Let’s be honest, making money online is difficult. As with any startup, there are certain operating expenditures (whether paid or free – with free the tradeoff being a lot of time) and effort that must be incurred.
Making money online is certainly doable however (according to recent research, this year one in four Americans made money online; source: http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/making-money-from-online-economy-uber-lyft-pew-research-center/3607478.html.)
The amount you earn may not be what the fly-by-night marketers are showing in the supposed screenshots of their affiliate accounts. That is not to say that some are not, it is to say it takes a lot of time and work to achieve success in business, and the online business world is no different.
How You Can Make Money Online
Even though it may not be as quick and easy as you have been led to believe by the online scam artists, there are people that make extra money online, and in some cases, full time success. I will caution, that the notion of being able to quit your job takes a lot of time and effort, and will not happen overnight. That is crucial to remember to prevent getting dejected and quitting the process altogether. It will also keep you grounded in reality, and better make the decision as to if this is a path for you.
If you search Google, Bing, or any other search engine, you will find many different methods, schemes, potions, et al to make money online. As the old adage says, if it seems to good to be true, it usually is – so do not waste your time or money on promises that you know will not be delivered.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
When you start any business, whether it’s a brick and mortar business, and online marketplace, a blog, or any other type of business, you must have the drive and perseverance to succeed. You must understand and remember that success, including monetary success, will not be achieved overnight. Success can, and usually does, take a year or years to achieve. You must create the base first, and get established and trusted in your niche, whether it is a service, an e-product, or a physical product.
The first step in it all is to start. Start planning, dreaming, deciding what it is that you want to do to make money online. With focus being on what you WANT to do. If you are thinking of starting a business (of any kind) then you are probably not enjoying the JOB that you have now. Why on Earth would you then look to start something that you would not 100% fully enjoy? That’s the beauty of Entrepreneurship. You get to do what you like, and get paid for it.
The more that you focus on monetizing that that you love, the easier it is to push forward and stay positive. Think of it as starting as a hobby and then evolving it into a business.
If you are a writer, or love writing, start a blog. If you are a musician, or love music, start a blog or site about music. If you are a musician, then you can take it a step further and create a paid service on teaching people music. If you are an athlete or an exercise junkie, create a blog or site on athletic training. Do what you love to do and it will show, and bring you a loyal following. If you can think of it – then you are not alone.
Remember though that even though you are doing what you love, success does not come overnight. Give great content in whatever niche or idea you pursue and take the time to give visitors the quality content that will keep them coming back. The more quality content, or products, that you give, the more they will come back to your blog or site and ultimately the more potential to make money you have.
Money Making Ideas
In recent years, when someone thinks of making money online, they think of blogging and bloggers. It is true, a blog is a good way to get a following and create a list. It’s important to remember with a blog, think of it as another marketing tool. You do still need to find an underlying source, or sources, for getting paid. There are a few different ways to do this, and I will detail some below, as you can also do them without a blog. A blog is a good way though to get exposure, especially if you are looking for writing gigs, or guest blog posting gigs. But, if you are solely looking to make money from your blogging efforts, then you will want to combine it with at least one of the ideas below. The benefit of blogging is that you can be creative as you can be with it, in both writing, promoting and selling. One of the biggest benefits to blogging is that not only anyone can do it (check out my course for setting up a blog), but it can benefit any business model, whether online or offline. It can be used to engage your customers, or potential customers, and can convince them to pay for your service or product. People want and need to trust who they are buying from, and a blog allows you to build that trust as you can give a way a lot of good information in the form of blog posts, but also in free e-books, or other items. Don’t always make it about selling, make it about helping.
Be An Affiliate
Affiliates are people that, essentially, work for a commission from an individual or a company. Some of the biggest names in business use affiliates. Companies such as Amazon. I personally use Clickbank and JVZoo. Both offer money-back guarantees for products purchased, however, I prefer JVZoo for creating products as there is no up-front cost for creating and publishing, as they take a percentage of sales. There are many other sites that offer affiliate programs as well such as TripAdvisor and Expedia.
For companies like TripAdvisor and Expedia, banner ads on your site are usually the easiest ways to promote. If you are using JVZoo or Clickbank, then you will need to promote digital products. You can use banner ads for these as well, but often times with selling digital products it is more productive and you can sell more if you know the product and blog about it. There are a variety of ways to get to know an affiliate digital product, with the most upfront being purchasing the product before deciding if you want to promote it. Doing this allows you a more thorough look into the product and allows you to be more accurate and truthful in your review of it. Entrepreneurs build trust with their customers by demonstrating their knowledge of the products that they sell.
Another potential option for getting to know a product is to ask the creator of the product for a trial, or an inside look. Some creators will be willing to let you see “what’s under the hood” which will enable you to be able to make a more educated review of the product.
There are a lot affiliate products and affiliate programs on the internet. Most are legitimate but be aware of the scams, or products that promise big paydays or overnight success – remember that your name and reputation are directly tied to the products that you sell and that your customers buy.
View this post about Affiliate Marketing to learn more about marketing your affiliate items.
Your Own Product
This idea may scare you to death as it seems to do a lot of people that want to make money online. But, by far and away, it is the most profitable business model. Not only can you make direct profits with your own product, you can advertise on sites such as JVZoo (JVZoo allows you to add your product to the marketplace for free, taking a percentage only if it sells) and ClickBank and have the potential to have millions of people (affiliates) advertise that product for you.
There also is nothing more gratifying that seeing your product selling, people willing to pay for something that you either created, or imagined and had brought to life.
With the technology of today, and the tools that have become ever increasingly easy to use, and free, there has never been a better and easier time to create your own product and sell it – either on your own site or blog. There are free webhosts, free graphics tools, free blog platforms, free website creators. All of these free tools can help you launch your product. Especially if you create a digital product where you have virtually no overhead.
If you fear that you cannot produce the content needed to create a digital product, odds are you are not giving yourself the credit that you deserve. If you have a passion and knowledge for a particular niche, then you can write an e-book. If you make music, you can create a how-to course. If you write, you can create a blog, and then a course to teach others. The bounds really are limited only by your own hesitation and self doubt.
But if you put quality in your product, and can create some good free content to give away as extra content, then you will build the trust to get people paying for your product. You will find that it really is easier to create a product and have others market it for you than you realize. Give yourself a chance.
If you have a service to offer, consider creating a membership site that have membership advantages such as extra content, or your visitors becoming a student, or some other incentive. As mentioned above, there are a lot of free and or cheap tools in today’s age that will let you create a membership site as easily as a blog.
Membership sites may be a little more upkeep than a blog or product site, but it can also be a more stable residual income as if you charge a monthly fee for access, then you can add extra content every month, or week, or day. Good quality content that your visitors won’t have access to unless they subscribe.
Membership sites are also a great way to get your visitors and potential customers to interact, and remain engaged. Membership sites also let you create different levels of access. You could offer free access, and then paid access for more content.
Certain niche’s may have better success with a membership site than others. You will need to experiment, and research your competitors and what they are offering. Think outside the box, and think of things that you can offer to your visitors that your competitors can’t.
If you are a writer or have a blog, then consider lending out your services as a freelance writer. Reach out to other blogs in the same niche as you and inquire about guest posting for a fee. There are also websites that allow you to sign up to freelance that will pay you per word, or certain amount of words. Freelancer is one of those sites. The benefit to Freelancer is that they offer far more freelance opportunities than just writing.
It is important to remember with freelancing that, especially with content writing, the more you charge, the more quality is expected for your end product for your customer. People interested in freelancers pay more for great content and great quality. On the flip side, as with other aspects of business, the better you are, the more experience and the more expertise you have, the more customers are willing to pay for your writing.
You can think of freelancing as being a contracted employee. The more often you freelance, the more money that you can make. Depending on what trade you are in for freelancing then the amount of money that you can make most certainly will vary.
Ghostwriting is similar to freelancing, but with Ghostwriting you are writing the material for well-known “gurus” authors, and others, and allowing them (for a fee) to publish your work in their name or in their company’s name. Ghostwriting typically gets you paid more money than other freelancing as you will not, and are not allowed to, get credit for the writing. But, this aspect also allows you to charge more upfront as you will not receive any residuals or royalties for your work.
If you are looking to make a name for yourself writing or blogging, and want to have a portfolio of work, then Ghostwriting may not be for you since you will not be allowed to take credit for any of the writings (be it books, e-books, blogs, content or any other writings) that you create.
If you enjoy writing but don’t want the credit, just the money, then Ghostwriting may well be a good option for you. Many bloggers want great quality content, and they don’t necessarily want guest blog posts, but they may not have the time required to regularly produce good, quality content. Guest bloggers don’t really give the blog author credibility for themselves or their expertise. However, a “guest blogger” that creates great quality content, that the blog owner/author can not only post for their visitors, but that they can take the credit for writing, is an extra bonus. Not just for the blog owner but also the blogs visitors as they get quality content perhaps more regularly than what would normally be available.
Ghostwriting is certainly not limited to blogs. You can Ghostwrite articles, books, e-books, press releases in addition to blog posts. Just keep in mind again, even though you are getting paid for writing in this scenario, you will not get credit for the actual writing of the content. This may be a dissuasive reality for some writers, while it may not be for others that may be interested in the additional money that can be made of content that you are credited as being the author.
Perhaps you are an artist looking to be able to branch out online. Graphic design would be a great place to start. But even if you aren’t an artist, with the advances in technology and the accessibility of those technologically advanced tools and their ease of use, more and more people are able to create great graphic designs and sell them to different companies or even individuals looking to enhance their websites or blogs.
But even with the advances, and the inexpensiveness, of quality graphic design software, there is a lack of good quality, reliable, graphic designers. Designers that can consistently and on-demand produce quality, consistent, content.
In some cases blog and or site owners and publishers have the ability to create their on graphic designs, but time does not allow for them to consistently create it.
SEO looks to be a never-ending business. With major search engines like Google changing their algorithms and constantly trying to make the searches more relevant, and weed out spammy sites and blogs, SEO is increasingly important to getting seen consistently.
But, a lot of people, businesses and marketers do not understand fully SEO and exactly what it takes to get ranked consistently among search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo!. If you have this talent, then you can make good money if you deliver to your clients and get them ranked consistently on the likes of Google.
SEO optimization can even be broken down into different areas. So, perhaps you are good at link building, and reaching out to different businesses, sites, blogs and people requesting links to your site. You can market and get paid for that.
Perhaps you are just well-rounded in SEO optimization, including link building, keywords, content, density, analysis, meta, and everything else that goes with good, consistent search engine rankings. Well, obviously you can market and get paid for that too.
With SEO, you are selling your services. People are willing to pay for services if they get a quality and consistent service. If you provide the results that a business, blog, site or individual needs then you can succeed at SEO services.
Coaching and Courses
If you have a blog, or are well versed in your niche, you can coach others and or create courses to sell to others. Coaching and courses both are in high demand in certain niches. Take, for instance, the courses offered by the people that host Flip This House where they teach others how to locate and flip houses. You can do the same with the niche you are in.
Almost any niche that you are in, you can coach others or create a course that will teach others how to excel in that niche. It is important to remember, the more you charge for your coaching or your courses, the higher expectations of your customers.
This shouldn’t persuade you from coaching or creating courses – but, use research and analysis when setting the price. It is better to offer great content at a lower price than the going rate, rather than to charge too much for a product that under-delivers in the eyes of your customers.
You may think that courses are too time consuming to do. But in reality, with many of the ways you can make money online, as time progresses it gets easier to make and sell courses. With video recorders, cameras and screengrab software that is readily available and inexpensive (and in some cases free) it really has never been easier to create course materials.
Whether it’s strictly course e-books, strictly a video course, or even a mixture of the two, it is easier than ever to create quality courses, in half the time or less than it did ten to fifteen years ago. And with sites such as JVZoo it is less expensive and easier than ever to get your course listed in a marketplace for others to sell on your behalf, enhancing the scalability of your courses.
I am hesitant to even list third-party advertisements as a way to make money online. This includes advertisements for businesses and even advertisement campaigns such as Google AdSense. The reason I am hesitant is that, although you can make a small amount typically, I do not believe that you can make enough for a full-time income.
The reason is, to have advertisers pay big bucks for your ad space, you have to be one of the biggest sites or blogs on the internet. You have to be able to demonstrate that on a regular basis you receive tens to hundreds of thousands of visitors per month to your site or blog. Advertisers just are not willing to pay a substantial amount in advertising fees if they do not feel that it will be lucrative for them.
As for ad campaigns such as Google AdSense, you do make money, but unless you have a very high click through rate from your site or blog, I do not think that it pays to use all of your ad space on Google AdSense campaigns. That is not to say that you should omit Google AdSense from your site or blog altogether, but I it is worth it to limit it, and then use that ad space for your affiliate product banners, or banners for your own products.
Just the tip of the online iceberg
The ideas listed above are just the tips of the online iceberg when it comes to ways to make money online. But as many ways that there are to make money online, there are as many or more ways to lose money online. You must be wary of the pitfalls, the scammers and the fakes, especially when you are advertising other people’s products. Even though it is not your name on the product, you are the one that is recommending the product, whether in specific words or not, to your visitors.
Whatever source that you choose to use to make money online, always be genuine. As with any business, you succeed when you meet the needs of your customers, and can keep them coming back – and referring their friends, family and anyone they know. Foundation is everything, and must be laid before you can make any money online.
If you would like to know more about affiliate marketing check out this post.
If you would like to know more about making money blogging check out this post.
If you would like to know more about marketing your blog with social media check out this post.