posts for example command a high premium where advertisers pay for reviews of their products. Maximize your sites real estate by offering it as advertising space for links or banners. The more authority you command, the higher price you could demand from potential advertisers.
Making money through blogging may seem simple but this can also be the most time consuming of all the strategies mentioned. Building credibility takes time and is not for the impatient. However, blogging could also be the most rewarding if not the most entertaining way of making money online.
Affiliate marketing is another online money making method that is quite easy to maintain. All this requires is to find a popular product and promote it. You can earn by receiving a commission each time a product is sold.
A great place to find these products is by visiting clickbank.com. This gives you a list of products that you could easily market. A simple research could also give you a list of popular products that you could start your affiliate marketing campaign.
Aside from creating a website you could also build an email list where you could offer these products by providing discounts or including a link to the product.
This could be the most lucrative ways of making money online. The concept is simple. Look for a specific niche and research everything you could learn about it.
Niche marketing is all about finding a small target market looking for a specific product. You could start with a broader niche like clothes for example and then focus on summer clothing. The advantage of using this strategy is you could focus your marketing efforts on a small target rather than slugging it out with bigger competitors.
Niche Marketing Guideline:
Research your niche market
Find the best keyword
Build a simple website
Build your customer base
Start an Online Store
Rather than setting up a brick and mortar store, why not create a virtual store and sell your products online. The benefits are quite obvious, cheaper overhead costs, you could setup shop almost everywhere and you have a wider customer base.
The cost of creating an online store may pale in comparison to setting up a physical store. But it still requires a reasonable investment for starting your online store. The first thing is to look for a location which in this case is finding the perfect domain for your shop. Keyword research is crucial. It helps you determine what keywords should be included in your domain in order to come up with better search results.
Another place you should invest in is hiring a professional website developer. This guarantees that all product descriptions and payment methods are working properly.
Affiliate marketing is one of the simplest and easiest ways to make money on line.
I personally know affiliate managers that are paying out over $350,000 a month to people marketing their products. And if you play your cards right, you could be one of them.
But before we get into the fun stuff, we need to cover the basics first:
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is where you refer people who land on your website to other peoples website via links and ads and if they purchase a product from that website in a given time period (usually between 60 and 90 days), you get a percentage of the money they spend.
Jenny runs a website that sells recipe books. She decides that she wants to sell more books so she sets up an affiliate program that pays 30% commission on every recipe book sold.
John runs a health and nutrition blog, likes Jenny’s recipe books, has readers that he thinks wold be interested in Jenny’s books, and wants to make some money, so he signs up as an affiliate with Jenny’s affiliate program.
Jenny gives John a special link to place on his site so that she knows which visitors land on her site through John’s.
On the first day, 10 people follow the link from Johns site to Jenny’s site and one person purchases the book for $30. Because that person visited Jenny’s website through John’s website, Jenny pays John $9.99 (30% of $30).
On the second day, John realises that he can make some money from this and so places Jenny’s link more prominently on his site.
30 people visit Jenny’s site from John’s site and 5 people purchase Jenny’s recipe book. Because these 5 people came from John’s site, Jenny pay’s him $49.95 (5 x ($30 x 30%)).
And so on and so on.
Pro’s and Con’s of Affiliate Marketing
There are pro’s and con’s of any way of making money online and affiliate marketing is no exception.
Pro’s of Affiliate Marketing
- You don’t need to hold stock
- You don’t need to know how to make a product
- You don’t need to deal with returns, refunds, or customer support
- Once it’s set up, you let it run on autopilot and concentrate on other things
Con’s of Affiliate Marketing
- You only have a 60 to 90 day window to make money from a visitor
- Most affiliate programs don’t pay recurring commissions, even if the customer pays recurring fees
- You only make a percentage of a sale rather than being able to get the entire profit
How do people keep track of where customers came from?
When people from John’s website visit Jenny’s website, the internet browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc…) gets assigned a special notification (tracking cookie) that lets the website know where the person came from.
But what’s to stop people from pretending that they didn’t come from a particular site?
It’s actually in the best interests of the Jenny to pay out as much commission to John as possible. The more commission she pays, the more prominent John will make Jenny’s link, and the more money Jenny will ultimately make.
If she doesn’t pay John, he won’t direct anyone to her site and she won’t make any money.
I’m not saying that there aren’t dodgy internet marketers out there but I’m just saying that it’s in their best interests to pay as much commission as possible.
How much commission can you make on each sale?
It depends on the particular offer but from the affiliate offers I’ve seen, you can make anywhere between 8% (Amazon.com) all the way up to 200% (doubleyourdating.com)!
Yes, that’s right, you can make double what the product sells for.
But most commission rates for digital products (non-physical, information products) are around 30%.
Why would someone pay 200% commission?
Because the man who sells this book is a very clever businessman. The ebook that he pays 200% commission on isn’t the only product he sells. He also sells a lot of DVD’s. He knows that a certain percentage of people who purchase his ebook will go on to purchase his DVD’s and he’ll make enough money back on the DVD purchase to cover the 200% commissions he’s paying out on the ebook.
He also knows that paying 200% will mean that his affiliates are FAR more likely to prominently display his products over other products.
How to get started in Affiliate Marketing
Making money online through affiliate marketing is simple. All you need to do is get yourself set up and away you go!
Step 1. Build a website
In order to be an affiliate marketer, you need a website that people want to visit. If you’ve gone through the instructions on this site and build your brand new website, you should be fine. If you haven’t, you should follow this guide first.
It’ll give you the full lowdown on how to set up your very first website. Once you’ve finished with that one, have a quick flick through the this page to find out how to make it the kind of site that people want to visit.
Step 2. Find affiliate offers in your niche
If you want to make money in affiliate marketing, you need to find things to offer that are relevant to your readers.
If you run a cake decorating website and try to link to a car repair DVD series, there’s VERY little chance that any of your readers are going to be interested.
But, if you link to a 10 week online training course on how to make icing flowers, there’s a MUCH higher chance that people are going to purchase products and you’re going to make money.
So, in order to do that, you need to find products for sale that match what your website is about.
By far, the easiest and simplest way to do that is to type your niche into Google along with the word ‘affiliate’.
I just type the words ‘cake decorating affiliate’ into Google and found 5 cake decorating affiliate programs without even leaving the first page.
You should have no problems with your niche.
If, for some reason, you are having issues, there’s a great resource for affiliate products here: http://www.clickbank.com/
It has just about every kind of product known to man kind of just about every subject.
It also handles all the tracking, payments, and refunds so that you don’t need to worry about getting ripped off. Definitely worth checking out.
Step 3. Register and get your affiliate links
Once you find the products you want to offer, it’s not just a matter or linking to that product and waiting for the cash to roll in.
If you do that, the affiliate manager won’t know where that traffic has come from and so won’t credit you with any sales.
In order for the affiliate manager to know that traffic has come from your site, they need to follow what’s called an affiliate link. It’s a special link that has a private code built into it that allows the affiliate manager to track where the traffic has come from.
The way you get your own, private affiliate link is to register with the affiliate program. Once you’re accepted, then you’ll get your personal affiliate links and you can place them on your website.
Step 4. Test, test, and retest
Making the most out of your affiliate links isn’t just a matter of sticking them in random places on your website hoping people click on them. There are hundreds of different factors that affect how many people click on your affiliate link and how likely they are to purchase on the other end.
- Link placement (Above the fold vs. below the fold)
- Link colour (Red vs. blue vs. green)
- Link size
- Link type (text vs. ads)
- Link location (Sidebar vs. in-content)
- Link context (In a list vs. in a sentence)
- Link frequency (3 links per page vs. one link per page)
And any combination of the above criteria.
If you want to see just how much design and placement can affect click through rates on websites, here are two sites you should definitely read:
Both of these sites have large collections of websites test that have been carried out on conversion rate optimisation (optimising the amount of people that convert to link clickers and then to purchasers) and will show you the gains that are possible through small tweaks.
When you’re ready to get started testing, you don’t just have to change settings and hope. There are some great tools available that will allow you to test different layouts and compare the results.
The cheapest and simplest is called Google Content Experiments and you can find it in your Google Analytics Homepage.
All you need to do is log in, click on ‘Content’ in the left hand menu bar and then click on ‘Experiments’. There’s an instructional video linked from there that will show you everything you need to know.
Whilst Google Content Experiments is good, it’s also incredibly limited. It can only test two different webpages within your site. It doesn’t allow for multi-variate testing (testing with several different elements changed at once) and testing different website layouts.
To really get stuck into all the fun stuff, check out: http://www.optimizely.com
Their software is so advanced that you can test a complete redesign of your website without making any actual changes to your site, just through their software.
Well worth the $17 a month it’ll cost you.
If you want to get some ideas on where to start your testing, scroll through the other websites in similar niches who’re offering similar affiliate links to you and see how they’ve set them up.
That should give you enough to work with to get your started.
And always keep in mind, just because a website looks good, doesn’t mean it converts well.
If you want to get a more detailed explination of what you can work on in your optimisation, check out: http://www.conversion-rate-experts.com/cro-tips/
These guys are the pros. They helped Google create their optimisation systems and won’t work with a company unless you’re making $1mil in PROFIT a year.
Affiliate Marketing Summary
1. Build a website
2. Find relevant affiliate offers
3. Register for affiliate programs and set up your links
4. Test, test, and retest
Affiliate is a simple and very effective way of making money online. All it requires it a little bit of basic knowledge, a willingness to try, test, fail, and retest, and enough patience to see it through.