Monday, July 2, 2007

How to Make Money With an Information Website

How to Make Money With an Information Website
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The Internet has been life changing for me over the past few years. I now earn enough to stay at home full-time and never dreamed I'd have this kind of success online.

How can you earn a living from a website like me?

Simply pick a topic you love and write a website about it. All you need is information. You don't even have to have your own product or service to sell.

The more passionate you are about the topic, the easier it will be to keep adding information and expanding the site. The larger the site, the more it will benefit you in terms of free search engine traffic and revenue. You'll see why in a bit.

I earned over SIX FIGURES on the Internet
in 2005 and 2006. And it looks like 2007 will be another record-breaking year.

I didn't put that message up to brag. I want to show you that it is possible to make an honest living online without spamming or scamming people. All you need is time and the desire to learn.

Yes, I did invest some money (I paid for my websites, of course) but time was the biggest investment of all by far. And I will tell you now, if you don't plan to invest in either, then this is not for you.

Any business requires an investment of time and money, whether it's online or offline. There's a reason you don't read stories about people quitting their jobs and living off their MySpace or FaceBook websites.

While these free hosts are popular, they aren't ideal for building a long-term web business. There are too many restrictions and the search engines don't rank you well. Trust me, I used to own a free site, and it's no coincidence it's resting in peace now. :-)

You won't make much money unless you can generate free search engine traffic. That's why it's so important you create your site with the right foundation. Free is definitely the wrong way because you will get ignored by Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Another point I'd like to make is that I didn't start spending much money until I was actually making it. As I said, I did invest in my website but that was about it. Keep in mind I was only 21 at the time, so I didn't have a lot to begin with in the first place.

I can now say however... it has all paid off. Literally and figuratively.

I've worked hard over the years. Very hard. In fact, I still do even though the money is rolling in now. I sacrificed many evenings, weekends, holidays, etc. to devote to this venture.

I'm constantly reading, adding new information to my sites, researching and observing what others are doing to stay ahead of the curve. However, the best part about it is, it doesn't feel like real work because I thoroughly enjoy it.

That is important and unfortunately most people don't get that part of it. They believe that the desire to make money will be enough motivation to become successful.

It's not.

If that were the case, everyone would have a successful money-making website. I mean, who doesn't want to make a lot of money, right?

The money is only a result of doing what you enjoy!

It's not the other way around. If you don't enjoy it, you won't be successful because you'll eventually get burned out.

So many of my friends and family want to try this because they are fascinated by the money. That's great...but you still have to enjoy yourself. Money cannot be your only motivation.

You'll never meet a successful Internet entrepreneur that says, "I hate spending time updating my website and learning how to market on the Internet, but I'm still making $300,000 per year with my site."

The people that are successful out here enjoy themselves and work at this continuously, and they chose a website topic they are passionate about.

The Truth...

Let me be honest. The online world is not for everyone. Many people don't want or even have the time to spend in front of their PC going through the learning curve, researching, writing content, etc.

However, if you have some time and don't mind could clean up out here. However, don't expect to spend one hour a month on this and make $100,000 a year.

You have to set realistic goals and understand that the earnings will start out small. Mine certainly did. My first check in 1998 was for $14.95. But it was all I needed to make me believe "I can do this!"

No Get Rich Schemes Here!

If you're looking for a get-rich-quick-scheme, this is not the place. I don't care how other websites make it seem, there is no such thing as quick money. Please don't believe the hype.

I roll my eyes at many of these websites that scream phrases like, "Make Millions Overnight!" They are usually run by people who have never made a dime.

Nevertheless, they want you to spend your hard-earned dollars on a "how-to-course" that they haven't even bought or used themselves. They just earn a commission if you buy what they have to offer.

Well, before you spend money on any of these products, be sure to ask the website owner to show you some proof of their success. Can they show you any of their checks they've received like I can?

Make sure they can also explain exactly what you have to do.

I don't know about you, but if I'm going to learn how to make money out here, I'd want to learn from someone who is actually succeeding - not from someone selling a cheesy course they haven't even used or read themselves.

How It Works

The Internet is the information highway. Everyday millions of people go to Google, MSN and Yahoo to perform searches on anything from potting plants to investing stocks.

People want information and the way you can benefit from this is to build a website that gives people what they are looking for.

Achieve a top 5 ranking in the major search engines for popular keyword phrases and you can really rack in a ton of free traffic like I've been doing.

The money comes in with affiliate programs. These are programs that are offered by companies that pay website owners to refer their products.

Generally, they pay a certain percentage for every sale that comes in as a result of your site's referral. has one and it's very popular among website owners.

So let's say you have an information website on baby toy safety. Your site is #3 in when someone types in "safe baby toys" and other related terms.

On your site, you've written various reviews on various toys based upon your own experiences. The more content you have, the greater the chance you'll be found in the search engines for free.

To earn money, you could join the free affiliate program and when you recommend various toys for parents, eToys will pay you a percentage for every sale your site refers. (Companies provide a special tracking link to use on your site so they know when your site generates a sale).

You could also join's free affiliate program and recommend their books on baby safety. Amazon doesn't pay very high commissions (3-5% on most products), but if you refer large volumes, the commissions can add up.

Google's Free Affiliate Program

Thank goodness for programs like Google Adsense. This is a slightly different type of affiliate program because you don't have to get your visitors to buy anything.

You simply help Google advertise by displaying some text ads on your pages and they pay you for every click each ad receives. Thanks to Google's technology the ads that will be displayed match your site's content.

So if your site is about baby toys, the ads that show up will relate to that topic, thus improving the click-thru percentage. The more pages of content you have, the greater the earning potential for programs like this.

I use Adsense on three of my websites and I am quite pleased with the results. As of October, 2006, my checks average about $1700 per month.

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