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Producing Content to Earn a Living Online

Income producing activities for an online worker

Probably an obvious statement to many, “consistent action gets results.” Consistency doesn’t always produce desired results, but it always produces results.

Mary Kay had it right asking her cosmetics sales reps to focus on income producing activities (IPAs) to achieve their sales goals.

In order to earn a living, online or offline, a person has to do some sort of income producing activities (IPA) on a consistent basis. There’s just no way around it. Opinions of what is considered an IPA may differ from person to person, but the fact remains, and again for some this may be obvious, these activities must be done.

Online workers, a lot of times, are time wasters. While education is extremely important, and constant education is a must for online workers, there needs to be time set aside on a consistent basis to do work that generates cash flow. This means taking a break from reading forums, social sites and blogs that sometimes even distracts the most disciplined of web worker from getting their work done. And when it comes to subscribing to mailing lists, sometimes less is more. Granted, forum and social activity can be one of your IPAs, but the idea is to get in, complete the task, and get out.

Determining money making goals online

Before deciding what to do consistently, it’s important to know the goals that are to be achieved. Let’s go through the scenario of a blogger. Say the blogger wants to make two sales per day in his continuity program. (On a side note, I think that anyone leveraging the online game should have a residual income focus in place, otherwise that person isn’t taking advantage of the most desirable aspect of making money on the Internet.)

The blogger has determined that 50 targeted leads per day, on average, generates the desired 2 sales per day. So, the focus in this case is 2 sales per day, but the efforts needed to generate 50 leads, to get those 2 sales, might be the activities that produce the income (the IPAs).

At the same time, the online worker knows that cash flow is important, either to pay for traffic, pay for content, pay overhead, or pay the regular household bills if he is at this full time. So, just a like a job where a person puts in time for a paycheck, i.e. exchanging time for money, jobs that generate this immediate cash flow might be appropriate on the list of “cash flow income producing activities.” This would be in addition to the “residual income producing activities.”

Content is king, might as well deliver it

Producing content on the Internet drives traffic, which gets converted to leads, which generates sales (read the sales funnel article to learn more on this). Content can be traded for cold hard cash, or in Internet terms, “PayPal money,” therefore contributing to someone else’s leads and sales. You can write content daily for cash flow and for residual income. You can write content for web sites in exchange for one time payments, and in some cases,  build Google Authorship, which could funnel people into your web site(s).

Also, you can provide content to sites that have revenue share (some sites share the adsense revenue earned via the content you provide). You learn a lot in the process, so education is always the side benefit. Plus, you are helping people with the content generated, which is another side benefit. You may want to locate some of these resources to contribute to your writing portfolio, your pay check and your overall experience as a writer. Using the search phrase “revenue sharing with adsense” should generate some results for you. Always consider sites that also allow the insertion of links which could help funnel traffic or search engine authority into some of your other content pieces that exist around the web.

Traffic generation for leads

Besides providing content on your own site(s), providing content in one form or another on other web properties can generate traffic to your site(s) (and ultimately leads, and eventually sales).

1) Content marketing – Whether submitting content to article directories, press release sites, document sharing sites, video sharing sites, audio sharing depositories, or guest posting, you can be sure that this is working towards generating income at some time in your future, when done right. Focus on providing extreme value, following community rules, web etiquette, and search engine optimization and you can’t lose with content.

2) Paid traffic – You can start your story with a paid ad, that sparks interest, that continues to a landing page that delivers on the promise, and a lead can be the result. And we all know the potential of a lead. That lead can contribute to one of the sale goals for the day, and even future income.

Collecting leads and setting up an autoresponder

Someone that subscribes to your mailing list is considered a “lead.” They are someone entering the beginning of a sales funnel. There are many books and essays written on how to foster a lead, how often to communicate with them, how often to sell to them, and how exactly to speak to them, all of which are beyond the scope of this article. The important thing to note is that most online marketers will pay a subscription for a service to handle the leads for them (in terms of scheduling and sending the emails). Few are free and ad supported, most carry a price tag. They supply the code for the form, you decide what to entice them with to put in their name and email, and you decide what page they go after entering that information and you decide what messages they get in sequence automatically (autoresponder) and what messages they get that you send manually (broadcast).

For most bloggers and web site owners, generating traffic leads to income. Fostering relationships is another method (think word of mouth).

It’s not always that cut and dry, but the truth is, providing content regularly has a push in the right direction for income. It generates income in the short term, or the long term no matter how you slice it. Generating and publishing content on 5-15 web properties, every single day, is part of my main IPAs.

And keep in mind, I use the word content very loosely. Content can be a PPC ad, a classifieds ad, an article, a video, a podcast, a blog post, a press release, a PDF, a presentation, a blog comment, a forum post, a Facebook page post, a Tweet, a WordPress plugin, a web site template, and so on and so forth. There are many forms of media and many media sharing outlets on the web that have built in traffic. An example we all know is YouTube with videos, and perhaps Scribd with PDF documents.

When sharing multimedia across the web, it pays dividends to consider potential search terms for the pages that host the content. Also, writing a 300+ word post for the description, rather than just the standard one-line description, can help your piece of content stand out within the hosted site’s internal search engine, as well as the global search engines (Google, Bing). With your multimedia (videos, PDF docs, slideshows, podcasts and more) shared across the web, hopefully getting their own rankings, as a leveraged writer, you could benefit from embedding the content into your own site surrounded by a unique, engaging, value added article.

Outsourcing your way to more freedom

Naturally, as you get more systems in place, you will likely find ways to scale them up to produce better results. You will soon find that there are several tasks needed for the creation, publication and promotion of content. Not suggesting you micromanage every fine point, but you can likely discover half a dozen to a dozen tasks performed for each of the major steps. Some or all of those tasks can be outsourced to one or more people. In fact, you could eventually setup a system that involves several people running through these processes simultaneously in an Internet-based assembly line like fashion. It may be wise not to disclose all steps to all people, and it certainly isn’t wise to disclose all steps to just one person, unless it’s a partner in your online venture.

There are several sites on the web to find people to do almost any sort of web work imaginable. Be sure to understand each task yourself first and slowly break off pieces to other people until you find someone reliable and trustworthy and that can work unattended. Pay them well and treat them right and you could have a dedicated contractor for the long term contributing to your desired financial goals and lifestyle.

Closing thoughts on producing income

Practice leverage where you can (i.e. kill as many birds as possible with one stone), put yourself in the prospect’s shoes (provide value always), and always think “residual,” “passive,” and “abundance.” Outsource at the first possible opportunity, assuming freedom is a long term goal.

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