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!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Make Money Online: The Small Business Side (Article 1)

In my series of how affiliate marketing relates to small business, I am planning on writing a series of articles to complement the topic. I've written my first article called:

Check it out! I still cannot reiterate more to "newbies" the importance of not only how affiliate marketing works, but how to effectively implement it as well! Enjoy the article!

Monday, June 12, 2006

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

Blogspot royally annoyed me last week! For some stupid reason, the website would be down or it would come up with a bunch of broken links or it would just freeze on me! By Thursday, I gave up with posts for the week. I'm back now!...

One big point that everyone seems to miss about making money online is that is really and truly is, by definition, a small business. When I first started doing paid surveys, I approached it as a "hobby". Then I got more adventageous and started making money through affiliate marketing and Adsense. At the beginning, I continued to approach it as a "hobby", like the paid surveys. I was not willing to invest the time or money into building my affiliate marketing campaigns. Not much really came from it, either. I did not know what I was doing nor was I ready to put any money into it. I became frustrated and finally bought my first eBook on how to do it. That cost about $40.

This taught me to focus on Blogging and SEO at first (because they were CHEAP!). Believe it or not, I actually DID get some sales. Not many and nothing reliable at all, but it was something. That prompted me to start spending money all over the place: PPC's, Domain Names, Web Hosting, Autoresponders, Ads, more eBooks, etc. Now here is where my warning to everyone comes into place:

I started throwing money around (a few $100 in this case) and it gained me absolutely NOTHING!

But the problem was not what I was buying, but rather, what I was trying to do. All of the things listed above, in my opinion, ARE NEEDED if you really want to play this game. The problem was that I did not have a good PLAN. And this ties back into the original point of the article:

Affiliate Marketing IS a small business that requires both resources and planning to be successful.

Once I figured this out, things began falling into place and my negative income was slowly becoming positive once again. You do not need a marketing or economics degree to figure this out, either. How much are you willing to pay per Sale? Per Click? Per Lead? And prior to even figuring this out, are you really ready and educated on affiliate marketing and Adsense to play this game? My first recommendation is to buy an eBook to learn the ropes and play with blogging and free traffic until you understand how online marketing works. We'll talk about planning and resources another day!