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|For the noobs - $20 a day is possible|
and it's just a midstep to $100 a day?...
My story: About a year ago I got into affiliate marketing. I read TONS of messages from this board and a couple others. Learned a lot and also learned that I know very little about this game :)
I am happy to say that this week with school starting, I broke the $20/day barrier...this month I will make the most ever so far at about $800 or so, all profit!
I sell BOOKS from Amazon, among other things. Not a big money maker, and tons of others do the same, so I am not too worried about being secretive about it :)
It also illustrates that one can pick up any product and break into the market and make some extra money. I don't know about you but $800 isn't pocket change for me :) 20" LCD monitor here it comes ;)
One thing I have to say to noobs about what they should do is , JUST DO IT!. Build a site, even if it has one page. It takes a few weeks to a couple months to get found by the search engines, so it's important that you at least get your domain going. Of course the more pages you have upfront, the easier it will be for you to be found.
Once you have the barebones of a site, I would really start getting some content. Write about a hobby of yours if you feel there's enough interest out there. Try and add an article every week or so. Break big articles into multiple pages, etc. Only YOU can decide what to build your site on. Read some of the more exhaustive threads on the topic on this forum.
I would say that the most important thing afterwards would be inbound links. I contacted over 300 sites in the span of a year. Find out what sites link to your competitors, then ask them to link to you. Obviously the better content you have, the better luck you will have with getting webmasters to link to you.So, content again.
Link exchanging boosted up my site to Pr5, and got me in the first page of serps for some major keywords, which in turn has netted me affiliate sales and adsense income. Whereas before I would have to seek out link partners, these days they find me!..it's quite an 'ego trip' when your site gets to be the one others are requesting link exchanges with! I've even had pr6 and pr7 sites sending me requests.
Anyway - I just wanted to share this , and hopefully it will serve as a motivation for those trying to break into the field.
It can be done!...
I have been doing AM for a couple of years. When I started out I was stuck at about $25/day for over a year. It wasn't until I applied myself and learned some basic SEO that my earning jumped. I now see my earnings as unlimited. The more time (and $) I put into it, the more I earn.
I earn enough to buy whatever I want, and travel when I want. believe it or not, I have not quit my job yet. I started with a plan and am sticking to it. A few more weeks and I will be done. It is not a matter of 'taking the plunge' and quitting for me. I had a plan and stuck to it. My plan involved putting in as many hours as need working on my website.
I just wanted you to know that what you hope is possible, is possible.
Another question. Do you guys target specific geographic markets? And do you target your own country or a foreign country?
For instance I live in Europe and I mainly target the American market with my websites. The reason why I do this is because I believe that the European markets are much smaller and because their are less good European affiliate programs.
if i could target the european markets i would, because of just what you said.They're smaller, hence less competition. But language, culture barriers make it hard. So you'd be at an advantage if you were to play in your home market.
I like wellzy's approach.
If you have a plan, then go for it.
Don't quit the day job just because everybody(at least here) does it. :)
Have a plan and if you are confident about it, do it.
I have to chime in about "quitting your day job". I hate to get off topic here but remember to figure in the cost of health insurance and other adders like pensions if you are considering quitting your day job.
Everybody's situation is different. Some of us have good paying jobs with family commitments and mortgages. Others may still be living at home and flipping burgers for a living.
I have had some really good months in the past few years which allows me to buy imported beer. However most of my earnings are from free serps and it can all come crashing down with the "algo change of the month". I am trying to depend on more reliable traffic sources like adwords.
I figure I would need at least $500/day of profit for a period of at least a year before I was confident enough to quit the day job. Even then I am not sure I would do it.
|You got a job once, you can get one again if everything tanks. |
Just to add a different perspective...
Bear in mind that getting a job primarily depends on what the employer sees in an applicant's history. If a potential employer sees that you've been "unemployed" for 6 months, or a year, or two years, that looks bad and decreases your chances of getting hired. You might know that that time was not wasted (although if you're going back to get a job it may feel like it has been) but the liklihood is a potential employer won't even bother to find out exactly what you've been doing for that dead time.
It's very much like the predicament women often find themselves in when they decide to have children and opt to stay home with them for the first year or two. Non-working time is percieved as "lazy" or "wasted" time and acts as a serious barrier to re-entry.
The simple fact is that removing yourself from the jobbing world for any appreciable amount of time greatly reduces your chances of getting back into it in a satisfactory manner. I'm not trying to discourage anyone from quitting their job to go AM full time, but let's at least speak frankly about its potential consequences.
|I never really get the don't-quit-your-day-job mentality. |
Mortgages, student loans, children, health insurance, heat, water, food...what's not to "get?"
|It's really not any more fickle than working for a company that might have to downsize at any given time. |
True, but also bear in mind that this "company" (in my case I work for the city) does other neat things like pay your health insurance and match investments in 401(k)s or IRAs. I'd have to add an extra 800 to 1000 dollars a month (possiby more in the near future) to my internet earnings just to keep my family's health insurance. With a day job, it costs me a few hundred. Point being, there's more to consider than just whether or not you "like" your job. Not everyone has the luxury of making these kinds of life decisions based on how they feel. (I really didn't mean for that to come across spiteful or acidic, although it probably does. I merely meant that responsibly making a decision like this requires an honest assessment of your entire situation. It's not merely a question of bravery, as has been suggested, but one of practicality, as well.)
|It's very much like the predicament women often find themselves in when they decide to have children and opt to stay home with them for the first year or two. Non-working time is percieved as "lazy" or "wasted" time and acts as a serious barrier to re-entry. |
As a former hiring manager for IT types, I personally never considered women who took time off work to stay home to take care of their infant children as lazy or having wasted their time. It's not unusual for women to take time off from the work force to have kids.
Red flags on resumes would usually occur for people with significant unexplained absences from the work force, especially during non recessionary times.
Also, being self employed doesn't mean you are unemployed. If a prospective employer has a question about whether or not you were really self employed during the period in question, you always have your tax returns as proof that you really were earning an income.
|If a potential employer sees that you've been "unemployed" for 6 months, or a year, or two years, that looks bad and decreases your chances of getting hired. |
Don't know about everyone else, but I run an LLC. I'd think anyone making more than a couple thousand a month from this stuff would. Running a business is a far cry from being unemployed in any employer's eyes. I am very confident in my ability to get a "real job" anytime based on my experience. Although I'd probably go back to freelance writing before it came to that, shudder ;)
I do understand that everyone comes at this with different backgrounds. I'm not suggesting someone who's only making $1,000/month quit their jobs... I'm saying there comes a point when you're making the equivalent of your salary + benefits, and at that point why not quit?
People need to do what makes sense for them. I just know I've been able to put in a lot more time (and seen my profits increase a lot more) since I started doing this full time. It's too easy to do nothing or very little because you're tired from a real job and a sucky commute. That's just my take, though.
[edited by: Teshka at 8:07 am (utc) on Dec. 31, 2004]
|As a former hiring manager for IT types |
I'm a web developer, so I do fear that me being away from the workforce will make my skills obsolete. Other careers might be less time sensitive and/or might jive better with 'running your own business' type of experience.
brickwall, high five.
rfung, if you are a web developer and you do AM for a living, I think you won't be left behind. In the 9 years working for an IT shop, initially I was learning tons of stuff but it became stagnant after 4-5 years. Because I have very little freedom of doing what I want. I was learning more tricks doing AM in 4 months compared to my last 4 years in my current job. And of course if you are staying on top of your AM campaigns, I would think that you will continue to learn and implement new things in order to stay competitive.
just my 2 cents.
AM for the past few days have been pretty flat... isn't it?
|Running a business is a far cry from being unemployed in any employer's eyes. |
First, I agree wholeheartedly that being "self-employed" and being "unemployed" are two very different things, and did not in anyway mean to imply otherwise. I disagree, however, with the part about "in any employers eyes."
Employers want people involved in their industry, who know the ins and outs and have proven themselves in that arena. Unless you're in a field where your self-employment directly relates and translates to relevant experience, self-employment shows up as an empty blip (relevancy wise) on your resume. If I work as a web designer, then quit my job to open an IHOP franchise, then two years later throw in the towel and try to get a web design job, how does my two year stint as a restaurateur get Jeffrey Zeldman to hire me? It doesn't.
Likewise, if you're a, say, accountant, and you quit your job to run a website for two years, then you decide you need to get your accounting job back, that two year webmaster thing probably isn't going to be much help (especially on paper, where most employer first impressions are made). In fact, it's probably going to work against you. You're up against a work force loaded with applicants who have accounting experience running right up to the current moment. You have become out-qualified.
Conversely, I would imagine a web design firm isn't going to hold freelance web design experience against you, but, of course, not everyone who runs their own website for profit is an ex-web design professional who struck out on their own.
In my "day job" profession if I spent a couple years out of the loop, I would have to go back to school in order to get my old job back. A few years of non-involvment literally disqualifies me for my position. Mine is certainly not the only profession in which this happens.
I'm amazed after reading this forum! First, I'd like to introduce myself before putting my question.
I'm a software architect working for a mid-sized company (with a not-bad kinda salary),but always had a dream of doing something of my own.
A year back, I started AM and to be very honest, I couldn't do much out of it. The reasons could be I had a framed site, which Search Engines didn't pick up. Secondly, I was not pushing the site much.
Of late, I started my own online technology journal and doing good with Google AdSense and other banner Ads.
But after going thru this 11 page topic I'm inspired again to give one more try in AM. My question is PPC Vs. Website.
Which is more profitable? A one page website with a proper domain name which is hosted on a paid server, which finally takes the visitor to the parent company's site or straight away doing PPC with the affiliate URL? I'm confused a bit, and I'm sure the guys like Rfung, cabbie and other hardcore AM folks can give me a complete suggestion on this.
Cheers guys and have a great year ahead!
|I'm sure the guys like Rfung, cabbie and other hardcore AM folks can give me a complete suggestion on this. |
That's the beauty of AM, there is no "right" answer.
For the past few years I have used regular web sites with links to the merchants site. It's a lot of work to get link exchanges, build pages etc but the profit margin is gigantic. The down side is that it can all vanish at the next algo change in the search engines.
I think one of the themes you read here all the time as to treat it as a business. There is not many brick/mortar businesses that prosper without advertising. To that end I have dabbled with PPC and in my case I think it's a better way to go for the long haul.
The results can be evaluated almost instantly as opposed for waiting for inclusion into a search engine.
I have directed PPC users directly to the merchants site as well as to a landing page on one of my own domains. Not all merchants sell the product as well as you can.
Also if you direct a potential buyer to a landing page on your domain you can advertise multiple merchants and point out the strength and weaknesses of each, provide coupons, point out free shipping etc etc...
I also think you will find most people that have had success with AM look for products to promote as opposed to trying the make money from an existing site. Just because your a huge fan or expert about "pink fuzzy widgets" doesn't mean everyone else is. You may not be able to make money by trying to get people to buy "pink fuzzy widgets".
The trick is to try to find products that people search for a lot and convert well on the web.
Here's a good thread
It touches on some of the topics you may want to think about.
Some people worry too much. Too many people live their life in undecision. Don't let it be you. I agree wholeheartedly with Teshka about quitting the job, and I can relate.
I didn't quit... In fact I just recently got layed off due to slow season. I can go on EI for 8 months. I don't plan on ever going back to that job, or any job if I can help it. Now more than ever I can spend more time on AM, and actually enjoy it now. When you get home from work it sucks sometimes to jump right on the computer and start pounding out a website.
Either way the lay off was a blessing in disguise, and before you complain about me staying on EI until my internet earnings take over... It's my money... I paid into it for A LONG time.
So if you are making good money from AM why not get away from your job? Your life WILL BE completely different.
All the Best,
Thanks a ton MrSpeed & C.K. This is absolutely true that it doesn't correct that people will buy those products which I like. Therefore, I'm looking out for the products people are searching for...doing some research on the net before jumping on the AM sea.
C.K., thanks for the advice. Well, I've some plan as well as we ll as some responsibilities. Until & unless, I've at least 1 or 2 years' salary in pocket, I just can't quit my day job. But I'll quit..sooner or later.
Just a correction about my monthly reporting of revenues. I forgot to account for some merchants, and the end result for the month of december was that I made about $75/day, even with one of my sites dropped out of the serps half way through the month, otherwise I think I could have gone the whole nine yards to $100/day.!...
Now I'm really thinking that January is going to be sucky and my revenue is gonna go down....
anyway, happy new year everyone!...
|The trick is to try to find products that people search for a lot and convert well on the web. |
I also forgot to mention that it helps if the niche does not have too much competition. One of my first AM sites I did was in the area of travel. I got killed in the serps because of the competition. I should have targeted a smaller niche like within the hotels market. For example hotels that have spa centers for weekend getaways.
I'm sure there are people that make decent coin by cornering the market of not so popular topics/niches.
Even within really competitive topics there are ways to carve out a little piece for yourself.
>>Even within really competitive topics there are ways to carve out a little piece for yourself. <<
Yep. If you have the resources, go after the big stuff, if not, there is plenty of gold in the small niches. It is just a matter of looking for it.
Can ANYONE show me a sample site that is doing pretty well as an AM site? I just want to see what is "successful" and what isn't. It doesn't have to be your site of course, I just want some sort of baseline to sort of put all the pieces together.
|Can ANYONE show me a sample site that is doing pretty well as an AM site? |
Do a search for some money terms and look at the results. Anything in the top ten should be doing pretty well.
I have a few sites that look pretty much the same except the content is different and they go to different merchants. One is "successful" and one is not.
If a site is doing pretty well it's difficult to know why unless you're the site owner. Maybe you rule the serps, maybe your merchants convert like crazy. Maybe you have a content site that works well with adsense.
My biggest money making sites are in a saturated niche. I really can't figure out why they are successful. I don't seem to be at the top for any specific keywords. It could be because I am doing a lot of bottom feeding.
It looks like the money sites are a very tight market for the average AM. I googled some basic consumer finance terms and saw all the big boys in the organic listings. What types of affiliate categories pay the most?
|What types of affiliate categories pay the most? |
no offense, but the types of affiliate categories that pay the most are the types of categories that a beginner couldn't possibly compete in.
>>What types of affiliate categories pay the most? <<
Personally I wouldn't start off in such industries, but that's not to say someone shouldn't. Without a good working knowledge of how to build effective affiliate sites + get them ranked, it will be very tough.
If you browse the category listings on CJ (for example), you'll note that you can sell almost anything! I make money from the most unusual places (if I hadn't tested the product, I'd never have known it would sell online).
What's my point? You don't need to stick to the "traditional" money making AM arenas to make good money in AM.
Currently I promote nothing that would be considered even mildly competitive by most peoples standards. It can be done.
The income of my flagship site has increased hugely over the last few months. Compared to the months May-June-July my earning have increased with almost 300%.
I think the main reason is because traffic to my site increased with about 200% and because I've been focusing on pages of which I suspected the earnings would be good. It's a content site with more than 9k content pages.
January is looking very good for me. I hope it will continue to perform like the first 3 days :P My earnings have increased with about 40% compared to december.
This site has been online for about 3 years and if it continues to grow it will probably reach $100/day within a few months.
|it continues to grow it will probably reach $100/day within a few months. |
Way to go, zygoot!... I'm hoping my last post on this thread will be me reporting the $100/day mark as well! If I make it there by the end of January, it'll be 6 months since the start of this thread.
dang! 9k pages that's a lot of content, did you make all of your content? or is datafeed driven?
I'm actually building a site that sells about 2500+ items, but they're mostly names and a url to the merchant at this point, I stored all of this in my little database, I'm thinking I'll spend 1 hour a day to update maybe 10-50 items or so, in about a year, I should have a site with 2500 items to sell with content pages for each of them.
Anyways, I was wondering how you go about building a good number of pages.
For the moment almost all of my income comes from Adsense. My flagship site accounts for lets say 92% and a smaller site I started a few months ago accounts for 8%.
After reading a lot on Webmasterworld I realized even more that it isn't a good idea to put all my eggs into one basket so I started experimenting a bit with some other services like Amazon. During December I earned about $70 with Amazon.
I also started making a few new affiliates pages in December but I couldn't find the inspiration (and time) to finish them..
When I started using Adsense wasn't able to make $100 a month and now I think that I might be able to reach $100 a day with those two sites somewhere in April-June. If everything goes well ofcourse ;)
>dang! 9k pages that's a lot of content, did you make all of your content? or is datafeed driven?
It's a news site and each day I add a lot of news articles.
Can't wait to get out of the sandbox so I can join you!
I assume that you are not writing all those news articles yourself?
If you are using RSS feeds or the like, doesn't Google's duplicate content penalty hinder you?
About duplicate content...
I was reading Adsense policies everywhere and couldn't find where it says that you can't use duplicate content.
If you browse the net, there are tons of sites using a DMOZ database, Wikipedia, or posting articles from AP. These sites have Adsense in their pages.
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