Is there any chance of making money online?
Beware the hard sells and the guys who sail (or sale, even) close to the wind.
You first need to understand that the ways of making money online are as various as the ways of making money in the physical world.
Do not let anyone persuade you into thinking that the path to success is a matter of ‘finding’ a product, placing a Facebook ad and selling your product to thousands of people overnight.
Do not be persuaded into thinking that the path to success is starting a blog, slotting a couple of Amazon ads into it and Boom! You’re a dotcom millionaire. (That was my second try)
Believe me – this is just not the way it goes.
I was looking for a way to earn a living online for several reasons.
We had retired, we were planning to move to live in the UK, and we intended to travel. I was also conscious of age and possible physical decline, so I considered that working on the computer was a no-brainer under the circumstances.
So, I answered an ad that probably would be banned from Facebook now. It asked for applications from anyone interested in earning mega-dollars an hour doing routine data entry on-line and at home.
It had appeared in the side-bar a few times before I snatched the bait.
I clicked through, half-filled in the application form, changed my mind and closed the window. Not long after the phone rang and now I was speaking to a very sexy-sounding Yank asking if I wanted to complete the form. I thought – Wow! Here is someone who actually thinks I can do this. He (and here is the cunning bit) told me that he worked “on behalf of Amazon”, and that they needed experienced people to help boost their sales in the Southern Hemisphere. At least, in my excitement, that’s what I thought I heard, which I guess was the plan to some degree.
How green was I? I felt flattered to receive a telephone call from the States and was totally bemused, but I said I would have to give it some thought. We arranged that he would ring again the following day.
Do you have any embarrassing moments that you look back on and then quickly shove them away into the back of your skull? Well – this is one of mine. You have no idea how embarrassing it is to think about this. lol
Tommy Victor (God love him – I wonder if he is still doing this somewhere?) rang the next day – we put him on speaker-phone so that we could both listen to what he had to say and off he went. I am cringing now. He warmed us up and then he introduced Gerard – the one who would close the sale. And he sure did. Two hours and $4,000 reduced to $2.000 later, we were left wondering what the hell we had done. He was a silver-tongued demon who spoke of family and children. He had visited our country. This offer was a gift, really. We would have masses of support. We could have it all for half price if we agreed that they could use our site for advertising. .. Blah, blah, blah.
The package we purchased included a web-site, several months of one-on-one training by telephone, ads done for us, traffic sent to our site, exposure to ‘600 search engines’ – probably just one of many similar offers available and actually, reading it now, it doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
They gave us the URL’s of sites built by two other customers of theirs to check out. They told us that these were examples of what not to do. I really liked those sites, but they have disappeared now – which tells you how much I knew. You could always recognize fellow-students, because the company had about 10 headers which were quite distinctive and from time to time one cropped up online – a dead give-away.
So – we started. As I discovered after my first training session, I was now an Amazon Affiliate. The first thing I did was to go on to the forums and read all the moans and groans of the Amazon Associates. Bad move. It seemed there were very few members making money online.
Then I Googled The Company and felt sick at what I read. (Why did I not do this before I got involved?)
My training progressed – one session a week with girls from a call centre and then an assignment for ‘homework’. They held my hand while I chose my site name and my niche and then came the tough stuff. They taught me how to COPY AND PASTE. Yes – that was it. My advanced training. (Experts now consider me one of the most talented copy and pasters online!)
Each week my phone call would come through and we would spend another hour learning about Amazon’s banners and ways of displaying product. We learned in which order we should place carousels and banner ads down the page. There was no automation. Three columns across the page, specific ad types in each column, no text apart from in one small area in the top left hand corner, where you could also add an image (with some difficulty.) All we could do was paste the code for each item into its allotted space. There was no experimenting – oh no! No opportunity to pimp our pages (six only, by the way) no widgets, no way of adding text. Total frustration. I knew what I wanted to do, but here was not the place I would be able to do it.
Stop right there – I can take no more today. so let’s leave it for the time being! I am amazed I can remember so much about it after all this time and I am stressing out.
Most importantly though, I did take something positive away from this miserably expensive experience – and that was a passion for working online and a determination to find out how to really do it, no matter how long it would take me! Making money online – here I come!