Best Ways to Make Money Online

There are billions of dollars being spent online every year. If you want to join the ranks of those making money online, then you need to get traffic to your website and you need to monetize that traffic. Monetize simply means to convert into money.

If you have 1,000 visitors to your website every day, but you’re not selling anything, and you’re not advertising anything, then you won’t make money. If you want to make money with your website, you might want to implement some of the battle-tested techniques below.

BRICK AND MORTAR BUSINESS

There are many different types of websites and many different reasons for having a website. One reason is to attract customers to your brick and mortar business. A brick and mortar business is a business that exists in the real world, not just online. For example, a pizza place, a law firm, and a clothing shop are all examples of brick and mortar businesses.

When you have a business that exists in the real world, the purpose of your website should be to attract customers to your business. Depending on what your business is, that will determine what method works best for you. You need to have more than just a website that gives your business name, address and history.

Be creative, let your business personality shine and give visitors a reason to contact you or visit your business. If possible, use the power of the internet and sell your product online. In time, your internet sales might surpass your real world sales.

GOOGLE ADSENSE

Google AdSense is Google’s advertising network. Any person can use Google AdSense to put advertisements on their website, as long as they comply with Google’s Terms & Conditions. When someone visits your website and clicks on an advertisement, you earn money. The amount of money varies depending on the topic of your website and the related keywords.

The good thing about using Google AdSense is that it’s easy to use and anyone can plug the ads into their website, with a few exceptions. The bad thing about using it is that the click-through-rates (CTR) are very low and the payouts can be very low too. CTR means how many people see the ad (impressions) versus how many people actually click on the ad. CTR’s vary depending on many factors, but they can be less than 1% and they can be 5% or more.

For example, If your website gets 100 visitors per day and 1 person actually clicks on a Google advertisement, that’s a CTR of 1%. If Google pays you $1.00 per click, you will earn $1 per day, or approximately $30 per month. Not bad, but you probably won’t be retiring anytime soon from that income alone.

NON-GOOGLE ADVERTISING

Believe it or not, Google isn’t the only advertising network for website owners. In fact, there are plenty of other options to consider. All you have to do is run a search for Advertising Networks and check out the results. Some of the more popular ad networks in the blogging and affiliate marketing world include Chitika, Azoogle Ads and Click Booth.

Another option is to find advertisers yourself. You can always sell advertising space on your website to whoever is willing to pay for the advertising. However, it’s very unlikely that anyone will want to pay to advertise on your website unless you have plenty of high-quality, targeted traffic.

SELL PHYSICAL PRODUCTS

With the simplicity and popularity of e-commerce, many people want to sell physical products online. Of course, with an e-commerce business comes the added responsibility of maintaining products, shipping products, responding to customer inquiries, complaints and returns. Many of these things can be outsourced, but ultimately, you will be responsible for your business and keeping customers happy.

If you want to sell physical products online but you don’t want the headaches that come along with it, you can promote others’ products on your website. When you refer a customer that ends up buying a product through your link, you receive a commission.

For example, if you advertise muay thai heavy bags on your website, a visitor clicks on one of the product advertisements and buys the heavy bag, you receive a commission, however, the other company is responsible for the shipping and customer service. Many companies have affiliate programs, including powerhouses such as eBay and Amazon.

SELL INFORMATION PRODUCTS

Information Products generally include any type of informative product that can be delivered electronically via the internet, such as eBooks, video or audio files. Selling information products is a great way to make money online because you can automate most of the process and you can earn money online 24/7.

If you want to make serious money online, the best thing to do is to create your own information products. That way you receive 100% of the revenue, minus your own costs, of course. If you’re not ready to create your own product, you can still make money online by selling others’ products as an affiliate.

One of the most popular websites for promoting affiliate products is Click Bank. Click Bank is a website that you can sign up for and promote hundreds of products related to many different markets, such as credit repair, weight loss, or internet marketing. Once you sign up and choose a product, all you have to do is promote that product. Click Bank takes care of everything else, including payments and refunds.

Many websites and companies offer affiliate programs. Often times you need to look at the footer of the website to find a link to their affiliate program for more details. The best affiliate products to promote are the ones that you have personally used and love. If you think a product is great and you’re willing to pay money for that product, it’s likely that others will feel the same way.

OFFER A MEMBERSHIP

Whether you call it a subscription, membership or continuity program, it means that you charge someone a continuing fee for access to your product or services. Typically, a monthly membership fee is charged to those who want whatever it is you’re offering. Some websites offer access to premium content, or video lessons, or private forums, or educational programs. Whatever you offer, memberships are a great way to make money online. Just be sure that the content is worth the price to keep your subscribers happy month after month.

REAL WORLD OPPORTUNITIES

I always differentiate between the internet and the real world. Not that the internet isn’t real, but people generally don’t interact face to face when they transact business on the internet. When I go to Amazon and buy a product, I type my info in and the product shows up at my door in a couple of days. There is no interacting with other people. In the real world, people do interact face to face from time to time.

Your website can provide you with opportunities in the real world. If you have a specialized website that becomes successful, you may be perceived as an expert in that area. When you’re viewed as an expert, you can earn money through speaking engagements, such as seminars, or conventions related to the topic of your website.

CONCLUSION

If you have a website and want to make money with that website, try some of the methods above. Depending on your market, some methods may work better than others. The best way to make money with your website will depend on what your visitors are looking for. Give your visitors what they want and you can’t go wrong. Of course, if no one visits your website, it doesn’t matter how you monetize your website. Check out this article and learn how to get website traffic.

Choosing a Domain Name – Dashes or No Dashes

There’s a lot of discussion in the internet marketing community about choosing domain names.  Some people think it’s very important.  Some people think your overall marketing strategy is much more important.  The truth is they’re both right.

Choosing a domain name should NOT be your first step when you decide to create an online presence.  Your first step should be to research the market you’ll be entering and find keywords.  Keywords are simply words or phrases that people type into search engines to find what they want.

Let’s look at domain names from 3 different perspectives:

1. Search Engine Optimization
2. Branding
3. The Real World

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)

SEO means doing things to your website, or for your website, to rank higher on search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing.  When people go to Google and type in “buy your product,” you want to be the first website listed, so you get plenty of visitors, and in turn, more revenue.

Many people believe that having a domain name with your relevant keywords in the domain name can help you rank higher in search results.  There is some truth to that but the real reason it helps you to rank higher is because it helps you focus on your keywords, your market and, ultimately, your customers.

Let me give you an example.  You buy “yourproduct.com” for your new online business.  The title of your website becomes “Your Product.”  When you write the meta description for your website, you include “Your Product” as keywords.  When people on other websites link to you, they use “Your Product” as the anchor link.  Now, when people go to Google to search for “Your Product,” your site will come up because it’s optimized for your relevant keywords.

Google has confirmed that using dashes (hyphens) can help search engines recognize specific words, such as “your-product.com.”  Google treats dots and dashes as spaces, so when it sees “www.your-product.com,” it recognizes it as “www your product com.”

However, Google can also recognize words that are typed together, such as “yourproduct.com.”  If you have obscure words, or multiple words can be extracted from your domain name, then you might want to consider adding dashes.  The classic example is “expertsexchange.com” (experts exchange v. expert sex change).  You might get some unexpected traffic for that one.  If you want to test your desired domain, just type it, without spaces, into Google and see if it recognizes the separate words.

I can tell you from experience that it is more difficult to get a domain name with hyphens to the first page of Google than it is without hyphens.  I have also seen experiments conducted by other people that confirmed the same thing.  If you want something else to think about, go to Google and type in any keyword.  How many of the results have dashes in the domain name?  I’m guessing not many.  Also take a look at the top level domain.  How many are dot com versus dot net, dot org, or dot info?  That alone should give you some guidance when it comes to choosing a domain name.

BRANDING

Branding is essentially promoting a product or service by using a distinctive mark or other distinguishing features or qualities.  Rolls off of the tongue, doesn’t it?  Just think of a major brand name, such as Nike.  They promote their brand by trying to be different.  Nike doesn’t want you to buy tennis shoes, they want you to buy Nike tennis shoes, and they spend a lot of money to get that brand name, Nike, everywhere they can.

Well, things are a little different on the world wide web.  Don’t get me wrong, Nike still rules, but they are an established brand with a major marketing budget.  If you’re trying to build a significant online presence from scratch, think twice before you choose a unique brand identifier as your domain name.

Here’s an example.  You’re ready to sell “widgets” on the internet, so you set up a company and you decide that it’s going to be named after you, “John Doe and Company.”  You buy the domain name “johndoeandcompany.com” and you get to work.

Now, you’re domain is “johndoeandcompany.com.”  The title of your webpage will probably be “John Doe and Company.”  When other people link to your website, they’ll probably say check out “John Doe and Company.”  Now, when someone goes to Google and types in “buy widgets,” your name won’t come up because your website is not optimized for your relevant keyword, “widgets.”  It’s optimized for “John Doe and Company.”

I’m not saying it’s impossible to develop a brand name online, because it is.  But, you have to stay focused on your market, your keywords, and your customers.  Using the John Doe example above, a better name might be “Doe Widgets.”  That has John Doe’s name in it AND the keyword that his customers will be looking for.

Now, when John Doe starts with a domain name, “doe-widgets.com,” and names his site “Doe Widgets,” people will link to him as “Doe Widgets.”  With the new name, Google will recognize that his website is about widgets and will include his website in the search results when someone is looking to buy widgets.  He builds his brand and optimizes his site to reach his customers.

THE REAL WORLD

Sometimes, when you run an internet business, you forget that there is an actual, real world out there.  In other words, I could actually tell people, in person, about my website.  You go to a party, the topic comes up, tell them about your website.  You go to your wife’s Christmas party, hey, let’s talk about my internet business.  Don’t forget about the real world when you start your business.

The real world presents different factors to take into consideration.  People don’t care about keywords and optimization.  They care about your product and the price of that product.  And, they also care about simplicity.  If you tell someone at a party to go to your website, “ buy dash john dash doe dash widgets dash and dash company.com,” you will be very lonely at this party.

Depending on what type of business you have, you might want a website domain that is simple and easy to tell people.  “Doewidgets.com”  Simple.  “Doe dash widgets.com.”  Not as simple.

An easy solution is to buy both domains and use the one without a dash on all of your business cards, promotional materials, and to tell people in person.  Forward that domain to “doe-widgets.com,” and build your online presence using the “doe-widgets.com” domain.

Keep in mind, if you don’t buy both domain names, someone could buy the hyphenated or non-hyphenated version later, and try to use your success to promote their website.  We won’t get into the legal issues involved with that, but whether something is legal or not will not matter to some people.

Many domain names aren’t available.  The simple, short ones get snatched up pretty quick.  If you can’t find the domain you want, you might be tempted to go with a name that includes a lot of dashes.  Think before you do that.
Domain names with too many dashes have gained a bad reputation.  They look like spam.  They look like phishing websites.  They look like trouble.  How many dashes is too many?  I‘ll let you be the judge of that, but if you go beyond two hyphens in your domain name, do so at your own risk.

CONCLUSION

Before you decide on a domain name, take a look at the factors listed above.  Think about your customers.  Where will they come from?  How will they find you?  You can have the greatest product in the world, but if no one goes to your website, it doesn’t matter.  Ultimately, choose a domain name that helps you build your own brand and helps attract customers on the internet.  And, remember that a domain name is just one small part of any strategic internet marketing plan.

Targeted Internet Marketing and Keywords

Targeted internet marketing is all about getting the right visitors to the right place.  In the world of internet marketing, that means finding people that are actually interested in the subject matter of your website and getting them to your website.

Targeted internet marketing starts even before you build your website.  You need to use the same keywords on your website that your potential customers will use to find what they’re looking for.  Typically, when a person wants to find something on the internet, they go to a search engine, such as Google, or Yahoo, type in what they want and the search engine gives them the results.  You want your website to be at the top of those results.  To get to the top, you need to understand search engine optimization, also known as SEO.

SEO starts with keywords.  Keywords are the words that people use to find things on the internet.  For example, if I want to choose a good domain name, I might go to Google and type in the keywords “choosing a domain name.”  If you sell domain names, you need to get your website into the search results by using those keywords in the title of your website, in the heading of your website, and throughout the content on our website.

If you want to optimize your website for search engines, you can use strategic internet marketing methods to accomplish that.  There are things you can do within your website, such as use the keywords in strategic locations, and there are things that you can do outside of your website.  One of the most important methods for SEO outside of your website is to create backlinks.

Backlinks are links on other websites that point back to your own website.  When you have links on other websites, it serves two purposes.  First, since it is a link, people could see the link, click on it and arrive at your website.  The second purpose that backlinks serve is to feed the search engine robots.

Search engine robots scour web pages for content and information.  The more of your links that the robots come across while scanning web pages, the more likely it is that the search engine will think that your web page is important.  When the search engines think your website is important, the higher your website will appear in the search results when someone types in your keywords.  When you use targeted internet marketing, the higher your website appears in the search results, the more visitors you’ll have, and the more revenue you’ll earn.