How I Make Money Online – Part 2: An Inside Look

To follow up on Nicole Dean's question about how I make money online, I thought I'd give you an inside look at some of my recent affiliate promotions, and online income sources.

So far this month (just over 2 weeks), 32% of my gross income has come from product sales, and 68% has come from affiliate commissions. Product sales include products I developed, products I have rights to, and virtual products (such as memberships and advertising).

Some months it will be opposite, with the product sales bringing in the majority of the income. It all depends on what I am working on, of course.

Would you like to see some specific examples, along with screen shots? Okay...

I'll start with an affiliate program that I dont actively promote. Its a passive-earner. The way that I promote the program is through one web page. That page ranks well in the major search engines for a variety of keyword phrases related to the product I promote there.

I cant remember exactly when I put that web page online, but I believe it was around 2 years ago. It has been a consistent earner ever since, earning on average around $10/day:

The screen shot above shows my sales on that one product for the last 90 days. Keep in mind that I spent 30 minutes creating that web page about 2 years ago, and havent touched it since. So 30 minutes of time invested = approx $300/month in continuous revenue.

Passive Income is my favorite type πŸ˜€ I have an upcoming guide on the topic, for those interested. Its been a long time in development, but there were some major changes since I first started writing it, so I have it on the back burner for a major re-write. You can get on the list if you want to get notification when it's released.

Let's see... Remember the recent blog post (Oct 13th) where I addressed Rosalind Gardner with a personal note? I hyperlinked the mention of her Super Affiliate guide within that post, though there was no direct promotion at all. I earned $56.46 in commissions:

Accidental Commissions are nice. (I dont have a guide coming out on that topic)

That actually goes towards the tips I shared in the recent Super Affiliate Blogging interview. Being "real" and not always pushing the "hard sale" tends to work well. Another tip I mentioned is doing product reviews, and I've had great conversions with reviews over the years...

Two recent examples include Impact Web Audio and Optin Designs. If you click those links you will see my actual reviews. Both included product details and working examples.

Impact Web Audio was offered as a daily special through DealDotCom at only $5. The commission for DDC affiliates is 35% on the first tier and 15% on the 2nd tier. So I only stood to earn $1.75 on each direct sale, 75c on 2nd tier sales.

I put the blog post together in under 10 minutes, and then spent 2 minutes creating the working example. So we'll say 15 minutes tops - and total earnings on that were $69.58 (plus a lot of happy readers).

Optin Design is another product I am using myself, and also an affiliate for. The commission structure is 1-tier at 60% of the sale. I have earned $111.00 so far for that review. I expect that amount will continue to rise - I recruited over 100 people into the site so far, with 5 converting to buyers. Once they use the 2 free templates, that conversion rate should go up. It's an awesome product.

While $50-$100 per blog post might not sound like much to you, you have to keep in mind that I blog anywhere from 2-6x a day. Promotions go fast, and blog posts move off the main page and into the archives fairly quickly.

Obviously more traffic would equal more income, as is always the case. My blog is barely a year and a half old and has just recently reached the 10-digit traffic mark (with 10-12,000 unique visitors per month).

Still, you'd be hard-pressed to earn a minimum $50-$100 per blog post any other way. And those are just 2 examples - some promotions do better than others, of course.

Want to see bigger numbers? No problem. Most of my affiliate commissions come from such a wide variety of sources that individually they dont seem like much - though they total nice numbers at the end of the month.

For bigger numbers "per promotion", we'll look at some recent product sales (sales of my own products)...

I recently ran a WSO, which is a Warrior Special Offer on the Warrior Forum. My special offer was for an exclusive report that I wrote, and I practically gave it away at only $5 per copy. I sold 103 copies, for a total of $515.00 in sales.

That report is a lead generator, and also resulted in backend sales on two higher priced products. Total time invested: less than one hour. Cost to run WSO: $20. Total income generated: still being calculated (promotion still in progress).

Another pre-launch fire-sale for an Info Product that I ran on the Warrior Forum (as a WSO), resulted in 204 sales at $10 per sale for a total of $2,040.00 in product sales. I ran a Special Offer myself and with a few hand-selected JV partners on that same product, bringing the grand total (to date) to just over $4,000.

If you include backend sales, that total is over $6k. Yes, during PRE-launch. If you like that idea, you should read my Fast Cash Strategy πŸ˜‰

Let's see... I've earned $4,913.10 in the last 2 weeks for an affiliate promotion. This particular promotion was not a passive income model. And no, I dont have a guide on Active Income Business Models either. That would take all of 4 letters: W-O-R-K. I'm not beyond working for pay, as bad as that 4-letter word sounds coming out of my mouth...

And FYI, that particular promotion has been hard work...

I couldnt get the entire list in one screen shot, but you get the idea. And the total I gave you is my net income in commissions. I actually earned over $7,000 but I didnt include refunds in my earnings.

I'm trying to be honest here, ya know πŸ™‚

Okay, one more - and this one is another of my "passive income models". Again, a one-pager that I put up a couple of years ago that is a consistent monthly earner. It promotes an affiliate program and they pay commissions every 2 weeks, which is nice.

I earn a commission per-lead, and also a percentage per sale. Its a generous program that converts well. My rankings for this one arent that great, but good enough to generate several hundred dollars per month in profits. Again, low investment (I spent 10 or 15 minutes putting this together awhile back) and nice return:

The column to the far right is my overall earnings with that company, which is almost $7,000 total. Its been online around 2 years (no maintenance - love it!) and earns close to $300/month as a consistent passive stream of income.

Do not let these numbers inspire you. I could do far better, and so can you. In fact, I have a 10x Goal that I am starting during the New Year (for 2008) that you'll hear about over the next few months. The gist of the 10x Goal is to increase my numbers and results across the board by 10.

If I can do $300/month in sales for one product, I can do $3,000. If I can get 10,000 unique visitors per month on one of my sites, I can get 100,000. If I can sell 50 copies of one product, I can sell 500. Its all about duplication... and having a good VA on board, of course πŸ˜‰

Best,

P.S. If you would like for me to help you earn a substantial amount of money online, become an Elite Member by joining my Private Brainstorming Group where you can download all of my products for free... and get personal help with your business idea or business model. It is the ONLY place that I offer personal mentoring or one-on-one consultations. Its a small but active group of serious entrepreneurs, and you'll get a lot of 'bang' for your buck... get details

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreΒ»

Discussion

  1. Elizabeth Ashe says:

    Lynn, I have a question how long did it take you to reach the number of unique visitors that you get each day?

    would love to know.

  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    ClickNewz has grown gradually and steadily over the last 2 years. You can view each months stats, and get a feel for the growth, here: http://www.clicknewz.com/category/clicknewz-stats/

  3. I would just like to say, this is one of the best Info Blogs i have seen in a while.

    I have just bookmarked and will be returning to digest more usefull tips.

    Keep up the good work, and Thanks.

    BoB.

  4. Currently, on my blog, Cash Flow Today, I have Google Adsense and I link to two other sites where I write articles and get paid by page views.

    It does require a fair amount of work . . . or content creation . . . I'm learning how to leverage my efforts.

  5. Thank you BoB πŸ˜€

    Sounds good Don. Have you tried Affiliate Marketing yet at all?

  6. Hi Lynn,

    I am new here and appreciate all the great info. I am just curious to know how you avoid getting scammed online and how you make sure your affiliate commissions aren't stolen?
    Thanks for the info.

  7. Hi Patty & Welcome to ClickNewz πŸ˜€

    The affiliate commissions are tracked by software, and I keep a pretty good eye on it. In 10 years, its been a rare case to have a problem with getting a payment, so I dont spend much time worrying about that.

  8. Hello Lynn,

    I am doing a little bit of research on how to make some money online and came across your site(s). I am very new to all of this and found that there are so many scams out there. I find your info. very refreshing...
    What program do you use or suggest to use when building a web site to market products?

    Thanks,
    Tommy

  9. Hi Tommy,

    It depends on what you are going to sell. Do you mean physical products, info products - perhaps an online store, and if so: as an affiliate or as a direct seller.

    I use Dreamweaver to create traditional sites, and WordPress (which is what I used for ClickNewz - this site) though there are a lot of options out there.

    Join me at my discussion forum and we can explore the options further πŸ˜‰

  10. Im just starting out at this, this info has helped and motivated me, thank you!

  11. I made a tidy sum selling a "How to quadruple your clickbank profits in less than 30 minutes" report for $15 via Craigslist.
    The money is out there!!

  12. Hmm, I'm thinking of writing e-chapters on cash flow for personal and business use. And then maybe sell them inexpensively.

    Anyone have suggestions on how to go about that?

  13. Hi Don,

    Download the info-product mindmap mentioned in this post: http://www.clicknewz.com/1534/quick-tip-on-selling-info-products/

    You'll have an opportunity to get Doug's step-by-step guide after you download the mindmap too. Highly recommended.

  14. hi im impressed with how u manage to earn at the comfort of ur home. I have two blogs right now, i dont work full-time onit as i have a full-time job. Recently, i am addicted to online earning, i am not earning much from paid posts, i want to earn more as i feel im wasting so much time on my computer without profit.

    Please help me where to start. Thank you so much in advance.

  15. Hi Imelda,

    The key with blogging is to choose a topic to blog about, and then blog consistently on that topic to build a loyal readership. You can monetize your blog in a variety of ways, as I outlined in the original post above... Also see: http://www.selfstartersweeklytips.com/dl/AffiliateBlogging.zip

  16. Hi Lynn,

    I tried affiliate marketing before but never worked for me. I guess you are an inspiration to be back on my track again.

  17. Thanks so much Lynn for this great info. I'll try making good use of it. You are an inspiration.

  18. Thanks Lynn,
    Nice Sharing.. Inspired me very much..

  19. ppc management says:

    Great post, and still very relevant. It's always helpful to read about another marketer's successes. Your WSO efforts were eye opening for me, I'm going to have to come up with a few.

    Thanks.

  20. EXTREMELY Discouraged says:

    Hello,

    I'm writing because I've tried making money online using all of the "typical" ways with SEO, Social Networking, Video, Pushing the Free Line, and countless others yet after several months have made a grand total of $0 with my website traffic getting lower and lower response the more I advertise, get backlinks, submit articles, etc...

    I have a BS in Information Tech. and have over 20 years experience in my field, yet I've been unemployed for over 2 years with nothing coming in. I've tried to sell a 70 page ebook with zero results and am tired of everyone saying you can make money this way or that way, showing pictures of "proof" of sales when it could have been doctored in photoshop.

    I'm simply out of options, barely able to stay afloat and am just wondering how this could be when I've really, truly tried all these different ways of earning money. Even affiliate sales somehow elude me and I'm just not understanding what the heck I'm doing wrong.

    Please don't think I'm doubting information you've given on your site, rather I'm just confused as how I've been working hard at so many forms of Internet Marketing for month now with not one product or affiliate sale or any other form of forward movement and I can't understand why.

  21. Thanks Lynn,
    I've learned something new today about the linking strategy. I'd sworn off creating full blown sites a year ago, but this post has me rethinking that decision.

    I could never get my mind around the 'one page' site, you finally explained what's been missing form all the junk gathering cyber dust on my computer:)

    Thank you and hope to see more of this 'down in the trenches' content coming.

  22. Hi Georjina,

    Larger content sites carry more weight in the search engines, simply due to theming and internal linking. So creating one-pagers on larger sites, with that one page ranking well for a specific search term, is a good method for making passive income.

  23. Dear Extremely Discouraged,

    I would love to look at some of your work and get an idea what you have tried and what has not worked for you...

    Feel free to join me at my discussion forum and post an introduction there. I'd be happy to take a look and see how I can help you get things going in a better direction.

    Best,
    Lynn Terry

  24. This a very inspiring post. While its not millions of dollars a month it is a level every IM should be able to reach. I am working on creating some more sites so that i can earn some passive income as well.

    I have a quick question about niches. For these passive income sites do you generally go for low traffic niches? For instance ones that are getting less than 100 searches a day?

    Thanks
    Rory

  25. Hi Rory,

    This post is by no means all-inclusive, or an indication of how much money I make online. It is simply filled with very specific examples to give a behind-the-scenes look at how it works.

    I dont have a specific number that I work with when it comes to keywords or niches. Sometimes I go with hot markets, sometimes I go with super competitive niches, other times I am working "the longtail" and simply picking up crumbs so to speak. Just whatever happens to strike me!

    I choose my niches based on a variety of factors. The hot markets for example, are usually ideas I get from mainstream media. They do all the hard work creating the buzz, I just have to rank in the top 3 to capitalize on their investment πŸ™‚

    Other times I'll work with a product because its one I use, like & believe in - and simply match it to a specific market and put the two together. Other times I might test parallel markets and try to make a match - which is always interesting.

    The options are endless!

  26. Hi ~ Signed up for your Passive Income Guide ~ Is there any information about how to go about setting up separate pages on a WP blog to promote these items? That's the part I don't understand is how to host the products. Thanks.

  27. Hi Cindy,

    This post should prove helpful - it's a step-by-step walk through of just one of the ways I do it:
    http://www.clicknewz.com/650/affiliate-case-study/

    I want to point out though that some of the tool are outdated. Instead of using Overture & WordTracker's free trial to research keywords, I know use http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com .

    That should help, but its worth noting too that I often just promote products through my blog posts - by writing reviews or recommendations within my posts.

    Let me know if that raises any questions.

  28. Jeff Przybylski says:

    Thank you for sharing all this information with the world Lynn!

    Facts and figures are always a source of great inspiration for people just starting out. I remember feeling excited years back when I first tried making money online and read articles of people achieving real success.

    Great job and good luck to all your future success!

  29. Your Money Online says:

    Hi Lynn,

    It is a inspiring post although I already know I can make money with affiliate programs. I like your screenshots and cases. Hope I can strat to make some money with my new blog.

  30. Melissa Williams says:

    Hey Lynn,
    Thanks so much for sharing that with us. This post really gives me hope. When I started out, which was just over a month ago, I set some pretty big goals. With you sharing this information I know that one day I will be posting my success with others. Again, thanks sooo much!!

  31. Hi Lynn, that's all truly impressive. I just added you to my favorites, and Stumbled your page too as a favorite. You really know what you are talking about. I'm also an online entrepreneur, well...my business models require a lot of work cause I sell services. I want to get into the passive income you are an expert in. Right now I'm working on some big projects but as soon as I have a change I will try to become an Elite member, and may also share this with others.

  32. Terry Henry says:

    I just gotta say this, Lynn you rock! So far today, I have read several blogs, been in at least 2 forums and have been to more IM websites/salespages than I can count right now...Guess what....You just blew them all away. The reason why I feel that way is because you really come across as genuine...no hype...no b.s...no look at my bajillion dollar house house or 300 mph sports car or blah,blah,blah. It's just real down to earth analysis of what you're doing to generate "passive income" on a consistent basis. That's what I want to know about.

    Thank you so much...for just being real.

    Terry

  33. Paul Ingersole says:

    Hi Lynn,

    I tripped over your profile in the warrior forum.
    Very impressed by your openess and detail about your passive income.
    I work a not dissimilar plan that revolves around secondtier income.

    Regards
    Paul

  34. Hi Lynn,

    thanks for share this information...

    especially about passive income idea

    I've just signed up for your Passive Income Guide

    Great Infos

    Thanks

  35. Hi Lynn,

    Also want to say thanks for your great info. Just wanted to ask you about your opinion on site build it or sbi? I have been looking around the net and found these guys a few times. Would love to hear what you think of them.

    Cheers
    Conor

  36. Heya!
    Thank you so much for this article.
    I started with internet marketing 5 months ago, knowing absolutely nothing. I have set up a few sites, taught myself html, how to use wordpress, and learning tips and secrets of affiliate marketing. I have 2 sites up on the first page of google already out of 1 million plus results...only now the income is not so great yet. Ive made about $550 to date since I started, and I'm a little stuck as to what to do next. Started with google adwords and experimenting with that, but so far not much luck!
    Id love to hear more from you, and if you find time maybe you could send me an email. Its amazing how people like you can make a full time living from online, Im convinced I am going to do it too, so I admire you for that:)

    Best regards
    Dirk

  37. Hi,
    Thank you for the information. It is always a pleasure to meet like-minded, positive people. I will check out your website. I really think some of our members would be interested in learning more about what you're offering. When you get a chance, post a Free Business Profile in our network community.

  38. Thanks, this is great! You show me all the income you generated. I now checking your site, products review and products you will. But, one things I really don't understand, how can you setting up a site 2 years ago and still generate you some income from that site?

  39. Dirk - I'd be happy to help you. You can post your questions on my forum at http://www.selfstartersweeklytips.com/forum/

    Kenny - using SEO, you can create a web page today and it may continue to rank in top spots for years if you maintain it with a few quality inbound links now and then πŸ˜‰

    I'm glad you guys found this post helpful & inspirational. I should post an update with some current stats & examples... I have achieved some really cool things since this original post!

    Two things: If you're not achieving what you want with Affiliate Marketing yet, see http://www.theblackinkprojects.com - Jeremy Palmer ROCKS!

    Also, if you're in the Atlanta area (or willing to travel), I'm going to a workshop at the end of the month to help people out with this HANDS-ON. See: http://www.nicheaffiliatemarketingsystems.com/

    Happy New Year!
    -Lynn Terry

  40. Your site is great specially for a newbie blogger like me and for those who want to venture into problogging and making money online. I’ve also seen some of your YouTube vlogs and affiliate marketing

    this is awesome!

    Thanks and keep it up!

    ching,
    http://makemoneyfromscratch.net

  41. Site Build It - Scam or Not? says:

    Hi Lynn,

    Wow, this is very inspiring and you made it sound very easy.

    I've been trying to earn money thru affiliate marketing but haven't had any luck yet. Are you creating squidoo lenses as well? Coz that's what I've been doing.

    And if you're not promoting the pages how do people find them? I've been doing lots of linkbuilding just to see my lenses on 2nd page of google.

    I will definitely check out your recommendations and sites.

    Hope to have the same success soon.

    Thanks!

  42. Im really happy for you girl keep up the good work. I love the blog. Im opting in right now.

  43. Thank you Shannon!

    I’ve been trying to earn money thru affiliate marketing but haven’t had any luck yet. Are you creating squidoo lenses as well? Coz that’s what I’ve been doing.

    And if you’re not promoting the pages how do people find them? I’ve been doing lots of linkbuilding just to see my lenses on 2nd page of google.

    No, I dont have any Squidoo lenses. I create my own websites on my own domains. And with a little basic SEO & linking, I've had no trouble getting them to rank well.

    I published some more of my stats & details here:
    http://www.clicknewz.com/1826/blogging-inspiration/

    HTH

  44. Great information thanks heaps

  45. Sqip Review says:

    Hey Lynn,

    I really enjoyed reading this article. It struck home because most of the money I make from my blogs comes from affiliate products sales from reviews.. it seems very logical that you don't go for the hard sale but rather convince your visitors about the benefits and let them decide... I also find that it helps if I believe and actually use the product or service myself...

    Thanks,
    Locke

    • Exactly Locke. That said, you do want to include a strong call-to-action with your reviews & recommendations. An affiliate's place in the market is to position himself between the buyer and the merchant - and to add value to the buying process. This often comes in the form of comparisons, reviews, case studies, and whatever it takes to help in the actual buying decision -- which is why people search for this type of information online.

      • Hi Lynn,

        Would you believe I found this post because a blog spammer copied your entire reply "Exactly Locke...type of information online" and pasted it as a comment in my blog? These spammers are so annoying but at least in this case I found a post worth reading and sharing. πŸ™‚

  46. TAT (Affiliate Secrets) says:

    Congratulations Lynn,

    You must had a very long journey doing this. Anyway, the most important thing is what we did is what we want to do, right?

    Your article do inspire me πŸ™‚

    Thank you!

  47. Hi Lynn,
    I am impressed with your success. I have a personal blog, or rather a blog about dogs with lots of articles, photos, etc. I will have an ecommerce site ready to go online next week. It will be a pet products site. My blog gets around 400 visitors a day now. I write articles and have 5 or 6 on ezine. How can I get traffic to my site using these resources? I am pretty new to marketing online and want to get off on the right foot!

    • An ecommerce style affiliate site is a perfect compliment to a niche blog. What you want is good, interesting content and lots of inbound links. In addition to article marketing, also join social media sites and niche forums and get active there. Set up profiles that include your keyword rich bio and website/blog links. Guest post on other niche blogs, or at least comment frequently. Be sure you get links to your internal pages as well as your main pages!

      For good links & rankings, download Dan Thies' free seo guide from http://www.seofaststart.com - he has a new 2009 Edition available now.

  48. Hi Lynn, just came through a twitter link to your blog, and I have subscribed. I've heard a few of your "internet marketing weekly" podcasts with the others, so am looking forward to reading more quality posts.

  49. Nice advice! Good advice and movtivation. I see you must been doing this for a while to get to where you are. And i know its not easy to be at where you are as well. Good job

  50. What website do you suggest for a beginner or where do you learn how to build a website if you have no experience,i've been reading several blogs most recent charles Heflin which led me to your site,any help is appreciated

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