Yes, believe it or not, as skeptical as you may be, you can earn money online. And you can start doing it without paying a cent. This hub is sort of an offshoot from my post on my personal blog about earning money online. If you read it, you will see that I am in fact not a "money making guru." I'm a 22-year old internet marketer. I have seen some success, but for the most part I am in the same struggle you are. The only difference is that I have some experience under my belt.
I see two problems facing people who haven't even started in this business. The first is that there are so many ways to earn money online! It can and will get confusing for those who don't know where to start. The other problem is that for each method of earning money online, there are dozens of other people trying to sell you something that "guarantees" you'll make bank. Usually these are e-book peddlers, and their sites usually look something like that atrocity in the upper-right corner. They have lots of highlighting, big bold red letters, and (usually) fake screenshots showing their earnings online. The motto of the e-book peddler is "overpromise and underdeliver."
I'm sick and tired of it. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to spend a single red cent until I actually started earning money online. Unfortunately, I didn't do that at first. I own a few domains, bought a couple products, and here I am, still struggling to earn some decent money online. But the damn title of this hub is how to start earning money if you don't have any. So let's get started.
The Absolute Easiest Way to Start Earning Money Online
Blogs. Blogging has exploded on the internet in the last few years. And what was once simply an online diary is now a way for developers to log their progress on new projects, companies to communicate with their employees and customers, people to discuss a variety of topics from politics to video games (and the politics of video games!), and people like you to earn money online.
You have no money to pay for a domain and hosting for your website, right? You have to rely on free hosted websites. Unfortunately, if you're trying to pitch a product or run a review website and it says, "Hosted by LifeConquestPages.com" at the top of your page or your URL is dvdreviews.freehostedwebsites.com, it doesn't look like the professional image you're trying to portray. With blogs, you don't need to keep a professional image. Blogs have this informality about them that makes them appealing to visitors. You can write like a human being. Two great free blogging services are Blogger and WordPress. Both use different blogging software. I prefer WordPress but Blogger is easier to use.
What do I blog about?
This is the most crucial part you need to work out before starting any online venture. What you need to do is select a niche to blog about. Why is this important? Because you want your blog to cover as much of one topic as possible, because you want to have a set of keywords you can use throughout your blog which will help you rank well on the search engines, and because you want to know how much competition is out there!
Let's say you want to make a blog about video games. Okay, video gaming is a niche. Let's see how much competition there is out there. I did a search on Google for "video games" (no quotes) and got about 510,000,000 results. When you build your blog, one of the highest quality sources of traffic is search engine traffic. But the keyword "video games" pulls up over half a billion websites. This is where you do some keyword research.
I use SEO Book, which utilizes Yahoo! Search Marketing's keyword tool (giving actual numbers of how many searches were made for specific keywords) and estimates the number of searches on Google and MSN Live Search. I did a search for "video games" and "computer games" (no quotes) and found some interesting information.
Over 1.7 million people searched for video games, and almost 300,000 searched for computer games in January 2007. If you scroll down, you can see other keywords which were searched for fewer times. With good search engine optimization (SEO) of your blog or website, you can get the top results for some of these keywords which are less in demand. Within some of these keywords are subniches or microniches as well. Less than 12,000 searches were made for "kid computer game" (no quotes) and even fewer for similar keywords. Maybe you could blog about computer games for children. I did a Google search for "kid computer game" (no quotes) and found 131,000,000 results. I found 29,300,000 results for "child computer game" (no quotes) and it gets less than 7000 searches a month.
See what I'm doing? I'm looking for keywords I can use and a niche I can blog about that will increase my chances of getting search engine traffic. In general, the smaller the niche, the less competition.
So at what point do I actually make money here?
The easiest thing to do is just place contextual PPC (pay-per-click) ads on your blog. Depending on content of your blog, different ads will be show, and will generate revenue when someone clicks on them. Google AdSense is the most popular PPC service. The Yahoo! Publishing Network is another one. And there are dozens of smaller PPC services out there. These are free to sign up for, but be careful not to confuse AdSense with AdWords and the Yahoo! Publishing Network with Yahoo! Search Marketing's Sponsored Search. These are for advertisers, not publishers. If you ever want to start using paid advertising to promote a website, then check them out. Microsoft adCenter is another PPC service for advertisers.
Another great way to earn money online is by promoting products, referring them to your sponsor, and earning a commission on sales. Where do you find products to promote? ANYWHERE. ClickBank is great if you want to sell digital products. It's easy to set up and there are thousands of products to promote. PayDotCom is another marketplace for affiliates. Commission Junction has a huge selection of products and services from major companies. Amazon runs its own affiliate program if you're interested in promoting physical products. Keep in mind that promoting physical products like those at Amazon will earn you less money per sale because of the associated costs of production, shipping, etc.
In a nutshell...
1. Bureaucracy a chargeless hosted blog that's focused on a accurate niche. Do some analysis to see how abundant antagonism there is out there and what keywords you will be frequently application in your blog. It's aswell a acceptable abstraction to blog about something that interests you back you will accept to accumulate autograph about it.
2. Write frequently, abnormally at first.
3. Abode contextual PPC ads on your blog. If you're application Blogger, go with AdSense back they're both endemic and run by Google. Google makes it actual simple to setup.
4. You can aswell bung articles on your blog as an affiliate, earning a cut of the sales you accompany to your sponsor. In my video bold example, you could analysis computer amateur for accouchement and abode associate links on your blog.
5. Promote your blog for traffic. I'll awning this in a little bit.
It's simple to get into this business, but not so simple to accomplish something out of it.
Setting up a blog is simple and free. Putting ads on your blog is simple and free. Taking that individual blog and authoritative a active out of it is difficult. You ability accept to accomplish several blogs. Maybe you chose a alcove that's too ample and too competitive. Or conceivably you chose a alcove that's so narrow, cipher cares about it. But you haven't absent any money. You didn't absorb money on a website alone to accept your activity bomb and abandoned. You didn't decay hundreds of dollars on AdWords or added paid cartage that alone austere a added aperture in your pocket.
Internet business is so simple to get into after paying a individual red cent. Hell, you can even acquire money online announcement developed agreeable with no investment, which I'll briefly altercate after on.
But don't apprehend to accomplish a thousand or even a hundred dollars in your actual aboriginal month. And it is harder to acquire money online after any budgetary investment, but not impossible
Promoting Websites and Blogs For Free
I mentioned promoting your blog a bit earlier. Once you setup your blog, nobody knows about it. A good idea is to submit it to blog directories. Some of these directories restrict the submission of newly created blogs. There are also plenty of free website directories. Many have paid listings, which generally means a faster listing and a better rank among other websites on the directory. You could also submit to search engines, but search engine spiders do a good job of eventually finding your site and listing it.
An interesting way of promoting your blog is through social bookmarking websites like Digg, Reddit, Del.icio.us, or Netscape. It's a good idea to do this when you have something interesting to say. If your blog is about computer games for children, perhaps you could compile a list of top 10 children's computer games for the holiday season or something and review each game. The more controversial and recent the subject, the more likely your submissions will get more views and your blog will get more traffic (see: buzz marketing). You can also submit your own press releases via PRWeb.
If you common any bulletin boards or forums, abode a hotlink to your blog in your signature. Just be alert of the rules because on some forums this isn't allowed. The added you accord to the appointment overall, the bigger this address works.
You can do hotlink trades with added blogs. This adjustment is usually approached anon and informally, but there are some places on the web committed to abutting webmasters and bloggers calm so they can do hotlink trades.
There are abounding added means you can advance your blog. Build Hubs or Squidoo lenses about agnate agreeable and hotlink aback to your blog. Answer questions accompanying to your blog's agreeable and cover a hotlink to your blog for added advice (i.e. "What allowance should I get my adolescent this Christmas?" and cover a hotlink to your blog column on the top 10 chidren's computer games). Be creative
When You Start Earning Money Online, Reinvest in Your Online Business
You toiled abroad at your blogs for weeks, months even. You assuredly get that aboriginal analysis from Google or ClickBank. Now what? Conceivably it would be a acceptable abstraction to get your own area and hosting. Or conceivably pay for some traffic. Using alone chargeless hosted blogs and such banned what you can do online, and there's consistently the crisis that your blogs could be pulled.
Once you acquire that money, I'd awful acclaim you reinvest it into your online business. Because that's what it is: a business. And you should amusement it as such. Reinvest in it so you can accomplish it grow.
Shoot for Long-Term Profits, Not Short-Term Tricks
If you absolutely wish to acquire money online, you accept to be in it for the continued haul. I do not advance that you hunt e-book peddlers affairs you the latest "trick" to accomplish you huge profits. There is no gimmick to authoritative abiding online income.