Making money at home using your computer.
Is it really possible?

 

Yes, and no.  To understand what we mean by this, read this article in its entirety.

You've probably heard the ads on the radio or TV. The content varies but the main thrust is that, for no investment on your part, you can somehow make all the money you want by sitting at home, working on your computer. One such ad we heard the other day involved selling on eBay. According to the ad, you don't have to stock any inventory, or ship anything or even pay for the product to sell on eBay when using this new, secret method of making money. All you have to do is call for the free CD, plus postage and handling, of course. The announcer is slick and is acting like he's just talking to a good friend. When it comes time to announce the telephone number, he goes so far as to pretend to not know the number and has to find it real quick so that he can relay it to you.

Let's look at this seriously for a minute. If you could really make lots of money doing this, everyone would have already done it. The selling point behind this latest money making scheme is that all you have to do is place ads on eBay, sell the product and the drop-shipper will do the rest for you. You collect the money from the customer, keep your profit and then pay the drop-shipper to send the product out. Sounds simple, doesn't it? The only problem is actually selling the product and the cost of listing items on eBay. Auction sites, like eBay, are full of the TV's, cameras, video players and other electronics that the ad tells you you can sell. However, most auctions never sell because prices on such products, from regular vendors like Amazon, are already very low. How can you afford to price a product on eBay to compete with low cost retailers and still make a profit... plus pay the eBay fees? You will be lucky if the price charged from your drop-shipper is even as low as what you could buy the same product for from the large retailers. The simple answer is, that you can't and trying this way to make money will lead to hundreds of dollars in eBay fees for you and no sales.

However, the companies that spend tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars on radio and television ads are making money. They are making money on you -- in shipping and handling and in further upselling you additional secret information to make the plan work for you. Let's face it, if you could make so much money following their plan, why are they selling the info and not following their own plan? Obviously there is more money in selling false hope to people who've just been laid off from their jobs and are totally desperate than there is in selling on eBay, using their scheme.

By now it should be clear that getting rich doing next to nothing is not a viable option. However, that raises the question of whether you can make money on line. The answer is yes, but it is a slow process that takes time to build. There are several reputable companies that will pay you to advertise products on your web site. If you don't have a web site, check out our 'How to Set Up a Web Site' page. It's not difficult to do, but does take patience and work.

Essentially, when someone either clicks on the ads or buys something from one of the ads on your site, you get a commission. This commission ranges from a few cents per click to sometimes $100+ from companies selling services to consumers.

The king of the pay-per-click advertising is, without a doubt, Google. They have multiple channels to allow you to put ads (fed by Google and based on your web site content) on your site. Here is an example of a Google pay per click ad in the form of a You Tube Video:

 
As you can see, by reloading the page, the ad will change and constantly offer new content to entice the visitor to click. This is the newest form of the Google pay-per-click ad. You are probably familiar with the traditional Google test ad style that appears on millions of web pages. It looks something like this:

 

Several options are available and you can select between text and image ads. To learn more about this program and to sign up click here.

The nice thing about pay-per-click ads is that the visitors to your web site don't have to buy anything. When they click, you make money and the advertiser pays the costs. Since they don't have to buy, you will get more action than if they actually had to buy something. The negative is that commissions are much lower. Sometimes, as much as only a few cents per click. Therefore, the key to pay-per-click ads is volume. You have to find a way to drive a large volume of traffic to your web site.

The other part of the equation is the topic of your page or web site. Google ads are based on a sort of bidding system that the advertisers use to select how their ads are placed. The more popular the topic, the more the bid cost goes up and the more you make. As an example a page that talks about how to find a malpractice attorney will usually yield higher priced clicks than a page on making hair bows. However, the flip side to this is that there are probably millions of pages on the internet regarding malpractice attorneys and the odds of anyone finding your page is pretty slim. In most cases, pages that are about niche ideas and products will make you more money. The reason being that there is less competition and you will get more visitors. Yes, you might only get five cents a click, but if you get 100 clicks a week you made $5. On the other hand, if the clicks on your malpractice page are worth $10 a click but nobody ever clicks.....

The other type of income you could generate form your web site or blog is based on people buying things based on ads on your web site. As indicated earlier, the commission paid on a sale is usually much larger than the commission paid on a referral or click. Many people will click on the ads but few will pull out their wallet and buy. One of our favorites is Commission Junction. There are a lot of vendors of affiliate marketing out there. Our experience with Commission Junction is that they always pay you what they owe you. We have not had the same happy experience with other vendors. Below are a couple of examples of this type of ad that would pay anywhere between $10 and $100 per sale.

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Commission Junction represents hundreds of name brand products and companies. Another of our favorite affiliate programs is with Amazon. In this case, you are an affiliate of Amazon, as opposed to being the affiliate of dozens or hundreds of companies through Commission Junction. However, Amazon sells just about everything. So, you can target them easily to the content of your web site. The difference between the two is that the commissions paid through Commission Junction are sometimes very high. Amazon pays a fixed percentage of the sale, around 4%. However, because of their huge product list, people will often buy things that have nothing to do with the link they originally clicked on. Amazon will track users who come in from one of your links and give you credit for all sales that person makes. Amazon offers a large number of ways to include links into your web site. From traditional fixed links, to a specific product, to sophisticated links that keep track of key words on your page and offer products geared to your site. Below are a couple of examples of links from Amazon.

  

The bottom line is that you should not expect to make large amounts of money using these techniques. However, it is possible to make several hundred (or even a few thousand a month) using this kind of linking. But realize, this kind of return will require a lot of hard work and will take a long time to bring fruit.

First, you need to get your web sites or blogs indexed in the search engines so that people can find them. See our SEO article for tips on how to get your sites ranked. This takes time. Don't be surprised if nobody can find your page for months. Of course, the more unique your site and the less competition you have, the faster you will rank.

Once you have web sites that people are going to, you have to figure out what your viewers are interested in. Who is your audience? Are they looking to buy? Are they more inclined to just browse for information? In most cases, a combined approach of pay-per-click ads and pay-per-purchase ads works out best.

One last thing. There is nothing that turns people off and makes them ignore ads more than putting lots of them on the page. A couple of well placed ads will work much better than a page full of flashing content and no substance. While we have violated this advice on this page, it was for the purposes of demonstration rather than actually trying to sell something in particular.

 

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