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Choosing a topic that will earn income
For earning money from your sites, you won't have a lot of success if you choose a main topic which is of limited interest in the general scheme of things - in my case, retiring in Asia. Possibly 90% of web surfers don't have the slightest interest in what I appear to be promoting – living and working or retiring in Asia! But if you can relate to things that some of those 90% are interested in – like making or saving money, then there is a better chance of success. My topic could be considered as a way to save people money (comparing the cost of living to the West), but convincing just the people who might want to come to Asia probably won't be enough. But many more people, maybe nearly everybody would like to retire or work less, wherever they live, and some of them could make money on the internet. But that subject already has a lot of players and plenty of competition. So somehow, you should try and choose a main topic that is different in some way.
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising
After getting high rankings (listings on the search engines), you could apply to Google's AdSense. This allows you to show AdWords ads on any of your pages. It's free to join, but the income (paid by the AdWords advertisers) will be 'AdCents' unless you have really high traffic. Your account will immediately be terminated if Google feels that your figures have been artificially inflated, and there is no comeback. Get a free email course on AdSense, or visit Google's own site. AdWords (and other pay per click programs like Yahoo's and Kanoodle) definitely bring extra traffic to your site, but you do have to pay for every click. A percentage of these clicks will result in the sale of a product or service you are offering. Finding the balance between sales and cost of clicking is an important skill. It will be expensive if you don't know what you're doing. Learning the best and most economical way of doing this is a whole topic on its own. Visit our AdWords page where you can learn how you could earn money from Google. 97% of their nearly $2 billion 2005 revenue comes from AdSense and AdWords. It's also believed that over 60% is paid out to Google account holders. You can become one of them.
Basic internet marketing success stems from attracting as many visitors as possible to your site. Once there, you try to steer them towards useful tools and products for whatever the chosen topic is. If you don't have your own product or range of products to sell, you sell other people's. You do this by affiliation, and you create 'affiliate links' on your pages to promote those products or services. There are thousands of things available for sale on the internet, and you can earn substantial commission from selling them through your own site.
Income will begin when sufficient people visit the site, and some buy your recommended products or services. The ordering, payment and download is handled automatically by the Affiliate Programs. They are very easy to join, but it usually takes time to build up sales.
Suppliers and services with free to join affiliate programs allow you to join and promote them without having to buy or pay for anything yourself. A further advantage of this type of marketing is that if you recruit new affiliates for programs you already belong to which have a 'two-tier system', you and your 'up-line' can earn 'sub' commission from their sales, by signing up through your link. All commissions are paid by the original supplier of the product or service. It's all extra potential income from very little effort on your part!
If you have a good site with regular traffic and high ratings with Google Page Rank or Alexa, you can also exchange or sell links to other site owners. You may be asked to provide a reciprocal link. Site owners will contact you and ask for free or paid site links. If they are prepared to pay, you can negotiate a monthly fee and have it paid into your PayPal account. All you need to do is provide a page which tries to create interest in their site and include a link to it. Be careful you are not going to lose site visitors this way. You want to keep them on your pages for as long as possible if you are trying to sell products from them. Generally speaking it is not a good idea to pay for traffic from services that offer thousands of visitors. You may get hits but most are not potential buyers and they will not increase sales. Search engine organisations (SEOs) are also on the lookout for these false methods of increasing site traffic. They can also have an adverse effect on your rankings with Google and others.
Other topics that can relate to your site's main theme
A significant part of this site's so far modest income originates not from promoting retirement in Asia, but one of the activities you can participate in while living a relaxing life in Asia or anywhere else there is an internet service. Forex Trading is a 'hot' topic, and one with a lot of competition for marketing. The secret is to find another angle or way of looking at it. Such as highlighting the risks more than the potential benefits; it is an area where we have personal experience. Forex can be done by anyone, anywhere. We try to promote genuine products. But you need to know something about what you're selling, and write something about it on your pages to draw attention to it.
Getting visitors to your site
This is one of the most important aspects of internet marketing. Promoting and selling products from web pages is a "numbers game". This means that of all the people that visit your pages, only a certain percentage are likely to actually buy anything. Therefore you need to generate as much traffic as possible to your web site. There are also ways to do this without having to wait a long time.
Other ways to earn income WITHOUT a web site
The whole idea of learning to create and promote web sites may be beyond some people's capability or desire. There are alternatives. You can use the internet in other ways to generate income. Find out how on the next page.
Many people simply write articles about things they know, and submit them for publication. Sometimes they get paid for them, otherwise they can be used to promote their own or others' web sites. This is another way of increasing traffic and site popularity.
Here's wishing you well for your own internet endeavours.
By the way, there are other ways to make money without websites or selling: