If you only learn one thing from this article, it’s this: Only do things on the Online that can grow on their own. It doesn’t mean that your offers have to go viral the minute they are posted, but it does mean that no matter what you do, you expect it to grow over the years.
Think of it this way, would you rather own 1,000 navel orange or an orange grove? The orange grove is self-perpetuating and will produce income as the years go by. The 1,000 oranges will rot in about a few weeks if you don’t sell them right away. So, whatever you do on the Online always add some element to it that ensures that it will continue to grow over time.
There are a couple of ways to do that. First, you can set up membership sites to help you have a monthly income from membership dues. Secondly, you can sign up residual advertising income. Third, you can set up some sort of multilevel marketing scheme online to help you build your business through other people’s time and effort. Lastly, you can try to make a product go viral so that its influence is felt on the Online for quite some time. There are probably a great number of ways to generate residual income on the Online, but these are the ones we will be discussing here.
When you charge a minimal fee for membership, you can expect that some people will want to join and others not. It depends on the additional benefits they are deriving for paying a fee. Even if you only charge $5/month, that’s $60/year for each individual that signs up. One individual can easily pay for the maintenance of your site and the rest are pure profit. Not only that, but they are a residual profit that keeps on coming in month after month – sometimes even when the member no longer even visits the site.
Why is that?
Most people are too lazy to look at small bills and try to figure out how to stop something they consider a tiny leak in their budget. They may not actually count the yearly cost, and instead shrug their shoulders over a $5/month membership fee. To these types of people, it’s not worth it to them to spend time trying to figure out how to cancel their account. And, they may be ambivalent about doing so if they think they might just use it again sometime in the future. This is especially true if you have a setup fee for the account. If they cancel, they may have to pay a setup fee again. Or, if you have early termination fees too, that can also be a deterrent. The thing is, if they don’t cancel, you keep making money, month after month, for basically doing nothing.
How To Set Up Membership Sites
Setting up membership sites can be as easy or as complicated as you make it. There are many organizations, especially non-returns on investment, that started their business models with direct mailing and generating memberships for use of their resources. They never bothered to add membership logins to their site because it tends to be more complex that just a simple site. You have to manage user names and passwords and set up secured areas. So, instead, they basically keep a mailing list of people who have signed up either by phone, email, or snail mail, and then send those people additional notifications and discounts through the same avenues. They don’t use secured areas on their websites. This saves them money in the short-run, but can be more time-intensive on the back end processes because of extra mailings and phone calls. It’s up to you to figure out what you want to do.
The other alternative is to set up or buy a site already set up for multiple membership signups. Then, you can not only manage your membership online, but you also can send out offers online too to specific members, bypassing email filters. This is a more technologically advanced solution, but it can reap great dividends as people will be attracted to your “social networking” site.
Residual Advertising Income
Another way to generate income is to have a way to sell advertising on your website. You can do this through Google AdWords, affiliate programs, and even featured advertising blocks on your website. Each of these do involve some work on your part, upfront, but after that they continue to generate income on a monthly basis whether you ever go in and change them or not. Of course, the best way to make money with this strategy is to constantly review the ads you are placing to see how they are selling and whether some other ad might make you more money in the long run.
If you get a free Google advertising account, you will be able to install blocks of Google ads at various places on your pages. If a visitor clicks an add and it pays significant monies, you will get some part of that added to your Google account. Once you reach $100, your payout is done automatically. You can even design your pages to take advantage of high-paying keywords, using the keyword tool. That way, when Google generates the ads automatically, you will have a better chance of scoring ads that pay a higher CPC payout.
Enough can’t be said about affiliate programs. If you set up your own affiliate programs correctly, you will have plenty of people competing to offer your products and services on their sites for a fat commission. Also, you can sign up for other partners affiliate programs and offer them on your sites too. These programs will continue to work long after you’ve moved on to another site. They don’t stop working just because you never log in to the site. And, the payouts can be fantastic.
You have to be a bit careful with featured adversing on some blogs these days, as Google does penalize you for it if they find out. It doesn’t mean you can’t offer people links in exchange for money, but some text-based link advertising has now become difficult to justify when you lose your page ranking. Once you lose your page ranking, you won’t show up high on Google’s search result pages and you’ll lose a lot of traffic, bringing your income down with it. So, you want to be careful not to use featured advertising that is either against your hosting platform’s policies or that will trigger a backlash from Google. That being said, if you can get people who want a sponsored link from you and they email you privately, it’s very difficult for Google to tell that someone is paying you for these types of links. Generally, it’s the companies that sell link campaigns that are the ones that are being blacklisted. And, once you sign up a couple of sponsors, you can just set up a blink on your blogroll and forget about it. They will pay you for the amount of time they want it advertised and you will reap some continuing returns on investment from it for a while.
Multilevel Marketing Schemes
If you’ve ever been involved in Avon, Pampered Chef, or Tupperware, you will understand multilevel marketing schemes. The idea is that, in addition to being a sales person for that product, you also can sign people up in your “downline” whose sales also contribute to your income. And, that income is typically for the life of that person’s activity in business. So, signing people up in a downline is a great way to make residual income off other’s people’s time and effort.
Now, how do you do this online? It’s actually easier online than it is offline! For one thing, most of your products are virtual or easily deliverable through the mail. So, there are no gas costs associated with product delivery. Next, signing up people to a downline is as easy as giving them a piece of your virtual pie. It can be a piece of your advertising budget from having people contribute to forums or membership sites (a very popular way to do multilevel marketing). This way, people are motivated to contribute more in your forums in the hopes of reaping some monetary payback from the amount of traffic they help to build for your site. Or, you can also give them a portion of a sale made from their content page or entry of any products being sold there. This way, the content is built on your site overnight, attracting more visitors, and hopefully selling more for everybody, both upline and downline. Now, the people who signed up under you can also be offered the chance to make returns on investment from other people they sign up. This will help you get referrals to your site and people will come in to try to make money for themselves, and in the process make money for their upline too. There are plenty of sites on the Online using this model and it is working for them. If you want to make money, start the system to do it and you will be at the top of the pyramid, making money off everyone who signs up.
Viral marketing is not a tried and true science, it’s more a hit or miss affair. If you can get something to go viral, you obviously stand to reap huge dividends in the form of traffic and sales. However, it were that easy, then everyone would be doing it and the Online would be full of viral advertising offers. It’s just not that easy to figure out what will be popular with the crowd on the Online, enough to make it spread through the Online in wildfire fashion, or as the name implies, like a virus that is out of control!
There are some proven techniques to help you go viral, but ultimately the mass consumer on the Online decides what it will propagate and what it will ignore. You can spend time implementing some of these techniques and hope for a viral hit, and if it does go viral, you’ll know how to exploit that opportunity by having your system of offers in place.
Here are some ideas to help you get a viral advertising campaign underway:
o Give something away for free – Freebies, as we mentioned earlier, are a great way to make anything propagate quickly over the Online. If you have some great report or eBook that you can offer free (don’t forget to include links back to your site and your offers), it stands a good chance of being picked up by more people.
o Make it entertaining – There are some things that get passed on to other people more than others. Entertaining snippets are generally thought of as innocuous and not enough to be considered spamming, even if there is advertising embedded in your entertaining copy. That’s why people like to produce YouTube videos to try to capture an audience that is primed to go viral at any moment with a good, entertaining, video.
o Frequent multiple groups and network – Once you have your product or offer up, you can help it go viral by participating in social networking groups or forums that are about the subject of your product. Offer it for free, make it entertaining, and then add links to your comments and forum posts to make sure that others in that niche see your product.
o Generate controversy or make it outrageous – If the entertaining thing doesn’t do it, try something a bit controversial or outrageous. Again, you have to be careful with this to associate yourself in a good light, but it can be a way to break into a viral pattern of marketing.
o Promote it – Once you have it done, you can send it to all your friends, post it on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. Don’t forget to add it to all your relevant feeds. Buy reviews and links too.