Problogger: The Blog About Blogging
Problogger.com is the blog site about blogging. It offers lots of articles, some books, kits, a podcast, and more. It is a major resource for anyone who is exploring the idea of making money through blogging. While the podcast has current episodes, I was a little discouraged when I saw one of the top items for sale was the 2012 edition. In the age of the Internet, that’s pretty old. There is a book on Amazon by Problogger about blogging your way to 6-figures and that’s also a 2012 edition. What’s up with that?
I really wanted to buy something that draws from the current landscape but I guess eBooks and books are not big money makers. Apparently, the current thing is live events. Tickets run $97 to $500. If you can get to one of those events, that probably would be a pretty good thing to do. Unfortunately, I have filled this year’s conference quota, so no more events for me this year 🙁
Despite the age, I purchased the Kindle version of the book anyway after looking through a few of the pages. After spending several weeks immersed in Wealthy Affiliate’s training where they teach promoting affiliate programs through your own branded blog, I figured this would provide some additional motivation to finish my next assignment. I really like to read, especially when it’s content from experts like Darren Rowse.
Reading will only get you so far
I have to be honest and tell you, you can read about blogging for money, you can listen to podcasts, and even attend live events, but the “doing” part is what will stop the average person from ever becoming successful. Once I started WA, my eyes were open; this is a lot of work. I had no idea blogging as a business model was different than just being a writer. I am a writer but that’s not enough to make it in the pro blogging business.
If you do happen to purchase the book, you will soon realize that monetizing a blog is not something you accomplish over a weekend. It takes time and if you are learning from trial and error, that could end up being years. No thank you! I am going to finish my next assignment for WA and then sit down and read my book. An evening of reading is going to be my reward for rolling up my sleeves and getting some real work done.
Lessons Learned WA Style
I came to WA with tech skills. Building web sites and working with WordPress was not an issue for me. I skipped those lessons. From another program I am in, I learned about Yoast, an SEO plugin for WordPress that is absolutely amazing. I discovered the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) from taking a class from a guy who was creating close to 7-figures with his WordPress Blogs and an assortment o f niche affiliate programs. That got me to thinking, “hmm, I wonder if I could learn to do that?” I went to Google and did several searches until a stumbled upon Wealthy Affiliates. I was not looking for them specifically but after a few rounds of searches, I found out they taught the exact skills I wanted to learn. Below are the learning outcomes covered in just one of the two free modules they offer as part of the Free Starter Progam. If that seems like a lot, trust me, it feels like a lot, also. This program covers the A to Z of Affiliate Marketing using a blog for content marketing purposes.
My recommendation is for anyone interested in making money from blogging is:
- Get the Problogger book. It’s available on Amazon.
- Take a look at Problogger.com
- Learn more about Wealthy Affiliate’s Free Starter Program
What Is The Best Way To Make Money Online?
When a person asks, “what is the best way to make money online?” The truthful answer is … it depends. Not all people are suited to make money online. There is a learning curve to any path that leads to substantial income and making money online is no different. Therefore, I will address the question based on a few assumptions about your level of skills and interests:
- You have reasonable online skills. You can’t be like my sister who can’t remember how to delete her emails.
- You have to have an up-to-date computer. You can’t be like my friend who is still using Window’s XP.
- It’s good if you like technology and aren’t like someone I know who refuses to upgrade the old flip phone.
- Beyond having some basic skills and tools, you need to be willing to learn some new skills.
If you are the kind of person who is willing to learn to earn, then the best way to make money online is find a legitimate training program. Once you find the right program, immerse yourself in the learning process and diligently apply what you are learning. I am a techie and I have been playing on the Internet since the 90’s but I didn’t know how to make the money using these tools. I had to learn. The program I recommend covers A to Z so I am still learning more. You can go slow or you can go fast but if you want to see progress, you need to devote at least 5 hours a week to it.
Learning To Earn Money Online
Sometimes the learning process is a bit overwhelming and that’s the other thing I like about the program, the community is super helpful. There are real people there who are ready to jump in and answer your questions including the seasoned veterans. I help people with technical questions because those are the skills I am already brining to the table. Different people come in with different strengths and we have an community of mutual support. You don’t find that with most online training programs.
Every program will tell you the best case scenario for income potential but there’s always a chance you won’t make anything; that’s true for all businesses. But honestly, if you just want to make a few dollars here and there, you certainly don’t want to invest your time or money in training. However, if you are interested in serious income I want to tell you, there are options.
Recommended For People Who Want To Start Free
Learn How To Make Money Online
I’m in more than one program but the one I recommend is more suited for the person who want a step-by-step roadmap. It has the best training and lowest entry point (i.e. Free) and it is called Wealthy Affiliate. It’s basically about learning to create a really good blog and tie affiliate products to your content. You don’t have to be a great writer to make this work, but of course if you hate writing paragraphs, this probably won’t appeal to you. If you hate to write, skip done to the section on using Youtube videos.
Wealthy Affiliates has a free and premium training program and both include training and includes your websites. Of course, you can make money with the free program but you won’t get the advanced training which exposes the techniques that are used to create a real online business. Free members get two sites, premium get 50 along with other premium features. The free version is called a Starter Program for a reason; it let’s you get started, check out the program and determine if it’s right for you. What I like about this program is the training is exceptional and that compliment is coming from someone with a Master’s in Education with a specialization in Instructional Design.
A Good Investment That Doesn’t Break The Bank
There are some things I don’t like about the program but there is no such thing as a perfect anything. You can read my Wealthy Affiliate Review here. I really like the price point for the premium program; it’s 1/3rd of what I pay for a similar training program. That’s $49 versus $150; a big difference. Plus with the more expensive one I am paying over $1,500 for the coaching piece of the program. So you can see, I am getting similar features but the price point is way different.
WA is suited for people who want to make money by attaching income to what they already have a passion for. It’s about finding your preferred niche and then discovering affiliate programs that compliment it. Some niches are more profitable than others but the program really teaches you how to navigate this and make it work for you. Amazon is one of the largest affiliate programs and they sell literally millions of things. That is one place to explore as an example.
There are some many affiliate programs out there. Doll houses, Harley Davison fanatics, designer fashion, , appliances, vacation resorts, and the list goes on and on.
Your Niche + Relevant Affiliate Programs = Income
Large Affiliate Brands
Many large name brand stores have affiliate programs but there are also small boutique-like programs that you can explore. The reason I think this is the best way for a person to make money online is because you can tie it back to something you already love or are interesting in becoming an expert in. So much of what it takes to thrive as an online marketer of anything is taught in this program.Once you learn the skills you can set up multiple streams of income from multiple niches. I know someone who boasts, “I’m almost at a million a year.” He gave some insider tips and that’s when I realized he was using SEO skills to get his sites ranked in Google from each niche he was promoting. That’s when I set out to learn about SEO and then found this program.
Skills can be learned and with a well-designed program and learning community, it becomes a matter of following the road map that is provided to you.
- You can learn to create content that attracts buyers
- You can learn to get your content listed in the first few pages of Google (Search Engine Optimization)
- You can learn how to accelerate your earning and to scale your business up for more profits
You could start making money within 90 days and start earning money while you are learning these skills. I really like that aspect of the Wealthy Affiliates programs. It’s not like getting a degree where you invest four or more years, incur a large student loan in the process, and hope it pays off in the end.
Earn Money With YouTube Videos
Another option for those who are not camera shy is Youtube. However, it’s the same basic premise. You make videos that relate to your niche and the relevant affiliate programs you represent. This strategy is actually faster than blogging, however, it takes more effort and the learning curve is higher. Here is more information about a free training I am offering visitors.
When you combine blogging with YouTube video to drive traffic to your blog and affiliate offers, you have the best of both worlds. Even with YouTube, you have to know how to optimize your pages so they they are found when people are looking for help. You have to know how to do keyword research to know what people are searching for. You have to know how to evaluate the competition to know if and how to position yourself. Video Marketing is an advanced technique that is taught in Wealthy Affiliates. But if it’s where you want to start, then we have the perfect free training for you.
How To Learn Affiliate Marketing;
Get real training for real results
Many people are attracted to the idea of creating income from affiliate programs … but they cannot figure out how to learn affiliate marketing. There are many programs, courses, videos, and more than a few programs that suggest it’s the pathway to fast big money. While it’s not rocket science, it is a real skill and it involves online marketing skills that most programs gloss over or omit altogether. So let’s look deeper into the premise behind this question, “What is the best way to learn Affiliate Marketing?” The first thing is it presumes that Affiliate Marketing is a skill that can be learned and that is a true statement. No one is born knowing how to market.
There is more than one way to learn any skill and as I always say, there are many ways to pet the cat (we don’t skin cats because we are cat lovers :-). But if you are anything like me, you want fast, effective, and affordable to factor into the equation. Beyond that, a good program should include these five building blocks:
- Training that includes the tools, technologies, and systems to support your goals
- Training that lets you build a business that is congruent with your interests
- Training that is not just theory-based but shows you how to reach the right target audience
- Training that has an easy way for you to earn while you learn
- Training that includes good customer support and an engaged and helpful community made up of real people operating at different skill levels.
Let’s go deeper into each one:
1. Gives you the tools, technology, and training to build your own website
WordPress, an industry standard, is so customizable, it’s a pain in the a$$! Disclaimer: That’s my opinion and I’m a techy. But even I can’t deny it offers unquestionable benefits to both the newbie while still serving the needs of Fortune 500 companies; that’s why it’s the industry standard. However, smart Affiliate Marketers, we want the benefits without the headaches. The preferred training program teaches you everything you need to succeed and provides the platform to run your business on. The training is interesting and well-designed and offers interactive learning.
The ideal training program also includes the WordPress platform that is preconfigured for Affiliate Marketing. That means they have taken away the complexity and they are using the best hosting platform for reliability, speed, and security. Imagine building a beautiful, unique, mobile-responsive site that is specifically set up to be the hub for your Affiliate Marketing Business. Your website will become the Command Central. You will be learning the skills that will take you from novice to expert in a short amount of time.
2. Allows you find the niche that aligns with Your interests
There’s nothing as painful as learning to build a business that is based on something you don’t feel passionate about. What interests you? What is it that you have always wanted to take a deep dive into and understand it like an expert but never had a reason to. Do you have a mad-crazy skill that you are super proud of, or a hobby that gets you all juice up? There are MILLIONS of ways to connect your passion and interests to congruent Affiliate Programs. While Amazon is one of the most widely known, there are lots of others. Did you know affiliate program that offers luxury watches like Rolex? I sure didn’t.
Many large retail brands have Affiliate program. It’s easy to find the ones that fit your niche market
3. Teaches you how to attract targeted visitors to your site
Your goal before you try to make money with any website is to focus on getting actual people to that website. Without people, you have nobody to sell or advertise to. This is a critical aspect of your business. Within the first few lessons at Wealthy Affiliate you are going to learn all about the most current traffic techniques and how you can get an ABUNDANCE of relevant customers to your website by getting your site ranked high in all the search engines like Google, Bing & Yahoo. Premium members even learn how to market on platforms like YouTube, the second largest Search Engine, after Google.
4. Shows you how to earn revenue and lets your earn while you learn
Once you have defined a niche that has a viable audience, that means you are able to generate traffic to visit your site. Now comes the money part; create content that is relevant to your audience and sell them products/services that are congruent. One mamoth affiliate program is Amazon, how many things can you think of that might fit a certain niche market? You’d be surprised how many large brand store have affilaite programs and then there are the boutique type business that run their own affiliate programs. The best part is they are free to join, do not require you to buy anything or maintain a monthly autoship. All you have to do is get good at creating relevant content, attracting your niche audience, and making congruent offers. Of course, I have made it sound super simple but that’s basicaly how it works in nutshell.
Affiliate programs allow you to sell almost anything without having the expense of buying products to sell or creating products to sell. No inventory. No shipping. No product support. And you can be literally run your business from any place at any time. But there is a learning curve and there are marketin skills you must master before this model will pay off for you.
5. Fosters a learning community where there are real people and real support
Humans learn faster in groups. Even when they are at working through different levels of a common topic, there is something wired into us that lets us strive and thrive together. For many, the Internet has brought greater isolation from which actually slows down our personal development. Technology should not separate us but bring us together. You will be inspired by those who have already mastered certain skills and you will have an opportunity to be an inspiration to others to.
A strategy that works
Are You Looking For A Real Answer?
If yes, read on.
When a person is genuinely looking for how they can learn Affiliate Marketing, they are likely to have many starts and stops until they find the right vehicle. Master marketing is not a theory-based exercise, you have to jump in and quickly apply what you are learning before the skill becomes fruitful. The best way to learn Affiliate Marketing is not by watching a collection of YouTube videos on the subject. There are great tutorials on YouTube but tutorials don’t lead to mastery especially when applied to complex subjects like marketing.
There is the knowledge base and then there is the practical application that must come together seamlessly. I have invested thousands of dollars trying to wrap my mind around the subject and quite honestly, I came out those training more confused than when I started them.
At first, I thought it was me but then I looked around and saw many of my struggling entrepreneur friends facing the same challenges. This is the conclusion I came to; many self-proclaimed gurus learned their skills years ago when the Internet was in its infancy and spam was not spam and AOL was the new hot thing. They built up enough momentum and massive email lists that they were able to leverage for years. They formed joint ventures and started teaching their methods to the masses but many times, those methods no longer worked.
The best way to learn Affiliate Marketing
These days, there are some Marketers who realize two years on the Internet is like a decade and things change really fast. The best way to learn affiliate marketing then becomes more a question finding the best programs. Plugging into learning community that leverages the right technology platforms and keeps their training current is key. The driving forces like Google, YouTube, Facebook are constantly changing the rules of engagement and you have to be able to change with them.
I want to tell you, I think I have “Googled” up on a very attractive solution … drum roll, platform. The best way to learn Affiliate Marketing and really get it right at the ridiculously low price range of $0 to $49/mo is my best recommendation. WA is a formal training program for Affiliate Marketing, period. They are constantly updating their program and their platform is geared toward average people who know how to read, follow directions, watch a training video, point the mouse, click a button, and ask for help when they need it.
There’s absolutely no reason to try to untangle this complex subject on your own when WA have been doing it for over 10 years and getting it right. 800,000+ students over ten years is a pretty good track record.
It is my opinion that WA is the best way to learn Affiliate Marketing. But don’t take my word for it, sign up for free and create your first two niche affiliate marketing sites, make some money, and decide for yourself. By the way, when you sign up with me, you also get my personal support. This is a learning community where you are not expected to do it all on your own. Have you signed up for my SEO Marketing Guide for Affiliate Marketers yet? If not, that’s just one of many resources I offer to support those who want to learn to make money online. Request your copy by visiting the home page.
For additional information on the secret to successful Affiliate Marketing, check out the article, “Seo Marketing for Affiliate Marketer: The Secret Sauce”.
Marketing funnels are not new but when you build one for online marketing, there are some basic guidelines. The top of the funnel (TOFU) is about awareness. The visitor may or know they have a problem or a need and they don’t know what solutions are out there. They are searching for information and are not necessarily ready to buy anything just yet. Then there is the middle of funnel (MOFU) where the buying is evaluating solutions to see which is the best. You can’t rush them to make a decision but give them the right information so that when they compare your solution to others’ it stands out as the best one. Finally, we get to the bottom of the funnel (BOFU). This is the place where you give them the set of incentives and motivation to click the buy button.
Here’s a common problem, your marketing message or ad is an TOFU ad but you sent them to a MOFU article on your website. The incongruence is experienced by the site visitor and they are likely to leave and go find someone who will provide TOFU information they are looking for. If you have people clicking through and bouncing from your page, check to see if there is for congruence issues. The fix may be as simple as changing the ad or, alternatively, changing where the ad sends the visitor.