How to make money online has always been a popular topic and during times of recession more so.
With every guide paid or free, they promise time after time, follow this and this time next year you will be a millionaire.
But with more web pages than ever before and it is well documented that most webmasters hardly ever cover their costs, is it actually possible to make money online or is your connection, a modern day rainbow without a virtual pot of gold?
As simple as it gets
Making money online should be no more difficult than in traditional sales. You can either sell something yourself or sell something on someone else’s behalf. Since most guides cover making money on the internet for free, the second route is often the target of their pseudo science.
Selling other peoples goods or affiliate marketing has been around since the popularisation of the internet. Google now holds the market share of Affiliate Marketing, by use of Google Adsense.
In short for you to get paid your website visitor has to click a link.
When there is promise of free and easy money, it is tempting for people to do all sorts of daft things to achieve it. But in the world of affiliate marketing is it really worth doing? One of the main ways of trying to generate extra clicks is to click the links yourself.
In the days of dial up internet it was hard for affiliate marketing companies to trace this, but in these days of always on internet connection it has become much easier. And the penalty for cheating can be a stiff one, as often they will terminate your account, with the loss of any money you have generated, but have not been paid.
Build a site and they will come
Often with most of these affiliate marketing companies they often will state how rich you can be if you join their scheme. Although their examples are not technically wrong, the figures are there purely to get you to sign up.
The affiliate marketing companies need as many websites to show adverts as actual click rates are low and they need to deplete their clients funds as quickly as possible to maximise their profits.
But it’s still free
Affiliate marketing is free for the publisher, but in most cases for revenue to be generated, a web user has to navigate away from your website. This would not be a problem except most schemes are based around the webmaster displaying adverts that match the content of the website.
In short the website user may see an advert which takes them away from your site. What happens if this site has most of the information you hold, but is better?
For that 1p revenue you have now lost your user. Is that really something you want? How long has it taken to get that user?
Where a website has a strong enough brand or unique enough content, this is never too much of a problem, but these websites tend not to be independent publishers, but well supported large internet businesses.
I can make money, I will climb that hill
It is possible to make money on the internet, but it’s important to remember the following rules.
If the tools you are using for the job are free, everyone else has access to them. This will mean lots of competition.
Treat your internet business as a real business. Create a business plan, create a marketing plan and discover your unique selling point. If you do this then any success you have will be maximised.
Advertise. If people don’t know about your service they can’t buy from you. Although SEO is a power way to make sure you are at the top of the Google search results, it can be tricky to achieve and will using cost most money then you will see a return out of. Consider paying for advertising. Work out how much you can afford, and make sure you can afford to fund it for at least a year. Do not expect results in the short term as people need time to trust your brand.
Create professional website. No matter the topic, a professional website can help to retain visitors. Think of it as your shop window, if the display looks rubbish, no matter how cheap the goods are, you will never walk through the door. The same is also true on the internet.
Build a website and they will come… but only if they know about it and if it looks good, this time next year we will be Millionaires.