The 7 Steps I Went Through To Make Money Online

November 8, 2010

Making Money Online

Please note that most of the links below are affiliate links, which means I make a small commission if you click them and then buy something. This article is about taking you through the journey that I’ve gone through to become an Internet marketer and thus I’ll be mentioning various products and services which have helped me get to where I am today.

My family and friends know I’m an Internet Marketer and while out having a drink with a couple of friends the other night, one of my buddies asked me, “What was the process you went through to make money online?”

Hmm… “Great question!” I thought as I sat back and took a sip of my beer.

After thinking for a moment, here’s what I came up with. Keep in mind this is my experience and I’m sure many other people make money online in lots of different ways.

Making money with your blog pyramid

For me though, it’s been about building websites which yield me some kind of income–and this is how the whole process of building a profitable website works:

1. Proper Research

Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats doing your due diligence in researching whatever niche your website or blog is going to be in. I don’t mean just researching keywords, I mean understanding what need is out there, what your readers will be looking for, and what kinds of products they might be interested in.

When researching demographics, here are two tools I like to use:

  • Quantcast
  • Plenty of Fish Demographics Tool (a dating website)

When researching topics and products to promote, I like to use these tools:

  • ClickBank Analytics
  • ClickBank Marketplace
  • Amazon.com

2. Domain Name and Hosting

After phase 1 above, you should have a clear understanding of who your target audience for your blog is going to be. You should also have a clear understanding of the keywords you’re going to want to target in Google in order to get your site ranked well for your given niche.

The first “physical” step in building your profitable website then is to come up with a good domain name and then setting up your web hosting.

If you’re not sure what makes a good domain name, here’s an excellent article to read.

3. Design and Layout

3a.

Now that you have your research, domain name, and web hosting set up, it’s time to pick a site design. If you’re using WordPress, here are a few places you can pick up a good template design:

  • WooThemes
  • Headway Themes
  • StudioPress

If we’re talking about a blog or site to make money, the most important things in your design and layout are:

  1. Header image to capture attention
  2. Strong title and headline to capture both attention and interest
  3. Quality content to move readers from attention to desire
  4. Clear call to action for those who desire what you offer

3b.

After you have the above set up, the next part of your design and layout you should add is a newsletter optin box.

Have you ever heard, “the money is in the list”? Well, it is.

Create a newsletter so you can keep in contact with your readers. The ones who opt into your newsletter list are the ones who probably really want to hear from you. Set yourself up with a number of autoresponders and have them email out to your list on autopilot for as long as possible.

In your list is where you can really add some quality content and advice as well as promote a product or two every now and then.

Probably the best email list service out there is Aweber.

The key I have found in your newsletter is to teach. Teaching sells, right?

4. Drive Traffic To Your Site

This is something you can begin doing once your site is set up, but I put it here as number 4 because it’s important that before you spend too much time getting even more traffic to your website, you make sure that it actually does something for you.

Which would you rather have? A website with tons of traffic but no one buys anything or a website with very little traffic but converts pretty well?

So first spend some time on getting your site set up and making money before you really dig into SEO and driving a ton of traffic to your site.

Okay so the question then is, how do you drive traffic to your site?

That’s quite a large topic, but in bullet point form, here’s what you need to do:

  • Optimize your site for Google to know what your site is all about (title tags, links, alt tags, meta tags, headings, etc.) – if you use WordPress, check out WordPress SEO Secrets
  • Write guest posts for bloggers who are in your same niche and be sure to link back to your site using your targeted keyword phrase (check your research)
  • Write a number of articles which relate to your blog’s niche and post them to article directories like ezinearticles.com and goarticles.com
  • Start a HubPages hub and Squidoo lens. Again, write articles relating to what your website is about and link back to your site using the proper keyword text (be sure you spread the link love and don’t only link back to your home page)
  • A little less credible but works… you can use a service like Rapid Free Traffic to automate backlinking to your site.

I know that might all seem like a lot. Just remember, you want quality backlinks from other on topic websites and writing quality articles and linking back to your site is always a time tested winner for SEO.

5. Test

After you have built up your website or blog and are driving traffic to it, now comes the testing. Use the Google Website Optimizer tool to test different banner ads, images, headlines, etc. until you find a great combination which yields you excellent optin rates and conversions.

Haven’t heard of Google Website Optimizer, here’s an article to read.

6. Further Your Education

Now that you’ve built your own website (or took part in building it to what it is today), now comes the time for you to keep learning. Join Niche Profit Classroom, read marketing articles, buy a great build a better blog ebook, and push your own limits to become an even better entrepreneur than you ever thought you could be.

What you’ll find is after awhile, things really start to click.

. . . You’ve read enough ebooks. You’ve used Google Website Optimizer for awhile and have learned how people react to different parts of websites and what makes them click and what makes them click away. All of a sudden you’ll find that you are getting tons of “stuff” happening in your PayPal account and you’re getting daily emails like mine you see on the right (commission notifications).

It all depends on what you put into it.

7. Taking It To The Next Level

For me, taking it to the next level began with my membership to Niche Profit Classroom, but it certainly didn’t stop there.

Where I’ve noticed a real increase in achieving my milestones and goals is learning all about outsourcing.

You see, you can only go so far as a solopreneur. If you really want to take it to the next level, you need to speed up the rate at which things are happening. You can only do so much in a day.

For example, today I spent a little time watching a Niche Profit Classroom webinar on list building, drove over to my mother’s house to pay her and my uncle their commissions they earned from our Nevada Incorporations website, ate lunch, checked my analytics, responded to emails, and have spent the last couple of hours writing this article.

With all that, how in the heck am I suppose to “take it to the next level”?

I can’t. I just don’t have the time.

But…

I have people working for me doing things I don’t have the time to do, like write articles for article directories and editing and producing many of the videos I create.

Once you reach a point in your blogging career where you know what you need to do and what needs to get done, sign up for ReplaceMySelf.com. John Jonas has really come up with a good system for outsourcing your work.

But in my opinion, start first with Niche Profit Classroom. Then between those two sites, I guarantee you’ll find your business and PayPal account goes up much quicker than before.

Please note that most of the links above are affiliate links, which means I make a small commission if you click them and then buy something. I support these services 100% and use them.

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About John Hoff

John is the lead instructor inside the Blog Training Classroom Video Course. He's been blogging since 2007, authored a WordPress Security ebook, and was recently featured at Niche Profit Classroom as an affiliate rising star.

View all posts by John Hoff

3 Responses to “The 7 Steps I Went Through To Make Money Online”

  1. Lillea Says:

    That’s an excellent breakdown!

    I didn’t know about the Plenty of Fish Demographics Tool! Great find!

    Reply

  2. John Hoff Says:

    Hi Lillea. Yeah that is a real winner which a large number of people don’t know about. You’re looking at extremely accurate data there which is priceless, especially for PPC campaigns.

    Perhaps I’ll write up a post showing how to make money using it (or try to make money anyway).

    Reply

  3. John Says:

    Making money on the net is always the way to go years ago. Whether if it really is website marketing, affiliate internet marketing, running a blog, article marketing, or even paid advertising it’s better to begin right now then under no circumstances.

    Reply

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