In the past year or so, the job market has changed significantly for many people. A number of my colleagues worked in advertising or marketing and were the first ones to "go" when the economy bottomed out. The rug being pulled out from under, left many looking for alternative sources of income or rethinking their careers altogether.
Many started their own businesses or took on smaller freelance projects as the larger agencies continue with layoffs. Other friends found alternate ways to draw income: by teaching classes or seminars, writing blogs and/or generating ad revenue through affiliate marketing or Google Adsense, we work on trade and continually look for new ways to broaden our network.
Teaching Classes or Guest Speaking
Many of my colleagues have taught night classes at various Universities and Colleges. Designers teach graphic design classes, they work with seniors majoring in Graphic Design and mentor them on how to turn their education into a career. Communications professionals teach classes on Public Relations, Investor Relations and current communications trends like Blogging and the influence of Social Media in the corporate world.
Guest Speaking has also become a great way for various experts to earn additional income. Partly because of the changing structure of the American workforce, many professionals feel the necessity to grow their professional networks. Professionals have joined multiple professional organizations and attend numerous networking events. These professional organizations often need "experts" to speak on various subject matters.
Neither teaching a night class, nor guest speaking, can draw in a substantial income, however, both are great ways to draw in supplemental income while doing something meaningful. Additionally, it is a great way to grow your own personal network and position yourself as an "expert" in a particular field.
Blogging is something I started for several reasons. I wanted my voice to be heard, I love to write and I needed a platform for self education. Having a place to speak my mind, to share my stories told and my experiences is extremely fulfilling for me on a personal level. Writing has always been a passion of mine, though I never believed I was any good at it, I have been writing creatively for the bulk of my adolescence and adulthood.
Self education, when I saw the blogging generation taking over, I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to know what the big deal was and what people were talking about. I also wanted to figure out how to drive business to a website, how to build links and what all this fuss about Affiliate Marketing was about.
Google Adsense and Affiliate Marketing
Many bloggers and site owners know all about Google Adsense. Sites of any size can earn money by running targeted ads on their web pages. I like to keep my blog very clean looking, I am motivated more by aesthetics, therefore, I only have my Google ads on the top of my page and not throughout the entire blog.
Affiliate Marketing is slightly more involved. There are various networks that site owners must register with such as Commission Junction and Linkshare (click here for free LinkShare membership)The process can be slightly more difficult but they do have tutorials. Another hindrance could be that some Advertisers require that Affiliates or publishers have a certain amount of traffic on their site before they allow their ads to be run.
Affiliate ads are run in various ways, traditional ads like you see on the right. Professional ads, sometimes they're static and sometimes not, designed by the advertisers and offered to publishers for use on their approved site(s). When you grab the ad, a code is generated for you and if your ad is clicked on, you could get paid. Some advertisers pay a commission for sales and others pay for lead generation this varies from advertiser to advertiser.
Aside from visual ads, there are other ways to insert affiliate advertisers messaging or ads – such as text links. This particular link takes you to an advertisers site - in this case, a Forex trading tutorial website. The publisher (that would be me) is paid for conversions. If you were to click on the text link and then purchased the product, that would be a conversion. Another way advertisers can pay is publishers is through lead generation. If you clicked on an ad, you would be redirected to the advertiser's site. And should you fill out what they asked of you on that site, as the publisher, I would then be paid an amount set by the advertiser.
Work on Trade
This may be the most effective and least lucrative way to earn income – well, mostly because you're not earning any money but you're trading. The basic meaning of the word "trade". I work with various clients on trade. I assist them with their marketing efforts, help them write a marketing plan, or brainstorm promotional ideas for them and in exchange I receive product or services. Currently, I am working with a hairdresser Todd Fischer at Free Nation of Beauty. I also work with a local yogurt company, Better Whey on some of their social media marketing and their event marketing.
Very few people get rich on what I outline and describe to you above, but in a down economy, every last bit helps - at least in my humble opinion. And if you get very good at one or the other, you may even have a nice career shift in the future.
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