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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

Tying it All Together

    After reading the previous sections, your brain might be on information overload!  But that's to be expected if you're new to everything I discussed.  But it's not as tough as it seems when you look at everything from a much more simplified view like below.

  1. Choose your industry / niche if you don't already have one.  You do this by performing searches on search engines like Google for keywords that might be relevant to a potential industry. And then analyze the competition and search demand of the keywords.

  2. Once you have found your industry / niche, consider how you will monetize it through either a publisher, service or affiliate marketing based method.

  3. You then choose your domain, and register it through a domain registrar.  After that, make sure you have a web hosting account.

  4. Then you design your site. If it's dynamic, code your site too.

  5. Once your site is fully developed, you can then focus on building traffic.


    The above 5 steps is all there is to it.  If you take your time with each step, you maximize your chances of making money with every website you build.


The Most Important Piece of Advice

    The most important piece of advice I give anyone who wants to make money online is to stay persistent.  Even with all of the information you've just learned, I guarantee you will face many hurdles before you're at a point where you're making money every day with your website(s).  Some people become easily discouraged when they face a difficult issue and end up quitting.  Do not let it happen to you!  Do whatever it takes and question everything at webmaster communities to receive help.


My Personal Experience

    I was in 6th grade and convinced my parents that we *needed* a computer.  For some reason I was instantly hooked and I spent a lot of time playing games (well, I still do!).  I enjoyed playing games like Doom 2, and even making my own levels and custom monsters.  I was so intrigued by the experience that I wanted to learn more about development and design.  Slowly over the course of several years, my emphasis shifted to web design. 

    While in high school I made money here and there by taking on design projects.  By the time junior year arrived, I was already convinced I didn't need college and could just make money online on my own.  So once I graduated, I didn't go off to college, instead I lived at home with my parents and spent my time lifting, working (playing too) on the computer, and spending time with my girlfriend whom I met as a senior.

    I didn't have enough consistent clients to make any decent sustainable income working as a freelance designer, so my first real attempt to make money online was starting a fitness site.  While I had decent knowledge of scripting technologies like PHP and databases like MySQL, I knew the particular project I wanted to build would be beyond my skill level.  So I brought on a partner who was well-versed in the development end of websites.

    It was early 2004 and my idea was to build a fitness website that would allow visitors to keep a dynamic online fitness journal that would allow them to track every aspect of their diet and workouts.  I hadn't seen anything like it except for 1 other competitor FitDay, which I believed I could easily make something better.  So we began development, and after nearly half a year, we had finished what we set out to do. 

    This is when it got hard.  I really didn't have any clue on how to generate traffic, I didn't know what SEO was.  So I did the only thing I knew to do, which was visit other fitness sites and fitness forums and just let everyone know about this new service.  Well, I quickly realized people didn't want to pay for fitness journals.  That was the first unfortunate hurdle, so we removed the requirement of payment and made accounts free.  For awhile we were getting quite a few members, but the traffic was never consistent because I didn't know how to develop consistent traffic.

    Ultimately because I had no idea how to properly monetize a website, I became discouraged and abandoned the website.  In a sense, I wasted more than a year on this particular project, but I did gain a lot of knowledge out of the experience.  The one thing I regret today about it is that I didn't stick with it.  I know now if I only stuck with it, it could be a website that could net 6 figures a year.

    So as years passed, the only income I generated came from web design projects here and there.  Since I still lived under my parents roof and had few expenses, I didn't *need* to make much money.  But then I proposed to my girlfriend and a wedding was eminent.  I had a year and a half to start making consistent income.  My goal was to make at least $3,000 per month on a consistent manner, and I wasn't anywhere near that.  At that time I was currently earning $1,300 a month from a game service that allowed gamers to chat online with each other while playing multiplayer games.  I also had 2 other partners on this project.  I had it in my head that if I focused on a few other fitness sites I personally owned, and we grew our game service, that I would certainly make at least $3,000 a month in time for the wedding and when we had to move out on our own.

    But then due to certain issues within our game service, it began to make less money.  And my own sites weren't making money either.  Then one day I decided to check my web stats on a personal site I started as a design portfolio, garysimon.net.  I was amazed to see that it had actually received a lot of traffic from search engines regarding logo related keywords.  I wrote a tutorial awhile back and it reached the front page of digg.com, a popular social media website.  Because it ranked on the front page of this big website, other website owners linked to my logo design tutorial, and this is what made it rank high in Google and other search engines.

    It was only 3 months before I had to get married and move out and I still was not making any decent income.  So I came up with an idea to try and monetize the traffic garysimon.net received.  I recorded 5 video tutorials and created a sales page and sold access to them for $6.95.  It seemed to work but only generated 1 sale or so a day.  Then I thought to myself, maybe I'll advertise my own logo design services on the tutorial, and perhaps some people might order.  So I built a system to handle the clients, created an order page, and started charging $75.00 for logo design.  And to my amazement, the first month I had made $3,000!

    I was the happiest guy in the world, because I reached my goal and it was in a totally unexpected manner.  That was 2 years ago and since then, I have released a couple other sites and I now make an average of between $5k-$7k per month.  Even with everything I know and understand about web sites, I know that I have only now just begun to scratch the surface.  My biggest issue has always been abandoning projects because I quickly got bored and loved what it felt like to start a new website.  But I have been able to overcome that mentality and it has paid off.


Closing

    I hope you've enjoyed everything you've read, and if you have any questions don't hesitate to email me at gary@garysimon.net.  You will succeed if you keep persistent and question everything.






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