When I got back from my honeymoon this week (I was offline 99% of the time) I had an order from my online store, paisleybabies.com. Had I known I would've hired someone to mind the store – basically to email in the order. Then today I got another order. Which means it's being found (must have search engine rankings).
What is surprising about this is that I haven't done anything to promote it besides onsite optimization (incorporating keyword phrases on each page). I put up the site almost a year ago and the only order I got until now was from a friend. I set it up so I could learn the ecommerce solution I was teaching others.
Most of the people I taught never got an order on their online store in the time I worked with them. However, if they applied what I taught and also built links, they probably have started making money by now. The problem is they were led to believe it would happen within 90 days.
My blog took a few years before I made money – not that making money was the purpose. It still isn't, but I was learning affiliate marketing and wanted to test out what I was learning. It worked. I still prefer affiliate marketing because work I did over a year ago is still selling and I don't have to do anything else. No customer service, answering emails, returns, etc. I just refer the orders to someone else and make a commission on every sale.
I also had a check from Google when I got home – another surprise. I always think they're junk mail. The first check (you must make at least $100 before you get paid) took over a year to arrive, this one took months. I don't use much Adsense on my sites, but a little.
It took several months to get 1,000 followers on Twitter but then only a few months later, I'm at over 1,800.
I'm sure I could've make money quicker had showing me or if I outsourced more of the work. I learned by practicing. After some momentum and time (search engine rankings aren't instant) it is now almost effortless. I have a little more flexibility in my life now so I can do more to promote my sites, including a redesign of Newspapergrl.