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Realistic Expectations - Your Guide to Understanding How We Make Money and Where to Begin

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by Carepolice, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Carepolice

    Carepolice Power Member

    Mar 25, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Black Hat World is both a fantastic resource and a terrible trap for the uninformed.

    New threads that promise easy money in short time frames appear daily. Consequently, new threads with fresh users asking how they can achieve similar results appear daily as well.

    "I really need $10 today, how can I get there?"
    "Losing my home if I can't make rent this week, where do I begin?"
    "Plz help me"

    It's painfully obvious that the majority of new users simply don't understand what it is that we do, or how it really works. So, let's jump right into the meat and bones of this post with:

    Part 1: Realistic Expectations

    If you're just starting out, there's a 99.99% chance that you will not receive any money for at least a few weeks. Seriously, you aren't going to find a magical payday that results in money deposited into your Paypal account tomorrow.
    Anyone that tries to sell you something with that promise is ripping you off.

    The only legitimate way to earn money in such a short period of time is to sell your own product or service. If you're new, you probably don't have one and that's OK! There are lots of great ways to get started and I'll cover those in part 4 below.

    This may sound harsh, because most people enjoy the idea of easy money, but having realistic expectations is the only way you're going to protect yourself from a whole lot of unnecessary purchases and headaches.

    Part 2: Why Can't I Earn Money Today?

    The vast majority of users on this forum that earn money are promoting products and services that don't belong to them. This is the very nature of internet marketing and it's undoubtedly the most common way to earn money online.

    Carepolice, if I promote offers and get sales won't I get paid?

    Yes, you will, but almost certainly not anytime soon.

    This is because the networks responsible for paying you need to protect themselves from poor quality/fraudulent traffic.

    It's the #1 reason you'll find that almost any network makes you wait at least a few weeks before receiving payment for sales that you've earned.

    Even if you implement some awesome strategy to earn commissions today, you will not get paid tomorrow.

    If you think you're clever with your purchase and refund scheme, or fake clicks, or [insert other stupid idea here] scheme then you're only setting yourself up for failure.

    Part 3: What Are These Networks and Offers You Speak Of?

    Affiliate networks are programs that you may join to find offers for you to promote. These will either be networks with a very large range of offers from many different advertisers, or networks owned by a business with their own product or service.

    Some networks require lots of experience for you to gain acceptance, others require none at all.

    Be very careful which network you choose because there are predatory networks that will allow you to promote products and then refuse to pay you at a later date for bogus reasons. Perform a quick search on this website for networks that you're considering to find out whether or not there are posts complaining about this.

    These are the most common offer/network types:

    CPA - Cost Per Action:
    These offers pay when you successfully drive traffic to their websites that perform their desired action. This can be anything form joining a mailing list to purchasing a product. Pay attention to the conversion requirements before you begin promoting an offer because often times that "join a mailing list" actually requires a few additional steps that aren't likely to occur, such as completing a survey.

    PPC/CPC - Pay Per Click/Cost Per Click:
    This is exactly what it sounds like. These offers pay you when a visitor clicks your link that directs to their website. Don't both even think about clicking your own ads to generate revenue, it won't work out well for you.

    PPD: Pay Per Download: Another fairly self-explanatory title, this pays when your clicks successfully download an item and may require additional steps, such as installation.

    Part 4: Ok, Where Should I Start?

    This will depend entirely on what you're comfortable with doing.

    The basic strategy is to find an offer that you're interested in promoting, and to promote it via methods that the advertiser deems acceptable. You'll find those details on just about any offer details page.

    Now that you understand
    what's actually happening, the "method" threads will start to make a lot more sense to you.

    BE VERY CAREFUL when choosing a method to execute!

    Remember how networks force you to wait before receiving payment to protect themselves? Yeah, if you're following Johnny Idiot's guide to overnight riches by spamming [Social Network] then there's a good chance of your "earned" commissions evaporating before payday.

    The truth is that executing black hat methods of promoting products for major advertisers can often blow up in your face if you don't tread very carefully. This isn't something you want to start out with because it typically leads to frustration and cries for help.

    If you want to offer your own service for faster payment:

    A common service offered by new members is article writing. If you enjoy writing and you're able to write SEO tailored articles then there's work for you, but the market is competitive. Whatever your idea or service is, offer free samples to members in exchange for reviews so that you may build credibility and enjoy more sales later.


    Seriously, there's a Marketplace on this website for a reason. Moderators need to review your product/service before you're allowed to charge money for it here. Read the rules before you end up in trouble.

    The absolute best way to start is to...

    Part 5: Be Creative!

    Take the time to read method and journey threads so that you can understand what others are doing to successfully promote offers, but don't copy them verbatim.

    "Scale up"

    You'll often find these inside replies to popular method threads. To twist a method is to change it in a way that makes it unique enough to work without becoming saturated as a result of the sheep that follow the original plan verbatim.


    This is another term that you'll come across frequently. When popular methods are posted, copycats get to work. The end result is a massive army of desperate users who try to replicate the success outlined in that original post.

    How do you think that works out for most of them?

    If you answered "not good" or similar, then you're learning. Congratulations.

    Absorb as much knowledge as you can from this website so that you may be creative and succeed.

    But beware...

    Part 6: Learn To Spot The Bullshit!

    You know that saying "if it sounds too good to be true, it is"? Keep that in mind when you're reading through threads on this website.

    Before diving into anything you should ask yourself: "What does this poster have to gain from sharing this information with us?"

    Some users genuinely want to help, and so they share valuable information. This earns respect and builds trust with that poster which can be a motivator as well.

    In some cases the poster will want you to try their product or service because it's relevant to the method shared. That's great, as long as you have the option of performing work manually or using other products/services as a substitute for their own. Sharing valuable information in the hopes that you'll find their products attractive is OK and it's quite common.

    If their product or service is a requirement for the method then you should stay away!

    If the method sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Don't fall for any of the traps that promise grand earnings with little to no effort beyond the purchase of their wares.

    Look for affiliate links.

    If the method includes affiliate links to products or services that are required to execute the method, it's probably a waste of your time. The original poster will receive credit for your signup and you'll likely end up with nothing, or less than nothing.


    I sincerely hope that you've found this resource helpful. If you've been linked to this post because you submitted a thread similar to those outlined in the beginning, that's alright. You started off on the wrong foot but if you're willing to learn then you can recover and move on to become a valuable member of this awesome community.

    Most of us work very hard, this isn't an easy gig by any means. Even when I've achieved my income goals tenfold, I'll still probably work 12+ hour days including weekends because I'm passionate about what I do. Early retirement is a fantastic goal, but don't expect to "work" one hour per day and rake in the big bucks.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    Work smart, apply yourself, and have a good time. This forum is a goldmine when you enter with realistic expectations.

    • Thanks Thanks x 12
  2. dougwhitaker13

    dougwhitaker13 Newbie

    Jun 10, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Thank you! That was a very good read and very informative. I haven't been on here long but I have definitely seen some of the pitfalls that you speak of. Good advice for anyone!
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  3. Heraclitus

    Heraclitus Junior Member

    Jan 29, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Great guide for people that just got started!
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. BeoWulf72

    BeoWulf72 Newbie

    Jun 27, 2014
    Likes Received:
    IT and IM
    Sad but true! I started with adsense a few years ago and earned pennies in the first months, but when my sites went to PR 4 i added the link seller network teliad (german content only) and earned $ 90 per link per month (up to 10 backlinks per hp). If you are working 1 or 2 hours every day you can see your success growing. Very good post OP.

  5. Carepolice

    Carepolice Power Member

    Mar 25, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Glad to see you've identified them, and you're very welcome!

    I hope so, at the very least it's a good place to link someone who creates an ignorant post like the ones we've been seeing so frequently.
  6. Gorroblanco

    Gorroblanco Newbie

    Feb 18, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Great post. I guess getting started is always the hard part. I started out and I didn't receive any money for months (not weeks and tbh I wasn't really going for that either).

    Agreed, however, some networks don't really go for PR anymore. Do you still use teliad, they had some pretty big "content marketing" changes over the past weeks...