Sunday, 28 January 2007

Malking Money Through Network Marketing

A Google search about making money will reveal many network marketing opportunities online. Unfortunately, network marketing, sometimes also referred to as pyramid selling or multi-level marketing (MLM), has a bad name in the minds of many people. Let's start by getting the facts right.

Network marketing is not a business opportunity in itself. It is just another marketing technique. Whilst it has exploded in the early 21st century with the advent of the Internet, its origins go back to the 1980s. Essentially, it involves the following 2 steps:

  • Making your customer become the best driver of your business. Network marketing blurs the distinction between a "salesman" and a "customer". Why can't your "customer" be first and foremost your "salesman"?
  • Based on the above, it involves recruiting and developing other people in your team, or often referred to as "downline" and organising them to recruit more people in your team and selling more of your products;

In this way, you are rewarded a commission based on what your team earns, as opposed to what you earn.

This marketing technique therefore incentivizes you to recruit as many people as possible in your team to sell the product. When your downline sells the product, it is seen as they are selling the product partly thanks to your initiative organizational and development skills and therefore you earn a commission on what other people are selling. This gives rise to what is often referred to as "passive income", i.e. income for which you are not directly trading off time and effort. Other examples of passive income can include rent, royalties, dividends and interest.

Can you make money through network marketing? Yes, many people do. However, many people also fail to make money in network marketing.

Let's go through the advantages and disadvantages of network marketing:


1. Compared to other ventures, their setup costs are often relatively low (about $1,000 or less);

2. Unlike many other ventures, the person recruiting you will be willing to develop you into a good salesperson for the business. Remember, the better you are, the more his/her passive income will be!

3. Network marketing companies often have well-documented instructions on how to sell and how to recruit other people;

4. The reward is definitely there for the earning, but not for the taking;


1. Many network marketing businesses will also require a monthly outlay from yourself, such as a monthly service fee;

2. The income claims normally made by your sponsor or upline may often be exaggerated. True, there are some people in the pyramid who are earning over $10,000 a month for doing virtually nothing. But what you are not told is that they often started in the very early stages of the business and therefore recruited other people like yourself very easily. It will normally be much harder for you to find potential recruits and sales;

3. The ethics surrounding the venture often ressemble those of a cult. You will be made to believe that the product is great, and you will have a duty to instill this greatness into other people's minds. It is difficult to analyze the product and/or venture critically;

4. Perhaps the biggest criticism of MLM is that it relies on you and your team to recruit as many people as possible in order for your earnings to explode exponentially. In a finite population of prospects, this is increasingly difficult in the later stages;

So my advice to you is as follows:

1. There is money to be made in MLM, but take all earnings claims of your upline with a pinch of salt. Chances are that you will find it much harder to earn similar amounts;

2. MLM is only as good as what you make it to be. If you have a good network that will be interested in the product, you are likely to do well. For example, if you are a member of a focus group on losing weight, chances are that you will recruit many people in your MLM business that aims to sell weight-loss products;

3. Make sure that the MLM business is compatible with your interests and your lifestyle. There is no point in joining a network marketing business selling cosmetics if you have no interest in cosmetics. Like in most businesses, you will be more motivated to learn and will pick up the skills required in the business much more easily if you are passionate about the business. I've learned that through bitter experience;

4. Be sure to establish how you will have to market the product. If it is done online, you need to set a budget for Google Adwords. If it is done offline, do you have the time and willingness to go out and distribute flyers?

5. If the venture requires you to accept payments online, just be mindful that many online payment companies like Paypal do not like their services being used for MLM. It is explicitly stated in their User Acceptance Policy and they will close your account when they find you involved in MLM;

6. Do not give up easily. Most people who lose in network marketing ventures are those who give up because they do not see the money flowing in quickly enough. Once the excitement of joining dies down and they don't see the money coming in as well as they expected, they write off their investment in the business and move on.

Altogether, treat a network marketing business like a business. Be sceptical of claims of high earnings quickly and with minimal effort. Instead, focus on building it over time and aim to see the rewards in 2 years, not 2 weeks. If you want to see the rewards in 2 weeks, then network marketing is not for you!

Also, never treat a new prospect as a means of making a quick buck. The incentive is there to sell the product or venture once to the prospect, make some money and move on to the next prospect. This practice is called "hunting", because you have been fed for only one day. Instead, work with that person in growing his/her business. Motivate him/her and be available for advice. This practice is then called "farming". In the long term, this person will be like you and will be recruiting new people and making you money!

Good network marketing skills will be useful in any business, whether online or offline. Here is a selection of books I have reviewed and handpicked for you in case you are interested in improving your network marketing skills. Again, the price of these books is insignificant compared to the time, effort and money you are likely to lose if you are off to a bad start.

Robert Kiyosaki, author of the best selling book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", is a great fan of network marketing. So there is bound to be some truth in it!

1. MLM Secrets: A great ebook that goes into further detail on network marketing techniques and trains your mind into adopting the right attitude in a MLM business;

2. 5 bucks a day: A great ebook that is aimed mainly at those who intend to develop a network marketing business online;

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Make Money As An Affiliate

In e-commerce, the term affiliate refers to a what we traditionally refer to as a "broker", i.e. someone who puts buyers in touch with sellers and vice-versa.

So does this mean that you can earn money as an affiliate? Yes, without any doubt. Insurance brokers, mortgage brokers, car dealers, real estate agents all earn their living out of brokering. There is absolutely no reason why you cannot make money as an affiliate.

Even better, registering as an affiliate normally does not require any investments.

However, be careful not to expect to make a living out of affiliate revenue. It is a home business that is developed rather slowly.

If you have already read the other sections of my website that contain money-making opportunities using other tools, there is not much more I can tell you here. The advice I have given elsewhere is applicable for affiliate businesses too.

Just consider the following tips too:

1. Always, always start your affiliate business in something you are passionate about. For example, if one of your hobbies is digital photography, consider becoming an affiliate of businesses that make money selling photography. Chances are that you will be a lot more motivated in building the business and will learn about it much more quickly. Likewise, if one of your hobbies is online poker, you might want to consider driving traffic to poker ebooks or to internet casinos;

2. Leverage the power of your peer group. Chances are that they are as interested as you are in the affiliate product you are selling. There is no harm in asking them whether they are interested. Also, your friends and family will be a lot more accomodating for mistakes that you make at the start;

3. Leverage the power of your mailing list. For example, every time I transact with someone on eBay, I keep a record of their email address. In doing so, I've accumulated a mailing list of over 3,000 people around the world. And guess what? They all have some vague interest in eBay. An occasional email to all 3,000 of them with a hoplink to a "Make Money on Ebay" ebook generates about 20 sales and US$500 in affiliate revenue. Not bad for an hour's work a month, is it?

4. Be patient. Affiliate businesses, like most businesses, are not built overnight. Persevere and you will see the rewards in about a year. The mailing list I describe in (3) above has taken me a year to compile, and there is still much more to be done;

5. Do not limit yourself to only one affiliate business. Subscribe to a few, but do not subscribe to all of them at once. Build one business at a time. At some point, you will be able to offer your contacts a choice of what products to buy from you. You may have a product to sell on how to make money on eBay, but there is nothing you can do if your contact is only interested in finding out how to make money using paid surveys.

6. Offer a service in return of buying the product you are selling. For example, I come across many people who will offer a free online poker tool if, and only if, you subscribe to a specific casino using the link they provide. This means that they are providing you an incentive to do something for free (i.e. subscribe to the casino), and they get commission in return from the casino for driving you to sign up to it;

7. You can even offer free, honest advice on a product before suggesting some affiliate links. For example, most of the products I refer you to on this site use my affiliate link. So if you appreciate the advice I've written, chances are that you will be a lot more amenable to buying the product. If you decide not to buy any, it doesn't matter. I've still provided a service for free on a theme that I am passionate about. So I don't feel guilty that I'm putting all my hours in the evenings and weekends developing my sites and not getting any income in return;

8. If you want to consider driving traffic to your affiliate product using Google Adwords, remember that it is expensive and many people may click on your link hence causing you to pay Google but not actually buying anything. This is how I lost money in the past using Google Adwords to drive traffic to an affiliate business. Remember that the best traffic is free quality traffic;

9. Use passive, or secondary marketing techniques. For example, every time I sent an email to a correspondent from eBay, I left my hyperlink to an internet casino in my signature. I don't care whether this generates money for me but in one year, it has provided me about US$1,500 income!

10. And finally, remember that the best position to be in is not the affiliate but the business that recruits affiliates in driving traffic to them. Essentially, this often means that you have other people working to make money for you and expect you to give them a cut in return. Altogether, this means that it is almost free money to you. But it is very hard to set up such a business so I would advise you to start as an affiliate first.

11. Online casinos are a great source of affiliate businesses and they pay amongst the highest as well. But remember that Google Adwords does not like people driving traffic using gambling keywords;

Here are some relevant ebooks on affiliate marketing which are well worth buying if you are serious about making money with affiliate marketing. Like with Google Adwords, I would much rather see you spend up to US$100 on one of these ebooks than waste US$2,500 on Google Adwords and learn the hard way!

1. Ultimate Wealth Package: A best-selling ebook on affiliate marketing and is also of great value at that price. Step-by-step instructions;

2. The Rick Jerk: From one of the most successful but controversial sellers of make money ebooks. Just don't get put off by his boasts (I doubt their accuracy anyway), but the product is of good quality and clear the best-selling ebook on making money online in the world;

3. Secret Affiliate Weapon: A very good ebook that is affordable and provides a beginner's guide to affiliate marketing.

Sunday, 21 January 2007

Make Money From Adsense - Truth or Myth?

If you have been seriously researching online money-making opportunities, you will no doubt have come across Google Adsense and how you can make money from it.

Before we proceed though, it is appropriate to give the following warning.

Google Adsense is only applicable to you if you have your own website. If you are looking to make money by driving traffic to other people's websites (e.g. with Google Adwords and Clickbank), Google Adsense is not applicable to you.

What is Google Adsense? Put simply, it is a mirror image of Google Adwords. Just like you pay Google to drive traffic to a website, Google pays you if someone clicks on an Adsense advert from your site. Why? Because someone (now referred to as a "publisher") has paid Google Adwords to advertise for its link on your site. So if one of your visitors clicked on that advert, Google has made money thanks to you and therefore gives you a cut.

Again, this sounds like magic, free money. And many people now advertise on the Internet how to make loads of money through Google Adsense. Should you believe them? No, not until you have read the rest of this article.

I would recommend anyone who owns a website to open a Google Adsense account. I have, and you are seeing Adsense adverts right now on this page. If you click on any one of them, Google will pay me some money at the end of the month by check.

But this does not, and will never mean, that I will earn a living with Google Adsense. It is only one of the many residual incomes I intend to build, and so should you if you are serious about making money.

Here is the advice I will give you on money-making opportunities from Google Adsense:

1. Never take it as your main source of income. Either your business will never prosper, or you will soon be running a loss;

2. Even more importantly, do not expect to make money from Google Adsense by driving traffic to your website using Google Adwords! The logic for this is simple - Google only gives you a fraction of the money it has earned. It would be silly to pay Google 20 cents on Adwords and earn 5 cents on Adsense in doing so.

3. Unless you have a website that attracts thousands of quality visitors every day (such as, you will only earn a few dollars, or maybe less, a day from Google Adsense. Bear this well in mind!!

4. Once you have put Google Adsense on your website, the temptation is there for you and your friends to be clicking many times on these adverts with a view to making money for yourself. Google calls these clicks "invalid clicks". And Google tracks such invalid clicks. Not only is it unfair on the publisher who is paying Google Adwords, but Google will identify such invalid clicks within days and close your Google Adsense account. It really is not worth it, so do not even try it;

5. Do not entice anyone to click on your Adsense adverts by explicitly requesting them to do so on your website. Again, Google will track this and close your account.

6. There are some Adsense keywords that pay more than others - it's all a matter of how much publishers are prepared to pay for these keywords on Google Adwords. So keywords such as "multiple scelerosis", "Asbestos", "Breat Cancer", "Make Money", "Ebay", "Satellite Navigation System", "Digital Camera", "Debt Consolidation", "IVA" etc. will pay more on Adsense;

7. Do not put Adsense on your website if its content relates to matters such as porn or gambling. Google does not like that and may refuse to open your Adsense Account;

8. Given all of this, the best way to earn a small residual income (that should never be your main income) using Google Adsense is to drive free traffic to your website. This can be done through several ways, e.g. word-of-mouth, blogging on other relevant sites and leaving your website link on them, inviting other people to put their relevant website links onto your website, driving traffic to someone else's website and asking them to do the same to you. If you are interested in doing so with me, please contact me and we can discuss;

Altogether, remember that Google loves relevant content and will pay you more the better quality traffic it gets and the more it earns for the keywords it got paid from on Google Adwords. But any form of abuse will result in your account cancelled. Google, like Ebay and Paypal, is a multi-billion dollar business. It will spend millions of dollars in preventing, detecting and removing abuse.

Here is a selection of useful ebooks about Google Adsense. If you are serious about boosting your income through Adsense, just like with Google Adwords, it is definitely worth spending some money as an investment in order to learn more about it and earn more. Also, it will reduce the time you spend learning about Adsense "on the job".

1. Keyword Elite: An expensive ebook but great content, advice and layout for both Google Adwords and Google Adsense;

2. Wordpress Adsense System: This is mainly about optimizing your revenue from Google Adsense on your website;

3. Article A great ebook that explains how to drive traffic to your website once you have your own site or blog and have opened your Adsense Account.

Once again, if you wish to link your website with this one, you are more than welcome to. Just add your own comments when invited to do so.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Google Adwords and Making Money

There is no doubt in my mind that Google, together with eBay, Yahoo and Amazon, is one of the biggest revolutions that the Internet has provided to us.

Today, Google is worth over US$100 billion simply because it has managed to successfully exploit the money-making potential of what is still its free service - the Google Search Engine!

How did it do so? With a product called Google Adwords. As I've said in my other blogs, Google's main competitor today is not Yahoo or MSN. It competes with the traditional, more established MEDIA companies like CNN, NBC, BBC etc.

Why? Let's suppose you want to advertise a product or service. A few years ago, you would have placed an advert in the newspaper, on radio and/or on TV. True, you can still do so today but you now have another great choice. To advertise on Google Adwords!

Google today reaches more people than any national TV company. And it only advertises your product to people who have shown a vague interest in it by typing some relevant keywords in its search engine. Even better, you do not have to pay Google a cent unless someone clicks on the link to the product or service you advertised. Now do you understand why it is a huge success?

So does this mean that you should use Google Adwords to make money online? The answer is No, you should use Google Adwords only to market a product or service online!

Google is great to divert traffic to your website - for the ordinary home-based business, there is probably no better tool. But it can be very dangerous - use it like a knife. The costs can rack up very quickly. If you are on a limited marketing budget, this will be costly.

Since I have lost over US$2,500 spending money on Google Adwords, I cannot claim to be an expert at it. But I am sure that if there is one lesson you can draw from it, is BE CAREFUL OF GOOGLE ADWORDS. It is not a licence to print money like some people claim. And if you do want to use Google Adwords to promote your product or service, be sure to buy an ebook on how to use it - I have given a selection below. The cost of one ebook will be far less than what you will WASTE ON GOOGLE ADWORDS if you do not know what you are doing. Trust me!

1. As stated above, use Google Adwords, only to market a product or service. Do not use it together with marketing sites such as Clickbank or Commission Junction to drive traffic to other people's sites. Clickbank wins, Google wins, the publisher wins, BUT YOU WILL LOSE!

2. Make sure that you have set aside a marketing budget to spend on Google Adwords and state your maximum spending limit on Adwords. Otherwise, you will literally burn money that you can't afford!

3. Make sure that you use the broadmatch function with the keywords you are buying - they will give you more visibility on Google;

4. If you own your own website, use Google Adsense too (see my related blog), this will give you a residual source of income;

5. Remember that Google Adwords ranks your listing using various criteria. The price you are willing to pay is only one of them, albeit a major one. A listing that generates more clicks can well be placed above yours if it is generating more clicks;

6. (5) above means that when you have started purchasing a keyword, you should expect to pay more. But if you have generated some successful clicks, you should bid less and hence reduce your costs. You may still be placed around the same average position or maybe even better.

7. Log into your Google Adwords account every day and monitor your costs. Otherwise, the costs will quickly spiral out of control. You can run a budget of several millions of dollars if you are a large company. If if you are the small home-based business who is marketing his (or someone else's) product, chances are that you are generating this marketing money out of your paycheck or savings. So clearly, this money is limited and means a lot to you. Actively monitor the keywords that are generating clicks, and lower your bids on those that have been generating clicks;

8. Remember, Google Adwords is like a car. It can be used to take you from A to B, but it can get you into a nasty accident. So just like you would learn how to drive a car before actually driving, I strongly urge you to buy one of the following ebooks and read thoroughly before you start using Google Adwords.

Whilst I have carefully chosen 3 ebooks to suit various extents to which you want to use Google Adwords, I think that they are all of value and the price you pay, in every case, is well worth what it can otherwise cost you.

(a) The Keyword Elite - a great ebook on both Adwords and Adsense that explains to you how to make the best use of each. As I describe in the Adsense section, you will not master Adsense UNLESS YOU KNOW ADWORDS. And this ebook tells you exactly what pitfalls to avoid when using Adwords. Suitable for anyone who wants to take their ecommerce business seriously and help it grow within years;

(b) Beating Adwords - this book does not go into as much detail on Adwords and Adsense and is much cheaper than The Keyword Elite. Ideally suited for people who want to become super-affilites;

(c) Google Is Making People Rich - this is ideal for starters and those who want to make money using Clickbank. Value for money ebook and there is not as much detail as the above two.

How much time will Google Adwords require from you? As much as you are willing to give. I spend about 1 hour every day reviewing my campaigns (when I run them). But you will need to do more than that - say 2/3 hours a day - when you start in order to get the hang of it.

And finally, remember that Google takes money by bank transfer out of your bank account each month. So make sure you have money to pay for the marketing. Non-payment will result in account suspension and a bad credit rating.

Good luck!