Using Twitter for fun is easy, but using it to make money demands a degree of specialist knowledge. It also requires something else: something to sell! I was once asked by a friend how I make money from Twitter and I explained some of my main techniques. So she then went on to ask how she could make money.

So I asked her or some details on what she was selling or what service she was offering, because I was a bit surprised that she actually had a product to offer online. "What do you mean?", she asked. It transpired that she believed that it was possible to make money online using Twitter without any product or any service.

I don't think that she is alone. Many people seem to have this belief that the internet is a goldmine of cash that just has to be found and then dug up. It isn't - it is a marketing tool, and apart from a very few tricks and secrets whereby money can be made without selling anything or offering anything to the public, you must have some form of service or product to offer. I didn't make £160 profit from the Grand National by luck - but that's another story for another time.

Sure, I know of ways to make money online without a product, but you won't find anybody selling that information for a few dollars. So let's get real here and understand that using Twitter for fun is great, but to use Twitter to make money means that you must have something to sell - and something to sell that others want to buy. So let's assume that you have that - what next?

Twitter is not a sales platform in itself - it is more a marketing platform, whereby you can market products or services using Twitter, but cannot actually sell anything from it. Let's put that another way: you can offer your sales page so that anybody clicking on the URL on your Tweet (that is automatically shortened by Twitter incidentally) will be sent directly to it, and after that there is no difference to you whether your visitor came from Twitter, another website or the moon - they are on your sales page!

You could also promote a squeeze page using tweets, where visitors are persuaded to provide their first name and email address on a form in return for a gift, such as a free eBook, report or course of instruction. I generally use the course, usually of 10 - 14 parts, in association with a free gift that gives immediate gratification. I can them email my list at least 10 - 14 times with each part of the course.

If you are trying to sell a product or service online, it has been established that it takes roughly 7 - 8 exposures to a product before somebody will make up their mind to purchase it. Hence the extremely useful idea of a course, so that you can expose your prospect to your product with each emailing. That is part of the psychology behind billboards visible to drivers on the same busy route and of TV advertising.

You can do the same using Twitter through regular tweets. Each tweet can give your follower a view of your product. In fact, there is also science involved in choosing the right followers - those that will be amenable to looking at and even purchasing your products or services. There are techniques you can use to attract the right type of followers, and also to make the best use of them.

There are many techniques that can be used with any social networking site, and using Twitter to make money, or even for fun, is as much a science as is any other aspect of internet marketing. However, that is for another day because we cannot give our Twitter secrets away all at once, can we!

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