What Would You Do Differently If You Were Starting Out Again?

I recently saw this question on an internet marketing forum. The writer was specifically looking for responses from ‘successful internet marketers and veterans’ to see what they would do if they had to start out from scratch again. I thought it was a really good question for a newbie to ask.

Most people spend years becoming truly successful online and most will have made every mistake known to man to get there so asking them what they would do if they had to start again from scratch is an ideal question.

Interestingly enough, all of the responses were different. So what does that say?…well, to me it simply says that there are plenty of ways to make money online. How wonderful is that?! You don’t need to worry if it will work or not because once you find a system or method that suits you; it WILL work if you keep at it. Persistence is the key with this business but most people don’t have it in them to keep at it until they do eventually succeed. And they keep buying the next “big thing’ hoping it will help them make money overnight, and of course that doesn’t work for them either because they don’t put the time in.

So let’s look at some of the responses to that post to see what some of the ‘successful’ internet marketers would do:

1. ‘Create your own product’– in other words, write your own ebook, create a membership site, create and sell your own WordPress theme, build a plugin etc. Now prior to us releasing our ebook we wouldn’t have put much stock into this one but I can say with hand on heart that this is one that I would recommend, to someone with experience on the web. However, for someone new to it all, it’s not an easy one to start with and personally I wouldn’t suggest it to someone brand new on the internet. Others may disagree on that one but I really think you need to know the basics on how to build a website and how to market a product on the internet before you get into something like this.

2. ‘Give value in everything you do’ – now I love that response because that has become our philosophy. If I were starting again I would make certain that I have that line floating around in my head instead of ‘How can I make money online’.

3. ‘Approach article marketing differently’ – basically this poster said that he wouldn’t have wasted his time posting to Ezine etc and instead would have created a relationship with a couple of authority sites and submitted his articles to them exclusively. Personally I wouldn’t just stick to one or two but the basic idea is there. If you can get your articles on authority sites or blogs that relate to your niche then you will be streets ahead of the rest of those who simply submit to article directories.

4. ‘Create an email list’ – this one was a common response. This is the one thing we have been a bit slow to take on although that is changing now. If you have a nice list of people who follow the same things you follow then you can promote products to the list and make money that way. One of the main advantages of a list is if your websites suddenly disappeared overnight then you will still have a following of people and it won’t take long to get back up and running.

5. ‘Create a plan’ – as the poster said, most newbies don’t have a plan or a set of goals – all they think about is the money. Setting goals is extremely important. We have a roll of butchers’ paper that we roll out and write our plans, ideas, and goals. And we do this at the very least once a week. Its not set in concrete, we can make adjustments to suit what is happening but by doing this we always know exactly what we need to do in the coming days, weeks and months.

6. And finally my response to the question was that if I were starting out again I would create only one website instead of many and would create 5 really good product reviews for that site using Amazon products. I would then spend 80% working on getting traffic and backlinks to those 5 pages and the other 20% of my time writing informational type articles to add to the site. That’s all I would do. Nice and simple and this is the one method that I know absolutely works.

How to Make Money Online from Classified Ad Marketing

Classified ad marketing is a quick and easy way to make money online without having a website or blog. This is a great bum marketing technique.

It basically involves placing short text ads on free classified ad websites. Within each ad you place an affiliate link to a product you are promoting. When a visitor to your ad clicks the affiliate link they are taken to the merchants website and if they purchase a product from that site, you get a commission for that sale.

The trick here is to choose classified ad sites that already rank really well in Google. In this way you are not only getting the traffic from the classified ad site itself but you are also, and more importantly, getting search engine traffic as your ad will rank on the first page of Google…or at least that is our aim. A couple of good ones are Craigslist.com and usfreeads.com.

To make this work, you need to find keywords to use in your ads that are not very competitive. In other words, you don’t want to compete with millions of other websites to get your classified ad on the front page of a Google search so choosing low competitive keywords is the key.

Step 1: Choose a product

The first step is to find a product to promote. We recommend using Clickbank if you are just starting out but other affiliate networks include Commission Junction, Linkshare and Shareasale, just to name a few.

Now rather than repeat myself, take a look at my article on How to make money with forum marketing to see how to go about choosing a Clickbank product.

Step 2: Find keywords that relate to those products

In the title of your ad and also in the ad description you need to use appropriate keywords so that firstly people can find your ad when they do a search in Google or any of the other search engines and secondly so that your ad ranks highly in the search engines. Use Wordtracker or the free Google Keyword Tool to find keywords that relate to the product you chose to promote.

Step 3: Place your ads

There are a number of free classified ad sites on the Internet. Just do a search in Google and you will see plenty. The one we like to use however is called USFreeads. This site gets a lot of traffic and ranks well in Google so you don’t need to do much work to get your ad ranking.

You will need to sign up with USFreeads first – you can do that HERE.

When creating your ads the main things to remember are to use the keyword you choose in step 2 in the title of your ad and also as the main heading of the ad itself. Use H1 tags to highlight the title and then place the keyword another couple of times in the ad.

You will also need to add your affiliate links in the ad so that readers of your ad can click through to the product.

Step 4: Social Bookmarking

Once you have placed your ad you should add the link to a few bookmarking sites to boost the ads ranking. Also getting a few backlinks from other websites will help.

Important

Remember that this is a numbers game – the more ads you can put up the better. You will find that some ads do extremely well and get you a lot of sales whilst others will do nothing. This is why you can’t just stop at one ad – just keep pumping them out. If you can do 10 a day great, if you can do 20 even better. Just get as many up as your time allows. Even just two a day is better than nothing – by the end of the month you would have 60 ads up.

Once you start making money it is highly recommended that you pay for the monthly subscription to USFreeads. At $9.95 it is well worth it.

What is Article Marketing?

One of the things I really like about affiliate marketing is that there are a lot of ways you can go about it. Some of them require you to spend money like pay per click whilst others are totally free …like article marketing.

Article Marketing is the process of writing articles and submitting them to article directories. In each article you add links to a product or service that you want to promote. When a reader of your article clicks on the link they are taken to the merchants website. If they buy something from that website then you get a commission.

It’s a simple process and doesn’t require any outlay of money. It does however require that you have some sort of writing skill but you don’t need to be a professional author by any means. If you have written an essay or report in school then you can write an article suitable for the internet.

How Does it Work?

The first step is to choose a product to promote. You don’t have to actually buy stock yourself. Instead you promote someone elses product. The best place for this is Clickbank. This site acts as the middleman between you and the merchant. The products in Clickbank are mostly digitable downloadable products like eBooks and memberships.

Once you have chosen a product in Clickbank you can then write an article based on that product. For instance, if you have chosen an ebook to promote on improving your golf swing then your article might be titled – “3 Tips for Improving Your Golf Swing”.

Once you have written the article, which by the way only has to be about 300-500 words, then you add a byline at the end of the article and in that byline you add your affiliate link. You get the affiliate link (or hoplink) from Clickbank once you have registered with them. The affiliate link is just a piece of code that links to the merchants website.

Once you have that all in place you submit the article to an article directory like Ezine Articles, Goarticles, Squidoo or Hubpages. Bear in mind that Ezine Articles no longer allows affiliate links so you may need to create a landing page using Blogger or WordPress.

Now the trick with all of this is that you need to choose keywords to use in your article that are not very competitive. In other words, you want to be able to rank on the first page of Google for your article. This is where you need to do a bit of research using one of the free keyword tools like Wordtracker or the Google Keyword Research Tool.

For our golfing example for instance we would head on over to Wordtracker and type in the keywords ‘golf swing’. From the list that is displayed we would then take each keyword and type it into Google using quotes eg. “golf swing tips”. If any of those keywords show less than 5000 competing websites then I would consider this a good keyword and I would base my article around that keyword.

If you really want to get serious about article marketing or similar techniques then we suggest learning from the best at Wealthy Affiliate University.

How to Get Others to Write Articles for you

Over the years we have written hundreds of articles for our affiliate websites…actually it might be closer to thousands. It has become second nature for us to be able to put together 500 words and more on a topic even if we know nothing about it initially. Having said that however, it still takes time to research and write and it is time we would rather spend elsewhere. So we have learnt to outsource a large part of our content to writers. This not only frees us up to get on with some of the more important aspects of our affiliate business but also means that we have fresh content from writers with different views and writing styles to ours.

There are a number of ways to get content for your site – some you will need to pay for and others you can get for free.

Paid Methods

Elance and RentaCoder are two places where you find hundreds of writers ready to write articles for you. An article can cost anywhere from $2 and up depending on how many words you want written. You just place a project with the topics and number of words you want written and writers in Elance or Rentacoder will place their bid for the project. The bid is the price they want to receive from you for writing the articles.

You will usually get more than one writer placing a bid. I receive anywhere from 5 to 20 different bids for article projects I post in Elance.

Don’t just choose the writer with the lowest bid as you get what you pay for. You will often get writers from non-English speaking countries and although in some cases they will do a great job, in others you will find that their English is not that great and you will have a lot of editing to do. We tend to stick with native English speaking writers and we always ensure that we have checked previous feedback and examples of similar work they have done before accepting a potential writer.

It is worth paying a bit extra for a writer with good feedback and good writing skills as it will save you time in editing and fixing up errors. Our favorite writer’s work is so good and she knows what our requirements are, so that oftentimes I don’t even have to read the article properly before uploading to a website. She isn’t the cheapest but she certainly isn’t the dearest either and I know that I don’t have to do any work once she sends the article through – it is ready to go.

You can be very specific with your article requests or just provide the keyword and let them go for it. We have a writer who only requires a keyword and can write a brilliant article around that. Others need more help so be as specific as you can.

Every now and then we will select more than one writer for the project so that we get two different versions of the same article. We can then add one article to our website and perhaps distribute the other article to another website or submit it to an article directory.

Here is an example of a project we might post in Elance:

We require 10 articles at 300+ words on the topic of dog training. We would like the articles to be informative and provide value to the reader. Articles must be provided in Microsoft Word or Notepad format and must be completely original. We will be checking each article for duplicate content.

Here are the topic titles:

1. How to train your dog to sit
2. How to make dog treats
3. How to get my dog to shake hands
4. etc, etc.

That’s pretty much it really. Now you can provide more detail if you require specific information in the article but so far we have found that most good writers can just take a topic and run with it.

Free Methods

Here are a few ways you can get free articles:

1. Grab some from an article directory – This isn’t the best method in the world as although you might find a fantastic article that you can add to your website or blog, so have a hundred other people. So what happens is that the same article is plastered on numerous websites. Google doesn’t like duplicate content so you will probably find that although that page of content may get indexed in Google it is nowhere to be seen in the rankings and you never get any traffic to it. So it is kind of a waste of time if you are trying to generate traffic but it can be worthwhile if it is an article that will be useful to your current readers.

2. Exchange articles with another web master – Find other websites with similar content to yours and email them to see if they would like to exchange articles.

3. Add a bit of text to a prominent spot on your website or blog saying that you accept guest writers. In exchange for an article you can add a link to the writers website at the end of the article.