How A Dummy Can Make Money Online
Marketing Your Product Successfully
I am finally getting the hang of making money online and marketing a product or a website successfully - as well as the idea of marketing myself! The "Dummy" I am referring to in my title is myself. That is what I felt like when the whole thing about marketing things this way finally made sense to me! The Google Adsense is finally starting to trickle in, and I have found some great places to market my art, both traditional and computer generated! Check for "iceoriginals" on deviantart.com!
I have finally discovered what Deviantart.com is all about (thanks to some of the knowledgeable people here at Hubpages.com) , and for myself, the possibilities there are endless! I wish I had found this site years ago...I can market both my traditional art and paintings, as well as my husband's abstract and computer generated art for multiple uses. We both love photography as well, and Deviantart.com, as well as Redgage.com are good places for this. Shetoldme.com is another place where I am located now, and wish I had found all of these sites much sooner.
I finally realized that I was approaching making money online all wrong. For years I had been used to marketing something tangible, like online auctions, vintage estate and costume jewelry, collectibles, books and even for a time, I did personalized love letters, poems, and other things that required shipping and postage. Although I have made quite a bit of money this way, I have realized that there is a whole different aspect to making money! I could put my poetry and verses online and make them available for people to have access to and choose from, to purchase for everything from art prints and coasters to mouse-pads, bumper stickers and buttons. My own and my husband's artwork and photography is perfect for a huge amount of ideas. I have all of these images, writing, poetry, greeting card verses for all occasions, and articles just sitting there, waiting to be utilized and hopefully profitable!
When it finally became clear to me how all of this could come together, I have to say I felt really dumb (therefore the "dummy" in the title), because I hadn't figured it out sooner. All of this time, I could have used the same type of marketing methods to sell my art and writing as I had used to sell my jewelry and other items that had to be shipped! I suppose I had basically not been able to see the "forest for the trees" In other words, I had been making it a lot harder than it had to be.
All I needed to do, and anyone can do the same thing, is first of all, have patience. That cannot be stressed enough. It WILL take some time, and it helps when the articles that people write to try to help you are written in a more simple, beginner's viewpoint. A large majority of the articles I have read assume that those reading the article are as "internet savvy" as they are! Well, at least in my case, that was not true. I had a learning curve I had to face, before I could ever get into really understanding the Adsense, Analytics, optimal search terms, keywords, and SEO ideas and how to implement them into helping my work make money.
Now, when I write an article, I do the simple things listed below:
1. Pay attention to the simple things like the construction of the sentences I use and making sure I don't misspell words, or make grammatical mistakes. People often don't realize how important these simple things can be. If you have a misspelled keyword, that could throw your whole article off on how profitable that word, in that article, can be for you. Spelling, to me anyway, is crucial! As for sentence construction, try thinking of your sentences in "search terms". If it were you searching the internet for the information or product you are marketing, what would you put into the search box?? This helps get you more visitors to your site, which is your ultimate goal, as well as helping your affiliate ads be more relevant to your content.
2. Cross promotion of the different websites that you use is very important. For instance, if I write a Hubpages article about art, especially mine or my husbands, any photos or images I use in my Hubpages article are also immediately loaded onto my Deviantart.com website, as well as on Redgage.com. Then a link to the article itself is put on Shetoldme.com as well as Redgage.com. The same goes for my blog on Blogger.com, Taz's Corner. Everything and everywhere I write is attached and cross-promoted in some way. This gives me more than one way to make money off of it.
3. Anything and anywhere I can apply the Adsense program, I do it. I am sure there are tons of places that I haven't found yet, but just the ones I have mentioned so far are keeping me very busy, lol! Plus, I am having to go back and link all the previous work I have done up to this point, so it can begin to be more profitable, and this takes time. It's much easier if you just start out doing these things.
4. Keep your older material fresh. Just because you wrote something a year ago, doesn't mean you can't go back, look it over, and somehow freshen it up and update it, hopefully using more relevant keywords. I did this just last week with four of my older hubs and saw a rise in traffic the very next day. I also saw an increase in my Adsense income. Think of it like your wardrobe - That "little black dress" can always be freshened up and given a new look with new shoes and new accessories! That suit can always be brightened up with a new pair of shoes and a different shirt and tie! Be creative with it!
5. Look at your images and content through the eyes of your target audience. I cannot stress this enough, especially for those that are more advanced and knowledgeable in this area. Don't assume that just because it seems so easy for you to understand that everyone else is at the same level in internet and website marketing knowledge as you are. If they were, they wouldn't be reading your article for help! I have read so many articles on these very subjects, and the vast majority of them were WAY over my head when I first started.
6. Take advantage of all of the "free to register or free to join" sites that you can. Depending on the amount of time that you are willing to devote to it, as well as the amount of money you wish to someday work up to making with this type of job, keeping your overhead and investment as low as possible is as crucial to this business as it is to a brick and mortar store. It was a little hard for me to finally look at this type of work like it WAS a business, because I had always had a brick and mortar store, or actually shipping items out. Now, my business is contained on this laptop, and my images are either in my camera, on the computer, or on canvas, paper, etc. Their final destination is on the internet, where they can make me money, if it keeps working like it has been. I think you get the idea. (My 74 year old father still thinks "I don't have a job", lol).
Don't get your cart before the horse, lol!!
Market What You Know and Above All - Enjoy Yourself!
One thing I have discovered during all of this trial and plenty of errors period, is that internet marketing is actually a lot like art-write and market what you KNOW and LOVE. The same rule applies to art if you are an artist. Successful people become successful because they truly enjoy what they are doing, and that makes the work not seem like work! I would NOT be happy working at something for 10-12 hours a day, at least, if I didn't truly love doing it! My biggest problem now is finding the time to do it all, and remembering what I wanted to do next!
Which brings me to another important thing:
Start making lists of each new idea you have, website you want to join or check out, articles you want to write, photographs you want to take, whatever it is that comes to your mind that you want to get around to eventually. If you think it will make you money, whether it is a new design for jewelry, a painting, or an article or blog about a certain subject.
I keep Post-it® notes by my laptop, on the table where I design and create, as well as notebooks on my desk, by my bed, and I even take a notebook and my camera with me nearly everywhere I go, just in case I get an idea about something, see something or hear about something and either want to make notes or snap a great photo or add another subject to the list of things I eventually want to write about. The best part about all of this is that although it sounds like a lot of work, I do it because I enjoy it! Above all, it has made me more aware of the world around me. I look at things that happen from different perspectives and examine objects differently and more closely, and really SEE them, from an artistic and journalistic viewpoint. The entire world and all that is around me? I pay more attention to everything and all of the details of life and therefore, I am much more "in tune" with my world.
Hubpages has made all of this happen for me. I can't begin to explain to you how, 10 months ago, I was bored, depressed, lonely, etc. Through finding Hubpages.com, I started to write again on a limited basis, feeling my way along, interacting with others on this site, reading the wonderful and informative forums on all types of subjects, and following the advice of the seasoned pro's here,Through that I have rekindled a passion and found new ones! I had never been interested in photography before, except as just a way to record special occasions. Now I have a camera with me nearly all the time, and often, my husband and I go on drives just to look for interesting things to photograph. We are both getting back to drawing and painting together. Through researching, reading and doing new things I have expanded my knowledge on all types of subjects. I have taught myself to be more disciplined and organized both in my workspace and my entire life. The added benefit is that now, I am finally beginning to see a little bit of money out there at the end of the tunnel. BUT IT ALL TAKES PATIENCE AND A LOT OF WORK.
If it seems odd that a single website could do all of this for a person, you would have to really understand my lifestyle up to the time I joined Hubpages. My husband works different shifts all of the time, and also works very long hours. My children are grown, and busy with their children and their lives. I spend about 12 hours a day by myself except for my pets. I haven't worked outside my home for about eight years and other than having a cleaning business for about a hear and a half, then doing Ebay for roughly 3-4 years, this is the only other "job" I have. I still occasionally sell things on Ebay, but it is rare. I much prefer to stay home and create things, whether in words or images. So Hubpages gave me a platform to get both myself and my creations out in the world, and one thing led to another. Now I have about 4-5 different websites where I am active, some under other user names, that are a source of income for me. That illustrates the importance of linking all of your work on each site to the other sites!
No longer do I sit and mindlessly watch television all day anymore. I'm never bored because I constantly have something I am working on, and if I get tired of doing one thing, I can switch over to another. My depression has lifted, and I am working on quitting smoking (ok, cutting back...). I have even lost some weight, because I don't sit around and eat all of the time out of boredom!
I realize that I have gotten a bit off-subject, but I wanted to share with you just a few simple tips, especially for the beginning internet marketing person or beginning blogger, as well as any creative people and artists that want to promote their work. "Cross promotion", as I refer to it, is invaluable (cross-promotion is when you link each image, hub or article to at least one or more of the other websites where you are a member). You need to get your name or work, and any websites where you are an active member, out there where people can find you - with coverage on your websites where you can make money, not just on Adsense, but in other ways as well. Sites that you can adapt to this "2 for 1" strategy are Redgage, Hubpages, Shetoldme, and many, many more that you can find just by looking. I haven't even scratched the surface yet. You can also add in Myspace and Facebook as well.
To sum it all up, diversify and link!!! My father always had more than 1 job (both away from and at home) when I was growing up, once I had three jobs at one time, both at home and outside the home, and I am sure that many of your own fathers, mothers or your own family may be the same way. In my opinion, that is the foundation you need to build on to hopefully make yourself a financially independent person using the internet, or at least make a second income. My father always taught me to have more than one source of income, because you never know what the future holds. That way, if you lose one source, you will have the others to fall back on. If nothing else, there is the added benefit of being able to put any extra income into savings or other type of investment.
In all honesty, we are truly the masters of our own destiny. The options of making money on the internet are endless, and only our imagination and ambition hold us back. I used to tell my art classes that "If you can dream it, you do it". I feel the same way about the internet and internet marketing and business.