Friday, June 23, 2006

Online Money Making Battle: Paid Surveys Vs. Affiliate Marketing

Paid Surveys Vs. Affiliate Marketing: Which is for you?

As you start learning about money making programs online, you will usually come across two legitimate ways of making money: Paid Surveys and Affiliate Marketing. I have tried them both and they are quite different!

I have spend a lot of time over the past 6 to 8 months researching and trying out different ways of making money online. Some of them work, but a lot of them are basically scams or pyramid schemes. The two that stand out as both legitimate as well as popular are paid surveys and affiliate marketing. You may see them called a variety of different names such as "focus groups", "paid to read emails", and "mystery shopping" for paid surveys and "data entry", "Clickbank money", even "forex" (even though the real forex deals with foreign exchange of currency) for affiliate marketing. A sub-catagory of affiliate marketing includes "Adsense" money-makers. Whatever you want to call, they are really just two different ways of making money online.

Paid surveys are simple. You sign up on a whole bunch of survey sites and over time, you will receive invitations to take part in filling out a marketing (or other) type of survey. This includes online surveys, phone surveys, focus groups, mystery shopping, etc. Now you will not be receiving dozens per day, by maybe a dozen or so per week. These surveys can range between $5 each to $75. Making $100 per week is definitely achievable!

Affiliate marketing is totally different. Throughout the world of the internet, there is a marketplace based on referrals. Almost anything you buy on the internet has some type of referal or affiliate program. If you can send a buyer to a vendor's website and they buy something, you (as the affiliate marketer) will receive a commission. These commissions can be percentages or straight values for the sales (or for that matter, leads or even clicks!). To promote another person's product, you usually need to create a website or blog and advertise.

Both of these online money making programs work and they do work as they are described above. But, of course, it is easier to explain it in 3 sentences than to actually do it. So what one do you choose? Let's compare the realities of these two work-at-home programs and find out!

1) Potential to Make Money

Paid Surveys: Making $500 per month is very doable, but that is pretty much the maximum in most cases.

Affiliate Marketing: The top affiliate marketers in the world make millions! But realize that only about 5% of those trying to make money through affiliate ventures are actually making money. (read on!) A solid affiliate marketer can bring in about $5000 per month.

2) Time Commitment

Paid Surveys: The initial start-up to sign up for the survey sites may take a few hours, but after that, your time will paid with the surveys or focus groups, etc. are you taking part in. You get paid for the time you put into paid surveys.

Affiliate Marketing: The actual "setting up" of an affiliate marketing campaign really does not take too long. But affiliate marketing requires a real commitment to learn the trade, research the products, advertise, and ultimately, become technically savvy enough to use the internet resources available to you (read #3). Once you develop the proper skills to do this, things become much simplier, your time commitment goes down and your earnings grow substantially!

3) Computer Know-How

Paid Surveys: Your computer skills only need to be average at best. Once you figure out how to create accounts on the survey sites, everything is fairly spoon-fed to you. As long as you have basic email knowledge, paid surveys requires very minimal technical knowledge.

Affiliate Marketing: A lot of the well written eBooks about affiliate marketing do a good job walking you through many of the technical steps. To get started requires very minimal computer knowledge. However, if you really want to make a considerable amount of money, it usually requires you to learn how to do some website design, host management and manipulation of code. You do not need to be a computer coder to be successful, but you should feel confident enough to edit a website.

4) Difficulty to Make Money

Paid Surveys: If you are willing to put in the initial time to sign up for most or all of the sites provided and you are willing to spend the time actually doing the surveys, then making money with paid surveys is easy.

Affiliate Marketing: If making a million dollars was easy, we would all do it, right? Not many people can read an affiliate marketing eBook and start making a solid income immediately. Some people do not make a cent in the first few MONTHS (I was one of them!). A lot of people quit, but if you are determined and willing to learn the trade, the initial up-hill battle will flatten out! It may start off at $10-$20 per day, but once it rains, it seems to pour!

5) Start-up Fees

Paid Surveys: You really need to join a paid survey site program to be successful. Most charge a one-time fee of $30-$40. No other fees occur after this.

Affiliate Marketing: You should really buy an eBook to teach you how affiliate marketing works. This usually costs between $30 and $50. There are usually advertising costs (which can be fairly minimum, but not required). If you have your own website, you will have monthly hosting and domain fees. Websites are not required, though. Blogs are a free way of promotion these days. Of course, it is entirely up you how much you will spend.

What it really gets down to is what you are willing to give. Paid surveys is a conservative, yet honest way of supplementing your monthly income by a few hundred days (and believe me, a few hundrd dollars can go a long way!). Affiliate marketing can be an initial uphill battle, which for some, leads to nothing. But the rewards can be very high and result in more than just a supplement of income, rather a career! Either way, if you try them out and it does not work for you, the other is always available and at the end of the day!

Matthew Bredel

Visit for more money making articles, resources and reviews on today’s hottest online money making ventures.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Google Analytics - Great Free Tracking

About a month ago, I was curious and clicked on the "Analytics" tab in my Google Adwords account. When I got there, I was a bit disappointed that I need to be "invited" to join the program. I said "what the hay!" and signed up for it anyway. Who cares, right? Well, last week I got my official invitation to join and being curious, I logged on and set up an account.

For anyone looking for a quick and easy way of tracking your website statistics, this is a GREAT and EASY way of doing it! I was quite impressed and now I almost rely on it! It provides me with such a good overview of my site as well as who my visitors are and what they are doing. It isn't perfect, nor does it provide all of the information you need, but it gives me enough to make quick judgments on what is going on. And again, IT'S FREE!

I have tried a handful of counter sites to do the same thing and most want your money in order to provide you with any meaning information (a counter tool at the bottom of your site is clearly not enough). The one counter site that I do like and still frequent is StatCounter. Its free version provides you will all of the good details that you want to see, but only for the last 100 visitors. For me right now, that is enough to get an idea what is going on. It provides a little bit more "raw" information than Analytics, which I like.

In either case, you SHOULD be tracking your visitors quite regularly to learn what is working and what is not. I'll get into more details on this in later blogs. Happy hump day!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Make Money Online: The Small Business Side (Article 2)

What can I say? I'm getting lazy about creating separate blogs about my articles. Here is my new article in its entirety:

Affiliate Marketing: The Risk-free Business

Trying to get into the world of small business can be a very risky, high cost and time consumer venture...until now. Affiliate marketing and other online money making programs can produce the same successes with virtually no risk at all.

We all have dreams about running our own business at some point in our life. It can be for the personal satisfaction, the freedom of bosses or the big financial rewards. But we know at some level that in order to get to this point requires either a lot of time, a lot of money or a even a lot of luck. Being an engineer in everyday life, I find myself between a rock and a hard place: Is it worth it for me to give up a fair paying job with reasonable hours to a high risk job which will require a lot more hours and probably, at least for the first 3-5 years, pay me less money? Working a 9-to-5 job can be fairly mundane and the self-satisfaction and financial rewards are adequate, but, in my opinion not acceptable.

Some Benefits of Owning Your Own Business:

1) Personal satisfaction
2) No bosses
3) Potential for big financial rewards
4) You set your own work hours
5) Potential to financial freedom without much work.

Some Drawbacks of Owning Your Own Business

1) Large up-front financial investment
2) Large up-front time commitment
3) High risk of failure
4) Little direction
5) Employ management (in some cases)

What do you do, then? I have been to the trade shows and the franchise shows and wholesaler shows. I have to admit that I do have quite a bit of excitement about them, but really, I am not prepared to make the sacrifices; at least at this time in my life. I have a wife, a mortgage, a car payment and two very young children.

About six months ago, I stumbled across some money making opportunities on the internet. I first started with Paid Surveys, but this was not meant to solve my small business desires, rather, to earn a little bit of extra cash each month (and it did that!, a couple of hundred dollars is nice, but I am not retiring with this any time soon!). This led me into the world of affiliate marketing.

Making money online through affiliate marketing has been an interesting and great experience. I was a bit skeptical at first, but the more research I did, the more it made sense to me. As an affiliate marketer, you promote products on the internet. If people find your link and/or website which lead them to a sale, you get a certain percentage of the sale. These earnings can be a few dollars, tens of dollars, even hundreds of dollars each! The process to be successful in doing this is not necessarily simple, but it is rather straight-forward. If you approach a venture like this from a small business point of view, you can be very successful in affiliate marketing.

This was the niche that I was looking for. Affiliate marketing has allowed me to receive many of the benefits of being in a small business for myself with little or none of the drawbacks:

* Minimal up-front investment: About a hundred dollars or so.
* Minimal time commitment: I work on it when I have time. There is no time limit on making this succeed.
* Low risk: If you put the effort into it, you can and will be successful. If it does not work for you, you are out very little (unlike buying a business).
*Lots of Direction: There are a vast number of quality eBooks on the subject and the support networks in newsgroups are outstanding.
* No Employees: Unless you really make it big, which this does have the potential of doing!

I have not yet quit my day-job by any means. I work on affiliate marketing about 2 hours per day, 5 days per week. I am not making tens of thousands per month yet, but everyday my affiliate marketing business grows and it does make a steady stream of income. By slowly building my online money making business now, I open the doors for the future to truly leave my 9-5 job behind and achieve the goals of self-employment that I have always desired. All of this was done at little to no risk to my family, life-style or current career path.

- Matthew Bredel

Visit for more money making articles, resources and reviews on today’s hottest online money making ventures.