Before I tell you how I earned my first $100 marketing online, let me start by telling you a bit about me. My name is Andrew Seltz. My nickname online (given to me by my wife) is The Go-To Guy! and I’ve got a pretty wide ranging background. I got my first computer back in the mid-1980’s – a Commodore 64. In addition to playing video games, I taught myself a little programming. Later I went to college and studied filmmaking and animation. I mortgaged my soul to purchase an Amiga 2000 computer that I used to create 3D graphics and animation. Continue reading “How I Made My First $100 Online – And How You Can Copy My Success”
My personal Internet marketing story can be traced back to a blog entry I read back in December of 2005. Professional blogger Yaro Starak had written about how you could make money creating niche content websites with Adsense ads on them.
I had been toying with the idea of creating some sort of Internet based business for several years, but hadn’t figured out how to get started. Yaro’s article laid out a logical and accessible approach that seemed attainable. So, with no market analysis or research I bought a couple domain names and started experimenting.
At the same time I setup a blog and wrote about my experiments.
After one year of researching and experimenting with my niche sites, I had earned less than $30 from my efforts and spent at least that much money trying to earn $30. I was not a raging success in the world of marketing.
As depressing as my initial results were, those experiments were not wasted. I learned a huge number of valuable Internet skills which became foundational to my later success. I learned about web design, SEO, ad optimization, how to setup a WordPress site and more. I also discovered that the blog I created to document my experiments (and also to write about other projects I was doing and advice I was giving) was far more popular than any of the niche sites I had created.
Along the way I had also found a number of excellent e-books on various aspects of Internet marketing. I had to wade through a lot of junk to find the gems, but I found them. The pivotal book for me was “5 Bucks a Day”, by Dennis Becker. I discovered it during a special offer sale he was running at the Warrior Forum (the 800 pound gorilla of Internet Marketing Forums.)
I had been learning dozens of business plans that seemed like legitimate methods for earning money online, but I hadn’t focused on any one thing long enough to get real traction in my business. Dennis’ book is all about focus and breaking down your efforts into small manageable projects designed to earn a little profit consistently. Over time, you build a portfolio of profitable projects that adds up to significant income.
My newfound focus wasn’t the only benefit I got from Dennis’ e-book. He also started a membership forum for all of the people who bought “5 Bucks a Day.” And, it was there that I experienced the first of many $100 paychecks.
As a member of the forum I got very active helping other members and sharing my personal experiences in the world of marketing. All of the knowledge and skills I had aquired became the foundation for helping others. I answered questions about adding video to websites and how to record better audio. I jumped in with tips for people building WordPress sites. And, I offered detailed reviews of new e-books and software I purchased.
All the energy I put into giving valuable information to fellow forum members paid off in the excellent reputation I was earning. I became a respected member of the community and struck up a few friendships as well.
I continued seeking out new information about Internet marketing. One e-book I came across was “Niche Marketing on Crack,” written by Andrew Hansen. One night I bought the book, devoured it, and jumped on the forum to offer up my opinion of the content.
Dennis is very generous toward the members of his forums. If you provide valuable information in a review and include a non-affiliate link to the sales page, he doesn’t have any problems with members including an affiliate link as well. I included an affiliate link in my review of “Niche Marketing on Crack.”
Over the next several days I answered many questions about the e-book. Some people I encouraged to buy it and others I recommended look elsewhere for the help they needed. As with any product, it was not right for everyone. As a result of the helpful information I provided and the good reputation I had built up, the majority of the forum members who decided to buy the e-book used my affiliate link.
That review earned me $206.80 US in commissions over the first 48 hours after I wrote it in February of 2007. Over the next 4 months I earned an additional $129.25 US. That was my first real taste of marketing success.
For a guy who hadn’t earned a fraction of that amount for all of the work he had done over the previous year, the experience was an adrenaline rush – I was really hooked.
A short while later, Dennis opened another membership forum called “Earn 1K a Day.” I joined in a heartbeat and put the same kind of energy I had spent at the “5 Bucks a Day” forum into this new venture. It was the foundation for my biggest success to date, my “Rapid Website Development” video training series which has generated more than 10 times that first success before it has even had a public launch.
Due to the increased focus on specific aspects of my business, even some of those initial bumbling efforts at marketing have begun to generate small but steady profits and have opened up new opportunities. This blog is an offshoot of the work I did on my first blog. And, of course, I continue to invest in my education to help push me to the point where my publishing business generates enough revenue to support my family. I invested in a copy of John Reese’s “Traffic Secrets” course, Mike Filsaime’s “7 Figure Code”, and (most recently) Frank Kern’s “Mass Control” course.
The most satisfying aspect of all of this is the fact that I’m funding the growth of my business and my ongoing education with revenue from my business and not credit cards and income from my ‘day job!’ (Okay, technically I did charge Frank’s “Mass Control” course on a credit card before I had the money, but I’m hard at work finishing up 2 projects which should earn me all of the money I need to pay that one off – and what I’ve learned is definitely worth the effort.)
So, that’s the story of my first $100. How did you earn yours? Leave comment below and share your story.
If you are listening to the podcast version of this article, we encourage you to visit us at www dot go to guy enterprises dot com. Make sure to share the story of how you made your first $100 doing Internet marketing.
When was the last time you had to join a new group? Maybe you started a new job or school. Maybe you joined a club or church. If you are anything like me, the process of getting to know people probably went something like this:
You showed up and talked with a small number of people at first – the boss, a greeter, the person sitting next to you. You talked about common interests and started the process of getting to know more about each other. At the same time, you started to listen to what the people around you were talking about. You gravitated toward the people you found interesting and eventually found an opportunity to contribute to the group conversations.
As people got to know more about you, they began to see the unique insights, experiences, and skills you had to offer and started to come to you with questions. Eventually, people started to refer others to you because they thought you could help them.
Over time you became an established part of the group with a history of involvement and a level of respect earned by the quality of that involvement.
This is a very common path to establishing yourself in a community. It is also an excellent process to model for generating website traffic on the Internet. The Internet is really just a great big community and you have to establish yourself there just like anywhere else.
So, How Do You Establish Yourself On The Internet?
The short answer – Join the Conversation! Seek out the places and people who are talking about things that interest you. Over time you will learn who the trusted voices are and discover where they hang out. When you feel like you have something to say that will add to the discussion, make comments. Blogs, user forums, and newsgroups are designed to encourage this. When you add value to the conversation, people will want to know more about you and what else you have to say.
Make sure people can find you. Whenever allowed, include a link back to your website or blog so that people can find you. Then, make sure you have good stuff waiting for them when they do.
Impress people with the quality of your comments and they will come find you. Impress them with what they find and they will bookmark your site or feed. Eventually, they will start recommending you to others.
Before you know it, a community will develop around your conversations.
How Powerful Is This Approach?
I will give you one quick example to show you the power of joining the conversation. On June 20, 2006 (3 days ago as I’m writing this) I left a short comment on an interesting article at Brad Isaac’s website. The article is called Work for Yourself First. I felt that my experiences with the subject were relevant and that others might find them interesting. Read the article and see what I had to say in response (it’s also a great article – so read it for that reason too!)
I was a little surprised today when I checked my site’s traffic stats and discovered that 21 people had already visited by following the link to homepage that is included in the comment. They came from all around the world. That is more traffic referrals than from any other single source over the same 3 days. And, these visitors also spent more time exploring my site and reading my articles than most others.
The same thing happens when you include trackback links to relevant articles in your own blog posts. An exerpt from your article will show up as a comment attached to the article you are referencing. This comment will link back to your blog entry. As you add to the conversation the community grows around it. It is powerful stuff.
Don’t Pee in the Pool
Before you run out and start flooding the Internet with comments, remember that your reputation is at stake.
Do not post scores of ‘me too’ comments, or worse, irrelevant comments intended only to get a link back to your site (this heinous practice is called comment spamming. Many website resources have been created whose sole task is weeding this junk out and throwing it away.) You will not get traffic to your site if you are known as a ‘comment spammer.’ What you are likely to get are piles of angry comments on your own site from people who are upset about what you are doing.
Another downside to comment spam is that it fills the Internet with so much garbage that nobody wants to wade through it to find the good stuff. The people who create good content must spend their time taking out the trash and are not generating new content.
Once somebody pees in the pool, nobody wants to go swimming and somebody has to clean it up!
Go Out and Join the Conversation
Go, be sociable. Talk to others and add your insights to the conversation. Build your reputation on the Internet and before long, people will come looking for you. The traffic you get will not be subject to the whims of any search engine’s latest algorithms, and the visitors you get will be more likely to become regulars.
The Go-To Guy