Thursday, December 31, 2009

Total Earnings for December

December is a strange month in that it is well and truly dominated by Christmas and New Year. Had I been properly thinking ahead I would have been looking to capitalize on all the extra shopping activity around this time, but this did not really occur to me until it was too late. There were a number of opportunities I could have taken here; put up more Squidoo lenses promoting gifts for suitable for Christmas, put together a niche site promoting gifts and sold more stuff on Ebay that would appeal to the Christmas shopper. A good learning point for next year though.

This month has brought about a number of firsts for me in my online money making efforts:

My first payout from Clickbank!
My first sales as an Amazon affiliate - two sales in fact (last month's sale sadly did not materialize)
My first sale on Amazon Marketplace

Anyway here are the totals for this month:

Affiliate earnings (Clickbank): £87.28 ($141.18)
Surveys: £14.50 ($16.98) (£10.50 Panelbase, £4 from another survey panel I can't name)
Ebay: £7.56 ($12.23)
Swagbucks:£3.09 ($5)
Squidoo: £0.76 ($1.23)
Amazon Marketplace £3.88 ($6.27)

Total = £117.07 ($189.33)

Not bad really, although quite a bit short of where I am aiming for. I am particularly pleased to have received my first Clickbank payout and I have made a couple more sales this month as well so I will receive this money next month.

How was December for you?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Recognizing the Value of Christmas for Internet Marketing

Being still quite new to this internet marketing stuff, the significance of Christmas in a business sense has never really struck me before. After all, it feels a bit cynical to think of this time of year as a time to make money. Surely it should be about the Christmas story, being with family, tradition, cheesy music, too much food and drink.... Shouldn't it?........

Well, however you think of it, Christmas is a time when consumers are consuming at their most voracious. People are buying lots of stuff for their nearest and dearest, and in large quantities. Even in these tough economic times, overall spending at Christmas time is huge. As each year passes, more and more money is spent online rather than at traditional bricks and mortar stores. It makes sense, therefore, that those of us trying to make some money through internet marketing should try and capitalize on this.

There are a couple of points that I have learned about this over the past few weeks. Firstly, Christmas spending is on actual physical things - not on informational products, digital products and health products which tend to be what many internet marketers tend to focus on due to the high commissions. There is a huge range of items to focus your efforts on, some with very little competition. Amazon is the obvious affiliate program to choose for this strategy, but there are plenty of others to consider.

Secondly, you need to start early. Unlike other campaigns, you are focusing primarily on a fixed point in time, so if you are not prepared you will miss out on a time when you could see the greatest volume of sales. Christmas always seems to creep up on you quicker than you think.

I have to admit that I have not put sufficient effort into capturing the Christmas market this year. I did put together a few Squidoo lenses promoting some products through Amazon, and I have even made a couple of sales. But that was it. And now as we enter the last few shopping days before the big day itself I realize that there was so much more that I could have done.

I intend to move into putting together some niche sites early next year and my intention is that some of these will focus on physical products (probably through Amazon), so that when next year's Christmas shopping period reaches its height, I will be ready!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

How to Squander Your Time and NOT Make Any Money Online

I have been reading quite a few blog posts recently about how to organize your limited time and making sure that your time can be focused and maximising your online income from the little time you have available. If I have learned nothing else in my time blogging and generally writing online is to make sure that you write about what you know. I certainly cannot claim to be a guru in terms of making money online and my time management skills are spectacularly poor. So, it surely makes sense to share my knowledge in this respect.

Here are my top tips on how to squander your time and not to make any money online:

  1. Make sure that you do not have a plan. In order for you not to make any money your actions should be as unfocused and as impulsive possible. Make sure that you chase every new and interesting opportunity that comes your way.
  2. Believe that you will fail. This way you will not see through your projects to their completion - after all what's the point, they are only going to fail anyway! 
  3. Try and do more than is humanly possible. Start a large number of projects similtaneously and flit from one to another so that you do not actually achieve anything.
  4. Don't check your affiliate links - that way if anyone clicks on them and buys anything you won't make any money.
  5. Try and sell products that are already dominated by a few super affiliates. You know the ones - make money online products, slimming, etc. There is a high demand for these products, but loads of competition. Unless you have time available and a different angle to your competitors, the chances are that you will not make a cent with these.
  6. Become obsessed with your stats. Check them minute by minute. Scrutinize every single visit to your website/blog/Squidoo page.
  7. Obsess over your Clickbank balance. If you are trying to make money with Clickbank, then checking your balance every few minutes, willing it to increase, occasionally shouting obscenities and poking the screen in frustration just does not bring you any sales. Yes, I have tried this strategy on several occasions.
  8. Allow yourself to become easily distracted. Here are a few ways of becoming distracted on the internet and idling away your time - search Wikipedia for some useless facts you have mused over, search Youtube for videos of that band you used to like but not heard from in ages, search for more ways to make money online that don't require time and discipline........etc, etc.
Follow these and I can absolutely guarantee that your time will fly by and you will not make any money whatsoever!!

So, what's your top tip for wasting time and not making money online?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monthly Total for November

Well it's that time again to reflect upon how I have been doing over the previous month. This has been a very mixed month with some definite positives and negatives in terms of my making money online efforts. Let's start with the positives shall we........

The Positives
In terms of affiliate sales this has been my best month so far having made 4 Clickbank sales (5 if you include one that was returned) and I have made my first Amazon sale. My Clickbank sales this month have brought in a total of $72.90/£44.30. This means that I have easily satisfied the payout criteria so I should receive my first payment soon. My Amazon sale was for $900, so my 4% commission will be $36/£21.88. Yay!! This Amazon sale has given me some ideas for niche sites that I want to explore in the near future - I don't want to limit myself to promoting informational products at Clickbank.

The Negatives
I had wanted to get at least two more campaigns through Squidoo up an running, but I have failed due to a loss of momentum and enthusiasm. I have in fact started three campaigns, identified keywords and created the Squidoo lenses for one of them, so I have made a start at least. My recent sales have spurred me on and I feel more motivated now than I have done for a while.

My total actual earnings this month are down somewhat from last month, but at least I know I should be receiving a decent payout next month.

Monthly Total
Surveys: £18/$29.62 (£10 - Ipsos, £18 -Another survey panel I can't mention)
Ebay: £3.19/$5.25
Swagbucks: £3.04/$5
Squidoo: £0.65/$1.07

Total = £24.88/$40.94

Quite a disappointing total, but I feel spurred on by my recent sales. The next couple of weeks will be busy coming up to Christmas so I don't know how much time I will have to put into my internet marketing efforts, so I may concentrate on listing some stuff on Ebay to capitalize on Christmas shoppers. I will then start afresh in the New Year.