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Who says it takes money to make money?
This is the follow up to the bet.
The question no longer is, can a person start an online business without money and without borrowing. The question now is can a living be made with what has been started. Getting the first paycheck was much easier than earning the second one.
There are sites everywhere on the net offering (get started free). It’s just a matter of choosing what is right for you, and reading very carefully. The main thing you need to do is make up your mind that its going to work, then do what it takes to make it happen. My goal unlike most people’s was to make money without spending any.
Becoming a multi-millionaire was not even considered. Watch out for the sites which make you believe this is possible as their owners may become millionaires if too many people buy into “what they are selling”. None of the free sites chosen said anything about becoming a millionaire. They all said if you follow what you are shown you will make money.
The first and most important program is a list builder
Only one is as easy as advertised, and it is making money. Like with most things there is a learning curve but you can pick up enough of the basics within an hour to get started building your list. With this program you join both the list and another free program which is supposed to pay for everything else you need. They advertise an auto responder which they say you need but also say you can survive without one. It is the only one that lets you put another URL on the site. It took me a long time to figure out where your URL went, so it makes me wonder if anyone going to the site will even find it.
With this program you get a website just like the one you sign up on. They also give you several splash pages to use for advertising. The idea with this program is to build a list. It is an effective program as long as you follow up within a few hours, and keep following up until your referrals "get it". Income is enhanced by people on your list joining the other program they are referred to on the site.
The best thing with this one is you get help from the people above you. It's always easier to learn if you can ask questions from someone who knows more than you. My mentor in this program is really appreciated because what he shows you works anywhere. He only sends one auto respond message the rest he does himself. This program is supposed to take about ten minutes a day, and does once you learn enough.
From failure to success
The saddest thing in the world is to realize big money (for me) was spent to try to earn money online and it's the simple free things, like replicated sites, free advertising, publishing on line, and joining a social network which pays, that actually did the trick. These (free things) are also sending people the other sites which were paid for. Granted it’s taken many hours sitting at a keyboard and trying to figure out how to get things done in a way that other people understood.
Let me tell you, more than once the thought of quitting crossed my mind. Too many twenty hour days wear on a person. Trying to keep up with living, take care of children, and doing all else required can really wear a person down. One morning, my roommates woke me up with "have you paid any of the bills yet?" Sorry to say my answer was no and one ended up being one day late. If the business isn't the driving force, something a person is willing to give up for success is much harder.
The day which changed everything for me was the day there was a message in my inbox saying there was a deposit ready to be made to my paypal account. The paid sites all pay by direct deposit into a corporate checking account so this money had to have been made from a free site.
We now have seven websites
One free program quickly grew to five. Each was free to join and no money has been spent on any of them. They each compliment the base "paid for" program. This means if done properly money can be earned five times while enhancing a companies profit margin.
Each is business to business with one program working for individuals also. From the internet came a hard earned lesson. This is offer something either free which has value or inexpensive to gain interest. This gains trust, once you have that trust you can show them other more expensive ways to increase profits. With these five programs its simple. The first is free and they each increase in cost from there. Each is something which will increase profit if used properly. They get training to do just that as part of the package.
Losing time is all right if there is enough value
My experience shows all of these free things take, your time. The value they provide is worth this time loss. Most have upgrades which you can choose to use if you feel the need. Since this was part of a bet (Money had to be made without spending any) nothing was upgraded. One of the things learned is, its a good idea to have an auto responder (we found a free one that works) or use an email address which let you send automated messages. Some mail servers let you auto respond if you press vacation somewhere in the inbox. If you don't have this service with your email provider find one who does. Make a new email account so your main account isn't on vacation. For us this wasn't necessary at first because someone checked the email account often. By often we mean 5 or more times a day.
Free advertising,Traffic exchanges and safelists
The best places to find free (and low cost advertising) are salesspider and IBOtoolbox. in a salesspider you can do regular advertisements and post ads to a forum. Forum posts are often found by search engines, some of ours are on page one under the company name. This forum, advertising real time in IBOtoolbox and the blogging platform there do more for us than anything.
Traffic exchanges work well for list builders as long as you learn what works well and what doesn't. What works best is offering something of high perceived value free. What people on traffic exchanges perceive to be of high value are ways to increase their lists or sales. It pretty much doesn't matter what your site, splash page, or opt in page look like for this to work but to be more effective you really need to look at what works well and what doesn't. People read websites and opt in pages left to right then down the right side of the page. You want the opt in form above a fold if there is on on the right side of the page right below something that captures interest. This has been tested and proven to work with about a 60 percent sign up rate.
For all the safelists we belong to since they are free we have to look at others emails and sites to gain credits to show our offerings. In most cases you don't get paid for referring as a free member. It is often better to take their one time offer when you join if it's at all possible. It is hard to research what the best offers are without going to at least 20. You can often do well with ones whose current numbers are low and growing. We managed a free JV membership in one that is up and coming, and bringing results.
While in this process only one thing was done that was against the rules, and wasn’t realized, was putting a link to a “not allowed site” on hub pages. This was soon rectified, it was never my intention to do anything against anyone’s rules. For those of you who don’t know Hub pages has a list of No No’s which pops up if you make a boo boo.
For those who want more information
Since my business sells to brick and mortar businesses this should not be considered trying to sell anyone anything. You can however gain information which can help you with an online business. There will be no charge.
How many people wondered what is this man up to?
Did you believe anyone could succeed at making money without spending any?
May 3, 2013 update
After a year of mostly 20 hour days exhaustion set in and business was hurt badly.It was time to re-think and re-work everything to where less time could be spent working. In the first year in spite of making about every mistake a business could make online we did continue earning.
The biggest lesson learned, talk to those who sponsor you if possible before you opt in. You should be going to work with them until you learn to duplicate their success. This includes those who sponsor you into a free program.
The most important question you need to ask your sponsor is; what method do you use on social media? They should answer, entertain, inspire, give/share information, and share links sparingly, If they don't talk to you about "telling not selling" RUN the other way. They don't know what they are doing.
© update May 3, 3013 6:50 AM CDT Dennis Thorgesen for Lisech eMarketing, All rights reserved.