Tell Me How to Become a MillionaireEvery time I go to networking meetings I get this question. I get it multiple times each week via email as well. People look at my large sites and write me wanting me to tell them exactly how to become a millionaire, doing no work at all, lounging in their back yard and drinking mai-tais. They figure it must be easy, and now that I've figured out the techniques, I can give them the short-cut to fame and fortune.
Being a Millionaire
First off, I am NOT a millionaire :) Now, granted, my websites get over 25 million pageviews a month. If I filled those pages with pop-up ads, pop-under ads, interstitial (floating) ads, casino ads and pornography ads then maybe I could be making a fair amount of money :) But I deliberately choose not to. I run as few ads as humanly possible on my sites in the first place. I also deliberately choose to donate a large block of my advertising space to charity. So as far as income goes, I am deliberately limiting the amount of money coming in to me, for several reasons. One is that my costs are very low, which I'll get into below. Next is that I really feel that we as a planet could be a quite content, happy planet with plenty of food, water and clean air if we each did our part rather than buying botox injections and a bigger TV. Finally, I personally hate it when I go to a site that has a ton of ads all over it and never return to those sites. I want people visiting me to have a very pleasant experience.
There is of course a resaon that I can afford to be so generous, and it has nothing to do with a healthy trust fund ;) In fact I married at 18 and have been working hard my entire life to pay my bills. I am by nature a very frugal person and this means I need to bring in *very* little money to keep my systems going. I researched for years to find the cheapest hosting company I could which was still reliable. I never pay for marketing, never. Not for Google placements, not for search engine injections. I work out of my home, so there is no overhead. I do all of the design, programming, and other web work myself, there are no maintenance costs. All of these things can be done by any person out there. I am self taught. Get books from your library to learn HTML and ASP and PhotoShop. Invest the time and energy to learn these skills, and it will save you a TON of money going forward. You can run an extremely large site for very little money - meaning even a tiny ad return per page will still add up.
Do What You Love
People write me asking what type of webpage to start to make the most money. The answer is easy. Porn. :) But I mean, as much as you might think "money is all that matters" - I have to tell you, I know MANY people in the web business. The ones who make money slaving over a site they don't love are *miserable*. It may be hard to believe if you are eager for more money, but money can't buy you happiness. Making money is NOT easy. It takes a ton of work. People won't pay you to be lazy. They will pay you for high quality content, and lots of it. That means you had to create that content. And if you are there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, creating content on a topic you don't enjoy, it will get boring and tedious. And then you'll go more and more slowly because it is tedious. And you'll be grumpy and want to stop working. The only way working from home succeeds is if you *love* the work you're doing, are eager to get back to it and are energized while you are doing it. This means you have to build a site about topics you love. There's no way around it. If you are creating a site about your favorite hobby - let's say bass guitars - then your enthusiasm will fill your posts, it will reflect in your forum messages, it will mean you're always checking in on it and talking about it. And that drives you to be a success. If you are tediously making a site on TeleTubby Dolls because you think it's the Next Big Thing, there is no way you'll find the same level of success. Especially because no matter what type of site you launch, you are NEVER EVER the only site on that topic. And someone else who is running that same site topic but with passion and love will be the one to gather up loyal visitors.
This is really key here. No matter what topic you decide to make a page about, you will have competition. Visitors on the web don't care about tricks or schemes or other techniques. They want to find a page that they can trust and that has an environment as passionate as they are. Let's take the example of parakeets. There are millions of pages about parakeets out there. My parakeet pages and forum pages are normally the #1 google result and get tons of visitors every month. I did that without buying ad placement or buying ranking or doing link exchange schemes or anything else. That is a result that many parakeet sales companies would pay *thousands* for. How did I do it? I did it because I LOVE PARAKEETS. I took tons of pictures of them. I posted tons of articles about them. I talk about parakeets with great passion and caring, and my visitors write me daily to tell me how much they agree with me. In the forums, we all share our love for parakeets. No pet food supplier can provide that same passion.
So as far as money goes, let's say I was told there are 800 times as many dog owners as parakeet owners so I should "logically" write about dogs. But not being a dog fan, no matter how much I wrote about dogs, how could I possibly compete with a site that IS run by dog lovers? I couldn't. I would always fall short. But if I write about my true love - parakeets, I can get every single parakeet owner on my site. They stay with me because of my love for parakeets. That brings in 100% passionate people of a smaller pie vs 1% disinterested people of a larger pie. The 100% wins, and now even if I put just a few high quality parakeet food ads on those parakeet pages, it brings in income. Those passionate people who believe in me believe in what I promote.
Be Responsible with Ads
I have to warn you in advance that if you write me asking the best way to pack your pages as full of ads as humanly possible that I'm going to be disinterested right there :) I am very much against Google ads for example. I have seen *numerous* cases where the random ad showing up on a site was 100% diametrically opposed to what the person was saying on their page. I never, ever want to have random ads on any of my sites. My site is my point of view, it is my promotion of my beliefs. I should not allow my pages to then help advertise a cause I disagree with. If your visitors see that happening, they won't click on any ads on your site - obviously the ads are not reliable!!
You should always have VERY tight control over exactly what ads show up on your system. Research the affiliate groups. Promote companies you believe in. Build the personal relationships. Yes, it takes time. However, in the end you get a FAR higher return, for several reasons. First, a company you talk with personally and who sees the synergy between your site and theirs will give you a high commission, because you are sending them quality leads. And second, your visitors will trust in the companies you promote because they are really selected by you and not random ads.
Think of it in this way. If you get a random flyer in the mail from a carpet cleaner company, will you necessarily believe in them? Probably not. But if your best friend tells you how great their carpets look because of a cleaner they used, you will believe in your friend. It is that same building of trust that you want to build with your website. You want your visitors to believe in you, that the links you choose to present and the ads you choose to run are specifically chosen to be high quality. They will click on them then. If they think they're random, they have little incentive to click.
It Is A Lot of Work
No well run website "runs itself". You don't wake up every morning, check your new bank balance and go play golf all day long. A website that thrives is a website that is ACTIVE. This means daily blogs, daily updates, daily forum posts, and new, fresh, quality information ALL THE TIME. That is why my websites here do so well. I am updating them CONSTANTLY. When I go on a cruise, I am literally updating the reviews from the cruise ship multiple times a day. I get a huge, loyal following because of this! Again, there are millions of other sites out there just like yours. People can easily find and go to those other sites. They need a reason to visit and return to yours. Fresh quality content is really the main reason they would. This doesn't just happen. And again, if you are writing about a topic you are not fully enthralled with, it will show in your writing style, your content and your ability to stay with a high intensity schedule. You really need to choose a topic you adore. That is the #1 key to success.
There are No Tricks
Again, I don't use marketing tricks, I don't use search engine tricks, I don't pay for placement. What I do is create frequent, quality content on topics I love. That is what people love, that is what Google loves, that is what the world loves. If you can create quality content in an area you are experienced in and really enjoy, you will get a following. And that following will resonate with your content and tell their friends. That is by far the best possible way to grow and become successful.
Planning your Home Business
Work from Home Main Page