There’s quite the divide among ways to make money online.

Some are great for short-term gains, and others are great for long-term profits. If you don’t recognize which is which, then you may find yourself disappointed.

A short-term gain program will pay you some amount of money for getting someone, perhaps you or perhaps a referral, to perform an action. That action may be signing up for a newsletter, or buying an item, or whatever. You get that money once, and that’s it.

The benefit from short-term gain programs is that it’s usually easy to get someone to do something once. There’s even a saying that’s popular in the United States, “I’ll try anything once!” The disadvantage, of course, is that to continue earning you need to keep getting new people to perform the action.

A long-term program will pay you some amount of money for as long as another person continues to perform an action. This action is usually paying a membership fee, of which you get a portion for referring them. Or it may, as in the case of Yuwie, be participating in the site for free.

The benefit from long-term programs is that you continue to earn from your past efforts. The disadvantage is that it’s harder to keep someone performing an action over and over again than it is to get them to do it once. And the short-term benefit from these programs is often so small as to be trivial.

If you go into a short-term gain program expecting long-term profits, you’ll be disappointed. And if you go into a long-term program expecting your immediate benefit to be large, you’ll be disappointed.

I’ve seen this happen with a number of long-term programs, such as Yuwie or Traffic Wave. People join expecting short-term gains, and never stay around long enough to experience the long-term profits.

There’s a place in everyone’s online marketing efforts for both short-term and long-term programs. Short-term gains can be converted into the membership fees for long-term programs until they start to show a profit, and also into paid advertising when you’re ready to get into that arena.

Take a look at what you’re marketing online, and the mix of short-term and long-term programs. If you don’t have at least one long-term program in there, you might want to consider shopping around for one.

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