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Making Money Online-Realistic Expectations

Updated on December 13, 2011

Make Money with Google and Affiliate Marketing?

"Make money online from the comfort of your own home!" "My top affiliates are making thousands a day using this exact program!" "Buy this marketing program and watch your earnings skyrocket!" Do these phrases sound familiar? If the words are not exact quotes, you undoubtedly have come across similar phrasing in your quest to tap the magic of the internet money-making machine. I know I have spent countless hours trying to understand the process and figure out what works and what doesn't.

I tried multiple avenues, including affiliate marketing and article marketing to drive traffic to different blogs. On every blog I started (there have been a few) I signed up for Google Adsense. There was no real belief it would make money for me, but it was free to start, so I figured why not? One of my blogs even made a couple of bucks in the first couple months, and believe me I had never been so happy to make two dollars!

Those initial results were short-lived and soon my efforts to make money from the internet stopped; at least for a while. What brought me back into the game every time was the random sale from an affiliate link, amazon or google ad that would pop up every so often. Each time it felt like winning a prize or receiving an unexpected gift. Today the earnings come with some regularity, and the only limiting factor is time, because what I have learned more than anything is that this stuff is hard work!

Hopefully by reading this you can sidestep some of the potential pitfalls I ran into. Below I offer some tips for making money online based on what has worked for me.

First, decide whether you will be doing affiliate marketing, setting up an Adsense or Amazon account or another avenue. Choose a method and focus on it until you start seeing results.


There are hundreds, no, thousands of products to affiliate with and several networks to sign up through. Clickbank and Commission Junction are two popular ones, the first representing electronic products only, while the second includes many tangibles including Bowflex products and vacation travel packages.

Start with one! Expending effort on a single product that interests you makes it easier to get results faster, and easier to find out where the results are coming from. Don't be a shotgun blast, be a sniper!

If you are successful with a single product, try and duplicate the process with other products. There are two common ways to get traffic and sales. One is with article marketing or other 'free' traffic sources. The other is to have an ongoing pay-per-click campaign with Google Adwords, which can get very expensive.

The cheapest way to begin is to start a free blog and purchase a domain name to redirect to it, or purchase a domain name and an inexpensive hosting package for an independent website.

Alternatively, you could just purchase the domain name and redirect it to the product landing page linked to your affiliate id. For this second option to work, visitors better be landing on a page written by the world's best copywriter, and that page needs to be getting tons of traffic.

Either option may work if the page the visitor comes from prior to seeing the affiliate product does a good job of pre-selllng it. Be aware that linking a blog to an affiliate product requires some extra work up front and continued maintenance.

E-Mail Capture

Another important step for a successful affiliate marketing campaign is to set up an e-mail capture form on the blog or website.

While some visitors may click on affiliate links and make a purchase, a far greater percentage will buy if they have chosen to sign up for the blog's newsletter. In this newsletter, the affiliate presents informative and useful information about the product and includes their affiliate links at the bottom of the letter.

Setting up an email capture form and producing newsletters is easy with services like Get Response or Constant Contact. They have inexpensive month to month packages which include newsletter creation and newsletter sign-up/e-mail capture forms. The code is written for you, all you have to do is copy and paste.

If you use the blog method, be prepared to spend time setting up a few pages about the site and posting articles on subjects relating to the affiliate product. For example, if your product is baking pans, you may have blog posts with recipes, baking tips or different cooking techniques.

If you want people to buy dumbbells you might feature workouts or fitness tips; or other fitness-related information. The finished blog should look as professional and complete as possible. Be sure to include information about yourself and/or your company, and contact information.

Article Marketing

To get people to the blog for free, use article marketing. This is a proven way to drive traffic, and if you don't like to write there are several inexpensive services that will do it for you. The catch is, you need to write for high ranking keywords, and you need to write on a consistent and ongoing basis.

Original, quality content that people are looking for is the key. You can also pay for Google Adwords campaigns, which are a sure way to drive traffic. However, this strategy requires a substantial daily advertising budget and the best keywords are expensive.

Article marketing can be done through a number of websites. Hubpages is one of the best, but you can also sign up for Infobarrel, Ezine articles, GoArticles, Associated Content and the list goes on. Explore the sites and then choose one, maybe two to test out. You will soon discover which is the easiest to use and which gets the best results. Stick with the best one and focus on creating content.

For proficient writers, articles marketing will work for re-directing people straight to an affiliate product landing page as well. As I mentioned earlier, the writing needs to be exquisite and the message persuasive to get people to:

a.)Follow your link to the affiliate page, and

b.) stay on that page and listen to the pitch. Even so, the conversion rates are likely to be low with this method.

Perhaps the best method is to establish a blog or website, direct traffic to it through local social and business networks, article marketing and Google Adwords. Develop a mailing list and create interesting and compelling newsletters to send out once a week. Once the system is in place, use Google analytics to determine what is driving your traffic. Make small adjustments as you learn.

Google Adsense:

The same concepts apply if the goal is Google Ad revenue. Because Google does a decent job of matching relevant ads with content, traffic volume is the relevant factor linked to increased earnings. Again, if the content is written well and relates to keywords people are searching for, visitors are more likely to click on related ads. In fact, some of my highest earning articles are those written about a hot product.

By far the best method I have found to earn Adsense revenue is by signing up for an article marketing site. These sites are magnets for search engines because they pack in so much content, and they share ad revenue with their members.

Having a good blog in a popular niche is also effective for Adsense, but using a site like Hubpages in conjunction with a good blog is even better. So to start growing your Adsense account, sign up and start writing!

On a final note, choose products or an industry you believe in. Choose products which require no shipping (e-books, etc.) or are small and have small shipping costs. Focus on getting one product/revenue stream moving before giving up and going on to the next.

Don't scatter your efforts over the internet, but instead maintain a laser focus. Consistency and vigilance will pay off on the internet, just as it does with business on the ground. Good luck!


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