We subscribe to the Wealthy Affiliate University, a program where the emphasis is on making money online without having to spend anything to do it. This encompasses what is known as bum marketing – a phrase coined by Travis Sago and is fast becoming the term used to describe free internet marketing techniques.
These techniques are perfect for anyone who is just beginning to learn how to make money online, because all that is required is a person’s time. Also, these methods can be tried and tested without concern that money may be lost in the process. It’s the perfect way to learn.
These methods will still work regardless of whether you are working full time, part time or not at all. The rewards are really based on how much effort you put into it.
The most common problem for people who are not making money using these methods is that they expect to just put up a Squidoo lens or write a couple of articles and have the money start rolling in. It just doesn’t work that way. You need to maintain a consistent effort and keep at it for this to work. Also, don’t just stick to only one of the methods listed below. Try two or three but don’t overdo it. Just keep going and see what works best for you.
For any of these methods to work you first need to register with the following which are all free to join:
1. Clickbank – Here you will find digital downloadable products to promote. Clickbank acts as the middleman between the merchants who sell the products and you, the person promoting the product. It bundles all of the products into one spot so you don’t have to contact each merchant individually to find products. Clickbank also organizes the commissions that you receive and ensures that you are paid.
2. Other Affiliate Networks – If you are looking for other products, other than those offered by Clickbank, to promote then you will need to join up with networks like cj.com, shareasale.com or linkshare.com.
3. Paypal – If you don’t have a Paypal account then you will find it very difficult to make money online as it is currently the most widely used payment system on the internet today. As you make money using Clickbank they will depostit your payments into to your Paypal account. So make joining Paypal a priority.
So now here is what you have been waiting for…five ways you can make money online without having to spend anything to do it:
Squidoo is a website developed by Seth Godin. It allows people to develop a page of content about a subject and they can create as many pages as they like. Each of these pages is called a lens.
The benefits of using Squidoo are that it is ranked well by Google so not as much effort is required by you to get your lens ranked. There is also a pre-made audience so you don’t have to work so hard at generating traffic. And lastly, Squidoo allows you to include affiliate links on your lens which means that you can promote one or more products.
The key with Squidoo is to choose keywords that are not too competitive so that you can rank quite easily in Google.
How does it work?
1. Choose a topic – preferably one that you are interested in but also one that has the potential to make money i.e. it has at least one product that can be sold on your lens.
2. Choose a non-competitive keyword that relates to this topic – see instructions at the end of this article.
3. Create a lens using the main keyword chosen from step 2.
4. Add content.
5. Add affiliate links for products to your lens – use CJ, Linkshare or Clickbank to find products. They will provide you with the code to add to your lens to create an affiliate link.
6. Work on getting traffic to your lens.
Now I could go into much more detail here but I have developed an in depth Squidoo eCourse that takes you through step-by-step from start to finish so sign up here and you will soon be well on your way to making money online with Squidoo.
2. Classified ADs
Classified ad sites allow you to place ads for products that you want to promote. You basically create an ad, then add an affiliate link in the ad which links to a product that you are promoting. It’s easy, takes minimal time, costs nothing and you can add as many ads as you want. The trick with this however, is finding keywords that are non-competitive to use in the title and content of your ad so that you can easily rank on the first page of Google – see instructions below on finding non-competitive keywords.
There are quite a few classified ad sites on the net but one of the best for this type of work is USFreeAds. They allow affiliate links in their ads and you can submit ads for free. If you have some money to spare then it is worthwhile paying the $9.95 per month membership which allows for unlimited ads, greater functionality and better looking ads.
3. Article Marketing
Article marketing is very popular because it is relatively easy and it works. It involves writing articles and submitting them to article directories. Don’t be concerned that you may not have the writing skills to get this to work. You don’t need to be an expert writer to create articles. Take a look at ezinearticles.com to see what others have written about .
If you are really concerned that you may not be able to write your own quality, informative articles and you have a few extra dollars to spend then head on over to Elance.com and get a professional to write the article for you. You can get an article written from anywhere between $5-$30 depending on the word length.
How does it work?
1. Choose a product to promote – take a look at Clickbank for products.
2. Choose a non-competitive keyword that relates to this product. Use the free Wordtracker tool for this. See instructions at the end of this article for how to do this.
3. Write an article based on this keyword. It only needs to be between 300-500 words and the best types of articles are tips, hints or lists. Use the keyword/s in the title and in the content of the article.
4. Add your affiliate link in the bio at the end of the article – you will get the code for the link from Clickbank also known as a hoplink.
5. Submit the article to an article directory. The best one for this is Goarticles. Ezine Articles is actually better but they currently don’t allow affiliate links in any articles submitted to their site. If you want to use Ezine Articles then you need to set up your own website to link to and act as the middleman between the article and the product you are trying to promote.
4. Forum Marketing
This is another simple and easy approach to making money online. However, one of the most critical parts of this task is that you don’t spam the forums. You need to provide value to that forum. Help people out by answering questions and provide suggestions and try and make each post useful in some way. The more valuable your post then the more likely someone will click on your signature. Go for quality rather than quantity.
How does it work?
1. Choose a product to promote – use Clickbank for this.
2. Find a related forum. For example, if you product is a dog training eBook then look for dog or pet forums.
3. Add your affiliate link in the signature section – note that some forums don’t allow affiliate links.
4. Make lots of good quality posts.
5. Hopefully other forum readers will like what you have to say and will click on the affiliate link in your signature file.
5. Start a Blog
If you like to write and think you can do it on a consistent basis then a blog might be the answer. Google loves blogs because of the regularly updated content. The key is developing good content and posting regularly.
How does it work?
1. Choose a topic, preferably something you are interested in as you will be more likely to stick at it if you have a passion for the topic.
2. Ensure the topic has related products that you can promote on your blog. Check out Clickbank, CJ and Linkshare for this.
3. Create a blog – you can use the free blogging accounts at either Blogger.com or WordPress.com for this. Note: If you are really serious about blogging, you should consider getting your own domain name and hosting which will cost you some money, but it is recommended.
4. Add content on a regular basis. Every 2 or 3 days at a minimum.
5. Add affiliate links to your blog. Don’t overdo it. You don’t just want a blog full of spammy ads.
Finding a Niche
Each of the methods above requires one important step. Without this step none of these methods will work effectively, if at all. This step involves finding keywords that have little to no competition so that you can easily rank in Google. At this point, this probably makes little sense to you so let’s use an example to make it clearer.
Suppose we have gone into Clickbank and selected a product to market. For our example, we will assume we have chosen a dog training ebook. Now we have our product we decide to do a bit of article marketing and develop an article or two to promote this product But the first thing we need to do even before we start writing is to find some keywords to use in our articles.
Using the right keywords helps Google (and the other search engines) determine what our article is about. If you choose non-competitive keywords ie. keywords that don’t have a lot of other competing websites, then you will be more likely to rank highly in Google for that article and therefore receive more traffic.
So how do you choose your keywords?
You can use the free Wordtracker tool for this. In the search field enter the main keyword for your topic or product – in our case it would be ‘dog training’. The search will offer up a number of results that relate to your main keywords. What you are looking for is a keyword that is searched for at least 100 times a day if possible.
Once you have found a keyword head on over to www.google.com and type it into the search field using quotes eg. “dog training tips” and press Enter. On that page of results Google will display the results and also the number of competing websites.
In our example, we can see we have to compete with over 270,000 websites. That is way too many. We want to keep this figure under 5000 and even less if we can. So go back to your Wordtracker list and choose another keyword. Keep doing this until you have found a low competitive keyword or keyword phrase. This will be the one you use to write your articles and create free ads.