Ah…Internet Marketing in 2005

Internet Marketing has changed so much in the last 7 years. It’s pretty incredible. This weekend I was at a used bookstore and they were selling an old book talking about the staggering rise of Google and all their success. But the thing was written back in 2005!

If you’ve ever been a fan of time travel, like I have, you know it can really stimulate the imagination. One thing you always wonder is… what if I knew back then what I know now?Would you invest in Microsoft back in 1982? Would you bet on the Red Sox winning the World Series in 2004?

I’d actually jump right into Internet Marketing in 2005. Seven years ago making money online was an absolute breeze compared with today. That’s not to say that you cannot make money online today. You can. But it takes as much planning and work as any other business.

7 years ago, however, it really was almost as easy as clicking a button to make money online through the internet. Here’s why.

Old School Internet Marketing – Affiliate Style

On paper, understanding how a salesman makes money is very easy. A sales professional… gets people to buy things. And when they do, they get paid. Either a flat salary, or something known as commission. A commission is usually a percentage of the sale.

But being a salesman isn’t easy work at all. If anything it’s more like being an actor. And very high pressure. In many sales jobs, if you don’t get people to buy, you don’t get paid.

When people started buying things through the Internet back in the early 2000s, all of this changed. Suddenly you could just go on your home computer to buy things without ever having to deal with a salesman or even leaving your house.

But there were salesman online, even though people didn’t realize it. They were called affiliates.

Affiliates are just salesmen for certain products. But instead of pitching a product or knocking on doors, all you have to do is have a website or ad with a special link in it.

Let’s say you want to sell Digital Cameras. You sign up as an affiliate of Amazon.com for free, and get a special link. You put that link up on your website. If someone visiting your website clicks the link then buys a product, you get a commission.

Holy cow! This required no face to face interaction at all. It could be done just by setting up a webpage.

But it wasn’t just Amazon that allowed affiliates or referrers. Dell Computers, Sony, and a ton of other big companies still offer lucrative affiliate programs. Affiliates make anywhere from 4% to 15% of any sale they refer.

Nowadays, it’s very time intensive to get traffic to your affiliate links. You need to create a quality website and earn Google’s trust before you get much traffic.

But back in 2005, Google wasn’t nearly as evolved as it is now. Back then, you could do a couple of simple things that are unthinkable now.

1. You could open an AdWords account in Google and pay $.05 a click to run your ad on Google searches with your affiliate link. that meant that literally, you could just pay a few bucks to get hundreds of visitors to click on your links and if someone bought, you made money.

2. You could make a website with the product name like “digitalcameras.com” and write an article with the word “digital camera” all over the place and get tons of free traffic through Google.

People did these kinds of things and made tons of money.

Nowadays, you can’t run affiliate links on AdWords. And getting traffic to websites on competitive electronic terms like “digital cameras” is very complicated.

But it sure wasn’t back in 2005. It was a virtal free for all back then.

All in all this is a good thing, because back then searching on the internet still sucked. With all these affiliate marketers trying to get you to click on things, it wasn’t as easy to find relevant information. Now Google Bing and Yahoo have made it harder for affiliate marketing, but easier to find quality info.

And easier isn’t necessarily better. You can still make money online you just need to do a little more work than throwing up a link or a one page website.

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