Thursday, October 18

A Conversation With Clevon - Making Money Online

fancy momblog organic dish
You want to make money online. We all do. If you can just record yourself getting hit in the junk by a cute kid standing with a baseball bat next to a kitten, people will share your awesome video, and then...nothing. No money, because you need subscribers, not just one shared video. Sure, you might get some subscribers who hope you'll continue your jackassery, but they'll mostly fall away when you don't have that next hilarious video. Or, you might think, "Hey, I could write this awesome blog about Jacksonville, and everyone will want to read what I have to say." Not even close. Some people will read it, but most will not. You can make a few bucks on Google ads, but it's not a living. So when Clevon, a local man with an idea about creating a unique website wanted to talk, we discussed the possibility of making money online. I figure since I gave him a lot of advice for free, I might as well pass some along to you.

Adsense - The Easiest
Let's assume you don't have an obnoxious number of subscribers on Youtube, so it's not an option. That's most of us. Adsense is the easiest ad platform for you to at least cash a check once in a while. You sign up, get ad codes, paste them onto your website, and watch the cash t-r-i-c-k-l-e in. Adsense is really best for people like me, who write all the time, have several websites, and have at least a few articles that appear in Google searches. Google knows what to advertise to people, too, so you'll get some clicks for something completely unrelated to your writing, just because the reader once searched for something else. The problem is, as I explained to Clevon, you're looking at maybe $10 for 3,000 reads of your content. At least that was my latest average.

Amazon - Specific
As the biggest seller online, Amazon is a good ad program to have. You can choose a specific product, write a review of it, and get a percentage if someone buys that product. Let's say 3%. Google might offer $1 for a click, but when someone clicks on an Amazon ad and makes an actual purchase for, let's say $100, you get $3. The trick here is to get real purchases, which means good content that leads people to buy. Or at least a lot of traffic and people who buy anything they see, which is what Clevon told me he could see happening. It's true, too. If you can get 10,000 people to show up on your website, even if it doesn't have much there, the odds are that someone will click on a link, have the cookie on their device, and then make a purchase. Here's an item I own and mostly like (4.5 stars from me)--
Think about how Adsense and Amazon work for that annoying stay-at-home mom blogger who's perfect in every way. She gets 1,000,000 pageviews a month because she was featured on Oprah back in the day. She can sell her own $30 book with Amazon, and she can link out to a dozen other books she likes, all in the same price range. Of course, she makes $20 off each purchase of her own book, $1 every time someone gets one of her friends' books, and $3,000 a month in Adsense just from all the rotten traffic. THAT's why she can afford to buy all organic and stay at home, folks.

Other Ad Sites - Very Specific
Other ad sites let you link to specific businesses in order to make a higher percentage than even Amazon ads. I told Clevon, for example, that if I started an automotive blog, I could sign up with these sites in order to link out to AutoZone or other online sellers of auto parts. Sure, Amazon sells auto parts, but you can make 5% or more with most of these other sites, and if you have the traffic, then throwing these ads on the website can make a lot of sense. I tried using these ads a long time ago when starting a fundraising business, but the proceeds were never enough for all the effort. The format we used has since been taken over by sites like RetailMeNot or Discover, where you buy from the advertisers and then get a percentage back into your account (with a cut for the provider of the ad).

Local Ads - Do Those Exist?
When I started an online satire website many years ago, my partner (and I) felt that local retailers would jump all over the opportunity to throw ads on the website. We never got one taker, probably because satire can offend some people, but also because local advertisers are also looking at the national chains for this sort of thing. I bet a lot of local businesses have thrown all kinds of hard-earned money at mailings, coupon books, Google Adwords, Facebook, online yellow pages, and various other nationally-owned advertising businesses. Some use the radio or local TV, but that's also huge money. I bet a local business would get pretty good traction with local bloggers, but there's a disconnect of the two local-minded entities. Too bad. The only website I built that did get local ads was when I put together a website for a Milwaukee baseball league. Maybe two local ads.
Brave New Church Web Design

Cult of Personality
Clevon has the kind of personality that probably will drive traffic to his website. I'm not linking to it right now because it's still a work in progress. If he can get the traffic, then I gave him some idea as to how he might make a little bit of money from the effort. I just warned him that it's going to have to be A LOT of traffic. He has some ideas about selling stuff and taking a cut, which can work if it's the right stuff, too. Again, when it comes to selling, I've found Amazon and TeachersPayTeachers does a much better job than I could do for myself, so I pay them their cut and make a few extra bucks. I'd love to help Clevon find the right formula that provides a good service to website users AND some money for the website owner, and I'm hopeful that I'll be writing an article promoting this website in the near future.

I'm a decent writer, but I don't have the ability to talk to people. And I hate sending out a link on Facebook to people who actually like me, trying to get them to buy something or read something they don't care about. So I am stuck with small steps to financial independence. Certain people out there are able to jump into the internet marketing world with both feet, and some of them are able to make that living at home with just a few clicks here and there on their devices. Hey, if you are one of those people, I know how to build the website and write the content that can help you.

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Thanks for reading. See more of my content:

Satisfamily - Articles about being happy as a family
Passive Ninja - Web Design in Jacksonville
McNewsy - Creative Writing
Educabana - Educational Resources
Brave New Church - Church Website Design
Voucher School - Pros and Cons of School Vouchers
Luthernet - Web Design for Lutheran Churches
Sitcom Life Lessons - What we've learned from sitcoms
Mancrush Fanclub - Why not?
Epic Folktale - Stories of the unknown
Wild West Allis - Every story ever told about one place
Educabana on Teachers Pay Teachers (mostly ELA lessons)
Real Wisconsin News - Satire from Wisconsin
Zoo Interchange Milwaukee - Community website
Chromebook Covers - Reviews and opinions

Brian Jaeger - Resume (I'm always interested)

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