Friday, June 16, 2006

Make Money Online: The Small Business Side (Part II)

I always find it a bit laughable about how some "make money online" ad pages try to portray affiliate marketing or ebay powerselling or paid surveys as "just follow these three steps and you'll be making money out of your behind!". Yes, you can make money and good money from these ventures, but it requires a bit more than flipping three switches. The funny thing is that it does not require much more effort than three little steps for any of these programs.

Remember, THIS IS A BUSINESS! For an example, let's look at a affiliate marketing and the "three steps" required to make our fortune:

1) Finding a Product to Promote

The Wrong Way: Going to an affiliate site and picking either a random product, the most popular product or a product you like and going with it.

The Business Way: Researching the products! Which products are popular and selling well and why? Can you market these products? Is the market saturated? How much money will each sale make you? How many visitors per sale do you expect? How much will it cost you per visitor?

2) Creating Your Landing Page

The Wrong Way: Taking the products ad page and regurgiting the content or adding no content at all! Also creating a content landing page that is not targeting true buyers.

The Business Way: Research and understanding your product! Buy the product if you have to. An honest sales pitch has a lot more value than regurgitated ad text. People can see through it! Study the competition's websites or blogs and make yours BETTER! Also, you need to understand who the target buyers are and cater to them. For example, trying to sell diet pill to someone looking to lose 5 pounds is probably not the best idea. In this case, focusing on people looking to lose 50 pounds may make more sense.

3) Promoting Your Site

The Wrong Way: Creating a GoogleAds Adword or Overture account and bidding $0.50 for the top 20 keywords related to your product.

The Business Way: Research out more targeted and obscure keywords that relate to your product. (Don't bid on "free diet pills" if they are not truly free!) You must make budgets for your Pay-Per-Click accounts and stick with them. Budget out how much you make per lead and vary your bid price according this. You should also go beyond PPC's to not only increase your traffic, but to get free traffic as well.

When I first started affiliate marketing, I did all three steps "The Wrong Way". That made me virtually no money. Actually, it cost me a small amount! Now I focus on "The Business Way" of affiliate marketing and sure enough, I make a fairly steady stream of income. Affiliate marketing (as well as other online ventures) are actually pretty straight-forward ways of making money and the eBooks that teach this do show you how to successfully do it. It is how you interpret this information and use it which separates the winners from the, well, no so successful!