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One of the first questions every new starter wants to know is: What’s the quickest and easiest way to make money on the internet? That’s a little like walking into an interview and asking “How much do I get paid, how big is the bonus, how many days holiday do I get and what other perks are there” straight up.

You ain’t going to get the job.

If you want to make as much as you can using nothing other than your fingertips, then you have to treat it like a real business and learn these key skills.

Two Skills You Must Master on the Internet

I don’t take any credit for this because it’s the basis of all business. The only way you’ll ever make any money is by bringing together an offer and a buyer.

They are the only two things you need to make money.

How much money you’ll make boils down to how many people you can put in front of your offer and how good that offer is.

The two skills you have to master (and stick to your desk) are TRAFFIC and CONVERSIONS.

If you’re an affiliate you focus on driving traffic to a page and getting as many people as possible to click thru and buy whatever you’ve got on offer.

If you’re a product creator you focus on driving traffic to your sales page and making sure the offer is as sexy and irresistible as possible.

If you work in a grocery store you focus on getting people through your door and getting them to jam as much stuff as possible into their basket before checking-out.

TRAFFIC and CONVERSIONS should become your area of expertize. And if they’re not… then you got to find someone who is an expert and get them to do it for you (eg. affiliates to drive traffic or copywriters to write yours sales messages).

So next time you’re checking out some shiny new guide to ‘making money overnight’ you can bet your bottom dollar everything comes back to traffic and conversions.  Sure that shiny object might talk about Facebook, Google+, getting to number 1 on Google or whatever….

… Ultimately it ALL comes back to bringing an offer and a buyer together – an exchange of value – to make you some money.

Time to talk about the two most popular business models online…

A Good Business Model & Great Place to Start: Affiliate Marketing

The beauty as an affiliate is you can focus purely on traffic and conversions.

Your job is to get as many visitors as possible to click on your links and visit the product you are promoting. It might be a physical product (think Amazon associates) or a digital product. It might even be a CPA offer (cost per acquisition) where you get paid for sending a lead instead of a sale.

It might be a combination of the above.

Something I’m thinking of (but yet to do) is build an Amazon based fitness site reviewing specific products, build an email list so I can follow-up and then promot a combination of offers. For example, promote the physical product, eBooks and digital products as well as CPA offers).

As an affiliate you can drive traffic using SEO, paid advertising, your email list, social media etc etc… it doesn’t really matter where it comes from – traffic is your job.

Typical examples of affiliate marketing are:

  • Review websites on Amazon products (HDMI cables, treadmills, headphones etc)
  • Tightly focused niche blogs providing information (eg. acne, Forex, fat loss) and adding links to products that will provides more detailed information.
  • List building and email marketing where you pre-sell a product and link to the sales page
  • Banner advertising to drive hoards of traffic to a landing page where you pre-sell a product (eg. colon cleanse)

Conversions come into play by watching which traffic sources convert best and which webpages or emails make the most sales. You might be using banners ads from two different websites and find that one works well while the other burns your money.

You might have two reviews of the same kitchen sink on sale at Amazon and find one gets more clicks through to Amazon.  You keep the best review and ditch the worst one.

When you’re starting out it’s best to focus on ONE market, ONE niche and ONE traffic source. The biggest mistake people make is seeing failure as failure instead of the learning process. When a baby learning to walk fails over, they don’t quit and find another mode of transport, they get back up and keep trying.

It’s the same online.  Experience is the ULTIMATE teacher.

For the newb starting out, affiliate marketing is a great place to start out and build experience. You learn to drive traffic, improve conversions and get a foothold in Internet Marketing. Plus you’ll if you write your own content on your niche you’ll also become an expert in that area which leads nicely to product creation.

Make EVEN More Money with Product Creation

As an affiliate you have no product, no customer support, no refunds and no stock to hold (if you’re promoting physical products). You focus on traffic and conversions. It’s a good way to test a niche and find out if you can make money before creating your own product.

As a product creator you’ve got research the market, find a need and create a hot product. Then you have to fulfil the orders, set up a website and start getting it to convert (selling). If that puts you off then think about this…

I remember reading:

“For everyone one super-affiliate I’ll show you tens of wealthier Clickbank vendors and product creators”.

Here’s the deal. As a product creator you can get up to 100% of the money paid straight to your bank account or you can choose to share it with affiliates – this is where it gets interesting.

You create a $37 product and pay affiliates $20 commission for selling it, you only keep $17. Now you go find 100 affiliates and they start driving traffic to your product. Only 10 of them are any good at driving traffic. Say eight of them make 1 sale. The other two make 5 sales each.

That’s 12 sales. Eight affiliates make $20 today, two affiliates make $100 and you make $306.

You did all the work upfront creating the product and let affiliates take care of the day to day issue of sending you traffic — the lifeblood of your business. All you have to do now is keep recruiting affiliates, keep them happy with decent sized commissions and make sure your product converts.

Of course you can always be your own affiliate too, drive your own traffic and keep 100% of the money!

For the majority of us, creating our own physical product is likely to be pretty tough which means creating digital products more realistic. Since all you’re selling is electrons that can be downloaded (think MP3, MP4 or an eBook) you can easily create them at home with your computer and sell online.

No stock to hold and close to 100% profit on the sales.

What kind of digital products do you sell?

You become an info-marketer and sell information solutions based on experience or research. Say you’re a Karate instructor, you go create a product on self-defense. If you’re a driving instructor, then strategies to learn quicker or pass easier. If you’re a parent… parenting tips for expecting mothers.

We all have knowledge and answers to problems other people would gladly pay for.  It might save them time, money, pain, embarrassment or all of them.

For example, my mom has arthritis and over the years she’s read nearly every book there is… I bet she could save someone else a ton of time, money and pain by sharing her best tips in one simple eBook they can download today.

There’s an idea for you!

Finally… Learn to Follow-Up!

Back in the day I used to be a mortgage broker. As soon as someone rang up we took their telephone number and email address.  It meant we could contact them again tomorrow, next week, next month or next year.

We could contact them and see if we could help them out whenever we wanted.

Think about your own buying habits.  Do you buy first time or do your research?  Do you buy on websites or after receiving an email?

Me, I buy after research and often after repeated exposure.  That’s why learning to follow-up is so important and a big key to financial success.  We’re talking list building and email marketing.

When you have an email list you have traffic on demand.  Write an email, include a link and push send.  That’s all you have to do to drive hoards of traffic where ever you want on the internet.

The ‘industry average’ of $1 per month per subscriber means if you have 1000 people on your list, you’re set to make $1000 per month.

[Note: Don’t believe everything you read, 97% of statistics are made up plus your earnings will vary according to traffic source, the relationship you have with your list and your niche].

As an affiliate you want to make sure you  capture the email address of as many visitors as possible.  Then you can sell your affiliate products until they buy, die or unsubscribe.  This is especially important if you’re paying for traffic where you need to see a return to keep your business afloat.

Think back to the example above about building an affiliate site in the fitness industry.

Some dude visits your site to read a review on the XYZ treadmill then joins your list to get your Free Treadmill Buyers report.  He doesn’t have enough money today because he gets paid next week.  You keep emailing, he keeps reading and when he gets paid, guess who’s affiliate link he buys the treadmill through?

Or he decides a treadmill is too expensive but a week later you email a tip about fat burning workouts with a link to a $67 digital course on exercising without equipment.  He buys, you get paid.  Win-win result.

PLUS you can continue to sell to him in the future.  Equipment, guides, reports, supplements etc etc…

Product creators have a big advantage over affiliates.

Product creators have an email list is made up of people who have spent money and bought their product.  Customers who have  spent money once, are likely to do so again.  If you’re product was good then they’ll be happy to buy from you again or buy something you recommend.

That’s why the best affiliates are often product creators.

It’s because product creators have a list of buyers.  Affiliates usually have a list made up of people only interested in free information mixed up with people prepared to spend money.  That’ doesn’t mean it’s not profitable, it’s just less likely to make as much money per subscriber.

For this reason, affiliates with successful niches sites should consider creating their own product, paying someone to create a product or find a partner to help them out.  That partner might even be the owner of the product they are producing because while product creators have the lions share or the earning, good affiliates drive the traffic and that can equal a lot of power!

Final Thoughts & Finishing Up!

If you’re serious about making money on the internet, quitting ye olde day job you need to start seeing the bigger picture.  Learn that it’s not about finding THE best way to make money online because affiliate marketing, product creation and other method are all lucrative in their own right and (more importantly) complement each other.

Remember what I said about the best affiliates being product creators?

To start with it’s vital that you stick to one market, one niche, one traffic source and at least get real results before moving on.  Failure in this game isn’t a permanent thing, it’s feedback, data and something to work with.

Regardless of business model, you must remember

Traffic x Conversions = Money

But…

Traffic x Conversions + Follow Up = Even More Money

Learn to drive traffic (or get affiliates to do it) then improve your conversions by making your ad copy, websites and offers better then learn to follow-up and sell even more ‘stuff’.

Focus on this key points and you can’t go far wrong!

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