Short version – be careful! I use sites such as HubPages as a way to create content on a different IP and to provide free backlinks to my own sites. To honest I started with HubPages because I liked the community and now I stay because I liked the community, and because I can get free backlinks to my own sites – I think HubPages is OK with it – they make money from (some) of my hubs and I contribute to their community.
Many people dream of making passive income online or starting their own online small business, probably home based, how to make money online they ask?
Let’s face it there are an awful lot of us who dream of firing the boss and working in their PJ’s. Few succeed though the figures often quoted is that between 95% and 99% of people who start a blog or website fail to make any money doing it.
I guess that’s why some people are looking for the “business in the box solution”. The follow this plan and all will be well. After all most of us who are trying to make money on-line are doing it after spending years as good little employees. You know do what the boss tells you what to do, when to do it by, and then praises you for getting it done correctly – or not.
Business isn’t like that. On-line busines is different from real world business – but not as much as many people believe.
Why Do Small Businesses Fail?
Apart from cash flow issues, most small businesses fail because they can’t get enough customers. There is no demand for their service or product. Think of the local lady who makes beautiful handicrafts, but no one buys. Think of the coffee shop that makes great coffee – but is 1/2 empty because its tucked away in an uninviting backstreet. Or the geek who can fix your computer just like that – but doesn’t know how to explain to potential customers what he can do.
Now consider the on-line business version of these businesses:
♦the blogger who blogs about their passion for Ancient Roman Gladiators sports – they have a beautiful blog, with lots of great information and pretty pictures: but no one wants to buy anything there because they cam looking for information which they got in spades on the site;
♦the site which provides great baby gear at the right price – but no one can find the site because the site is called “Kute Kiddies Kool”, all the links to the site are by its name – and people who search search for “cheap baby clothes online” or “cheap organic cotton baby clothes”
♦the site which is developed by a design specialist – its full of cute visual effects and great graphics – but the search engine doesn’t know that the site is offering computer setup support in the Bay Area because Google can’t read flash or images.
Luckily on-line its very easy to work out whether you will have customer for your site or not – we call them searchers.
Simple Steps to Make Your On-line Business Work
- Decide whether or not you are in business. If you just want to make a few dollars from a blog – then you are not in business, you have a hobby.
- Work out which business model works for you: provide services (writing, technical, whatever) to others, develop sites which bring you in passive income, or use your on-line business to support, funnel visitors to your real-world business.
- Focus your website on keywords which a) get traffic and b) are buying keywords – terms people search for when they are looking to buy something not just for information.
- Check that there is not too much competition for your search terms: either use free tools or something like Market Samurai
- Decide on your method of monetization: either funnelling traffic to your real world business or getting paid by eBay or Amazon affiliates, other affiliates, promoting an e-book, promoting your own services or Adsense.
- Build a website which focuses on your chosen keywords: whether you use WordPress, handcode html, use MyStarterBlog or Dreamweaver – doesn’t matter – just do it -its the easiest part of the process. Make sure you on-page SEO focuses on your keywords i.e. get the keyword in your title, sub-headings and content.
- Get your site ranked in the search engines: get it ranked for your keywords by getting backlinks which anchor that term. Get backlinks from article marketing and supporting sites like today, hubpages and squidoo. Submit articles to ezine articles.
- Rinse and repeat.
So I have a question for you guys: what bit is so hard and scary that you can’t get started? Which bit makes people search for the simple, one process fits all, turn key system. This is being in business people; its scary, there is no one-size fits all that will work for everyone – otherwise no business would be able to hire an employee.
If you are looking for a supportive membership site which will help you succeed check out my review of Keyword Academy Video Crash Course
UPDATE Please read this more recent post: Is Today Blog a Scam
Getting paid to blog seems to be every writer’s dream and the dream of many who just want to make, what they think is a little passive income online.
To be honest making anything more than a few cents with most programs is as likely as just losing a few kilos in your sleep or just getting fit my meditation – it ain’t gonna happen people!
So sorry if you are looking to make $100/day blogging with no experience and not much effort – that money tree doesn’t exist!
That said I do directly get paid to blog over at today.com both my blogs: Australia News and Travel Over 30s are still paid – the huge sum of $1/post (usually I’ll get to that) plus $2/1000 views. I’ve stopped directly promoting their ad on this blog though because they tightened up the criteria for payment so I figured most people wouldn’t actually get paid to blog there – let me explain.
When I joined in Nov 2008 I got paid $1 from day one and I could have 2 blogs from day one: so by the end of the first month I could earn $60 and get paid out – their minimum payout is $50.
Then they restricted the second blog to people who had a track record of 30 days with their first blog.
Then the changed the program so you didn’t get the $1/post for the first 30 days but you might be reviewed and promoted to the ppp program after 30 days, you did however get the traffic payments.
Then come early January they denied for payment my posts which were obviously self-promotional i.e. linked to my own hubpages, other sites I wrote for etc. Again I still get the traffic bonus for them but I didn’t actually get paid for backlinks anymore!
At the same time they dropped a lot of people from the $1/day program – there was lots of angst about this in the forum – but this had always been a possiblity if you read their Terms of Service.
So today.com will probably not pay the average newbie blogger anything but pennies – and they probably won’t make the $50 payout. Why do I say that – the answer is in the traffic stats and the “hot list” which tells you for each blog at today you have where you sit in relation to the top 10. This makes for some interesting reading.
My australia blog has done quite well getting traffic from those downunder worried about when/if they will get the cash the Federal government is handing out. At one point I was averaging 300 views/day – that put me at #34 out of all today blogs. Good ?
Not really the figures for the top 10 at the same time was
#10 position 602 views – ie double what position 34 was getting
#3 position 1390 views – double again
#1 position 4534 views – double again
To be honest I don’t think a blog about Australia would ever make those figures – the top 10 positions are usually dominated by entertainment, celebs and fandom type blogs.
On the other side I appear to have readers and fans for my travel blog – but I haven’t done any good getting it ranked for the search engine traffic, except for the photos – they bring me more searchers than the words 🙁 I bounce around 50-70 uniques a day and at the high end of the range sit at position 200 or so out of all today blogs. I suspect I am only just hanging onto the payment for this one!
The point is that I am in the top 200 which means thousands and thousands of blogs don’t even have 50 visitors a day – at 50 visitors you are earning 10cents/day for the traffic. Sorry but I don’t know anywhere in the world where you are likely to have reliable Internet that will make that profitable.
Which is not to say that today.com is not worth it for me – because Google love’s the site and my blogs get indexed within hours,sometimes less. I have PR all over the place too! (Trick if you want to know what sort of authority a site has: put a google alert on some unique text in the post – I normally use my name – and note how long it takes to show up as an alert!). So yes I don’t get paid for my obvious backlinks anyone more – but they are nice backlinks 🙂
DISCLAIMER: the links to today.com in this post are affiliate links and I will get paid $5 if you sign up and post 10 approved posts within 3 months. If you want to deny me my beer money – that’s cool -strip the affiliate code from the link – am I going to tell you how to this – no 🙂
Passive income – to my way of thinking is the best income to have. Why? Because I’m bloody idle that’s why!
Oh and because I know its possible to. My partner and I own several rental properties in New Zealand, we bought them several years ago and every month we get paid the income from them. Is it passive income – sure it is – we’ve never met our tenants, we don’t mow lawns, we don’t take calls about broken toilets at 2am – my property manager does. Property investment can be as active or as passive as you want to make it – but you have to pay someone to do the work for you.
Property investment is not risk free either. Our rental properties are exposed to interest rate risks, tenant availability, natural disasters, property manager going bad etc etc. If we’d borrowed the amount the bank was prepared to lend us a few years ago we would be in a nasty position now.
Making passive income online, to my way of thinking is a much better thing than making passive income from property investment. Why? The risks are lower much lower. The investment required is much lower. It’s not zero though – this is what I think it takes to start making passive income online.
BTW I am not talking about working from home jobs here or freelancing – that’s not passive income – if you are unclear about the difference check out my analysis of what’s the difference between passive income and work at home jobs.
- be teachable – that’s it really if you can take on new attitudes and learn new skills – you’ll make it. That’s it really I listed a long list of skills I’d developed working online, previously – but if you are teachable none of this will be an issue.
How Much Money Do You Need
- if you don’t have a reliable computer you need one. You don’t need anything fancy though and my 4 year old 14″ laptop does just fine.
- you need a fast broadband or cable internet connection. I really don’t think you can do this with dial-up though some may disagree, the time you waste on a slow connection more than justifies the cost of a faster one IMHO
- you need enough money to support yourself for the first 12 months and enough to subsidise your expenses (assuming you want to live about the poverty line ) for the next 12 months. Or a helpful spouse/partner/SO who will do same.
That’s it so basically the right attitude and 18 months worth of living expenses. That’s a pretty low cost entry point for a business. If you can’t afford the time without cash coming in you can always start part-time while working a “real” job
But you say – what about special software? what about hosting ? what about domains? what about paying for links? what about mentoring programs? what about e-books?
What Software Do You Need to Earn Passive Income?
The first software I bought for this business was Dreamweaver its a very nice piece fo software and I used it to build my first site- nice software does the job – but so does WordPress and its free.
I use OpenOffice to write in and often a simple text editor called Q10 – both free.
Yes I use other tools – I use SEOElite, Keyword Elite for research and other services and tools to create links for me – but you don’t actually need any of them.
Do I need Domains and Hosting
Nope – but I would probably pay for them before I paid for software. I buy domain names from time to time – like this one, I have a reseller hosting plan with Hostgator which I recommend.
But you don’t need any of it – you can create money making sites of free hosts such as blogger.com
But How you ask – well for that you will have to buy the e-book – but because you are my valued reader I’ll give it to you for a special price…Well I’m a beginner at this so I’m not going to tell you.
Instead I can point you over to Frank Carr’s blog and check out his post on how to earn online cash with a niche blog. His method is not original, in fact its similar to how Grizz makes money with Adsense – but it works – its not sexy, it may be differnet from what the A-listers tell you about list building – but it works. Oh and it won’t cost you any money either! And Frank doesn’t even want to collect your email address – and neither do I!
The title of this post is a quote from a question which was posed by an new writer over at hubpages – the question was naive – the questioner probably actually wanted to know how to make money online, or even how to make passive income online, not with the specific Adsense program.
The reality is that Adsense is a tricky beast. It appears deceptively easy to earn a little money with Adsense, most people at HubPages make more from Adsense than the other options available there (eBay and Amazon particularly), $50 a month, $200, $500 even -but a $1000 is it possible?
Sure its possible to earn that sort of money -some make much, much more than that. One of the few sources of reliable information on the internet that I’ve found is a Canadian who lives on a frozen lake who goes by the name of Grizz and writes all about how to make money online with Adsense – go on go and have a look, here’s a nice bear picture while we wait
You see I knew you’d come back pretty quick, or you won’t be back for weeks one way or the other 🙂
If you came back quickly you probably thought I sent you to the wrong blog eh – I mean its a blogger blog for goodness sakes! (EDIT not anymore – long story) Its UGLY, its hard to navigate (hint use the archives to navigate there’s no other way!). It looks boring -there is no visual interest- its not pretty. Did you notice the comments – did you notice how many comments each post has – do you notice how rarely Grizz posts? He has 2500 subscribers too. And makes a lot of money from that ugly blog – and he tells you how to make it using Adsense only. But guess what – those subscribers don’t make him money – its the search engines that do that.
Oddly I see a parallel between making $1000/month with Adsense and ballroom dancing (that would confuse Adsense if I ran it here!). Its easy to learn to waltz a little – anyone can learn to do it – a little. Its easy to look good in your average social dance, and yes my partner and I do – people tell us so and ask us how we learned to dance so well. Its quite simple – we’ve taken 1-2 hours of private lessons and practiced another few hours, every week , for the last 10 years. Are we going to be Australian ballroom champions anytime soon – no – we’re too old, too fat, and my pain threshold is just too low. We don’t have the talent – however much we practice.
And learning to waltz is easier than learning how to make a $1000/month with Adsense – why? The waltz has a set of very,very strictly defined rules, the way to hold your partner, the timing, the position of the head, the footwork – its all defined, its all written down – there is no debate, there is only one way to dance the waltz properly.
Adsense is different, making good money from Adsense is much harder, because Google, who owns Adsense, doesn’t publish how to make money from Adsense – how to get $4 a click instead of 4c. Google won’t explain where to place the Google ads for the best revenue, the best type of content to write, or the best types of visitors to get. Neither will I – go back to the ugly blog and find out how to make $1000 a day with Adsense from Grizz. Oh and yes its a a PR0 blog now – because Google really doesn’t want this information out in the public!
No you won’t be seeing Adsense on this blog anytime soon!
IMPORTANT: Read this update on blogging at today dot com – it still works well for trends though.
Well I am enjoying blogging at today.com more and more. Mainly because I am finding it pretty easy to get my posts indexed and then get search traffic to them. What I am doing is something that is called “trends blogging”. Google has an appetite and the appetite is for whatever people are searching for at the moment. To check out the top 100 queries at Google trends – trust me it usually makes for pretty depressing reading!
I’ve tried using Google trends to blog directly – but to be honest lacking real-time access to US TV is a huge disadvantage – and not caring even less about US popular “culture” is a show-stopper!
So instead I am doing my own version: which is currently around a film which is about to be released. I suspect it might be popular because the sexy photos of Nicole Kidman in Australia hub does pretty well. And the movie isn’t out yet – which is the point – the premier is tonight so I wrote about the Australia Movie premier and the post was indexed with 40 minutes – probably less I wasn’t looking. I was already getting some traffic to an earlier post on the same topic so I checked my stats and made sure I answered the questions to searches I’d had traffic from – some of which weren’t answered in the original post which kinda gave me the hint that I might be onto something. I am now sitting in position 2 and 3 for my keywords in Australia anyway – and of course its not yet today in most of the US – I LOVE the time difference game sometimes (its almost as good as the curency game at the moment for those of us whose currencies have dropped against the US$ ). Now the nice thing about today is that I get paid on traffic not directly on clicks -that’s lucky because entertainment is notoriously BAD for Adsense payouts! But I am definitly getting traffic!
I have been having fun over at a newish website which is offering free WordPress blogs – a bit like the free wordpress.com site really.
But not. WordPress.com you aren’t allowed to make money so you can’t link to evil, wicked money making sites, which means that when you do blogs often get shutdown. But of course some of us crazed money making types are always looking for new place to develop my own backlinks.
So when I heard that a new site was offering not only free blogs but also offering a $1/post I got interested – the rather long review is my blogging for $1/day hub but the short version is:
- get approved (live in the right country the usual suspects plus Australia/NZ/Western Europe/India),
- write a post 100 words minimum, original content, not illiterate,
- get paid.
- Get second blog, repeat, get paid a total of $2/day. I
It won’t last for ever, eventually you will have to get some traffic to continue being paid but its a nice little business model – from my point of view anyway!
Now $2 is hardly a massive income: but the cool thing is this: the links are do-follow and you can of course anchor them. So far I have not had any posts rejected and have placed up to 3 “self-serving” links in them!
Slight caveat once the post is approved for payment its locked and you can neither edit it or delete it, you loose the rights to your content. If however you post an image they don’t take the rights: only on the words.
As a freelance writer I can trade 100 words for a free backlink and $1 – hell I can even trade 250 words because those tend to get indexed in the big G!
Another thing that is rather cool is that your blog is a subdomain and there are some nice name still available: one of my blogs is Australia Today (check the url).
In the interests of fair play: they do pay for referrals so if you sign up via the flashing thingy on the right or via one of my today blogs (click on the “get paid to blog” on the right) I get paid – well actually I won’t unless you actually put some effort in and do 10 posts – its not hard – that’s a total of 1000 words for goodness sake – I can do that before breakfast! And you have 3 months to do it in. And then I get paid and you get paid – and you get a blog and backlinks and you can do with it what you want. It really isn’t a bad deal.
Of course if you don’t want me to get the commission that’s cool too – I’ll get over it eventually – probably ….. 🙂
I must admit when I started online I didn’t really investigate website builders all-in-one solutions. It never really occur to me that I would want to rent my website and not own it – after the cost of ownership are so low.
Don’t Rent your Website
Now what I am talking about with website builders are the ones which
offer all in one: domain name, hosting, templates, keyword optimization, statistics, the lots. Just one easy payment often a month sometimes annually. Now I suspect that a lot of these products are marketed to actual bricks and mortar small business owners. These people aren’t developing an online business they just see the web as another form of advertising for their real-world store. Even shop owners should be worried though that the content that they have been developed is not freely available to them and this is why.
These packages effectively don’t give you ownership of your site and your content. Why because they bundle in the domain name and the hosting package. If you want to pick up your website and move it another host can you? If you can’t you don’t have full control over your asset.
Oh top of that of course these packages are offering you a long list of features for one low price: amazing things like submission to search engines and statistics on your key word density. That’s worth something surely? Well actually no: you don’t actually need to submit your website to search engines: but if you do it can be done easily in a couple of minutes on the only two that matter: Yahoo and Google. Keyword density: lots of tools available. Checking on competitors: again free tools or sophisticated paid for software. That type of software costs maybe $100 / once for ever regardless of how many sites you use it on. Costs for a domain: $10/year; costs for hosting: $6/month.
Oh they offer you a support forum and EBooks and Videos: all of these are available online too. Check out digitalpoint forums or webmaster world or smaller more specialised forums. The internet is full of very helpful people: and if they are charging your for advice as a newbie: run a 1000 miles
I guess I went through the normal phases of someone starting off online:
Start a Free Blog
This is still where I’d tell a lot of people to start: its great fun, its easy to get started especially on blogger and its – well free! My first blog is basically an online diary which changes topic as I change direction (about once every 6 months on average). To be fair I didn’t start the blog to make money – which is lucky – because I didn’t make any! The only people who read it were friends and they didn’t want to buy an E-Book on how to make money online!
Build my Dream Website
This one took me months – admittedly I was working full-time. I bought Dreamweaver, developed it all from scratch. It has fantastic content but again it didn’t make me any money. It taught me a bit of html and I had fun writing down a lot of information I’d had in my head for years but at the end it makes me : oh on a good month maybe $1! Well did until I took the ads off – more on that later!
Found an revenue sharing site where the ads on my “hub” articles could make me money! I found HubPages from a post on a forum but in fact there are number of these sites. What I thought at the time was it was great being able to write on a topic without having to commit to an entire blog. What I soon discovered though was that, unlike on my own blog where I never got a comment on HubPages I started to get comments and feedback! I even made money writing on their “flagship program”. My writing improved: I’m proud of most of my content on HubPages but again although they’ve earned me more than my own sites, the hourly rate is still nowhere near $1!
In retrospect though HubPages has been valuable for me:
- Its given my page rank (PR) on both my profile and most of my older hubs. Google loves HubPages: the site has a high standards and relatively little spam, this means that pages on HubPages not only rank high on Google searches but also acknowledges pages with good PR.
- I met a group of people who not only improved my writing but also seemed to be using HubPages for other reasons that I was: which was basically to write on what I wanted. These people were using HubPages to gain authority for their “money making sites” – which didn’t sound anything like the sites I had!