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Making money online

Making money online. It may sound like a scam. And some of the information you find on the internet is actually quite scammy. If you are lured into paying 77$ to access some secret information you're probably dealing with a pyramid scheme. Someone will be making money, but it's unlikely going to be you. These programs are also into using the number 7 a lot, to associate with luck. And for Asians they probably use the number 8 a lot. I have personally started my attempts with passive income back in 2007 or so.

At first I had some silly attempts to put ads on my personal blog, guaka.org. Almost no on clicked the ads. I didn't really understood why, back then. Now I have some ideas about why. No one looking to buy anything was ending up on my blog. To make money you need to become the middle man.

My next attempt was Cashwiki. That's right, the website you're looking at now. Well, slightly different today. I had set up Trashwiki after my friend Robin asked me to, and I thought, it'd be cool to make money. Trash, Cash, it rhymes. So why not. Cashwiki had some visitors, even some more people beside me who were editing, and I was very excited when one day I made 8 euros through AdSense. Unfortunately that was the best day evaaarrr for Cashwiki, to date. (That may change soon because. Keep reading.)

Make money with Google Adsense

One of the easiest ways to make money with a website is through Google's AdSense program. You make money if a visitor clicks on an ad and you get a payment as soon as you reach 100$, 70€ or some similar kind of money in your country. These are the steps involved:

  • Get traffic to your site, ideally through compelling content
  • Sign up with adsense
  • Put adsense ads on pages with lots of traffic
  • Try to get more traffic
  • Try to optimize ad positioning

Here's a so-called responsive ad unit from AdSense. This has definitely become my favorite format, since it adapts to various devices. It will look ok, whether you open it on a desktop, tablet or mobile phone.

You can put up to three such units per page, which sometimes contain text, and sometimes images.
There are also link units. You can add another 3 per page. Here's a 200x90 link ad:

Make money with affiliate marketing

I would really recommend to start with AdSense, since it's the most straightforward. Once you have managed to make some money with AdSense it's time to start thinking about affiliate. Affiliate marketing is slightly more complex but you can make a lot more money this way. Usually you get paid for a sale or a lead. This means there's another step involved. Someone merely clicking on such an advertisement will not make you any money. There are exceptions: some affiliate programs pay per click, but you usually get paid much less than what you would get from Google Adsense.

With sales a percentage is very common, between 2% and 10% is usual. For more spammy products such as e-books, e-cigarettes or online casinos you can sometimes even get more than 50%. It's also not uncommon to see a fixed amount, especially with financial products such as insurances and mortgages. The money is not bad here, when someone signs up for an online trading account you can make 200 USD.

Leads are paid a bit less but your chance of getting a lead is a lot better. Someone doesn't actually have to buy the product, they merely have to leave their data (in theory, some merchants have a differing opinion). 5$ or 3,50€ leads are common. But also higher numbers, again for financial products. I've seen 67,50€ for some insurance leads. The merchant will of course be picky about the quality of leads.

My experience with affiliate networks

To make money with affiliate marketing you usually go through an affiliate network. In most cases the procedure is as follows:

  1. You sign up with a specific website. Use a website with the most relevant traffic.
  2. You wait.
  3. Hopefully you are accepted. In this case you can apply to specific programs. You apply for specific programs.
  4. You wait.
  5. Hopefully you are accepted for one or more programs. Now you can finally start promoting.
  6. You wait.
  7. You get your first lead or sale. Good times. You can improve the website (and page) that is likely to have scored the lead.

Yes, affiliate marketing requires some patience. You won't be making big bucks right away. But it IS possible.

The various affiliate networks

I see a lot of possible improvements in each networks. The UI/UX of each network could be improved a lot.

TradeTracker

Only for EU countries really.
Sign up with TradeTracker.nl.

Do you want my help?

Some of the links to affiliate networks are affiliate links. If you use them I will get a percentage of your proceedings. That is, you will get 100% of what you earn, and I will get e.g. 5% of that same sum for a period. If you use these links I will be more than happy to help you increase your earnings. Contact me if you are interested.

This is a work in progress. To be continued.

Further reading

Deutsch

ohnegeld.net: Geld verdienen im Internet

français

sansargent.fr: Gagner de l'argent par internet