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Archive for the ‘Making Money’ Category

The whole web 2.0 thing came and has kind of fizzled out since then. Everyone wanted the goofy looking web 2.0 starburst, rounded corners and a subtle gradient to adorn their various web sites with. It’s not that web 2.0 has died necessarily, just that it has kind of settled into it’s place on the web. All the various usability and accessibility rules that we labeled with this buzz term have found their wings in becoming standard. People expect sites to have all this stuff now – minus the goofy starburst things that is.

With “web 2.0” social networking and social media came into power. One very big effect social networking has had is that it contributed even more to seeing new people come online. Everybody and their third cousin is now on the internet, getting connected to old friends and family members and even throwing up their own pages on various social networking sites. Kids and teenagers now know rudimentary HTML and CSS. Senior citizens are cropping images and arranging them into online image galleries for friends and family to view.

With this has come serious opportunity and growth in the number of people working online. This has begun to affect the way people think of “work”. Just a few years ago work to most people consisted of a steady schedule of 8 hour (or more) days. Paychecks would come weekly, bi-monthly or monthly and be set by the employer. Sick days, vacation days…all that crazy stuff. The mentality of most people was that this was the way to live unless you were rich. Social security and possibly a 401k might get you of the hook at 72, right?

The new definition of work is rapidly becoming alot more flexible. Work online, pay your bills, schedule whenever you need to as long as you make enough money to live on. This Work 2.0 is so dynamic compared to the set paychecks and hours. It really does scare some people and many still don’t believe it’s possible but the benefits make it worth pursing for those courageous enough to step out of their comfort zone.

Today, for instance, I’m receiving $600 down on a $1,200 project that will probably cost me 15 to 20 hours of work. I bid on a $1,600 to $2,00 project, took on quick $80 and $160 projects that should cost me 3 or 4 hours total, and got a $3,000 project that should start in about 2 weeks. I’m finishing a $550 project and I just finished an $80, a $100 and a $60. I’m not an uber PPC/affiliate marketing guru yet but I make a living online. My time is mine to charge for and manage. If I goof off too much I lose work but other than that I call the shots and stick to email communication. I get paid through Paypal because it makes my life easier.

I started working online years ago and I’ve made a living since then. I’ve had several opportunities to become a full business and make bank but I’ve chosen to keep things simple and flexible. If you have problems believing someone can make a living online and even decide their own hours and pay then you really need to do some reading. More people are subscribing to the “work 2.0” line of thinking. It’s time to get a handle on it while people are still trying to figure it out.

To your success,

adam

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Disneyland fountainThe internet is full of so much potential for making money online. More and more I dedicate my spare to time learning and testing different avenues of affiliate marketing, site building and blogging. The reason I have the time to really dive in is because I don’t have to work the typical 8 hour work day. I work from home as a freelance web developer and have for the last few years.

Some people come into knowledge of internet marketing and throw all their chips on the table. That can be fine except many of those same people hit a wall when they can’t turn an instant profit and need to look elsewhere for quick cash to keep them afloat. Don’t discount the power of working freelance from home. It can give you the time you need to take your online business and marketing efforts to the next level.

As I was reading through some popular blogs that I follow I couldn’t help but notice how much some of these guys are making. Some of them hit several hundred thousand a month and a few others actually break one million. That’s insane money that would let me actually start all the projects and ideas I have. I can’t help but be jealous.

The one benefit I have in common with these guys though is flexibility with my time. I do have work I have to get done, just as they do, but I typically work no more than twenty hours a week. Much less when things slow down. I have to be thankful for that and recognize some of the opportunities it affords me. I can focus on learning and testing many of the methods I’m reading about. I have no doubt I will be successful.

My affiliate income is really only short a couple thousand a month when I consider quitting freelance programming. I’m sure I can find a way to get that 2k rolling and then leverage my development skills and contacts in web design and marketing to change my life forever.

To your success as well.

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PenniesA couple of my sites use Adsense as one of the forms of monetization. It was easy enough to add the code and style the goofy looking ad boxes to not look so ugly and gave me a way to test what kinds of traffic I was really getting. “Cool” says I.

After months and wildy fluctuating CTRs there is really only one thing I’m sure of. I’m sure that every month I’ll see a few pennies in Adsense revenue, at the very least, from the cost per 1,000 impressions payout. My overall clickthrough rate is over .4% but only because I get someone actually interested in the ads every once in awhile. Pay per click is actually very decent at least but sometimes I have to wait over a month to get those couple of clicks.

Where does this leave my retirement? Using CNN Money’s When Will You Be a Millionaire calculator I entered my income in at $1 per year (the minimum) and opted out of as much of the tax calculations that I could. Entering 5% as my annual growth and submitting gave me 236 years and 8 months. Must have done something wrong?! That’s definately not right. I’m guessing I would be lucky to hit $300 in 236 years.

Turns out it is right…I think. That 5% rate of growth gets pretty powerful after about 100 years. All I need to do to hit millionaire status is hold out for a bit under 240 years. I find that strangely comforting. I’m getting one of those “I’m closer than I thought” moments out of this.

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decisionIt’s easy to get caught up in plopping a bunch of Adwords ads on a site and waiting for the big bucks to roll in. News like Jeremy of Shoemoney.com and his huge Adsense check is inspiring and can lead to a kind of tunnel vision if you’re not careful.

A particular site of mine makes between $100 and $150 a month but only on affiliate income. I’ve put Adsense up and taken it back down, moved it all around, styled it in forty odd ways and the best I’ve managed on it is $8 in a month. Other months it’s just nothing. I’ve begun to consider the possibility that something else may work better.

Looking at my options I see a few…

  1. Replace the ads with another CPC or CPV solution. The site only receives between 1,000 and 1,500 uniques a month though so this may just not work well.
  2. Replace the ads with relevant affiliate products. This might be a good bet as a single sale in a month will probably beat Adsense.
  3. Sell the ad space directly. This is possible with a combination of the other methods but can be hard due to the low traffic.
  4. Create a product to utilize the ad space. A good idea but I lack the time currently.
  5. Use the ad space to build an email subscriber’s list. This is something I need to do “one of these days”. Yeah, I’ll do that…one of these days.

In this particular case I’ve gone with five 125px x 125px sponsored banners in a second right side bar and I’m currently looking for good affiliate products to fit in the content ad space. We shall see what happens. If the site had more traffic I would probably turn it into a good case study. Maybe when it hits a few hundred uniques per day.

One thing that really interested me in a blog post I read on zacjohnson.com is Zac’s use of the Yahoo Publisher Network instead of Adsense. He made very good money and a solid portion of it came from this choice. Which is not to say YPN is better than Adsense but I believe a smart person would consider and test available options.

If I’m not continually testing to find the right combination of monetization methods on my sites, chances are I’m missing out on opportunities to make more money. More money makes my life easier.

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I really like working from home. I have for years and it’s all well and good. Unfortunately, at a certain point in my lazy, vacation taking existence I have come to the conclusion that I need more money. I actually need a lot more money.

To get this “money” of which I speak I look, again, to the internet. Being a geek with not so polished social skill I understand my need to learn from people smarter than me. This reminds me of all the times I’ve missed something important because I wasn’t paying attention. I believe there are people online who know what they are talking about and so I will “pay attention” and see what I can learn.

Industries on the internet are constantly shifting and methods of promotion seem to have a short lifespan now days. This can make things hard for the small affiliate marketer. Many people can’t just throw $5k away to test a new traffic source. Some of us have to take pain killer to cope with parting with a few hundred dollars for promotion.

Much of the headache of making a living online can be effectively dodged by following the guys who can throw $5k at a new traffic source or are close to other industry leaders that know where markets are going. Sometimes it can be similar to riding a roller coaster and the difference between knowing where that next drop or turn will be and being totally clueless. In the second case, depending on how resilient you are, you could lose your lunch!

Pick out some blogs that smart people post to and make sure to follow them continually. Lots of the information on some of these blogs is worth money but they give the information freely. Unless you’re already one of these “smart people” I speak of, you probably can’t afford to not pay attention to these resources.

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