How To Make Money Online On A Shoestring Budget!

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Sometime ago I received an email from a reader asking something like this:

“I’m a newbie just starting online. I’ve been reading a lot of information about making money online but most of these seem way too advanced for me. I am really interested on making some money from marketing online but I don’t know how to go about it. Can you give me some ideas and a plan on how to do this?

P.S. Please note that I’ve no product of my own!”

When I received that email the first thought that came to my mind was, are there really some people who are still completely uncertain of how to make money online?

Now, please get me right here. You know, sometimes after years of marketing online and reading a lot of blogs that talk about making money online, we seem to have the impression that just about everything that you need to is out there and so everyone should know. But that email was a reminder for me that it is a wrong reasoning!

In replying to that email I was careful to include the needed details on how to go about setting up a system that will [amazon_link id="0470633956" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]help a newbie make some money online[/amazon_link]. Of course, I tried to avoid too many complications as much as possible. But after that reply I had the feeling that a great lot of details have been left out considering the limitations of email. In light of that I took a decision to do something more detailed and therefore this post.

I’ve decided to make it a step by step plan and as basic and simple as possible. This is to ensure that no matter what level anyone reading it may be at, he/she will found it useful. Of course this post is for complete newbies so if you found it too basic simply ignore it and read some other post!

The plan set out on this post lays out how you can make money online on a shoestring budget. I must say when I started out online I was right in that boat with little knowledge about internet marketing and with little money to invest in most of the programs and “sure-fire cash cows” others were buying into then. But the good thing is that somehow this disadvantaged position worked to my advantage as I had to invest in the only asset I had then – time. I invested time to study whatever I can about making money online and by the time I began to make some money and invest that in expanding my online business, I was better equipped to use the programs and other systems I invested in.

Please note that what I’m laying out below is not my system. It is a system that many have found to be truly powerful and workable. Over the years I’ve adapted it to different markets with a few modifications and I’ve always found it effective. So if you’re looking for a system that will help you make money online with a minimum cost to you then read this post very carefully. I hope you find it helpful.

(Apologies: This post is unusually long unlike most of the posts you are familiar with here. This is because of the details that needed to be included so bear with me!)

So let’s begin.

Step 1: Become an Affiliate at Clickbank.Com

The simple and easiest way I have found to make money online when you do not have a product of your own is to join affiliate programs and one such very powerful affiliate program on the net is clickbank.com. A free account at clickbank.com allows you to promote every product or service listed on the site. You don’t have to create a separate account for the individual products. Just one account and you have access to all the products.

The products offered at Clickbank.com are “digital” products which can be downloaded immediately after purchase. There are no shipping costs and because of this most of the products on the Clickbank.com marketplace, are stunningly high on the commissions paid to affiliates. In most cases you could get a commission that is as high as 75%! This has made clickbank.com a favorite of affiliate marketers but unfortunately it has also pushed up the level of competition. But not minding this competition setting up a system like the one we are dealing with here will help you make the kind of money you want.

So the first thing you will need to do is signup for your free account at clickbank.com and proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Market/Keyword Research

Frankly these are two different steps but because they are closely related, I have decided to put them together. Market research is about doing some online research to decide on a market that is hot on demand at the moment. That is, people are presently spending money in this market. Some of the pointers that will help you decide if a market is hot are:

1. Are other vendors targeting this market?

2. Are marketers spending money on advertising to buyers in this market?

3. Are there people searching for information on the search engines for this market?

These and many other indicators will help you pick on a profitable market to target.

Keyword research on the other hand is about deciding on the keywords/phrases you will be targeting to get a better ranking on the search engines. For example, if you chose the relationship market, some of the keywords you may want to target are “relationship repair,” “relationship rescue,” “save my marriage,” “stop my divorce,” etc. (it may interest you to know that this is actually the market wherein I made my first commission on clickbank.com a few years ago!)

The topic of market and could take a whole post of its own and so I’ll not go into details on how to go about it but [amazon_link id="0313306761" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]here is a powerful resource [/amazon_link] that will greatly help you. However, if you desire to explore this may want to read some post on this subject I did way back. As we are talking about making money online on a shoestring budget on this post, I will advice you use Google’s free Keyword Tool for both of this research.

Step 3: Get a Free Blog at Blogger.com

Blogger.com allows you to create as many blogs as you want, for free. Now I must say I’m passionately enthusiastic about the wordpress blogging platform but creating a wordpress blog that will allow you the type of freedom that is needed to do what we want demands you having a domain name and webhost. Of course getting these could really be cheap. But as a beginner I’ll advice that you go with Blogger.com. You can easily move the blog to wordpress blog later on when you start making money and you’re more experience about running a blog.

When creating your blog at Blogger.com make sure that you use the keywords you decided on from step 2 above both on the blog name and the domain name. Your domain name will look something like this:

www.YourDomainName.blogspot.com

For example, using our Relationship market and one of the keyword phrase above, your domain will look something like:

www.relationship-rescue-tips.blogspot.com

Step 4: Take a Trip Back To Clickbank.com/Marketplace

Indeed you may have done this while doing your market and keyword research but if not, then you need to do it now and choose a product or products to promote. I usually choose about 3 products in each market. Of course you will discover that for each market/niche there are various products to choose from. Once you’re on the site simply pick a category and a sub-category and you will be taken to a page full of listings of products to promote. Select each of these products and visit the product site and take a good look at the sales page. Using commonsense and your own judgment ask the following question before deciding on a product:

1. If I’m having this problem will I go for this product?

2. Does this sales page address the emotional buttons associated with this market?

3. Are there enough social proof? Does the sales page have testimonials of people who have benefited from the product?

4. Is the sales page professionally done?

Of course there are other “technical” indicators like the product price, the commission percentage, and the gravity (i.e. how many affiliates earned a commission on that product in the past one or two week pay period) that are shown on the listings in clickbank.com/marketplace. But using these indicators could be a little advance for the beginner. I actually believe that using the above commonsense questions you can make a good choice of a product to sell on clickbank.com.

Once you’ve decided on the products you want to promote, click on the link that says “Create Hoplink” located underneath the product to get your affiliate link. This is what you will need to include in your blog articles to make a commission on the product.

Step 5: Review the Product(s) On Your Blog

Armed with your affiliate links and some information from the product site, your next move is to write a product review. Note that you’re not writing a sales pitch, the sales page for the product you’re promoting will take care of that. Most of these sales pages are written by professional sales copywriters. All you need to do is guide people there.

Please note that this part of the system is very important because if your review is able to put the prospect in the right frame of mind before visiting the product sales page, you have a higher certainty of them purchasing the product. So if you cannot write a product review, do not hesitate to outsource it to someone. A freelance writer may not charge too much for a product review for a Clickbank product. You can expect to pay anywhere from $10 – $20 for a custom-written product review, depending on the writer and the word count of the review.

If you have taken note you will discover that until this point you have spent $0, so if you will spend $10 – $20 for the product review you will not be doing badly!

Important: Remember to add your affiliate link to your product review at least in the first paragraph and at the bottom. Whatever the length of the review, at the end, you can give a strong “Call to action” so that the reader will be compelled to click on your affiliate link.

Bonus Tip: One secret that have helped me very well in writing very powerful review copies is by signing up for the affiliate programs of the product I want to promote, if there is one. When you visit the product sales page, take a look at the bottom of the page to see if there is an affiliate link. Vendors who offer this type of affiliate programs usually offer promotional materials that can help you writing your review copy!

Step 6: Drive Traffic to Your Review Blog

Once your blog is set up your next move is to drive ‘targeted’ traffic to it. These are the people who are actually interested in the product that you are reviewing. And the way to drive targeted traffic to your review blog is to write articles and submit them to article directories like Ezinearticles.com and GoArticles.com. These are some of the top article directories out there. (Not minding the recent google panda update that affected Ezinearticles.com negetively, they are still way up the ladder!) If you write articles in the niches that you are promoting, and you give away some good information with a link to your review blog in your resource box at the end of each article, you will be able to drive targeted traffic to your blog. And if your review blog is able to convincingly send this traffic to the product sales page these could easily convert into sales, which means you will earn yourself some affiliate commissions!

A few other things you will need to do to drive more quality, targeted traffic to your blog include (but not limited to) backlink building, social networking, pinging your blog etc. A more recent one you may want to try is write guest post and publish them on blogs targeting your niche market. You must know that the more targeted leads you drive to your review blog, the more sales you will make. It’s really simple, but it does take work and time.

Conclusion: This is indeed a simple but effective method of making money online even if you have no product and you’re starting on a shoestring budget. Creating a review blog on blogger.com to market affiliate products costs nothing to do but can earn you a potentially unlimited income. Depending on how much traffic you drive to your blog and the conversion rates, you can build yourself a flourishing online business using this exact model.

Over to you: Do you have a few suggestions you will want to add to this game plan? Do you think this is basic enough for any newbie to implement and make some money online? I will be glad if you can add your voice to this plan in the comments below.

 How To Make Money Online On A Shoestring Budget!

Author: 

Chadrack is a freelance web content writer who helps clients drive growth through customer acquisition. He specializes in writing marketing content that delivers tangible marketing results for SMBs and enterprise bloggers. He is the author of "The Wordsmith's Guest Blogging Manifesto" - a special report on how to boost your brand awareness, drive more traffic and grow your business fast leveraging the audiences of a-list bloggers. Click here to download FREE!

20 Responses

  1. I have to say that Blogspot holds a special place in my heart. I”ve been blogging there for what seems forever. I’ve tried three times now to move to WordPress, but I just don’t like their dashboard and can’t feel comfortable there no matter how I try.

    Blogger will never steer you wrong, either.

    Delena

    Chadrack Reply:

    Wow Delena, you’ve just made me fall in love with blogger! :)

    But seriously, did you say you tried moving to wordpress three times and didn’t do it because you were put off by the dashboard? That’s really intereting. As it’s always said, different strokes for different folks! For some of us who have used blogger and then later switched to wordpress, we can always shout it out loud that wordpress is the way to go :)

    But frankly I understand your point. That’s why I recommended blogger in the post for beginners. Bloggers is much easier to learn and work with. You seem to have everything you want to add in one place. Even now I still use blogger for promoting some products. But for  a blog like mine where most of my articles appear, I prefer wordpress because I have more control over things here.

  2. Simple enough for anyone to implement, but they won’t earn a dime if they are in the IM/MMO niches…and unlikely but somewhat possible in other niches.

    For starters, everything about it screams newbie, and not in a good light.

    1. Free blog.
    2. No traffic.
    3. No name for themselves yet.
    4. Using simply the product description page? Seriously?
    etc…

    Sorry, I mean no offense, but the whole thing screams amateurish, and like I said, not rally in a good way.

    Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing recently posted..100 Down Thousands to Go!

    Chadrack Reply:

    I quite agree with you in most areas. For example, this is not a guide to make money in the IM/MMO niches. But who is expecting a newbie to target the IM/MMO niche anywsy! Of course, that’s why many struggle for years and later give up without making anything.

    But to some of your observations:
    1. “Everything about it screams newbie.”  I agree with you here also. But I think you’re looking at this from your present position. I don’t know how you began but like I said in the post I did most of these when starting out. Of course many of us today advice against using a free blog but many seasoned bloggers are still using them! For example I still use blogger to do some affiliate promotions even now. It all bears down to how you use it.

    2. No traffic? I really do not understand what you mean here but if you read the post carefully I refered to a few ways of generating traffic. Every internet marketer understands that this is most crucial area of making a profit online. Of course you don’t expect a newbie to get it all right the first time. It’s  actually about focusing on a few strategies and building on that.

    3. No name for themselves yet. Oh yes! Is this newbie thinking about branding himself or about making some money right now? Ok, I know many of us are made to believe that you should brand yourself in whatever way possible. But frankly, there is no branding like you mastering a particular area of making money online, make some money in that area and then later package that information in an ebook and selling it! If you can prove your expertise in that area you’ll become a brand in no time!

    4. Using simply the product description page? Seriously? Yes, seriously! :)  I must say this is what many affiliates do. If you take a look at most of the sales pages on clickbank.com you’ll agree that everything about the product is laid out. Take a look at the bullet points, the benefits of the product are there. Read through the page, there are testimonials. All of these could be used to craft a powerful review copy. But don’t forget I mentioned doing your market research before choosing the target market. The most important part is knowing if that market is spending. Once you know people are spending money in that market, pick any product in clickbank marketplace that you think will sell based on those common sense questions I listed in the post.

    But again, I agree with you that this is not for the IM/MMO niche. Like I said in the post my first commission on clickbank was earned in the relationship niche. In fact it was an ebook about saving a marriage relationship. If you search carefully that is a niche that’s really HOT because marriage breakups are in the increase with many people looking for ways to save theirs! Of course that niche is kind of saturated right now because many internet marketers are targetting it to hell. But still, it is a profitable niche if done the right way.

    Oh Dennis, thanks for “squeezing” this out of me! This is really what I wanted done to this post. I do hope others will air their doubts about the workability of this plan. In fact we can make it into something bigger by our contributions!

  3. Hi Chadrack ,
    It is a very nice and informative post.You give good ideas on make money online on a shoestring budget.These days bugeting is very important and to make money on short budget is a great idea.

    Chadrack Reply:

    Oh thanks waterpearls :) Knowing how to really manage the money is very important in every business. I’m very particular about spending money on any thing. If that thing will not be helpful to making more money I don’t invest in such! But do you have a few more ways a newbie can make money online on a budget?

  4. Hey Chadrack,
    Nice article.I feel clickbank is one of the best ways of making money online for neophytes.Another option would be to
    write articles or make website for client at Elance.You can always create an account at elance its free.

    Chadrack Reply:

    Oh thanks Shivam, for that addition. I believe a newbie can definitely be able to make money much easier with freelancing and elance.com is a good place to do that. Thanks for adding your voice.

  5. Thanks for the tips on generating money with limited budget! I never try clickbank before so I will give it a try and also create backlinks to other sites to bring traffic.

    Chadrack Reply:

    Hi Andrew, I’m glad to be of help. Wishing you the best of luck!
    And oh, I sincerely love that your gravatar :)

  6. …………..Its safe to say that youll need patience when waiting for success with your blog. Your blog is now one of an estimated 100 million or blogs vying for attention on the internet..There are a few legitimate reasons a new blog cant be that successful ..

    Chadrack Reply:

    @Christina, Oh yes, and do you know I have a real big dose of patience! 100 million blogs vying for attention tells you the competition out there. But for me it’s not really the competition. It’s more about who I am and what I’m out to achieve.

    Please can you tell us those “few legitimate reasons” why a new blog cannot succeed? For me there are a million legitimate reasons why a new blog can succeed.

  7. I want to make oney online fast at home,but I do not know how I can do.I know many people can manke money online fast at home through the Internet,it is very good.Please help me,tell me your idea of make money online fast,thanks!

    Chadrack Reply:

    Did I hear you say fast? Hmm, that’s interesting. But not to discourage you, you can surely make money online fast. I encourage you to read this blog very well there are lots and lots of ways of making money online. Read other blogs also that have this type of advice. But I always advice is build on a solid foundation.

    Having said that, let me point you to one of the ways I truly think you can make money fast online. That’s writing articles or using any other skill you have at sites like elance.com. Go there and study what others are already doing and join the market. The truth is if you may just get yourself a job the first day.

  8. What are the most important  for Online Marketing? If the marketing budget is very little,so what would you recommend, on what instruments in Online Marketing should the company concentrate? (Bannder, SEO, SEM, Affiliate).Thanks for your time.

    Chadrack Reply:

    When the marketing budget is very little I’ll go for seo and sem always. Learn to implement these very well and you will not only be setting up your business for success right now but also for sometime to come. Banner ad is not really effective as it used to be. But if you can find some free ways of doing it nothing stops you from using it. Affiliate program is really great but it will require some money. If it is virtual product, you can use clickbank.com I think the start up is really ok compared to the results. But of all these SEO and SEM is my take.

  9. Its really a informative and knowledgeable post. Thanks for sharing your ideas on making money online on a shoestring budget. Looking for more posts.

    Chadrack Reply:

    @Payday loans no credit check, you can be sure of getting more. Simply subscribe to this blog :)

  10. This is just my second visit to your blog. I find this post and couple of others on this website to be quite useful. I have subscribed to your website using Google Reader.

    Chadrack Reply:

    @Cheolsu, Oh thanks Cheolsu. I’m really glad that you did not only return but you also subscribed. Looking forward to seeing more of you.