How I Make Money Online

This is a quick overview of the sites and programs that actually make me any money, and I recommend (or don't!). I'll update this occasionally ;D (Latest update: December 2010)

1. Squidoo.
Longterm, reliable, hard work, cumulative, and awesome. The best place to learn about how to survive online, use HTML, slowly integrate affiliate programs, and learn to stand on your own two virtual feet eventually, if you want your own website. It's my 'main' site, and main earner - everywhere else links to it, promotes it, or is used on it in some way!

Joined = October 2008. Pays into Paypal only.
average pay for the first full year = around $20 a month (started at $5, ended around $50; started with 3 lenses, ended with about 60).
Average pay for the second year = $120 a month and climbing (Dec 2010 - 163 lenses).
See My Squidoo Earnings & No. of Lenses Over Time
Everything tagged Squidoo; the Squidoo help pages I've written

2. Amazon associate account
Linking to Amazon products or pages, and earning referrals if someone buys something within 24 hours of clicking through. .com and are separate - I'm still trying out .com.
Started Oct 2010. Payment overseas by cheque, after earning $100.

Made about $11 for Oct and Nov, then >$80 for December. Not sure whether this is entirely due to Christmas, or also a factor of me actually getting enough links and reviews and such out there. Will wait and see.

Links need to come from somewhere - it really helped that I had an established online presence - added them onto existing lenses on Squidoo mostly. I've had a lot of luck with Best Reviewer. Not much from my blog :D But I have link-addiction.

 A comparison of whether it's worth signing up as an Amazon Associate or just using Squidoo's modules, and my initial earnings.
Speaking of initial earnings, here's a post about my observations and earnings in early January 2011.

3. Zazzle
Started... um, late 2008, I think. Small, but steady (about $20 a month). Took a year for sales to be steady. Mostly from my own art, some referrals, mostly via Squidoo lenses. Definitely the best Print on Demand site around right now, and the referrals are very nice. Set my mother up on there this year with her Gaudi photography, and her ornaments are selling very well!
History of my Zazzle Earnings on Squidoo; Everything tagged Zazzle.

4. AdSense
Very little - a few cents from this blog, a few dollars from Best Reviewer and SheToldMe. A bit from InfoBarrel, but I got bored with them. (I finally got my PIN in the post, so I can officially actually get paid. In four years...)

  • SheToldMe - basically just a linking site. Add a link and a short blurb. I use it for backlinks and ad money is a bonus. Some links duds, others send a fair bit of traffic. Doesn't pay directly, you earn via adsense.
  • Best Reviewer - same guy who made SheToldMe, and they interlink a bit. Make a Top 3-20 whatever list of links and write a bit about each. I like this site; the 'top whatever' format works well for making quick lists for backlinks, organisation, and Amazon. I tend to use it to make 'draft' lists, which then end up becoming proper Squidoo lenses. Again, pay via adsense.
  • Infobarrel - Short articles. Ehhh. It's okay. Too limiting, after Squidoo. I don't like the amount of spammy topics and the rather harsh limits on the links you can use. I pretty much abandoned it after a handful of articles. If you like spitting out short articles with only a couple of links, then this may be right up your street.  Revenue also from Adsense.
  • Hubpages - I haven't written a single article, but it's on my 'to do' list. Much more reputable than Infobarrel and the other available article sites, but I have trouble with the limitations and format switch from Squidoo. After I've practiced blogging a bit, some of my posts might make good fodder for this site. Earnings are again from AdSense ads (60% of links on page)- but Amazon affiliate links are also apparently allowed. Potential for much higher earnings than Squidoo, but only after you figure it all out!
  • This blog - doesn't really make me any money but is good for driving traffic elsewhere. But I mainly write it because I want to. If I was serious about earning by blogging, I should split up the various posts by topic into separate blogs! Still seeing how long and how regularly I can blog for.
  • Any blog posts about these sites fall under the tag backlinks
5. The Book Depository
A nice alternative to Amazon, for books - with free worldwide shipping. Haven't actually sold anything yet, though! Pays to Paypal, joined in Nov 2010.

Other Sites
Other sites, like Hubpages, I haven't tried - I don;t enjoy the article sites so much, and I'm also limited in what pays out to overseas. Cafepress I threw up a couple of stores on, never saw any money and abandoned after they altered the payment system to make it worthless being there.

Programs such as Clickbank and Shareasale? Clickbank looks too scammy to me, and too much work to winnow through, so I've avoided it to date. Shareasale I signed up for, but got bored and wandered off when I had to fax them my signature. It's got a pretty good reputation though, so I might wander back some time.

RedBubble - very minor, but I do make rare sales. The nice thing about RedBubble is that the money gets sent to Paypal the following month, even if it's very tiny.


  1. Thanks for providing the break down of how you're earning money online. Squidoo allows you to have so much variety in comparison to Hubpages and Infobarrel. I'm just now moving forward with building my Zazzle stores. I've been a member for years but only posted a product or two. I've seen quite a few people say that Squidoo has been working well for them when promoting their Zazzle store. I think it also helps that lenses are interactive with readers versus just posting a short article.

  2. I've made very little money on Squidoo, but never worked on it. For months I didn't log in, now due to Penguin I lost lots of money sites, so I intend spend more time on Squidoo now and spread the risks. After Penguin, mostly brand stores or big autority sites rank, so it is much more harder to rank for anything these days.

    I don't like Infobarrel or Hubpages, too limited on what you can putor how many self-serving affiliate links for my liking. Sheareasale is ok, but I found that EPC tends to go lower after you have consistent sales at first.


Leave me a comment