Making Money Online With Physical Products

This is part 4 of a continuing series about making money online. Please feel free to check out the earlier entries at the links below.


Part - 1 / 2 / 3


How To Make Money Online With Physical Products


Buy Low - Sell High


Any questions?


Ok, ok. Here's the real article.


Selling physical products is one of the oldest methods of making money online there is. Its roots go back to the very earliest days of personal computing when a person had to dial up the local server on the telephone, then place the receiver in the cradle of the modem and read the local message board on their Commodore 64. They could then read the postings about someone across town selling their old Vic 20 or the cassette tape drive they had finally outgrown.


Times are not that much different now than then. People still supplement their income, or even make a living, selling physical items online. Granted, things have changed and mostly for the better. Now, instead of seven geeks reading the bulletin board, there are countless millions trolling the internet looking for that special item.


When it comes to making money online with physical products, you basically have three options for getting your item in front of people; create your own web presence, use online advertising or use an online auction service.


Your Own Web Presence


Having your business' own web presence could mean having your own site, complete with a catchy domain and hosting. (Considering the very low start-up costs associated with this, it's almost a no-brainer.) It could also mean having a mini-store for your wares in an online shopping site like or This would be the equivalent of a table or booth in a craft mall or fair.


Having your own web presence is a great option (Some would say necessity) if you are trying to make money online with physical products you have created, but can also work well if your physical product is something you acquired, especially items of a collectible nature.


Online Advertising


Online advertising of physical products includes a couple of main options. The most obvious example would be the purchase of banner space on websites catering to your target market. Banner advertising is best used as part of a larger advertising plan. Unfortunately, banners by themselves are only marginally effective at best. This tends to result in too low a return on investment for most entrepreneurs on a limited budget. In other words, not enough bang for the buck.


The other primary form of online advertising to make money with physical products is websites devoted to classified ads such as Through these sites you can usually post a limited ad for a short term for free or nearly free, or you can pay more for better placement, size and time frame. This type of ads seem to work well for acquired products like cars or furniture but can work reasonably well for created items also.


Online Auctions


Of course the grand-daddy of all online auction sites is eBay, with literally millions of potential buyers trolling the hundreds of thousands of listings at any one time. No matter what kind of obscure physical product you are selling, you can rest assured people will see it.


EBay is by no means, however, the only option for online auctions. Just as niche-mania has taken over the blogosphere, thousands of small niche-targeted auction sites have sprung up online. These auctions are often formed along side forums or other online communities. While these sites don't have anywhere near the traffic or exposure of eBay, they do usually have a close-knit community of highly targeted shoppers.


* My direct experience with online auctions has been strictly as a buyer but one of the guys I have been learning at the feet of lately, Terry Gibbs, is considered an auction guru and is extremely well known in the collectible toy train market. In fact, he literally wrote the book on how to run a successful eBay business. The book is titled, The Auction Revolution, and if you are considering using online auctions to build your business, it will be one of the best investments you ever make.

Go ahead, take the quiz on this page and see how much you don't know ;)


The fact is, anyone making money online with physical products needs to seriously consider using an online auction site. The shear volume of targeted traffic can give your business the level of exposure you couldn't begin to hope for from organic search in a competitive niche. With a little effort, a good portion of this targeted traffic can even carry over to your non-auction web presence pretty easily. This makes auctions perform, not only as an income generator, but effective advertising as well.


Next time we'll discuss... be continued.



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Making Money Online - Now What?

This is the 3rd post in a series. If you haven't already read them. please check out the previous entries.

Making Money Online - How To Begin

Making Money Online - Priorities



OK, We've had plenty of time now to consider the last article and decide if we really want to be serious about building an online business.


So, What do you think?


Can you set aside a few hours a week to devote to your success?


If not, that's cool. Hang around anyway. Maybe you'll get inspired and change your mind.


If you answered, Yes! (and were serious), Congratulations! You've crossed the first hurdle and are on your way. There are more obstacles ahead but making the mental commitment is crucial. Way to go!


Now What?


First we need to decide how to go about creating an income. There are four primary categories of  profit streams online. Let's look at them briefly.




This category entails all forms of information transfer, from  blogs or websites, to ebooks and videos.


Physical Products


These would be any physical products you might create or purchase and sell online from crafts to cars.




The service category covers everything from virtual assistants, web designers or SEOs to software products and WordPress plugins.




Advertising is the symbiot of the four categories because it simply cannot survive on its own. It must be closely attached to at least one of the others for it to work.


Conversely, Information, Service and Physical Products all require Advertising to allow them to gain exposure and be successful, even if it's only word of mouth.


While it's entirely possible, even probable, for an income stream to cross over and fall under two or more of these divisions, everything will fall somewhere under the umbrella of these four.


Next we'll break down each of these categories and discuss how to make money with them.


No two individuals are alike. Neither are any two Internet marketers. Understanding the possible avenues of profit available online is important to deciding how best to approach building your business with methods that work for you.


to be continued...



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Making Money Online - Priorities

In the last post we looked at a few important questions someone has to ask themselves before striking out on their journey to making millions online.

Let's take a minute to look over those questions again.

  1. How much money do you need/want to make?
  2. How much time are you willing to spend to make it happen?
  3. How much money are you willing to invest?

Now that you've had a chance to review the questions, answer this: Which of these is the most critical to your success?

Think about it this way:

You can spend a ton of money trying to make a ton of money but if you don't put in the time and effort, it just won't work. The people telling you about making a fortune online with just a point and a click are almost always selling you the magic product that will make it happen.

But how much is enough?

Realistically, you need to be able to devote 4 to 6 hours a week exclusively to your money making endeavors. This time should be allotted in 1 1/2 to 2 hour blocks. If you can only spend 30 minutes at a time you'll never get anything done.

This time has to be above and beyond your other internet activity. In other words, reading MMO blogs in your feed reader, writing posts to your own blog and checking stats does not count.

Why so much?

Look, if you can't spare 4 to 6 hours a week to build your new business, you probably need to reconsider how serious you are about this whole making money on the internet idea. If you can only spend a little time here and there when the mood strikes or there's nothing else to do, you'll just waste all your time and energy getting back up to speed and remembering where you were when you left off the last time. Essentially, you're just running in place.

Where can I find the time?

Everyone's priorities are different so this is one of those things you have to decide for yourself but I can make a couple of suggestions. First, cut your feed reader back to about 10 to 15 blogs or less. Next, consider reducing your blog posting frequency from every day to a couple of times a week.

If you are an active blogger, these two steps alone will easily free up 2 or 3 hours a week (probably more) for you to use building your business.

OK. So now you have decided you are willing to invest the necessary time to give yourself a chance at being successful, what about the other questions?

To be continued...

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Making Money Online - How To Begin

So, you have decided you want to start making money online.


OK, good. Now what?


Start a blog about making money online and put AdSense ads on it?


Hah! Good Luck!


Seriously though, there are a couple of questions you need to really think about first.


  1. What kind of money do you want/need to make?
  2. How much time are you willing to budget for this endeavor?
  3. How much money are you willing to spend to be successful?


Essentially, you need to decide if your internet business is going to be a lemonade stand, a yard sale, or a small business.


Each of these levels are completely doable. It's just a matter of making it happen. It is, however, important to decide what you want to accomplish so you can make a plan and set reasonable goals.


Having a plan with specific goals will help you stay on track to achieve the success you want/need.


Now we'll discuss what it takes to make each of these levels reachable in your journey to online success.


... to be continued.


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The Slacker Way


Wow! I can't believe it's been so long since I posted here. Time really does fly when there are so many "life" things going on. Well, I guess I'll try to start rectifying that.


I told you a while back that I would discuss the online projects I have been doing and their success or failure. So, while I'm waiting to get to the store for a copy of Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, I'll start sharing things with you guys.


My online money making odyssey began with keyword targeted niche blogs but soon progressed onto a completely different path when I became acquainted with a couple of successful internet guys, Terry Gibbs and James Jones.


Most of you are probably familiar with James. He's the guy who invented Micro Niche Finder. Terry has been very successful in eBay related products. These two guys put their heads together to write an ebook called The Slacker Way that really opened my eyes to the possibilities of an online income.


I had to pay for my introduction to this unique perspective to making money online but now Terry and James have decided to make their book available for free to anyone who wants to download it.


I don't know about you but I hate going to the trouble of downloading an ebook only to find it stuffed with affiliate links and worthless information. It just makes me mad and a whole lot less likely to trust the author. I can tell you that one of the most noticeable things about The Slacker Way, aside from the new eye opening perspective on making money, was the lack of affiliate links.


I know. What a concept, an information product that actually contains useful information. These guys are real pros, not fast talking, slick salesmen.


You guys know I don't endorse many products but I can tell you I have no problem here. This is a free download from two professional businessmen that will probably give you a new perspective about the possibilities of the internet and your ability to exploit it to make an income.


Download it for free and read it, then come back here and tell me what you think of it.


I'm not going to promise to post every day but I am going to start discussing my successes and failures online. I look forward to getting back into the blogging habit. See you soon!

Does Anybody Remember DealDotCom?

What was it, like six or nine months ago when the blogosphere lit up with all the hype about DealDotCom? I jumped in and made a post about it back then and took a little bit of heat from a certain Welshman for being such a sucker.


I don't think I've written anything about it since even though I have actually made some money from it. I've also bought a couple of deals through them. If you're like me, you look at most of the stuff they offer on there and instantly think, "Scam" or "Junk!" or "Why in the world would anybody ever buy that?".


Today is different. I'm sure you have probably heard about OIOPublisher, the WordPress plugin that cuts out the middleman and puts your ad management on autopilot. This is the one Andy Beard, John Cow, Adnan (from BlogTrepreneur) and Mark Fulton (from DotSauce) among others have been absolutely raving about.


This thing usually sells for $37 and everybody says its a steal at that price but I was always too cheap to buy it. Well, I checked today's deal and it was for the OIOPublisher plugin for only $15. I figure I can make that much back pretty quickly so I bought it and immediately came over here to alert you guys to it.


I'm sure you know the deal with DealDotCom, the deal only lasts for 24 hours. That means this deal on the OIOPublisher plugin will end at noon tomorrow or when they sell out. So, if you've been considering buying this thing but didn't like the price, jump on it now before it's gone.

NIche Marketing Tools

Hey guys! I'm not through with my sabbatical yet but something came up and I wanted to share it with you before it was too late. (Don't you love how life has no respect for your plans?) I'm learning so much it's hard to describe but I'm taking tons of notes for future blog articles.


Niche Blogging

I know most of you guys have probably figured out I have been working really hard for the last couple of months exploring how to make money on the internet. The fact is, I am making money online. Granted, it's not yet enough to live on but I'm making considerably more than I'm spending.


One of the ways I've been making money is through creating targeted Niche Sites with click ads and affiliate links or ads. This sounds simple enough but there is one pretty huge hurdle to making it work and that's finding niches that aren't already saturated.




When I started setting up these sites I would pick what I thought would be a nice profitable niche and build a site and go nowhere. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I did all my research; finding keywords and keyword phrases (The long tail) with a decent amount of searches. All the things you're supposed to do.


I finally broke down and spent a little money and things started changing. I learned that the information I was getting from the free online tools like Free Word Tracker and the Digital Point Keyword Tool was OK at best but often completely wrong. I also realized they left out some vital information. They didn't tell me how competitive the niche was.


Don't get me wrong, these tools are perfectly fine for some simple research but if you are considering spending money to try to make money, you need to use a professional tool.


Micro Niche Finder


I had seen a software tool called Micro Niche Finder being recommended by several people who I knew were making a living online but I didn't want to spend the money. Well, I spent the money. Oh, what a difference it makes to act like a pro!


By using the information from this tool I was able tool build sites that started making money almost immediately and I have long since made more money from using the tool than it cost.


Why Now?


The whole point of my rushing to get this article posted is because things are about to change and soon. Through a twist of fate, I have been beta testing the next release of Micro Niche Finder (pictured below) and there are some excellent updates with this release.




One of the new tools is called "Brainstorm", it brings up a list of random keywords. I used this tool to find the niche in the image above. As you can see this niche is just waiting to be exploited. Another cool addition to this new version is the "Ad Cost" column. This tells you if it's worth trying to rank for the keywords. (Imagine how much traffic you need to make money if the ads only pay 4 cents a click.)


A big money and time saver is the "SOC" column tells you the Strength of Competition for the keyword or phrase. This keeps you from wasting time and money trying to rank for keywords that you have no realistic chance in. In other words, this tool points out the low-hanging fruit.


Who would have thought you could get $.75 - $2.00 a click on a site about Storage Boxes?


Enough Already, What's The Deal?


I just got word yesterday that the new version of Micro Niche Finder is going to be released very soon (probably THIS week). The reason for the rush is: when the new version comes out, the price is going up to $97 but anyone who owns the present version will get the upgrade for FREE.


That means, if you purchase this awesome software today for $67 you will get the upgrade for free when it comes out in a few days.


I know some of you guys have already heard about this software and have been considering buying it. This is the time to get off the fence and save yourself $30.


So that's the deal. I wanted to bring this to you guys early before the price went up.




I just want to remind you guys that I use this tool and can promise you, it has not only helped me find profitable niches that have made me money, it has saved me a ton of money on domains and sites that I had no chance of being competitive in.



Alive & Kickin'!


Hey guys!


Man, I've been missing our conversations. I can't wait to get back in the regular flow of things.


I just wanted to drop a line here to let you know I was still around. Nothing has happened to me, well, nothing BAD has happened to me ;) Along side my regular life stuff I'm participating in a mentorship/coaching program.


This program is locked so I can't really go into the specifics too deeply right now but I can tell you it has already changed the way I see things online. My eyes are just beginning to open to the real possibilities. I always thought I saw the big picture and was dreaming big. I am coming to understand I have been thinking small all this time.


I am learning so much and, to be honest, the intense part hasn't really started yet. I can't wait to share the things I'm learning with you guys. I'm making tons of notes for future blog posts but I want to wait until my perspective has matured a little before I go throwing information at you.


As I progress, my understanding changes, so I don't want to be proclaiming opinions about things until I can completely see the whole picture. All that to say, you guys are going to have to wait a bit more for the complete dish, sorry. Just know that when it comes, it'll be fully cooked and well seasoned.


There are a few of you guys I really wish were going through this with me. I think you would really be excelling at this. I'm still reading reading your blogs and commenting when I can, just not as much as in the past. 


Thanks for your patience. I can't wait to get back and share all of this great stuff I'm learning with you. Remember, the easiest way to keep tabs on me and not miss my triumphant return is to grab my feed!

Taking A Break

OK, so here's the deal; I'm currently buried in a big project. As my dad would say, I'm so busy I don't have time to catch my butt with both hands.


The fact is, I've got some great post ideas but simply don't have time to develop them properly.


My project involves the internet and I am looking forward to reporting on it when I'm done, or at least done enough to have the time to actually be able to organize a competent article.


I'm in the process of implementing many of the things I've been learning over the past six months. I look forward to reporting back to you with my results. I plan to give credit where credit is due about what has worked and what has not. I think when I'm this portion of the project is complete, I'll actually be able to help you guys with some honestly tested information and step-by-step guides.


So I'm going to relieve myself of the stress of not posting regularly here by announcing that I'm taking a short break. I may post at any time but regular posting is on hold for a short while. (I know, it's already been on hold for a while ;P)


I can't wait to report back to you on my success or failure. Grab my feed and you won't miss a thing.

Spoke Too Soon


Well, I think the stupid internet is finally up again for good. I thought everything was fine the other day and then it crapped out again. It's been coming and going ever since. Up for an hour and a half, down for three and so on and so on.


After a while it goes from being really frustrating to being just down right silly. It's kind of pathetic how much we depend on the internet to accomplish anything isn't it? I really feel sorry for the companies that require access to operate.


My insurance agent has been having a fit. It seems they are not allowed to keep hard copies of anything anymore. All of their records are stored digitally online. According to him, a digital copy is as good as an original if the original does not exist. So, they scan every document and upload it to the corporate server then shred the original. A very 21st century concept, right up until the internet goes down, then you have no files. Ooops!


Oh well. I've been adjusting pretty well. At least the electricity wasn't out all this time. That would have been catastrophic. If the power had been off I wouldn't have been able to practice Guitar Hero 3 or find some cool cheat codes during the internet up times ;)


I promise I'm not ignoring your comments and emails. This time I'll attend to them before I attack my feed reader.

Cold Turkey!


And I don't mean holiday leftovers, although I think there may be some turkey left in the freezer...hmm...


...No, No, back to what I was saying. I just lived through a terrible and ground shaking experience. I'm talking anxiety, cold sweats, lack of sleep, the whole thing. This is an experience I wouldn't wish on anyone, much less a friend.


I have spent the last 2 1/2 days without any internet access. NONE. Period.


Everything was just rocking along in Trackerland Friday morning. Before I got out of bed I had planned out all of the wonderful internet things I needed to get done that day (posting here for one), then I turned on the computer and tried to check email........nuthin', I tried to get online with my browser......nuthin'.


That's OK, not to panic, I've seen this before, I'm a windows PC user. I go through the usual process of resetting routers and modems, disabling wireless cards and rebooting computers, all in different orders, hoping to stumble on that secret magical combination that brings the internet back to my fingertips.




OK, my ISP (the only option in town) is the small, local phone company. They've gone down before, usually only for an hour or two at most. (Although there was that time a few years ago when some idiot with a back-hoe took out a fiber-optic trunk line and killed our long distance and internet for 3 days, but that was only once. Surely something like that couldn't happen again.)


I'm relaxed, I'm calm. It doesn't do any good to fret about the things you can't change, right? I'm sure it will be fine... soon, very soon.




I checked, the whole town was out. I tried to get online every hour all day Friday and Saturday. I had given up hope for getting online this weekend. I figured whatever it was that had plunged me kicking and screaming back into the 18th century was probably serious enough to require some widget or gadget that would take till Monday to get in.


And then...dear Lord, hallelujah! "website found....waiting for download.."


Someone had opened the shutters on my window to the world! I take back all those mean things I've said about the people at the phone company and not just the things I said this weekend either. All of them.


So, that's where I've been. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go answer some email, respond to a couple of comments and check my feed reader. (I'm not looking too forward to that one.) Talk among yourselves, I'll be back soon.



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How Does Anyone Do This?


My time has become extremely short right now. I seem to have gone from running this one little blog, to a whole stable of partially finished sites in just a couple of weeks, leaving me wondering how anyone is able to do it.


I mean, some of you guys like Mark, Christine, Michelle and Tish, actively operate more than three blogs (Some, several more), yet, your posts project an air of absolute calm and sanity.


Then there are people like Garry who maintain over 100 sites. (WHAT?!) Granted, I think he sometimes is teetering on the edge, but for the most part, even he remains fairly lucid.


Me, I buy a domain name and start working on building the site only to look up three days later and the site is only half finished and I haven't even thought about writing a blog post, much less actually developing any good ideas into real articles.


Of course, it would all probably be more efficient if I didn't spend hours hacking up the CSS code so I could re-install it and do it again every time I made a change.


Or, if I didn't have to google how to do every little thing!


But hey! I'm learning how to build a WordPress blog. Heck, I've got one I've built three times!


I'd love to hear some tips from you blogging machines.


I am about to come to the conclusion that this Making Money Online thing is only for people who don't require sleep.



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2008 Iowa Caucus Winners


The frozen Midwestern state of Iowa has been inundated by presidential candidates from both political parties and their associated entourages of media, aides and campaign workers for almost two solid years.


This circus appears in this mostly rural state, seemingly overnight, every election cycle and, immediately after caucuses, it disappears like a vapor. It happens every time but it's always a jolt.


No more hotel bars full of reporters in Des Moines. No more campaign caravans running up and down the back roads at break-neck speeds. No more prima-donna candidates piling into every decent restaurant and cafe so they can pretend to eat the favorite local sandwich and stiff a waitress out of a tip. Most importantly, no more campaign ads from Hillaboma or Romkaby. (At least until October)


So, after the thousands of gallons of coffee, hot chocolate and probably some adult beverages are consumed at the caucuses. After the neighbors and friends go through the kabuki theater of arguing passionately for their candidate and then changing sides (Sometimes two or three times) before finally voting. After the media announces which candidates received the most votes. The real winners will emerge.


On January 4, 2008 it is obvious to all still around to see, the real winners of the 2008 Iowa Caucuses are the citizens of Iowa. The citizens of Iowa are the true winners because the caucuses bring the end of what seems like a never ending intrusion into life by people who will blow in and back out, never to return.


Now, back to life!



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