Monetise: Making money online

Monetise: Making money onlineLet’s face it, most of us are starting to feel the pinch as the affects of the global down-turn continue to reverberate across our lives. We are all trying to find ways of increase our income whilst navigating around a countless number of internet scams. Wouldn’t it be great to take charge of our financial destiny and build an online empire that not only pays the bills, but fills our bank accounts to the brim! Wouldn’t it be great to actually start making money online?

That possibility is at the finger is available to any one of us, young and old alike. All you need is a good idea. You don’t even need to be a professional web designer! Sounds to good to be true? Read on…

Good idea?  A story of how to start making money online!

Let’s look at an imaginary scenario:

Mr Smith’s niche market: The Gardener

Mr Smith, a pizza delivery-man from Kent is a very keen gardener. He recently discovered purely by chance, a great concoction for increasing plant growth, health and yield. He was startled to find that his totally organic, inexpensive solution produce 500% more growth than even the very best chemical-based fertilizer. Being a general ‘good egg’, Mr Smith thought he’d publish his methods on the Internet for the good of the planet via his blog. He choose the WordPress system because it was easy to use and was very flexible. Oh – and it is free!

Over time, Mr Smith saw the visits to his blog explode as word got out and exponentially spread. Before long, he had tens of thousands of visits a day. He joined the social networks and spoke on the subject of his miracle fertilizer with great enthusiasm. This intern, brought in even more loyal followers.

Although Mr Smith’s idea was a huge success, he knew that at the end of the year he was going to have to renew and pay for his server host. It then dawned on him – ‘I really should be making money out of this website! It should at least earn it’s keep’, he thought.

Google AdSense – Pay-per-click

He did a small amount of research and decided to sign up for the free and easy to use Google AdSense scheme. After all, it wouldn’t cost him a single penny and the pay-per-click adverts are generated and managed by Google. The day after doing this, the money started to pour in. Admittedly in small amount of anything from 1p to £5 per click, but there were so many of them! “That’s the water, gas and electric bills paid!” he thought. Soon, he was receiving a payment from Google every month. Over time that monthly amount grew as his site became even more popular.

Affiliate advertising

Mr Smith started to branch out a bit. He had a captive audience so he decided to take the opportunity to conduct talks on other organic matters, including eco-friendly products that he’d tried and had great success with. His audience trusted his unquestionable eco-opinions.

Now, the powerful Mr Smith didn’t want to fall into the retail trap; he didn’t want all of the hassle of carrying stock, so he decided to give affiliate advertising a try.

He would write an article each evening on a particular brand of, for example, organic soap. He emailed the supplier and found out that they we’re already a part of an affiliate network. Mr Smith then joined that network for free. He then included special links within his articles to the supplier’s website. If a visitor clicked on one of those links and then, as a result bought a product, Mr Smith got a percentage of that sale for the recommendation.

It gets better! Mr Smith got a cut of the entire amount that his referral spent! Much to his surprise, the visitor returned to the soap supplier’s website a few weeks later and bought more products, adding to the total commission, even though the visitor hadn’t clicked on Mr Smith’s link during the second spree!

Rags to riches

The greatest thing about our Mr Smith’s story is that he started with just an idea and without laying down a single penny, he set up his own eco-empire.

This could be your story. The risks are fairly non-existent, although you do need to be committed to your subject matter if you wish to be successful and making money online. You just have to have that golden idea.

The route to your success

  1. Come up with an idea that is original, but will command an audience. Choose a subject matter that you are passionate about. This will help you write great articles that are full of good information and naturally rich in search engine friendly keywords. I found that article writing isn’t a chore when it’s on a subject that I love.
  2. Host your own blog – sign up to a server hosting package. It doesn’t have to be the very best. You can get a decent hosting plan for as little as £20 per year. I quite often use www.uk2.net (Choose the ‘Home’ plan). Google seems to favour blogs/websites that are privately hosted.
  3. Build a blog – this must be the easiest way of establishing a web presense. It requires very little technical skill and you will have a powerful article delivery tool at your finger tips in a matter of minutes. Fill your blog with useful articles, the kind of posts that people really want to read. Use your best innate marketing skills to sell your idea. Use good grammar, spelling and rich journalistic language. Love your subject matter.
  4. Tell the world – tell your friends and family about your blog, either by word of mouth or by facebook, twitter and YouTube. Don’t pitch too much of a sale – offer help, support and good and sincere advise and information.
  5. Add a bit of Google AdSense – It will cost you nothing and there are zero risks. You sign up, place a few lines of code on your page and your contextual pay-per-click adverts will appear on your website.
  6. Get on an affiliate scheme – Again, very easy do and risk free. You will be able to choose from predefined banners and links and most schemes allow you to generate your own links to the page of your choice. There are plenty of affiliate schemes to choose from. I’d recommend from personal experience AffiliateWindow and TradeDoubler.

A word of caution. Although the aim is to start making money online, I’d be careful how you achieve this. Don’t over cram your website with affiliate links and sales talk. Making an income from your site should be the perk and not the reason. In that way, people will enjoy your content without feeling that they are being lured into a sales pitch.

Good luck! Remember, if you make millions from that great idea, don’t forget the one who introduced you to the concept 😉

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