For many people making a full-time income from an online business is a dream come true. If they had the opportunity, they could quit their 9-5 job and focus on their company, spend more time with family, and take back control of their lives. The fantastic thing is, as we often say during our free webinar training, making a living online isn’t just a dream. The good news is that revenue strategies don’t have to be complicated. It may take time to grow a business, but when anyone dedicates time and consistently works on it, making a substantial income online is possible. Here are a few ways to get started:
Starting a business on the web may seem like an idea you’ve heard of a lot, but according to Location Rebel, beginning with a website online is an excellent place to start your online journey. Using an affiliate account is helpful (which Location Rebel also discusses below) because it opens up the possibility of making a commission on your website.
Create a website
One of the only requirements usually necessary to get approved for the affiliate account is that you have a website – they just want to make sure you actually have a way to market their company.
So, if you have a website – great! Move onto step #2.
If you don’t, then don’t stress too much about what your site is going to be about.
This will actually be a great exercise for you that will be your first step to having an online business, while also helping you build some important skills in the process.
Rather than list out all of the steps to starting this site here, just go read this post.
It’s literally a step by step guide to creating your first website.
If you lack any other specific ideas, just make it a personal blog.
Sign up for a hosting affiliate account
There are literally hundreds of different web hosts out there, so trying to decide which one is the best can be an overwhelming process.
If it’s your first site, I generally recommend Bluehost.
If you don’t have something else in mind – I’d just start there. They pay $65 for those just starting out in their affiliate program.
If you want something with a slightly higher commission, try Dreamhost – as they pay out $97 per referral.
I also put together this comprehensive review post of some of the different options out there, if you want more information on options.
But if you already have a website, the easiest thing to do is just join the affiliate program for your current host!
This only works on actual hosting plans, as opposed to services like wordpress.com or Blogger.
So all you need to do now is sign up, it only takes a few minutes.
It might be a day or two before you get approved. And if for some reason you don’t get approved, just sign up for another program.
Also if for some reason you can’t find the information for a specific affiliate program, just Google “[Host Name] Affiliate Program” and it should pop up.
Good Financial Cents reveals that blogging is another excellent way to make money online, and you’ve probably heard the same. Don’t let blogging overwhelm you. It takes time to grow a blog and if you work at it and stay consistent by creating new content and marketing to your audience over time you should be able to make money through your blog.
Blogging can be done either as a hobby or as a full-time business. In fact, it often starts as a hobby, becomes a profitable side business, and then becomes a brand-new, all-encompassing career.
One of the most beautiful and exciting qualities about blogging is that you can create a blog that deals with any subject area that you are either knowledgeable or passionate about (and preferably both!). You can write about personal finance, careers, real estate, getting into business, technology, cooking, travel, personal health, or just about any topic you choose.
You can set up a website, gradually build up the content (articles, videos, podcasts, etc.), then eventually monetize the site through advertising, affiliate marketing, or even the direct sale of specific products or services. Even better, you can generally find whatever services and technical assistance you need online and free of charge. Later on, when your site develops a reliable cash flow, you can begin working with paid providers who can take your blog to the next level.
I know a good bit about starting a blog, with the success I enjoy here on Good Financial Cents.
Do you want to become a virtual assistant? Business Collective briefly touches on how to start a virtual assistant business. Another idea is to create a product and sell it online. You can sell products from your website, blog, or even on a site like Shopify. Selling products online is an excellent way to make money and have fun simultaneously!
Become a Virtual Assistant
Are you organized, good at helping people stay on track and want to help someone grow a business? You could be a perfect virtual assistant. With an ever-increasing amount of online entrepreneurs, there’s a huge demand for good virtual assistant work.
For the most part, people seem to have moved beyond outsourcing to extremely low-paying places in Asia, so you should find some solid opportunities to make decent money in this space.
How to Do It:
Create an account on Upwork or a similar site.
Look for potential jobs you could be a good fit for.
Apply for these jobs.
Post your services on different city Craigslist Pages in the Gigs section.
Go places where potential clients hang out. This could be in-person networking events, online forums or other communities.
Create an Online Product
Consider creating a mini-product. So often people think when you create an online product you have to spend months and months working on it. However, more content isn’t necessarily better. Not everything has to be a huge six-month course. If you can come up with one idea that solves one small problem, you can sell that.
How to Do It:
Come up with one small problem you know you can help people solve.
Outline your product and exactly how to solve this problem.
Choose your selected medium (PDF document, audio podcast, video, etc.).
Create the content.
Put up a sales page on your website.
Get your Paypal “Buy Now” link.
Sell the product!
BONUS: Want to engineer the launch to have an even better chance of success? Build your interest list first.
If you’re an expert in a specific field, Forbes urges you to consider starting a consulting business online. For example, if you’ve been a full-time marketer but would like to start your own business, you may have the opportunity to make a lot of money by offering your services to companies online. Come on — it’s worth a shot!
Another way to make money online is via consulting. If you’re an expert in any field, you could potentially find people willing to pay you to counsel them on their personal or business goals. You might think you’re not important enough to consult for big companies, but you could be surprised at the types of expertise people will pay for.
My colleague Robert Farrington of The College Investor is a good example of someone who consulted online on the side in an unlikely industry. Robert told me that, after he had been blogging for a few years, a couple of brands reached out to him to ask him for help with social media and online marketing.
Robert said he did an average of 4-6 of these gigs per year for a while depending on his schedule and the work involved. The best part is, he charged a flat rate that usually worked out to around $100 per hour. And remember, this was pay he was earning to advise people on the best ways to use social media tools like Facebook and Pinterest to grow their brands.
If you want to start consulting but aren’t sure what steps to take next, you can also set up a free account through Clarity.fm. This website lets anyone who wants to offer consulting set up a free profile. Once your profile is set up, people will find you and book a session you’ll get paid for.
If you have any skill you can teach others, it’s also possible to set up an online course you can market online. You can find online courses that teach anything from cooking to marketing or even freelance writing. Heck, I even offer my own course for financial advisors who want to take their businesses online— The Online Advisor Growth Formula.
Last year, I profiled my friend Joseph Michael of Easy Course Creation. Michael offers several different courses, including courses on a writing software called “Scrivener.” Over the years, Michael has earned six figures or more annually selling courses that help people achieve the kind of success he has earned.
Most people set up their online course through a platform like Teachable.com. With Teachable, you can upload your course materials and use the platform to manage customers and accept payments.
The thought of making money online no longer has to be just a pipedream. By thinking outside the box, developing a plan, and staying dedicated to building a business online, you never know what can happen. We walk you through how to start a profitable online business during our free webinar training. Register for our next training today!
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