Starting a side-business while in college.

9 replies
Hey Warriors, I have been in the field of Marketing for a few years, despite being only 19 now. My father has been a moderately successful consultant and business own his whole life, and I for a long time wanted to simply do internet marketing due to the free-lifestyle it can provide.

However I have a good head on my shoulders and have a good chance to follow a career in Bio-engineering, more specifically focusing on genetics. I have a few ideas that could be able to pave the way for permanent cures for all genetic and cellular disorders within my (and hopefully your) lifetime. With equal amounts of hard work and luck I could succeed, and even if the odds are 1 in 1000 I would rather say I tried and failed than never tried.

The problem is of course money. If I do hard work at the colleges I would need to go to for a minimum of 8 years I will need to earn money. For the past year or so I have been saving money from doing websites and marketing for local businesses with good success, but I cannot keep those same clients when I move around.

I was wondering if anyone can offer up some advice on income streams that I could put work in and build over time without too much hands on stuff.

I am not sure if blogs are still a good idea, but the idea of writing an article every two or three days for one or two blogs is appealing, because I wouldn't have as strict a schedule and could therefore work around classes.

Similar ideas and suggestions would be heavily appreciated. I have a great work ethic and won't take your advice for granted.

Thanks in advance,
-Elliot S
#blog #college #sidebusiness #starting
  • Profile picture of the author Burgina
    Originally Posted by darksaberco View Post

    ... the idea of writing an article every two or three days for one or two blogs is appealing, because I wouldn't have as strict a schedule and could therefore work around classes.
    Hey Elliot,

    Since you feel comfortable to write articles, I would advise :
    • Create PLR content and package to sell it on this forum.
    • Create your own WSO and sell it
    • Start building a list of your customers, write and sell to your list.
    • Write articles for SEO to build authority links (press releases, guest posts)
    In other words, if you can write and you find it's appealing, then do it. I'm sure you will make good money.

    Good luck,
    Burgina
    Signature

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    • Profile picture of the author fedor50
      Originally Posted by Burgina View Post

      Hey Elliot,

      Since you feel comfortable to write articles, I would advise :
      • Create PLR content and package to sell it on this forum.
      • Create your own WSO and sell it
      • Start building a list of your customers, write and sell to your list.
      • Write articles for SEO to build authority links (press releases, guest posts)
      In other words, if you can write and you find it's appealing, then do it. I'm sure you will make good money.

      Good luck,
      Burgina
      This post right here summarizes a whole host of ideas that you could possibly implement to bring in some extra income. Now don't forget to take action.
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    • Profile picture of the author Burgina
      Originally Posted by Gina Irvine View Post

      Hey Burgina,

      What would you recommend to someone who is not good at article writing?

      Actually it's not only about writing. Content is the KING that attracts visitors and turns them into buyers.

      Instead of writing articles you can implement the same steps by creating videos.

      This is the easiest way to get targeted traffic and make money.

      Regards,

      Burgina
      Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author BiggyJ
    Main one would probably be build a good list through writing articles. Would grow slowly, but it would pick up pace in a while and afterwards it would all be mostly automated, not requiring a ton of work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by darksaberco View Post

    I am not sure if blogs are still a good idea, but the idea of writing an article every two or three days for one or two blogs is appealing, because I wouldn't have as strict a schedule and could therefore work around classes.
    Hi Elliot, this was exactly my thinking when I started off, at the start of my second year of college. It worked out for me, and I'm sure it's still a viable proposition for someone starting off now, and maybe even more so, if anything.

    I decided to put up blogs, post articles on them and then attract traffic to them by syndicating the articles, use the blogs to build lists and then promote (mostly) ClickBank products to the subscribers who wanted to hear from me and had opted in for the purpose.

    To make it work, you have to choose niches for the blogs which (a) you can write about, and (b) have suitable products available for sale. Even this requires quite a bit of thought and research, and the whole business has a big learning curve, of course.

    Don't be so busy "taking action", as many people are, that you set off in the wrong direction through lack of understanding/learning "what really works".

    My original plan was to use SEO to attract traffic too, but this part of the plan turned out not to be quite such a good idea, not because I didn't get the Google traffic (that was the easy part, and funnily enough it still is) but because that's not very suitable traffic - in fact overall it's about the worst kind you can have, for affiliate sales, I think.

    I agree completely with BiggyJ's comment above (post #3). To do this, as I've learned, you have to get your articles read by already-targeted traffic, i.e. re-published as widely as possible (no point just putting them on your own site and awaiting visitors, or depending on search-engine visitors).

    I think it's a very suitable method for someone who can write the articles, or learn to. If it helps/interests you, you can see the outline of my whole business method here: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post5721774

    And good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author darksaberco
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Hi Elliot, this was exactly my thinking when I started off, at the start of my second year of college. It worked out for me, and I'm sure it's still a viable proposition for someone starting off now, and maybe even more so, if anything.

      I decided to put up blogs, post articles on them and then attract traffic to them by syndicating the articles, use the blogs to build lists and then promote (mostly) ClickBank products to the subscribers who wanted to hear from me and had opted in for the purpose.

      To make it work, you have to choose niches for the blogs which (a) you can write about, and (b) have suitable products available for sale. Even this requires quite a bit of thought and research, and the whole business has a big learning curve, of course.

      Don't be so busy "taking action", as many people are, that you set off in the wrong direction through lack of understanding/learning "what really works".

      My original plan was to use SEO to attract traffic too, but this part of the plan turned out not to be quite such a good idea, not because I didn't get the Google traffic (that was the easy part, and funnily enough it still is) but because that's not very suitable traffic - in fact overall it's about the worst kind you can have, for affiliate sales, I think.

      I agree completely with BiggyJ's comment above (post #3). To do this, as I've learned, you have to get your articles read by already-targeted traffic, i.e. re-published as widely as possible (no point just putting them on your own site and awaiting visitors, or depending on search-engine visitors).

      I think it's a very suitable method for someone who can write the articles, or learn to. If it helps/interests you, you can see the outline of my whole business method here: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post5721774

      And good luck!
      Thank you for the informative post, and I love what you are doing by linking people to other posts for further information. It's more informative and certainly allows you to post more than re-writing each piece of information every time. I have a few questions if you don't mind.

      How do you tell if a market is overly saturated?

      How would you decide on a niche to go after?

      Would you use youtube and a blog to drive traffic to your opt-in and links, or some other method of getting traffic?

      Thanks for the advice, and I appreciate your continued help. I'm also going to take the advice of writing some content and selling it as PLR on the forum while getting this planned out. So thank you Burgina.

      Also, just for my curiosity: Why do you post so much in the forum? Is it part of your business, or just to help out others?
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by darksaberco View Post

        How do you tell if a market is overly saturated?
        "With difficulty!".

        The thing is, unless you're scrabbling for SEO traffic (which is no way to make a living at all, IMHO), it may not necessarily matter to you how competitive the promotion-market is.

        Note that I've cheekily changed your question a little, to "competitive" rather than "saturated", because as a broad concept, within thin context, I don't really believe in "saturation".

        However, if we're talking about ClickBank in particular, I do routinely avoid promoting almost all high gravity products (and I'd recommend that you should, too), and there's a "competition" argument in there, among my reasons for that.

        Originally Posted by darksaberco View Post

        How would you decide on a niche to go after?
        I do this the other way round from most people, I think.

        I scour ClickBank's marketplace for products I can promote, and if I find 2+ in the same niche, I start asking myself whether I can make a niche site out of it. Given that I don't look at products I don't understand at all in the first place, the answer's quite often "yes". But I have very strict product selection criteria (as linked to in that other post mentioned above).

        The "general advice" given seems to be to write down a list of 30 things you know something about (by using a magazine site or newsagent's shop or library as a prompt, or whatever) and then whittle it down to about 5 subjects and see whether there are suitable products available for them.

        But, again, if you're syndicating articles, competition/saturation is far less relevant than it is to the people trying to earn a living off Google traffic, because they're all competing with each other and you don't need to (though, having said that, there's no harm in additionally getting some top rankings for some long-tail keywords as well, since you're doing the other 97% of the work anyway and it's dead easy to do in the way explained in the last paragraph of this post.)

        Originally Posted by darksaberco View Post

        Would you use youtube and a blog to drive traffic to your opt-in and links, or some other method of getting traffic?
        Sorry; can't help you there: I know nothing about Youtube. My traffic demographics are not video-watchers (and neither am I). I know only that video on sales pages and other websites (and especially auto-play video) is a huge "no-no" for my customers.

        Originally Posted by darksaberco View Post

        Why do you post so much in the forum? Is it part of your business, or just to help out others?
        No, no part of my business at all - I have no interests in the "IM markets" at all, nothing for sale and nothing to promote here.

        Partly I do it to try to make it easier for other people to avoid believing all the misinformation I so eagerly lapped up myself when I arrived here in 2008 (which resulted in my earning nothing for 4 months when I started! :p ), and partly it "breaks up my work" for me. I work very hard, but if I stop every hour and spend 5/10 minutes posting here, I can keep going for ages. When it looks as if I've "been here" for 10 hours, posting, I've probably actually been here for 5 minutes out of each of those 10 hours, but sometimes people don't realise that and imagine that "I live here"!
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        • Profile picture of the author darksaberco
          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          "With difficulty!".

          The thing is, unless you're scrabbling for SEO traffic (which is no way to make a living at all, IMHO), it may not necessarily matter to you how competitive the promotion-market is.

          Note that I've cheekily changed your question a little, to "competitive" rather than "saturated", because as a broad concept, within thin context, I don't really believe in "saturation".

          However, if we're talking about ClickBank in particular, I do routinely avoid promoting almost all high gravity products (and I'd recommend that you should, too), and there's a "competition" argument in there, among my reasons for that.



          I do this the other way round from most people, I think.

          I scour ClickBank's marketplace for products I can promote, and if I find 2+ in the same niche, I start asking myself whether I can make a niche site out of it. Given that I don't look at products I don't understand at all in the first place, the answer's quite often "yes". But I have very strict product selection criteria (as linked to in that other post mentioned above).

          The "general advice" given seems to be to write down a list of 30 things you know something about (by using a magazine site or newsagent's shop or library as a prompt, or whatever) and then whittle it down to about 5 subjects and see whether there are suitable products available for them.

          But, again, if you're syndicating articles, competition/saturation is far less relevant than it is to the people trying to earn a living off Google traffic, because they're all competing with each other and you don't need to (though, having said that, there's no harm in additionally getting some top rankings for some long-tail keywords as well, since you're doing the other 97% of the work anyway and it's dead easy to do in the way explained in the last paragraph of this post.)



          Sorry; can't help you there: I know nothing about Youtube. My traffic demographics are not video-watchers (and neither am I). I know only that video on sales pages and other websites (and especially auto-play video) is a huge "no-no" for my customers.



          No, no part of my business at all - I have no interests in the "IM markets" at all, nothing for sale and nothing to promote here.

          Partly I do it to try to make it easier for other people to avoid believing all the misinformation I so eagerly lapped up myself when I arrived here in 2008 (which resulted in my earning nothing for 4 months when I started! :p ), and partly it "breaks up my work" for me. I work very hard, but if I stop every hour and spend 5/10 minutes posting here, I can keep going for ages. When it looks as if I've "been here" for 10 hours, posting, I've probably actually been here for 5 minutes out of each of those 10 hours, but sometimes people don't realise that and imagine that "I live here"!
          Thank you for the informative answers, and a little bit of added faith in humanity. It can be hard to be optimistic about the human race with all of the problems on TV and the other media.

          I have a few follow up questions for when you get time.

          One: You mention that you dislike squeeze pages, but also that you don't like to link from one article to another. If that is the case, what do you link to in the Author's resource box?

          Two: You stress the importance of building a list, and make a lot of sense in doing so. Is it better to write pre-loaded emails or new ones after the first few days?

          Three: Are your sales emails sent live or pre-loaded?

          Four: You mentioned that people know you're an affiliate. How do you approach that? Do you try to add an angle or just tell them and let them figure out what to think?

          Thanks again for the help. I appreciate it a lot. I'll be sure to mention you at the press conference where I announce my cure for Cancer, AIDS, Hemophilia and most other problems that my work could solve. With a bit/ton of luck that is. I'll need a good formula of 100% hard work, 25% finances, 25% connections, 30% better math skills and 250% luck, but I can promise that I'll do my best to make it all work out.
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          • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
            Banned
            Originally Posted by darksaberco View Post

            One: You mention that you dislike squeeze pages, but also that you don't like to link from one article to another. If that is the case, what do you link to in the Author's resource box?
            The landing-page of my niche site (which, in my case, is always the home page): http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post6816122

            Originally Posted by darksaberco View Post

            Two: You stress the importance of building a list, and make a lot of sense in doing so. Is it better to write pre-loaded emails or new ones after the first few days?
            Pre-loaded, for me, always. You need as much as possible of that part of the business to be automated, and that way you can add to it, and expand into other niches, without spending so much time on it. And if you're continuing to write articles for the niche anyway (which I do, for all my niches, albeit only 3 articles per month for each niche), you can always re-use that material to add extra emails to the automated series with minimal effort, and just "let it grow".

            Originally Posted by darksaberco View Post

            Three: Are your sales emails sent live or pre-loaded?
            Pre-loaded. You more or less have to automate that, or most of it, because you need people to get everything in the right order for them, according to the date on which they signed up, and GetResponse or Aweber (or whatever) takes care of that for you. Continuity is everything: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post6123982

            In autoresponder language, pre-loaded is called "email series" and live is called "broadcast".

            I hardly ever use broadcasts, for all the reasons described in this post: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post6139247

            Originally Posted by darksaberco View Post

            Four: You mentioned that people know you're an affiliate. How do you approach that? Do you try to add an angle or just tell them and let them figure out what to think?
            No, I explain what it means in detail, so that nobody ever thinks (which they will, if you don't explain it fully) that they might be paying more by ordering through your link than if they bought something "direct" from the vendor.

            I refer to being an affiliate in some of the non-article, non-syndicated content of my sites, and sometimes review the product and discuss openly why I decided to become an affiliate for it.

            I also have a "formal" affiliate disclosure page on my sites, which "covers the legal bases" but in the sort of style in which I write on my own sites. There's one of mine in this post (that one's from a long-disused site of mine on which I used to have some Amazon book reviews in an attempt to increase my Amazon commission-level on higher-priced items - as one must - by also selling a large number of very low-priced items).

            Originally Posted by darksaberco View Post

            I'll need a good formula of 100% hard work, 25% finances, 25% connections, 30% better math skills and 250% luck
            Yes indeed ... most perceptive of you: I think you have the proportions right, there.
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