How Long Does it Take to Make Money Online? The Real Answer

Of the top questions asked about making money online, how long does it take to do it is probably in the top 3 that I hear. And I’ve got an answer.

Because I do this, I believe I am fit to answer it because I’ve made more than 1 site so far that’s made money online. However, you may not like the answer and I may sound political, but believe me, it’s the most honest answer you’re going to get…

how long does it take to make money online

Here’s how long it usually takes to make money online (4 answers):

Answer 1: 99% of the time, it depends on a HOST of factors and scenarios I’ll tell you about.

Answer 2: But if you’re going the straight forward route, while investing as little as possible and focusing entirely on blogging which is an awesome place to start, then I would say at least 6 months.

Answer 3: If you’re doing paid advertising, it’s not uncommon to see a sale within 24 hours. However, if you do it wrong, it won’t happen as quickly, won’t happen as often and you’ll end up losing money, possibly a ton of it. 

Answer 4: Then there’s YouTube. That can happen within a day or take way longer depending on your video, what you’re selling and how it’s seen by viewers.

These 4 answers are the most straight forward responses to the question of how long it takes to make money online. And believe me, you may get countless other answers from people but being an expert at making money online for years, I’m telling you, these 4 are the closest to the truth.

Unless you’ve already experienced what it’s like to make money online, from owning an online business let’s say, you’ll know that there isn’t one factor that plays a role in the time it takes to reach that revenue point so while I can’t cover every scenario, I will give you list of factors to consider and explain my own experiences.

Obviously, I want you to be successful and I (and you) certainly want that to happen quickly. Who doesn’t?

But you’ve got to attack this question and business the right way if you’re going to one day look back on it when it’s making you money and wonder how it all started, or if you’re on the other end, as so many are and think where they went wrong and why it never worked out.

Let’s be clear, what we’re looking at here is an online business, not the other things such as:

  • Selling something you own on eBay.
  • Or selling something on Amazon.
  • Or getting a Craigslist response for an ad you put up.
  • Or making a drop ship sale.
  • Or making an affiliate marketing sale.
  • And a whole host of other hypothetical examples.

These are ALL examples of making money online if you want to sound “precise”, but in reality, it is not the norm people think of when this topic comes up, so that is why I want to center this question around the topic of an online business.

A business which involves you having a site and that site making it’s first sale and growing into a REAL, serious business that is making you so much that you can quit your job and how long it’ll take to reach that 1st point of a sale to eventually reaching the full time income point. 

So now that we’ve framed this, let me begin…

Get your basic blueprint of an online business straight please:

There’s many ways to get one started and it to make money, but one of the most straight forward ways is through affiliate marketing. It is for people who have little to no money who want to start this business but cannot afford to invest in more advanced methods, which frankly, run a higher risk than just losing money, but we’ll get to that later.

In short, it’s SEO.

Anyway, I really want you to read that post so you understand that THIS is the most stable way to start earning within 6 months time. As I have tried other free ways and approaches, so far, this is the safest, cheapest and in the long run, most profitable.

If you can follow that blueprint, you are going to eliminate the 99% of “what if’s” out there that are more than likely going to lead to a dead end. I’d rather give you something that works vs hypothetical ideas. 

With that blueprint, I’ve basically taken a wide range of scenarios and created a bulls eye for you. Now at the very least, you have a frame to follow and as long as you build your business according to it, you’re guaranteed to get some kind of success and land in the bulls eye area.

Overall, the end goal to make your money online is to have a website, have traffic and money generated from that traffic coming in.

So now that we have that blueprint, we know what it’ll take to make a sale, how long will it take before it happens!?

Enter the 9 factors that determine how quickly you can make money online:

Working on them as best as possible makes your odds of making sales happen faster, lack of doing it will make it take longer.

The 8 factors that determine how fast you hit the bulls eye (first sale/revenue point):

1) How “nichey” is your niche?

If you pick a niche topic, you have more and faster chances of making sales. The time frame for this? Niche sites in competitive markets can take a year to really get somewhere. Niche sites in not too competitive markets can take up to 6 months to start working.

Theoretically, you’re looking at a half a year in difference. Imagine how much better you’d feel if your first sale happened 6 months earlier (or more)!

2) How competitive are the keywords you’re aiming to rank under?

People often don’t know how to look for keywords or how to structure them on their site (it’s easy), but here is one tutorial on finding profitable keywords that’ll get you cleared on that, which I also recommend you read.

But in short, every term has it’s own “competition” number, which is gauged by Google. In short, you are aiming to rank your site/page/post on the 1st page of Google. But guess what? So are others!

How many others? Well that’s the number Google determines. Now I and many others call this number the “QSR”. The less it is, the less competition I have and the more it is, well, you guessed it (the higher it is). Here’s more info on QSR.

We’re aiming to find keywords with as little competition as possible and generally a number under a 100 pages is “good”. Anything under 50 is excellent and anything under 10 is a gold mine you need to mine asap.

Now here is a factor you need to consider: Keywords you choose to target which have say 70 QSR will take you longer to rank for than a keyword whose QSR is say, 20.

How much longer? The time frame can be weeks to even months.

So that obviously affects the time before you can start making money, right? Right!

So you should obviously chase the lesser QSR ones, but keep in mind that generally those have less traffic, but again, read up on that keyword tutorial I provided as it will provide more clarify and strategies you can take advantage of.

3) Posting frequency. How often do you blog?

A website needs fresh content, always, especially in the beginning!

One of the things most people fail to understand is that content creation is a driving force of success in any online business.

And this scenario is more for bloggers than eCommerce or paid advertising folks, but remember, we’re looking at making money from as free and cheap of a strategy as we can and thus, we are focusing on SEO, nothing else for now.

And for SEO, you need to write articles a lot (how often should you write content?). In the beginning of a new site, your posting frequency will affect the speed of your site indexing and it will also affect the speed of your ranking. 

Now this is a MAJOR factor. Should you write fresh content often, possibly daily, you’re looking at less than 3 months before your content starts to attract organic traffic and possibly that first sale, with more consistent and recurring traffic in 6 months (more details on how long it takes to rank in Google explained) and possibly a stride after that where your site is going to start seeing daily sales.

That’s exactly how my site (this one) came up and it was in a competitive market too. Posting often led to a massive rise and faster appreciation for Google.

So now that you know what frequent posting can do, what about someone who doesn’t post as much. Someone who posts say…

Much less, perhaps 1 or 2 articles a week, or perhaps someone who posts very infrequently and in many cases, posts a lot, but then stops. What will happen? 

Well if the site doesn’t break the authority stage, it’ll stay under the first pages for a very long time until you eventually write enough content to break that “barrier”. In other words, less frequent posting leads to less frequently high rankings.

Now this is excusable IF your site breaks that barrier I talked about, where for example, in my case, after month 6, where I had recurring traffic, where I then decided to slow down my posting. At that point, it was OK to do it.

But understand, your time spent on your site posting will directly affect your future results in Google and obviously the faster you break that point, the faster you’ll make sales.

4) Your content amount. 

It’s simple, the more you write = the better your site looks to Google.

5) Comments? You should try getting them!

An active participation in your site from visitors (leaving feedback and sharing your content) leads to faster rankings (and sales) on Google. Don’t have them? Try these techniques to get more comments.

6) How’s your sales funnel? Odds are, it’s bad.

I’ve had experiments where sites which had traffic, but no sales, required a few changes and within 24 hours, the first sale was made. Although every niche site and it’s sales funnel varies, typically there several things ANY site owner can do like these to at least make sales happen more frequently.

7) Optional. Doing PPC? 

This is where I talk about paid advertising and it is a factor which frankly does not apply to those with new sites or empty wallets. If you are that person, stick to those 6 factors, but if you can afford this, read on…

This is one of the few factors of the 8 where you can make money within 24 hours. You set up an ad, the ad runs, gets traffic and that traffic can turn into a lead/sale. If done correctly and the right ad is made, targeting the right keyword, you can see that type of result.

Of course, inexperience in this field can lead to money lost and I’ve got a whole tutorial on making PPC work for you since I’ve made 6 figures through it before (multiple times).

8) Email list building.

Another potential 24 hour money maker, but on the back end of an already established business. This only works when your website accumulates visitors and a portion of them sign up to get emails from you. And email marketing is not easy.

Then when you have an X amount, you send out an email blast promoting something and the first sale can come within an hour if you time things correctly. 

But of course to reach this point, you need to have the first 6 things working for you and you can use #7 as an added means to get traffic. 

9) The mindset. Wanting quicker results = more odds of failure.

None of the 8 options above don’t matter if you don’t have the right mindset to do this. There are a plethora of programs who feed of people who wish to make money online fast and give them scams and high ticket schemes to try with promises of that. 

So as you can see, each factor has it’s own “what if’s”.

And I’ve given you a range of them in each example. 

Now as I will repeat:

Considering you “nail” every factor down to perfection, you can get that first sale in a few months. But the focus shouldn’t be the sale, it should be the build up of the business so that even if 1 sale isn’t made as quickly, you set the business up so that it leads to making a consistent income overtime. 

This is one of those things where you should not sacrifice the speed of making 1 sale ASAP vs something that can pay you for life if you take your time.

I have a website I’m working on now where I haven’t even cared about selling anything for 5 months and all I’m doing is writing great content so that when it breaks the barrier point with Google, the sales will explode. This is one of those patience examples which I would prioritize if I were you and you were a first time online businessman or have tried and never made it work.

Above all of these factors, rather than worrying about all the different ways things can go or making it “perfect”, focus entirely on following the guide I provided you above (before you even started reading the factors list). 

That guide was a reflection of the amazing training I received at Wealthy Affiliate and frankly, if there is one thing I would say is more important than that guide, it is that program and it is where I would start.

So I hope that anyone who read this entirely will now understand that the time frame of how soon you’ll make money online really DOES depend on everything I’ve listed (and frankly more). Ultimately it’s a matter of how hard you work in accordance with aiming that hard work with the steps I showed you to build a business.

More info on how long it takes to make money online.

I run a new website called HelpingHandAffiliate.com that has more updated content on making money online, and I tackle the question of how long it takes to make money online there.

95% of what I said here applies to that article still, but the other 5% talk about things I didn’t mention in this article like using YouTube or getting into more details of using paid ads.

That site does talk about that, but still your safest route is by following the advice I put in this article.

78 thoughts on “How Long Does it Take to Make Money Online? The Real Answer”

  1. Hi Vitaliy,

    Great article and content! My site is still very new and I’m trying to apply all the teachings you have noted above. 

    It can be quite daunting to keep track of everything that is required. I’m starting to realize that I need to be very organized with my schedule every week. It can be very easy to be distracted and lose hours of valid work by working on things that are not as important in the early stages.

    It’s also difficult as I’m working a full-time job in a stressful environment but this is the reason I’ve started this journey.

    What I need to do is stick to the basics for now and keep posting keyword rich blogs as often as I can manage.

    Great advice as always!

    Chris

    Reply
    • Chris hi, let me just clarify to others what you meant about being distracted. You probably meant focusing on trying to make your blog look good instead of creating content and this is something many people make the mistake of doing early on like you have personally been experiencing. 

      I always tell people not to worry about their blog’s look until it gets a lot of traffic and for that to happen, they need to do what you have been doing lately.

      Reply
  2. Now this is good stuff! Nice to see you explain the reality check that it simply takes some time to break through that barrier to your first sale online. You simply need to tell yourself to stick with it but once that first sale comes in where all of your hard work becomes justified the sky is the limit! The great part about the training on Wealthy Affiliate is that the owners also keep your expectations in check as well when it comes to them telling you when you should begin seeing traffic or sales or whatever it may be. Super informative post, I really enjoyed reading it

    Reply
    • This is a great point Nate, WA does indeed keep the expectations realistic as I do often find members asking the very same question I address in this post. They just don’t know how golden the advise on not trying to make money quickly really is because those who ignore it and still look for those options, inevitably end up losing their money and having to start fresh. 

      Reply
  3. This is one of the best posts I’ve read on making money online. It’s also a touch of reality. We’re seduced by the allure of “internet money”, but like everything, it’s a lot of hard work. 

    This is actually the perfect blog for me to read right now since I just started blogging and was wondering how much I should post within my niche before I even get indexed (still waiting on that…). 

    It’s definitely a journey, and I’m basically still just coming out of the starter’s blocks. Will have to just take it that way, and have fun while I’m at it 🙂

    A couple questions:

    How do you come up with all your ideas on what to post about? 

    And does every post you present have to be a sale’s pitch at the end of it or somewhere in it? 

    I know that we’re supposed to be helping people, but I find that there is a fine line that I need to thread…I don’t want to just create “content”, but if I post every day or so, one can easily fall into the “content creator” mode instead of the “helping people” mode.

    Reply
    • Hi Ade, the first thing I want to tell you is that your site can get indexed, typically within 2 weeks, so I would not worry about this not happening. Now as for the specific questions you asked:

      1) There are 2 main strategies I use to create content. This article talks about them and it has helped a lot of people who worry about getting stuck on content ideas.

      2) No, not every single post needs to be a “sales pitch”. You need to think about it from a point of view of the visitor. If they read nothing but sales pitches on your site or at least feel that’s going on in every article of yours they see, they’re going to stop trusting you, they will not feel that you’re helping them, but just trying to extract their money. 

      That’s why a lot of posts I write aim to only help people out and link them to other articles inside my site where I provide further help. I do set up banners outside the main content (and at the bottom of each post) that they can click on to view some of my offers, but that is optional for them to click on. However, that will happen naturally if they don’t feel I am selling them anything. 

      And about the last point, I understand what you’re talking about when you say that you can get lost in just writing content vs writing content that has a purpose. To avoid that issue, I still recommend you read that article about those 2 strategies, it’ll ensure you produce the type of content that gets the trust and buying interest of your visitors. 

      Reply
  4. Wow vitaliy; You nailed the topic with this blog. Every paragraph I read just had me salivating for the other one. I really like your honesty. So many promoters are saying how easy it is to make money online. When one starts with an attitude like that and fails miserably it gives the industry a bad name. I personally prefer to be told that it is not easy but it is doable. One of the biggest hurdles I have found is to develop the ability to focus on the basics and avoid all the noise and distractions that abound on the internet. Thanks a bunch for this post.

    Reply
    • No problem Everton! This is lesson that I have learned after also believing the same types of promoters you’re talking about. The key is to use a program that works (Wealthy Affiliate is the best for example) and to not stray to other get rich quick programs, which you will be tempted to do, believe me.

      If you feel that you are straying, simply remember all those other times you strayed and what happened. Use that to funnel your focus and effort back into the system that works. That’s how I did it.

      Reply
  5. Thanks for the info. It’s super helpful to have some sort of expectation for when I can start seeing my labors pay off. I stumbled upon Wealthy Affiliate a few weeks back and have had a lot of fun starting up my website. I’m trying to hit all the numbers on the site health page and it says my frequency is good. But it’s good to know the difference daily posting vs weekly posting makes in regard to how long it takes to break the google barrier.

    Reply
    • Hi Dustin, since you’re doing the training inside WA, I have no doubt you’re already doing the right things. When you focus on all the aspects of the site health thing they offer, you will be doing everything right to make your page grow and become profitable.

      Reply
  6. Thank you for this great information. I am definitely going to read all the other posts you have linked here.

    I have started my website two years ago and only few months ago I made my first sale. I have been writing too little content on my site. I did write about two posts a month.

    Now for the last three months I have been writing two posts a week, but I still don’t see more traffic coming in. I am struggling to write two posts a week so there is no way I could do more at this time.

    How long you think I still need to wait for getting more traffic or am I just doing something wrong? (I know it’s hard to answer this question without knowing my site…) I am using keywords that often have competition less than 10. But still my posts are not ranked high.

    Is it possible that the shift from http to https changed the rankings? Did google see my site as totally new after that shift?

    Cheers

    Maria

    Reply
    • Hi Maria, the big thing that stands out from what you mentioned is the http to https switch. If you’re looking at Google analytics from the old http site, it may be better to create a new account for the https one just to be sure you’re tracking the traffic.

      Also make a NEW Google webmaster tools account for the https site as well.

      If you are indeed targeting low competition keywords, you should be seeing much more results and traffic by now. My only guesses as to why this hasn’t happened are:

      1) Your site authority hasn’t picked up yet. Maybe you haven’t made enough content.

      2) You may not be writing enough content per post.

      3) You may not be chasing high traffic keywords.

      For all of these things, you may want to look at this article, which should help you pinpoint it better, but again, take my advice on Google analytics and Google Webmaster tools and make the switch as soon as possible.

      Reply
      • Thank you for the great advice!

        I have already added the https version to search console and that seems ok. But google analytics shows that I have like 2 visitors a month so that can’t be working well.

        I’ll create a new account for google analytics as you suggested.

        Reply
        • Yeah create an analytics account whenever you can. I looked at your site and it’s got a lot of content. I notice some of the articles do not have 1,000 words or more and tend to link a lot on the page. I don’t recommend linking more than 1% on your entire page so one link per 100 words is fine.

          I would also remove the ads on your right hand column that appear to be pointing to none relevant programs.

          Based on the overall things I see, you should be getting more traffic than webmaster tools is telling you, and Google analytics will help answer this. If it’s not that good, then I would recommend interlinking your articles with other, relevant articles inside your page.

          Also start trying to get comments on the articles where you’re chasing the highest traffic (best keywords).

          Reply
  7. Wow,

    Six months, eh? And daily posting is a priority. OK, well I guess I’ll have to up my posting rate. Good to know.

    Your site is really informative. I had a look around at some of the other posts besides this one.

    I really, really need my website to start turning a profit soon, so I will be cranking out a post each day.

    Thank you for the advice,

    All the Best,

    Elizabeth

    Reply
    • Make sure you are correctly writing out your content through proper keyword targeting Elizabeth. I would recommend you read about how to do this here as it will greatly help you get more out of your writing efforts. 

      Reply
  8. It totally depends on the person. If you are wasting most of your time watching TV, then you could be waiting years to ever see any real success, but if you’re putting in the work everyday and each and every moment of free time you have…your results could be in 30 days…90 days…maybe even sooner. (:

    Reply
    • Well I’ll tell you this Tomas, in my experience, as long as people have the will to make money and follow a guideline like from Wealthy Affiliate, they will absolutely succeed. How long again depends on many things you said in your comment which I agree with, but they will succeed. 

      Reply
  9. Hello, Vitaliy!

    Glad to be back on your website (looks like you’ve changed your website WP theme?).

    I was so excited when I saw your post with this particular title – this is a VERY interesting topic for newbies online, myself included. I’ve been blogging for a year-ish with some breaks, but I only made a few sales with my very first website and after that pretty much nothing. I am starting to think it has to do with my new blog’s theme/title whatsoever. Although I must be honest, I wasn’t posting as often as I should have. You also made me understand that my blog is not “niche-y” as you said, so that could be another reason.

    You do mention that content creation is important and the lengthier it is and the more value it provides the better. For this reason, I decided to write and publish a 2500+ word article trip-related on my personal blog. I was told that such posts inevitably help the ranking and help build authority, so I will patiently wait.

    Since you also mentioned the keywords and the competition for the keywords I have a question to ask. That 2500+ blog post that I’ve published has a search number of 40 and the QSR of 19. Even though the competition is low, the search number is low too – would you still consider this a good number/ratio? The post was published yesterday and I searched the exact keyword on Bing it’s the third one in the list already, however, I didn’t see it in Google for the first 10 pages (I didn’t even continue searching for it any further).

    Thanks for yet another great article and other relevant posts to check out. As always you’re inspired me to move on and keep working hard!

    Zarina

    Reply
    • Hi Zarina, there’s a number of things here I want to cover which I think will help put things into great perspective and help you continue to grow your business:

      Regarding your site which had made sales and then stopped, you really identified the problem which was that you weren’t posting frequently enough, and this is the main problem I would correct moving forward. You already saw that if you work on the site, it will succeed, so the answer is to do more of what worked.

      Now on that same topic, we’ll get into the second point of the site which is where you said you weren’t covering enough of the niche topic, again, that question is already answered, start blogging more frequently, but making the blogs niche oriented.

      Your question actually gave me a fantastic topic to blog about and that’s how to pick out niche oriented topics to write on and I’ll link this comment to it once the article is live which should happen within the next day, but I will absolutely recommend you check that out, because I have a lot of ideas to share that personally help me with this problem that will help you as well. Update: I wrote the article, here you go!

      Now onto the article where you wrote 2k words recently. Writing this much on a single blog post is EXCELLENT, and the SEO weight of that article will be measured by how niche oriented the keyword is, it’s content is and the competition for the keyword which you said is 19 (Very good number!).

      However, one additional thing that will impact it’s ranking is how much overall content the site in question has. If the site is still new, doesn’t have many posts, the 2k+ article will help raise it’s authority, but it will still require that you blog more to build up the site.

      As I often tell people who blog, around 50 or so relevant posts on a niche site is a great SEO goal. How many articles does the current site have? When you said that it didn’t show up on Google for the first 10 pages, the first things that comes to my mind are:

      Either it’s still too early to see if it’s ranked/indexed, that can take a few days and/or the overall blog authority is still growing, meaning it’ll take a bit more time before it’s indexed and ranked, but it still will be.

      And finally, as for the traffic of the term you’re going for, yes, target that term because there’s still the LSI (let me know if you want me to explain this further) of it to consider which will only make it work better for you AND, if you don’t have new blogging ideas that have higher traffic, it still “pays” you to write this to grow the site anyway so unless you have other keywords which have higher search traffic (in that case, target those first), write about these other ones even if the traffic doesn’t appear to be high. I often do this too and it’s totally fine.

      Reply
      • Hi Vitaliy, thank you for getting back to me.

        When I built my first website, it also was new, but I believe I made some sales because I frequently posted it on Reddit/Quora and that’s how I made some sales. However, it was a dangerous move as I got banned from subreddits for self-promotions. Now, I don’t promote my blog this way, and if I do, then I post the articles that contain little to zero affiliate links.

        At the moment, my current blog has about 20 posts, which means I need to create half as much content or more to raise its authority and appear higher up in Google. You mentioned multiple times on your website that 50 posts is the SEO goal, so I will aim to post more in the next month or two. There is only one article that still is on the first page of Google, which shows that my website is already indexed and has a chance to improve as I published posts more frequently.

        I am thinking of creating a couple of Youtube videos as well. Do you think it’s OK to create videos based on the content that I shared on my blog?

        I would appreciate if you explain the term LSI (first time I hear it). What is it?

        I am excited about the new blog post coming up and I look forward to reading it! I will check back in a day or two.

        Zarina

        Reply
        • No problem Zarina! I understand your strategy about Quora and Reddit, but like you mentioned, it is risky. however, through this experience, there are 2 positive things I see:

          1) You made sales from this.
          2) You see that your site CAN convert. So it’s a matter of getting more of that same traffic through SEO to scale the profits further.

          To me, while the marketing attempt didn’t exactly workout, you did see the potential of the site’s success and like I said, it’s a matter of building up the SEO of it to proportionally grow the traffic and sales.

          Now onto the specific questions:

          1) Youtube videos. Yes this is totally fine. I actually used to make them in addition to my content, sometimes doing so much as product reviews on both my blog site and one via YouTube. This is absolutely fine 🙂

          2) LSI means your ranking will appear for more than just the targeted keyword. Here is a full explanation and it’s great news!

          I’ll try to get this new blog post up within the next 2 days and will happily share it once it’s up.

          Reply
  10. Hi there I really enjoyed this article. Many people start an online business and expect that they will make money magically very quickly. I have owned and operated traditional offline businesses in the past – and it is rare to turn a profit until the 3-5 years mark, so we have to have the same patience online (although it does happen quicker). My thinking is that, forget the financial return – if you focus on providing value to your audience, then the financial return will follow automatically – do you agree? Ricky Brigg

    Reply
    • Hi Ricky, yeah I agree, and honestly, I don’t think my agreement is necessary, you already mentioned having multiple businesses so you already know what it takes for them to grow, it isn’t that much different with online businesses.

      The 3-5 year mark you mentioned to break even and start profiting can certainly be a lot less with an online business because there is far less up front investment necessary and the return as well as potential can be far more grand if you do the right things.

      Reply
  11. Thanks for such an informative post. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot, but also feel a bit discouraged! I’m really excited about starting my site (I’ve only been at it for a couple of weeks), but there’s no way I’m going to manage to post more than twice a week (once is probably more realistic).

    Do you think there’s any real prospect of success in that case?

    Also, at the moment I’ve mainly focused on creating a decent amount of quality content, with a focus on helping people rather than making money (which I hope will come later). As such I haven’t been paying too much attention to keywords, my thought being that that will come further down the line once my site is established and I’m trying to promote some ‘money making’ posts.

    Is that a sensible strategy, or do you think I should be utilising keywords in every post from the word go?

    Anyway, although I’m feeling a little worried, thank you for such a helpful article!

    Reply
    • Hi, your overall mindset is in the right place for focusing on the quality of your content, but you should absolutely be targeting keywords in your posts, this way, your effort will be maximized. No matter what type of content you write, always try to find at least some sort of popular keyword to attach to it.

      It’s also OK to not write that often, 2 times a week is actually very good. It’s not like Google mandates that any successful blogger write everyday, it’s just a matter of intelligently choosing your keywords and writing that content which you should be focusing on given the time constraint.

      Reply
  12. Having just read your case study on your niche website, I can see that you have the real life experience to back up this post. I did think it is a bit meagre, 100 visitor a month after a year, but I guess it has a lot to do with your posting frequency.

    I suppose it will vary from niche to niche and will depend on how good the stuff your write is too!?

    Joe

    Reply
    • Hi Joe, the 100 visitors a month IS indeed based on the fact that I didn’t post a lot on that site, the point of that was just to show how the work adds up. If you consider a more bigger example, such as my main site, it gets 600+ visits daily, and the techniques apply for any site.

      Reply
  13. At first, I was going to take issue with your classification of selling on eBay and Amazon as not real online businesses, but then I thought about it, and the keyword here is “online”, not “real.”

    Yes, there are people killing it on those platforms and have “real” businesses, but there are still physical products involved, you have to either buy inventory or get it for free somehow.

    Dumpster-diving for discarded books, anyone? If it isn’t you peeling labels on products from retail stores to resell, packing them up into boxes, and shipping them off to your customers or Amazon’s FBA warehouse, then it is some person or service you are paying to do so. With an “online” business, you also don’t have to worry much about sales taxes, which can be a complete nightmare with physical product sales.

    Thanks for the great info here!

    Reply
    • No problem, the fact is, online businesses carry their own “burden” in terms of the work you need to put in, but in my opinion the hassle of packing your own products and owning them just isn’t worth it. I prefer to have everything automated.

      Reply
  14. Hey Vitaly!

    I absolutely love your blogs and they are so very helpful.

    This site is defiantly going on my “saved list”.

    Is 6 months really the time it takes to generate good traffic? Is that the average?

    Let’s say I post every day, will it still take that long?

    Thanks again for this article,

    Pauilna

    Reply
    • Hi Paulina, if you post everyday, you should start seeing results in under the 6 month mark. I posted every day for this site and it took a little under 4 months before the organic rankings and traffic started piling up. Try to share your site more and get some comments up on your existing and new content, it will only help.

      Reply
  15. I found this case study helpful in showing the power of keywords. It’s really important to find highly searched keywords with little competition, which I’ve been trying to do with my website and YouTube videos and which I’m getting better at finding.

    Do you still update your Calorie Shifting Guide in order to keep it relevant to people wanting to utilize it in 2017? Or does your page remain static but still retain lots of viewers because of the keywords you use to promote it?

    Reply
    • Hi Kennedy, you’re referring to case study 2 above (in case anyone else is interested to know), but in regards to that particular site, no I have not updated it since late 2013!

      However, the information on it is still just as valid but I quit it because the main affiliate program I was trying to promote on it ceased doing business basically and I found more important niche topics to focus on.

      However, regarding it’s rankings, it’s actually amazing…

      The site still ranks #1 for it’s main term (again look at case study 2 above if anyone is interested). And I looked at it, it gets 15-20 organic visits a day. Not a lot, but for a lack of writing anything for over 3 years, it’s absolutely astounding…

      And normally, a niche site like this would be buried in the ranks if it didn’t update. Yet mine remained strong in the rankings. Why is that?

      Well my hypothesis is this:

      1) The program I was promoting that later stopped doing business was the main one which created the market for the calorie shifting topic.

      2) When it stopped doing business, promoters stopped promoting it and one of the things this caused was that little or no new content was coming out on the topic.

      3) Because of no new incoming topic, my site had no new competition and as a result maintained it’s standings.

      This is the only thing that makes sense to me. And like I said, in any other example I can think of, this would never happen!

      Reply
  16. This was great.

    Managing expectations is something that new online business owners struggle to do accurately and they often become despondent when they do not see the volume of traffic coming to their sites in the time frame that they had originally expected. Patience is always the key with any online business and I’m glad you have demonstrated that in this post. This was a valuable contribution to the wider community.

    Reply
    • Thanks Jon, I agree about the patience part, but that has to be reached after or during the period where you work hard and write your content. People can’t just sit around and wait for their content to marinate, they have to keep writing.

      Reply
  17. This is a pretty in-depth posting. How long have you been at it? You’ve obviously got decent traffic and I think that’s at the core of making money online. Also, have you had success monetizing your site? I’ve always wondered about it and if it would be a turn off to loyal followers to suddenly see a site promoting things, know what I mean?

    Great post, man. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Eric, yes I’ve been at this for a very long time! As for this site monetizing, here you go. Now as for the part on selling products and feeling it may turn away your customers, I can actually relate to this as early on in my journey online, I too shared this thought.

      Here’s the answer: As long as you believe in whatever you’re selling and as long as the products or service you offer actually helps your niche audience, you can with full confidence go ahead and sell whatever it is you’re selling.

      Think about this…

      The context in which your site is built is such that people come to your page seeking an answer to a problem. Whatever problem they have is something they really need an answer to and right away usually.

      If you have that answer and/or better yet have been through that same problem they have and promote whatever it is that worked for you, you are at that point not selling them anything and they don’t look at you as a salesman, they look at you as a problem solver and that changes the whole relationship.

      Reply
  18. Hi Vitaliy

    This is one of the questions I have been quite focused on, as well. I know I shouldn’t be worrying too much about profit as it will come eventually but when you are doing your best in generating content and getting comments for your site it is just normal you wish to be rewarded 🙂

    Anyway, I am not very experienced in online activities but I keep learning (and a lot from your blog :)) – I think it is extremely important not to rest on laurels but keep developing as there are so many nuances to know and majority of these just come from our own experiences.

    My site has been online since May, 2016. I had quite a big break in between (as my baby arrived) so now I have 43 posts, 238 comments but my site isn’t yet bringing regular income. Just a few sales during this period. I will not stop though sometimes I start loosing faith 🙂

    Reply
    • With this much content and 46 posts, I think you are close to cracking it Arta. In fact, let me ask you this:

      Is your website up on Google Webmaster Tools? If so, did you check it’s reports on your site? You definitely should because it will tell the tale of how close your site is to success.

      There’s one particular case study where I explain this methodology and I recommend reading it and seeing how far your site has come as well. In fact, the case study follows a niche site I’ve been working on in and out for a bit, and to be honest, it has close to the amount of articles and comments you have as well.

      Personally, I’d love for you to try this and get back to me with your progress and what Webmaster Tools tells you in terms of how many impressions you got and how many clicks you got.

      Without this information, I cannot provide a much more thorough estimate on how much longer it’ll take for you to succeed, but like I said, with as much as you already have, I think you’re very close.

      Reply
      • Hi Vitaliy

        Thanks a lot for your answer and help.

        I didn’t check Google Webmaster tools before (though I had them up for my site) but I had a look now:

        Clicks: 3
        Total Impressions: 138
        CTR: 2.17%
        Avg Position: 39
        Queries: 26

        Doesn’t look good 🙁 perhaps I am targeting wrong keywords?

        Reply
        • All these stats tell me that your site is still new Arta.

          26 queries signals to me that some of your posts are ranked while other new ones are not. You said you had over 40 posts on your site. This is wonderful, but not every post has been ranked yet, once more and more begin to get ranked, you’re going to see those queries skyrocket.

          An average position of 39 shows me that your site is still very new, but on the upside is starting to grow in rank. For a new site, this is OK to see.

          Over a 100 impressions is good too. It means your page is ranking for probably a lot of LSI keywords.

          I know you’re upset that out of those stats, you only got 3 organic clicks, but trust me, it’s normal. Since most of your pages right now are under page 1, it is normal to see such little traffic.

          I don’t know which keywords you’re looking at, but as long as they are related to your niche, are popular and get comments, I have no doubt these stats will double and triple in the next month or two if you keep writing more content.

          Keep me posted on this and if you have a question such as which direction to go with the site, let me know more information about it’s topic so I can help you.

          Reply
          • Thanks for taking your time to have a look at my stats! I do appreciate it – to be honest I didn’t know how to analyze this data so your post did help me a lot.

            I will keep you posted and thanks again for your great help! Then probably I just need to be more patient and keep up the hard work 🙂

          • I think you’ve already done most of the hard work Arta, and at this point, it’s about letting good see it and reward you for it. Like I said with 40 posts, you’re extremely close to breaking that SEO barrier so many people do not reach. You should certainly keep writing new content, but you’ve already laid a good foundation to build from.

  19. I remember making my first sale a few months in on my gaming website; I think it was a $5 Nintendo Wii game that I had never heard of lol. I was focusing entirely on SEO techniques and my publishing frequency was perhaps once a week on average, so the consistency was probably a factor contributing towards why I got my first sale before the average 6 month mark.

    SEO takes time to make an impact, whereas methods such as PPC can be almost immediate. So like you mentioned, the time that you get your first sale definitely depends on the techniques you use.

    Have you noticed if any particular niches tend to generate results more quickly than others, or do you think it is entirely dependant on each individual?

    Reply
    • Both James. In general, just about any niche topic is going to have some level of competition at the very least. I would assume that yours, which involves gaming is probably quite competitive which is why it took you 6 months before any sort of sale happened.

      So on that front, it is a matter of competition and on the other, it is also a matter of the individual to work hard and write up great content to the point where the site starts to break through the rankings.

      The more frequently you write good content and publish it on your site, the faster the site will get noticed by Google, and that is entirely up to the individual and how well they work.

      Reply
  20. Thanks for the list of ways to get setup online. I myself am getting a niche site setup, its been a few days since its been google indexed so its very fresh. I quickly wrote 6 product reviews to have up before google indexed it and now i am writing 1 product review a day based on low hanging fruit keywords, once I get a few of those out I’ll put your information to the test and apply them to my site, thanks for all the great info!

    Reply
    • Hi Andrew, while I think you’re doing great work on the site, one thing that I need to ask if the amount of words you put on your product reviews you mentioned. There’s 6 you mentioned putting up quickly, but are they all of a substantial amount, like I recommend?

      I ask because when someone says they did something quick in the area of building a site or content, I always wonder if they put up too little. It’s important to make all your content long and informative, especially your product reviews! Just curious!

      Reply
  21. You have some awesome information and you have answered some questions that I have had. Thank you
    Your site is very clear and easy to read and the main thing I have taken from that is that I have to add way more content to my site and I know it will continue to grow and rank.

    Reply
  22. I learned so much from your post on setting up a online business and the time it will take to make your first money. I have a website that is one month old and one of the main items I learned from your post is that I need to create more posts because this is the way to get better ranked by Google.

    I liked your post so much that I have saved it for future reference and so i can read many of your other posts that go into much more detail. I will be reading all of them. This was much more than a post, it felt more like a great training.

    Thanks for the training,

    Marc

    Reply
    • No problem Marc! Your site is still very new and will need a lot more months before Google starts to view it more seriously, BUT during that time, make sure you’re still writing new content as often as possible.

      Reply
  23. Great information, thanks for the insights. As far as posting frequency goes, how often do you suggest posting per week? And does word count matter when it comes to ranking? I was just wondering if you post 3 times a week, should you vary the length (word count) of each post or does that really matter.

    Reply
    • Ideally any article you write in my opinion should go beyond 1,000 words, 2,000 would be awesome Elizabeth. I would not look to vary the size of each article you write, but aim to have a mix of good content and a good amount of that content per each article. I wrote about the length articles should have here, strongly recommend you read it to get a better idea of article length 🙂

      Reply
  24. Great stuff as usual Vitaliy! A real online business that can self sustain won’t be made in just a few months. It’ll take up to 1 year to do that just like you said.

    Which is why my advice to those aspiring to work from home to not quit your job right away. It’s tempting but online business can be very tough and the result won’t be shown right away.

    For anyone starting out that still wants to quit their job to focus online, just make sure you have 1 year of savings. Why 1 year? That’s how long it will take to make a sustainable income online. =)

    Reply
    • Hi Isaac, 1 year is not a bad prediction, BUT for someone who works very hard on their site and writes a lot, everyday, I think it can happen a lot sooner. In my case, I worked very hard on this blog and started to see GREAT results in less than half a year.

      Reply
  25. I wanted to clarify something. Is posting only once a week considered infrequent? Do I need to shoot for daily posts? I was completely unaware! I will start working harder then. I work a primary job and did not know that I needed to post daily to speed things up. Thank you for sharing this information.

    Reply
    • Once a week is the minimal, but consider the fact that Google likes high quality and fresh content and it answers the question of how frequently you need to write. The most frequent is once a day.

      Reply
  26. Thanks for all the great tips. Most bloggers just jump in and try to sell you something or redirect you to some sign up page. I really appreciate that you took the time to actually share honestly what it takes to be successful and the time frame that we will be looking at. Please keep more honest articles like this flowing.

    Reply
    • Yeah I wouldn’t even classify those people as “bloggers”. They likely won’t make it anywhere either, at least in SEO with that low quality of work they produce, so you will never have to worry about those people being your competition.

      Reply
  27. Hi there Vitaliy!

    As a semi-experienced one-stripe newbie I really enjoy reading these highly informative posts of yours and keep a regular eye out for updates/new posts.

    Point break in my limited experience tends to happen around the 3-month mark using SEO only. What I have noticed is that the SEO only method is one where you really need to fight and create consistently fresh content for the first two years before any real traction happens with search engines and a liveable full-time income occurs.

    I post religiously 15x monthly – a post every other day. Fairly achievable by most people.

    I have noticed google gives better rankings and gain more authority not only in relation to time (domain age) but with page/article age also. Site size I have noticed is a factor.

    You get extra Juice(trust) at 3 months, 6 months and one year. (and perhaps every subsequent year)

    Content wise assuming regular frequent posting. 60 posts, 100 posts and 200 posts (perhaps every 100 posts thereafter)

    This is what I have noted from my analytical mind and the subsequent traffic spikes.

    Reply
    • When it comes to the authority period, the boost you mentioned at month 3 and 6, that is fairly accurate. But the time it takes for the site to start generating a “livable income” varies on the niche topic, the affiliate commissions you make per sale and the type of traffic you get, so basically that aspect of the business is subjective Derek.

      The key is not to focus on the numbers but to keep doing what you’re doing which is blogging every other day. What would definitely add an additional boost to your rankings is comments. If you can share your site on social networks, get people to comment on the page/s and leave a considerable amount of content of their own, you will see an even faster blast off into the next stage of authority in Google’s eyes.

      Reply
  28. Very informative post Vitaliy.

    I’ve had a website for almost 8 months now, but I’ve never really seen very much in terms of traffic or rankings. I’ve always tried to write a ton about my niche, and the keywords I’ve used always seemed to make sense. I’ve tried going for the low hanging fruit strategy, but I think I need to rethink my approach. You’ve given me a lot of ideas that I’ll need to consider when working on my site!

    What are your thoughts on keywords that sound like “clickbait”? Some tell me they’re effective, but I’ve felt a little bit suspicious about the idea.

    Reply
    • Keywords themselves rarely sound like clickbait, it’s the title that makes it such Ken and personally, I have talked about this before. My overall position is that as long as you write something that actually backs up the title and doesn’t deceive, it’s fine.

      Reply
  29. I had a question about my site. My niche isn’t one based on doing reviews but there is a review aspect. Although I follow SEO principles and get the juiciest keywords I can find, the majority of my articles aren’t point blank ‘product reviews’.
    Would I have a harder time ranking and converting compared to a site that strictly does reviews?

    Reply
    • No, in fact product reviews typically are the terms which get the lowest competition (at first). Also since they constantly come out in droves in various niches, as soon as they are mentioned on the market, that’s your chance to infiltrate the keyword for it and rank on Google for that product once it comes out.

      I make a lot of conversions on multiple sites from doing product reviews Ryan and while your site should not just focus on them, making them a part of your content base will only help to drive more sales and traffic to your page and affiliate offers.

      Reply
  30. This is a great article. I’ve started a blog about a month and a half ago. I’ve written 4-5 articles so far, which equates to about 1 article per week. I’ve been targeting keywords that have less than 100 QSR. I’m a little bit discouraged because despite writing a few posts that have targeted keywords that have less than 50 QSR, none of my posts are getting ranked in Google. Why is that? My website has been indexed in Google for at least 3 weeks now, yet I do not show up in any of the Google rankings for any of the targeted keywords. There are times when I am tempted to just give up, but if what your article says is true, then I should probably keep posting articles with good content, and post them more frequently than I’ve been doing. Again, thanks for the post!

    Reply
    • Well Marc, I hate to be the one to give you tough love, but I have to…You just said your site is a month and a half old and you have 5 articles. In terms of authority and ranking high, these are not really the type of numbers Google would look at seriously to rank you high.

      Consider that while the QSR is low for the terms you’re writing up on, odds are there’s much more content filled sites outranking you for those same terms and until you bypass their quality with enough of your own, you won’t be able to compete with them.

      And to be honest,1 month and 5 articles is really nothing in terms of putting in the work necessary to rank high, you need to write dozens more and I know this isn’t the type of message you want to hear, but it’s fact.

      If you can keep writing and chasing those keywords, you will be able to see those rankings move up and up without a doubt. I will say that there is success down this road if you keep going. Don’t quit!

      Reply
  31. I don’t think I would take on the route of PPC just yet since I have much experimenting to do still. However, in your opinion which is more effective, PPC or Email Marketing?

    And I do agree with you in terms of how much we should spend time in posting stuff on our website for better rankings.

    Sometimes I get writer’s block at times or I have myself surrounded with too many ideas in my brain on what topic to write up next and when.

    Thanks in advance for doing your best to answer my questions. 🙂

    Wishing you all the best with your online success above and beyond the horizon,

    ~Angel

    Reply
    • Hi Angel, thank you. Regarding your question, I think I may have misunderstood your question because I have 2 assumptions about it. The first is that Email marketing and PPC are completely different things and there’s really no context in which you can “compare them”.

      PPC is just a form of traffic generation. Email marketing is a form of collecting traffic and turning it into your own following.

      Now if it were SEO, then we could compare it to PPC because like it, SEO is also a form of traffic generation. Personally I like and use both. However, my second assumption is that you’re wondering which one is more effective for making money. Honestly, I’d say both also have there positives. PPC is more immediate for traffic and email marketing can be more long term. Ideally, I’d use all the options to fuel my business.

      Reply
  32. Wow what a thorough post Vitaliy and I realise it will take time for my site however just following the steps and also really understanding researching keywords etc is all going to help.

    I think too many people want a quick fix. Just doesn’t happen. I noticed a post of mine only a few days old with half a dozen comments is already at Page 2 of google. How exciting was that for me to see! But it was because I just follow the steps laid out in the Wealthy Affiliate program you are suggesting to use here (and of course the tips you share as well!)

    Thanks for this post.

    Sharon

    Reply
    • That’s awesome Sharon! The fact that it first appeared on page 2 shows that the authority of your blog is growing it’s authority. Do expect this ranking to move up a lot and sometimes down as well, but overall, this is a good sign in my experience!

      Reply
  33. You answer honestly and don’t try to fool your readers with illusions of grandeur and get rich quick dreams. Internet marketing is a form of business and should be treated as such. Many people believe that they could make money in a matter of days. It can happen but it will be risky, not sustainable and something only someone experienced must do.

    Reply
  34. Hi Vitaliy,

    Thanks for the awesome tips! I am now HONESTLY going to read all the internal links you have provided. I tried posting every day for 3 weeks straight and saw a few cents coming from Amazon every day. The moment I took a week break, I was back to days with no sales.

    My site is relatively new – around 14 months old. And I have to admit that I haven’t been diligently working to get more content published.

    I have a question, though. I know about lower the QSR to aim for, but I have been reading the different point of views about the number of searches per month for the keyword. Most would advise targeting keywords with at least 50 searches per month, while others would say that it is okay to use the highest you can find as long as the QSR is the lowest you can find.

    What’s your take on this?

    Thanks.

    Pitin

    Reply
    • Hi Pitin, ideally the keyword with the most traffic and least QSR is generally the best. I don’t go out of my way to purposely find keywords with small searches, I always aim to find the highest ones, but it’s OK if you find ones with 50 or so searches.

      Keep in mind that LSI will play a role, meaning if your post for your keyword which gets say 50 searches monthly ranks on the first page, it’ll get more LSI rankings for it too and accumulate more than 50 visitors from it every month. That’s another fact I’ve personally seen.

      Now concerning your site you say you worked on for weeks, got sales, but then they stopped when you stopped working, it can be entirely circumstantial. Maybe your sales stopped around a holiday time and many niche sites, including my own tend to see dips during the holidays.

      I’d also have to know your niche, how old your site is and how many posts you have. That info would definitely help me uncover why your site was performing or under performing

      Reply

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