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How easy is it really to build a successful site?

karen3
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Joined: 09 Feb 12
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How easy is it really to build a successful site?

I am new to this forum and just curious as to how easy it really is to give up your day job and create a successful income online through affiliate marketing. Any feedback would be appreciated from those who are doing it/have done it as I am trying to suss out if this is a good route for me to go down...I suspect in reality it does take quite a bit of time and ongoing effort to get your site to rank, promote it etc and keep it up in the search rankings.

How difficult is it to find the right niche/product to market to make some good money?
How much profit does your site have to make per week/month to just cover the expenses of the site if you want to outsource everything and have nothing to do with it? Is it even really feasible to have nothing to do with your site?
How many hours per week are people generally putting into their site?
How much technical knowledge is required? Wordpress I don't find that user friendly...
Has anyone tried building sites using the weebly system and thoughts on this?
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jmpruitt
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hey Karen. in the beginning it can take a while to learn. there are loads of things that you need to learn. Although some people do get started quickly, and have replaced their job in as little as 6 months, many people that I know take at least 1-2 years to start seeing consistent results.

Part of it depends on how much time and money you have to invest in your site. the more you can invest, the faster it will work for you.

Sites like Weebly are free to use, but they also are not something that you can control. If they change their rules about advertising, which has happened on a lot of the free sites over the last few years, you can be put out of business over night.

Although Wordpress can be a bit of a pain to learn, it is the easiest way to get started quickly. Its much easier than hand coding a site, or learning HTML and PHP. Its all a matter of putting it into perspective. It is the easiest platform to learn the basics, although it can take years to learn all the details, and to make totally custom sites, you would need to learn PHP coding, or hire someone who does.

You might look into buying a program like Xsite Pro which is specifically designed for building affiliate sites. Also, investing in a training program like AffiloBlueprint will teach you how to use these programs to build your sites. they will give you the step by step system that you need to follow to get everything done.

its really hard to say how long it takes to find your right niche. the reason a lot of people build multiple sites is to test the profitability of different niches, and find one that fiits their passions and makes some money at the same time.

How long it takes is up to you. if you understand everything, and get the technical details down, you can start up a site and be seeing some sales within a couple of months.

Really, it isn't feasible to outsource everything. you should outsource most of it, and focus your efforts on the parts that you enjoy. this isn't a get rich quick scheme. it is a business, and like any business, you will have to work to earn your money.

One thing I always caution newbies against is just throwing money at a problem and hoping it will go away. If you don't know what you are paying for when you outsource work, you will get scammed. I know many people who gave up on IM calling it a scam because they hired the wrong people, and got ripped off.

If you have done the work yourself, at least on 1 or 2 sites, then you will know what it takes, and what you are paying for. it is hard to do it that way, but you will be a better business owner because of it.

as far as how much you have to make to outsource it, that really depends on who you hire, how good they are, and what you are doing. I know some people who spend 200/month on outsourcing, and some who spend 2000+/month.

generally, i recommend doing most of the work yourself on your first site, so that you can learn what it takes and see how it all works. Then, start reinvesting what that first site makes into building new sites.
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cterao
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I'd say it generally depends on how much money you need to make to quit your job. If you're living in a country with a lower cost of living, you might be sitting pretty comfortably if you are making $1000 per month. However, if you're an investment banker in the US, you might still be struggling to pay the mortgage on your 3 homes at $10,000 per month.

Finding the "right" niche doesn't have to be a big deal. Just find the niche that's right for you. Something you enjoy working in. Maybe a hobby or something you struggled with in the past. Chances are you already know a fair bit about these markets and you will be more willing to offer real useful content rather than just blathering about nothing until you have a 500 or 1000 word article.

As far as specific costs, you'll need a website, which will cost you about $10 per year plus hosting. And I would strongly suggest you get an autoresponder, which costs about $20 per month on the low end. A lot of people insist on not getting an autoresponder until they are "successful" already, but I think that is a huge mistake. That's like trying to be a marathon running but not wanting to buy shoes until you've become "successful."

Overall, I'd say that you shouldn't worry too much about this. If you're serious about this, you'll be glad you started earlier rather than later. I have yet to ever meet someone who said, "you know what... I wish I had waited another year before I started making money online." It's always the other way and people wish they had started earlier (Gosh! I wish I started back in 1999 like Mark Ling...!)

Anyway, if you really want to do this, I say just start now. This isn't going to be a magic "no work" cure for your job, but if you put in the time, you can make good money from this. Plus you have all of us here at Affilorama to help you :)
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Clayton
I did AffiloBlueprint for one year - http://www.journeyofmyown.com/welcome-affilorama-friends/

Make $100 commissions by being my affiliate - http://exsolutionprogram.com/affiliates/
 
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jmpruitt
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I love that marathon example clayton, I had never thought of it that way, but you are right on. I waited to build my email list, and I honestly say it was one of my biggest mistakes. Nowdays, over 80% of my sales come through my email lists, whether it is affilaite products, my own products, or my services.

I focus most of my efforts on my sites to get people to opt in for my list, and do a lot less reviews and direct selling on my sites. that is where the real money is being made online.
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Your Focus Determines Your Reality
 
karen3
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Thanks for the great info! I am kind of looking for something where I don't have to work too hard..as I am sure we all are! Im not sure if this is realistic or not with affiliate selling. So once your site is up and running and making money is it a lot of ongoing work? How much work do you think would be realistic to have to dedicate to your site per week for example? Also with google changes, new competitors coming on the market and the ability of anyone to be able to easily replicate your product or site I am wondering if it is possible to put a lot of work in then lose your online business overnight?
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cterao
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@James, yeah, I waited way too long to build my email list. I only added one about a year ago after a major vendor in my market found one of my websites and basically browbeat me for 30 minutes on Skype about how I need to add an opt in list. Ha ha!

@Karen3
, It really depends on a lot of things. If you're going to go into the weight loss market, expect lots of work if you're planning to use SEO. If your site is about learning to play the xylophone, then you can expect a lot less competition.

You mentioned competitors replicating a product. If you're building an affiliate site, you do not need to worry about that since you're not selling your own product.

Other than that, the more time you dedicate the improving traffic, conversions, and earnings, the more money you will make. If you stop working on your site and just let it sit there, you can expect your earnings to hold steady or decline as other competitors put in the hard work that you're not to outrank you.

That said, I still make money from sites I built years ago and just haven't had time to work on.

I would not recommend this business if your goal is to sit around and do nothing but drink margaritas for the rest of your life. However, if you genuinely want to help people and would rather work doing something you are passionate about and interested in instead of slaving away at a boring job, then this is definitely for you.

Just my thoughts :)
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Clayton
I did AffiloBlueprint for one year - http://www.journeyofmyown.com/welcome-affilorama-friends/

Make $100 commissions by being my affiliate - http://exsolutionprogram.com/affiliates/
 
karen3
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Damnit, margaritas and a beach chair was my plan... :)
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seobacklinks
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Nowdays, over 80% of my sales come through my email lists, whether it is affilaite products, my own products, or my services.
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cecille.l
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karen3 wrote:Damnit, margaritas and a beach chair was my plan... :)


You can make that a reality but it will certainly be quite some time before you can put that beach chair down a nice spot. :)

Those who were successful in 6 months time are just plain lucky, in my opinion. Most take about 2 years (that's an average) before they start seeing some good results. If you are maintaining a day job then you will need real great time management as you will need to spend a few hours a day online learning new things, reading about what's new in your niche, affiliate marketing, SEO, etc.

If you are starting out, it's best to do things on your own. This is the best way to learn, and a great money saver too. Once you have the site up, focus your efforts on driving traffic to the site. You'll probably be investing on PPC and other forms of advertising at this point but make sure to keep expenses to a minimum. When you begin to earn off the site on a regular basis, then you can slowly back away from it a bit and outsource the maintenance of the site to another individual. Then, move on to build another site to earn more. :)

Hope that helps. Have a good day!
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Cecille


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esolutions
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Karen,

There are so many things that you can do and different ways to make money online. Some require a lot of work and a lot of maintenance, some require smart planning and setup and then can be mostly on autopilot, some require luck, but they all require that you put in the effort and GET STARTED. The most important thing is to pick something and just do it without getting distracted. Most people that never see results are jumping around too often.
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jmpruitt
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Karen, in answer to your question, "is it possible to work for months and lose your business overnight? " Absolutely. However, that is a risk that EVERY business owner takes, no matter what kind of business you are in.

There are ways to limit that though.

Build a list as soon as possible. As I said earlier, building your email list should be a priority. Also, I would recommend setting up a separate email list for your buyers, and have them opt in to recieve your bonuses.

Diversify your traffic streams. Rather than relying on SEO for your traffic, get engaged with your niche through social media. Find people who are well known in your niche, and contact the product owners, and their affiliate managers. Guest post on popular blogs within your niche to find more people interested in what you have to say. when it comes to direct traffic, Guest posting is my biggest source of visitors.

Even if the product owners don't run a blog, you can still get in touch with them. Most of them are using their products to build a list themselves. Rather than guest posting on their blog, you could submit an article to them to send to their email list. Although it doesn't help your SEO at all, it can generate leads to your website, which will help your SEO. One thing that search engines look for is traffic coming to your site, so if you do anything to send direct traffic to your pages, Google will look notice. Also, if you do it right, and have a good opt in on your site, you will get people signing up to your email list, which is always a good thing.
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