How can one make money online? That’s the million dollar question everyone asks when looking to start an online business. However, it’s an ambiguous question that needs further defining in order to answer correctly.
I’ll address the main ways to accomplish this in this 4-part series. This is by no means complete list, but it should provide a road map for further exploration.
An income can be generated in a lot of different ways. Some out there engage in hacking, blackmail and extortion, among other things, and make money online. Very profitable. Yet, wrong in the moral and ethical sense and more importantly, the legal sense. It’s all fun and games until the men in the black suits come knocking on your door. The question then becomes, how can one make money legally? That’s a question better suited for this site, but one that leaves a key component out needed to answer it correctly: MOTIVATION.
There are legal ways to make money online, but they can be soul-crushing endeavors, where the name of the game becomes how can one best “nudge” someone into action that benefits one monetarily. This is a blunt way to put it but when you boil it down to simple terms it becomes a game in which an end costumer is just a tick on the traffic meter. A statistic. And if you’ve ever been treated like a number at any store, then you can imagine how your customer feels. It’s that simple.
One such method that can become a numbers game is ad marketing. The most commonly known ad network is Google Adsense. There are other ad-display technologies out there, but Adsense is by far the most popular. Adsense, and others, are advertising technologies in which you can insert code on any webpage and Google will display targeted ads that are based on the on your page. You can read more about Adsense here.
This code, which includes a personal identifier tied to your advertising account, can be inserted virtually in any page. Every time a visitor on your page clicks on one of the Adsense ads, you make money. This can mean every click may be worth anywhere between .05 cents up to $5 dollars or more, depending on the advertiser. Your ranking on the search results for particular keywords, or search terms, determines how many visitors come to your page.
Ad marketing has the advantage of offering a passive income stream. Once the ads are set up to be displayed, the site can be left alone, with minimal upkeep. Any tweaking on your part would involve changing the placement of the ads on your page, the color scheme of the ads, and the amount of ads shown. Other than that, once you’ve found the optimal placement of your ads is pretty much set-and-forget and your main concern then becomes your ranking at the top of the search engines (only Google matters, really).
Sometimes, pages are set up for the specific purpose of generating income from ad displays. These pages are loaded with content related to specific topics. The reason for choosing very narrow topics, based on specific search keywords, is to help the page rank higher on Google searches. The higher the page is ranked for your chosen keyword(s), the more traffic you can get to your page and the more visitors coming in that are likely to click on the ads. It is a numbers game in which the driving force from your efforts will be increasing Pagerank (the spot your site occupies when somebody searches for a specific keyword) and visitors or “traffic”. This is called “Niche Marketing.”
To be successful at this, one needs to find “niches”, or keywords that belong to a much broader set of topics. These niches are somewhat overlooked, therefore are easier to rank for. Some keywords that are searched for in Google, such as “automobile insurance” or “financial planning” are hotly contested. Keywords such as “plastic dust pan” are not. Popular keywords bring in millions of visitors, and as such, any webpage that is near the top of the search list brings in millions of dollars a year in ad revenue. It is nearly impossible to rank highly for these keywords, even for seasoned Internet-marketing pros. Instead of fighting harder, you can fight fight smarter.
They key to Adsense as a revenue stream is finding a profitable niche keyword that is easy to rank for. There are many tools and ways to accomplish this and some research on your part will bear that out. Once you’ve found your niche, the hard work begins. In this article, I won’t go into the details of each step, which can add to the complexity of the set up, but you’ll have to:
1. Set up a webpage and domain name for your niche keyword
2. Write enough articles for your webpage that provide the content related to your keyword
3. Write more articles, which will be submitted to article engines, such as goarticles.com, ezinedirectory.com, hubpages.com, squidoo.com, etc. Include links in each article that refer back to your niche website.
4. Write posts to other blogs, with link back to your website and to the other articles submitted to the article directories.
In essence, build a website around your niche keyword and write articles that create a back-link to your niche website. The more back-links you have and the better the quality of the websites linking to you, the higher “authority” you will build and the more your website’s Pagerank will increase. Once that is done, the website can be left alone and only the occasional article may be written to rank the website.
This process can be repeated over and over with as many keywords and niche websites as you want. As you can imagine, it can get tiresome to write so many articles, especially if you have very little interest in the subject and are just submitting articles to build your Pagerank. This can have an impact on the quality of the website and the usefulness of the information being published. As with anything, you can always outsource the tedious tasks , throw money at it and, for a price, have someone else build the website and yet another person or team write articles and submit them to article directories on your behalf.
Taking us back to the initial point about factoring your motivation for building niche sites, I personally recommend building them IF you’re committed to providing accurate and useful information. Offer helpful information to those visiting your site and you can be sure your audience will grow. From there, you can expand the website and offer other products that can benefit your readers.
As always, you’ll be most successful AND happier when you find that happy medium between what satisfies you and what you can offer to a customer to make him happy. Always strive for the win-win when possible..
That is basically what Ad marketing is about. It is a nice, passive income stream, one that takes time and effort to set up. Once established, it needs little in the way of maintenance. If you use this as an income strategy, make sure is part of your overall plan and not everything. Be advised, Google can change their marketing policies at anytime, de-listing your site and taking away your income overnight.
Diversify and always be on the lookout for new opportunities.