How Information (Niche) Websites Make Money on The Internet
The Internet has been life-changing for me. I never dreamed that I'd be able to earn a living simply writing about topics that interest me.
So how can you earn money from a content website?
Simply pick a topic you love and write a website about it. All you need is information.
The more passionate you are about the topic, the easier it will be to keep adding information, develop your unique spin and expand the site.
Yes, I did invest some money (I paid for my websites, of course) but time was the biggest investment of all by far. And I will tell you now, if you don't plan to invest in either, then this is not for you.
Check out the two videos below that will give you very detailed info on how to get started and mistakes to avoid.
The Hard FactsYou can't be a stranger to hard work if you want to make money online. I've put in some serious time over the years. In fact, I still do. I've sacrificed many evenings, weekends, holidays, etc. to devote to this venture.
I'm constantly reading, adding new information to my sites, researching and observing what others are doing to stay ahead of the curve. However, the best part about it is, it doesn't feel like real work because I thoroughly enjoy it.
That is important and unfortunately most people don't get that part of it. They believe that the desire to make money will be enough motivation to become successful.
If that were the case, everyone would have a successful money-making website. I mean, who doesn't want to make a lot of money, right?
comes as a result
doing what you
It's not the other way around. If you don't enjoy it, you won't be successful because you'll eventually get burned out.
So many of my friends and family want to try this because they are fascinated by the money. That's great...but you still have to enjoy yourself. Money cannot be your only motivation.
You'll never meet a successful Internet entrepreneur that says, "I hate spending time updating my website and learning how to market on the Internet, but I'm still making $300,000 per year with my site."
The people that are successful out here enjoy themselves and work at this continuously, and most of them chose a website topic they are passionate about.
Keepin' It Real
Let me be honest.
The online world is not for everyone. Many people don't want or even have the time to spend in front of their computers going through the learning curve with regards to building a website, researching topics, writing content, perhaps even creating YouTube videos, etc.
However, if you have some time and don't mind learning...you could clean up out here. However, don't expect to spend one hour a month on this and make $100,000 a year.
You have to set realistic goals and understand that the earnings will start out small. Mine certainly did. My first check in 1998 was for $14.95. But it was all I needed to make me believe "I can do this!"
No Get Rich Schemes Here!
If you're looking for a get-rich-quick-scheme, this is not the place. I don't care how other websites make it seem, there is no such thing as quick money. Please don't believe the hype.
I roll my eyes at many of these websites that scream phrases like, "Make Millions Overnight!" They are usually run by people who have never made a dime.
Nevertheless, they want you to spend your hard-earned dollars on a "how-to-course" that they haven't even bought or used themselves. They just earn a commission if you buy what they have to offer.
Make sure they can also explain exactly what you have to do. And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
I don't know about you, but if I'm going to learn how to make money out here, I'd want to learn from someone who is actually succeeding - not from someone selling a flashy course they haven't even used themselves.
How Your Site Can Make Money
The Internet is the information highway. Everyday millions of people go to Google, Bing and Yahoo to perform searches on anything from potting plants to investing stocks.
Capitalize on their hunger for information by bulding a website that gives them what they are looking for.
Achieve a top 5 ranking in the major search engines for popular keyword phrases and you can really rack in a ton of free traffic from Google.
The money comes in with affiliate programs. These are programs that are offered by companies that pay website owners to refer their products.
Here's an introductory video on affiliate marketing...
Generally, programs pay a certain percentage for every sale that comes in as a result of your site's referral. Amazon.com has an affiliate program and it's very popular among website owners.
The downside is the commissions are super low.
Clickbank is another popular program for affiliates and they pay a lot more.
So let's say you have an information website on baby toy safety. Your site is #3 in Google.com when someone types in "safe baby toys" and other related terms.
On your site, you've written various reviews on various toys based upon your own experiences. The more content you have, the greater the chance you'll be found in the search engines for free.
To earn money, you could join a toy related affiliate program and when you recommend various toys for parents, the company will pay you a percentage for every sale your site refers. (Companies provide a special tracking link to use on your site so they know when your site generates a sale).
You could also join Amazon.com's free affiliate program and recommend their books on baby safety. Amazon doesn't pay very high commissions (3-5% on most products), but if you refer large volumes, the commissions can add up.
Watch my video below on how Amazon works.
Google AdSense (Free)
You may have heard of a program called Google Adsense. This is a slightly different type of program because you don't have to get your visitors to buy anything to earn money.
You simply help Google advertise by displaying some text ads on your pages and they pay you for every click each ad receives. Thanks to Google's technology the ads that will be displayed match your site's content.
So if your site is about baby toys, the ads that show up will relate to that topic, thus improving the click-thru percentage. The more pages of content you have, the greater the earning potential for programs like this.
I use Adsense on three of my websites and I am quite pleased with the results.
No Products to Ship or Manage
The nice thing about niche / information websites that make money from affiliate programs (rather than selling hard goods) is that you can leave your website for days, weeks or months and still continue to make money without having to handle inventory or talk to customers.
Remember, your site serves as the middleman and refers products for other company websites. The actual company that pays you is the one that ships the products and deals with the customers.
Here's the best part...
Now that my sites are established and generating passive income... I can go on vacation for months if I wanted to and they would still generate revenue without doing a single thing.
The hard work pays off in the long run.
That's me in the pic above enjoying a summer vacation in The Dominican Republic, May 2004. My websites continue to work for me while I relax on the beach.
That's the major benefit of making money from affiliate programs instead of selling your own tangible products that you'd have to ship and manage.
However, I want to make clear that I had to work to GET my websites to that point by building a lot of content... and that does take time. Remember, there's no such thing as "get rich quick" out here and I've certainly done my time.
Even though I only have to work on my sites a couple of hours per month now, I started out spending several hours per day on my sites.
An online business is no different than an offline. Even though there are some differences in how the businesses are run, they both require time, work and patience.
But the great thing about online is once you are established you can leave your site for months and still come back to the same income. I don't know many offline companies that can say that!
The Best Way to Build Your Site
Watch my video on how to create your website with WordPress...
You can also consider Site Build It!. They hold your hand when it comes to building your website and provide videos to guide you along.
"...But I'm Not Computer Savvy."
I don't know if you realize it or not, but the people that are making good money on the net aren't necessarily programmers, computer geeks or people that are computer savvy.
Thanks to user-friendly web hosts, anyone can get a website up pretty easily these days. The real key with an information site is actually getting traffic to your site and writing solid, convincing content that holds your visitor's attention so they purchase products you recommend.
Content is what sells - not Flash animations and cool web designs (unless you are in the web design field). It's the useful, bookmarkable (not sure that's a word!) content that convinces people to buy products and services you recommend.
People generally bookmark websites because they provide good content and/or they like the benefits they read about - not because they like the flashy animations going across the screen.
Don't get me wrong. You want your site to look nice, but as I said, that's the easy part these days. Both WordPress and SBI! have templates already pre-made and you simply choose one and your framework is done in seconds. The real challenge is marketing and building traffic.
So don't worry if you have never created a website or you just aren't too computer savvy. Most people who make money online today were in the same boat.
You just have to be willing to learn.
If you would like to download a complete guide, check out my eBook Niche Website Success -- it's great for beginners.
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