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Mom Blogging for Dummies

July 14, 2011

My good friend, Wendy Piersall’s new book, “Mom Blogging for Dummies” has just been released. When you get a chance go over to her facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/MomBloggingForDummies) and learn more about the book. Then go buy it!

Congrats Wendy! Look forward to checking it out.

PS. I know I haven’t been writing much on this blog. At some point I plan on talking about that in more detail, but right now I am still working out the details.

Tune in to Women in Business Radio 1/17

January 16, 2011

Hey everybody, just a quick note to let you know that I’m being interviewed on Women in Business Radio tomorrow. Tune in and follow by Twitter to ask questions. Then stop back by here and leave comments with your thoughts— and accolades šŸ™‚

Blogworld Expo Day 3: The bad news (with solutions!)

October 20, 2010

As often happens with big conferences, the third day of the BlogWorld Expo was slower. This was partly because I wanted to thoroughly go through the exhibit floor, but mainly because I was getting pretty tired. I attended much more niche-type sessions not interesting to all; specifically, “Managing Blog Groups,” and the “Science of Social Media Marketing.” The morning keynote, however, was well attended despite the late-night partying of many of the attendees, and for good reason.

“7 Harsh Realities of Blogging for Bucks” was a fairly open-format round table with Darren Rowse of Problogger, Brian Clark of Copyblogger, and Sonia Simone of Copyblogger/Remarkable Communication. While they outlined the harsh realities, they focused more on the solutions to those problems. It’s difficult to distill down their message, and I’m sure others out there have attempted the same, but I’m going to give it a try:

1.Free is not a business model – You can’t make money if you give it all away, but you’ve got to give away a lot of good content to attract people to your premium content or your products. Finding the balance can be tough, but the panel has found that the more you give away, the more people trust that your premium content/products are actually worth buying.

2.The push-button internet cash machine is on the fritz – With few exceptions, you can’t make money fast as a blogger. Like most worthy ventures, it takes time and work to build something that brings in an income. Lots of bloggers treat it as supplementary income. Don’t expect to make a six-figure income overnight, and you’ll probably be fine.

3.You can talk to everyone – It’s easy to get caught up in trying to grow your blog so quickly you lose sight of making real connections. Their advice was to get real about how many meaningful connections you can make in a day. The key word there is “meaningful.” Stretch too far too fast, and you’ll be lost in the shuffle.

4.No one wants that much authenticity – Don’t lie, but don’t get too personal. You don’t have to share everything about your life. Have some boundaries; you don’t want to creep out or bore anyone.

5.Social media hates selling – But you have to sell. Your content is your “marketing.” People love to share content, so let your awesome writing sell itself. Consider that you are offering your readers something valuable, not just pitching a deal.

6.A blog is not a business – Plenty of bloggers out there have no intention of making money. You can set up a blog with no business plan and be perfectly happy with it. But if you want to make money, you need a business plan. Treat your blog like a business, plan where you are going, and be prepared to grow with the business.

7.No one is reading your blog – There could be several reasons that no one is reading your stuff.
a.Maybe you’re not talking about something they care about. If your niche is too obscure, there just may not be a lot of audience for your subject matter. Or, maybe you’re talking about just one aspect of your subject and need to broaden your horizons.
b.You haven’t been giving it time. It takes time to build a readership. Most bloggers start out with their friends and family reading their blog. It took Darren Rowse nearly two years to get his photography blog to the place where it had a good readership and began to make money. Part of this is that you may not be spending any time to spread the word in other ways, like a strong social media presence.
c.You’ve got a good topic, but you’re not being fresh. There are new blogs coming up every day, and the hot topics get covered first. If you can find a new way to present a popular subject, you’ve won half the battle. But, if you’re copying what everyone else is doing, you could be doomed to obscurity.

I learned a ton from this very knowledgeable panel. I hope you get a a little out of my summary.
Thanks for reading,
Sherry
Starting Fresh at Forty

Making it count: Your brand, your network

October 18, 2010

Day 2 of the BlogWorld Expo 2010
Now that I’m a little recovered from the convention, I’m excited to share more about the Expo.

The best and the worst aspect had to be all the different types of sessions you could attend. There were always at least 12 different topics ranging from podcasting to food blogging. I steered away from the specialty tracks like real estate and military blogging, but I still missed out on tons of great material. That being said, here’s a little of what I did get to see:

Standout sessions for me on Friday were Mari Smith’s “The Brand of You: How to Build a Profitable Social Media Based Business,” and a panel discussion with Wendy Piersall, Cecilia Mecca, Bridgette Duplantis, and moderated by Jeremy Wright, “Harnessing the Power of Numbers: Creating a Blog Network.”

Mari Smith is a master of the personal brand. Mari’s brand is Mari, from her signature “turquoise and bling” on everything – including the podium when she spoke – to her endearing Scottish-Canadian accent. Her biggest advice is to really interact with your audience. Get out and comment on blogs, answer questions on your Facebook page, tweet about interesting subjects. She advised everyone to use their name and picture as much as possible so people feel they are interacting with a real person. The exception would be if you wish to establish a company brand to possibly sell in the future, and even then you’ll want to provide a human face behind the name.

Now, she doesn’t mean get out there and natter on about nothing. Make your engagement worthwhile for the people you are interacting with. There were two things she said that stuck with me, “Don’t shout ‘look at me,’ shout, ‘how can I help you?’” and “It’s better to have 100 highly engaged fans/followers than 10,000 who don’t give a hoot what you say.” In other words, get involved with purpose and an eye for helping others. You can have thousands of fans and followers, but if they aren’t listening to you, it doesn’t matter. And they’re not going to listen unless you provide them with a good reason.

But the most noticeable thing about Mari is that she walks the talk. She was very gracious with those who came up to speak to her. Everyone got kind words and helpful advice with a genuine smile. She sat in on sessions with her colleagues, listened, and participated. There is nothing aloof about Mari Smith; she honestly wants to help.

The three ladies from the session on creating a blog network were also extremely helpful. In fact, the networks they created – Double Duty Divas for Bridgette and Cecilia, Sparkplugging for Wendy – were all about promoting those who participated. Their attitude is that those who blog within your niche are not competition, but opportunities for support and mutual advantage. While the Divas reward with promotion and bringing advertisers and bloggers together, Wendy – who recently sold Sparkplugging – paid her bloggers for their time and posted more content aimed at the home entrepreneur.

Putting together a network of bloggers can be a rewarding experience, but all three advised that you need to screen those who join you well. Establish guidelines from the very beginning to dictate the tone and style of your network as well as to ensure the network remains honest and transparent (the Divas do a lot of product reviews which requires full disclosure.) Stick to those guidelines and don’t bend. After all, it’s your network’s – and ultimately your – reputation on the line.

Whew! That’s a lot of information and I barely scratched the surface. Stay tuned for my next installment for Day 3.

Thanks for reading!
Sherry
Starting Fresh at Forty

10 Takeaways from Day 1 of the BlogWorld Expo 2010

October 14, 2010

Good evening from day one in Las Vegas!

As my own blog is still pretty young, I figured today I would do the Problogger track and sit in on the four connected sessions by Darren Rowe and Chris Garrett. They covered creating killer content, finding readers, building community, and monetization. Basically, everything you need to know to have a successful blog. There’s a good deal of rave reviews about these guys and now I know why.

Without going into the deep particulars and trying to recreate the several hours’ worth of material, I thought I’d give you my 10 biggest takeaways from the sessions.

1.Make each post count – Garrett echoed the morning keynote speaker, Scott Stratten, when he emphasized that if you don’t have anything to say, don’t try to force meaningless filler on people. Your readers remember your last post; your previous stuff may have been killer, but if that last post was no good, they may not come back.

2.Know your audience – If you don’t know who you’re writing for, find out. Take a look around, do some research. When he began his photography blog, Rowe sat down and wrote out bios for three of the potential types of readers he expected to get, then wrote for them. It changed over time, so he tweaked the bios and still writes with them in mind.

3.Don’t write for SEO, write for people – No one is going to read your stuff just because there are a lot of keywords in it. Don’t find popular search words and write around them. If you’ve got a good post, maybe you can refine it and work some keywords in, but remember it has to be interesting and readable.

4.Get off your blog – If you want people to read and continue to read your blog, go where they hang out online and interact. Comment on other blogs, use social media, maybe guest blog a little.

5.Give back to your readers – If someone has made a comment on your blog, answer back. Acknowledge your readers by checking out their blogs and recommending them to others. Thank them for participating. Reciprocity can be a powerful tool, and it’s just polite, darn it.

6.Invite interaction – Set little challenges for your readers, ask opinions, ask for their tips and advice. In other words, build a community.

7.Start small with advertising – Got a little blog? Find little advertisers. Team up with bloggers in your niche who could offer a new advertiser a package deal, then grow as your audience does.

8.Monetize progressively, don’t be stingy – Give away a really helpful Ebook. (Yes, don’t hold back all the good stuff. They have to know you aren’t blowing smoke, you really have valuable information.) If you see people like it then go for a low-priced product. Work your way up to that big consulting contract, service or product.

9.Trust is key – People will only do business with those they trust. Don’t lie, don’t exaggerate, be up front and forthright. Don’t be a jerk (this was emphasized quite a bit today, using several different synonymous words.)

And the biggest takeaway for me today:

10.Don’t give up – Building a good blog takes time. With few exceptions, most blogs don’t gain success overnight. Rowe’s first blog took a year and a half to really get a good readership and begin to make money. There are a lot of bloggers out there; it can be tough to build a readership when so many people are attempting the same. But if you persist and have good, valuable content, you really can have a successful blog.


There are two more days of the expo, if they’re anything like today, I’m definitely getting my money’s worth. Until then, keep blogging!

Starting a website? Things to consider.

October 7, 2010

Many readers of Can I Make Big Money Online have the technical chops to create their own website. But what if you don’t? What if you have to hire, gulp, a web designer? Here are a few things you’ll want to consider. You’ll need to make some choices about your domain, hosting and hiring a website designer.

When you’re choosing a domain, there are a few directions you can go. You can choose a domain to brand your business, to appeal to the search engines or sometimes you can combine the two. George wrote a pretty extensive article on choosing a domain some time ago, and there’s not much I can add to what he already said.

However, here’s one thing that wasn’t included in his original article. When choosing an extension, opt for a top level domain versus a .info domain name, if it is available. While most people search for domain names typing in a .com extension, you can also be quite successful with a .net or a .org extension. It’s not uncommon for website owners to buy several versions of their domain name with different extensions. If multiple extensions are available, consider buying them to keep competitors from buying them later and benefiting from your success.

No matter what domain you choose, always have it hosted by your own hosting server. This bears repeating. Use your own hosting. Preferably paid hosting, not on a friend’s server in his Mom’s basement. You think you’re saving money by going this route, but in the long run the potential headaches are not worth the less than $100 per year you’re going to save.

Some people try another “cheap” route for hosting. “Free” website builders that offer free hosting. Usually this means you will not have your own domain name. For example, if you were with Freewebs.com, it would be freewebs.com/andyourname here. This domain name does not look professional and it is too hard for your potential customers to remember (plus you’re advertising someone else’s company every time you advertise your website). If you’re looking to save money, take advantage of the free domain name registration that some web hosting packages offer.

If you’re looking for great, reliable hosting at a reasonable rate, we always recommend Hostgator. Yes, that’s an affiliate link. Throughout the years, we’ve had our sites hosted through several different companies. Hostgator is far and away our favorite.

One more note about domains— make sure your domain is registered in YOUR name, not in your website designer’s name, not in your hosting company’s name. Even if your hosting company offers to register your domain for you, make sure that you will be listed as the technical contact. You may want to register it yourself if you have any doubts about how the registration will be handled, even if it means passing up on a “free” offer. If you ever want to change hosts or designers, you’ll be glad you spent the ten minutes and $20, vs. the hassle and potential expense of trying to reclaim a domain if it wasn’t registered in your name.

Finally, if you’re not comfortable designing the site yourself, you’ll need to find a website designer. Of course, we’re partial to MantyWeb Designs, but no matter who you choose, make sure that you ask to see some examples of the designer’s work. You may want to even find some websites you like and see who the designer of that site is.

Talk to the company before hiring someone. In fact, talk to them a couple of times. Make sure they explain things in a way you understand, that you feel comfortable talking to them and that they return messages in a timely manner. If you have an idea of the technical requirements of your website (like you know you want a blog), make sure that the company has experience with that type of site. Different designers have different areas of expertise. Just because a company makes really pretty sites doesn’t mean you want them designing your ecommerce site.

While you may be tempted to immediately go with the cheapest designer, don’t. Make sure to choose someone who can complete the project in a timely manner and who will not disappear before the project is complete. This happens ALL the time! Having to start over with a new designer just wastes your time and money.

So, those are the basics. Choose a good domain, pick hosting that fits your website’s needs and find a website designer you enjoy working with. Now, I’d like to hear from you below. Have you gone through the web design process? How was your experience? Any additional tips?

What I’ve Learned About Twitter

September 7, 2010

So, I’m still working on FourSquare, etc. BUT I have become active on Twitter. Today is day 15. I’ve gone from 7 followers to almost 300. Here’s what I’ve learned.

1. Twitter cannot be explained.

You really do have to learn by doing. I’ve looked at George’s Twitter account I don’t even know how many times and thought, “I don’t get it”. Now, I’m on Twitter, and I get it. I think it’s depleting my ability to focus for more than 45 seconds every time I log on but at least now I understand. So, if you’ve been putting off “doing Twitter” because you don’t get it, just go ahead and dive in. There are no Twitter police. No one’s going to yell at you for doing it wrong. Sign up, get an account and follow me. Then give me a shout, and I’ll follow you back. That’s the hard part. It gets easier from there.

2. There are people I won’t follow.

People who don’t have any tweets. People who write every tweet in a language other than English (no prejudice here, I just can’t follow you if I can’t read what you’re saying). People who regularly use language that will be a problem if my children are reading my Twitter stream over my shoulder, even though they’re not supposed to do that because it’s rude. If I go to look at your page to decide whether to follow you, and it looks like the script of a Quentin Tarantino film, I’m probably not going to follow you. People who refer to themselves as a “visionary”— no real reason. It just bugs me.

3. A quick method I use to determine who I’m going to follow.

When someone follows me, and I get an email saying that someone new is following me, I go to their profile and scan their tweet stream. If I get to the bottom of the page, and I’m not offended, that’s a good sign. But if I get to the bottom of the page and don’t see one thing I’d be interested in retweeting, that’s a bad sign. So, this is a lesson you can use to help you determine who to follow. It’s also a lesson in being someone that other people want to follow— be interesting. Or at least retweet people who are.

4. Hootsuite is my friend.

Hootsuite has been really helpful in being able to scan what’s going on with my Twitter account. There are a few things I don’t really care for. And I really need to do a bit more diving in. But, overall, it’s a necessary tool for me to be successful with Twitter.

So, that’s it. That’s what I’ve learned. For the most part. Any of you out there new to Twitter? Struggling with Twitter? Do you have Twitter questions? As we’ve established, I’m no expert. But if you leave a question in the comments, I’ll do my best to find the answer. And the most important question— have you followed me yet? šŸ™‚

How To Totally Fail At Affiliate Marketing

August 24, 2009

Affiliate marketing is a powerful tool to make money online. I have been talking about it a lot (here and here) the last few weeks.

But what if success scares you and you want to fail miserably at affiliate marketing? How do you do that?

Here are some tips that will help you fail faster than the average joe šŸ˜‰

1. If Something Works Stop Doing It Immediately
If something works stop doing it immediately and try something else. This is one of the most obvious rules of bad affiliate marketing. Most people start out doing this, but if for some reason you are new to affiliate marketing and you find that you are making money with it, then STOP doing what is working. Otherwise you might have great success and ruin your chances of failing!

2. Only Promote Products You Hate
A product may be hot, but is it the right product for you? Contrary to popular belief, most affiliates have success when they are passionate about a product. The passion itself creates energy and drive, and these are the things that your potential customers will tune in to. So to ensure failure only pick products you either hate or at the very least ambivalent about promoting. Never promote products that you are passionate about if you want to fail!

3. Join Every Affiliate Program on The Face Of The Earth
Problems are bound to arise when you join too many affiliate programs at once. The more affiliate programs you join the easier it is for you to be pulled in multiple directions at once. Not being able to focus is an AWESOME way to fail at affiliate marketing or any business venture for that matter. No matter what you do, do NOT promote only one or two programs that pay large commissions. And absolutely don’t give those programs your undivided attention. If you can’t sign up for enough affiliate programs to keep you from focusing on promoting one or two programs, then your chances of making money with affiliate marketing actually might get too high and you (gasp) might not fail!

4. Don’t Do Your Research
Don’t research companies to see if they have good customer reviews and don’t find out if they pay affiliates. If you insist on researching affiliate programs be sure to search the internet for scams and affiliate programs that have lots of complaints from affiliates about not being paid for their efforts. That’s a great way to find a loser that will all but ensure failure!

5. Promote Products and Services You Know Nothing About
A common mistake that new affiliates often make is not being familiar with the product. This mistake almost guarantees your failure. So… NEVER BUY THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE YOU ARE GOING TO PROMOTE. If you do buy the product or service and you like it, then you CAN NOT promote it or you might make money! In order to be sure you are going to fail, only promote products you hate or that you have never used.

In summary, using these 5 methods should ensure you failure in affiliate marketing. What is your favorite method of failing? If you know of any other good methods for failing at affiliate marketing let me know in the comments below?

First You Plan, Then You Do

July 30, 2009

In my travels around the Internet, I occasionally bump into an online business concept I really don’t like. Though I haven’t heard it in a while, it can be summed up as “ready, fire, aim”: Just do something, then you try again if it doesn’t work.

Yes, I do have some direct experience with trying things that way, and it can be summed up as:

  • Ready

  • Fire

  • Trip

  • Fall on face

  • Wish I had aimed first

In short, the “ready, fire, aim” thing really didn’t work for me. Throwing money and enthusiasm at something you don’t fully comprehend will only earn you some time in the School of Hard Knocks. So I don’t recommend you try your online business this way.

You don’t just go out and “Do”. First you learn, then you plan. Once you have a plan, then you “do”. It’s not “ready, fire, aim”.

Yes, there will be setbacks along the way. Sometimes, you have to adjust. Sometimes, you realize you can make a better plan, or do things a better way. However, this is more like “Ready, aim, fire, then try again if you must”.

Nowadays, there’s just no money to throw around frivolously, not that it was ever a good idea. And while sifting through the noise about making money online can take time, there’s also no excuse not to do it. Don’t give yourself more trouble than is necessary. Go out and do your homework before picking a REAL way to make money online and then working it.

Forget “ready, fire, aim”. First you plan, then you do. It doesn’t pay to do it any other way.

Seriously, how do you make a beautiful, sellable ebook? Find your answers today with The Ebook Walkthrough!

My name is Ryan Ambrose, and I’m one of the co-authors of Can I Make Big Money Online.


What Is Affiliate Marketing – Introduction To Affiliate Marketing

July 6, 2009

One of the two main ways I make money online is through affiliate marketing (the other is through Internet marketing consulting).

For those of you who are new to affiliate marketing, I thought I should give you an introduction to the basics of affiliate marketing…

“What is affiliate marketing?”

Affiliate marketing is a method for people who sell things online to share their revenue with people who are willing to promote their products for sale. Affiliates (those willing to promote other businesses products on their website) are paid based on performance measures, typically in the form of sales, clicks, registrations, or a combination of methods.

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money online. In the future I intend to talk about some of the proven affiliate marketing systems that I have successfully used to make money. For starters, here’s a list of the most common used affiliate marketing methods…


What are the most common affiliate program models?

Based on a survey in 2007 by AffStat 80% of affiliate programs today use revenue sharing or cost per sale (CPS) as compensation method, 19% use cost per action (CPA) and the remaining 1% use other methods, such as cost per click (CPC) (ie. Google Adsense). I will discuss each of these methods in more details in future posts.

The main thing to remember is that affiliate marketing allows you to make money online by sending people to visit other people’s websites and buy their products/services. This means you don’t need to deal with customers, you don’t need to create products, you don’t need to store inventory, and you don’t need to ship products. All you do is refer people to the affiliate site in a buying frame of mind and the affiliate site does the rest of the work. This makes affiliate marketing a very easy business to start. No inventory, no product, no customer service, no problem!

Make Money Money Online With No Investment – No Product – No Expertise?

January 28, 2009

A friend of my wife asked me the other day:


The question I have—and this probably won’t be in an organized form—is:

Do you have any tips, advice, suggestions, recommendations, etc. for someone in this scenario?

An at-home mom who did not have a professional job before having and staying home with her kids. The economy is tanking, and maybe her husband has been laid off or had his hours cut back a little or a lot. She really doesn’t want to dump her kids in daycare to go get a job because any job she could get would just about cover the daycare and other job-related expenses. She’d love to work from home, but doesn’t have any ‘expert’ knowledge about anything that she could turn into a marketable enterprise; she doesn’t have the know-how to teach people to make money, so making money by helping others try to make money isn’t an option. She makes no products, therefore has nothing tangible to sell. She doesn’t have the money to invest in the hundreds upon hundreds of ‘I will teach you how to make money’ programs out there.

Is there anything online that she could do, or in this case would dumping the kids in daycare and hoping for the best be pretty much the only hope?

I get questions similar to this all the time. Before I can answer this question in detail I would need to ask quite a few questions to give the most relevant answer that I can.

The first question I would ask is…

Do you have absolutely no money to invest or do you have say 10 dollars, 20 dollars, 100 dollars, 200 dollars, 500 dollars, 1000 dollars, or more?

The answer to this question will greatly influence what options you have.

The more money you have to the invest, the easier it will be to make money online.

If you have enough money to pay for a domain name (about 10 dollars/yr), then I suggest getting your own domain name. If you have enough to invest in web hosting (about 50-100 dollars/yr), then I suggest you get a web host, if you have enough to get an autoresponder (about $200/yr with Aweber) then I suggest you get an autoresponder or sign up for SiteSell. If you have more money then you can do other things like spend money on an Internet marketing education.

If you have absolutely no money to spend then it’s going to be harder, but still possible.

I have no product to sell, how do I make money online?

Well, there are a ton of ways you can make money online when you don’t have a product including creating a new product. Also, you can do affiliate marketing, get advertisers for your site, sell services, etc. But before we go into the details, let’s explore some of the other questions…

I have no expertise what I can do to make money online?

I seriously doubt that people who are smart enough to ask this question aren’t good enough at something to have some level of expertise in it. While you may not consider yourself an “expert” at anything you probably have more expertise in some things than other things. For instance, if you do the laundry without ruining your clothes you definitely have more of an expertise in washing clothes than I do.

Legendary direct marketer, Dan Kennedy, has a great quote that does a great job of answering this question. Dan says,

“In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king!”

You don’t have to be the best to be an “expert”, you just have to know a little bit more than the people you are teaching. In fact, you only need to know ONE thing about the topic you are teaching that your students don’t know in order to be an expert to your students. Do you know more math than a two year old? You can put up a site that teaches kids artithmetic. Do you know how to wash laundry (the right way), then you can teach me:)

So How Do You Make Money Online With No Money, And No Products To Sell?

For the sake of argument let’s assume that you are working with absolutely no money and no products.

There are still many ways to make money online in your spare time when you have no money to invest. Some of these ways don’t even require you to have a website. Let’s start by talking about the ways to make money online without a website.

How do I make money online when I have no website?

1. Online Tutoring / Coaching
If you have any expertise at all you can set up a tutoring or coaching service. Do you ever help your kids with their homework? If yes, then you can help tutor other kids online.

One easy way to do this is through LivePerson.com. There are many other places looking for tutors (like tutor.com) with expertise . Just do a search on your favorite Search Engine for those types of work at home opportunities. There are a lot of them.

2. Web Writing
If you can write decently (not necessarily like a professional) then you can get work as a freelance web writer. You don’t have to be perfect either. There are a lot of people who will hire you if the price is right. You can get jobs writing for blog posts, web articles, forum posts, comments, ebooks, etc. A good way to find people searching for writing jobs is to sign up on a site like elance.com or guru.com. Another way to find writing opportunities is to use your favorite Search Engine and search the Internet for things like “blog writing jobs”, etc.

If you can write you could also write for sites like Squidoo that will pay you for writing pages on their site. You have to learn how to set up the Squidoo pages, but once you figure that out, it’s pretty easy to create new Lenses. Every month that you make a certain amount of money Squidoo will send you money for a part of the money they made from advertisements on your Lens (Squidoo page). There are other sites that do this as well, like Hubpages.

In order to make decent money from Squidoo you are going to need to write a lot of popular Lenses and you are going to learn how to promote Squidoo Lenses and make the most you can from them. I haven’t reviewed any products on making money with Squidoo so I can’t recommend anything. If making money on Squidoo interests you then you can search for information on it. You can read my personal thoughts on how to make money with Squidoo by clicking here.

3. Selling Photos
If you have a digital camera and you can take half way decent photos then you can just take photos of everything you see and start selling them on a site like istockphoto.com. There are other things you can do with the photos, but those require a website of your own, which we will get to later.

4. Ebay
There are a lot of things you can sell on ebay or other auction sites. You don’t have to sell expensive/unique/insane items to make money on Ebay. You can sell simple items that people buy all the time.

You don’t even have to own anything to sell on ebay. You can simply find companies that are known as dropshippers and sell their stuff on ebay. Drop shipping is a technique where you sell products from one or more suppliers who take care of shipping the products directly to the customer. All you do is take the order and get the money from the customer, then you send the order details and and part of the money that you charge to the supplier. You make profit on the difference between the suppliers price (including shipping) and the price you charge the customer. This is essentially running a wholesale business without the inventory, although you will usually pay somewhere between true wholesale and retail prices for the goods.

When selling products on ebay you obviously need to buy them low and sell them high. One example of something people successfully sell on ebay for a profit is used books. Used books sell pretty well on ebay. What you can do is go to flea markets, garage sales, etc. to find good deals on books and sell them on ebay. To increase your profit margin, you can buy a software that turns your PDA or cellphone into a scanner that you can take with you to scan the books ISBN number and then find it’s price online (see http://www.asellertool.com/home.html) for an example of this type of service).

That way you only buy books at a price that you know are going to make you money.

4. Job Recruiting
Help your friends, family and others find new jobs. There are several sites that help you start a recruiting business of your own without any costs on your part. They pay you to find other people jobs. Essentially they enable you to run a job recruiting business from the comfort of your own home. A few examples of job recruiting sites that you can earn money from are ReferEarns, Bohire and WiseStepp.

5. Connect Business Suppliers With Buyers
Much like recruiting where you connect employers with employees, you can now connect business suppliers with businesses that need their supplies. Several companies that you can do this with are Salesconx, InnerSell and uRefer. This is actually a lot like affiliate marketing.

6. Other Freelancing services
People will pay you to do all kinds of things online. You can moderate forums, write articles (which I mentioned earlier), design websites, be a virtual assistant, etc. There are many ways to make money online even without having a website. Do a search on your favorite Search Engine to find other great freelancing opportunities online.

How Do I Make Money Online With A Website

Making money online with a website is what most people think of when they think of making money online. If you have no money to invest in web hosting you are going to need to find a free website host.

Here are a couple that I recommend you check out for starters:

blogger.com
Blogger is a free blogging site that allows you to create your own blog and unlike many free blogging services you can put ads on your site. Blogger integrates really easily with Adsense ads, because Google owns blogger.com and has made it very easy to make money from Adsense with blogger blogs.

Google Aps – Google Sites
Google Sites lets you create websites that you can add advertising on etc. It is an easy to use system that can give you an online presence for your website.

Weebly

Weebly is a very easy to use free website creator. They also have built-in support for adding Adsense on your Weebly sites. It’s another good option for those who can’t afford to pay for web hosting.

There are other options for free web hosting as well. Check around, just make sure that they can be used for commercial purposes (many of them can’t).

Once you have a website there are a number of ways you can make money from it. Most of these require you to be a decent writer (not great, but decent).

If you can’t write then skip to number 3.

1. Content Site
There are many ways to make money with a content site. You can put affiliate ads on content sites, you can put up ads from Adsense (or similar services like Kontera, Chitika, etc.), you can make money selling advertising on your site, you can market products as an affiliate, and you can even make money on content sites by having private content that only subscribers can read.

If you are trying to make money with a content site, I highly recommend you first read my article on choosing the right niche, then read the free ebook called “The Affiliate Masters Course”. You can use the same techniques outlined in the ebook on your freely hosted site. I use similar techniques to what is outlined in the ebook, the only difference is that I use multiple methods of keyword research (including my favorite keyword tool for Adsense sites Keyword Country).

2. Blogging
Blogging is really just a sub-type of a content site. What you need to do is:

1. Set up a blog on blogger.com.
2. Get links to the blog.
3. Put up advertising.

Probably the easiest way to make money with a blog is to set up a blog that has the sole purpose of reviewing other websites. There are a lot of websites (payperpost.com, reviewme.com, etc.) that will help match you up with people willing to pay you to review their website or product. Some people make pretty decent money this way.


3. Splogging

I hate to mention it, but it is a way you can make money online without any money, any expertise and any products. What you would do is get free content from article directories and repost the articles on your blog. Another way you might get your content is by scraping other people’s websites. There are quite a few ebooks about how to make money splogging, and I would prefer not to spend time on all of these techniques. Just search for things like “make money splogging” “blog and ping” “make money with scraper sites” and you will find plenty of resource to help you out with this.

4. Photo Site
You can set up a site that displays your photos and let people use the photos for free as long as they link to your site. You make money by putting up advertising, Adsense ads, and/or affiliate links on the site.

5. Selling ebooks
You can set up a site to sell ebooks for free, but it’s going to mean you have to be able to write the ebook yourself. If you have a little bit of money to invest you can buy a Private Label Rights ebook to sell. Private label rights (PLR) ebooks are ebooks that you buy the rights to sell as your own. Most PLR ebooks have slightly different terms that spell out what you can and can’t do with the ebook. I prefer to buy Master Resale rights where I can do anything I want with the ebook, including being able to sell other people resale rights on the ebook. If you buy a PLR ebook or product to sell, be sure to know exactly what you can and can’t do with it. Another way easy way to create an ebook is to find an expert in something, interview them by asking commonly asked questions in their field of expertise. Then sell the interview as an ebook or audio or both. You might need to split the profits with the expert or work some other deal with the expert (allow the expert to promote their products or services in the interview, etc.).

Summary

There are actually quite a few other ways to make money online if you don’t have money, products, or expertise. Some of these ways (like selling people’s email addresses, spamming, etc.) are not good ideas in my opinion, so I didn’t cover them here. Some of them like taking paid surveys don’t usually provide enough income to make them worthwhile.

If you do have money to spend then you can spend it on various things to speed up the process. You can buy Private Label Right Products that you can then turn around and sell. You can pay for web hosting, writers, web designers, etc. The more money you have to invest the easier it is to start a successful business. However, as I have already shown it is possible to make money online starting with no money, it’s just NOT as easy.

For further research you might want to read my getting started article called “Ways To Make Money Online”.

Ways to Make Money Online

October 14, 2008

money

There are many ways to make money online. I like to group them into three main categories:

  1. Making money selling your stuff

  2. Making money selling other people’s stuff

  3. Getting paid to do something

Let’s talk a little more about each of these categories…

Way #1 – Making money selling your stuff
When most people think of starting a business they think of selling their own stuff. Here are some of the ways that people sell their own stuff online:

  1. Selling products
    When I started out online my intention was to create educational software and sell it online. Like myself, most people that start a business online start off with the idea of selling a product. Almost every product imaginable can be sold online. Arguably, the easiest to create are information products.

  2. Selling Services/Freelancing
    One of the quickest ways to start making money online is by selling your services. You call sell all kinds of services online. Some of the more common online services being sold are web design, freelance writing, coaching/teaching, virtual assistants, copywriting, traffic generation, and software development.

  3. Domaining
    Domaining is essentially the process of buying and selling domains. While I own quite a few domains, most of them were bought with the purpose of developing them at some point in time. Although, I would be willing to sell some of them. For example, when John Reese bought trafficjam.com I wish he had contacted me about buying one of my domains blogtrafficjam.com, since I am not sure I will develop the idea I had for it when I bought it several years ago.

  4. Website Flipping
    Website flipping is a very tempting business model to me. Flipping websites is a lot like flipping houses. You buy a website with the sole purpose of making it better so that you can turn around sell it. Much like house flipping, you should buy a website with good potential that is not properly monetized and/or not properly designed and marketed. After “rehabbing” the website, you can sell it at a much higher price. This process sounds like fun to me, except that I would have a hard time parting with the site after fixing it. I am more likely to buy a website, fix it up, and keep it for the residual income.

There are other ways to make money selling your own stuff, but the ones listed above are the most common.

Way #2 – Making money selling other people’s stuff

  1. Affiliate Marketing
    Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online, and I will be discussing it in much more detail in a future series (or a free mini-course). Essentially, affiliate marketing is revenue sharing between online advertisers/merchants and online publishers/salespeople, whereby affiliates(publisher/sales people) are paid based on performance measures, typically in the form of sales, clicks, registrations, or a combination of methods. In layman’s terms, it means you get a percentage of a sale when you sell someone else’s stuff or cause someone to take an action that might sell someone else’s stuff. It is currently my primary method of making money online.

  2. Advertising Income
    Many websites make money by selling advertising space on their site. This is most commonly done on content sites. Advertising income can also be gained through other methods like selling ad space on website templates and selling ad space in newsletters.

  3. Drop Shipping
    Drop shipping is a technique where you sell products from one or more suppliers who take care of shipping the products directly to the customer. All you do is take the order and get the money from the customer, then you send the order details and and part of the money that you charge to the supplier. You make profit on the difference between the suppliers price (including shipping) and the price you charge the customer. This is essentially running a wholesale business without the inventory, although you will usually pay somewhere between true wholesale and retail prices for the goods. I have seen a lot of people run drop shipping businesses on ebay.

  4. Retail commerce
    Retail commerce is where you buy products at wholesale prices from wholesale distributors, carry an inventory and turn around and sell said products. Many of the ecommerce shops you see are doing this. This model is similar to drop shipping. The advantage of this method is that you can make a higher profit margin then with drop shipping, the disadvantage is that you store the inventory and you handle the details of shipping the products.

These are the most common methods for selling other people’s stuff online, although certainly not the only ones.

Way # 3 – Getting Paid To Do Something

  1. Paid to sites (Paid to surf, Paid to take surveys, etc.)
    With “paid to” sites you can make a little extra money online every month. You can’t really use these sites to make a living online (at least not that I’m aware of), so I won’t be devoting more space to them here. If you’re interested in a little extra cash, and this method appeals to you, there is plenty of information available on the internet. And if you ARE making a living from these sites, and you’d be interested in writing a series on the topic, contact me.

As you are considering how YOU want to make big money online, this list should prove a good starting place . In my next post in the getting started series, I will be wrapping up with a list of resources to help you continue your quest to make money online.

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