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Table of Contents for this issue.....
The continuing melt down of the world economy is on everyone’s mind. On September 29, the Dow lost 777.68 points (7%) for the single largest drop in the history of the index. Those of us with investments in the market in 401K’s, 403B’s, or IRA’s watched the value of our savings drop significantly.
Since those investments are our retirement savings, we as a group are hit hard and we need to rethink our plans for retirement. You know that I am a great supporter of having a retirement job to extend our retirement savings and to generate that needed additional income in retirement. In my mind, the current conditions make that concept of a retirement job even more important.
Linda and I continue to press forward with creation of income from our online Internet business. This business is much more important for us now than it was when we first got the idea and started developing the business over three years ago.
The good news is that it is starting to generate a regular income stream. It is not as much as we need with the recent changes in value of our retirement savings, but it is enough to build on and grow.
I was contacted by one of the members of the AARP Retirement Jobs group that I manage about an article in “AARP Bulletin Today” about phased retirement. This email exchange developed from that contact. I am including it since I offer Jim advice and I feel it is worth sharing with you. It contains some of my personal concepts for making money on the Net, finding items to sell, and for naming websites.
From Jim – September 20
interesting that your thoughts about work beyond retirement age seem
very similar to my own. I too plan to work my way out of the kind of
work I've done for the past 30 years and create an online business that
will allow me more freedom. I've been doing research in that regard for
about 1.5 years. There is a lot to learn! I've read a lot of books so
far. Have you read "Internet Riches"? Hate that title but Scott Fox
does a pretty good job covering all the bases. I'd like to know what
you've found to be most helpful.
My reply – September 22
I have not read “Internet Riches”, but I read the reviews on Amazon and some of the other websites that discuss it.
I believe that I have read many books that contain much of the same content. I do not know if you have visited my www.retirement-jobs-online.com site, but it covers most of what I consider the legitimate ways to make money on the Internet. I have tested and experimented with all of the methods listed on the retirement job online site.
My business model preference is the affiliate model which I use on my websites. The Adsense ads and some of the referrals on the retirement jobs online site bring in a steady $300 – 400 per month.
My other two money making sites are www.the-best-gps.com and www.the-best-hdtv.com. The GPS site has risen in search engine rankings where I do not spend any money for advertising. I sell over $100 of GPS units each month on Amazon from search engine traffic (even in these bad times). I advertise the HDTV site on AdCenter using pay per click campaigns. I expect to sell at least one unit per month. The commission on a $1,500 HDTV is $60 so you can afford to spend in the neighborhood of $.50 per click when the commission is so high. With the down economy, the big ticket items like HDTV’s are not selling as well as a year ago, but they will recover.
I am a great supporter of Site Build It. All of my successful websites are hosted using Site Build It (SBI). You ask what I found to be most helpful. It is Site Build It.
If you are interested in learning more about SBI, let me know.
My approach to making money on the Net is to build several (example 10) websites that make $200 – 300 per month. I believe that is much easier to do than to build one site that makes $2,000 - $3,000 per month. Plus, if your one site has problems, you are dead. If one of the several sites has problems, you are still in business.
Thanks again for sending me the article.
Jim’s reply – September 22
My reply – September 23
Keep the faith. It takes a while. All the Internet marketers have built an aura about the Net of instant success and instant wealth. That is like winning the lottery. It takes steady work to find the right combination. Several of my attempts have flopped, but I had to test the idea to determine it no good. It took a year and writing lots of web pages to get the retirement jobs online site to #2 on Google for "retirement jobs". I am satisfied with that position since the #1 position is sewed up by a company with a full time publicity staff and Internet web designers.
What to pick? Tough question. I look for what is hot and what will have a long life. I do not want something that will flash and be gone without returning my investment of time to develop a site. I chose GPS because we purchased one and I liked it and became interested in the industry. The HDTV industry caught my interest because of the emerging technology and the fact that all analog TV's will be obsolete next February without a converter box. The downturn in the economy has hurt the sales on the HDTV site, but that will recover.
To find best selling items, you can use the Net. I use Amazon to find the best selling GPS or HDTV. Go to Amazon and search on your general topic (Electronics - GPS). In the upper right corner there is a box that usually says "Relevance". Click on it and select "Bestselling". The items in the search will be sorted from high to low by best selling.
A good name for a website is "best-whatever" or "the-best-whatever". Many people search on the Net with the word "best" in front of the "whatever". This will bring you traffic just from these searches.
You can use the Google keyword tool to find searches on the Net.
You are welcome and good luck.
Jim, I ask your permission to print some of these email in my monthly eZine. Exchanges like these need to be shared with my readers so they can benefit from this information. I will omit your full name and your email address.
Jim’s reply – September 23
My sincere thanks to Jim for his questions and his permission to use our exchange in the Boomer eZine.
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This last month I realized that our Retirement Jobs Online (RJO) website had finally “come of age” when I was contacted by two reputable companies asking about placing ads (links) on the website. I felt complemented. At the same time, I found myself in unknown territory since I had never sold advertising space.
I guard the reputation of the RJO website since I want to make certain that there is no question about the quality of the information or the products offered on the site. The first thing I requested from the companies was the HTML code and the location on the particular webpage where they wanted the code placed.
From the code, I could see the text that they wanted inserted in the RJO webpage and the website where the reader would be taken when they clicked on the ad link. The last thing I want is for someone to click a link on RJO and land on a porn site.
Once I was satisfied that the landing pages for the links were on quality websites and offered quality products, the challenge became what to charge for the advertising. I thought about this for a while and decided to ask my client contact what they normally paid for the link. The answer surprised me. $300 for a six month placement! I am certain that she left some negotiation room with this offer, but I decided not to be greedy and accepted it.
The other placement was stricter about the placement and required that I agree to their “Terms and Conditions” which does not permit me to discuss the transaction in detail. Their offer was also what I consider an attractive offer for a one year placement. I changed the pages and inserted the ads they wanted. I emailed them when the pages were modified. They paid me using my PayPal account.
As a follow up to this, I set up an Excel spreadsheet that lists the date the ad started, the date it will expire, income, location, etc. I will check this spreadsheet on the first of each month to see which ads will expire that month so I can invoice for a renewal term. I hope that more advertisers like the traffic that comes to RJO and want to buy advertising.
The lesson in this is there are several ways to make money from a website. The RJO site generates income from the Adsense Ads on its pages. It generates money from the sale of items that are referred and recommended. It sends viewers to other of my sites where products are sold. And now it is generating advertising income.
The site was started in May 2006 so it has not been an overnight success, but the mascot of Site Build It is the tortoise. Slow and steady will get you there.
I joined Clickbank a couple of years ago and occasionally sell a product on Clickbank that I recommend on one of our websites. However, I have not spent enough time on Clickbank to really become proficient in selling Clickbank products.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jim Cockrum, author of “The Silent Sales Machine Hiding on eBay”, and the owner of “The Silent Team” membership website. If Jim recommends something, you can bet that it is legitimate and very good.
Jim recommended the course “Commission Blueprint” which teaches you how to sell on Clickbank. I have bought so many classes that were no good that I really thought about this one for a while, but I had a good month this month so I decided to reinvest some of the income in education. Based on Jim’s recommendation, I purchased the class for $97.
It consists of 14 videos and several manuals or guides. I am almost half way through it, and so far, it looks very good. It is a nuts and bolts class that shows you exactly how to find profitable products on Clickbank, how to test the profitability, and how to set up a Google Adwords campaign to sell large numbers of the product.
I will finish this class after this issue goes to press so expect a follow up article about it in the next issue.
Affiliate Success Checklist
Author’s Note: Charlie Page is the owner of the Directory of Ezines (http://www.directoryofezines.com). I rate his newsletter as one of the top newsletters that I receive. He has great content and shares it willingly. The Directory of Ezines is an authority site for ezine information on the Net.
My favorite Internet business model is affiliate marketing and this article covers it well.
If you are not yet making a full time living online,
It all starts with something you have heard about, but
Do you understand affiliate marketing?
Do you know what is required to succeed as an
Most people don't, which is a shame because this method
The reality is this - making money as an affiliate is
After 10 years of working online I believe that
And that is just too good a situation to pass up!
So let's look together at what affiliate marketing is,
Sound good? Then let's get started.
>>> WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING ANYWAY?
Being an affiliate simply means that you sell someone
Webster's Dictionary defines the word 'affiliate' this
Affiliate: [verb] To associate as a member "affiliates
That's exactly correct. When you become an affiliate
You are loaning them your reputation.
Please don't forget that.
Every email you send, every contact you make, reflects
So, being an affiliate is simply a fancy Internet way
>>> DOES IT REALLY WORK?
Yes, it does. It is true that you can make very good
You must still understand the PROCESS of marketing and
But if you choose great programs, do some of the work
It's equally true that you can waste tons of time and
That is why it is vitally important that you understand
If it does not make sense to you (and especially if you
Over the years I have developed a checklist of 10
This checklist has proven invaluable to my clients and
1. MAKE SURE THE PRODUCT BEING OFFERED MATCHES YOU
If your passion is embroidery, you probably won't do
2. CHECK IT OUT
Don't just jump in because it's easy. Ask yourself this
3. TALK TO CURRENT AFFILIATES
Ask for a list of happy affiliates. Ask them some key
4. THINK LONG TERM
If your first arrangement doesn't pan out, don't give
5. GO FOR QUALITY
Make a checklist of everything you want, find two who
6. HOW WELL DO THEY SELL?
You need to ask how well the product or service you
For example, at the Directory of Ezines we convert 8 of
This is the hard work that affiliates never have to do,
For most established products you will promote you can
Also, be aware that 'hot' products convert well while
7. WHAT IS THE COOKIE DURATION?
Most affiliate programs track using 'cookies' that are
The reason this is important is that it will change how
If a company has a short cookie duration then you want
You also want to know if the cookie can be overwritten.
If it can, then someone who first learned about product
Neither of these factors are good or bad (Amazon has an
8. DO YOU EARN 'BACKEND' COMMISSIONS?
This means do you get paid when someone you refer buys
9. DO YOU EARN RENEWAL COMMISSIONS?
If you send someone to a site where they pay a monthly
10. DO THEY SUPPORT YOU?
Most people don't know, or have the time, to write ads
>>> WHERE TO FIND GOOD AFFILIATE PROGRAMS <<<
My favorite tool for finding great products to sell as
They offer a free version, which does an excellent job.
You can get the free version here ...
Forums are excellent resources to learn what really
1. Anthony Blake's Marketing Forum
2. The Warriors of Internet Marketing.
3. Michael Green's Marketing Forum
Here are THREE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES that will help you
Allan Gardyne of Associate Programs.com. Great advice
A great site to learn and earn is Ken McArthur's site.
Without a doubt, using ClickBank to find products is
It costs nothing to become an affiliate and they offer
If you are committed to quality, and only offer your
The best way to start is to choose three programs that
After all, when you win, they win.
And that's a beautiful way to make a living online.
The title sounds like a no-brainer, but I found that I was working so hard on building a new website (www.best-retirement-calculators.com) that I neglected my GPS site and my HDTV site. These have produced some steady income selling products through the affiliate program on Amazon so I felt they were on autopilot.
However, I wondered why the income was dropping off. At first, I thought it was due to the economy. When I spent some time and checked both sites, I found I had let them get out of date.
Garmin had discontinued some of the hot sellers on the GPS site and introduced a new line of GPS units that look really great. Samsung introduced a new line of LCD HDTV units for 2008 that are a significant improvement over the previous models.
Time for a wake up call!
I am about finished with the updates and I am seeing my traffic pick up on Amazon. Yesterday, I sold the first of the new models of Samsung 52 inch LCD HDTV for a nice commission of over $80.00.
This is a lesson to me. I have set up a first of the month task list on my Outlook calendar to remind me to update the top 10 best selling list for both the GPS and the HDTV sites. I get the information from the top sellers on Amazon. I am adding a task to that list to check the blogs and the Samsung site to see if any new HDTV’s have hit the market. I set up another task to check the GPS blogs for any new units that have been released.
Websites have a very distinct advantage over blogs since you do not have to update them nearly as often as blogs. However, you do have to pay attention to the websites to make certain that they do not go out of date.
You can be certain that I learned a lesson from this and will remember to circle back and see how the old sites are doing.
That wraps up this issue. Until next month, stay tuned.
John and Linda Howe
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