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˜‰


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»


  1. Wow! Very inspiring. I really like the idea of passive income. I've got several projects at the moment where I'm hoping it will be a long term investment, where they will keep earning in the future even if I don't update them anymore. Sometimes it pays to be patient and just get things done even if they're not going to be instant gratification.

    • That's true, Catherina. Unfortunately most people are seeking that "instant gratification" or "instant success" and totally miss out on the idea that you have to work for it. Of course, that makes it easier for those of us that are willing to invest time and energy... because it really decreases the true competition. Most people simply don't follow through, leaving PLENTY of room for those that do!

  2. google money says

    Great ideas overall , I think i'll start to subscribe to your feeds from now on. I have been unable to find you on twitter, could you let me know what your name is on there so I can be sure to follow you and get updates?

  3. Hi Lynn,

    Thats great piece of information on the different possible revenue streams. Thanks you again..
    This is truly a complete blog with rich content..


  4. Hi Lynn,

    Thanks for the sharing. Can you share how you systemize your affiliate business.


    • Nothing fancy, actually. I use bookmarks to organize all of my affiliate logins under one bookmark folder. That way I can easily go down the list to log in and check stats. I use spreadsheets for most other things - and of course email filters/folders to keep the incoming mail & notices organized.

  5. Diggy - says

    Hey Lynn!
    Thansk for this informative post, Its amazing to see someone making as much money as you do from online, Im nowhere close to that!

    Gonna keep working on it, your article just serves as inspiration:)

    Can i ask what plugin you have for WP that allows readers to stumble and twitter the post?

    Thanks a million

    • Thank you Diggy. I'm not sure on the plugin - I had a designer add that in to my theme when I had the custom design created. I've seen similar things on other blogs, so it must be fairly easy to do. You might do a search on Google and see if that turns up anything. Good luck!

  6. Great inspiring post.

    I've been a reader of your blog gor quite some time now. Your site has such amazing and detailed posts. Keep up te good work.

    And congrats on your success

  7. Really very useful tips about making money online. Internet has changed the working and earning money by the poeple. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I am amazed with your passive income report. Making $300/month by investing 30 minutes working time is really great.

  9. Lynn,

    Really enjoy a lot of these posts here. It seems that a huge part of your passive income strategy has to do with SEO combined with affiliate promotions. Is that right?

  10. wow!!! that's alot of money earned online... πŸ™‚

    I'm jealous...

    My goal now is to

    Make more money online than you.. πŸ˜€

  11. Mike Rogers says

    Hi Lynne,

    At great article that I just read after listening to the ITMW podcast for about a year now. I'm curious how you find your affiliate deals. How do you become an affiliate for such great products. The types of things you are selling are obviously not standard "ClickBank" type PDFs. Do people find you or do you seek out affiliate programs?

  12. It really helps to know what others are doing that actually makes them money, you've also helped provide a little motivation as well, Thanks πŸ˜‰

  13. I know this post was made over a year ago, but is still very inspiring. Thanks Lynn!

  14. That was really encouraging ...i am trying to make some money online ..

  15. Realincomepro says

    Very inspiring post Lynn especially for newbie like me. I'll bookmarks your's blog. Thanks

  16. I just came across your blog and this post definitely caught my attention. It does make me realize how much harder I should be working so even though you say don't take it is inspiration it definitely is for me. Going to check out more of your blog!

  17. I just found your site. I'm a member of the ISS program with Mark Hendricks. I saw you are teaching at his event in August, so I checked you out. I'm glad I did. Funny thing is, I've been doing affiliate marketing for about a year now with no real success. Clickbank checks every 2 weeks (small ones) but that's about it. Your blog has opened my eyes to so many other ways to make money online. I've been messing around with the get rich quick guides and have been ignoring the practical stuff.

    Thank you for your blog. I'm looking forward to learning more from you.



  18. Wow Lynn, Love your post, it's certainly inspiring. I do believe the "if I can do 10 I can do 100" philosophy. It is all about repetition.

  19. wow! that as i wish i can do the same, but yeah, it will be a lot of work on my part coz i will be starting from scratch. i guess you also have some luck with you. ^_^
    anyway, thanks fro sharing that to us, giving us ideas and inspirations.

  20. Manisha Patel says

    Lynn, Nice blog you have. I had went through your twitter account as well. I have recently started VA business and serving USA, UK, AUS and NZ clients. I would like to ask "You do SEO for your own websites right?" and then attract the you develop websites based on WordPress? Your response will be much appreciated.
    Take Care of yourself! Manisha Patel

  21. Hi Lynn I'm new to your site. I ordered your Easy 7-Step Cash Strategy. I'm anxious to read it.

  22. Eamon Diamond 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!

  23. Wow they are some great revenue figures that you are generating and it just goes to show that if you are willing to invest time and hardwork to develop a blog, website or forum the long term rewards can be significant. I remember the first site i ever created and it took me the best part of a year before I started to earn revenue. I nearly gave up after 6 months, but because I stuck at it the revenues soon started following. I think that understanding what your readers/customers actually want is critical and then matching products to these needs really makes a difference. Thanks for such a detailed overview that helps inspire others

  24. Michael Anderson says

    Thanks for sharing this. Passive income is great. You set up a site and it makes you money on autopilot for years to come. Do you continue to throw backlinks at these sites or do they just keep on trucking with zero effort on your part?

  25. very impressive revenue figures! wish I had the skills! Ive been reading a few of your articles and maybe soon I will! thanks!

  26. Great to see you are earning a consistent wage from affiliate marketing. Not often people do!

  27. I love getting some money from Clickbank. However, I have seen my most consistent affiliate earnings from Amazon and Commission Junction. Always nice to see someone share their numbers but I would be careful that someone does not reverse engineer your stuff. Sadly, this happens far too often in our field. This is one reason I am moving towards making the products myself.

  28. Very impressive numbers from your earnings proof, Lynn. I recently started affiliate marketing and just found your blog - already read tons of valuable real actionable steps I can start implementing.

    Thanks for inspiring me.

  29. Looks good. Do you have any updated earning statements? Those are from a couple of years ago.

  30. Whoa, that's really impressive. How much time do you put in for all the work that you do in a day? I'm sure that all that hard work paid off right?

  31. I do have updated stats and details. You'll find them in this post:

    It took me a lot of time in the beginning, especially because it was many years ago (before gurus and guides and wordpress and such). But now I can manage my online business in as little as 5-10 hours a week. See: for more on that.

  32. Hey Lynn,
    Interesting post.

    I clicked on the Impact Web Audio link trying to get to Deal Dot Com. Wanted to get affiliate status. However, when I tried to create the free account the page kept refreshing with no change. Am I doing something wrong? Please advise.

  33. Jonathan Millet says

    All I can say is wow. I've been trying to earn a passive income with google adsense as well but I couldn't earn the same amount that you mentioned above. Maybe adsense is not the answer if you want to earn online what do you think?

  34. Harry Klitza says

    What a wonderful breakdown of your earnings. This is fantastic and nice to see you supported your statements with screenshots.

    Some people may not blink an eyelid or care too much about earing some of these small amounts per sale such as $5 here and $10 there but they amount up. These small amounts are the equivalent of long tail keywords, after time they can flood your Website with traffic or in this situation flood your bank account with money!

    Excellent article, thank you!

    Harry Klitza

  35. Kelly Wright says

    Wonderful post! Great that you've included screenshots to validate your statements and show your progress. As an owner of a review site, I haven't seen the "effect" of writing reviews and setting up an affiliate in order to gain an income. I am inspired by your post to be more dedicated in making strategies to generate traffic to my site.

  36. Reign Eliza Sovereign says

    Hi Lynn ... will you be doing another "20/20 Challenge"?

  37. Lynn,

    Great to see the breakdown - if you'd presented the total it probably would be less believable than showing some of the parts of the whole.
    Thanks for the insight.

  38. I love when people show some of their income and earnings in a blogpost. It will motivate new bloggers to keep on fighting for the money cause it's not impossible !

    I have been an active blogger for about 7 month now but I was very close to giving up in the beginning. But I continued and that was a great decision. Today, I make good money blogging πŸ™‚

  39. I don't want to bother you or sound really dumb here but I've been reading all about the affiliates programs on your site and others and I would like to do it but what I don't understand is HOW you get the product to sell, yes I know we don't get the product. All the programs say pick a niche but how do you know if that company will pay you to do it or how do you get them to do it? I know all this might sound dumb to you and I'm sorry. Oh and I don't mean I want to do this on my personal blog.

  40. Aleka Stone says

    It is especially rewarding to see you continuing to practice what you preach in a simple and unequivocal way. Thanks for your willingness to spend your time in the lab testing what really works and then freely sharing the results with the rest of us.

  41. You're doing really well with generating income through your affiliate commissions. Are you still generating the same about of income each month or has it increased since this post? I'm really interested in gaining insight from someone who actually practices what they preach.

  42. Eric Phillips says

    From the looks of this post, it seems like it was posted about 4-5 years ago. I'm curious if you are still conducting business online in the same way. How has your business changed over the past few years.

    Feel free to point me towards another post if you've already addressed these questions.

  43. Amy Gilchrist says

    A terrific article

    It is great to see someone making good money online. You are quite an inspiration

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