Two years ago I knew nothing about making money online, I had a vague understanding of the concepts behind affiliate marketing, I knew how Google made its money, but other than that I didn’t know my PPC from my CPC!
Since then I have been lucky enough to run a successful website, SammyNetbook.com was founded almost a year ago and has since grown to almost 5000 registered members, 100,000 monthly visits and half a million page views in September!
Further to that, 2 years ago I left my City based finance job (good timing in hindsight!) to continue my career in the web sector. As a Business Intelligence specialist I am fortunate enough to be able to take my skills into different industries without a hit to my long term career. I now work at the heart of one of the largest UK consumer websites.
Thanks to my direct personal experience and that of the colleagues I work with on a daily basis I now have a comprehensive view of how professional sites can compare to amateur developments and how both can maximise revenue.
Make Money Online Gurus
One of my first instincts when starting to learn was to Google up some resources, and anyone who does this will quickly be drawn towards one of a handful of gurus operating in this space. Initially these blogs will draw you in, they seem full of promising info and after all, if these guys have made it then surely they can help you to do just the same!
However after a short period these blogs quickly become tiresome:
- They all say the same thing
- There is nothing there that one can’t learn for one’s self
- They can be naive when it comes to big business (corporate backed sites)
- They are all selling something
And its that final point that is really starting to make me unsubscribe from these guy’s sites. It seemed to me that some of these people were more interested in helping themselves to make more money online that helping others to get started. I won’t mention any names, but some of these sites are just sales post followed by sales post followed by promotion and finally another sales post. Yes, these people make lots of money but they do it by selling continuously to you! There are plenty of different spins on the same idea, you may recognise them:
- Obnoxious rich guy. Ironically 99% of these blogs are fooling no one. You live in Hull and drive a Nissan Sunny.
- The I’m right and those other dudes are all wrong. Get attention by pushing the contrary view.
- I know the real secrets and will share them all with you. Now just subscribe to my membership programme, or buy my all inclusive course for hundreds of dollars.
But no matter what the angle the author has come up with, or what persona he is projecting, the content of these blogs is common knowledge or just common sense! These gurus didn’t read a course to get to where they are and if you aren’t the one innovating and trying new things then the rest of us will always be one step ahead of you.
These guys are making lots of money by selling you the .com dream, but really what you need is an understanding of how to put together a website, how to market your site, how to create engaging content, and the motivation to give it a go. All of which will cost you nothing. I am happy to report that I have never spent a penny on any product, course or book and I am now running a range of sites successfully. Some have been created entirely to make money and others for the satisfaction of running a community site..
Besides, I work for a website that makes an 8 figure profit (and in GBP not USD!) and I reckon these “experts” would love a window into how the “big boys” do it. With an entire SEO team matched with IT experts we have the ability to research and innovate at a rate that home bloggers will never compete with. I wish I could share some of the systems we use, but unfortunately, for obvious reasons, that has to remain a secret.
Not all of these sites are totally awful, I plan to continue to subscribe to a couple of blogs to keep my toe in the door as it were. But if you want to get active in a community then I would stick to a free site with a strong forum, here in the UK I give my full recommendation to a4u where you will find:
- Round up of News from affiliate marketing scene
- Community blog feeds that push the best content from a range of independent blogs right to you
- Very helpful and friendly forums full of people just like us
- Direct connections with the affiliate networks, many representatives read and respond to issues
- Community meetings
I would also strongly recommend reading official sources, such as those put out by Google. The official webmaster blog links up a lot of the key information you’ll need.
And finally, if you do want to read up in one place, just buy a good old fashioned book from a reputable publisher. It will cost you maybe £10 – no need to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars/pounds/euros! You’ll find everything you need professionally put together by an industry expert. No hard sell, no promises and no need to put a photo of a fast car on the front to act as a convincer.
About this Blog
This blog is free, won’t promote paid for “make loads of cash online” programmes and is mostly concerned with maximising use of the free e107 CMS. All my code is given away free in the tradition of community programming efforts.