Internet Marketing Doesn't Have to Be a Boy's Club

10 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

When it comes to publishing websites or running blogs, women seem to be just as active as men. Maybe we're even more active, since women are born communicators. With the innovations now available to us as online publishers, we have immense freedom to get our ideas out on the Web in a variety of forms. And more and more women of all ages are taking advantage of these fabulous tools. Never before in our history have so many women had the ability to get their ideas out to a huge audience - often without paying a dime, if they're using a free blogging service.

But in the geeky, technical, and too often insular world of Internet marketing, women are a bit more rare.

I think this is because many women don't relate to the words "Internet marketing." The phrase sounds abstract or overly technical, not part of their immediate world. Let's face it. It doesn't sound very fun!

But ask the average woman if she's ever emptied her garage of junk and sold some of it on eBay or through a classifieds advertising site like Craigslist, and she'll probably say yes. Lava lamps, anyone?

And that's Internet marketing.

Ask most women if they publish a blog and have some Adsense or other contextual ads running on it, bringing them in a few bucks a month, and many will say yes.

That's Internet marketing.

Ask if they've ever recommended a book when emailing a friend, and most women will say yes. But many of them might not realize that if that product is being sold through a popular online company like Amazon, they could sign up and become what's called an "affiliate" for Amazon and generate a simple html link to their favorite book. Then, the next time they email a friend with a book recommendation, they can paste that same affiliate link in their email. And if their friend purchases through that link, they'll make a few cents from it. If the friend forwards the email to other friends and more people purchase through it, they'll earn a few more cents.

Affiliate marketing is another form of Internet marketing.

Internet marketing is basically anything you do online that generates income. And the methods and types of income generation that are available now are rapidly expanding into a vast universe of opportunities, making it easier than ever for women to start earning real money online.

Now, the examples I use above aren't generally big profit makers. Unless you work with a wholesaler and carry inventory you're probably not going to be selling stuff consistently on eBay. It might just be something you do once in a while when you want to get rid of some odds and ends.

And due to changes Google has made to its Adsense program - as well as problems with the economy and the fact that fewer advertisers are making use of this program - using Adsense on your blog might just earn you enough money to splurge on a venti mocha at Starbucks. Unless you study Adsense carefully and learn how to build sites in certain expensive niches where advertisers are still paying lots of money, you might not see much profit from running Adsense ads on your site. So relying upon Adsense for your online income isn't necessarily a stable thing.

But affiliate marketing - now, there's a super profitable thing to learn. Programs like Amazon only pay their affiliates 4% to 6% commissions on sales, which means you'll hardly earn anything with them if you're just recommending books or DVD's to friends. However, you can buy just about anything on Amazon these days. If you start putting up links to expensive items like digital cameras or camcorders on your site, suddenly you're looking at commissions in the range of $20 per sale.

Not bad.

And the world of affiliate marketing is huge. So many companies now have a strong online presence and are eager to sign up affiliates who run their own websites or blogs that you can find a program selling just about anything. Whatever the theme is for your site or blog, you can definitely find a lucrative affiliate program to promote on your site. Whether you just run a few ads in the sidebar of your site or decide to devote an entire site to reviewing various affiliate products, there's huge money being made every day in the world of affiliate marketing.

A lot of men I speak to - especially the technically savvy young men - already know about the profit potentials in affiliate marketing. Many guys I know are earning their college tuition by creating "blog farms" promoting various products and making major money online.

But among most women I talk to, the concept of making REAL money online still seems pretty foreign.

Internet marketing encompasses many different ways of earning income, many of which women are extremely suited for. For instance, you can make money online from just writing articles. You can write reviews of products and submit them to articles directories with a link back to your site or blog and direct people to pages on your site where you have links for affiliate products. Then each time somebody purchases something through your link you earn nice affiliate commissions.

Or you can hire yourself out as an article writer writing for the Web at various freelance job boards or webmaster forums and earn money for churning out simple, easy pieces running 250 to 500 words. And these don't have to be book reports or award winning pieces of journalism, either. They can be simple summaries of information found freely on the Web. A fast writer can create these in fifteen to thirty minutes. Sell a bunch of these per week working part-time and suddenly you might have extra money to put toward that ever-inflating mortgage payment or those endless college bills for your child.

These are just a few of things women can be doing to earn real money online, and I encourage everyone to start looking at the term "Internet marketing" in a new light. Although the Internet marketing industry is populated by some charlatans and sleazy "gurus" promoting overly expensive products, there are also a lot of hard-working, quiet website publishers making a cool living just from various websites or blogs that they own. And these "good guys" and gals are Internet marketers, too.

I like to think of Internet marketing in terms of profit channels. If you can create one profit channel from your online marketing efforts that generates $250 per month, that's great. Once you reach that point you will have picked up some skills. Now you're ready to build another profit channel. Profit channels can be individual websites where you just sell one product that you've created, or it can be several aspects of a single website that earn you money. You might have some reviews on your site promoting various products as an affiliate. You might have a free newsletter that also contains product recommendations woven into high quality articles. And you might also sell advertising or use Adsense ads on your site. Each one of these things is a profit channel.

Build up to ten profit channels earning you $250 per month and suddenly you're bringing in $2500 per month. Double it to twenty profit channels and you might be able to comfortably quit your job since you'd be earning $5000 per month.

And the neat thing about Internet marketing is that it is infinitely scaleable - there's truly no limit to the amount you can be earning online. Of course, if you're putting in a lot of labor yourself, you will have to manage your time and efforts carefully. Or you can begin to outsource pretty cheaply if you search various webmaster and Internet marketing forums.

I want to encourage all women to look beyond simple publishing efforts like blogging (which are wonderful in their own way!) and start considering everything they are doing online from a marketing or earnings perspective.

If you have a website or blog, there are lots of things you can be doing today to create profit channels. Experiment, be bold, and let's turn the world of Internet marketing from a boy's club to a place where both boys and girls can co-exist happily - and profitably.


The Internet Marketing Badger, otherwise known as Jennifer Shepherd,
provides user-friendly tips on making money online at

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