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I need to start just getting some money in so I can pay my expensive rent each month without constantly worrying about if I am going to make enough for rent the next month or have to move. And hopefully start getting enough to re-invest back into marketing and building.
Well I have been reading excellent advice on here about what the most profitable niches and ways of marketing are and what things are not worth it because they don't have the same full potential as the others.
Although the most profitable niches sound like they cost the most to get started with and perhaps take more time. People here talking about investing thousands of dollars into them to get them going. I'm not afraid of risks. I just don't have money to invest like that. At least not yet.
So, I don't care about which ways are not long-term the highest potential and don't have the potential to ever make more then a measly 1-2 hundred dollars a day. Because if there is something like that that doesn't have long-term potential or high earning potential but has the benefits of being fast and cheap in making at a min. $100 a day I am interested. So I can know that my rent will be covered and have some extra for investing in the more profitible ventures.
I'm very new to all of this. But if anyone knows what kind of thing could produce that type of profit right away please share.
I guess if something is producing a return on investment then it doesn't really matter what the investment costs because you are getting it back. The problem is that I can't afford the delay in that. If I spend $2 a click at Google promoting something and it makes me a profit back I am still paying Google hundreds of dollars straight from my bank account way before I receive a check from the Affiliate program to cover those costs. Which is sometimes an entire month after the billing cycle that they even begin mailing them out. So something that paid quickly (like to Paypal) would be perferable.
I have been doing some of my own artistic service/product sites as well but they have not been doing all that well. Very sporadic sales. I need something consistant. I tried ebay too which I am completely sick of. I'll get buyers for my art the first time I put anything new up but as soon as I relist anything that has already sold- zero buyers. It's almost like it is only the same people looking at the art stuff and not a steady stream of new buyers.
Anyways. If there is not any answers to this or ideas I understand. It's kind of a stupid question. But maybe others here are interested in this topic too? The new people that don't have a lot of cash. I wish I had gotten into this stuff when I had plenty of cash and plenty of time, instead of wasting both of those things for years...
That is great if that's what your idea of retirement is. But, that isn't my idea of retirement. I have two kids to put through college and one that I have to make sure lifetime care can be provided for, a want to travel the world with my husband and a lot more. None of that will happen on a fisherman's salary.
The reality is that most people have many more goals and dreams they want to pursue in life than sitting on a dock all day chatting with friends. It is true that money doesn't equal happiness, but money does equal choices and the more choices you have, the better chance that you'll find happiness IMHO.
so, can we sum it as:
if you're just starting on affiliate marketing, pick something you're interested. :) once you get more practice, you can market anything.
Just the opposite IMO. Just starting out, pick something that's the easiest and the most profitable. Once you have a good steady income from it that frees up your time, you can market all the "interesting" things you want and not worry about if they make money, how long they take to do, how much time you care to spend on them, and not compromising them by making them "commercial" enough to pay the bills.
I may be wrong, but finding what is 'easiest and profitable' is a task all in itself which i think newbies do not have a grasp on.
Of course as a newbie you don't have much of a grasp on any of it. That's why the best place to start as a newbie before jumping into or investing in any of it is to first just spend time Learning, Listening and Observing and lots of personal Marketing Research. "Easiest" doesn't equal "Easy", and "Newbie" doesn't equal "Dumb".
In the real world there are plenty of activities and work that I have found very interesting and enjoyable, Until I had to start making these interests pay the bills. They quickly became very unenjoyable and it killed the natural interest I had in them. Working for money and selling is always going to be about customers or clients (employers are clients) and that means the one paying for the work is the one that controls how they want it or if they are willing to pay for it. So you are always compermising for Their Wishes and Their Interests. Or trying to market yourself in a way that is appealing to "them". That gets boring and annoying very quickly. I end up making things I don't like and not enjoying it because I have to please them to get paid. But if you make good money at something that's not so interesting but is very profitable without taking too much time, that means you can do those interesting things for yourself and do it the way you like it. No worries about if others do or not or if they want to buy it or not. Just stay truer to yourself.
You and a partner/friend/human go in together on the purchase of a Segway (see amazon). ...and rent it out for 30 minutes at $X/30minutes.
How many people do you think will ever own one?
How many people do you think would pay $30 to ride one, knowing they will never own one at its current price. And, of course, they would get their picture taken on one. :-) Kind of like pony rides but for adults!
From what I have read, the technology and design of the Segway is so advanced that the experience is unlike anything you or I have felt (good marketing shpeal, right?).
As a business it gets you out of the house and apparently for some it has done wonders for their social life. Wouldn't take long to recoup your costs and I imagine word-of-mouth advertising (aka free referrals) would be quite effective.
I'm full of ideas and some other stuff, too....just thought I'd lighten up the thread LOL!
Seriously, the easiest way to make money online is to find something that you think you can easily make money from online. Whether you like the subject or not remains immaterial - whether it makes money or not remains the only criteria by which to judge it.
If you don't agree, perhaps you'd be happiest restoring old cars, as this would appear to be a source of unending happiness if earlier posts are to be believed.
so, can we sum it as:
if you're just starting on affiliate marketing, pick something you're interested. :) once you get more practice, you can market anything.
Like AW, I'll say it is the opposite ;)
I did just that, ie started with something I'm interested in and got nowhere.
Start by marketing anything that can give you a good chance of success -- may or may not be anything you're interested in as long as you're interested in internet marketing.
When you're as successful as mfishy or MA, then do something you fancy :)
This might be a new idea to some, but have you ever considered that something that interests you can be profitable as well?
Yes of course. That is the best of both worlds. My point was just that if you don't have a lot of money and it is your only source of income I would focus on what is more profitable as opposed to interesting.
So in other words if profit is the priority then you choose something that you think will be the most profitable wether you are interested in it or not. Of course preferably you are, but it doesn't stop you if you don't happen to take interest in it.
But if the main priority is just if it is interesting, then you will probably choose something that is interesting wether it is profitable or not. You hope that it will be profitable, but since the priority is if it interests you you will do it even if it is not so profitable.
I choose number one. Interesting is good, but it comes after the priority of it being profitable. Then anything interesting doesn't get treated differently then the other ideas in the testing phases and being able to move on to something else if it fails. I wouldn't say if something is interesting don't do it. That doesn't make sense. Just that I think as much testing and market research should go into it as anything else. Without getting too attached if it's not a winner. Just my opinion from my own experiences. The last 4 months I have wasted spending all my time trying to make money with the things that interest me...
So, AW_Learner, how is the fasttrack to $100-200 a day going so far, one month later?
Not so fast!
Michael, perhaps you could explain in business logic terms, why you are reading this thread? This is surely a financially unproductive use of your time as this thread contains no hidden gems and is really a social discussion - not SEO 101.
Might you not be here because you are enjoying the subject matter, regardless of the fact that it will not bring you financial benefits?
So how do you classify your WebmasterWorld time? Business or pleasure?
An effective investment of my time.
That's just me though. I'm driven when it comes to my computer time. Having done the RSI thing, I like to make my keyboard time count and get the heck off the computer do other things =)
And back onto the topic of the thread.
It's likely nobody will share site specific data, but perhaps generous people with themed sites could share some general Adsense stats like:
1) Market Sector: travel, finance, medical etc
2) Type of site: Informational, direct selling (other?)
3) Site focus: narrow (single topic), wide (several topics)
4) Average earnings per click
5) Competitiveness of area (for example how much is a typical adwords click for the #1 spot?)
Alright, I'll post some of my info. It is hardly "killer" or "big time" by many people's standards here, but I'm happy with it none the less.
1 - Market Sector : Recreation, Sports, Travel
2 - Type of Site : Information, photographs and a "back end" affiliate store
3 - Site Focus : VERY WIDE - multiple topics and multiple themes
4 - Average earnings per click. No idea. Mix of affiliate links and Amazon. Average earnings per month range from $4000 to $6000. Traffic is about 3000-4000 unique visitors per day.
5 - Competitveness of Area - Moderate in some areas (the shopping part), somewhat light in the rest (the "content" part).
Other stuff - took 1 year to hit the $2k income mark and 2 years to hit the $4K monthly income mark. So...sales have been steadyily trending upward. Site also has proved to be very durable in the SERPS - due to the content. Have seen numerous pure affiliate sites come/go in my categories but the content sites (both mine and others) have always remained - at least in Google.
After following this thread from the inception, it set me thinking. I have a good site. It is attractive, it loads fast, is easy to navigate, with great products. Despite this, I was only making a few hundred dollars a day. Generally, if I wanted to increase sales, I would buy more traffic, but I didn't find it very cost effective.
It then dawned on me that instead of buying more traffic, what I should be focusing on, is improving my conversion rate. Here is how I approached it:
I put my self in my visitors' shoes. When a visitor comes to my site, I figured she asks herself:
1. What's in it for me?
2. Will these products deliver the benefits I'm looking for?
3. Is this a fly-by-night outfit or can I trust these people with my credit card information?
4. What do past users say about about their products, customer service, etc.
5. What are the shipping and handling charges?
5. How fast will my order get to me.
6. If I have a problem, will there be a hassle to have it resolved.
I then began to critically access the site and saw opportunities for improvement. Since I do receive lots of testimonials, I pasted the shipping related ones on the shipping page, and the ones related to individual products on the relevant product pages.
Since we have really fast shipping (orders often delivered the next day), I re-did the shipping info page and advertised our fast shipping on the front of the site. I also put this shipping info on the initial order page so that visitors know upfront what their options are and how much they have to order to get free shipping. This is to ensure that the don't freak out and abandon the shopping cart at the last minute.
With just these few improvements, sales have jumped 50% over the last week and I have not been buying much traffic! What this means is that my conversion rate has gone up significantly.
My next move is to try to focus on connective selling to get the customers to buy more. If don't get them to do so there and then I intend to email them, thanking them for their order and recommend related products that go with their purchase.
I also put all my customers on database and send them a monthly, content-rich newsletter, to stay in touch with them. Since it is five times easier to get someone who has bought from you before to buy from you again, I intend to focus the newsletter to prompt them to buy more often.
I am also aware that I am in a competitive field and my competitors are just a click away. So, I am installing live customer support to build trust and get the customer to take the necessary action. I also promote everything positive in our history I could think of on the front of the site to build confidence and trust.
I am certain as I go along, I'll get other ideas and I intend to persist to see how far I can push the envelope.
I have been an offline businessman for 20 years and began selling online as a pastime. I therefore have the advantage of applying real world business strategies to my online business, with amazing results.
The beauty of operating on the Net is that my main offline competitors are not operating online. This gives me welcome breathing space which I don't have in the real world. The Net provides real opportunities for small entrepreneurs to build global brands, on a shoestring.
The problem is, many netpreneurs have little actual business experience so they have not recognized and capitalized on this opportunity. In fact, no one in this thread has recommended that you focus on finding a niche, developing a strategy to dominate it and focusing on building global market share.
When you build a brand, you are no longer talking about a fly-by-night business. You are talking about superior returns and a lifetime stream of income.
If you are an affiliate marketer, make sure that you have a themed site and you market related products. Flea markets have no long-term sustainability. Brands do!
For instance, if you have a skincare site, sell skin care, makeup, etc., and not flowers. Focus on branding your site and building a brand. Aim to become the authority site in your category.
Remember, a brand is a single idea or concept in the minds of the consumers. A brand can only mean one thing in people's minds. Xerox stands for copiers, Campbell's - soup, Germany - engineering, Kleenex - tissues, etc. Once a brand is etched in people's minds, it is very difficult for a new brand to compete with them and take market share.
For instance, Crest "owns" cavities in the minds of the consumers, because they were first in the category. It would be futile and costly for any other brand to compete with them for this attribute. So other brands focus on whitening, gum health, etc.
Being second is not brandable so avoid building a "me too" site. Only "first" sticks in people's minds. Who was the first girl you kissed? I bet you can't remember who was second! If you can't be first in a category, build one where you can be first and focus on becoming known for it.
It is equally important to understand what you cannot do to build a brand. The first is, having a low price. When you compete on price, you are in the commodity business, not the brand business and any lower priced competitor can destroy you. If anything, increase, not lower your prices!
You cannot also build a brand around having the best quality, best taste, best colors, etc. Consumers expect the best quality and quality is the price to get into the market. Successful brands have the best strategy not necessarily the best quality.
Here is what I recommend. Use a suggestion tool (Overture, Wordtracker, etc.) to see what people are searching for in a category that interests you. Ignore the top results since these mega keywords will already be "owned" by the big guns in the minds of the consumers.
Find a narrow niche where there is not much competition and build a site and a business around it. When you do, make this your small part of the mountain and aim to dominate. Remember the Net is global and the size of your market is growing daily. Being a big fish in a small pond can make you very financially secure for life.
For instance, if you are interested in selling lipsticks, do a search and you will see that some women search for "red lipsticks". This is not a big enough category to attract the big boys but you can own this narrow category as your very own, worldwide, for life.
Remember, being first is the most powerful branding strategy. If you are the first site to focus on selling red lipsticks and you are the #1 site for red lipsticks on every search engine, eventually, when a woman wants to wear a red lipstick, your site should be the automatic place to go.
If you try to be the #1 site for lipsticks in general, you will face tremendous competition and get wiped out since there are tons of site focusing the category. But you can certainly own your own piece of the lipstick mountain by narrowing your focus.
Adopting this strategy is a nightmare for established brand owners who make a living selling lipsticks in general. If you do this successfully you will really make their lives miserable and they have no way of responding, because you already own the dot com and the #1 website.
Doing so also has huge publicity potential. If you do this really well, you can do wonders with the right publicity. The media loves a David and Goliath story. That type of publicity will drive tons of visitors to your site and really build your brand. I have seen people like this end up on Oprah!
When you go this route, your affiliate site is no longer a flea market but you are a brand owner, with brand equity which is a long term asset. Remember, 50% of Coke and Nike's value is their brand name.
I would therefore recommend that you build a content site around your niche and then use it to recommend products for your affiliate programs. If your visitors view you as an expert, chances are, they will accept your recommendations when you weave it into your content. Banners are a total waste of time and make your site look amateurish.
It is also very important to build your own database of customers and potential customers. If you have a focus about something that you are passionate about, chances are you are an expert. Write a short, content-rich ebook and give it away free on your site and on any other site that will host it.
You will get tons of downloads since FREE is the most popular four-letter word on the Net. To download it, visitors must put in their first name and email address. File them in your database. Every month, write a short content-rich newsletter and email it to them. Get cheap software that will pull out the first name and insert it in the subject bar such as "Hi Mary, your....newsletter". They'll not view it as spam and will open it.
So, you give away an ebook, which costs you nothing to write for a chance to market to a database of potential customers for life. That's a great deal! By sending out your monthly newsletter, you reinforce yourself as an expert and when your subscribers are looking for something in your field, where do you think they'll come first?
Aim to build this list up to 10,000, 50,000, 100,000, etc. This now becomes your most valuable asset, so keep it safe. Recently, I did a targeted mail out to 1,000 people and it cost me $0.40 a name. If you have a database of 100,000 and you offer it to a reseller for $0.20 a click, every time they use it to do a mail out, that's $20,000 in your pocket. How does five mail outs a month sound?
The point is, ideas are plentiful. However you will get nowhere unless you have a strategy, focus on building a brand and if you are prepared to think outside the box.
Hope this helps.
>>Aim to build this list up to 10,000, 50,000, 100,000, etc. This now becomes your most valuable asset, so keep it safe.
Keep it safe is the watch word. Our competitor sent out a Xmas card mail with all his customers on cc and he sent a card to us! I guess you know what we did with the mails :)