We’ve written before about programs that claim to pay you for reading emails. They all make a variation of this claim: “Make $1,000 per month or more in your underwear just by opening emails!” They promise you sign-up bonuses and other gimmicks to prove they’re different from the last get-paid-to-click program you tried. To convince you that this time, you really will get $5 for every email message you click.

We’ve never been impressed by them, and I’ve lost patience with them, truth be told. So if you have an urge to write to us and say, “Hey, have you checked out get-paid-to-read-emails.com? They say they’re different than EZ-email-cash.com,” I suggest that you step away from the keyboard and go for a brisk walk. I don’t know how much longer I can suppress my snarky replies to such requests.

If I did reply, not that I ever would, you understand, but IF I did and Steve didn’t stop me in time, the reply might go something like this: If you have time to sit there clicking junk mail, despite all our warnings, in the hope of getting paid a couple of pennies per click IF you meet the max required for payout and IF the company doesn’t cancel your account just before you do, which in our experience is about as likely as you winning the lottery or as me getting a date with Meghan Fox, then you have time to get a real job, and may I suggest one in which your safety doesn’t depend on brain power.

So you see, the less time we spend thinking or talking about getting paid to read emails, the better it is for everyone.

And yet, the lure remains. With so many billions of emails buzzing through cyberspace, surely there’s a way to make money with email?

You’re right. There is a way to make a significant income from email. It goes by various names, but here’s the most direct one: email marketing. What follows is a crash course meant to help you decide if email marketing might be for you

What is Email marketing?

Simply put, it’s a way to sell stuff to people using email. You use email to tell people about a product or service, they buy it, you make money.

Sounds Like Spam

Spam is one form of email marketing. An extremely annoying and relatively ineffective form. Why is it ineffective? Because it pisses us all off! My Gmail account has 2,385 spam messages in it right now, which is about a week’s worth. My work email software filters out dozens of spam messages per day.

But when you do it right, email marketing is not spam because you will only send messages to people that want to hear from you about your offer(s). That’s a HUGE difference and it makes good email marketing one of the most effective ways to create consistent income.

And here’s why I think this topic is relevant for you: you can learn to do email marketing well. You don’t have to become a spammer. But you can create a solid income.

How Does Email Marketing Work?

I’ll tell you more about the process in a future post, but here’s the ideal roadmap:

  1. You build credibility and authority in a niche.
  2. You build an email list of people interested in your niche subject.
  3. You find or create products/services of value to those on your list.
  4. You tell them about the products/services.

The key is in steps 1 and 2. You won’t be a spammer because you will have street cred about the subject. Even more important, in step 2, you’ll get permission to email people about the subject. Then when you do, because you have street cred and you’re not sending spam, people buy the product or service you’re promoting and you get paid.

How do you get started? (In which we want to hear from you)

With the first step, of course. What is a subject on which you are or could become an authority? Someone, somewhere, cares about what you care about and wants to know what you know or have what you have. What is it? Answer that question and you’ve found a niche market. True, not all niche markets are equally profitable, but all successful email marketers have to start there.

So speak up, people. We know that I’ve Tried That readers are full of good ideas. In the comments section, please tell us about what you know or do that might lead to a niche market and we’ll discuss. Don’t be shy! Share your knowledge. Rising water floats all boats. If you’re reading this in a feed reader or in email, click here to visit the thread and post your comments.

There's only ONE program I really recommend. It helped me turn my 'hobby' into a $10,000+ per month money making machine. Click here for the exact formula I followed.

Last Updated: September 8, 2009

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