(photo credit: Sense Toys)
The short, simple way to making money online - but don't say it was easy finding it...
Bear with me here, because this will probably be refined on the fly.
Right now, this is the probable sequence to getting started in making money online:
- This assumes you have an Internet connection you can use.
- Get a PayPal account and link it to your bank account.
- Find or make something that you know helps people improve their lives.
- Get a domain name - something you think people can remember easily, preferably a ".com" ending.
- Get some web hosting with cPanel.
- Transfer your domain name to that webhost.
- Set up a WordPress blog at root (/public_html). Install the minimal plug-ins to keep it safe. (You'll be tweeking it later, right now, let's just get it running.)
- Set up OSCommerce in a subdirectory to that blog.
- Get these linked with Google Analytics, and Quantcast.com
- Get your product listed that ecommerce engine. (Yeah, I know out of the box OSC's not something to rave about, but again - you'll be tweaking it later.)
- Start blogging useful stuff about your product. Like a review, or a guide, or "10 things you didn't know about..."
- Get out into the social media world and find out what people are saying about the problem you have that solution for. Help them out without mentioning (except subtly) that you have the solution. Just open-handed help. Leave your easy-to-remember domain name everywhere you comment (as part of the sign-up, not ever "Visit my site: ______" which never works.)
- Make sure that all your social profiles are listed at your domain name, so everyone can find everywhere else you visit.
- Keep blogging, keep helping people out - get yourself known for being a trusted authority for that particular solution.
- Check your Analytics to see who is coming where and how. Check quantcast.com to find out everything about them.
- Now tweak your site to make it easier for people to find your solution. Make it look nicer while you're at it.
- Go back to blogging and helping people with your comments.
- Check your analytics once a week, tweak, rinse, repeat. (Your mileage may vary.)
And, yes, you could do this with free sites - host your products on Lulu or CafePress - or just sell affiliate products through ClickBank or Commission Junction. In that case, you could use a free blog (like Blogger) and a computer at the local library. (This has been named "Bum Marketing" - as even a homeless person could do it. --Just have the commission checks sent to the library while you're at it...)
But the analytics for that are trickier, and people respect a real domain name - plus you'll be able to expand it.
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Anyone have a simpler way than the two above?