How long does it take to make money?
I have put this question first as it is really what we all want to know isn't it! Internet marketing needs to be considered as you would any other business. You wouldn't expect to open a corner grocery store and become a millionaire within a few months - would you?
Internet marketing is a business, not a get rich quick scheme. But yes you can work from home in your pyjamas, you can set your own schedule, you can make as much money as you want, yes you can make money while you sleep.
But let's be honest here, we both know that there isn't any such thing as free money. Those who peddle that you will be given a new laptop or the latest iPhone and make $1000 by "investing" $20 are a scam. I can't make it clearer than that.
If you have a case of "shiny object syndrome" you are bound to lose your money, and worse case scenario you will be arrested for fraud as an unsuspecting colleague of mine found out recently. You can read her story here - The online scam that almost ruined my life.
But not all internet marketing is a scam and you can build a profitable, ethical online business empire which will make you passive income for the rest of your life.
Back to the question - how long does it take?
When I was thinking about this blog I wanted to answer all your questions with definite answers, but this question is a little tricky because so much depends on you.
Building an affiliate marketing website takes time. It takes time to write your blogs. If like me you work full-time as well as running an online business you might only crank out two blogs a week. The suggested amount of blogs for your site to begin having any real authority is 100.
So you can see it's going to take you 50 weeks, basically a year if you get 2 blogs a week written. Now of course if you can do more, or if you are lucky enough to be building your website as a full-time job, you might get a blog a day written and posted.
You've just cut down the time to say 4 months, you might want to have a day off at some stage 🙂
The 100 blogs is also only a guesstimate. In some niches you might need many more than 100, likewise in some micro-niches you might start seeing traffic and sales with a lot less.
So really it just depends.
The more popular your niche, as is the case with my site here in the make money online space, the competition is quite fierce. Many websites need upwards of 200 blogs to start gaining any traction in Google and the other search engines.
Don't let this deter you. I consider the Rat Race site to be my retirement plan. I enjoy writing the blogs and I know one day this site will be the "go too" site for those who want to leave the rat race and are starting their journey in affiliate marketing. I'm OK if it take a couple of years to start showing some profit.
My other site, which provides information to new horse owners, is again a fairly popular niche but it starting to gain traction and sales only 6 months in and with not quite 50 blogs.
So you see it really does depend on the niche you choose and the time you are able to dedicate to getting your business up and running.
Before I leave this question I just want to say that online marketing/affiliate marketing can pay you handsomely but you need to go into it with your eyes firmly on the prize.
Apart from just your efforts a website needs time to mature. You can't speed up time! There is simply no way to make this component go any faster.
The search engines want to see that your site has some longevity before they start picking up your blogs and ranking them higher. Once your site has been around say 12 months, you will find your blogs rank higher, faster and attract the desired amount of traffic to start making some serious money.
So bottom line I suggest you need to be willing to give your new business 12 months of good solid effort before you judge whether it is working for you.
I have included some success stories from my colleagues below so you can see that making substantial amounts of money is possible if you learn the ropes and build your business the right way.
Click on the images to read the full blogs from each of these affiliate marketers.
What is affiliate marketing really?
Affiliate marketing is simply promoting products or services to potential buyers on the internet. If they click through your link and purchase a product you get a commission.
The beauty of this is that there is no major capital outlay to start your own business.
- You do not need to buy and hold stock
- You don't need a warehouse
- You don't need to make your own products
- You don't handle any cash
- You don't need to freight anything or deal with returns on stock
How much easier can it get to start your own business?
You simply build a website about a topic you are passionate about. And I mean any topic, nothing is off limits when it comes to profitable affiliate sites.
It could be fly fishing in South Africa, growing your own organic herbs, living with anxiety etc.. The list is endless,
Wouldn't it be fantastic to go to work everyday and talk about your hobby or passion? How good would it feel to be making a difference in people's lives and really helping them?
This is what your website will do. You will provide people with the information they are searching for within your topic, or as we call it your niche.
Sometimes that might be products you have tried and can recommend, sometimes it might be what you experienced just last weekend within your niche, or sometimes it might be lessons you have learnt along the way.
Your website will become a hub of information that people turn to within your chosen area. You will build trust and people will buy through your site because of that.
It really is as simple as that. If you would like more information you can check out my Ultimate How To Affiliate Marketing Guide which provides a full rundown on affiliate marketing.
What skills or education do I need?
If this is your first time at online marketing, building websites and blogging for profit you will need to learn some skills to make it pay. There are many stories of people who have tried and failed because they didn't have the knowledge to make their blogs work for them.
If you are building a website simply for fun then maybe you can just bang out a post and set if free on the internet ... BUT if you want to monetise your work then you need to know how to do it and how to do it efficiently and effectively.
Otherwise all your work will be for nothing.
You don't need to come into the business with previous knowledge, affiliate marketing empires are being built by truck drivers, dentists, plumbers, nurses, grandmas and white collar workers to name a few.
Affiliate marketing if perfect for everyone because if you have a hobby or a passion you can monetise your knowledge through online marketing.
There are many online education portals where you can learn the ropes of affiliate marketing. Some are quite expensive and will even build a website for you from scratch and then you take it over.
I don't recommend this path, because you still need to learn the skills to keep your new business ticking over.
Building an affiliate site should be based on your passion, which is one of the reasons I don't recommend buying an off the shelf site.
Your business should be personalised to you. It should feature your authentic self and if you grow your business from the ground up you will have a more thorough understanding of the process so that you can rinse and repeat as often as you choose.
I have written a thorough Guide to affiliate marketing which also explains what and where I learnt the intricacies of online marketing. This platform has such thorough training which guides you step by step from the very beginning through to growing and monetising your site.
You also get started on building your website right from the very first lesson, it is very hands on and you can progress as quick or as slowly as you like.
You don't need to take my word for it, you can do the first 10 lessons for free to try it out and see what you get.
Building a website is simple once you understand the processes and as I said anyone can do it and be successful.
If you would like more information on where I recommend you start click on the link below:
How much does it cost?
The platform I recommend is free to start. They do offer a Premium membership and exactly what you get for your money plus all current membership fees are explained in the Guide - just click on the button above.
This includes hosting up to 50 websites, all the training you need, access to a community of like-minded people to share your successes and bounce ideas off plus so much more.
Suffice to say it is the best platform I have found to build and grow your online marketing business and it's cheap.
Are you prepared to commit $1 per day to run your business which can free you from your 9-5 job and give you the income you want?
What if I have never blogged before?
Neither had I when I started. You don't need to be a writer or have fantastic spelling and grammar skills to write a blog - that's what spell check is for!
You will write as I am now, as if I am talking to a friend. You don't need big fancy words, you definitely don't want to come across as if you have swallowed a thesaurus (unless your niche is English Literature I suppose).
People like people, they want to feel like they connect with you and that you are offering them something of value.
Think about a website or social media page you enjoy, maybe one you go back to time and time again. What do they have?
- Information you want provided in an entertaining and/or understandable way
- An easy to navigate site which is enjoyable to read
- You trust them and the information they provide
That's it! And you can do that too. All it takes is to be authentic, don't pretend you are something you are not. Write from your heart with the passion you have for your subject.
Your readers want information. They have questions and you have answers.
You might provide a warts and all account of a bad weekend fly fishing. Your audience want to know what works and also what doesn't. They want to know you are a real person, who fails and they can learn from your experiences.
Don't get hung up on not being a writer. The best blogs come from the heart and if you are passionate about your subject matter then your blogs will come from the heart.
The other phenomena which continues to see huge growth is video blogs. So if you are happier in front of a camera than writing you can draw visitors to your site and monetise your videos once you know the right way.
One of my very first mentors was Brian Dean from Backlinko fame. He is the absolute master of website SEO and he also teaches how to rank your You Tube videos.
For a sneak peak on how you do it and to give you a taste of how video can work for you check out his video below:
How do you find affiliate partners?
There are literally thousands of affiliate partners our there. From very small individual businesses to affiliate networks. Once you have determined what your niche will be you will probably have products or services in mind that you want to promote through your site.
Now you need to find a partner who will pay you to market their products.
Probably the biggest player is Amazon. Through their Amazon Associates program you can feature and promote any of their products.
Amazon are particularly good in that they are a trusted platform, so when your reader clicks through and finds themselves at Amazon they are more likely to continue to make a purchase.
Amazon also offer site wide cookies, so if your reader clicks on a link for say a fly fishing lure that you have recommended but then goes on to buy a new shirt, you get commission on the shirt also.
Amazon does have its pit falls for new sites though. You need to make 3 individual sales within the first 180 days. Now initially this may not sound like much to achieve, but if you join early on when you have very little traffic to your site not everyone achieves these 3 sales.
What happens then can be quite time consuming as all your Amazon links will cease to work. This leaves you with finding other similar products or merchants to replace Amazon.
You can reapply once your traffic increases, so it is not the end of the world, just inconvenient really. Just something to keep in mind when you are choosing your affiliate partners.
There are plenty of partners in every niche. Simply google "your niche" + affiliate partners or "a product" + affiliate partners. You will be amazed at how many there are.
All good affiliate programs should be free to join. You should not be paying for the privileged of marketing their products. If you need to pay to join then run for the hills. As I said there are plenty of other options, do your research and find great partners.
You may be working with them for years to come and a great relationship is essential, not only for you but for your target audience also.
Do you have more questions?
I will be adding to this blog as I think of other questions I had at the start of my journey and you can also contribute. If you have a question you would like answered comment below and I can then include it in the blog.