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How to Make Money Online

The Ultimate Free Guide, by Gary Simon

Beneath, you will find a very elaborate guide (22,000 words) I personally wrote about making money online. I wrote it with the anticipation of selling it, but because I'm so giving, I decided to make it free (the same day I launched the version that cost money.)

So if you really want to learn how to make money online and quit your lame job, just read my guide and you will have a very good understanding of where and how to begin.

Table of Contents

How to Make Money Online

PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising)

    Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a way of generating instant traffic.  Each visitor obtained through PPC however costs you a certain amount of money.  Here's how it works.

  1. You join a PPC network (various networks are listed below).
  2. You create a new campaign. An example of a campaign name would be " PPC Campaign"
  3. In the new campaign, you create ad groups.  Ad groups are a way to group different keyword sets together.  For if you sell women's and men's shoes online, one ad group would be targeted towards keywords that women might search for, and the other for men, like "women's shoes online" or "buy men shoes online".  You might even have a third ad group for non-gender specific keywords like "Buy shoes online".
  4. In your new ad group(s), you list the keywords you want your ad to show up on when visitors type it in the PPC network's search engine. (Google / MSN / Yahoo all have one).  You can specify as many keywords as you like, and there are 4 different types of keywords.

    • Broad Match
      An example of a broad match keyword would be: Mens Shoes    - There are no quotes around this keyword, or brackets.  It means that someone could type in "Shoes for Mens" (though they wouldn't) and your term would show up.  Any of the words within that keyword can be placed in any order, with any other words.  Using broad match keywords results in the most clicks, but also can result in clicks from visitors that might not be very targeted.

    • Phrase Match
      An example of a phrase match keyword would be "Mens Shoes"  - It contains actual quotes around the keyword.  It would appear for search terms that like "Mens Shoes" only, but also keywords that include that phrase with other words, like "Free Mens Shoes" or "Mens Shoes for less".

    • Exact Match
      An example of an exact match keyword would be [Mens Shoes]  - It contains actual brackets around the keyword.  It would only appear for the search term "Mens Shoes". Exact match keywords are recommended when you first start your campaign if you're running on a budget, because it allows you to control exactly which keywords your ad will appear for.

    • Negative Keywords
      An example of a negative keyword would be:  -free   - It contains a dash right before the word.  It allows you to block out any searches that contain that word.  So if you're selling something, then you would want to use a negative keyword like -free.  You can specify as many as you like on most networks.

  5. You then specify your Maximum Cost Per Click (or Max CPC).  Let's assume you added 10 keywords in your adgroup.  You're then asked what is the maximum amount you're willing to pay for each time someone clicks on your ad.  You can specify a Max. CPC for the entire ad group, and also specific CPC's for individual keywords.
  6. You then create your ad copy for the ad group you just created.  Ad copy consists of a title, 2 lines of description, link anchor text, and the URL.  If you perform a google search, the sponsored results that show up on the right side of the browser are what ad copy looks like. 
  7. That's it.  Depending on the network, your ad will either be live nearly instant, or they might have to approve your ad first.  Google Adwords (Google's PPC Network) is instant, while Yahoo requires approval.  Once your ad is live and someone types a keyword you've targeted, and then clicks on your ad, they're brought to the URL you specified and you're charged an amount of money.  The amount of money you're charged is based on the amount of competition for that keyword.  There are some keywords that cost over $20.00 per click!  And others that only costs $.05 cents.

    The ultimate goal is to profit.  If it costs you on average $15.00 from PPC to generate a $30.00 order (assuming what you sell is $30.00), then you have a great ROI (Return on Investment). 

PPC Terminology

  • CPC
    Cost Per Click.  The amount of money you're charged per click.

  • Impression
    An impression is generated every time someone searches for a keyword you've targeted, regardless if they click on your ad or not.  As long as your ad was shown, it counts as an impression.  It's average to have 97-99% more impressions than actual clicks.

  • CTR
    Click-Thru Ratio.  CTR is a percentage that compares the number of impressions a keyword/adgroup/campaign has generated, vs. how many clicks were generated.  A 1% CTR is usually average.  The higher the CTR of a particular keyword/adgroup is, the better.  You obviously want more clicks.  I discuss tips in the tips section below to help you generate a high CTR.

  • ROI
    Return on Investment.  ROI isn't a PPC-specific term, but it's used a lot with PPC since you're paying for each visitor in hopes of profiting.

  • Conversion Rate
    Your conversion rate is how many visitors purchase or perform a desired action on your site, vs. how many total visitors were generated.

  • Landing Page
    The page in which visitors who click your ad are directed to is considered your landing page.  It can be your home page, or a different page.

  • Quality Score
    Each keyword is given a quality score (by Google / Yahoo) and it's based on several factors including CTR, adcopy relevancy, landing page relevancy, landing page load time, etc..

  • Geographical Targeting
    The most popular PPC networks give you the option of Geo-Targeting your ad group.  It allows you to specify different cities and countries that you want your ad to show for.  If you sell something that has to be picked up locally, then you would want to specify your city and/or surrounding cities.  This way you don't waste money showing your ad to people who live too far away.

  • Ad Position / Rank
    In Google Adwords and other PPC networks, there are a possibility of up to 8 ads that show at one time.  Your ad position/rank is where your ad falls on average in relation to the competition.  The maximum CPC and ad relevancy/CTR is what determines your ad position/rank.

  • Daily Spending Limit
    This lets you specify a daily spending limit for an entire campaign.  So if you specify $25.00, your ad will automatically pause itself once that amount of money has been reached.

PPC Tips

  • Target Everything
    In an ideal world, you would only specify 1 keyword for each ad group, and customize your ad copy around that keyword, as well as customize your landing page around that keyword.  But that would take a lot of work.  But you can find a middle ground where you can group together keywords that are very similar, choose a relevant ad copy and landing page. Below is an example.

    Let's say you sell men's nike shoes and you want to create an ad group for those keywords.  Here is what an example ad group with ad copy looks like.

    [Mens Nike Shoes]
    [Nike Shoes for Men]
    [Nike Mens Shoes]

    Ad Copy:

    Mens Nike Shoes
    The lowest priced mens nike shoes
    with Free Shipping!

  • Avoid Keyword Stuffing
    Keyword stuffing is when you specify too many keywords for an adgroup.  As mentioned above, you want everything as targeted as possible.

  • Use your keywords in your ad copy
    As you can see in my example above, you see I use "Mens Nike Shoes" in the title and description. You want to do this because when your ad copy contains the keyword that the visitor searched for, it bolds that keyword in your ad.  The more bold your ad appears, the higher the CTR will be.

  • Use the Google Adwords Keyword Suggestions tool
    This free tool allows you to gain ideas for keywords that you can target in your campaigns.

Popular PPC Networks

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