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