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The Beginners Guide to Making Money Online Starting Day One

Today I’m going to show you how to fit together the most important pieces of the puzzle for making money online.

Making money online is easy. Yeah, I said it. The most difficult part about internet marketing is figuring out what you really need to do in order to turn your ideas into an immediate stream of revenue.

Let’s think about this for a second.

The more money that your business earns from day one the more money that you can put towards growing your business in the future, right? You’ll be able to re-invest some of those earnings and boost your business even further than if you hadn’t made anything at all.

So logically, your primary goal should be to focus your efforts on the aspects of your business that are geared towards generating money from day one.

Far too often internet marketers get caught up in working on tasks that don’t necessarily yield immediate gains. For instance, SEO is important, but unless you have some seriously low competition, it can take quite some time to rank high enough in the SERP’s to bring in a flood of organic traffic.

Let’s be honest, unless you are selling SEO services, SEO is NOT going to drive money into your account right away. If you follow an approach that allows for you to start earning immediately, then you can essentially put more into furthering your SEO later on.

In the end, you’ll have better SEO if you focus on making money from day one instead of on SEO (I know this sounds odd, but it’s true).

The Money is in the List

I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it by now. The fact remains, email marketing has allowed countless entrepreneurs to make extremely large sums of money with a minimal investment of time, money, and effort.

However, for some unknown reason, the majority of marketers that are new to the game, focus on building traffic to their website instead of growing their list. Yes, I am well aware that you require traffic in order to build a list, but they are going about it entirely wrong.

Some are afraid to even begin obtaining email addresses until AFTER they’ve acquired a significant amount of traffic, which is incredibly silly.

Traffic doesn’t necessarily equate to dollars. Subscribers on the other hand do! Here’s a quick method to help build your list from scratch.

You don’t even need a website to begin building a list in the first place. All you truly need is a way to drive targeted traffic (this can easily be done with adwords), a place for that traffic to provide their email (leadpages offers awesome squeezepages), an offer to entice the traffic to give you their email address, and a service such as Aweber to collect them.

BOOM! I just gave you an easy method to begin building your list before you even launch your site. This can be used over and over again until you have created a monumental list that is highly interested in what you have to say.

In order to start making money online, there are a few key metrics that you will need to pay attention to. These pertain specifically to creating an email list, which is by far the most important facet of your business at the beginning.

I’d like to take credit for the strategy that I am about to layout for you, but I actually learned it from another marketer by the name of Ryan Deiss. Everything I am about to show you pertains to your list and how you can leverage your subscribers from day one.

What to Sell in the Beginning?

There are numerous ways to monetize your business and begin collecting revenue from your list.

We’re going to take a look at the most popular of these methods and decipher which one is truly the best for a site that has JUST launched.

Sell Your Own Products – Granted, once you have a product ready, you can earn a killing, but the biggest issue is the time and effort that it takes to create the product. Chances are, if you are just starting out, you have yet to build your product yet. So, for the sake of argument, this is not the best option…at first.

Advertisements / Adsense – This requires A LOT of traffic in order to be profitable. If you are just starting out, you likely haven’t created a large enough traffic stream for this method to be worth it. This doesn’t seem like a practical idea.

Adswaps – You could charge people to send out emails to your list…oh wait, no one is going to pay you unless your list is huge. If you’ve already created a list large enough to sell adswaps to, then you should be making enough money from that list that you simply don’t need to. So, adswaps are out of the question.

Selling Affiliate Products – Sure you may have to share the earnings with the owner of the product, but there is literally no start up costs or time investments that are required in order to begin making money. Until you’ve developed your own product, this may be the best possible choice to market to your list.

You can make money with affiliate offers from day one.

Using Simple Mathematics to Make Money Online

The numbers I’m going to quote are extremely reasonable with a targeted list of a smaller size. Usually, the larger the size of the list, the lower the statistics will be. For those just starting out, each one of these metrics should be well within reason.

The Metrics You will Need to Hit in Order to Earn $1,000 a Month

So, for the sake of this model, we are going to assume that you’ve followed some of the basic instructions above and created a list of 1,000 subscribers (which is fairly obtainable).

If your email headlines are stellar, a descent open rate should be approximately 20%, which equates to 200 opens.

Let’s say that the content within the emails are informative and contain at least 2-3 links, the click through rate should be about 30% (again, this is a reasonable number to shoot for).

There is a subtle strategy to creating emails that will allow you to provide value in every emails while simultaneously offering a call to action. (30% of 200 opens = 60 click throughs).

The next important metric (that is often overlooked) is the earnings per click (EPA). This is found by calculating the amount that you’ve earned for that particular offer, divided by the number of click throughs that you received.

You will want to achieve an EPA of around $1, which will come to $60 earned for that particular email.

It’s usually easier to hit a $1 EPC with high ticket niches such as IM. Weightloss and hobby related niches will usually have a lower EPC because the products are generally less expensive. However, traffic, subscribers, and the overall amount of clicks are far easier to come by so it evens out.

If you’re confused, I’ll lay it all out for you.

  1. You will need 1,000 subscribers
  2. You want to send an email with at least a 20% open rate (200 total subscribers opened the email)
  3. Out of those 200 subscribers that opened the email, you want to shoot for a 30% click through rate (30% of 200 = 60 click throughs)
  4. If the offer is solid, you should earn at least $1 per every subscriber that clicked through (EPA). This would come to $60 earned from that email.

So, if you sent 17 emails throughout the entire month, and each one hit the specific metric numbers, then you will have earned $1,020 for that particular month. Not too shabby.

The Best Part of it All

If you simply follow these basic metric numbers (20% open rate, 30% click through, and $1 EPA), then you will be able to find what areas of your sales funnel require tweaking.

For instance, if your open rate is only 10%, then either the traffic that is signing up is not as targeted as you’d like, or the headlines aren’t gaining the attention of your subscribers.

If your click through rate is lower than 30%, then you know you need to either fix the information within your emails, the layout, or the call to action in order to get subscribers to click on your links.

If your EPA is below $1, then perhaps you need to provide a new offer that is more enticing to your audience OR do a better job of pre-selling the product within your email prior to the subscriber clicking through.

Regardless of the issue, you will have an idea of exactly WHERE you need to focus your efforts in order to generate the most revenue, so that you aren’t running around like a chicken with its head cut off searching for the problem, as you will be able to see where the problem lies immediately.

Why this Affiliate Method Works so Well

By understanding the numbers, you won’t have to wonder if your offers will actually work. There is no HOPING that your model is going to work. If it isn’t you will know exactly WHERE you need to make adjustments in order to be successful.

Let’s say that you are in the midst of creating your product, who are you going to promote it to without a list? Regular traffic doesn’t convert nearly as well. Without a list, you could be wasting a lot of time, and missing out on potential paydays.

Creating your product before your list is like buying gas before you even have a car; it just doesn’t make sense.

So, for anyone creating a new site, focusing on building a list and offer affiliate products can be the most profitable solution for making money online from day one.

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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...


  1. Great post Sean…you make it very clear where to concentrate your efforts and activities to generate the funds to grow your business.

  2. Great blog content, Thanks Sean…
    Inspiring and full of knowledge…
    Best regards

  3. Nice article. One question… doesn’t Adwords NOT allow you to send ads to a squeezepage in exchange for an email?

  4. I love the basic metric number you’re doing there for email marketing. Kinda struggling with it now, and your metric helps! Anyway, have you ever written about the advantage&disadvantage of working with affiliate? Or something about automatizing email marketing? Thank you!


  5. Great realistic advice. Persistence is the key to all business whether it is a brick & mortar or online. Rick S.

  6. Well written concise method in how to start on line. I believe in what you have written here.

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