What is the advice you would give to a friend that wants to make money online?
For me, the advice would be simple, and non-expensive. Advice that anyone could use to make money online. It would be make money online advice that would not cause them to lose money online.
For starters, I would recommend they start with a blog or two.
There are many advantages to blogging to make money online. It is cheap, so there is little money to lose and anyone can afford it. No expensive software, and very short learning curve. The only real cost is time.
I would recommend starting with two blogs. Start with a personal blog and a niche blog. The personal blog you can talk about anything, even your success at making money online. You can talk about your car or what you had for dinner. Whatever.
The niche blog should be based on a subject that you are nearly an expert on. A sport, hobby, or some aspect of business may be what you niche is. It could be about some disease you are especially familiar with (although something like this could also be the basis of your personal blog). I truly believe everyone is an expert at something. The niche blog will need to be focused on that subject and that alone.
The first investment should be the domian name.
This is the most important part of your blog. Your domain name makes you independent. It gives you something to own and sell at a later time. With your own domain name, you can move your blog to another host if there is a problem with your current one.
After you have a domain name, you need a host for your blog.
I would recommend HostGator. This blog is currently on XXXXX and I have not had too much trouble, nor do I plan to move it off, but I have a HostGator account for other sites and that is what I would recommend. Other than a domain name or two, hosting is the only thing you should spend money on till you see real regular income. ***This site was moved to HostGator and the name of the above host is now removed for various reasons.
This is where every Internet marketer eventually falls into the trap.
There is no ebook or magic program that is going to make you instant money online. We all claim to not believe in the get rich quick scheme, but we all try to cheat. You spend money on some ebook, or program that is going to make it easier or faster or more profitable. It will never happen. Not that they do not work, some do. Prove you can get the blog to work first before you even think about anything else. If you cannot stick with the blog long enough, you will not stick to the other methods long enough either. You will just waste your money. That is what I am trying to save you.
Use WordPress for your blogging platform.
WordPress is easy to use. Easy to set up. Easy to modify. There is a plugin to do almost anything in WordPress. There are lots of free themes. You can use it for nearly any make money online purpose. It is also free to use.
Use free social networking to build your traffic.
Not just Digg. Use MyBlogLog and Blogcatalog. Blogging Zoom has the potential to be a major factor in helping your blog get good traffic and ranking. Use it. Use StumbleUpon on other Blogging Zoomed posts. You’ll find someone will eventually start to Stumble your sites too. With social bookmarking sites, it is better to give than to receive. That means you’ll find they work better when someone else bookmarks your site than when you do it yourself. Also, commenting on other blogs is an effective way to gain links and traffic. *Update-Blogging Zoom is dead while the domain is still in use.*
Plan for the long term.
Try to stay on the good side of the search engines. Avoid the paid links situation and penalties. Don’t trade the future of your site for quick income with TLA, ReviewMe, and Paid Posts. You can make an income without damaging the potential PR of your site. It may not be as fast or easy, but in the long term, your site will be stronger and more profitable.
Also, don’t expect real results until you have given serious effort for several months. Dedicated Effort+Persistence=Eventual profit. Lackluster effort+Inconsistency=Nothing and you will be wasting your time. Yes, it is possible to still not be successful after working hard, but that is a rare problem. Usually, the problem is dedication in some form.
Read good resources on making money online.
I recommend Vic at Blogger Unleashed and Courtney Tuttle’s blog. These two are behind Blogging Zoom and they have excellent information for making money with your blog. Read about using keywords in your posts. Learn about niche blogs and sites. They have good advice.
Above all, post!
Don’t spend more time reading on how to post than posting.
John Chow has always posted 3-4 times or more a day. So does Problogger. Now they can hire someone else to make posts, but they did it to start with. A lot of people (me included) want to blog but do not post enough. Even one post a day is really not enough. How did these guys start making money with a blog? They actually blogged! While your niche blog may not need that many posts (depends on the type of niche) your personal blog can use it. Once a day is the minimum. Why Twitter when you can post? There’s a thought.
OK, now I am going to spend some time this week posting.
Maybe not everyday, but I am going to post! Expect to see some posts with more details about hosting, domain names, and WordPress. I have some other posts that I have been too lazy to make that I need to work on.