The vast reach and connectivity now allowed us via the internet has made things readily accessible that maybe 20 years ago we never thought possible. Our ability to be able to communicate worldwide has been obviously magnified immensely with the upsurge of internet availability, and with it our ability to connect with e-commerce businesses in practically any country you desire. And with a predicted two billion ‘internet ready’ Smart Phones going to be sold in 2017, the never-ending quest to make money online will just keep growing, even whilst on the move.
But even with all the technical amenities and digital advancements afforded us by the internet, our capability to actually convert our time and effort into hard cash still seems to elude the masses, with just a reported 5% or less of online entrepreneurs making a steady income, let alone reaping in the millions.
Because in the cold light of day, amassing a sizeable wealth on the internet is no small achievement, and what the majority of online guru’s and the ‘already successful’ Internet Marketing fraternity fail to tell you (particularly whilst pitching you the latest ‘must have’ overnight success program) is that to make an online living, you HAVE TO HAVE an established or sizeable Social Media reach. Now whether that be Facebook, Instagram, an email marketing list or maybe Twitter, without this ‘reach’ it can be an uphill struggle to build momentum, bearing in mind this social media circle will never happen overnight, and will not happen without considerable time, effort, anguish and pain.
These shrewd online ‘marketeers’ absently but consistently fail to inform you of the enormous amount of work that lies before you, the endless hours of work, research and painstaking grind that it takes for those who are looking to make their fortune online. No matter what sales page hype or fictional ‘make money in twenty four hours’ success story you might have been sucked in by, the reality is that without this illusive but significant online presence or a solid, genuine (not paid for) email list of some considerable numbers, making more than a few hundred dollars could be an uphill struggle.
So with all this said, let’s look at how we can possibly circumnavigate some of this doom and gloom,
because if you are serious about making money online, have the determination, fortitude and Mindset to take it to the next level, there are five governing principles that nearly every successful online will marketers will adhere to rigidly, whilst still bearing in mind the rudimentals like organic search engines (via SEO) and as mentioned previously the mandatory Social Media Marketing.
The Five Governing Principles of Achieving an Income Online
Before we get to the more detailed strategies for generating money online, it is essential that we start to comprehend the five basic philosophies that have to be adhered to – give due respect to these core principles and you WILL earn an income online that your bank manager would be happy with. Not tomorrow, or next week, or even next month – but in time.
But be warned, ignore these principles at your peril, because not only will you subject yourself to an unprecedented amount of heartache, you will couple this with almost certain failure. SO MANY ‘newbie’ marketers have a burning desire to ‘shortcut’ wherever possible, looking for the quick route to success and untold riches. I get this, and I understand why – but waver from the path, change direction on an impulse, and to put it as bluntly as possible, you will be wasting your time and doomed to catastrophe.
1. Understand your audience
To be a successful entrepreneur on the internet and quickly gain some stature, it is paramount that you know your audience, and by this I mean specifically who you are targeting. I am sure you have heard of demographics, and that is exactly what we are bringing in to play here, constantly appraising your audiences age, occupation, gender, country, financial situation, maybe even marital situation, because the better you know them, the more likely you will be able to ‘target market’ your online activities and star to bank some commissions.
By getting to know your potential customer as specifically as possible, you will start to comprehend their needs, desires, interests and even hobbies – or maybe even what they are buying and researching. Reach out, connect, ask the right questions, the more information you can gather the more effective you will be at laser targeting your approach.
2. Constantly provide immense value
If you are failing to deliver immense value at every possible opportunity, you really will be wasting your time. Many newbies think it is a simple process of creating a simple website, grabbing an affiliate offer, drive some paid traffic to it and hey presto – money in the bank. Sorry folks, not going to happen.
If you want to create a brand, build trust and authority within the internet marketing space and ensure that your audience both old and new return to your website or Social Media platform, give value! Again, this can take a while to create, so be patient, do your research and deliver. Other marketers are always looking for solutions to their online problems – so why not give them the answers. Write blogs or make videos on ‘how to’, be the solution to their problems and watch your online presence soar. This is a necessary step that needs to be mastered and conquered if you are serious about generating an online income.
3. Keep building trust
With more and people having access to the internet and subsequently spending an increased amount of time surfing the net, the online consumer is far more astute these days and can spot a phoney profile or spammy link faster than Usain Bolt can sprint 100 meters! Honesty is the only way forward here, including your profile, your offers, your opinions and your supposed Social Media proof or alleged earnings.
By building a rapport with your audience, endearing them to your honest and open approach to all things you write, post or comment on, they will take your recommendations to heart and become a loyal fan. But if they judge that your website or fan page is merely a mission for online dollars without giving true value, you will be sliding down that slippery slope to failure. Spam them with cloaked affiliate links or sneaky redirects to your squeeze page and the trust will disappear in a flash, along with angering the Google gods, and trust me, they are watching.
4. Team up and be social
Never believe for one minute that you can make this arduous journey alone, you need to join the social party and mingle! Make friends with the right individuals, the movers and shakers, the influential online marketers and prominent Mentors in your niche – and then get involved on their posts with likes, shares and comments. You cannot just expect others to come to you, mingle in the right circles and you will get noticed.
Furthermore, find like-minded bloggers and online marketers, engage with them, joint venture sometimes if the situation arises, collaborate your combined efforts and you will start to command the respect of the right people, maybe not overnight, but hopefully you’re in for the long haul and you will secure the long term benefits.
5. Connect with your audience
Connecting with your audience is of paramount importance, not just with business opportunities and value, but with lifestyle and transparency. Becoming a story teller is a sure-fire way to bridge that digital gap, so share your stories, both good and bad, along with reviews or what has worked / not worked for you.
But don’t just limit this to blog posts and social media, you have to start building an email list at the earliest opportunity giving you the ongoing prospect of communicating on a regular basis. Because email marketing is not dead, far from it when done correctly and still affords the online marketer the most consistent path for building online wealth.
Simply by offering value and free information to help people with their online quest via regular email notifications you will enhance your online stature and become a respected member of the internet marketing space. So how do you grow your list? Easy answer – with value! Give away a free ebook or cheat sheet that leads to an email capture page, make it something that your readers perceive as truly significant, and they will happily exchange their email address for your offering. Finding such great information is not that difficult either with PLR companies offering fabulous information that can be used and even resold.
So the BIG QUESTION – How do we make money online?
Hopefully by now you have absorbed the previous governing principles, five key points that really do need to be prevalent in your mind as you move forward with your online business, because now we are going to move onto seven tried and tested methods to actually bank some cash, methods that DO WORK and help you build your own online empire that will serve you well for years to come.
Firstly, you have to appreciate although there are literally thousands of ways to make money online, what we are striving for is long term growth and laying the foundations for stability and that will give you financial freedom – not overnight, but with dedication and constant action it will happen. Just don’t throw in the towel to quickly (as most people do), remind yourself WHY you started in the first place when the going gets tough or all of your efforts to date seem in vain.
All being well, having read this far, you are willing to put in the effort and prepare yourself mentally for months of grind, even pain – months where your online income will be little to possibly none at all, but with the comfort that you are building your future, a life of significant wealth with the ability to do as you please, when you please, travel the world and not worry about tomorrow as your passive income grows.
However, we now have to consider that there are two alternative strategies in play here. The long-term passive income approach and the short-term active income approach. And whereas I am a huge advocate of the passive income strategy, there will always be a place for short term gain on the understanding that a long term passive stream is being implemented using the governing principles and one of the income streams we will discuss below to produce sustained income.
I think the reason that passive income is SO important and has to take centre stage is the underlying trade-off between your time and money. Time is the most important commodity we have, can never be replaced is will always be more valuable than money. So obviously working long and arduous hours just once in our lifetime to then get paid handsomely AND repetitively for years to come has supreme benefits for you and your family, so let’s look at some of the methods how we can do just that….
i) Start a blog
Maybe sounds too obvious, but it really is the way thousands of successful online entrepreneurs make not just a living, but hundreds of thousands of dollars from passive income. It will be an arduous journey for sure, and it won’t transpire overnight, possibly taking a year or two before real results are beginning to show, but pick the right niche(1705 free niche ideas here)and stick with it. It will always be advantageous if you can pick a niche you have knowledge or previous experience with, that way you will write with passion and vigour, sounding more believable and exuding authority.
Not only does a blog create followers and a regular readership with the right content, it also gives you the ability to promote just about anything associated with your niche, whether that be your own digital product or an affiliate offer from one of the many online digital retailers, generating income from the commission of the sales.
ii) Try selling online products
Not keen on the above – let’s consider an alternative solution for some instant relief to your financial dilemma. It’s relatively easy to build an Amazon FBA Business (Fulfilment by Amazon) by setting up your own online store, or alternatively promote products on done-for-you platforms such as Shopify or Etsy.
Bear in mind that although offering products on platforms like this can afford you a fast ‘quick to market’ solution, best practice is to exploit these sites as ‘training grounds’ to perfect your online selling techniques, because ideally you want to own and develop your own site, eliminating your reliance on a 3rd party vendor.
iii) Try selling your services
If starting up a blog to create that long-term income is appealing, but you are still in search of that short-term cash solution, why not utilise your skills and knowledge gained so far to help others reach their goals. Every day, there are thousands if not millions of onlinepreneurs looking for information, blogs posts, personalised images, ghost writers and more. So let’s use the power of the internet to our advantage and offer our services for payment.
Now we just need to find the hungry crowd to emanate your entrepreneurial flair, and by heading over to sites such as Upwork, 99Designs and Fiverr to name but three, you can do just that. Check out the top sellers and what they are offering, some also have forums where prospective clients are posting their requirements. Decide on what service you would like to offer and go for it! It might take a little way to gain credibility as most buyers will check the seller’s ratings and feedback, but one or two well produced solutions to someone’s problem and your endeavours will be rewarded.
iv) Write eBooks or produce audiobooks
If you have a passion for writing as I do then why not turn your hand to being an online author. They say we all have a story to tell, a book inside us, so why not turn a passion into a reality and get paid for doing it. Once again, informative or ‘how to’ books are great sellers, stick with the non-fiction to get the best results.
I have found the biggest problem with this idea is “where to start” and the renowned writers block, but from my experience it’s best to decide upon your niche or subject matter and then just start jotting down ideas, sentences, anything that springs to mind. Carry a notepad or use your smartphone, then find a quiet hour each day to turn your thoughts into paragraphs, and so on. Don’t necessarily attempt to write in any semblance or particular order as you start, just get your thoughts onto paper or pc – then adjust as you go.
Not a quick route to the much sought after online commissions, but with time a healthy five figure income can be reached with the right information offered with multiple books. Create an account with Amazon’s KDP(Kindle Direct Publishing) to publish your eBooks, or if you want to go the whole hog and get your book printed try CreateSpace. For audiobooks you can use ACX, who in turn will retail your work via audible, Amazon and iTunes. There is also an amazing shortcut to success with Kindle books and instant passive income without having to write a single word here…
v) Create your own online courses
If you feel you have the necessary experience and expertise, why not create (or have created for you) an online course to teach or train the uninitiated ‘how to’ whatever is in demand or sought after. Obviously some research and hard work will be required but the rewards can be unlimited – a great passive income money spinner.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that this cannot be of the highest quality and value, but if you possess or have experience in, say, social media, email list building, creating hot leads etc. then why not put together some informative, purposeful videos or a series of PDF documents showing prospects exactly how it’s done. This kind of information is invaluable and people will be willing to part with their cash (if keenly priced – let’s not get too greedy!) but remember, with this idea you have to go for broke, putting in the countless hours and effort required to produce a first class offering.
When it’s completed, try heading over to Udemy or similar educational sites where you can promote and sell your course.
vi) Give answers to questions
There is a possibility that you have amassed some real knowledge or expertise in an advanced or extremely specialised field such as medicine, law or maybe IT skills like building websites, coding and HTML etc. And as we all know, information is power, and most definitely saleable. Now this is not a get rich quick scheme for sure, but offering real value with genuine answers to people problems – jeez, it’s almost ‘paying it forward’. If you are coupling this approach with other social media activities, this is also a guaranteed way to gain instant credibility and online status.
Just don’t waste your time with online forums or sites like Quora or WiseLike, create an account with JustAnswer and follow your niche. Then you can answer questions within your field of expertise,
ensuring that your responses or information offered is as precise and painstakingly thorough as can be. Even if this is treated as a part time venture it will create healthy direct income without waiting for months or even years to, and you can even take things to the next level by creating a Facebook Fan page offering the same service with backlinks to a website or JustAnswer.
vii) Be a Virtual Assistant
How about being a VA for another online marketer or internet entrepreneur? It can be a whole lot more than just being a cybernetic secretary, although writing unique and interesting content for blog posts and websites can return a steady income. But if you’re computer-savvy, reliable and comfortable with working alone then there are a multitude of tasks that can accomplished remotely.
It could be as simple as answering telephone calls, replying to emails or book-keeping, or if you have accomplished skills in, say, Microsoft Publisher you could even find a gig specialising in marketing or desktop publishing. I have even known VA’s tutor students with mastering a new language and another teach someone to play a musical instrument via Skype – all from the comfort of their own home of office – hey no commute or travel expenses!
To offer your services in your field of expertise, simply write a short, concise resume and post your ad to sites like the previously mentioned Upwork, 99Designs and Fiverr. Creating an account is free but bear in mind they will take a small commission for all monies earned.
Mark Hartfree is an Author, prolific
Blog writer, World Traveller and Online
Entrepreneur who divides his time between
the UK, South America & the Costa Blanca
Coastline in Spain.
His spare time is taken up between his
children and volunteering for local charities.