How I Make Money Online

Nicole Dean asked:

What is your #1 source of income? And, has that changed over the years you’ve been working online?

hard at workYes, my sources of online income have changed a lot over the years, actually. I am approaching 11 full years in business, and about to begin my 12th year. When I first started out, there were not many guides or courses, and there were very few affiliate programs (and my interest in those came later).

The internet was fairly new to the general public, and it was just becoming popular to get a home computer and get online...

Without going into my entire history of business, which has ranged from computer training classes and custom computer builds to web design and programming, I will just say that over the years I followed the trends and made good business of it.

Following trends and flowing with the changing market is not the same as consistently starting over, or always jumping on board with the "next best thing"...

My main objective has always been basically the same: to assist people with the transition to online business. Whether they are leaving their day job to start a business online, or want to expand their offline business to include online marketing.

And so for many years my primary source of income was on-site computer training and web development services. Later, as the market shifted to encourage "do it yourself" methods, my training (and next, consulting) catered to those needs instead.

I made the transition to more passive income models about 5 years ago. That transition took over a year, as I gradually stopped offering services and began building new streams of income.

Still, my objective stayed the same. Except now instead of getting paid by the client, I was getting paid by third party companies. And instead of working with one person at a time, I could reach thousands with the same message.

Of course, as methods and trends change, I have to test them for myself before I can teach them or help others learn them. So in addition to the work that I do with my target market, I also have streams of income from my "case studies".

For example, I have pay-per-click advertising campaigns running. I have affiliate sites in various niches. I have different types of blogs and feeds. I have various types of email marketing campaigns (newsletters, customer follow-ups, autoresponders). Basically I test programs, theories and methods on my own sites - outside of the Internet Marketing niche.

Given the ebb and flow of my business model, my primary source of income changes from time to time. There are some months that I earn more from Affiliate Marketing, other months that I hear more from product sales. But the majority of my gross income each year comes from a combination of those two general sources.

Which niche out-does the others, or which method even, tends to fluctuate throughout the year with the change in seasons. There is a consistent pattern to that year after year, though - so it makes it easy to prepare accordingly and place my focus where it is needed most at any given time.

My question for you, Nicole:

What is currently on your to-do list for your blog - and by the way, do you have more than one blog? Are you considering the "subscribe to comments" plugin? And what other plugins or updates or changes do you have planned in the near future?

(watch Nicole's blog for the answer)

While we are waiting to hear from Nicole, I'd love to hear about your online business. How long have you been working online, and what is your primary source of income?


Technorati Tags: , , ,

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»


  1. Sandy Naidu says

    I am loving this cross conversational blog...Getting a bit addicted actually!!!


  2. I agree, and its quite fun! Its also nice to let others pick your topics for you now and then πŸ˜€

    Do you blog, Sandy? If so, you should join in!

  3. Best top affiliate program online says

    Lynn, you know something?

    I'd wanting to ask similar question but just didn't know how to put it across for fear offending you ;(

    This 'conversation' is quite nice but would have love to know more πŸ™‚

    As for me I am currently on affiliate program marketing with 2 sites. I am just few months old in the game and learning.

    No PPC experience still doing SEO but not satisfy with the results yet.

    Now I am on the verge of uploading another site - for weight loss niche and start promoting it as well.

  4. See Par t 2 for more πŸ˜‰

    Try not to get discouraged just a few months into it. It takes time. You'll be glad you stuck it out!

  5. Sandy Naidu says

    Lynn, thank you so much for your kind response. As for me - I do have a blog. I am a newbie in this industry though - so am not sure if I am eligible. I have been working on my own for 5 years now. I moved into internet marketing less than 6 months ago. If you are after a newbie's perspective on something in this industry please count me in...

    oh...My blog btw is

  6. Count yourself in, Sandy πŸ˜‰ Watch your WordPress dashboard for an incoming link from ClickNewz in the next couple of days!

  7. Seems the guide is no longer available.

  8. Thanks for the heads-up on that, Alex - Jeremy has only posted that note in the last day or so because I just recently checked the page. I removed the link so as not to confuse anyone else. Thanks again!

  9. Hi Lynn,

    I enjoy your blog and your e-mail newsletters. Keep them coming.

    I have a BBQ Blog that has been providing a consistently regular, although small, monthly income for about 8 months.

    I've been online for 5 years, but have only learned about SEO more recently and everything I've been able to learn about HTML has been a seat-of-the-pants trial and error method.

    After reading your newsletters for a few months now, I wish that I'd started my blog on WordPress instead of Blogger, but I've noticed several of most popular blogs as ranked by Technorati are Blogger blogs. My blog receives between 250 - 500 page views per day depending on how many posts I make and how regularly those posts are made. More posts equals more visitors, in my experience.

    Fortunately, when searching for "BBQ Blog" on Google, my site is usually in the first couple on the list. Now I just need more visitors--lots more visitors.

  10. Cool blog, Brian πŸ™‚ I can see you doing very well with this with a full-blown bbq theme and header graphic. The main problem I see with blogger is that you are building equity in *their* domain. I used to use them also, and when I switched over I left my blog there (as it had good rankings) and just started fresh on WordPress and did it that way... which may be something you'll want to consider in the future.

  11. Lynn,

    I appreciate the suggestion and have reached the same conclusion. I have my own domain at and would like to integrate my blog into that website.

    Is there some type of add-on software or plug-in that I should look into for adding a blog to my existing domain? Or, would it be a better approach to just switch the blog to a standalone WordPress site?

  12. You can always point the domain to your current blog on blogger - and at least then you are promoting your own domain (and not theirs).

    But I would set the domain up on a web host and install WordPress on that account. You can leave your original blog and just post an announcement once you have 7-10 entries on the new blog. That's what I did.

    I use HostGator, which is less than $10/month and includes an easy WP install in the control panel. I have a coupon code where you can get the first month free:


  13. Hi Lynn (again),

    I set up a site today and added the custom header. After a few hours using it today, I agree that it's better than Blogger. However, how can I use Adsense with WordPress?

    The WordPress faq at addresses the issue and as I understand it, adsense and any other type of advertisement including Amazon, is prohibited on WordPress.

  14. Actually, the free hosted version of WordPress at is not the same at all. Its similar to blogger - with much more limitations (as you've already found).

    What I am referring to is setting up WordPress on your own hosting account. Its free to install, and comes as a one-click install with most web hosts.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  15. Internet Marketing Offers says

    My first income on the internet is from auction site...

  16. Internet Business Coach says


    If you are going to host your own blog with wordpress, make sure the host offers "fantastico", that is the program within the web host that offers one click wordpress installation.

  17. The best investment are the free marketing techniques. Trends and products may change, but if you now about SEO, articles, etc, the chances of make money are always there.

  18. Hi Lynn. I just found your blog. It's wonderful. I've been online for about 5 years, but just took the full-time internet marketing leap about a year ago. It's scary not to have the "steady" paycheck coming in, but I love it. My worse day in IM is still better than my best day on the 9-5. I make my money from three main sources: Adsense, Affiliate Marketing, and contextual advertising. My affiliate sales aren't as strong as I'd like for them to be so that's my focus right now by building niche sites and blogs.

Leave a Reply


Get My Internet Business & Smart Marketing Diaries - Free!