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Lessons Learned The Hard Way - Earning an Online Income

Updated on May 6, 2011

Earning Online - The Steep Learning Curve

Earning an income online is competitive. Every step along the way you are in competition with thousands of others around the world. You compete for domain names, keywords and search engine results. The result of this is a technical environment that is difficult for beginners to succeed in.

I decided to teach myself the art of earning online, starting with only a basic knowledge of email and computers. As I should have expected (but didn't) - there is a lot more to know that anyone would guess, and the learning doesn't stop.

Earning Online - Lesson 1

As I was not interested in spending any money on my quest to make it, I started off with a free blog.

Starting a site from nothing is hard work. Getting traffic (especially when you don't know what you are doing) takes months and months and it only starts with a trickle. This fact probably removes all but the most patient / persistent 10% of beginners. I am afraid the "get rich quick" crowd will be sorely disappointed.

What would I have done differently?

Start writing on a site like this. Hubpages and similar sites offer 2 huge advantages not just for the novice but everyone.

Firstly, they are indexed very quickly by search engines. Google will find your writing within a day in many cases. The sooner you appear in search results, the sooner your traffic will build. My first blog took a couple of months to be found.

Secondly, content published on hubpages gets a significant boost in the search engine rankings thanks to the high significance google places on This means that well written and optimized articles can achieve first page results in a short period of time. My own blog was just that - on its own. Anyone persistent enough to flick through 10 pages of search results may well have accidentally found it.

Hubpages takes around 40% of the revenue generated by the content published. This sounds like a lot but there more you understand about earning online, the more you see it as the bargain it is. Remember that your 60% of something is far better than 100% of nothing.

Earning Online - Lesson 2

It wasn't long into my research that I read about backlinks. The concept is simple. The more (relevant) sites that link to yours, the more important search engines think it is. These links are also weighted according to how important the site they came from is.

I read about article marketing so signed up to

Looking back, the links that were created here were the only thing that got my blog indexed and noticed at all. I put all of my eggs in one basket and failed to look for other sources. Ezinearticles is a good site and is not a bad way to promote a new site. What I should have done was to diversify my backlinks. 20 links from the one site would not be seen as favorably as 20 links from 20 important sites.

DoFollowDigg and DoFollowBookmarks are examples of sites that let you quickly create backlinks.

Earning Online - Lesson 3

Backlinks that earn are better than backlinks that don't.

If you are going to spend time creating backlinks to promote your work, you may as well have the opportunity to supplement your online income. This is possible thanks to adsense revenue sharing websites. You submit a summary of your original article, including the all important backlink, and receive a percentage of the revenue from advertising on the pages featuring your content.

Every blog post or article you write should be linked to from sites such as:




Don't forget to enter your adsense ID when you sign up

For all of the above sites you need to write a brief summary which does take a little time. One of the quickest sites for submitting links is Redgage. All that is required is a title, a few tags and a one line description. They offer some payment but it is a floating amount per 1000 impressions and must be taken on the Redgage Visa Debit Card. You are not going to retire on your Redgage earnings but the quick links are worthwhile.

Earning Online - Lesson 4

You only get out what you put in

Five minutes of work will not earn you anything. The more you publish the more you will learn and earn. Writing and the research that goes with it is hard work and takes time. Hopefully you will find it enjoyable. I have.

The internet is unpredictable. You will write 20 articles and the one you thought was least likely to succeed will earn more than the rest combined. The "sure thing" you loved that had all the elements needed for success will flop. The only way you will find out what works is by putting it out there and seeing what happens.

Spend time learning from experienced writers in the forums of writing sites. Optimize your content and promote it religiously. Then write more while you wait for the revenue to starts to trickle in. Cents at first then the dollars will come.

The secret to earning online? Hard work, learning from your mistakes, and patience.

Which is the Easier Way to Earn Online:

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    • Laura45 profile image

      Laura45 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Thanks! Insightful article on earning an online income. I appreciate the resources provided.

    • DanPowers profile image

      DanPowers 7 years ago from Tokyo

      If you build a website with a product or service offered then it's much easier to get links to it. You'll also get a lot of traffic, especially if your product is good, free or both!