I remember first using WordPress in 2009. I had used other blogging software like Joomla and Moveable Type. There was sort of a small war between WordPress and Moveable Type going on – maybe sometime around 2007. They were both good blogging platforms and people were taking sides. I remember asking around for people’s opinions on which one to go with and I went with Moveable Type for a blog I had.
With Moveable Type, you had to regenerate every page on your blog when you went to publish one thing. It was a little time consuming to do a blog post. You’d then read it, find something wrong and have to do it all over again. So realizing WordPress worked much better was really good news in 2009.
The Good Old Days of Blogging
Back in those days, it was super simple to rank high in search results for about whatever keyword you wanted. You did a few things to get lots of links to your site with whatever keyword you wanted and you ranked for it. You got all kinds of traffic and you made money really easily.
This wasn’t considered cheating because that’s just how it was back then, so that is what we all did – Google allowed it. And we all made a lot of money, too.
Today There Are “Make Money Online” Scams
You have to be careful today. There are a lot of programs that offer no value.
It’s the equivalent of this…
- Someone on the street says they can tell you how to make money but it costs $10.
- You give them $10.
- They say that all you have to do to make money say that you’ll tell people and charge them $10. You’ll make $10 every time you tell someone.
That kind of system does actually work but there’s no value there at all. It’s not ethical either. You’re not creating anything. It’s just garbage.
Do NOT get stuck buying those products. You’ll hop from one to the next hoping that the next one is the one that will finally work. It’s a vicious and unhealthy cycle. I’ve been there. Desperation will make you do crazy things and there’s always someone there ready to take your money when you’re in that state.
Here’s a good comment on the Warrior Forum, which is a place where Internet Marketers hang out – mainly ones with these “get rich quick” products that they pedal. This comment from “Steve” sums it up:
I’d say 90% of those threads are simply designed for one thing, to sucker in the newbie and desperate people looking to make quick money… and obviously it works!
Wherever there are people with a problem and money to spend, there are always going to be people looking to exploit those people… play on their fears… promise them a better life…
It’s your job to filter through the sh*t and let your bullsh*t meter alarm pull you away from such offers.
Do your research, don’t just buy on impulse. And remember if it seems too good to be true it almost certainly is.
If I could really show you how to make a guaranteed $9782.66 in 11 days… I’d be charging a premium to let you see how I do it – Not $7.
I agree with that 100%!
Now maybe these people did make that kind of money once. Maybe now their “system” doesn’t work so they’re writing it up and offering it as a product.
There ARE good systems out there. I’ve bought a few that actually worked… some pretty well. The problem is, like Steve says, you have to wade through them. Maybe 1 in 10 will actually work. Meanwhile, you’re stuck in a depressed state waiting for the next one that looks good.
And a lot of these systems are the same stupid thing… ugh, I hate them. They give you “special access” to a system or “profit machine” and you see these lame videos where they take 20 minutes saying what they’re going to say to you. No, just get to the point already and tell us what you think your secret sauce is. Most of the time, like I said, it’s just the same stupid thing and you just wasted your $7 or $9.99 or something.
Break out of that rut!
This article explains what actually works – it’s websites with content.
Think about it…
Which websites do you go to all the time?
Why do you go to them?
There’s new content that you want. It’s new information.
That content might be new pictures from your friends or status updates or news (sports, entertainment, world news, etc.). You go to those websites and sources (apps) because of the new content – the new information. That’s why people go to Facebook, right?
Ever have a problem that you search the Internet to solve? You probably do that 10-20 times a week, right? Well, you need to be on the other end of that… the solution provider. That is how you cash in – not by buying snake oil that claims to earn money.
There’s Just One Way to Make Money Online
The one way to make money online is to offer something.
That “something” can take many forms but that’s really the only way you’ll get someone to part with their money.
Let’s go over what that “something” can be:
1. Offer Traffic
If you write great content and put ads on your content, then the “something” you offer is traffic to someone else. If your website ranks well, your traffic could be worth quite a bit. You can run Google AdSense, affiliate links, CPA ads or something else along those lines to earn money from the traffic you generate.
2. Offer Products
Offering a product in exchange for money is very traditional and it works very well. The product can be something physical (clothing, food, flowers, etc.). It can be something virtual like an electronic book or software. When someone pays you for your product, you earn money… of course.
3. Offer Services
That “something” you offer can be services you provide or resell. This, too, can be physical or virtual. Either way, some work is being done for a price that is agreed on.
Do It Yourself or Resell?
However you choose to make some money online, you can either do the work yourself, resell someone else’s work or do both.
When you do the work yourself, you usually get a bigger piece of the pie. This means you make more money. Along with that, though, you are responsible for more – there’s bigger risk. You may have to first buy materials or pay labor. You might be stuck holding onto inventory. Problems could come up and you’d have to take a loss.
When you resell someone else’s work (this is called “outsourcing”), you have less risk but you get a smaller piece of the pie. You might earn less per sale but you can make up for that in doing more volume – more sales.
Either way can work – it’s just your preference and how comfortable you are with risk.
You might also do a combination of these two where you do some work yourself and outsource some work. This is good because you’ll have multiple income streams and that’s always smart.
Putting all your eggs in one basket is risky. If something bad happens, you’ve lost it all. When you have multiple income streams, if one goes down, you’re still fine. Others might pick up and cover what you lost.
I think of revenue as a chair. The more legs you have under that chair, the more stable it’s going to be. When it’s more stable, it won’t get knocked down very easily.
You Have Options – Do It How You Want!
When you build a website to earn money on the side (or full-time), you need to make some choices…
1. Traffic: Earn or Pay?
You’re going to need traffic, so are you going to wait for it to come organically or are you going to pay for it so it comes faster? Maybe you’ll do some of each.
2. Content: Do It Yourself or Pay?
If you’re going to have content on your website (to sell your products/services or as a means to get traffic – or both), who is going to write it? Will you write it yourself or will you pay someone to write for you?
3. Product/Service: Do it Yourself or Resell?
With the product or service you offer, are you going to create it yourself or buy it from someone else? To make money online, you need to offer something, so are you doing it or your employees or will you outsource it? You may do a combination.
You must make decisions on all these items. If you have a budget, you can spend the money and get it fast. If you don’t have the budget, you’ll need to do the work and earnings won’t come as quickly.
Wait a Second, This Website is a Business!
Right! Your WordPress website that you’ll make money with is really a business. You should operate it like one.
You should keep track of things like how much time and money you spend on it. You need to know your numbers. That way, you can make better decisions going forward.
Here’s an example…
You might spend $30 on a 1000-word article from a source. Let’s say you get 3 of these articles, all for the same price but from different sources. You gave them all the same instructions. You posted the content and you’ve waited 4-6 weeks. It’s now time to get more content (you might not wait that long but just for this example, let’s say you wait). Don’t you want to know how each article performed? If one did exceptionally well, you might then compare the articles and decide to buy more articles from that writer with the really good article.
If you didn’t keep track of how much traffic it got and how well it converted traffic into revenue, then you might either decide to buy articles from the writer that was the worst which wouldn’t get you good results. You might also just keep buying articles from all 3 and only 1/3rd of the articles you get would be good.
This is a simple example and one that’s kind of like, “yeah, duh” but if you don’t go forward thinking of your WordPress website as a business, then you could easily make this mistake and not do good enough tracking.
What I Do
So here’s an example of what I do with my businesses. I look to see what works and then do more of that.
I’ll post some articles (after doing good keyword research, of course), see which ones rank the best and then fine tune the next batch of articles to be along the themes of the articles that are doing well. I then compound my traffic and earnings by choosing a theme (path) to follow. I can see what my audience wants and give them more of that.
The same thing with traffic. If I’m answering questions in forums, I want to know that is time well spent or not – am I getting traffic from there? If not, what are the best sources of traffic for what my website is about?
Set Up Your Own WordPress Website to Make Money
Earning money with a website is not a get rich quick type of thing. Sure, sometimes that can happen but don’t expect it to. Usually for something that does earn money quickly, it’ll be short lived. The best method is to start with the expectation that it may take a few months to start earning but if you stick with it, you’ll have something that lasts. This is better, of course.
You Won’t Make Money for 3-6 Months
I just want to drive this point home because it’s really important and I want to be completely honest.
You’ll work for 3-6 months (maybe more) and you won’t get paid. Money won’t be coming in… yet (actually, there IS a workaround – see below). Remember, this isn’t “get rich quick.” Because of this, most people give up after a couple of weeks but that’s good for you because that’s less competition. If you’re a “stick with it” kind of person, you’ll do fine.
The thing is, we’re not conditioned or taught this way. When we do work in school, for example, we get relatively instant grades and feedback – like right away or the next day (thanks to the great teachers out there that work hard). If you handed in a paper and had to wait 3-6 months for a grade on it, you wouldn’t find that going to school is very beneficial, right? The quick feedback you get in school or with new sports or hobbies is good. It keeps you going. With your own WordPress website, it may not work that way, so you need to be prepared.
This 3-5 month rule applies to posting content on your own website – under your own domain. There is a simple workaround so that you can start making money faster… simply do some guest posting. Get some articles on other websites that drive traffic to your website.
So How Do You Keep Going?
You’ll use one of two ways or both to keep going. You’ll either have some support – someone like a coach or trainer cheering you on or you’ll be self motivated. Hopefully you have both – that’s the best.
When you learn from someone who has done the work and done it well, they can guide you. They know what the journey is like and they can give you help. That’s why we have teachers in schools or coaches with sports or teachers with musical instruments.
When I learned to play drums, I didn’t really have a teacher. I got some books and played on any drum set I could find because I wanted to get better. I had a practice pad and some sticks and went through something called “drumming rudiments.” They’re kind of boring, really repetitive but they make up all parts of drumming. You really need to practice them and get good at them to be a better drummer.
I remember sitting with my sticks and hitting the couch doing paradiddles as I watched TV or something. I just did them over and over.
Then, when I got in front of a drum set, I was ready.
I like this phrase: “Luck is when opportunity meets preparation”
OK, so I got off on a small tangent there… but I started on my own and then later got a teacher – a good one. We went through a book and I had to practice but he was there to answer questions, give me guidance and encouragement and that was worth it. My drumming really started to excel once I had a coach.
What You Need to Have a Successful, Money-Making Website With WordPress
We’ve gone all this way in this article because I want you to be successful.
Here’s what you need:
- A topic / theme / niche for your blog
- A domain name and website hosting
- Set up WordPress (this is easy)
- Guidance on how to write articles or buy them
- A way (or ways) to monetize your website
- A way (or ways) to get traffic to your website
- Encouragement to keep going from a coach or peers
You need all these things but the most important thing is having a coach so that you get encouragement and guidance. Otherwise, you’re just trying things that might or might not work.
It’s like in the days without GPS, to get where you need to go, you need to plot a course on a map with a compass. If you just start going, you’ll never get there and that means you won’t be successful.
You can have a successful WordPress website that makes money. You’ll need to work but you can get there.
Think about it this way… you might work hard at the beginning but you will later have many days where you do absolutely nothing and you get paid.
Isn’t knowing that can happen (and pretty likely will happen) worth doing 3-6 months of work for almost free?
When you publish content online, you do the work once and it then keeps working for you every day into the future. You will keep getting paid for the work you do only once!
That’s mind blowing!
Why everyone doesn’t do this, I really don’t understand.
It makes a 9-5, 40 hour/week job where you work for someone else kind of seem like you’re being ripped off. The business owner might keep benefiting from the work you did that week but you don’t. You did the work once and got paid once – end of story. That’s what you signed up for and agreed to… that’s your fault. Sure, you can invest your money and have it work for you but why not have to work only once to get it?
Ready to Get Started?
I’ve got a book that can take you through the steps of getting there. It’s called “Set Up a Website That Pays in 7 Days” and people are taking this course (in the book, so go you can go at whatever pace you want) and they’re setting up great websites that are an asset. Assets pay you, remember.
The book will give you insight and guide you through setting up your own website.