If you can build a simple website you can start an online business in Ireland, or anywhere else for that matter. The internet, thankfully, does not restrict you to jurisdictions or geographical boundaries.
There are two great ways to build an online business-
1) Becoming an online publisher with the Google Adsense advertising program;
2) Becoming an affiliate marketer with Amazon.com
Becoming a Google Adsense publisher
An adsense site is basically a site, generally small or niche but can easily become large and “autority”, which is set up and optimised to do one thing and that is to get the visitor to click on a Google Adsense advertisement.
It will use a design and layout which will not present many opportunities for visitors to click on any links other than the Adsense block which is generally a 336 x 280 block pasted “above the fold” before or at the beginning of the content or post.
This means that the ways by which anyone can exit the site will be very limited and there will be no fancy graphics, banners, affiliate links or other distractions.
The desired outcome from every visitor is to get them to click on an Adsense ad and earn revenue for the blog owner.
The business model associated with this sort of site will involve either setting up multiple small sites in various niches which are not ultra competitive and which are easy to rank for in the search engines or building one or two large “authority” sites with lots of content.
It is the proliferation and spread of these sites across a large range of niches and which will derive a small income on a monthly basis that amasses into a good, online publishing empire which is appealing to many under the radar entrepreneurs.
The opportunity for you as a budding online entrepreneur is obvious and the best niches to concentrate on, at least initially, are product niches where small, boring sites about taps, windows, radiators or whatever can form part of a successful publishing empire for you on the internet.
The cost of entry into this business is tiny, you can learn on the job and your only input is to build small product oriented blogs and churn out lots and lots of articles to generate backlinks and move you up the search engine rankings which in turn will lead to free traffic and opportunities for “clicks” and revenue from your blog.
Adsense publishing may not be the best online business but it is certainly one of the easiest to start with minimal start up costs and is a great way of starting a business online for a newcomer because of the ease of entry into the business and it’s simplicity.
And you do not need any selling skills.
Amazon affiliate marketing
Being an Amazon affiliate basically involves attracting traffic looking for specific products and then sending them to Amazon through your affiliate link.
Firstly, regardless of how successful you are in starting an online business you can rest assured that you will be paid quickly and on time because you will be in partnership with two of the largest online businesses on the face of the planet.
This certainly reassures me a great deal and the fact that when somebody visits Amazon through my affiliate link I know that they are in good hands.
Why? Because Amazon are very experienced online retailers who will be far more successful in converting leads that I send into buyers. In a way I feel that I am piggybacking on the huge amounts of money that Amazon have poured into their online selling platform.
I know that some online business owners turn up their noses at what they perceive to be small returns from both of these companies but this is a big mistake. For example, how much does Mars make per Mars bar sold?
Yes, small money. But sell enough Mars bars or airline tickets (a la Ryanair) and you have a viable and profitable business model with little or no initial investment.
If you create multiple sites you can switch between Adsense and Amazon depending on performance and the feedback you will get from both will allow you to differentiate between your sites which will benefit more from one program or another.
If you are thinking about setting up your own business then the likes of Amazon and Adsense provide real online business opportunities for the savvy online business owner.
If you have a desire or dream to start an online business in Ireland or elsewhere one of the best ways to do it is with the Google Adsense program. I make this assertion from significant experience as an Adsense publisher.
If you are not aware of the Google Adsense program you should check it out at https://www.google.com/adsense/ to get a good understanding of what is involved. You will find good explanatory videos and explanations about advertising with Google and how to profit from it.
Simply you need to understand two common terms-1) publisher and 2) advertiser.
It is as a publisher that you can start your own online business.
Being a publisher involves the following steps:
- Create an informational website which is tightly themed
- Place the Adsense code provided to you by Google once you sign up with them as a publisher at various strategic locations on your site
- This piece of code allows Google to sell that space to advertisers who place their ads with the Google Adwords program (for advertisers)
- Generating visitors and traffic to your site will ultimately lead to many of them clicking on the context relevant, themed ads on your site.
- You get paid then for each click on an Adsense block on your site.
The above is a simple outline of how you can generate income with Google Adsense and I will take a look in more depth at how best to capitalize on it to build a real online business in later posts.
One of the biggest myths is that because you get a relatively small amount per click that you can only make cents or pennies and can’t really build anything of substance.
This is completely untrue and generally reflects the experience of people who either
- don’t really know how to capitalize on this business model or
- have tried and failed.
Publishing and benefiting from advertisers need to advertise from the invention of the newspaper right to the present day opportunities presented by online publishing have always been a good business model..but only to those who do it right.
Online business plan template
This is an outline of the online business plan template that I use to generate a growing income with my online business which allows me to work from home in my spare time.
In the interests of full disclosure let me say that I have a full time job as a legal professional so my work from home business entails working about 3 hours Monday to Friday and about 6 hours on Saturday and Sunday.
Even though I only work these limited hours at my online business I have benefitted significantly from being an Adsense publisher.
My methodology is that I build niche websites (blogs) and target specific key words or phrases for each and every piece of content on my site which allows me to garner search engine traffic for free.
Online Business Strategy-Step 1
I will expand on what I outline here in later posts but for now I will set out the framework in which all the later details will sit and hopefully this will allow you to see the bigger picture later on as I go into more detail.
You will be able to reference this step by step guide and see where the later more detailed information fits in to the overall online business strategy.
Your first step is to decide what market you will build your website for so
- Pick a market, preferably a niche market.
A niche market is a sub market or section of a larger market.
For example “pens” is a large market but I will not pick this large a market because it will be too competitive.
Instead I will drill down to, for example, fountain pens and then drill down some more into a particular type of fountain pen, for example, Pelikan fountain pens.
When picking a market or niche in which to build your site you will have two broad options-
- pick something that you know a lot about and are passionate about or
- pick the market that is most commercially attractive to you.
The benefit of the former strategy is that it is easier over time to continue publishing content about stuff that you really like and can build your niche site out into an authority site over time.
But the second more commercial option works very well too and if you are just in this gig to make money, recurring income, then you might prefer the more commercial approach and choose accordingly.
The next post in this series of building an online business with Adsense will take a look at one of the most important aspects-keyword research-and which will determine how successful or otherwise you will be.
You might also be interested in building niche websites for profit..
Filed under Google Adsense
Creating a content rich website should be the principal goal in developing your business’s online presence.
Nobody knows your business, your market, your industry like you do. But the amount of time you can devote to your website and to content creation may be limited.
Outsourcing content creation
A solution to your problem may be to outsource the creation of much of your content.
To rapidly develop your site and to increase your traffic and visitor numbers your goal should be to provide unique, relevant content related to your products and services but which is most of all aimed at addressing the problems your target market has.
It is the provision of answers to your market’s problems which will define you as an authority in the eyes of your visitors and in the eyes of the search engines, especially Google.
Outsourcing the content creation for your site may be necessary from time to time, particularly in the early stages of development when you really want to gain some much needed momentum.
Outsourcing content creation though comes with some difficulties if you don’t know what you are doing.
And especially if you try to cut corners in relation to cost.
There are many willing workers in outsourcing websites such as textbroker.com, Elance.com, VWorker.com and others.
And they will offer you incredibly attractive rates to have articles or content written, either for submission to article directories of for publishing on your own site or blog.
Three common problems that I have encountered include:
- Some personal tragedy befalling your worker such as the computer breaks or suffers a virus, the dog chews the cable, someone dies or other such reason;
- The content produced demonstrates that the writer has only a fleeting familiarity with the English language;
- The writer does not follow your instructions and does it his/her way.
The bottom line is that you invariably spend a lot of time in “discussion” with your worker.
Then after a frustrating series of emails back and forth you decide to do the work yourself and end up spending a huge amount of time rewriting, editing and correcting the output.
If any of it is usable.
If you are serious about your online business then you need to embrace the notion of quality content from the outset.
Quality content has a number of benefits:
- The visitor to your site is happy and more likely to return, share your content and bookmark it;
- The search engines are happy and visit more often and rank your site highly because of the presence of latent semantic indexing phrases woven naturally into your post or page;
- If your content is really good there is a much better chance of it being shared around in your market and going viral.
Don’t make the mistake of being a cheapskate and cutting corners when it comes to publishing content on your site.
Because you will never be taken seriously in your marketplace and the brand you try to build will be tarnished and confused.
And you will never be seen as the authority in your space.
Think of quality content as a great, one off, long term investment in your business.
And watch your readership and rankings grow.
Which ultimately leads to leads, sales and increased profits.
Clickbank which can be found at clickbank.com is the leading marketplace on the internet for the sale of digital information products.
Digital information products are instantly downloadable products such as ebooks and software with the range of topics covered by these products spanning arts and entertainment, betting systems, employment and jobs, parenting and families, self help and reference manuals, child custody guides, sports, travel and virtually every conceivable interest under the sun.
The quality of products in the Clickbank marketplace varies from the ridiculous to the very good with very generous commissions being offered to affiliates by vendors. Vendors are the creators of the various products and affiliates are the people who choose to sell the product for a commission which generally ranges from 50% up to 75%.
When you sign up as an affiliate for a vendor’s program you are given your own unique affiliate link. If and when someone purchases the product through your link you will be paid the commission and when most of these products sell for anything between $27 and $197 and you are getting between 50% and 75% the commissions can be pretty impressive.
However the difficult part is generating sales in volume and with consistency and there is an art or skill involved in successfully selling Clickbank products.
3 Top Tips for Clickbank marketing
1) Check out the product first
You need to cast a cold eye over the product yourself first to ensure that you know what it is you are selling, is it any good and would you be comfortable selling it.
Sometimes the vendor will give you a free review copy if you contact him and tell him you are considering selling his product.
Some vendors won’t give you a freebie though in which case you will have to buy it yourself and review it or else move on to another product.
2) Check out the vendor’s sales page
Many vendors will have an opt in form on their sales page-in other words they are offering a freebie to visitors to their sales page which allows them to build their list of prospects.
You do not want to be sending visitors to someone else’s list.
So if there is an opt in form on the vendor’s sales page, run, don’t walk and choose another product.
3) Autoresponder/email marketing
You will get very few sales be sending your traffic directly to the vendor’s sales page.
Ideally you will want to get people to sign up with you as a subscriber, build a relationship with your readers, offer them valuable tips and links, build trust and intersperse your emails with a sales pitch or link to the affiliate product from time to time.
To successfully sell Clickbank products you really do need a list of people interested in the particular niche or market that the product is in.
Put simply we buy stuff from people that we know, like and trust and this trust and relationship is built up over time by helping the subscribers to your list with useful information of interest to them.
Clickbank marketing is not easy and there is a real skill attached to it with a commitment to building a big list of interested subscribers required to allow you to build a relationship with your list.
Filed under Affiliate Marketing
Outsourcing is a great way to scale up your online or digital marketing.
So, what is outsourcing?
What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing simply involves you getting others to do work for you online which makes sense depending on your requirements, skills and budget.
You may have a need for a large quantity of content written for example if you are building an authority type site for your business or you may need a nice header or piece of software or even an ebook written or video made.
If you don’t have the time or skills to do the work yourself you can simply outsource the job by posting it on one or all of the many outsourcing sites available online.
Check out the video above to learn more about outsourcing.
Popular outsourcing site
Popular outsourcing sites include VWorker.com, Elance.com, Odesk.com and TextBroker.com. There are many other similar sites and a simple search online will find these for you.
Click this link to visit vWorker.com
But the sites listed above should be more than adequate for your needs.
Once you sign up and post your job you will have a huge number of people from all around the world including Pakistan, India, Philippines and English speaking countries such as the UK, America, Canada and Australia.
Once you receive bids for your work take your time to assess previous work carried out by the bidder and don’t be afraid to ask them questions to reassure yourself that they are the right person for your task.
You may occasionally have a bad experience when outsourcing your jobs but a few ways to guard against this include
- Being very specific in your requirements
- Being detailed with your instructions
- Don’t choose someone who has no feedback or previous experience
- Do check how many jobs they have completed and their feedback from other users
- Do ask questions before awarding the job.
The judicious use of outsourcing can be a great asset for your business. There are many tasks that are ideal for it but there are some that I would not outource-this is a judgment call for yourself and your business.
But it does offer you the opportunity to really scale up your digital marketing efforts regardless of whether you are only concentrating on one website or many.
Building niche websites for profit is a viable business model and the video below will show you how I realized $12,100 over the first two weekends in August, 2011.
Firstly though, I will give you a brief outline of this business model.
Niche websites step by step guide
Here is a step by step guide showing how you can generate an income from the creation of small, niche websites.
1) Pick a niche or market;
2) Pick the best keyword or phrase as the domain name for your new niche website;
3) Carry out your keyword research with the Google Adwords keyword tool;
4) Pick at least 8-10 other keywords or phrases which will become the topics of new content on your site in the form of a page or post;
5) Build your website using the most appropriate plug ins and themes to optimize for best search engine ranking;
6) Publish your content;
7) Promote your site through off site/off page optimization such as backlinking, social bookmarking and other promotional techniques;
8) Sign up for the Google Adsense advertising programme;
9) Place your Adsense code on the site in the best locations to maximize click through rate from visitors;
10) Continue to promote your site;
11) Assess your site after a number of weeks and see how it is doing in relation to organic, search engine traffic and Adsense income;
12) Depending on your assessment at 11 above, either continue to beef up your site if it is showing potential or backlink and promote it to the maximum;
13) Hold it or sell it on Flippa.com;
14) Repeat the process above by scaling and outsourcing;
15) Reinvest profits and sales proceeds in scaling and outsourcing.
This business model has a number of significant attractions including
- You can do it part time or full time, depending on your circumstances;
- Your potential market for your finished product (your sites) is enormous (just check out Flippa.com and see for yourself);
- The number of markets and niche markets is also huge with a huge number of new computer and internet users worldwide every day;
- Very low start-up costs.
What you need to get started
To get started you need to acquire a few basic skills including
1) How to build a website (I recommend WordPress as it is incredibly easy to build sites quickly once you learn how to build one and the WordPress publishing platform is free);
2) How to carry out keyword research;
3) How to structure your site properly from the outset;
4) How to promote your site;
5) A little commercial nous or flair (always essential with any business whether online or offline)
Winners and losers
With this business model as with all models, success is not guaranteed with all sites.
You will have winners and losers. The key is to scale up the winners for the big money and to get the losers to a point where you can offload them or just cut your losses.
A global view
Building niche websites and utilizing the Adsense advertising model, if done correctly, has the following outcome:
You succeed when you sell your site; the purchaser wins as he is purchasing a steady income to give him/her a return on his/her investment; the advertiser on your site gets targeted traffic to his business offer; the visitor who clicks on the Adsense block will do so to find what he/she is looking for.
This is precisely what happens (or should happen) with newspapers/magazines who derive most of their income from advertising.
The two main differences between advertising on your site and in a newspaper/magazine is
1) There is no cover charge for visiting your site
2) Your advertising/publishing model is online, not offline.
Proof of income
See the video below..(the sound is not great so you may have to turn up your volume)
But for anyone looking to start their own business and who are limited by lack of capital but are willing to invest their time and energy it is a real opportunity.
Check out an update to flipping websites as a source of income working from home.
Check out our WordPress training courses.
Filed under Building Niche Websites