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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wanna Quit Your Job in 2008?

For most, it takes a few years get their sites to the point where they can think about quitting their full-time job. But if you work hard enough, it can certainly be done within a year.

And even if it doesn't happen in 2008, perhaps you can earn enough to make it feasible for 2009.

If you are just getting started and want to make money online, here are some things you can do now to make 2008 a productive year for you...

1. Learn the basics of website building.

Don't rely on someone to update your site for you. You need the freedom to update your site when you want. Having to depend on another person is like buying a car when you don't know how to drive.

Imagine having to call someone every time you wanted to go somewhere. What's the point in the purchase if you don't have the freedom to go where you want when you want?

People are often intimidated by the website building process because they are "bad with computers" or feel they need formal training in web design. Not true. I didn't have any when I started and my site, doesn't look to shabby. ;)

Thanks to great programs like Dreamweaver and CoffeeCup you don't need any formal training to build a site. And there are hundreds of sites with free tutorials on how to use these programs.

Or if you decide to use a program like Site Build It!, you don't need to learn how to use any software because they have all the tools built-in.

However, I still believe every website owner should at least learn the basics, no matter the host you choose.

Even if you pay someone to do the initial design for your site, you should still learn how to manage/maintain it going forward.

2. Decide your approach.

I make money online through affiliate programs. In other words, I build sites on topics that interest me and recommend products that relate to my topics.

The merchants pay me commissions for any sales I make, but I do not handle any products. I am simply the middleman that refers the sales. In addition I earn revenue through ads on my site.

Since I do not sell any tangible products, the content on my sites act as my product. I spend most of my time writing and of course marketing my site anywhere I can.

Understanding how to keep my sites ranked high in the popular search engines like Google is also a must.

If affiliate marketing doesn't sound like your thing, you can also sell your own products by setting up an e-store. Understand you will also be responsible for collecting payments and shipping products so it's important to educate yourself on these processes.

Of course there are other ways to generate money from a website, but these are the two basic ways and most popular.

Obviously you can do a combination of both. You can sell your own products and still make money from affiliate programs, ads, etc. The business model is up to you, but I would definitely recommend you start small and simple.

For example, if you want to sell lots of products like, I would start with a smaller niche and then expand. It's much easier to get traffic to a small niche like "antique turtles" than to try and compete with well-known brands like Amazon and Overstock who sell everything under the sun.

3. Realize you are starting a business.

If you want full-time money, understand this requires a full-time commitment. This is not something you can do for 2 days a month and expect to generate a six figure salary. (At least, not in the beginning!)

You must grasp the concept of Internet marketing and realize unless you have a lot of traffic to your site, you are not going to make much. Traffic doesn't just come to your site automatically.

Understanding search engine optimization (SEO) is a must if you want to generate free traffic from Google, Yahoo and Live (formerly They don't just start sending you traffic just 'cause you launched a site.

You should be setting up a plan that defines specifically the type of audience you want to target and how you plan to reach them.

And once you know that audience, it's up to you to do the research to find out where your potential audience/customers are.

Let's say you are targeting stay-at-home moms, you'll need to do your research and find out where they go online so you can get your site in front of them.

That could include creating a profile on the ivillage message boards to chat with other moms, and finding other online sites that target this audience and working out an advertising arrangement with the owners of these sites.

Generating traffic takes work and this is the most challenging task for any webmaster. It's the difference between failure and success online.

4. Decide if you need a webmaster or administrator.

With the emergence of dating and social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, it seems everyone wants to start their own networking or profile/member-based site.

I'll be blunt. These sites are not easy to setup or manage. You need to understand a great deal about web servers, security, bandwidth, etc. or at least know someone who can help you.

Also, you will need more than just a cheap web host for your site. A $3/month host is not good enough for a site as robust as this. Dedicated hosting is almost a must and it is not cheap.

So unless you plan to learn all this yourself, make sure you have a right-hand man (or woman) to take care of the technical details for you. Also make sure you have the extra cash on hand for monthly hosting/server fees.

5. Learn from those already making money.

If you decide you want to be an affiliate like me, become a frequent visitor of Allan Gardyne's site

I learned almost everything I know from his helpful newsletters and website. He's got a ton of advice for beginners. And be sure to read his newsletter archives. Allan is notorious for highlighting other successful affiliates so you can get some fantastic ideas and inspiration.

Also check out Ralph Wilson's site, There are tons of great articles related to Internet marketing here. It's a great resource site.

6. Take it a step at a time.

It's so easy to feel overwhelmed with all the information online. Don't feel you have to understand everything about Internet marketing right now.

Your first goal should be deciding on a how you want to make money and who you want to target. Get a pad and paper and jot down your notes.

Research. Do a Google search for the type of site you want to create. Check out your potential competition and see what they're doing. Look for info or resources they are lacking and find areas where you can capitalize.

Then once you've done that, spend a good deal of time learning how to build your site. Don't underestimate the importance of this step. Your site is your doorway to income, so make sure you have a plan for what you want to do and how you are going to manage it.

Here's to a productive 2008!

P.S. Wanna chat with other people just getting started? Head on over to my forum, We're a friendly bunch! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Passive Income From Content

Cathy Stucker (The Idea Lady) conducted a tele-class last night, hosted by

Cathy is making a living from the abundance of content she's created over the years, and I thought she offered excellent advice... particularly for those who are just getting started and may be skeptical about how to make a living online from articles and information.

I summarized Cathy's main points in my forum,

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Accidental Blog Success

I love hearing stories about people who create sites for fun and they suddenly turn into a success story. That's what happened to Mikey, an avid fan of the series, Prison Break.

He told me his blog was originally created in early October 2007 for fun. And after only a month, the blog receives between 400 and 800 visits per day. This is the kind of traffic many bloggers can only dream about.

While I'm not usually a fan of starting with a free blog (versus a website), Mikey is a great example of how you can use a blog to get your feet wet online.

The trick is finding a niche you love that is not too competitive and delivering great content that your audience will value.

While many first-time bloggers fail to identify a target audience, and begin blogging by posting random, uninspiring information, Mikey's focus is clear.

His entertaining show updates, audience participation requests, incorporation of YouTube videos and clean layout all contribute to his early success.

As a reward, his traffic is soaring and his Alexa rank is already at 1 million. And even though he's not in the top 1% of trafficked sites quite yet, that type of rank for a site that is less than 2 months old is nothing to hang his head about.

Especially during a time when the Net is flooded with new bloggers trying to climb their way up the traffic ranks and get a piece of the delicious Google AdSense pie.

While many people find success online by selling products in hot niches, Mikey's story is a great reminder of how blogging about something you love can become quite rewarding with some dedication and effort.

I have a feeling this is just the beginning of a great future for Mikey and his flourishing blog,

What can you learn from Mikey?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I Owe You An Apology

I was so excited to launch my new e-book, Untold AdSense Facts, on Saturday that I published a typo in the download to the link.

And a special thanks to the kind gentleman who brought that to my attention.

I am terribly sorry. So many of you take time out of your busy day to read my blog, only to find a broken link. And for that I apologize.

So if you missed the download to my free book. Here's the link again. (Right-click and "Save As" to download).

This time, the link works. :)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Untold AdSense Facts

Due to all the AdSense buzz generated by the media lately, I felt it only fitting to write a small e-book that addresses many questions I receive about AdSense.

Yes, the concept of the program is super simple, but making a lot of money takes time and work.

Right-click here and download my free e-book Untold AdSense Facts to learn what separates those who make money from the program and those who don't.

Friday, November 02, 2007

AdSense Member Earns $120,000

One of my Website Babble forum members posted a link to an article from USA Today about a retired gentleman who earns $120,000 in Google ads in one year.

I wasn't as amazed by his story as I was the skeptical responses to the article. Then again, people are often skeptical when they hear stories about people making extreme amounts of money online.

Especially when they've tried it and haven't had much success themselves.

No one is saying it's easy, but it is doable. One guy even replied and said that you had to have millions of hits to your website just to make $1,000/month with Google ads.

I wish I could tell this skeptic that he's dead wrong.

Either he's been burned by other programs in the past or has tried the "Google AdSense thing" and hasn't had success, so he assumes no one else can.

It really is a shame that there are so many scams out here that it is difficult for people to believe some of these programs are legit and do work.

I'm not making $120,000 in Google ads, but I'm doing quite well and I sure as heck don't have a million visitors in a month.

If you want success with AdSense, the formula is super simple. Notice I said the formula is simple, but that doesn't mean you'll be rich in 2 days.

You do have to understand that it takes time and it's about building a useful site, understanding the basis of Internet Marketing and having some patience.

Now, if patience and hard work is not your thing, then maybe Google AdSense isn't for you. But if you...

1) Set realistic goals

2) Build a site on something you enjoy

3) Be prepared to L-E-A-R-N

4) Understand you may fail once or twice before you succeed...

You really can make a lot of money with the program.

The bottom line is, most of these AdSense success stories you read about are true. And my response to the person who said, "...if this is true then why doesn't everyone do it" would be...

Everyone doesn't want to put in the work required to become successful with AdSense. They are often wowed by the earning potential, but when they suddenly realize it does take work, they quit.

My hat goes off to the senior earning $120,000. And I'm sure he could care less that some don't believe his story... especially when he's headed to the bank with a fat check courtesy of Google. :)