So lately I've had quite a few friends and family who know I'm into IM ask me "Hey, I need to make some extra bucks for the holidays, how can I make some quick money on the Internet?" The short answer is..."you can't". Gone are the days when you could throw up an adsense ad with an affiliate link and watch the cash roll in (I'm not sure if those good old days actually existed). You CAN make money with IM but, like anything it takes work and tenacity and knowledge (more on that in just a minute).
I also get asked, "I saw this course that says I can make $5000.00 in a month with Adwords/Clickbank/Facebook ads, should I buy it?" I'm going to answer that by painting a scenario. Let's say one day you find a big pile of used aluminum siding that some contractor wants you to haul off to the dump. Thinking you can make a little extra money by hauling it off, you load it up into your truck. On the way there, you decide to run by the scrap yard and see if you might get a little more money for your cargo. Not only do you get more money, you find put that this particular type of metal is in demand. You go about finding sources for this type of aluminum siding and companies that will pay top dollar for it. After a few months you realize you're making real money. So you promptly publish a book that tells everyone how to set up a business just like it thus giving away your secrets and making it impossible to sustain your business because there is so much competition, right? HECK NO!!!!!
If you wouldn't give away the secrets of your business in the above scenario what makes you think these people hawking their "Money Making Courses" are giving away the goose that laid the golden egg?
Are there products out there that will help you make money? Yes, but you have to know what you're looking at before you can even begin to separate the good from the bogus. So, in no particular order are some free resources to educate yourself. Please note that not a single one of these links are affiliate links, just links to good, free information.
AdWords Beginner's Guide - AdWords Help
Help & resources - AdWords Help
Google Adwords Keyword Tool (you'll need a gmail account to use this otherwise, its free)
AdSense - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Google Analytics | Official Website
Help Center: ClickBank Help Center
SEOmoz Content Tagged: Blogging
9 Things to Do To Make Sure Your Next Blog Post is Read by More than Your Mom
SEOmoz Content Tagged: Internet Advertising
Generating links to your site
How to Build Links Fast: 101 Tips & Strategies | SEO Book.com
SEO: The Free Beginner's Guide From SEOmoz
Infographic: Visual Guide to Search Engine Optimization | The Windows Club
How to Make Content Go Viral | Reuters
Backlink - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is just a start. Do your own research, educate your self and then dive in. When doing research, here's an easy rule of thumb: If you go to a site and they are really pushing a particular product without really giving you information you can use, or making claims of huge money without giving specifics, run away.
Check out Learn SEO | SEOmoz they have SEO software that they sell, but they also have a ton of free information that's really valuable (I've linked to some of their content above). It won't take long to figure out who's posting good information and who's peddling snake oil. And of course there's the warrior forum. You can find a review on all of the heavily promoted products there, and the review will be (more often than not) a truthful, unvarnished account.
So how does someone put all this knowledge to use? Start small. Start a blog and get an AdSense account and throw some ads on your blog. All of us, whether we know it or not, have a unique talent or insight that can make your blog stand out. Are you funny? Write a blog about how to tell jokes. Do you find yourself in an unusual life circumstance? Write about that. You good at getting African Violets to grow in a washing machine? Write about that. You get the point.
Once your blog is up, use the above resources to let the rest of the world know about it, then make sure you track everything!!! Make sure you have Google Analytics installed so you can see where your traffic is coming from. If you write a short blog post on growing African Violets and you find out that it got picked up by an RV website that talks about life on the road, and you find their members are reading and commenting on it, congratulations! You've found a new niche for your information-people who like plants that live in small spaces. Now use your imagination. How does that apply ? Could you target small apartment dwellers? People that live on boats? Let you imagination run-try things. If it fails move on to the next, and the next, and the next. Track your efforts so you know what works and what doesn't. It doesn't happen overnight, but it does happen. Is IM easy? No. Is it hard? No. Work at it. Test. Learn. Test some more. Learn all you can.
This isn't meant to be a comprehensive list, but it's a start. Good luck to all.