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2 Sure-fire Ways to Make Money Online

epic FAIL cat

One of the most irritating topics that people seem to want to talk about ad nauseum is how to make money online. Frankly, I’m sick and tired of reading horrible advice on this subject, and I’m even more sick and tired of responding to people’s questions about Google AdSense, which is quite literally the worst monetization service of all time for people who don’t have millions of pageviews per month. In other words, AdSense ain’t gonna work for you, cowboy.

To rectify this abominable confluence of bad info and terrible services, I’m going to clue you in on two sure-fire ways you can actually make real, spendable, negotiable cash from your Website. Not surprisingly, both methods of earning money involve actual products, and while not necessarily falling under the “easy” category, they both find their roots in the “no bullshit” category, which I happen to love.

Method One: Sell Your Own Product

It’s no coincidence that the best way to make money offline also happens to be the best way to make money online. Selling your own product and living by the objective economic laws of supply and demand is by far the best way to generate cash and to protect yourself from all the crap that goes on in the world.

Unless you live under a rock, you’re probably aware of the fact that the US stock market is currently tanking. However, if you own a business and sell your own product, this shouldn’t make any difference to you. After all, you’re selling a product that has a nice demand behind it; you support your customers; and you’re still making sales and forging your place in the market.

Best of all, selling a product online has tons of ancillary benefits:

  • You’re insulated from Google to some degree, so “big brother” can kiss your sweet ass. You literally own a piece of the market, and your vertical will persist regardless of Google’s opinion or influence (or anyone else’s, for that matter).
  • You get to build your business by developing your product and responding to the marketplace, and the Internet is the most feedback-oriented marketplace there is. Talk about a harmonious situation—I hear doves chirping and violins playing in the background when I even think about this.
  • You don’t need to compromise your site – or your users – with ads. Even beautiful ads are ugly, and given the choice, I don’t think anyone who would choose to fill up the real estate on their Website with someone else’s crap when they could be using the same space to promote their own stuff. You want absolute control over every pixel of your site while still making money? You need to sell your own product, my friend.

Now, I realize that not everyone has their own product to sell, so from the perspective of ubiquitous application, this isn’t a great solution. Fortunately, this is where the second sure-fire moneymaking method picks up the slack.

Method Two: Affiliate Product Sales

If selling your own product is the best way to make money online, then it should come as no surprise that selling someone else’s product is the second best way to make money online. In nerdy marketing circles, this practice is known as affiliate sales, and there are tons of average Joes out there who are doing this and making sustainable incomes.

As for the people who are a little more clever than the average Joe?

They’re making a killing.

If you want to find success as an affiliate marketer, the “secret” is simply to pimp a product that you not only use, but also genuinely like. The more knowledgeable and transparent you are, the better you’ll do; but if you can only be one thing, be genuine.

There are countless affiliate programs available online, so which one should you promote? The short answer here is to promote as many programs as it makes sense to promote! For instance, as a Web developer, I routinely deal with a few merchants who also offer affiliate programs:

  • aMember — payment and subscription software that I use to manage my customer database on DIYthemes, my WordPress theme marketplace
  • vbSEO — a clever collection of PHP scripts that turns vBulletin forum software into an SEO powerhouse
  • MidPhase and ANhosting — Shared server Web hosting for smaller sites
  • VPS.net — Virtual private server for larger, more demanding sites that require extra perks like CDN and professional caching (this is how I roll here on Pearsonified)

Given the nature of my work, it makes perfect sense for me to promote these programs wherever appropriate. Now, I don’t really go nuts with these promos, but then again, I’m by no means a hardcore affiliate marketer. Despite this, 7% of my income in 2007 came from affiliate sales, so I’m living proof that even a half-assed effort in this area can produce a decent return.

How About a Hot New Affiliate Program?

If the dating game has taught me anything, it’s that hot and new are always fun, at least for a little while. Interestingly, the affiliate marketing industry exhibits a similar trend—new programs will get hot, generate tons of cash for those involved, and then slowly level off or die out depending on the quality of the product.

Today, I’m pleased to announce the new DIYthemes affiliate program, which I’ve opened in collaboration with Brian Clark of Copyblogger (and affiliate marketing) fame. Brian is literally the most genuine, transparent, and intelligent marketer I’ve ever met, so obviously, getting him on my team for this one was a no-brainer. He knows what it takes to be a successful affiliate, and I wouldn’t have bothered to open this program unless I knew I could help a lot of people kick ass.

We’re paying out 33% commissions, and based on initial sales and user testimonials from our flagship WordPress theme, this program is going to be hot.

So seriously, head on over to DIYthemes, sign up for the affiliate program, and replace that damn AdSense already. What have you got to lose, two dollars… this month?

See you on the site!

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242 comments… read them below or add one

Derek July 23, 2008

I love it. I also love Thesis – I am currently using it and it is the best theme imaginable.

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Adii July 24, 2008

Couldn’t agree more… Really spot on and I love the no-BS approach! :)

I can also back you up with regards to AdSense; we get so many support requests from our users on WooThemes about integrating AdSense that it really gets to be too much… The worst thing is, that they probably only gonna be making $10 / month from it, yet they are still adament that, that is how they are going to monetize their website.

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dinu July 24, 2008

Thanks for the affiliate program :) I am there

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Bucktowndusty @FromThePen.com July 24, 2008

Chris,

Any concerns about us entering or SSN on an http: protocol and not a http”s” protocol? I want to sign up but am a bit weary. Soothe my soul.

Buck

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Kevin July 24, 2008

I’m on it, Chris!

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Mike July 24, 2008

Dear Chris,

I am an user of your template. I think is the best I have seen in a lot of time, but I have some problems with Widgets, for example “democracy polls”. Please, could you help with this problems?
I am not very master with this issues, i would like concentrate my effort on contents, but….

Anyway, thanks for all.

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Jonathan July 24, 2008

I know that you don’t post as often as we (me) would like, but when you do, it is sweet reading bliss. Thanks.

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Chris Pearson July 24, 2008

Bucktowndusty — That’s not a required field, so you should be able to sign up without entering anything there.

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Chris Pearson July 24, 2008

Mike — Third-party plugins are the biggest crapshoot of all time. For one, many developers have no clue how to properly design a widget for easy stylistic inclusion into any site. Another thing that’s an issue here is that the code could be outdated, especially relative to the current version of WordPress.

The bottom line is that I can’t support third-party plugins—it’s hard enough being responsible for all the nuances of my own code!

Jonathan — Thanks, man! I’d expect to see more editorial/essay stuff on this site in the future, as I’m basically bored to death with technical writing anymore. Besides, I do more than my fair share of that over at DIYthemes on a recurring basis, so that frees me up to be a little more “real” over here.

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Mike July 24, 2008

Thank you very much Chris. I´ll try to resolve my technicals problems with a friend and if i don´t find answers is probably buy your special pack of this theme.

Best,

Mike.

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Javier Cabrera [EmaStudios] July 24, 2008

We are working on a product ourselves, in two actually; one totally free and the other one paid. Hope you guys come around when it’s up; but yes we believe it’s a safe way to “move away” from design and development business little by little.

Of course, it has to work, because an ugly or worthless app won’t work either!

Take care! great post! lovely comments! NOT SO SURE about the affiliate programs, but hey; it’s your call!

Javier Cabrera
— Wrote at Buenos Aires airport.

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mike July 24, 2008

please,could you tell me a widgets for democracy poll on this templAte?

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Aidyn July 24, 2008

So many people who want to use blogging and adsense to become billionaires…

Congratulations on you excellent wordpress theme. Best of luck to your success :)

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Matt Packer July 24, 2008

I could not agree with you more.

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Jacque July 24, 2008

Love your stuff! Have you heard any feedback on WP 2.6 compatability with your themes?

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Chris Pearson July 24, 2008

Jacque — Thesis had a minor problem initially (with option serialization), but I released a fix the day WP 2.6 came out.

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Jacque July 24, 2008

That was fast, thanks! I’m having an issue with Cutline 3-Column and centering of images.

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Chris Pearson July 24, 2008

Jacque — Unfortunately, I sold Cutline in March of 2007, so I no longer have anything to do with the theme. In other news, Thesis is centering images like never before :D

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Jacque July 24, 2008

Then Thesis it is! Thanks

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John Rocheleau July 24, 2008

Chris,

What you say about the monetizing a site that doesn’t have huge traffic makes sense. I plan on looking into affiliate arrangements.

My site is focused on personal development and self help, so I’ll have to find some great products that are related. Tech products won’t do it for me I’m afraid.

By the way, I’m using your CopyBlogger theme. I modified it quite a bit to suit of course. I enjoyed learning to do that and like the theme quite a bit. This seems as good a time as any to say — thanks :-)

Cheers,
John

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Sid The Noob July 25, 2008

Wow Christ, really great post! As i’m a noob trying hard to make some money online. Thanks for sharing!

Be Back!
Sid.

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Pedro July 26, 2008

“Lot of money with Google Adsense”! Oh, dear lord! Try to discuss with who believes in that and is only initiating! It´s so irritating! I absolutely agree with you!

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Galwin July 26, 2008

I love Thesis!

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Mike July 27, 2008

Chris; what is better, this theme or Thesis theme? On thesis theme do you get a header (hor. banner) like you get in this?

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Iquo Fatoberu July 28, 2008

Hi, I couldn’t agree more with you about Adsense. Too much work in optimisation for very little or no rewards at all. I find Affiliate progrms more profitable than adsense.

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Quote Catcher July 28, 2008

This was great I’m going to have to pass it on. It is amazing how many people expect to slap together a cheap template site with minimal or copied content, incorporate Adsense and then not spend any money on generating traffic to their site and expect to make money. I get more than my fair share of calls asking ‘why aren’t I making any money, I have a website’. I’m going to send them to this post!

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Chris Pearson July 28, 2008

Mike — This theme isn’t for sale, but even if it were, Thesis would still crush it like a bug. As of version 1.0.2, Thesis does not offer a horizontal header photo, but you can easily place one through the use of your custom stylesheet.

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Lindsay July 29, 2008

Well, just to be contrarian…

I work part-time and make a nice income from my sites, a large deal of it from Adsense. I also get a lot less than a million page views per month, and my sites are in the home and garden niche… not exactly what anyone would guess to be a huge money maker. I’ve built my sites so I could easily swap Adsense for another program, or sell ads directly to merchants, but for now I like it because…

1. I have absolutely no customer service demands
2. I don’t have to sell or pre-sell anything (something you really have to do if you create your own product or even if you intend to do well with affiliate programs)

That said, I’ll probably look into your affiliate program when I’m getting more traffic to my new site. I love your designs. :)

Take it easy all, and best wishes on your money-making ventures!

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mike July 29, 2008

Hi LINDSAY, please, could you help me to editing and resolve some problems on my blog? please write my to miguelangel.santacruz@gmail.com and tell you details.
Thank you very much in advance.

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Chris Pearson July 29, 2008

Lindsay — Your setup sounds fantastic, but I’m betting you’ve been at that since at least 2006. There’s definitely something to be said for working within a reasonably active niche, but for nascent Webmasters and bloggers, the monetization hill just keeps getting steeper.

You (and plenty of others) are proof that a viable income can be had through ad-based strategies. In spite of this, I’d be willing to bet that the number of six figure Webmasters in the space I described outnumber your kind 4 to 1 (if not way more).

Being an affiliate is really the best deal of all—you make more on a one-off basis than you do with contextual ads, and you get to pass off customer service to the parent company. I’m tellin ya, it’s the perfect storm for any ardent wordsmith.

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Chris Pearson July 29, 2008

Mike — This site is not the place to ask about the Thesis theme. Instead, try the Thesis support forums, where you’ll be able to interact with people who are fighting the same battles as you.

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Marios July 30, 2008

Chris good advice, but even with selling your own product or selling others product (affiliate) you need a ton of traffic because only 1% of all the people going on your website will buy. No easy way to make money on the net.

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Pedro July 30, 2008

Finally no BS about the subject.

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Jared K. July 31, 2008

@Marios -
If you’re selling your own stuff and only converting 1% of your traffic, you need to do more to optimize your site (or get higher-quality traffic).

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dinu July 31, 2008

Chris, off topic, but any plan to release this theme as free theme ?

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Chris Pearson July 31, 2008

dinu — I’m definitely going to release it, but it won’t be free. At this point, there’s been enough demand that I’d be an idiot not to charge for it.

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Manoj Agrawal August 2, 2008

Hi Chris,

Thanks for all the great work and honest sharing. I am in the process of restaging my personal blog and therefore would like to get in touch with you.

Could you pls drop me a one liner at agrawal.k.manoj@gmail.com (since I couldn’t find your e-mail on the web) so I could share more about the project.

Best regards,
Manoj

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Anubhuti August 3, 2008

Hi,

I am a student and am desperately out fishing ways to make some good money in order to support my expenses along with my higher education.
Can you please guide me a little more elaborately about this. Your article gives a quite good insight and seems genuine. I am sure you are the right peron to contact. My is anubhuti_bajpai@hotmail.com

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Scott Knauer August 3, 2008

I completely agree, and love this forum… The internet gives the user so much availability, that if you don’t have any original product anyways, a million of sites will rob you of traffic, promoting the same item and/or keywords.. In the radio business, they guy that designs his own customer antennas or radio equipments makes the biggest profit margin, as they name their own price.

Scott Kaner
Radio Shop Manager

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dinu August 5, 2008

LOL I don’t mind paying for this one :) make it fast Chris :)

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Marios August 5, 2008

The 1% of people who actually buy from you is a statistics(the truth) when I use to work for few e-commerce companies. No body clicks on ads anymore and only few people actually will buy from your website. The only sure thing is, Get a lot of traffic and charge monthly fee for a ads lets say $200 for 125×125 ad, thats only sure money.

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Chris Pearson August 5, 2008

Marios — Welp, then I guess it’s time for me to come up with a new strategy. Paying the mortgage proved too easy with mine; I’ll try yours and see what happens.

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Marios August 6, 2008

Chris ofcouse your strategy works for you, you are very popular, you have a big community of people fallowing you including me, you generate a ton of traffic to your website. All you need to do is to sell 10-20 themes, or 6-8 125×125 ads for $200 per month and you pay your mortgage, not a problem for you. You got interview on problogger(congrats) this will give you few extra sells, now you can sell pro blogger book on your blog as a affiliate and you make money, not a problem for you, you got the traffic behind you. Now try your or my strategy on just a regular blog and see if you can pay for a cup of coffee with the money you make.

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Ride it like you stole it August 6, 2008

Another fine article with sage advice, please keep them coming.

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Marco August 7, 2008

You’re totally right about selling your own product being the best way to make money. And indeed, AdSense is crap unless you have millions of pageviews OR you are a skilled SEO spammer.

I launched my first product a few weeks ago (it’s a specialized kind of theme, for the Pixelpost photoblog platform) and I’ve already made more money than I ever have with any ads solution or affiliate program.

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Anders August 8, 2008

Thanks Chris, that’s a breath of fresh air! I’ve really gotten sick of reading endless advice on making money from adsense and of the misconceptions that surround it. Just stumbled on your blog and from what I’ve seen i’m glad i did. Keep it up!

Anders

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Ricardo August 8, 2008

Why is it that your smart blog has no search box? :/

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Steve - Ultrathought August 9, 2008

My story with AdSense: in 12 months at 2000 or so visits per day I amassed a couple of hundred bucks. I decided to relegate Google’s ads to the oldest of my posts and concentrate on affiliate marketing. With some coming in at up to 50% commission it was a no-brainer.

Steve

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Jorge Diaz August 10, 2008

Hey Chris what is the affiliate link cloacker you are using? I will apreciate it if you can point me in the direction with your affiliate link too :) how ironic

Thanks and take care

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Chris Pearson August 10, 2008

Jorge — It’s not a cloaker; it’s just a simple PHP jump script from Steve Dawson.

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Joi August 10, 2008

Chris – normally I take precautions before reading anything you’ve written (as in making sure I don’t have any drink in my mouth). The joyride you take words on never ceases to crack me up and my cat (diva of the desk) doesn’t like getting Diet Dr. Pepper showers. But the adorable Siamese and “epic fail” got me…..and her.

I’m LOVING the Thesis theme and can’t say enough good things about it. It’s the best thing to happen to blogging ever.

John – as far as self help affiliates, I’ve had really good success with http://www.efflearn.com's affiliate program, All Posters, The Sedona Method, and Clickbank.

Thanks again, Chris. Without you, I’d be in theme hell.

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Chris Pearson August 11, 2008

Joi — At this point, I’m motivated to release new products just so I can see what your next comment will be :D

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Momekh August 15, 2008

And yes, good luck with the new business as well.

I wanted to sign up as an affiliate for your theme, but you only pay through PayPal. And I live in Pakistan. Enough said. :)

God bless,
M.

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Wassim August 17, 2008

So seriously… Chris… When is this theme going to be for sale? (Pearsonified)

Is it possible to get an advance copy? A waiting list of some sort?

I’m shopping around for a theme… The problem with Thesis for me is the three columns. It’s simply too much for a personal blog. It looks like a news website, much more than a personal blog.

Anyways, let me know.

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celeste w August 18, 2008

Chris, sorry to bother you. In what may seem like a dumb question, I am asking if there would be a prohibition against buying the Thesis theme and adapting it for use with ExpressionEngine. I would keep the attribution line, etc. (And would have to hire someone to do the adaptation.)

Would the SEO friendliness be lost with such an adaptation?

The theme is just beautiful.

Thanks in advance for your reply.

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Matt August 19, 2008

Hi Chris,

I wouldn’t ordinarily post this as a comment but I can’t find any other method for contacting you. I tried posting a question through the affiliate software but that didn’t elicit a response – and I’m not sure where it was sending the message.

I was wondering when you would be making the DIY themes affiliate payments for July. The Post Affiliate Pro FAQ says payments are made on the 15th of the following month but we’re past that date now, so I wanted to check when to expect a payment.

Thanks,
Matt

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Chris Pearson August 19, 2008

Wassim — I’m not sure about the release date for a Pearsonified-esque template, but the first step in that process is going to come with Thesis 1.1, which will be equipped with a layout selector that will allow you to run a 2-column layout.

Celeste — As long as you did a thorough job of porting the theme to Expression Engine, you wouldn’t lose any of the SEO goodness. Oh, and of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to port the theme to Expression Engine; I just think that’ll be a pretty challenging task! I’d love to check out your results after you’ve completed the port.

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Chris Pearson August 19, 2008

Matt — The payment date of the 15th was a default in the affiliate system (and not when I really wanted to make payments), but since it’s already there, DIYthemes will be making payments this afternoon.

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LosingWeight August 19, 2008

Awesome article… I bought Thesis and have started working on the making money part.

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Quote Catcher August 21, 2008

I couldn’t agree more with this post. I think too many people online are looking to cheat the sytem and make a quick few bucks. I’m sorry but everything in life is a bubble and sooner or later the internet bubble will burst. finding a product that you stand by and promoting it “cleanly” is the way to go. sure it might take longer but over time it will generate a stickiness and a buzz

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Austin August 23, 2008

Why hasn’t Chris been righting articles?????

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Mike August 24, 2008

The internet is just like selling out of a store on the street. We did it…with ADVERTISING! Yes, hello, we sell funny t-shirts, and make a BOATLOAD of money. No adsense, not gimmicks just great product!

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mark August 26, 2008

Man – that is a fricken good post…with the affiliate program thrown in to boot! I think you might just be giving Brian Clark a run for his money in the “copy blogging” department.

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Brian Clark August 26, 2008

Mark, just remember… no matter how good the grasshopper becomes, he doesn’t know what the master has been working on in the meantime. :-)

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mark August 26, 2008

Hey Brian – yeah, but what are you going to do when Chris is able to snatch the pebble from your hand…?

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Brian Clark August 26, 2008

Retire… he’ll be able to do it all. :-)

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Alda August 26, 2008

Chris, a great post, as always. I signed up for your Thesis affiliate program and have made my first commission already.

I do run Adsense, simply because there is nothing more lucrative taking up my sidebar and even if it is just a few bucks a month, at least it’s something. I also run BlogHer ads.

That said, I’ve been curious about affiliate programs for a while, and know I could probably team up with a number of agents where I live to promote their products. However, what I find really lacking in all writing about affiliate programs is the actual nuts and bolts of how to set them up. Is there some sort of code, some kind of central tallying, that keeps track of sales, etc.?? Something I could install on my site that would show that particular sales came through my site?? – The logistics of affiliate programs totally elude me, so if anyone could enlighten me I’d be really grateful. Thanks!

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Chris Pearson August 26, 2008

Alda — Most affiliate programs have admin panels where you can log in and check your stats. The real beauty of these programs is that you don’t actually have to do anything to get set up; you simply need to refer visitors to the product you’re pimping by way of your unique affiliate link.

I suppose your primary concern deals with tracking, and for what it’s worth, I don’t “track” my MidPhase hosting referrals from this site (for example). Instead, I simply wait for sales notification emails to roll in, and that’s how I know I’ve made a sale.

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Alda August 26, 2008

Boy, you ARE quick!! :)

I guess what baffles me is how *I* would go about setting up an affiliate program. Not, say, if I agree to pimp products for someone else who has already set up the program (like yourself, for instance ;)) – that’s easy. For example: I translated a book a few years ago that I know a lot of readers of my site would want to buy. If I go to the publisher and say “I would like to sell this book on my site but I want commission” – how would I go about setting that up? Or, say, if I pimp Icelandic candy, or wool sweaters, or putrid shark, and want commission for it — how would that work?

Am I making sense??

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Chris Pearson August 26, 2008

Alda — Your situation is a little different than the two scenarios I described in this post. In the case of the publisher, for instance, you may not be able to draw commission, simply because they may not be willing to offer it. I’m assuming they’re not already offering an affiliate program, and because you don’t control the distribution of that product, you may be out of luck. Now, if you were to take control of the book’s distribution, you could conceivably offer an affiliate program on your site that would allow others to sell the books for you (but you would have to pay them commissions).

If you want commission for selling something that you don’t produce, all you can do is hope that the manufacturer offers an affiliate program. If they don’t, there’s really nothing you can do outside of contacting them directly and seeing if you guys can work out some sort of individual commission structure.

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Alda August 27, 2008

Chris – I feel a little silly for not figuring that out for myself – so very simple. Thanks!

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buythisbanner August 27, 2008

Great post. It is like making money is not so easy. Make some effort then surely you will get money from where you want.

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Don James August 27, 2008

Thanks for the straight forward post, Chris. Yes, I’ve been chiming the same message for over a year now – yet, you said it with much greater clarity. I constantly bang my head thinking why I didn’t create my own product and see silly, one-off newbies making a mint.

Listen to Chris, folks! He’s dead on – stay focused on building your own product and run with it!

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Riley August 27, 2008

Very interesting article.

On your choice of themes – somewhat confusing. Reading through the comments, are you selling the theme which is used on pearsonified? Or do you suggest people buy the Thesis theme? Can you advise as I am looking for a theme but not too crazy about the Thesis one, I like pearsonafied better – should I wait for an update or buy now?

Thanks

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Chris Pearson August 27, 2008

Riley — I’m not selling the Pearsonified theme (yet). I’m suggesting that people buy Thesis, simply because it offers the highest level of functionality coupled with the greatest ease of customization. If you want a car analogy to help explain this (or even if you don’t), here goes:

Thesis is a Mercedes Benz that isn’t too flashy on the lot, but once you get in, you’ll realize just how luxurious and amazing it really is. In its non-commercial state, the Pearsonified theme is nothing more than a used Honda Civic with some bolt-ons and a flashy paint job. Looks nice on the outside, but you better be a grease monkey if you hope to keep the thing running.

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Riley August 28, 2008

Thanks for the post. Makes sense.

My only other question is reading through your other articles, looks like some coding is required to customize. i.e. the code on categories comes to mind.

I have html, some .asp and little .css knowledge – is that enough to get me through or do I always have to pay someone to code? Better, yet, the forums?

Thanks

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Riley August 28, 2008

p.s. when you mention the next update – I assume that is accomplished by replacing files and can be done personally? Or does the whole site have to be replaced?

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Michele Quigley August 28, 2008

On the money! This is exactly what works for me. I sell my own product (largest source of income) and use an affiliate program on my curriculum site. Other than that I don’t bother and I am making darn good money online.

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Miguel Wickert August 28, 2008

Hey Chris

For some reason I cannot login to my account here or at the forums? What’s the deal? I’ve never had this problem before did something change? I’m clearly a user, you know how I am. Thanks in advance for resolving this issue.
Miguel

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Wassim August 30, 2008

Chris,

It seems to me that many people want the “Pearsonified” theme. Now you might say it is like a Honda with nice paint, but a better analogy would be a Beautiful Rolls-Royce with a broken engine.

People are literally lining up for Pearsonified. What are you waiting for to fix the engine and sell it?

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Chris Pearson September 3, 2008

Riley — The update only consists of overwriting most of the core theme files. Any options you’ve set will be retained, and you’ll also be able to keep your customizations and rotating images, so long as you don’t overwrite either the /custom folder or the /rotator folder.

Miguel — I think we got that taken care of; if not, please let me know!

Wassim — I’ve got a couple other projects in the works, and the Pearsonified theme will correspond with the debut of one of those projects. Basically, it all boils down to a timing issue and running promotions to accompany new releases at DIYthemes.

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Ami September 7, 2008

Thanks for the heads up
I must confess I am a fan of adsense.
Yes you are right. it will not make me a millionare but it sure helps with the bills

Affiliate marketing is truly a great way of making money online, but of course the learning curve is steep. I think for people who do not have their own product, affiliate marketing is the way to go.

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Michael Soriano September 11, 2008

I’m sold – where do I sign up

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MediaGuy September 12, 2008

Any tips on best resources for real education on growing an affiliate marketing business?

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Eric September 12, 2008

Great article, I should really start paying more attention to affiliate marketing, at the moment around $500 a month from adsense but I would like to increase that figure.

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Jeff September 13, 2008

I quite agree that selling your own products, or someone else’s products is the only surefire way to make money online. There are just too many other factors for the other methods to blanket effect everyone. If I do try any other money making method online I make sure I can have some fun while doing it so it doesn’t feel like a waste of time if they don’t come through with the payment.

I especially like predictify where you predict future outcomes and if you’re right you get some money, if you’re wrong, you lose nothing. Losing nothing is key for me.

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David Leonhardt September 17, 2008

Yes, yes, yes! This needs to be said over and over and over. Sadly, waaaay too many people want to make money online because they think they can bend the laws of the universe that have thus far constrained them from making their first billion in under 37 minutes without having to sell, stock product or, for that matter, wake up.

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Rodney Isemann September 19, 2008

Hi just have to add my voice to the “sell this Pearsonified-esque theme”. I first saw it ages and ages ago and wanted to buy it then. Still do.

I haven’t ever bought any premium theme (too poor really) but when this one is available the old cc will be used straight away.

Rodney

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Sascha September 23, 2008

Very nice theme, must get one soon.

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Takumi86 September 24, 2008

Not only affiliate program can make you earn money online, but also from the adsense program such as text-link-ads, chitika and so on,

also if you are newbie, doesn’t know anything how to make money online, i’d suggest you to try PTC (paid-to-click) sites its so simple to earn but require patience and takes so many times

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Kevin September 30, 2008

Selling your own products is a much bigger deal than most know. You have to buy and store inventory, have a merchant account for online orders, create and maintain an online store, maintain shipping supplies and handle customer service. You have to run your shipments to UPS or USPS and track packages and answer emails. I did this for 2 years and it was not easy. It was like a full time job but 1/4 the money. I was shipping orders everyday and it got tiring. I felt like a shipping machine.

Affiliate products is the way to go or advertising. I make good money from Google Adsense. I have some blogs that are 6 months old and make $2-$3 per day. I have a dozen or so of these. $40 per day so far from Adsense. I’ll take that!!

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General Specifics October 7, 2008

Great post, chris.

When I first started online marketing I thought adsense was the only way to make money, but there are A LOT more options.

Cheers
General

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steve October 7, 2008

Hi thanks so much for the info. I’m fairly new to all of this and am struggling to up my income for a few ventures. I use adsense and some affiliate programs. I’m checking out that vbSEO thing now, caught my eye for some reason!

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cornelius October 7, 2008

Affiliate marketing is making people real money every day, me person ly I can tell that my bread and butter is affiliate marketing and adsence , and with 7 year and tons of marketing ebooks under my belt I can tell you is hard work but the benifits are better that great if you have the right teacher or now what you are doing

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Forex Trading Guy October 9, 2008

The two-tier model that you describe – selling your products + selling other people’s products – gives web-savvy entrepreneurs diversity in creating a multi-stream income.

The affiliate system, like you said, only makes sense if the products are relatable to your company / site.

One site that you didn’t mention as a good affiliate site is Commission Junction. A lot of major companies use this to promote their business to other sites.

Chris, are you making a lot via both methods? ;)

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Mike October 13, 2008

In my early days of learning ways to make money on the internet, I started using adsence, then I wised up. Now I sell my own product and use affiliates to sell for me as well.

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Rick Hanzlik October 16, 2008

Love It. I am linking to your article in my latest article on my site and I’d like to sign up for your DYI program.

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Guy Who Talks About Bankruptcy October 21, 2008

Adsense can be useful if you’re starting out a mini site, but the most effective way is to sell your own product, I couldn’t agree more. A nice hybrid would be to start signing up some some affiliate networks like commission junction – that can be much more lucrative than Adsense alone.

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stop snoring tips October 25, 2008

Adsense, i think is something not to be sniffed at especially if you have a large website eg more than 100 pages

Fortunately for people who do not have there own product, there is the option of affiliate marketing or even reseller products

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melina October 25, 2008

Thanks for this very informative article, even though I’ve noticed maily men read your blog – I’ve managed to glean quite a few good tips from it :-)

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Kathy @ Virtual Impax October 29, 2008

A hearty AMEN to this post.

It breaks my HEART when people come to me, wanting to launch a blog so they can make “easy” money with Adsense.

ADSENSE AIN’T EASY MONEY!

(By the way, Adsense really SUCKS for the web development niche – but can be worthwhile if you get out of the MMO and web specific sites AND you have tightly targeted content!)

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Joe's November 2, 2008

Thanks Chris! I agree with the value you place on transparency. being yourself in marketing efforts seems to be the approach that is the most successful. There is a lot of outlandishness, hype-ishness,and outright foolishness that permeates the marketing scene in certain niches. People don’t like being dooped or out right lied to. Free isn’t free online and that makes people say stick it!, for lack of a better explanation.

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L3tos November 7, 2008

That’s a great “real” lesson.
Instead of giving a dream, you give us a real clue how to make money from internet…
Thanks..god bless you ..

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Freebies November 8, 2008

Selling your own product is better because the bulk of the sale is for you. But if you are doing affiliate marketing, the advertiser will just give you a little part of the sale.

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Ahsan November 9, 2008

Thats the most truthful fact I have heard about AdSense. You can’t make anything if you can’t get a huge volume of traffic. I learned this lesson and thought of starting my own business. Now I have reached a point where I am getting close to having a successful online business without any help from PPC!

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Joanne Davis November 18, 2008

Ok Who ever wrote this I love you!. Finally an honest guy!. Ok I am 40 and allllll soooo single so I do believe we have a date down the road. Contact me soon I am not going to be single for ever.

Joanne

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Westly November 23, 2008

I think the first idea “create your own product” in this article is the best idea to make money online. It is the best long term strategy because it allows you to build a brand name and community. Of course you must produce something of value so people love you for it but I have found that the alternatives such as affiliate marketing can put some quick cash in your pocket but doesn’t really provide long term wealth

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Sam November 25, 2008

Creating your product and selling it is a good way to make money. But what products are people willing to buy? You have to research and create a product that solves people’s puzzles, then the money will roll in.

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Jb November 27, 2008

Great article!
Selling your own products is definately better but the more traffic you drive to your site the more products you could sell. Same goes for adsense imo, allthough i guess that is much harder to achieve.

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Jean December 2, 2008

Read your blog, but I am still a skeptic, where to start? I am stuck on a theme to create…it seems as though I have something to say almost about everything and I still am stuck on a theme for my web site…are you a google adsense user at all or did you get your 7% annual income just by what you suggested above, please advise, Thanks, Jean

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Wisam Ibrahim December 3, 2008

I totally agree with you my friend , this is the real truth and this it my first time to find someone is telling you the real truth , i spent years trying to play with Google adsense and the only way to make money with it is just to cheat them and it won’t last long,lol
my only problem is finding or maybe knowing what is the best to sell online either if its my product or someone elses’ product,
still don’t know

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Luke Amoresano December 5, 2008

Wonderfully done blog! There is some great answers here for those looking for direction. I have been through the hoops over the last ten years starting with Amazon re-selling used books, going through the online pharmaceutical sales trend and playing with Adsense.

I have found that the best vehicle to choose is one offering a useful service, recurring commissions and an Exclusive Affiliate Program to maximize retention and secure an income you can count that increases steadily over time.

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Bang Kritikus December 6, 2008

Wow great article !

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Bang Kritikus December 6, 2008

Don’t forget, maximize your website by search engine as google search engine. Put webpage into google index, increase your webpage pagerank, and use seo techniques. In reality, more traffic good for affiliating

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James Anthony December 6, 2008

Well i am new in this affiliate program i just wanted to ask you guys that without seo techniques you can’t increase your pagerank if no then please tell me the seo techniques…

Thanks

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Ryan Bauer December 10, 2008

Definitely good advice. Personally, I’m going to give developing and marketing my own product(s) a shot. After doing some math, that seems to be the most profitable method by far.

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3faycom December 23, 2008

I am currently using it and it is the best theme imaginable.

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gururaj December 29, 2008

I need some assistance to monetize my site. Can you tell me what type of monetization works with my site.. its my blog and i blog about random stuff..

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oaken December 31, 2008

I agree with that google adsense only good for blog /web with high visitor. I have try it on my blog. What about HP, did you concern about it?

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Raymond Selda January 1, 2009

Your blog especially this article has been one of my inspirations on how to make money online. I’m a web programmer but decided to learn web design as well. I created my first web template and auctioned it over at Sitepoint.

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Derrick Siu January 6, 2009

Hi Chris

just wanted to say I love the No BS angle. Great, straight to the point. heading over to sign up now :)

Derrick Siu
blogging newbie

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Peter June 17, 2013

Post may be a bit dated but still relevant in my opinion. Your opening sentence is still as solid as ever. Everyone wants to take your money and introduce you to the best MM scheme on the net. They bag the guru’s for over selling their systems and then follow it up with their usual BS promise to hold your hand personally to a life of wealth and a 4 hour working week……yeah sure.

Agree with you about the products as well. Your own products are certainly the way to go and most will do this after trying it all out as an Affiliate.

Good post Chris. Thesis is still the benchmark.

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Lance January 10, 2009

I trully believe in your point that selling our own products makes the best and sure way of making money online. It’s also true though that not all people gets the oppurtunity to make and sell products that are sensible to make a good market, so that’s where the second part comes in.
Thank you so much for this great and helpful article.

Lance

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Jonathan Browne January 12, 2009

There are keywords that pay you over a $1.00 per click on adsense. Also, if your ads are in the hotspots of peoples viewing patterns you are going to get a lot higher click through. I think it’s definitly possible to make good money using google adsense. Why not do it all? Adsense, an affiliate product, a donate button, your own product etc. You could sell a product, build your list with it and offer them other peoples affiliate products too. That’s what all the internet marketing gurus do.

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Mike January 18, 2009

Oh really, 2$/month? I’m making a steady average of $4.500+ monthly, for 2 years now, with just 6 strong websites VIA ADSENSE. Highest monthly revenue was $9.228 during this time. Stop luring people with your cheap affiliate crap my friend and start being more careful about what comes out of your big mouth – AdSense CAN MAKE YOU A RICH GUY if ur smart enuf to know how to use it!

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Maddie January 21, 2009

Nice post, you have an interesting way of writing:) I am using both adsense and affiliate marketing and so far adsense is working for me however I can see the potential in affiliate marketing once I can get my traffic up. I would sell my own product but I have no money to fund it right now so that’s why I’m using adsense and affiliate marketing to work my way up..hopefully:)

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Manny C. January 23, 2009

This is a great post. I agree that owning your own product to sell is the best way to make money. You have the opportunity to have your own affiliate program and crank your exposure to the massive traffic out there in the web. Can you imagine if an affiliate of a program is making Thousands of Dollars, what do you think the owner of that product is making. But if you don’t have your own product, then the best way to start is with Affiliate programs. Either way its about making an income online. Anyone can make money online as long as they have the knowledge and desire to. Best to All !

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Piree January 28, 2009

Very nice article, Chris!

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Jacques February 6, 2009

“So many people who want to use blogging and adsense to become billionaires…” <—— Sad but true

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Tom February 11, 2009

great idea to sell your own product on your own blog. I read this and came back to comment because I actually tried it in my new blog and it’s starting to work already.

Thanks,
Tom

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futuRich February 13, 2009

Finally, something that makes “cents” with regards to making money online. Thanks for the advice.

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Decoratiuni Nunta March 4, 2009

It seems to be a good idea. Must be implemented…

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wheeny March 10, 2009

quote: “What have you got to lose, two dollars… this month?”

So, what if I have a day job and actually only need two (ok, maybe it’s seven and a half, but still) dollars every month? I need to make my hosting premium, but free (in other words: pay for itself)? Should I go with adsense then?

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Ghaz March 17, 2009

Some damn good advice, I know alot people who make good money from affiliate sales, as well as pay per blogging ( almost the same thing) and selling links from there sites.

Ghaz

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Helen March 20, 2009

Just found your blog and am blown away by all the great advice that is freely available here. If people want to make money all they have to do is follow your advice and make a start. Doing the hard work and taking action plus consistent effort will have you on the path to making money.

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readerszone March 21, 2009

yes adsense these days really suck

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Ciara March 29, 2009

I get soooo many hits on my blog and make a pittance with adsense.
I decided to start selling a product and in the first week I made more money, and it was a lot easier, than I had in all of my adsense effort!

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iqbal April 3, 2009

Google adsence is dead. Your advice is spot on, you will only make some money from it, if you get a lot of hits.

What do think of making money from selling links?

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Eric Su April 9, 2009

Right on, creating an unique and useful product to sell is still the best way to make money online!

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Chris April 24, 2009

Thanks for the kick in the pants–I need my own product to sell!!!

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Building Backlinks April 24, 2009

Is your affiliate program still open? I just tried to join it at the link you gave , but I am getting a webpage with the message “You 404’d it. Gnarly, dude.” Where else can I sign up?

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Chris Pearson April 25, 2009

Building Backlinks — Sorry about that! I forgot to change the links when I updated our affiliate software a couple of months back. Here’s the new link to the DIYthemes affiliate program.

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rateisright May 7, 2009

Having a marketable product and a good strategy for getting organic traffic can work wonders for any site.

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Ricky May 13, 2009

I have always wanted to get into affiliates because adsense sucks.But iam still with adsense now and would be ditching it as soon as i collect some money :)

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Ian Dewar May 13, 2009

Chris, I’m struggling to contact you. I can’t access your forum and I want to know why.

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Demond May 20, 2009

I needed to hear the piece about creating my own products. I have struggled with this for a few years. Honestly I’ve been afraid to fail. I know there is enough within me to crank out a half dozen books. Thanks for your post. It’s just what I need to take action.

Thanks again.

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Yinda Jack May 21, 2009

Thanks for your good article. I like the picture with the cat . Could I used in my blog?

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Chris Pearson May 21, 2009

Yinda Jack — Sure, as long as you provide attribution in the form of a link back to this page.

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Neil May 23, 2009

thanks, this was extremely informative. and to you ‘my special gifts’, i have some amazon affiliate ads on my page and while I haven’t made anything, I’ve heard they’re successful. :D

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Alan June 5, 2009

2 dollars a month…too funny, came back here today to read it again.

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Siosi June 20, 2009

Great post – look forward to more of this type of content!

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Self Help Wordpress Blog June 23, 2009

I just recently started my first blog and after reading about the thesis theme, I am seriously considering using it (and also promoting it on the blog as an affiliate)

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Lewis June 29, 2009

Great post. I share your contempt for the millions of pages cluttering up the net designed purely in hopes they can make themselves billionaires from an adsense account.

Never understood why people think the basic laws of supply and demand go out the window when they are dealing with the web.

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Wasim Mohammed June 29, 2009

Great article. Finally someone actually tells the truth about, (excuse the expression) ‘making moeny online’ by putting things into a little more perpsective.

Just bought and installed the Thesis theme. Love the OpenHook too. Now I’m going to have a play with my new theme.

Thanks for everything !!

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Robert Brents July 14, 2009

I have Thesis and agree it’s superb – in theory. It does appear to have a learning curve that exceeds my time available, so I was hoping to find someone to sub-contract this out to. Unfortunately, Chris says “Unfortunately, I must inform you that I am not for hire.” Chris (or anyone else with direct experience hiring someone) – whom can you recommend? Thanks!

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Chris Pearson July 14, 2009

Robert — There are two ways that I recommend searching for Thesis experts who can help you get your site up and running in suitable fashion.

If you’re looking for a full-on designer, check out the Thesis Designer profiles at DoubleMule.

If you’re simply looking for some technical help, then I suggest checking out Thesis Tutor (and possibly emailing the webmaster there), or simply scour the #thesiswp hashtag stream on Twitter.

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Robert July 19, 2009

I think one of the best parts of this post is that awesome cat picture, lol, nice work Chris! Good tips of course, but awesome pic!

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Dan August 2, 2009

I wanted to ask Chris P a question about Thesis but I can’t find an email address anywhere on all his various sites and pages. I want to buy his product but need an answer to a layout question first. Is there any way to ask him a question without wondering if he sees it?

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Chris Pearson August 3, 2009

Dan — Please send all pre-sales questions to diythemes [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks!

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Millard August 11, 2009

I want to work and make money from home but you see I,am in a wheelchair and cannot move from the neck down and I do no have no money so if you want to help i will be the best prodegy that you have ever seen because all i have is time. So thaks foe your time and being an american. Your truly: Stuck in position

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dieorfly August 11, 2009

These days making money with affiliate programs is really popular way how to make money on the Internet Merchants likes it because they spend money only if the product was sold. So there is no wasting in comparison with other kind of products promotion. On the other hand owners of affiliate websites can usually make more money in comparison with other online making money opportunities.

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serge August 16, 2009

Hey, you’ve got that even righter than a lot of guys out there!!! Thanx for the post. It comes side by side of my own thoughts and the stuff of the money making kings…

Just one poin to add ( you’ve got that already )

The third way to make money on-line : make the others out there earn more money selling YOUR product…

I’ve come here only a week ago ( 6 months online blogging in vain, so restarting with thesis and new ideas pulled out of my bad experience) — you are just helping me to avoid reinventing the weel and simply joy the riding… Thanx so much.

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Ted Bendixson August 17, 2009

Hey Chris,

I am using a wordpress theme that you designed called “cutline” (great theme by the way), and I would like to know how I can get rid of the “Front Page” link at the top of the header so that I can just stick with the links I want to use for my client’s blog.

Thanks for any help,
-Ted Bendixson

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Steve August 24, 2009

Well he is right totally right. I have looked all over the web to find money making opportunities. I have ran into scam after scam. I am just finally making a little progress. I recently made my first hundred dollars. It took about half a month to do. I did it with surveys, and offers, I am now starting to dable in affiliate programs. I do see how you could earn a crap load of loot. I am a father of four kids, and really need it considering I am currently unemployed. I have so far had no luck with affiliate programs, however it has only been 3 days. I have seen scam after scam. However I have found some good legit things. I posted all the good ones on my website. I have 13 hits which is crazy because I have great money making opportunities on it. Hopefully I will find my groove soon.

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Veerapandian September 22, 2009

I use thesis theme and I love it.

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canon5dshooter September 27, 2009

I got into blogging about two months ago and this article hits the nail on the head! Thanks!

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Web Design Colchester September 30, 2009

You need a lot of traffic to make money though an affliate scheme, would love to know what 7% equates to! I thought the advice about being genuine was spot on. Would love to try it if I ever got a site going with lots of traffic!

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Rosette October 13, 2009

Aw. what a cute cat. I wonder if affiliate marketing is as risky as adsense. Thanks for the ideas

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Gav October 16, 2009

There are some many ways to make money on line and affiliate marketing sure is one of them

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KittyCat February 16, 2010

Hi Chris – thanks for this straight-talking post. Gonna make 2010 a money-making one for this Mom of 2.

Getting the Thesis theme will be a first investment and another will be on creating a new and unique product I can sell on my blogs!

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Russell March 17, 2010

Nailed it in one Chris. Option one, sell your own product; second option, sell some one else’s product that you have bought yourself and can honestly recommend. Thesis, perchance?

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Chris Pearson March 19, 2010

You know it ;)

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Mark March 26, 2010

Chris, love your theme and impressed by what you’re doing. About adsense, though, wow you don’t have it right. Most people throw adsense up on their personal blogs, don’t make any money and that is supposed to be the proof that it doesn’t work? That simply isn’t the right way to use it. I, and many many other people that I know use it to make lots of money every single day. It can’t be used as an afterthought, though. You also don’t have to use it on sucky, spammy “made for adsense” sites, but rather on solid, well-planned informational sites that offer value to the visitor. Just want you to know that there is another side to adsense.

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Zacchaeus Nifong August 6, 2010

Mark~
I’d like to know more about what you’re talking about. May I contact you about it?
Z

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Gabriel March 29, 2010

I agree with Mark… Adsense if you do it properly is a way to make a very decent living.

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Lee Ka Hoong April 7, 2010

No doubt, make money online with affiliate program is definitely a killer way to make maximum earning. Selling clickbank product is a good method, but it requires some marketing skills and strategies as well, this is something that I’m not interested at this moment. I used to make money from pay per click program, especially Google Adsense and selling banner ads.

Thanks for the great post Chris!

Regards,
Lee

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Allen April 13, 2010

Cool post there Chris … I think you just cut through close to 99% of the non-sense and hit the nail on the head or go for option 1.5 … a bit of product creation and affiliate marketing.

Always nice to be reminded of sense and reality!

Al

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Martin Bay April 19, 2010

Great post! It is still very right despite its quite old. Anyway I really like the thesis theme!

Martin

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Robb May 12, 2010

A few years ago I enrolled in a mini-course on internet business.. not an online course, but a real course in a real classroom with a bona-fide internet marketer. The best advice he ever gave me regarding affiliate marketing was this: Affliates usually don’t make very much money – but affiliators do! Obviously if you want to be an affiliator, you have to have your own product first, but until you can develop your own hot product (hint: software products are hot!) you can always try the affiliate route to get the marketing experience you’ll need once you do. For Adsense to make any sense you’ll need decent content & heavy traffic, so be prepared to advertise, and especially if you’re in a higher-paying competetive niche. Any way you look at it, you probably won’t get rich online without a good deal of thought and effort. If you’re not all that ambitious, or you’d just like to make some beer money, you might try out the paid surveys route.

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Dr Claude May 15, 2010

Even though selling your own product is the best way to make money online, many people don’t have the time or don’t want to create their own product. One possible solution is to buy PLR (Private Label Rights) to great products and sell the products as if you had created them.

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Theo May 28, 2010

Great and honest post, really appreciate it !

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Gerald Meddow June 1, 2010

Im making money with my webshop, actually its a combination of the two topics posted in this article, I sell the products of someone else, but not as an affiliate, more as a shop-owner.

On other projects I earn money with GAS or other advertising methods.

Advertising is much more easier, but as others already said, it requires a lot of traffic to generate enough money worth to talk about. Selling products is much more difficult than just providing pixels and pictures.

Actually you should know a lot about making deals and law before starting selling products. Maybe you have an economical background – that would help or at least you know how people (customers) work and what their desired goal is.

An interview with i.e. Steve Jobs probably helps out *joke*

But hey, it depends on what your aim is, making money starts at 1$ and like all the human wishes ends up in the universe.

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Selina June 3, 2010

Its true, even beautiful ads are ugly, and i removed adsense long time ago, it should really change its name to nonsense for us amateurs. Still, all this sounds nice and easy on notepad, but to actually attract many people to my site and make them order my products is mission impossible at the moment. So i ended up learning how to become a webmaster instead of improving myself on my own field. Oh well, tnx for the article , i still have lots to learn i guess.

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Jamison Alexander July 2, 2010

Each and every day more and more people are making the decision to take control of their own destiny and pursue an online work at home business opportunity. There are thousands of entrepreneurs that are making a lot of money by marketing the best affiliate program money making opportunities.

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Zacchaeus Nifong July 24, 2010

Chris~
I’m a self-start WP web designer originating in Jan, 2010. To date, I’ve built, and maintain, 10 WP websites. I’ve got so many sites to build in my queue I can’t even get my own site built. It’s nuts.

Anyway, I listened to that interview b/t you & Matt M. tonight. Honestly, we all love WP, but on a legal note, I don’t see any violation on your part. In conclusion, I do like Matt and WP and am very grateful to the WP Community, but in my book, Thesis will still be a framework I use.

All the best my friend,
Zacchaeus Nifong

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Rusty July 27, 2010

I can’t make money with AdSense without millions of page views per month? I’m about 950,000 short……

Should I give this money back?

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Gavin August 6, 2010

I made some great cash selling Thesis a while ago, so I can affirm the affiliate thing works and that Thesis converts great. Very valid point that “make money online” is still bound by the rules of fundamental economics. Its amazing how often that point is distorted with the the over emphasis on technique over principles.

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Z August 6, 2010

Gavin~
May I contact you personally about how you made money selling Thesis. I’m very curious.
Z

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Vince & Roxana Gionti August 7, 2010

I happen to be a part of those nerdy marketing groups…but you’re right in saying affiliate marketing is the second best way to make money online a great resource is clickbank…and you definitely want to be a part of the big launches that’s where the huge checks come in…

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Yunar August 8, 2010

I found your blog content full of “meat”, every post is useful to me as i try to optimize my blog and a lot of WP tweak you are great.

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chrissyna August 30, 2010

Great post. This post got my mind working and I’m so inspired to explore for more ideas now. you’re incredible.

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New Media Marketeer September 28, 2010

Just thought I’d give my 2cents … I am totally on board with Pearson’s monetization methodology and most of the fan’s posts do continue to add value, however; why hasn’t anyone addressed the mindset required to make a profit in today’s virtual marketplace?? … let alone make a living online! If our time is worth only a few bucks here and there then by all means let’s dabble in as any good hobbyist till our hearts content. However, let us be very clear for those newbie’s that may read our ramblings … that to succeed at either of the aforementioned methods or at any other IM business model one must first commit themselves to a specific sequential plan that focuses on a greater business minded outcome. In other words … you can’t get rich quick on the internet … anymore … however, you can achieve success if approached with deliberate reason.

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aljun7fp November 11, 2010

Nice post. I’m testing affiliate marketing now on my hosted blogger site.

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PCRoger November 11, 2010

I came here looking for info on Adsense integration (OK, done beating me up??), I read the post & some comments.

BUT..

You say on DIYThemes that you do use Adsense Deluxe plugin on this site (that’s what brought me here)

Best,
PCRoger.

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David November 29, 2010

I agree selling products (one’s own) or going affiliate is a way to make money online. I see your point on AdSense being a struggle unless one has lots of traffic. There are other advertising networks that might work better than AdSense (or in conjuction with). I think it makes sense to use the advertising revenue model as well as affiliate sales. My current thinking for my site/venture is predicated on the advertising model with consideration for affiliate products (if only I can find ones I believe in). I need to get traffic (even if I only do affiliate products). I do SEO link building. I also program my own site. Plus I am learning/doing the marketing and promotion. All of these experiences can be re-used in providing services to other people (instead of selling product, I will be selling my services).

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Johan Louis December 12, 2010

My opinion is that it can both work, affiliate and adsense. With adsense you can see what ads are being clicked on, that can lead to new possible interesting affiliates.

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Marion December 21, 2010

I tried affiliate marketing before and didn’t really like it. Selling your own products and getting affiliates to market them is the best way to earn money online. Making the ecommerce site and buying the stocks is easy, the hardest part of selling your own products is probably marketing, unless you put it in eBay.

From experience as well, making a good blog and building reputations from it can earn you money by selling ad spaces.

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Nicolas Bentza January 17, 2011

Agree with Marion for the most part. The issues we always faced and still face is customer care. Selling is hard, and also marketing, but in the end dealing with customer issues and them returning products and goods is very challenging.

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Marion January 17, 2011

I almost forgot about customer service and returns. It’s such a headache most of the time.

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Tttam January 26, 2011

Outsource!

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Ashish February 11, 2011

That is so true and once you adopt the role of a publisher, things start moving your way, think and fast. The returns are smarter and bulkier so those 1 million pageviews per month are really not needed.

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Elias February 20, 2011

Great tips Chris. I recently found the thesis website and I am convinced I need to apply this awesome theme on my baby blog. I will even promote it on my website if allowed. I am curious to see how can it grow from plain to great using thesis. I am just afraid I am new at blogging and know nothing about programming or codes. Thank you and wish you a lot of success in 2011!

Enjoy the All-Star game this afternoon!

Elias

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Tina March 14, 2011

Great source of information. Selling your own products is properly best, but I found an interesting way of affilate marketing. More and more affilate marketers just will make an adwords ad, and promoting your product for 10% off. This way, customers will buy from your affilate rather than from you, even they have not been introduced to your product by the affilate.

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Rob March 19, 2011

There are many ways to make money online. None are ‘quick’. With everything in life, persistency is key. Quit, and you can’t win. Don’t ever start, and you can’t win.

Read and learn. There are many free resources. There are plenty of stories of those who started with little to nothing, and made it big. You may be the next. Find a strategy that has worked for others, and then be persistent. Live it LOUD!

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Alam April 12, 2011

Dear Chris,

I think you forgot something. One more thing that is surefire ways to give you money in internet is selling your own service. It require almost no advertising and you get instant cash by doing it.

You also offer site design service to your customer to make money, right?

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Johan April 27, 2011

Indeed, the first idea is the best idea to make money. Affiliate business doesn’t really provide long term value, as you basically built their brand, and not your own.

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William May 12, 2011

Having a product of our own is better than promoting affiliate stuff.

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pallav July 6, 2011

i went through some stuff earlier, and realized that like 3 million people or something like are using the ‘airtight seo’ and ‘innovative’ thesis theme for their wordpress blogs. i was just wondering of those 3 million there are going at least well 50 people competing in the same genre of writing, and hence, even if the seo of this theme is brilliant and can beat the efforts all other competitors, not all the blogs would reach the first page of the all search engines. how does this work? or is it just another one of those claims people make to push sales?

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Chris Pearson July 6, 2011

Pallav, there are not 3 million people using Thesis (though I wish there were!). At last count, somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 sites were using the theme, and most of those sites do not compete for specific search engine rankings.

Regarding the scenario you described, if you were trying to out-rank 10 other people who were also using Thesis, then you would have to focus on your content in order to beat them.

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Eva July 23, 2011

A wise geek told me that the best way to make money online is to sell you own products or services but forgot to tell about affiliate programs :)

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Austin July 30, 2011

I love your writing style, can I say first up: agree or disagree with that post, it was a pleasure to read. I’d go, I think, for selling your own product everytime if you possibly can. And if you can produce a digital product, then all the better because every copy you sell costs you no more to produce and deliver but the selling price remains the same. So what didgital product? Well, if you’re a programmer, I guess the answers are obvious, a musician/composer or a writer also don’t need to rack their brains too hard. I’m a magician (amongst many other things!) and I sell magic tutorials. But what if you haven’t got an obvious thing you could turn into a digitalized product? Well, you can still do it but you’ll need to do more research. Do you know there’s a kind of eBook that you can seriously market but takes a bit of work to compile and it’s a ‘professional directory’. This stuff sells. It could be a directory of anything from publishing houses to highway diners to hospitals to pet cemetaries to lawyers in a certain area etc. Not just a list of names and addresses but evaluations, comments, links to websites. It’s one to pursue. :)

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Hassan Raza August 4, 2011

I will surely give it a try later this summer

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Roger Faus August 11, 2011

hello,
I am an user of your template. I think is the best I have seen in a lot of time, but I have some problems with Widgets, for example “democracy polls”. Please, could you help with this problems?
I am not very master with this issues, i would like concentrate my effort on contents, but….
Thanks for all.

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Raja Kamil August 14, 2011

It’s 2011 already, but this still work !
Sell own product, sell others product !

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Chris September 28, 2011

I like the idea of new affiliate product development. Personally, what I have done in the past, is to improve an existing product and then re-sell it as a new product. Good article!

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Peter C October 13, 2011

I always have a giggle when I read peoples reviews on Adsense but what is even funnier is the fact so many people do it and waste a bucket load of time.
Micro Niche Affiliate Marketing is my preference. Building mini sites around a couple of keywords only, works well, even after Panda.
Good article. Good theme as well BTW.

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David October 22, 2011

I recently discussed a partnership with someone selling knife sharpeners. That person has no knowledge in web programming, promotion and the like while I have some of those skills. I considered joining with him to sell the product online. I am also trying out an affiliate program through a smartphone app which I have developed.

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Damian November 7, 2011

I know this is an old post but is this compatible with 3.2.1 ??

also your right that our adsense is about $4 a month lol

i think people have wised up to the fact that clicking on them google links earns people money

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Chris Pearson November 7, 2011

Damian, Thesis is compatible with the latest version of WordPress.

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Thomas November 16, 2011

Great writing and good advice for anyone starting out as an online entrepreneur. I sorta stumbled along promoting other people’s stuff and never really hit it big UNTIL I started creating my own products and services. Definitely worked for me!

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peter J.R. December 27, 2011

If you are interested in learning to how to make money online as a replacement for a full time job, then you should plan to invest time and energy learning a skill. There are countless prepackaged programs available across the internet that will show you how to become an affiliate marketer, web designer, or SEO consultant.

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pyuh January 15, 2012

dear chris,

i like your affiliate plan, i hope you share some tips for me.
thanks

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Peter February 21, 2012

Totally agree with your opening paragraph. I too am sick of the so called Guru’s beating up the AdSense Money Making Machine.
All they are doing is feeding on peoples desperation and desires to try and earn a few dollars online.
It is not always easy making money online but doing it with AdSense is just so much tougher.

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Tom March 29, 2012

It’s good way to make some money. In my opinion its very hard to make own product ;/

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Koundeenya May 15, 2012

I’m sure PPC advertising also works. Google has sent me enough checks. It actually pays, if we are a serious blogger. And if marketed well, affiliated marketing can make us millionaire.

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Pritam Nagrale June 2, 2012

Nice post of make money online. Its been more than 2 years I am using thesis with developer license and thesis has proved to be one of the best investment for me.
I love to promote your affiliate marketing which is very lucrative. Thanks for sharing this.

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Darren July 9, 2012

Hey,

Thanks for this post, I had my Adsense account closed 3 days ago. and was feeling like crap and wanting give up… Reading this made me remember why I started for in the first place.

Thesis theme is great, I use it on all my sites. thanks….

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Fer'ner July 27, 2012

Love these tips. Comes in very handy for me dude. All I was doing untill now was PPC but it could be very exclusive online.

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Ellis August 1, 2012

Selling your own product is certainly a great way to make money online, but it’s really difficult for the average person to do. There’s so much to plan, so much to do, and you can put a lot of effort into something that never takes off. Affiliate marketing on the other hand is open to anyone and there are SO many niches out there ripe for tackling. You also don’t need to spend nearly as much time developing and there’s more to outsource. Of course, it’s a fickle business. There’s always a tradeoff.

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Maston Mbewe September 25, 2012

Thanks for the heads up! Adsense is killing us!

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Primoz B October 7, 2012

Totally agree with Maston! Adsense earnings are nothing compared to affiliate earnings.

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sudeep October 11, 2012

People are literally lining up for Pearsonified. What are you waiting for to fix the engine and sell it?

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Jonny October 12, 2012

I agree! I have been able to double my income with affiliate marketing. I invested $40 in the beginning of August and I have already made over $10,000. If you are willing to put in some time anyone can make money with affiliate marketing!

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digitalcrow December 8, 2012

@Jonny and others claimnig that they made money as affiliates:
People i tried everything i couldn’t make even a penny as an affiliate and i learn many things , why is that ?
If you ask me i really don’t believe that someone could make money as an affiliate, and i dont even believe that affiliate networks would give you your comissions from sales.
(I’ve tested one local affiliate network and made a purchase from other pc and they didn’t gave me the money !!!)

If you have any tips send them to my email please …… but really i dont think its possible to make any money at all as an affiliate.

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thomas January 20, 2013

dear Sir I don’t know if you will read this but Ive been trying to get in touch with someone from your customer service. I want to buy your pro thesis theme but its not accepting my card details. Ive Tried two of my own and even my mums and girl friends with no luck. I also couldn’t find any way to contact customer service on your site so I came here in the hopes that you can help directly. I like your product I have the money to pay but can’t get the goods. By the way I live in India, is that something to do with it?

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Chris Pearson January 21, 2013

Thomas, if you’re still having trouble purchasing, I can refer you to PayPal directly so they can assist you with the payment.

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Michael Mears February 4, 2013

I love how you explained SUCCESSFUL affiliate marketing. Knowing the product, and genuinely enjoying it. I think that’s a great path for making an income online. Especially if you have nothing to sell of your own. Of course, the hardest part for most people is just getting started! So many people miss out on making money online because they don’t even know where to get started, you know?

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Danny B May 21, 2013

I loved the photo of the cat. lol
Thanks for the great information , I agree with the ad-sense comment.

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Tony H. July 31, 2013

Yes, selling products is probably the best way to make money on the web. I’ve built a lot of those website for clients. They don’t even have to be your own products and it’s not difficult to find a supplier and set up a small distribution center in your spare room or basement. I’ve seen people grow nice, little businesses doing this to the point where they move into a small office space and hire a part time employee or two.

BTW, the posts on this website don’t have dates on them, so it’s hard to tell when they were made.

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Kalpesh Panchal October 1, 2013

lol, what a picture there! Regarding earning money online there are more ways but i feel affiliate marketing can prove to be very profitable as compare to traditional businesses. The setup cost is also quite less and you can open unlimited number of stores as you want.

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yeasin February 24, 2014

Thank you very much Chris . its a great article i ever read . :)

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Konrad April 30, 2014

Quite simply put you are 100% correct. Been in the industry for years now and have found that there is no better way to make the cashola then to actually go out there, create your products and or sell other people’s products, that is where the money is, not in google.
It’s actually a lot easier to make money online than what people think it is, they just confused by s0 many junk websites, and so called guru’s. This list should set them straight :)
Regards
Konrad

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Hoot and/or Holler

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