When it comes to making money online you have a lot of options, but each of them is special in their own way. Some will take more money to get started, others will take time and some will require you to learn processes and know what methods work and which don’t.
Before we just into a method (and three part series) that you can start using to earn your first few dollars online with a very small investment, let’s take a look at some of the most popular online business models right now.
- Pay per click marketing – You will need to have money to spend on search advertising and click costs can range anywhere from .05 to $100 depending on what keywords you will select. This method may also require the use of landing pages and advanced tracking features.
- Media buying – This is a great method to get a lot of exposure across thousands of web sites very fast, but again it will require you to spend a lot of money in the process since you will be buying ad space on other sites. You will also need to know how to setup ad campaigns and do pixel tracking to monitor your results.
- Email marketing – I used to be very big in email marketing and it’s one of the most profitable and high response ways to make money online, but it’s definitely going to cost money to acquire emails and send out all of those mailings.
- eCommerce – Another great way to make money online is to sell products… of course you are going to need to have a product to sell and a way to track all of your sales and customers. This can be done through the use of a shopping cart system, which won’t cost much… but you will also need to factor in advertising costs.
- Facebook ads – With over a billion users on Facebook, how could you not take advantage of their advertising platform. Well, if you don’t have any advertising dollars to spend, then you are probably going to miss out.
I’m sure may of you are saying “ENOUGH! I already know about these methods for making money online, but I don’t have any money to spend to start my own business or web site… what else can I do?”
The important thing to know that online businesses are serious and they should be treated the same way as any other business. Fortunately in the world of online business you don’t need to have a staff, pay for rental space or many of the other “real world” costs.
Here is a winning model for anyone who has a few dollars to start their own business online and wants to learn the ropes of internet marketing, but don’t have enough money or time to jump right into the more advanced and costly methods of the techniques about.
I’m not trying to sell you… but here is the process and what you will need. If you have any questions on how to set this up or who I use for hosting and domain names, just shoot me an email.
- Domain Name = $10 year
- Web Hosting = $7 month
- WordPress = Free
- Site Content = Free (Time)
That’s it!… really, for less than $200 a year you can be up and running with your own internet business!
The Core of Your Business
During the initial business planning process it’s important to remember that we are going to try and spend as little money as possible to get started. There are plenty of areas to improve and spend money later on once your content and core is established.
The core for your business in this example should be to find a niche product that people are searching for on a daily basis and that you can become a resource of information for. People are searching for different things every day, but targeting in on your audience they are in “buying mode” is key to converting your site visitors into buyers. Since writing is something that nearly anyone can do, and will cost you time instead of money… this is your investment into the business.
The best sites for making money online through affiliate marketing are review sites, comparison shopping, coupons and tutorial guides. All of these sites are great methods for engaging with your audience and getting them to take action. These are the types of sites you will want to create, then back out your traffic into an affiliate marketing offer (ie: Amazon.com or individual program).
Before you get started with your writing, you are going to need to know what to write about!
Free Tools for Finding a Winning Niche
I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m a big fan of using long tail keyword software, but since this software comes with a cost we aren’t going to focus on it for this concept. Instead you can utilize many of the free resources out there that provide a ton of great information.
- Google Keyword Tool – Not only is Google the greatest search engine in the world, but they also provide some amazing tools for free as well. Google Keyword Tool will allow you to search keywords, see how competitive the market is and how many people are searching for these and related keywords every month.
- Amazon Top Sellers List – What are people buying right now? Not just across everything listed on Amazon, but broken down into categories as well. Knowing what people are buying and seeing their feedback and “what else they purchased” is a killer resource when creating your own site.
- Search Status – Choosing the right keywords and niche is only half the battle. You also need to know who your competitors are and how easy or hard it will be for you to rank among the top search results. A free browser plugin called Search Status will show you the PageRank, Whois, Alexa, Compete, MozRank and much more while you are browsing through the search results. All very important factors when trying to rank organically in the search results.
Where Do You Go From Here
Now it’s time for you to take everything that we mentioned in this article and start to build a foundation for your business. You don’t need to rush out and get a domain name and hosting right now. Instead you need to spend time to see what niche market you want to get into and how you can become a valuable resource for those who are searching on your topic.
In the world of internet marketing it’s way too easy to get excited about a project and jump the gun to get started. Map out as many winning niches as you can, compare the top sites in the search results, see which affiliate programs you can join to monetize your content and keep breaking down your list of possible niches til you find a winner. This will be a long and boring process in the beginning, but will make all of the difference once you actually get started.
The process isn’t as complicated as some people might want to make it. You register a domain name, setup hosting and start creating content for your site. AGAIN, make sure you put in the time and effort to find a winning niche or you will end up wasting time and money.
Once you’ve decided on your niche, write as much content as you can for your main page (800-1200) words and create a chart or break down the content so it’s easy to read. The end goal here is to create content that provides real value. This will be very important for the engagement, ranking and overall monetization of your site.
Want some examples?
Of course you do! Examples are a great way to see what is working and also gives you proof that others are doing well with these methods as well.
Two other niche case studies that you should be following are the ones from Spencer Hawes and Pat Flynn. For both of these guys they’ve created sites that they were playing around with for a case study and both of them have turned into something amazing. The two niches that were targeted are “survival knives” and “security guard training”. The knife site is being monetized with Amazon, while the security training site is generating most of it’s money through Google Adsense.
Excellent examples that can get your mind stirring.
The goal is to not try and replicate where someone else is already having success, but find a niche market that can make you money with less competition but enough search volume to make it worth while.
It’s also important for you to realize that you shouldn’t just rely on Amazon and Google Adsense for revenue generation. Networks like CommissionJunction and Shareasale have thousands of offers and merchants for you to choose from and many of them have very nice commissions and payout that you can build a site around.
Now it’s time to get started!
Hopefully this three part series has been a good motivator for you and will allow you to get started with your own niche web site or blog. Don’t forget to refer back to part two which is full of useful free tools for search results and finding a quality niche product.
As always, shoot me an email with any ideas or questions you might have. Be sure to let me know when you go live with your site and I’ll check it out and let you know what I think. If you need any help with the site setup process, you can also click here to have the process setup for you.