Internet Marketing & Online Business FAQ
I’ve been building websites for profit for about 4 years now. These are some of the most common questions about internet marketing, online business, and making money online. Let’s clear things up! Let me know if you have more questions below.
1. Does it take money to make money?
Yes, but less than you think. You can actually make money online at no cost to you, but I don’t recommend it. The minimum I recommend you spend is to buy a domain to make your own website, and that will come with hosting costs as well. That’ll cost you about $11 for the domain and about $80-$150+ for a year of hosting.
The reason I recommend these two as a minimum is because this means you OWN your business, and can do whatever you like with it. If you build a site on some of these ‘free’ platforms out there, many times you have to feature THEIR advertising, and you’re also subject to their Terms of Service. Many times this means there are limitations on subject matter, style, and methods of promotion.
While free websites can supplement your campaign nicely, I don’t recommend making them the CORE of your business. It means that ultimately, someone else has control over your website. It’s still a good idea to start as cheap as possible if you’re on a budget, and make sure you’re going to stick with this. There’s no use dropping $199 dollars on video creation software or $499 on a pre-built website if you’re going to quit in 2 months time.
2. Do I need to know how to make a website?
No, but you need to be willing to learn. Everyone is a beginner at something, so not knowing how to make a website shouldn’t stop you from learning to build one. Actually, it’s a lot easier now than it used to be; Most of the hard work has been done for you already!
There are many tools to automate the process of building and customizing a website. It doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy, but to get a basic website up is no problem. In fact, you can do it right here, right now. This is a free website creator. You can always re-direct your free site to your own .com at a later date.
Of course, the more you want to add to your site, and the more you want to improve, website creation and maintenance can get complicated (but interesting!). It just depends on where your marketing campaigns take you, and how much time you want to spend on this aspect of your business.
If you are still hesitant about spending money, you can claim your two free websites and start out 100% for free, then move your stuff to a premium domain in the future.
3. How long does it take to begin making money?
This is a tough question to answer. It’s different for everyone.
If you’ve read my story, then you know it took me three months to make my first $5. Six after that, I could see sales coming in every couple of days. I made $4000 in my first year of online marketing (spent $600 on training). I quit my job after 18 months, and have been a full time online marketer for 3 years now.
Some people make money in their first week, some take 6+ months to crack the code. Other have some quick successes in the first few months, then crickets. (the ones that survive this are the people that strive to learn from mistakes and ask questions when they get stuck). What will your story be? You won’t know unless you try.
4. How much money can I make?
It had to be asked. And I know you won’t believe me when I tell you that you can make as much as you want.
I knew you wouldn’t believe me. Consider these facts
- There are 316 million people in the US but only 201 million currently shop online
- 1,400,000,000 was spend in online shopping last year (globally)
- Ecommerce sales are growing at 10% per year
- Mobile ecommerce shopping is still in its infancy
There are literally billions of people online, but more than 1/2 of the world does not have internet access right now. As more people get online, more people become comfortable shopping online, and everything gets faster/easier/safer, growth is unstoppable. You can be part of this amazing phenomenon by starting a simple website today.
How much money you make will depend on a few things. Here’s an expanded post I wrote recently on how long it takes to make money online.
- How much research you do before you start
- What your niche is
- What you promotion style is
- What products you promote, and what affiliate program you join
- How fast you work, and how fast you learn
- How scalable your business model is
- How you outsource, and how good you are at delegating tasks
If you’re scared by some of those terms because you’re not sure how they fit into internet marketing, don’t worry, it’ll start to become clear as you read more and get immersed in internet marketing culture. The point is that everyone has different levels of success.
5. What do I promote as an online marketer?
This is the question that took me a long time to answer when I first started looking for ways to make money online. I remember it being particularly frustrating that the guy whose webinars I was watching kept saying “grow your business”, or “make more money from your current customers”.
I just kept thinking…
I don’t have a business! I don’t have any customers! How the hell do I get started?
Basically, you can sell anything that has an affiliate program. Sometimes these are physical products like you see on Amazon. If this is the case, you can sell stuff from Amazon. There are also service based affiliate programs, which means you promote a service. This would probably be an independent site, but it works in basically the same way. You promote the service, and if someone signs up through you, you make a percentage.
Digital products are also very popular, and these will most likely be in the form of a ebook. Usually these teach someone how to do something. So maybe someone wrote a digital book on how to build a log cabin. If you sell one of these log cabin building ebooks, you make money! There are tons of different options to go with, and you’ll need to know how to do keyword research to find a product that can make you some money.
6. How do I rank in Google?
There is not real answer to this question. The truth is that no one knows. There are so-called “SEOs” out there that claim they have a ‘surefire’ way to rocket you to the number one spot in Google search.
I call BS on that. No one knows what Google’s algorithm is except Google.
And besides that, the way Google ranks pages changes many times during the year, so even if someone did figure out a ‘secret’ of how to rank, it probably won’t be useful for long. There are some techniques to get your content found more easily, and push you in the general direction of Google Page 1.
But much of your ranking is going to depend on how many people visit your site, how many people talk about it, leave comments on it, and link to you. So to answer your question as best as possible, to rank well in Google, you need to write high quality, engaging content, and interact with other people on and off your website.
7. This is hard. Is there an easier way?
Sorry, but building a business from scratch is hard. If you don’t want to work, you will not be successful at internet marketing.
This is the biggest disappointment that most people inevitably realize. No money comes fast and easy, even though there are plenty of people that would like you to believe that it does.
Even if you do enjoy a short round of profits from whatever $29.95 product that Mr. Guru just released exposing the secrets of turn-key internet marketing techniques (plus free bonuses, valued at $297)..bla..bla…bla… Those profits will be short lived. I encourage you to educate yourself, and build a real business; One that can be profitable for years to come. It’ll take time, effort, and commitment, but it is possible.
8. What should be my first step?
That’s an easy one. If you would like to read more about what my website is about, you can go here. If you want to join a free 5 day email course on niche marketing, go here. If you want to start building your first affiliate website right now go here.
9. How do I know you’re not a scammer?
That’s a tough question. I guess my response would be that I offer tons of stuff for free on the site. I show you how to build a free website, and how to get free affiliate training. You can also ask me anything you like on my website or in social media for free. You can see how I make money for free. How can I scam you if I don’t take any money?
There are some things I promote from time to time, but these are totally optional. I also try to be as transparent as possible about my affiliation with companies. In fact, I encourage you to try to do as much as you can for free before upgrading. That’s how it was when I got started.
10. Can you help me with something?
Yes! I’d love to! So many people have selflessly helped me during my transformation into an internet marketer, that I’d like to ‘pay it forward’ now, and help others.
Look for me inside the online business community Wealthy Affiliate. My screen name is nathaniell, and you can see if I’m there. If not, there are many other members who are ready and willing to help. I’m online basically all day (unless special circumstances come up), so you can also Tweet me or send me a message via Google+. Information is also in the contact form above.