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making money online is hard work

Updated on March 6, 2011

Is a full time income online possible for you?

We all want a job where we put in a few hours a week and get a nice income to replace our day job.

The big attraction to the Internet as a business market is that many have achieved this. Not the huge rich marketers flogging how to get rich to poor suckers who will never get a dime out of the Internet,

I mean the mums and dads who quietly create a decent business, then hone it with the latest software, outsource the other work and live on the passive income, just needing to write occasionally oneself. My daughter has just such a business

When starting an online business no matter which business model you decide on, it will take time to learn how to find your customer and get your sales.

Article writing for AdSense, eBay, kontera, amazon or any other advertising systems will take keyword research and careful market selection to make it pay, and it takes some understanding of each of the ways each system attract advertisements as well as which one suits you and your writing style best.

Write an Ebook and market it.

Organic search or adwords?

AdWords can work for start-ups.

My daughter started her online business about two years ago by writing tips on being organised and publishing a monthly newsletter for free to attract buyers for her down-loadable ebook. She advertised using AdWords.

AdWords can cost thousands of dollars a week if you don't watch it closely, so you need to ensure that you tightly control your advertising budget and start small, testing several ads at one time. AdWords will split test these ads for you. Don't be afraid to increase your budget as long as sales exceed your costs.

In my daughters case. the business structure was simple to set up and the first product was already in her head. The AdWord advertising was paramount to success in the beginning.

Writing an ebook that is worth reading that people will buy, then selling it online by just sending a simple pdf download looked like the way to go as she loves writing and has some admin skills, but the real business model is much different when one has a lot of subscribers.

Free high quality contents works!

After getting the reader to the sales page you need something free that is valuable to give to your customers to gain trust. Trust is a big issue and many people won't trust you until you have proved that you are worthwhile to them.

She gave away heaps of good information in exchange for a strong mailing list.A method introduced by the course she bought from Neil Waterhouse who put his course out in 5 pdf or online books. He is a well known marketer who talks straight and knows what to teach.

The complete set of 5 books cost about 100 bucks or less and provided pretty good easy to understand info on how to get started although there were a few things that were improved later.

The information she had purchased although incomplete, (it always is) was very helpful and she would never had got her business off the ground without it.

Making money online with an ebook looked to me to be a very bad way for my daughter to get a start, as she knew nothing about computers nor marketing, but she does like to write.

She followed the instructions pretty well and got good results and started selling the book as soon as she advertised with AdWords. Money started coming in within a day or two.

Money also started going out!

To start making web sites that sell products can be bloody close to impossible if you don't know how, and about 97% of people give up before they make any money at all, and often by this stage they have already spent a few thousand dollars just trying to get the right advice.

A better idea is to learn how to build a keyword campaign first!

Neil Waterhouse's cash package was easy to follow and got her started. After a short while the sales started to come daily, but to keep it happening she deliberately over spent on keywords for a few weeks as advised by Waterhouse. This increased sales to double pretty quickly.

If you have any questions Feel free to ask and I will attempt to help. This is not a promotion for any marketers or their services.

The real cost of sales.

the initial setup cost of a few hundred was dollars spread over time, so she had know idea how expensive it would become until she started getting about $2000 a week in sales.

She soon found that she had loads of people in her list and plenty of sales..... but more and more costs.

Sending the book and getting paid for it reliably meant buying online services. A shopping cart with built in auto-responders that work with big lists is expensive.

It can also be a nightmare to set up and keep running smoothly, and working long hours on the phone to solve shopping cart and auto-responder problems can be frustrating and go on for months.

She is still with her second choice of shopping cart, because despite the glitches it has delivered better than the rest she has tried, and was at least possible to install.Her new Joomla platform has a plug in shopping cart, but is still shaky with her large list of subscribers.

The cost got higher when her newsletter got to over 25,000 subscribers, but It is now fairly reliable and produces usable information for her split testing with about 47,000 subscribers to her free tips, newsletter and blog.

She still uses google AdWords only, and does not place other adds. Learning how to make a profit using MSN and Yahoo as well as Google will take a fair bit more work, and this will be done after she masters Google AdWords and her costs are well under control.

Google charges an enormous amount to buy keywords when you are a beginner. Until you get ads right and have some authority your keywords cost far too much and you pay through the nose.

The Google AdWords price for keyword drops as more knowledge is gained and she works out all the tricks her competition use to make her pay too much for the keywords.

It is a very competitive market

Until pages are aged and have lots of authoritative back links you will need to buy your advertising.

It is very hard to get your page on the left hand side of google search page for organic or free adds, for the search words you need, because these words are very sought after.

For an opposite example I have a bricks and mortar business selling automotive workshop machinery online, and that is very easy to advertise and promote because there are very few advertisers.

I have never had to pay for any advertising to remain on the first page of Google for my products in the niche, even world-wide.

As a small niche market it has been easy to dominate with just updates to my products and a couple of articles written and a few new keywords about once every three months. No paid advertising is needed at all.

You need to know a lot of stuff to be able to make any money online.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      long time no see gary it took me ages to find it i think this is the site

      filling address , they have 20% discount now,say myself-netsimsy put you on

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      hello again steven if your still knoking around this is there site

      and details, there very helpfull ,say m kemsens said you would sort him out

    • profile image

      Ronna K 

      7 years ago

      Wow, I am doing my research about everything (all as much as I can)I am currently building my website service. I am providing a swap service for schools etc and am finding out how I can make money from it if I am not charging for the services I provide on my site. Your hub is fantastic and has honesty and intregity written all over it.. I am a new to the www and I know I have many years until I can even make 50$ a month. I too am from down under. Thank you for your blog. :) I will read this over and over again.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you Chuck. I have read many of your hubs, they are first class.

      I hope you find a way to further capitalise your writing skills, you are one of hubpages top writers.

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 

      7 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Thanks for a very informative Hub. I have had success with HubPages and am thinking about expanding my online income producing activities and your Hub about your daughter's experience has a lot of good advice on how to go about this. I have bookmarked this Hub and will refer back to it as I begin to wade further into online business activities.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      You're most welcome! I have a friend who is a fan of Chris Farrell, I will check it out, thank you.

    • Jokylu profile image


      7 years ago from Waratah North, Victoria.

      Hi earnesthub, this is the second of your hubs I have read and I have found it be honest and helpful.

      I am also trying to get a handle on internet marketing. I have set up as an affiliate with but right now I am doing a course with Chris Farrell which I am finding to be fantastic. I can't beleive how much I have learnt in the past couple of weeks doing his 21 days to success course. I have placed a link to his page on Bimbabuys. Your daughter may like his material too.

      Great hub , thanks.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you alican, if you need any help just holler!

      Making money online is hard, but doable.

    • alican profile image


      8 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      thanks earnesthub, I know its going to be slow going as I have no experience whatsoever with online marketing. The good thing about both programs is that they offer extensive video and audio training so I am now busily swatting - its not something you can learn overnight but I am determined to succeed - I will certainly let you know, periodically, how things are going. Take care

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Hi alican, thanks for reading. I have found several people who do know what they are talking about with legit businesses. All of them involve at least a couple of years learning, even if the offer is a "Turnkey business."

      The one piece of advice I would offer is that marketing is everything. If you cannot reach a spending market, you go nowhere.

      Please let me know how you are going, I would be pleased if you succed.

    • alican profile image


      8 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Hi earnestshub,

      I have been searching for a legit online business but it is so hard - so many scams - also learning about keywords and PPC is very time consuming. I have tried many of these so called easy to make money programs but they end up being a total rip-off where I have to buy add-ons and other programs so I could end up potentially spending lots of money after buying the initial program. I only ever buy programs that have a money back guarantee so if I find that its not what it seems I get my money back. I have now just signed up to a couple of things, network marketing which I know is a big no no but both programs have an extensive library of e-books that I have full re-sale rights to so my intention is to not only recruit other members but to sell the e-books as well. I will keep you informed of my progress

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Pandoras Box, I really appreciate your comment. Honesty is very important to me, so when a fellow hubber tells me a hub is honest, I feel well vindicated, not to mention quite chuffed!

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you Sa'ge I aim to please. There is a wealth of information around, but I am trying to assemble the little I know in just a few hubs.

    • Pandoras Box profile image

      Pandoras Box 

      9 years ago from A Seemingly Chaotic World

      Great honest hub. There's so much to learn.

    • Sa`ge profile image


      9 years ago from Barefoot Island

      Very informative I am enjoying learning new things from your hugs and thank you so much for dropping by my hub and becomeng a Fan. much appreciated :) aloha sa`ge

    • vox vocis profile image


      9 years ago

      Great hub! Your point at the end is actually encouraging (I don´t like big promises about making millions over night, that´s so funny). I learnt that hard work pays off in the end, and if not, there is always knowledge that remains, right? One needs luck too, so if it´s meant to be, it will be...

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Welcome to my little hub world Antecessor! I have been pumping your hubs to see if I can stir up a few fanatics, traffic is a good thing, even if some of it will be a bit bent!

      Adword (those ads on the rhs of google) if well written can produce thousands of targeted hits a day, but it does take a while to learn how to build a good campaign. The trick is to target your website with campaigns for each page, use positive and negative keywords and build a huge list of associated keywords under each one.

    • Antecessor profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      I NEVER click on what you say are paid ads on the left hand side of a google search because I had always assumed they were spam and phishing fraud sites. LOLOLOL. I THOUGHT I understood the internet. LOL

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      BV It would seem to me to be a good strategy not to put any money into online businesses until all the process is understood for your particular market or business type.

    • Bovine Currency profile image

      Bovine Currency 

      9 years ago

      Hi Earnest, another great hub :) I am finding this e-commerce thing very deep and broad! I found hubpages by chance but my head was already into the marketing side of things. I was snooping around the web looking for ways to make money. Of course, I came across many schemes. Still, I pushed on. I am still not confident to invest money so for the time being it is my time only. Thanks for the hub.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      No we are in Australia, Amazon pay us with gift vouchers!

      My daughter is about to hit the payload again in about a month.

      Her PR is up and a new Joomla platform will take care of a lot of problems. Not cheap to build. AU$1,500 so far!

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 

      9 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Interesting experience, I wonder if your daughter ever thought of going through Amazon or if that's not feasible where she lives?

    • Jeo512 profile image


      9 years ago from Sweden

      hi dear come here and see my collection on my hubs and tell me about it how i can improve earning form hubpages .

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thanks for reading tyler_durden. Sorry to here you earlier venture failed. I would suggest that if you did it once, you can do it again. Anyone who has earned money or made sales successfully has the basics worked out, and will be able to it again. Good luck and welcome to hub pages. You will love it here!

    • tyler_durden profile image


      10 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Thanks for the info. I had an internet business about 5 years ago that was fairly successful (making and selling soy candles), without using adwords. Nearly all sales were from SEO efforts, and if I had the time, adwords would probably have doubled my sales. Since I couldn't double my time or hire someone at the time, I was stuck (poor financial decisions in my personal life doomed the business).

      I have always thought of venturing back into the business, and I will bookmark this page for the future if I ever decide to go back into it. Right now I am enjoying working on my classic car website.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thanks for the comment agvulpes,

                                                          I have found a lot of excellent information at my latest fan's hub. solarshingles, you will never forget the hub. It is a about roof shingles that make electricity. Just follow the links he provides about internet marketing. This man has great info and is a very nice person too.  

    • agvulpes profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for the quick hub. It sure does not look easy to make money on the web and there seems to be plenty of pitfalls along the way.

      I appears that it would be wise for the new comer to tread very carefully or it could finish up costing heaps of Dollars

      May the seas stay calm and the wind always at your back.


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