If you have come straight to this chapter to learn how to make extra money online, you might well be dissappointed. However, if you have reached this chapter about making money online by working your way through the chapters of this guide to starting in business from the beginning sequentially, you will be ready to add a number of valuable learning points to your knowledge and be better prepared for whatever business venture you might pursue.

I have insisted all along that my guide is not about get rich quick schemes, or how to make huge sums from Google or other avenues through the Internet. The Internet is a marvelous tool for many of the business ideas you might consider, but it is only that – a tool. You might be tempted to follow the affiliate marketing avenue – whereby you seek a share of the massive marketing spend incurred by companies through the Internet. You might think that niche blogging will reward you with a proportion of the Adsense income from Google. It is true that many people have made millions through this route, and there will be many that continue to do so. However, it is no easy start up business any more as the Internet giants such as Google tighten the reins so that only web sites offering value and real information are able to partake in the massive online marketing budgets.

So what can you still do online?

As I said, there is still a massive marketing spend online, and it is only getting bigger.  Two or three yars ago you could set up a simple web site in a niche area using freely available and easily configured WordPress software to present articles and information targeted on your chosen niche such that visitors to your web site would be drawn to advertising links which, once clicked, would earn you money. This still works (this site is an example). However, ensuring that you get enough visitors to earn some money is extremely hard. It may take a year or two to age the site and substantial time (or money) spent building backlinks so that you receive the all essential volume of traffick that will make you money.

If you have something to sell on the other hand, developing a web site in this way will bring more in the way of results. If you are providing a service, this will also work. If you are providing real and up to date information, that is updated regularly, this can also work.

Examples of online business

Writing

If you are writing for money you can produce guides and how-to manuals that you can sell or promote through your web site. You can write short stories and even a novel which could utilise a “Clickbank” link or point the visitor to Amazon or another publishing site in order to increase the sales of your publication. The Internet is a great medium for the budding author as it allows them to be published easily for little or no cost. In the past, getting published was a barrier, when rejection was normal and the cost of vanity publishing prohibitive.

Internet marketing

For those people who have started writing blogs using WordPress blogging software the idea of building your traffic to increase the numbers of hits you are getting will be nothing new. You will already be alert to the possibility of making some money from your site using Adsense advertising and you will probably have learned a little about the scale of Internet Marketing these days. You probably wonder if the glossy adverts can be true – that there really are ways how to earn money working from home on your computer? How can there be – you get 100 unique visitors to your interesting blog every day and yet your Adsense revenue is meagre – a few $ per month! Not a very good method of work at home employment!

Adsense earnings can be hard fought for – yes there is a huge budget available for paying web masters to include Adsense on their sites – but the competition is huge. To rely on Adsense alone for bringing in a useful income means that you must be writing totally commercially with an extremely astute choice of subject matter – such that the browsers happening upon your site are actually looking for the item that you have written about!

It is arguably easier to find a product to write about and use an Amazon link to encourage browsers on your site to buy the item from your affiliate prompt. Take for example a subject that I write about on one of my blog sites – scuba diving computers. These cost around $300 to $1000 each. If a visitor to my site hits upon a page that is about a particular computer that he is looking for, the Adsense adverts will most likley be pointing to scuba diving holidays in the Maldives or some other holiday location. I will be unlikely to get my $1 click from Adsense going to my bank account.  However, if my product review of the particular computer instead has a dedicated link to a good deal for that item on Amazon – there is a much higher chance that my visitor will click through. Not only is there a higher chance he will click through, but even if he visits Amazon and decides upon a different computer I will still earn the commission on the sale. And guess what, with commissions starting at 5%, this means $50 on a $1000 computer! I would rather have one click in 10 producing a commission of $50 than one click in 100 earning me $1!

The sums do add up in preference of Amazon – or indeed other affiliate sales. Adsense is easy to install to your WordPress blog and is the route in for many aspiring Internet Marketers. However, using Amazon as one of your ideas for making money can be just as easy. If you use an Amazon Widget Shortcode (simply browse for this in your “Add New Plugins” option) – you will get a tool added to your new post toolbar in your blog. You will also need to register as an Amazon affiliate in order to get a code for adding to your Amazon Widget Plugin dashboard. Once you have done these two simple steps you are ready to write product reviews and install an Amazon link into each one.

Now whatever the subject of your blog you can find something relevant to sell from Amazon to write about – even if it has to be a book. For example if your site is a business or career related discussion forum you can review few books on it. Don’t forget to link internally within your blog site to the review and also spend time building back-links to your review post.

Of course if you are blogging specifically to make money on the Internet then you will be choosing your niche areas to promote with care. You can use the Amazon browsing facilities for this and it is a good idea to look on their bestseller list to see what is popular. Essentially you want a subject area with a number of categories so that you can write a unique post targeting items within these categories. In this way you will be building up a strong site covering a wide range of products that are linked. As the site strengthens over a year or so each new product you add will be ranked much easier for the key words (in this case product names and brands) you are targeting.

And for those of you that think this is complicated – consider this:

1. It takes me about 15 – 30 minutes to research a new product item and write a post about it.

2. It takes me about 10 seconds to locate the item in Amazon (I usually do this first to make sure it is being sold) and copy and past the ASIN code into the drop down box on my new post window.

So if you are writing posts anyway why not add an Amazon widget to it – it acts as an illustration improving your post anyway and might result in a few commission clicks!

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Filed under: A Free Business Start Up Guide

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