Affiliate Marketing Tips and Tricks

The two available methods, which I mentioned is indeed effective, as of now. If you believe that these methods are not effective, you’re wrong. My tips and tricks will help a lot if you want to earn more money in your affiliate marketing programs.

So here are the tips and tricks for you:

1.Create a Facebook fan page and a widget. If you get loads of supporters of the page, you can send a message to all of them sent by promoting the site updates. It’s like a newsletter, which includes all those who liked the site will be notified by e-mail message. If you send them a newsletter about a special product with your affiliate link, you may have to look at, and maybe some of them buy the product to your affiliate link. You can also attach a Facebook fan page widget in your blog sidebar by copying the HTML code. Once the widget is visible, it will increase the attractiveness of the blog readers and other sources, click the “Like” button on the widget.

2.Put the retweet and Facebook, as the button on the blog. It is important for you to be a retweet button, as other readers on Twitter and Facebook accounts, click the button and the link to your blog posts appear on Twitter and Facebook profile. Again, it needs a little HTML skills that you need to find this HTML code in your blog template:

<div class=’post-header-line-1′/>

<div>

In this case, for those who use Blogger as a content management system (CMS). If you have the full Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) template for the blog, you need to press Ctrl + F and type in “post-header-line-1″ in the box below to your browser, or a pop-up window, and you will see the selected text. Paste the code between the header entry in a row, and the end of the DIV.

<div class=’post-header-line-1′/>

<your retweet or embed code> Facebook

<div>

Once finished, the buttons are created for each blog post. In WordPress, it is much easier. All you have to do is to search for a plugin for the retweet I like it and install it on Facebook or a blog. After installation, you’re good to go! Like Facebook and the retweet button, you get more popularity and reputation of your readers. This is another hint that the potential gains

 Your sales or revenue associated with the offering, in which readers shared to others through these buttons.

3.Use titles such as “How To”, “The Truth About”, “[product name] scam” and those types of titles. Most of the affiliate and internet marketers are now using these “catchy” title, because it catches the interest of visitors and customers. This gives them the interests of blog posts on reading these catchy title, because I want some answers about the topic or product. Once you have checked your blog post, and then click on your affiliate link in the content, and sales will earn revenue from them. This is another effective strategy for affiliate marketers, and most of them are successful in the catchy title. I think that you’re also the same.

4.Build own opt-in list. “The money is on the list” You will hear this a lot, if you get on the ITTO affiliate marketing career, and it is absolutely true. The more subscribers you have to e-mail list will allow you to send out more invitations affiliate links, send auto-responders, broadcasts, and it also allows you to get married aadd subscription form page and much more. AWeber because it used to give them a chance to have a trial only $ 1 on the first 30 days. All the top internet marketers use AWeber!

5. Try Freelancing! ODesk munkabörzék Elance.com and the best places to start! You can start to find some customers DigitalPoint forums can Buy-Sell-Trade to the phase during which all parts are always up to date on new job offers. I advise you to be honest with the customer and still meet the deadline, if necessary.

If the customer is satisfied with his work, he will pay with PayPal and usually get good feedback from other clients that if you’re reliable or not. If you do not have Paypal, I suggest you need to create one and apply at least one credit or debit card the bank in order to be checked.

6.Make money from social networking sites! The potential good money on Facebook ads are endless, that there is indeed a very talented and affiliate links as you can target certain ads to your web site landing pages, Google, on the other hand do not accept affiliate links to the ads, but not Facebook, so it could be a big money maker for you. Even if you have a Twitter account, and gained followers, I suggest you add some sponsored links in emails, make some extra income, you can use networks such as Sponsored Tweets and RevTwt.

7.Be one of the best commentators of all high-traffic blog! If the name or web page at the top commentators list, you will gain a good number of other readers of the website. Some of these blogs approval by the admin before publishing it on the blog. You can tell their own blogs, as many times as you want, but make sure it does not look spammy and off-topic in the blog post. So I suggest that when you comment, it must conform to the blog post to give you that, given the reputation of the blog owner. I found myself commenting that the top bloggers, and I was rewarded with a good reputation, which they choose to publish a comment that you immediately that some blog posts. So it is always important! And finally … ….

8. Think outside the box! Is not unique is always the best. If you have some unique methods that have not yet used by others, that it is, until the experiment, and deep research to be truly effective the winner!

Conclusion

Before the conclusion, I would like to remind you, as a beginner, that if you read this report without having to take serious action, then try to call you a jerk!.

Remember, action speaks louder than words. I have read dozens of books myself, and put it down, and had not finished reading them, there will come a time, however, that only you have to push yourself, no matter what, to that inner strength in you, take action today. Why look at all the money over to you, and the potential of this Internet age!

Ok, so we now move forward and forget the failures of past mistakes may be other products you’ve tried, it is now time to move on and start the journey to marketing methods Affiliate I mentioned in this blog.

Advancement in technology for your Business

Business technology is mainly focused on communication and information advancement. It involves information getting to its intended audience faster, more efficiently and accurately. Unlike in the past, where office messengers were used, today the magic of the phone and the internet has revolutionized everything.

Info access and sharing

There is easy access and sharing of info stored on a computer rather than that stored on files in the drawers and shelves. Employees and managers can easily conduct a quick meeting via video conferencing and save great deals of time and cost of travelling to a common rendezvous. Managers can easily connect with other managers in other companies, share info, troubleshoot problems and eventually drive the business faster and more efficiently.

Convenient shopping

Buyers can easily place orders or make purchases from your business website from the comfort of their homes without planning for a trip to your shop – a trip less likely to happen. This thus makes you the business owner an instant earner. These are just but a few examples of how technological advancements is charging business growth.

But the great relief comes in discovering how these technologies have helped reduce the cost of doing business, transact more and in effect earn more revenue. That is the whole and main point of technology advancement in the business world.

5 popular technological innovations spurring growth in business

There are a few specific technology based innovations that have helped define the business world. These include:

 Internet

Information communication advancement in business based on the internet usage include hosting a website for your business, cloud computing, teleconferencing, internet phone systems like VoIP, sharing of data via computers, recruiting workforce via internet, using the social media and so on. Internet offer businesses a platform to share info and learn from each other, thus enabling budding business gain valuable tips for growth faster and cheaply.

The social media 

Though based on the internet, social media is an independent strategy that stimulates business growth. It offers a platform to connect with the customers through advertising on social networks like face book, twitter, LinkedIn and so on. It offers you an easy and cheaper advertising option better than traditional ways of advertising. You only need to adopt effective social media strategies like identifying where your potential customers are to drive traffic to your website.

Mobile apps and mobile websites

These are supposed to target potential customers on phones. It is no doubt that the current mobile phones users access internet on phone regularly than computer users. Developing your own mobile apps and optimizing your website for mobile gives you an edge over other businesses in tapping customers on mobile.

Cloud computing

This offers the interconnection for computers in a locality for instance in an organization. This interconnection enhances quick communication since the interconnected computers display same info for everyone logged in to see. Communication thus becomes easier hence quick service delivery. The end result is satisfied customers who come again and bring more on board.

Cashless transactions

Even if remotely, incorporating cashless transaction to the existing payment methods has spurred business growth. This is because it has ensured even customers who cannot transact on cash can still make purchases from your website using credit cards or phones.

Author bio:

Sophie Morgan is a Passionate blogger and a travellers who loves to share her expereince.presently she working on behalf of phone systems which helps for development of business.

E-commerce localization – how to go global without breaking a bank?

Those who work in the international field of e-commerce understand the importance of writing the content of their websites in each potential customer’s native language. Whether it is for product sheets or content related to the selection and purchase procedures, proper content localization is one of the main elements that helps transform a simple website visit into a successfully completed transaction.

E-commerce localization

E-commerce localization

However, localization of an e-commerce website is not an easy task. It requires professionals possessing numerous specific skills and great operational flexibility – always available, able to offer customized solutions and more importantly, able to guarantee the quality and relevance of the content. All of this is synonymous with high production costs (before) and management (after).

In these cases, the use of “quality crowdsourcing” can represent an optimal solution to everything. Thanks to its vast number of qualified collaborators, one of the leaders on the market TextMaster offers an e-commerce translation system that combines the simplicity of an automatic solution with accuracy, precision and degree of customization expected from the “manual” work of professional translators capable of offering language skills as well as an accurate knowledge of goods.

Already providing translations in 13 different languages, making them available anywhere in the world and at any time of the day, 24/7, TextMaster is becoming the go-to site for e-commerce localization needs. The guarantee of quality arises from the precision with which the platform selects and constantly monitors its experts who are able to operate in over 100 different product sectors. Aware that not all the requirements are the same, TextMaster allows the customer to choose the service that best fits yourneeds. Each project may be carried out according to different levels of service and at different costs, and the rates can be arranged in a flexible manner based on the quantity as well as the frequency of the translations.

Although their translation service is highly qualified and prompt, it doesn’t always guarantee e-commerce business owners the possibility of content localization in an intuitive way, compared to the other management activities of the store. This is where the importance of “integration” comes into play. In other words, the option to incorporate the service of translation orders within your own platform.

With this in mind, TextMaster recently developed strategic alliances with Transifex and PrestaShop. Thanks to both partnerships, the localization process can be incorporated in the day-to-day operations of e-commerce stores and is accessible via API.

Even users of websites created with WordPress now have a plug-in that can connect their web pages directly to the TextMaster translation service. This can then be used without even leaving their WordPress website. Users can simply download and install the free TextMaster plug-in. Once the plug-in is installed and the language and level of translation required is set, the geolocation order can be sent directly from WordPress interface ( see more Top most popular platforms for blogging) . The translations ordered are provided within 12 hours and prior to the final acceptance, the client still has the option of requesting any changes or modifications.

The fresh approach and innovative professional crowdsourcing model not only makes a lot of sense from work flow perspective, but also allows sites to go global without breaking a bank. Because the ‘professional crowd’ is managed online the site pricing is up to 80% less than what one would pay to traditional translation agencies. The premium level pricing, same for all language pairs, is 7.8 cents per word, thus you can translate an average website page with 500 words just for $39. As a comparison, the pricing most translation agencies start with is 15 cents or more per word. Thus, even if you only translate one page you will save $36. The more volume you have, the more you see what a huge difference it can make to your bottom line!

Why Use WordPress?

Why Use WordPress?

Why Use WordPress?

The old way of hand coding HTML websites is hopefully a thing of the past. With the old way you had two options: learn HTML yourself so you could make minor edits to your site or call the web designer and pay to make small minor edits. In recent years content management systems (CMS) have made some of these tasks much simpler.

Then along comes WordPress. WordPress is an open-source blogging platform that has many of the capabilities and features of what CMS’s have but is in general much simpler to use. It is has proven itself in the wild internet to be a rugged piece of software that powers millions of blogs and websites.

5 Benefits of Using WordPress as a CMS

1. Open-source software

When software is open source it means the source code for the software is available for everybody to see. This usually means better software because many developers are looking at the code and can suggest improvements. There is also the side that bugs are found sooner because more people are looking at the source code which is a definite plus for security.

2. Simple to Learn and Use

Can you use a word processor such as Microsoft Office? Can you create an account on Facebook? Can you use e-mail? If you answered yes to any of the above questions you can use WordPress. It makes adding or removing pages very simple. You can also edit pages with ease. As an example if you have your business hours on your website and you need to change them it’s simple for you to do without having to call and pay somebody to do it.

3. Low Cost of Entry

The cost to get started is very minimal. WordPress is itself free but you will have to get a web host to host your site which will run around $10/month or less. There are lots of free themes available for the look of your site but you can get a premium theme for under $100. Try going to a web design firm and get a site for under $100.

4. Simple Updating

Updating a WordPress install has become very simple in the latest releases. If you log into the control panel it has a big header that informs you a new update is available and with the simple click of the mouse it automatically updates itself.

5. Google Loves WordPress

WordPress also helps with search engine optimization (SEO). If you want visitors to find your site you will have to rank well in Google and other search engines for your keywords. WordPress has good SEO features built into it and with one add-on plugin you can improve your rankings dramatically.

If you don’t have a blog or website for your business yet, what are you waiting for? There are obvious benefits of having an online presence. Compared to traditional media, having an online presence is a much more cost effective marketing tool.

Many webmasters and web companies can help you in this are and maybe not but take a look at the installation services we offer and decide for yourself.

Stop Checking Your Earnings

I’ve been at this whole internet marketing thing for over a year now and while I’m nowhere near replacing a full time salary, I do OK and more importantly I have learned a lot. One of the things that I’ve learned is that you can’t keep checking your earnings. It’s demoralizing or frustrating or both.

I used to have this routine where I would start the time I dedicated towards developing my online business by checking my e-mail and then my Google Adsense, then I would research a whole shit-ton on what I wanted to write about and all of the ancillary details that weren’t relevant, I would go get a drink of something, I would come back and maybe write something and then I would check my Adsense account before going to bed.

What a freaking waste.

My earnings were pretty much always the same between the two checks and they were meager at best. I’d wonder why I wasn’t seeing results and just get frustrated with the whole venture.

Example 2. Early on I picked up on the Amazon Associates Program and they only update once a day. You wouldn’t believe how frustrated that made the insecure side of me.

Well, when it did update and on the occasion that I would make more than 2 sales, I would go to each one and add them up to see how much I made. No sense waiting for the items to ship and getting a real amount.

What I’ve learned

It really took some time but I’ve finally learned that checking your earnings doesn’t result in any improvements. It’s not moving you forward one bit. Don’t get me wrong, I still check them but it’s once a day and only for a few seconds to see what’s working, what’s not working and where I can allocate my time best (yeah, right)

I’ve grown confident enough to know that if you just keep writing your reach expands, your rankings improve and your earnings will grow.

I know that it’s easier said than done and you will eventually get there, but sometimes it takes different people saying the same thing different ways for it to sink in.

Earn online income with Amazon Associates program

Ever want to make a living selling online but don’t feel like carrying an inventory, invoicing, shipping, paying a sales force, misc. business expenses, legal requirements, creating a catalogue, customer service, etcetera? You can earn an online income from being an Amazon Associate. I should correct myself; you’re not actually selling anything, merely providing a sales context for items that Amazon has in their catalog. Kind of like commission.

There are probably close to a thousand ways you can use the Amazon associate program to make a complete living online, but I want to focus on the program itself.

Earn online income with Amazon Associates program

Earn online income with Amazon Associates program

When you sign up for the Amazon associate program you get a user ID. Using a plethora of Amazon supplied tools; you can create links to products on Amazon that have your ID embedded in them. This way Amazon knows that you referred visitors to their site and you get paid a commission for whatever it is they buy. That’s right – anything they buy. This is great because if a visitor gets dragged away from your link to a nicer, more expensive version of whatever-the-hell you linked to, then you still get credit for directing them there. On top of this, you can select the performance based fee structure which will pay you a higher commission percentage on all of your visitors’ purchases; so as you sell more you make more (more than the more that you sold…what?)! That’s the absolute basics of how it works.

The best thing about the Amazon associate program is the tools they supply to help you create affiliate traffic to their site. The easiest of these is the toolbar that sits atop the Amazon page (once you’ve logged in). Whatever page you happened to be on you can just hit the “link to this page” button to get instant html code you just slap onto your webpage, article, etc. They also have 15 widgets that can be installed onto a blog or webpage that can display a rotating selection of items, create a search box for people to search on Amazon (for the lazy shoppers), provide recommendations, play mp3s, show slideshows, etc. Finally, they also have the aStore feature that allows you to set up a “storefront” that shows groups of Amazon items in an online catalog format. These are fully customizable and can even go so far as having an independent payment processing system (which is, of course, through Amazon).

Seeing as people love bullet points here are some bullet points of the Pros and Cons of the Program:

Pros:

  • Amazon’s Huge Inventory – Amazon has an amazing inventory and just about anything you can buy, you can buy on Amazon. This is great because no matter what you write about you can pretty much find something to link to.
  • Amazon’s Referral Tools – Amazon provides a huge assortment of tools that make building links, banners, and other creatives amazingly easy. See above.
  • Everyone has an Amazon account – ok, well, almost everyone. Truth is it’s a lot harder to get people to come out of pocket when they have to search for their wallet and type in the digits.
  • pays out after ten bucks of earnings – you do have a paypal account, don’t you?

Cons:

  • Referral Rate is pretty low – in the vast world of affiliate marketing payouts are generally a lot higher.
  • You can’t refer yourself – learned this one the hard way.
  •  I’m not 100% on this, but from what about a dozen different website proclaim, Amazon pulled out of NC to avoid collecting taxes on the affiliate income. If you don’t live in NC it could still happen to you too as states look for ways to come up with more cash (frankly, I’m surprised NY hasn’t done something similar).

So you’re feeling good about the Amazon associate program. Now where can you use it?

Most of the time the program is used as an add-on to existing web infrastructure that you already have. For instance if you have a blog on gardening that you’ve been working on for a while, you can start including links on different garden products (gardening tools, composting bins, greenhouse equipment). You could mention them casually (“I found the Gerber Folding Shovel to be really handy because I can fold it up and put it in that stupid rolling garden cart I sit on”) or you could feature a product review that lays out the pros and cons of the stupid garden cart.

“But I don’t have a blog” or “my blog sucks, I hate it”. Well, one other suggestion that works fairly well is coupling an affiliate link with an article from sites like eHow. You can write a “how to” article on canning tomatoes and then look up to see if Amazon has any canning jars, or better yet, more expensive items like pressure cookers or stock pots. Tack on a couple of affiliate links (don’t get greedy) in the resources section and you’re good to go.

If you want more specific tips on Amazon associate program and how Darren from Pro Blogger has had some pretty big success over the years check out: 11 lessons I learned earning $119,725.45 from Amazon Associates Program

One final note: When dealing with affiliate marketing and in particular with affiliate marketing on blogs, the issue of disclosure comes up. There’s a certain camp that believes it’s important to maintain a level of trust with the readers which means pointing out that you make money off of these links. Then there’s the opposite side of the spectrum that states that you shouldn’t have to disclose anything and that links are links. It’s completely up to you how you use this. Just remember that disclosure isn’t a bad thing.

Freelance writing without the commitment: write articles for Bukisa.com

If you’re looking for a no cost, low entry barrier way to make money online, then writing’s the way to go. Bukisa.com is another site (sort of like eHow) where you can write your own article on just about any topic and share the revenue that’s generated when people see your ads. The nice thing about Bukisa is that they have a completely open platform (meaning you don’t have to keep your article in a “How-To” format), they have a wide array of media that you can use to enhance the article (unlike most other article sites), your articles are innocent until proven guilty (meaning your articles are published quickly with little review) and with your articles you can also “strengthen your online identity and branding.”

What the hell does that mean?

To me, it means that it provides you with another media outlet to promote yourself and online endeavors. This could be your blog, a recently published software package or info product, or it could be another one of your articles from Bukisa or another site. Not that I’m an expert but from what I’ve learned about trying to make money online, you need to have multiple methods and resources to promote your “products”. For one, it goes back to the basics of marketing (the four Ps) – no one is going to instantly know when your article has been written (although with all this web 2.0 stuff it gets pretty close). You have to let people know about it and if you do so in a relevant manner, people will come check it out. For two, the more networked and inter-linked your content becomes the more cohesive it will be and, more importantly, because of this the better it will rank in Goggle searches (which is the holy grail of SEO).

Now that I’ve gotten side-tracked a little bit, let me explain what makes Bukisa different.

Bukisa is different from other article sites because it relies solely on ad impressions (called “qualified visitor”). They have what they call a “Bukisa Index” which is the amount Bukisa will pay you for every 1000 visitors that see your article – currently it’s 3.53 (so for every 1000 visitors you get paid $3.53. If you only have 100 visitors you would get $0.353.) This means that the advertising revenue is based on how many people see the article. So now we no longer need to be as concerned about the advertisements that are shown (and how much they pay) and can focus more on content that interests people.

So what should you write about?

As I mentioned with Bukisa you’re going to want to get hits and lots of them, so choose topics that are popular or dominate topics that are somewhat popular. You could try to write about something that’s timely and popular in the mainstream media. Google trends offers a variety of topics that are being heavily searched. Another approach is to use a free tool I’ve just found: SEO book keyword research tool. This tool provides the estimated daily searches for various phrases for each search engine. You can use this tool to gauge how much traffic to expect and whether or not a keyword phrase is worth writing about. It also provides the daily searches for some alternative suggestions that are closely related. Then once you have a keyword phrase that you want to target, do a quick search to see what your search competition is. As long as there aren’t too many search results or too many big name sites (Amazon, CNN, TMZ) on the first page you should be good to go. If there are a lot of search results, you may want to consider a longer, more specific keyword to narrow the competition.

The thing that really brings in the cash: Referrals

With Bukisa you get a three tiered referral system that works something like this:
You refer your buddy Steve and get a quarter (25%) of what he makes from his articles. Steve refers his friend Sara and you get a quarter of Steve’s quarter (so 6.25%). Finally, Sara get’s her Mom to join (who happens to be a professional sport journalist covering the winter Olympics!) and you get a quarter of a quarter of a quarter of what Sara’s Mom makes (or 1.56%). While this reeks of Amway or some other Multi-Level Marketing scheme, this is completely legit because no one has to buy anything in order to make money and you still get the benefits of the snowball effect. The major consideration here is that you need to either sign-up skilled writers who will be putting in the effort, or instruct your referrals on how to craft a good article.

For ideas on increasing Bukisa referrals check out: 15 ways to increase Bukisa referrals

One final word. As with most of these ways to make money online it takes a lot of time, energy and patience to build up traffic and success with Bukisa. You’ll need to spend the time researching your topic (if it’s something you don’t know well), write a quality article, do due diligence in promoting the articles, and patiently wait while the articles age and gain strength in search engine searches. I’m not going to tell you to not check your Bukisa earnings everyday (because I do it too) but just don’t get discouraged when your article bring in just a few cents every day. Keep at it and before you know it your few cents will be a few bucks in no time!

Put your Graphic Arts degree to use with Zazzle.com

Who would have ever thought those t-shirts with random sayings would ever catch on? I certainly didn’t. Well now your quick wit can make you a quick buck. Or if bestowing t-shirt wisdom isn’t your thing, how about uploading all of those beautiful landscape pictures you took from Hawaii (you lucky bastard!) and selling them as a calendar or postcard. Or if you spend tons of time fooling with Photoshop images, putting them onto a t-shirt or tie (or hoodie or shoes). Zazzle.com offers you the chance to upload your images onto whatever media they have in their catalog.

With Zazzle, you can create a multitude of “Print on Demand” media and set up a storefront all in one place. And with Zazzle, you can choose what your markup is on each product. Zazzle sets a base price for each item and you get to pick the royalty percentage, which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. The store front is remarkably customizable allowing you to tailor your own website template and giving you access to a number of different modules to advertise your products. And if you happen to get particularly good at selling this stuff, they have a ProSeller program, where if you earn over $100/month for three consecutive months, which gives you access to special marketing materials and customer support. All this for free.

Sound interesting yet? The catch is that, unless you’re exceptionally gifted with MS Paint (or you have a Mac), you’re going to require some sort of graphic design program. The two most popular are Adobe Photoshop and CorelDRAW Graphics Suite which won’t set you back more than $90.

The hard part is figuring out what you want sell. The best idea is to develop a niche and market to that. For example you could consider pop culture references – such as when Obama was running and/or just elected to office. There was a certain amount of enthusiasm for Obama-styled merchandise. Wedding materials are fairly popular (so you’ll have to try and add your own twist to stand out). Zazzle gives you the opportunity to design invitations, “save the date” cards, and magnets that can be designed and marketed to a certain niche, say, gothic weddings. Need another example, pick something obscure, like disc golf. You could probably market a whole line of men’s organic tees that have hippie like sayings such as: “Throw discs not bombs” (Sorry to offend all of you non-hippie disc golfers, you’re just not my market). One more example: I’ve got an American Eskimo dog and my wife and I adore the hell out of him. We’re suckers for those calendars with American Eskimo pictures all over it. Take 12 good snapshots of your dog in different settings or god-forbid different outfits (with your DSLR Perhaps?), touch them up in photoshop or corel, and instant dog calendar!

I lied, the hard part is trying to get people to see and buy your inventory. In order to get traffic, you’re going to need to promote your goods. The good thing is there are a ton of free tools out there that will draw people in to your shop. To start with, there is facebook and twitter that you’re always spending so much time on. Link to your shop from facebook and see how many of your friends like your ideas or send out a quick tweet letting them know about a new product. There’s a whole host of social bookmarking sites that, when done properly, will expose your shop to additional traffic (i.e. stumbleupon, digg, delicious, etc.). Then there are the article sites (such as Squidoo, Hubpages, and Xomba) that you can write up an article that is closely related to the products you sell and link back to your Zazzle shop. In fact for each of the article sites you could display your work with a referral link back to your work on Zazzle so that you can get the extra referral bonus as well. If you have an item that people discuss in forums (for instance the disc golf example) you can participate in discussions there and include a link to your Zazzle store in your signature. Right there is four different ways to promote it.

I lied again, the hard part is getting out there and doing it. It takes less than 2 minutes to set up a Zazzle account. It takes approximately 5 minutes to buy the software from Amazon and maybe 20 minutes to set it up and learn the basics. And it takes less than 5 minutes to make a product once you know what you want. So if you think that you can design a product that people would want to buy, check out Zazzle.com, it might just pay for your next trip to Hawaii.

Intermission 1 – Breaking the “Can I Do This” Barrier

To try and break up the monotony of this money making machine, I thought I would throw in a post every so often that would provide some motivation or give you something to consider. Sometimes I have to hear/see/experience something in just the right way before it makes sense to me. These posts aim to help make it click for you. Let me know how I’m doing.

For this post I want to try and provide a catalyst for breaking the “Can I Do This” barrier. Lower the activation energy so to speak. If you’re reading this blog you’re either a friend who is doing me a favor, or you’re interested in trying to make money online. To me, a lot of these ways to make money online look incredible to begin with: you see so many people doing it, you hear about how much money they make, it looks completely doable. Then when you start to get into it, you start to see that it’s not nearly as easy as you thought; it takes a lot of time to do it, you’re not sure how to approach it. Waah (that’s supposed to be a sarcastic baby cry). The doubt starts to add up and soon you’re overwhelmed (I’m using the proverbial “you”; I could have easily used “me” but then I sound like baby. Waah.). That doubt is was I term the “Can I Do This” barrier. So how can “you” get over it?

Let me start with some plot building. I did the whole “go to college” thing that most everyone of my generation did. I graduated, got a job, moved back home, got another job, went back to school, still have a job. I work a job that I don’t necessarily love (I’m a scientist by trade…hence the chemistry puns last paragraph) and find myself time again speaking to random friend about my feelings for this job. Many of my older friends view this as a necessary evil, much like I do…or did (ooh, foreshadowing). You have a mortgage payment, a car payment, student loans… you have to work. Some of my friends supported me looking around for other jobs. The odd thing I noticed comes when I speak to friends my own age. They tell me that I got get out of there, it’s not good for your soul, you got to follow your dreams. A bit naive, but it really resonates with me.

Then I read The 4-hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. It had crossed my radar a few months before I actually picked it up. I saw a brief clip of him on some newscast promoting his book and he sounded a little too intense for me. Way too Fight Club. I forget what made me want to read it (perhaps an offhand reference from a blog post…like this one?) but I went into the book with an attitude of disbelief. I finished with an attitude of possibility. Real briefly, he lays out literally step-by-step the actions it takes to re-define how to perceive work and life in general, eliminate the extra work that tends to crowd our lives, automate as much as possible with regards to our work lives and/or an entrepreneurial venture that he helps us start, and then liberate ourselves from our current job or business so that we are free to travel the world and do amazing things. There are a tremendous number of anecdotes and case studies that help to reinforce his methods in each section and he provides an enormous wealth of resources to really cut down on the “Can I Do This” Barrier. I was so amazed by this possibility…even if I could only attain a fraction of this (I’m not nuts about traveling around the world)…that I read the book a second time, cover to cover, on my flight down to Florida. It changed the way I thought about work and working for other people.

The second push I got was from Pat over at Smart Passive Income Blog. He has been an “Internet Marketer” for over a year now and he happened to strike it rich (my words, not his) by writing an e-book for LEED certification (think green-home building license) that people bought in droves. He also would state his earnings, for the entire world to see, that he made from his book and a few other projects he worked on. This was incredibly helpful in motivating me; to really see the power of making money online and that a normal guy (roughly the same demographic as me) could fulfill his dream of living free through money he made the internet. And he hasn’t stopped there! He’s got a ton of excellent resources and I highly recommend reading them when you have 40 hours to kill (after your done reading this blog of course!)

These two things are the kinetic force that made me realize that I should get off my ass and make it happen. I hope that they are valuable to you and that you can find a good balance between reading and doing. Making money online isn’t going to happen by itself!

So besides the crappy chemistry puns and random literary terms, how am I doing?

Person-to-Person lending with Prosper.com

Like any investment opportunity, this is one of those “takes money to make money” things. If you haven’t heard about Prosper.com, this is one of the first Person-to-Person online lending venues. It works by connecting investors to borrowers who are looking for a loan. The benefit to the borrower is that they can get a loan at a better rate than most other loan options (credit cards, unsecured bank loans, dipping into retirment accounts and incurring fees). The benefit to the lender is that they can (hopefully) get a better rate on their money than elsewhere. Then there’s all that sentimental crap about helping other people. That’s great too.

For a lender, the idea is that you can spread your risk across many different loans and that if you diversify enough you will be somewhat insulated from the risks; basic market theory stuff.  Prosper goes even further to classify the loans into different Prosper ratings (a combination of credit score and Prosper score) and assigns a risk based on that rating.  The risk corresponds to an anticipated rate of return.  All of this is based on historical data.  So, as a lender, you have the option of picking each and every loan you want to invest in, based on various criteria (Prosper rating, credit info, loan use, cute picture they put in the listing) or you have the option to choose a portfolio plan where you can choose how conservative/aggressive you would like to be and Prosper will diversify the investment for you.

Not too long ago, Prosper was require to go through a registration process with the SEC.  As a result of being shut down for several months several notable changes were made.  The first is that all loans now require a 640+ credit score; the idea being the higher credit scores will be less risky and be safer for investors.  Another change is that now you can more easily diversify because they’ve lowered the minimum bid amount to $25 (from $50).  This makes it easier to bid on more loans and spread the risk around.  The other notable change is that there is now a secondary market and you can bid on already established loans.  Not really that exciting.  The big takeaway is now that the SEC is involved, lending should be much safer for investors.  Just like mortgage-backed securities.

Unless you like losing money you’ll need to do some research.  Prosper offers all of its’ historical data, through various tables, charts and graphs, on its’ website here.  There’s a million different ways you could look at it but I thought I would highlight what I thought important.  The first thing I considered before jumping in was “will I get my money back?”  So I took a look at the percentage of loans that were a month or more late, as of this writing that’s nearly 30% for all loans.  Ouch.  However if you’re a bit more discerning and look at the top three Prosper ratings (AA, A, B) you get only 4.23%.  Not too bad.  So if I’m only bidding on those what’s my expected rate of return?  Prosper estimates this at 7.86%  Better than a savings account!  If you want a higher return the C prosper grade give you 11.86% return with 13.25% of the loans going bad.

My personal experience with Prosper has been real hit-or-miss.  Back about a year and a half ago I put $300 in to play with.  I hand-picked about 6 different loans using the following strategy:  Keep loan amounts under $5K, evaluate loan usage and income statistics, consider credit history, look how others invested.  The five thousand limit was to limit the risk of default, I figured no one would want to ruin their credit score for a measely $2000, $3000, $5000.  I looked real hard at what the loan was being used for.  I stayed away from most business uses, home improvements, other uses.  I mostly looked at debt consolidation figuring that this would lead to more financial freedom which would mean fewer defaults.  I took into consideration their monthly income and expenses and tried to see if it made sense or not (for example: why would you be making $500 more than you spend a month and need a loan for $3000 for 3 years…it would be paid off in 6 months.)  I would stay away from credit delinquencies unless specifically addressed, look at debt-to-income ratios, stated income, job type…those types of things.

So how did I fare?  So far I’ve had 1 charge-off and another that’s almost there for a total loss of about $57.  There are certain extraneous factors that I attribute to the poor performance.  The first being that we happened to experience one of the hardest econcomic times in about 70 years.  The second being my trust in the fact that someone with a C credit score wouldn’t want to tarnish their credit for $1800.

Even though I’m in the hole at this point, I still think that Prosper has a lot of potential.  I’ve learned a little bit since my first round and with the lower minimums I can diversify a lot easier.  Prosper.com has a forum where you can learn about what has and hasn’t worked for other people.  If you’re a stats junkie then you’ll like Lending Stats.com where you can create an account and get all sorts of personalized breakdowns as well as comparisons to how you’re doing against other investors.  These are just some of the tools to get you started.  If you think that you might enjoy peer-2-peer lending, I’d suggest giving Prosper a shot!

Selling your stuff on eBay

I’d be remiss if I didn’t start off by talking about eBay – the online garage sale.  eBay is incredible in that it has established itself as the marketplace for anything and everything and everyone is looking to score a bargain.  Because of this, thousands of people have flocked to eBay in an attempt to get rich as quick as possible.  The great news is that people are able to make a full time living, merely selling things on eBay.  While this article won’t show you how to quit your job and become a PowerSeller overnight, you will get some great tips on supplementing your income just by selling things you find or don’t need.

First things first: you’ve got to have stuff to sell.  Let’s face it, we all have junk sitting in the garage/attic/basement/back of the closet/trunk/old refrigerator that we don’t need.  Sort out the stuff that has value from the stuff that doesn’t (or you could try to sell that too) and put it on the list.  During the summer when it’s garage sale season, keep your eye out for some undervalued objects – they can be a great source of inventory.  Got some time?  Do a quick search on craigslist or your local freecycle chapter.  Sorting through the listings you might just find a diamond in the ruff.

Starting a listing.  Now’s a great time to list your stuff – you get 5 free listings a month.  So if you were afraid your old dorm poster of John Belushi chugging the fifth of whiskey wouldn’t sell, you can test the waters.  eBay’s listing process is a breeze: type in a few keywords to get the category, fill out the 5 sections and your done.

It’s not that easy.  There are well over ten million listings – how will they find you?  The most important thing you’ll do to sell stuff on eBay is to draft a kick-ass title.  You’ve got 55 characters so don’t waste them on ridiculous crap like “L@@K” or “Rare”.  Include keywords that you would type in if you were searching for your item.  Try to be specific but still catch anything that’s closely related.  For example, I was selling some old computer speakers (hey, why not?) and included “iPod ready” in the title.  Chances are people won’t be looking for speakers when they search for iPods but the exposure might entice them to take a look.  Not to mention they are iPod ready (all computer speakers are).

After they hit your listing, why would they buy it?  Make sure to describe the item, including any flaws (see below), and try to add some personal character.  If there’s a charming story to go with grandma’s antique tea set, people dig that.  If the signed A-Rod ball was the game where he hit 3 home runs, that’s great too.  Or he struck out four times.  Whatever.

A picture is still worth a thousand words and a gallery is 35 cents.  Pictures will provide people with assurance that the item is real and in good shape (for that reason, I would stay away from stock photos).  Try to get the picture from different angles, identify special features, show flaws (still see below).  One good tip is to light the object from two different angles to cut down on weird shadows.  The more professional a picture looks, the better.

Schedule the ending time/date during a sweet spot.  Take into consideration when people will be home just waiting to snipe that sweet deal on the tea set.  Ok, so this example might be a bad example with the weird antique people who don’t really have a job (sorry weird antique people) so there is no real “best” time.  But normally you would want to schedule it for evening (keep in mind west coast time) and on a weekend when people aren’t at work or working on their yard or eating dinner, etc.

If you’ve got an item that looks too good to be true, it probably is.  People are looking for bargains but everyone has their own BS meter.  If you have a small town boutique clothing store and you need to move inventory, mention it.  If you need to sell your 46” 2 year old LCD TV to make room for the 52” LED-lighted LCD TV, tell them that too.  People love deals, hate scams.

If you’ve got something hot, list it at 99 cents.  Why?  Because it’s cheaper (list prices are scheduled; higher the list price the more you pay) and because you want to create bidding buzz.  You know that the 16 GB iTouch will clear $150, so list it low and get it on people’s radar.  Watch during the closing minutes as the price skyrockets because all those clever buyers wait until 2 minutes before they bid and bid again and bid again…

Skip the reserve (with obvious exceptions).  Nobody wants to see some hidden reserve price when they’re thinking about that iTouch.  There are so many other sellers there that they don’t want to mess around with the regret of offering a decent bid and getting rejected because you want $300.  It betrays trust.  And speaking of trust…

Ok finally, exaggerate flaws.  Wait, what?  That’s right, take extra pictures and describe in detail how the stereo has these horrendous, awful 1” scratch on the back of the left speaker, right above where the speaker wire goes in (especially if it has a great story).  Every time you go to disconnect or reconnect the wires you get so pissed at yourself for trying to fit too many CDs in the same box when you were moving.  Oh.  It’s only an inch and it’s on the back and it doesn’t affect performance at all?  This ends up building trust, showing that you’re giving complete disclosure.

Paypal.  It’s a necessity.  Paypal offers credit card processing at a reasonable rate and it takes a lot of the stress and hassle out of waiting for checks and money orders to clear.  Bidders also trust Paypal.  Set up is incredibly easy; there’s no reason not to.

Don’t gouge on postage but make sure to cover your ass.  It’s tempting to sneak in a couple of extra dollars on postage (“Haha, I got you!”) but eBay has made it so transparent that everyone knows.  That being said, make sure to CYA when it comes to listing.  It sucks going to the post office and covering the difference.  Bye bye profits, Buh bye.

You need to include a return policy.  There are ways to get your listing fees refunded but it will require a solid return policy.  Not to mention, that if you make everything clear up front then you have a leg to stand on when someone isn’t happy because they got caught up in the bidding game and spent a little too much.  Check out this site for some good suggestions.

These are just some of the basics I’ve found surfing around on the internets.  While this will give you what you need to get the job done, the sky truly is the limit.  There are other options, such as setting up eBay stores, finding items wholesale/bulk lots to resell, or setting up drop-shipping arrangements to name a few.  If you’re interested in reading more I would suggest checking out the following books:

Annoy your friends and make money at the same time with Adf.ly

My goal for starting out ways to make money online was to provide no cost ways to start making money online. That’s why you’re seeing a lot of writing sites; they cost nothing to start and have the potential to make some serious money. I ran across Adf.ly just the other day which is a free link shortening service. For those unfamiliar, link shorteners are services that take an otherwise lengthy link (affiliate links tend to be pretty long) and reduce the link size by re-routing the link through their “shortcut” link. This is handy for places like twitter, where you have a character limit and you don’t want to burn through it by putting a long link in there.

So what makes Adf.ly different?

While there are a couple of services like this out there, Adf.ly is different because it will show an ad for a couple of seconds prior to taking the visitor to the intended link. The ad generates revenue for the company and they share 50% of that with you. Based on their advertising rates, the cost is generally about $3 per 1000 visitors (also known as CPM). If they’re splitting half of that with you, you should be earning approximately $1.50 CPM. They have a minimum payout that’s recently been reduced to $5 so cash flow isn’t too big a problem.They also have a decent referral program. For other publishers you refer you get 20% of their earnings for life. So as with other services, the more friends you can influence the better your earnings. Also, if you know anyone who is looking to advertise, you get 5% of the advertising budget. Actually, when looking at the advertising rates, the cost per thousand (CPM) is pretty low (might be a good way to boost traffic).

Isn’t Adf.ly a scam?

It’s really hard to say. I’ve only just found this yesterday and still trying to think of ways to make this more along the lines of passive income (post the link once and have a bunch of people see it vs. post a bunch of links everywhere). As with most startup ventures, there seems to be a lot of skepticism and with good reason; there have been similar endeavors that went under and screwed people out of time and earnings. Based on my research, I don’t think it’s a scam and here’s why:

  • On their forum there are a number of Proof Payments – or screenshots of paypal accounts of people getting paid. Enough of them to think it’s more than a hoax (it would be a lot of work to fake that many)
  • Their admin is very active on the forum; answering questions and providing support. If this was fly-by-night I don’t think it would be as interactive
  • It’s coming up on a year of operations. I’m more or less relying on others opinions, but if they were somehow scamming their publishers I don’t think people would stick around to take it.

All that being said, proceed with caution. Adf.ly is free so this isn’t going to cost you real money, but your time is worthwhile so keep an eye on your earnings.

One other thing came up while I was researching this: There was a lot of conflicting info on the use of Adf.ly with twitter. Some said their account was banned. If I had to guess this is most likely due to what twitter felt was abuse or spamming of shortened links. I think this is a non-issue for those who use Adf.ly judiciously.

Adf.ly Earnings Potential

Just to get an idea of how much you can make with Adf.ly consider this: to get that 5 bucks for a payout you’re going to have to show approximately 3,333 people your link(s). This may sound like a lot but if you’ve been in the social networking game for a while you’ve probably established quite a few friends or followers or whatever. You have something genuinely interesting that you want to share with your friends. Let’s just say you have 126 followers (the average according to a guardian.co.uk article that is according to a talk given by Twitter) and you go ahead and tweet that shit. If only half take a look (a reasonable estimate) you’ve got 0.0945 cents. Do this every day and you’ll make $34.50. Obviously, this sort of extrapolation isn’t accurate but it gives you an idea of the ballpark.

If you’re friends are worth more than $35, let me pose another scenario. You’re an active member of the fatwallet forum (or any forum). You have a link to something relevant in your signature and you post to a popular forum thread that gets viewed 1700 times a day. Using the 1% rule (a completely arbitrary figure I learned from B-school) you would get 17 clicks or 2.5 cents a day. Post to a couple of popular threads and you could easily get it up around a quarter a day. It doesn’t sound like much but when you consider you’re doing this anyhow and you only had to put in the link once, it’s a nice bonus.

The thing that I think makes this worthwhile is the scalability factor. If you get more than 126 followers, easily done with a blog or other quality content sites, your earnings will be much higher. Plus if you do find a way to make it passive (create one link that many people use) it’s real easy money. I think that my examples show you’re not going to get rich with Adf.ly, but if you’re smart about using it, it can be part of a successful passive income portfolio.

Taking Stock in Photography with istockphoto.com

if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life.

This is still one of my favorite quotes. Having so many hobbies and interests I would love to pursue those to no end. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who’s way in to photography. If this is the case than there’s the possibility that you could make money online by shooting stock photography. Istockphoto.com is a website that allows you to upload stock quality photographs into an online portfolio that designers/graphic artists/miscellaneous others can download for a fee.

How Istockphoto.com works: As I mentioned, you can upload your photographs to Istockphoto.com and people can download it for a fee. You get a percentage and Istockphoto.com takes the rest. In order to start your portfolio you have to take a test (from a guide they provide you) and upload three photos that will pass their standards. Once you’ve achieved istockphoto status, you can begin to create your portfolio. They have an odd limitation of 15 photos per week which is on a rolling schedule (so if you upload 5 today and 10 tomorrow then you can only upload 5 again 6 days later…that wasn’t very clear was it?) And if that’s not complicated enough they have a tiered pay structure that increases as you gain status. There are five tiers (different colored film canisters) that will increase the percentage royalty as you have more photos downloaded. For example once you reach bronze canister (have more than 250 downloads) the same photo will earn you $2.25 vs. $1.80. Or if you choose to exclusively use Istockphoto.com (there are other agencies) they’ll bump you’re royalties “up to 40%”.

So what kind of money are we talking about? Well, say you establish a portfolio of 100 stock photos. According to Rasmus Rasmussen, you should reasonably expect 1 download per picture per month. Even at the lowest tier for the smallest picture ($0.30) you’ve got $30/month. And as the downloads keep coming you’ll increase tiers, gaining a better royalty and assuming you keep going (because you love photography, remember?) your portfolio (and earnings) will grow. In fact, a majority of the people earn enough to cover their photo-related expenses (new DSLR anyone?), many of those earn enough to call it their day job, and even a few of those get the coveted 6-figure status.

So how do you get started? Unfortunately it’s more than just snapping pictures of your dog and uploading them to Istockphoto.com. Because they have very strict quality standards, you’ll need to have some fairly decent equipment. There have been people who have successfully met the quality standards using the everyday point-and-shoot digital camera, but using those types of cameras tends to lead to noise and artifacts (two common photographical problems). Even though they tend to cost a bit more the Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras will take you very far in the stock photography world and it’s a moderate one-time investment (Check out Amazon’s Deals). While you’re at it you should probably pick up a good speedlight flash and a medium sized bounce.

Now that you’ve burned through $1000 let’s look at what makes good stock photography. You need to keep in mind the end use, what people are going to use your photo for. Many people feel that using models brings a lot of success with stock photography. From a web designers perspective, I always see stock photos on websites, blogs, etc. that have people in some pose to emphasize the point the author is making. For this reason, I think that using models is a great start; the problem is it’s also the most intimidating. You can start with your friends and family, don’t worry if they’re beautiful or not, there are plenty of applications for “real-looking” people stock (and there are applications for weird looking people, grumpy looking people, …). Make sure you get a model release to provide to the stock agency; otherwise they won’t accept your submission. Once you feel more comfortable working with people you can work up the gall to approach total strangers to photograph them. It’ll be fun. Another subject that makes good stock photo composition is food. There are thousands of food websites, food magazines, restaurant menus and fliers.

Proper lighting is another important subject. There are hundreds of books dedicated to the subject (see here) so I’ll provide a few basic tips I’ve gleaned from my research. You’ll want to keep things evenly lit. When shooting outdoors during the day the sun can make some very harsh shadows. A bounce or a diffuser can be used to redirect some of this light making it less drastic. Also you’ll want to try to light from multiple locations. By using different combinations of light from different angles you’ll be able to keep things even while still providing decent contrast.

You’ll also want to consider the shooting angle when shooting for stock photography. Shooting the subject at different angles can provide dramatic effect. For instance being below the subject and shooting up will make the subject more menacing, while being above and shooting down makes them more innocent.

Assuming your camera has the option (another reason for the DSLR), you will want to shoot in RAW mode. This mode keeps the picture uncompressed so there will be less noise and artifacts. It will also be easier to edit the pictures for post processing because the original data will always be saved. These RAW files are a lot bigger (because they’re uncompressed so you’ll probably need plenty of storage).

Speaking of post processing, you’ll need to do some post processing no matter what. First off, you’ll need to get all titles (like book titles), logos, license plates, phone numbers, artwork out. You’ll also want to touch up the models so that they’re more beautiful. Unless you’re trying to get into acne pamphlets, you’ll want to remove the zits and blemishes. Also in post processing you can increase the contrast between colors to make certain colors or features really stand out.

Once you have your photo all done and ready to upload, you’ll need to provide it with some tags or keywords so that they’ll get included in searches done by the customers. You’ll want to physically describe what’s in the photo, so if the composition is of a girl wearing a pink winter hat and braids the following keywords would be included: Pink, Hat, Female, Cold, Winter, Braids, Women. Similarly, the intended sentiment of the picture should be included. For instance, if the woman is smiling and looking down these keywords could be used: smiling, innocent, beauty, shy, laughing, happiness, comfort. Whatever you do, don’t “stretch” the meaning or outright lie. This will only lead to disappointment with the customer who will be less likely to return to your portfolio.

That’s it! See how easy it is to earn money from stock photography?! Obviously, there’s a lot to it. As my dad always said “if it were easy everyone would do it”, and that’s true. What’s nice about making money from stock photography is that it becomes passive income; once the photo is online it can be downloaded for years to come. The other nice thing is that, presumably, you enjoy the artistic effort that goes into photography and that it’s a way to monetize your hobby. So now that you’ve read all this you have a pretty good idea what it takes to get into stock photograph on Istockphoto.com.

If you think that this way to make money online might be for you but you want to more details I highly recommend How to Create Stunning Digital Photography guide. He’s incredibly knowledgeable and goes into great detail about all of the facets of microstock photography. The 4-5 hours you spend reading his guide will save you thousands of hours, and possibly dollars, during your shoots.

How I Make Money Online

For awhile now I’ve been writing on how to make money online using a variety of different websites and methods. I have to admit when I started out I had a much different vision for the site than I do now. And as I make more money online, I learn about things that do work and don’t work. I learn which people I want to listen to and which people I don’t. All of this shapes how I direct my efforts and the direction of this site. Today, I want to share with you a bigger picture so that maybe some of the readers (or that one person who still gets the RSS feed) can see where I’m coming from and see how I use these ways to make money online and how they can benefit from it.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll notice that I’ve put an extraordinary emphasis on writing articles for making money online. This is a path that I’ve found myself going towards and it seems incredibly easy to do. The start-up costs are truly nothing (if you’re only using web 2.0 sites), the work is generally interesting (although can get tedious) and if you get it right the payout can be beyond worth it. There are plenty of other ways to make money online and just maybe I’ll get around to covering them, but first and foremost I’m trying to kick the day job and that means getting down to business. Unfortunately, writing about how to make money online doesn’t really pay the bills, so my involvement here has waned. If all goes well, I’ll be back to post more frequently with more sites, more comprehensive strategies and better information.

How I Make Money Online

Let me start out by saying I don’t make much money online. It’s been 8 months and countless hours and I still have my day job, I still have a mortgage and I still stay up late at night banging out articles. So why the hell should you listen to me? Well, for the first four of those months I spent time dicking around with methods that I wasn’t good at, or didn’t know how to do well with and I spent a considerable amount of time reading about other people’s success and fantasizing about how I could do that.

I know better now.

I’ve now seen some success and have a basic blueprint that I choose to follow and works for me. That being said, everyone’s different and it may not work for you. But if it does it will save you months of floundering around if not quitting altogether.

The other big thing is that it takes time to make money online. There is no way to make money online fast, and anyone that tells you otherwise is trying to take your money. It requires a lot of effort and while a Herculean work ethic can shortcut some of the time, there’s a natural progression to online success (much of it relying on the search engines) that you can’t avoid.

The ways that I’ve made money online so far has been by writing for web 2.0 sites such as eHow, Hubpages, Infobarrel and to a lesser extent Bukisa. The ways that I make money online is by writing volumes of keyword rich articles that begin by pulling in crazy long tails (stuff that you weren’t really trying for) and backlinking those articles from the other sites as well as from articles directories and basically anywhere you can get a link. I’ve chosen to use Hubpages as the main site that all the links point to because it has the best search engine authority and revenue share as well as additional flexibility to add Amazon affiliate links and position them in places where people will see them.

The ways that I’ve made money online is by playing the numbers game. If you choose to go with Adsense model, you’ll need a lot of clicks to start getting into the tens of dollars per day. I think my average click is somewhere around 40 cents per click. But if you get enough of those clicks they add up. They way to get traffic is to rank well in the search engines. I’d say that organic search has the best potential for making money and that’s why there’s so much emphasis on search engine optimization (SEO). And arguably the best way to rank is to have a lot of inbound links with the right anchor text. This is where all of these web 2.0 sites come in. Just write a ton of articles on these handful of sites and use the anchor text to boost the chosen articles ranking.

The ways that I’ve made money online include using a strategy that focuses on one revenue source and putting all my efforts into that. I was a little mixed up in the beginning and following numerous different people’s advice I tried a little bit of everything. Then I got some good advice from a guy who knows how to make cash online. So I just focused on using Amazon’s Associates program and try to find products I can write about that people who would visit my site are interested in. The best thing about that is Amazon’s tiered compensation program means that the more sales I make the more I can make per sale.

Plan going forward

There are a number of other things that play into the ways to make money online. In upcoming posts I plan on focusing on how to get the most out of your articles including how to choose articles that get good traffic, how to use internal linking structure to enhance your SEO and how certain sites are good for certain niches, why that is and how you can capitalize on it.

In the next post I plan to write about the revenue sharing site Squidoo and what role it plays in my online money making endeavors.

Because I don’t post that often, you may want to subscribe to the RSS feed. That way you won’t miss anything when I post something 3 months later. That is if you want to.

Review of Ways to Make Money Online: 1-10

When I started out on this blog I thought it would be real easy to just crank out descriptions and strategies for ways to make money online. Then I got distracted. Should have figured. The plan is to periodically review the ways to make money online and examine the difficulty in getting started, money making potential, and skills or tools required. Below you’ll find the first 10 ways summarized. I tried to start out with ways that cost little or nothing to get started. Let’s get down to it.

1. Selling your stuff on eBay

I won’t waste your time describing the online auction giant; all you need to do is have something to sell. The best things about eBay is that they’re hurting for new customers so they’re enticing people with 5 free listings per month. As far as earning potential goes, consider this: powersellers make $1000/month. Silver powersellers – $3000/month, Gold – $10000/month. The very fact that they have these ratings means that people are doing it (btw, Titanium powersellers make $150K per month. Haven’t seen one of these yet). Getting there is going to take some work. No one is making $1000/month on stuff they have laying around so you’re going to have to find something to sell, preferably wholesale.

2. High-Interest Savings Account

High-interest savings accounts are kind of joke these days offering little more than a 1% return (FDIC insured return). However, they’re a safe place to put your cash in waiting. There’s a ton out there and you can get some ideas at Fat Wallet Forums or Bankrate.com. Technically, it’s a way to make money online.

3. Peer-to-Peer lending with Prosper.com

I screwed up with this one, there’s nothing free about lending money to people. What Prosper attempts to do is become the middle-man between lenders and borrowers. So, as a lender you can lend money to other people at rates that are a lot better than savings or CDs and the borrowers get lower rates than credit cards and possibly bank loans. Despite the optimistic name, Prosper earnings are little more dicey. On the successful end, Lending Stats.com reports people making upwards of 23% Return on investment. Looking at one of the portfolios, the loan amounts are for roughly $6000 dollars so a 23% ROI means about $115 rolling in each month. On the not so successful end, I’ve lost about 50 bucks so far. It goes without saying that a lot of research and a sound strategy are required to be successful. The person with the 23% ROI has a high majority of loans in the B grade category. I wrote a little about my strategy but you probably don’t want to lose money.

4. How to make money online writing for eHow

eHow is probably the biggest article site around and they provide a platform for you to publish “how to” style articles on almost anything. I’ve found the most promise with this so far and have seen my revenue steadily increase over time. The name of the game is writing good eHow articles and plenty of them. It takes a little bit of time to figure out what makes a “good” eHow article and I’ve tried to give some tips on what I’ve found works. Writergig’s ebook does a great job of laying out how she makes over $1000/month and can certainly help you jump the learning curve; but it’s not required in order to be successful. While not everyone is breaking the $1K/month barrier, Write for eHow blog interviewed top eHow earners and each one is making more than that.

5. Taking Stock in Photography with istockphoto.com

istockphoto.com is the photographer’s version of a content site, allowing you to upload your stock photos for sale to various interested parties. Being one of the “premier” stock photo agencies, they have some quality standards that may make it tricky to get started. The earnings schedule is a little bizarre but there are numerous people making $500+/month. The big caveat on this one is that it takes a decent amount of equipment to get started. Realistically, if you have a DSLR or a really good point-and-shoot camera you can probably get started right away; however, if you get into it and want to excel (and let your ego get the best of you) you’ll want higher quality which means more equipment.

6. Put your Graphic Arts Degree to use with Zazzle.com

Zazzle.com is a Print-on-Demand site that takes your pictures, artwork, or designs and puts them on a whole slew of different media (t-shirts, stationary, mugs, skateboards, etc.). It’s a great place to sell some items if you have good ideas for t-shirts or want to start a stationary style business (mostly wedding or graduation related) or you have some really good marketable designs (say, for a tie or t-shirt). The site is extremely user friendly and only takes a few minutes to set things up. The one thing you’ll need to have besides ideas is some sort of graphics editing software. Set up is easy, design is what you make of it but the real hard part to being successful is marketing. Zazzle has a prosellers account that gives you all sorts of promotional support once you make $100/month for 3 consecutive months. There are plenty of regular prosellers out there; however, I had trouble locating any of the higher performing prosellers such as the silver ($1000) or gold ($5000).

7. Freelance Writing Without the Commitment: Write Articles for Bukisa.com

I feel that Bukisa is an excellent compliment to eHow. Bukisa is a writing site that has a much more open format – you can write about anything and the earnings are driven by views so you don’t have to sell people on anything. The two great things about Bukisa are 1.) it’s completely free and 2.) the referral system is generously multi-tiered. They just published a spotlight on their top earner who made $2527.10. Honestly, this isn’t a lot for online article sites; however, Bukisa is still young and may gain traffic as they age.

8. Straight-up Cash Grab. $500. ING DIRECT

There is no two ways about it. This is a straight-up one-time cash grab of $500. ING DIRECT is looking to get more customers and are trying to sweeten the pot by dishing out money to both you, the referrer, and your buddy, the new guy. I’ve used ING DIRECT for several years now and have been very satisfied with their service. I’ve convinced a few friends and family to sign up using this offer, but it’s definitely not as easy as it sounds. Of course, the earning potential on this is $500. That’s it.

9. Earn Online Income with Amazon Associates Program

The Amazon Associate program is their version of an affiliate program. Basically you drive traffic to Amazon.com and get a commission on whatever they buy. Using Amazon as an intro to affiliate marketing is great because it’s very easy to get started and they have a shit-ton of tools to help make affiliate marketing easier. Their commission schedule is tiered so you make more percentage-wise as you get more sales. The earning potential on this is pretty much limitless, it all depends on how much traffic you can drive to Amazon and that means having content!

10. Annoy Your Friends and Make Money at the Same Time with Adf.ly

Adf.ly is a link-shortening system that inserts an advertisement between your link and its destination. They give you half of what they earn and if you followed my calculations you’d make $100 a year. Granted, my calculations were a bit conservative but there doesn’t seem to be an incredible amount of potential. It’s just one more tool in you online money making arsenal. I should mention that I did see a proof payment (Paypal Screenshot) for a $228 transfer. Not that it couldn’t be faked but why 228? You can always give it a shot; it’s free.

I’m hoping to pick up the pace on my ways to make money online. It’s very easy to get distracted and part of making money online is going out there and doing it (instead of writing about it). I hope that you have found this helpful so far and if you have any money making ideas I’d love to hear them!