Anyone of reasonable intelligence who is born in a western democracy can make a small amount of money online…
Given enough motivation and perseverance.
The question you have to ask yourself is this:
Do you want to spend your time developing a skill set and a mastery over a specific area in a job, a job where you could be replaced, fired, or become obsolete…or would you rather spend that time learning how to generate an income without a job?
There is nothing inherently wrong with having a job, particularly if you’re a professional and a top performer. But outside of that why would you choose not to build an income source online (even if only a modest one) if you are totally capable of doing so? To make money online, you first need to decide what the best possible work you could be doing – then do it consistently.
Is making an extra $100 or $200 or $300 that unrealistic?
My first significant success online came by way of an online dating advice website I started back in 2008. I remember 9 months into writing that site to waking up one ordinary day and checking my email as I normally do. I noticed to my surprise that I had made $200 in affiliate commissions in a single day. In addition to that, over the life of the site, the ad revenue rose from pennies a day to a decent $8-15 dollars a day.
Not enough to live off of – But were looking at an extra $400-700 dollars a month, every month, flowing into my life without having to do any additional work except basic maintenance of the site which takes about 5 hours a month. Remember though, it took nearly a year of part time work with no financial reward before results started flowing in.
The reasons I was able to make money online was because I wrote a high quality, unique content that was not some SEO play. The value in this was that when people came to the site they first recognized that they were on a website that had the solution to their problems and second, they trusted what I said. The other reason was the link profile of the site grew and expanded naturally. Giving the site more authority in the view of search engines as more and more high page rank website linked to my dating website.
The actual income came by way of recommending relevant products in the material I was writing (as opposed to hard selling) as an affiliate. Products that were made by dating coach (and a trusted friend) that were relevant to the content I was talking about.
I would never say how awesome a product is and that you need to buy it right now. A 300 word paragraph by some anonymous unknown person on why you need a certain product is never going to convert.
Instead, demonstrate you understand the problem the person is searching for and that you have a solution. Then offer to allow them to explore deeper by recommending a relevant product. A phrase I like to use is:
“If you want to dive deeper into XYZ, check out Krista’s product on XYZ. It worked for me, maybe it can work for you?”
Remember, words matter.
It’s like religion – if you’re an atheist you’re not going to convert a believer by simply saying what they believe is non-sense, and vice-versa. You need thought, knowledge, and experience to be persuasive. The same goes with writing your content.
Trust matters too.
To make money you need to add enough value to your content where it justifies people clicking on your affiliate link. A great example of that is this Aweber review post. The post is not simply “Aweber rocks and everyone uses it so you should use it too” – it’s a detailed overview of what Aweber does, it’s functionality, drawbacks, and the results the person writing the post got with Aweber.
You read that post and trust the author in believing he actually uses Aweber and why. READ that post and try to understand why it’s to convincing. Why it converts so well.
Want to make money online? Don’t be sketchy and unprofessional
Selling people crappy products, sales pages with big red buttons, yellow marker high lighter… It’s all a trick playing on triggers of the human consciousness. It’s putting money first before people.
Instead, you need to evolve your marketing and your content by deeply understanding what your audience wants and needs from you if you desire to make money online.
The alternative to the old way of doing things is so simple. Instead of puffing up products and services, weave in products and services that actually add value to someones life, products and services that are the best and totally relevant to what it is you’re talking about. Even if the commissions for other products are higher.
Strategies for landing your very first online payday
You can generate money through selling your time, but that depends on your unique selling point. You can also generate ad revenue, but if you’re just getting started, ad revenue will be a disappointment because you have no traffic. You can also sell products. But what does your audience want? You find this out by using surveys of your audience and by way of affiliate marketing: weaving in relevant products and services for your topic and selling point and seeing what converts.
You can also hit up your social networks, forums, and clubs with your product idea as a way to validate your idea first. You may think it’s a good idea, but try and get some feedback or better yet, line up some sales and then create the product.
You need to network with others in your industry, developing a relationship with people of influence. In the dating industry, the two people I trust most are David Wygant and Evan Mark Katz. I have no problem leveraging their products in my content if it makes sense. They do great work and it’s a win win for everyone involved.
Other marketers will tell you to look on Clickbank or Ejunkie for relevant products, which is one strategy. But I think it’s best to really know your industry first and the players in it so you can decide who you trust and want to work with as opposed to finding some random E-book profession to teach you how to move the world.
If you know someones work well, as I do with Corbett’s or David Wygant’s, then it’s easy to write about their products as it relates to the relevant content you are writing.
How to Sell
I soft sell on all my websites if I find product that is relevant. Meaning I never tell someone to buy something. There is no added value with just saying to someone: BUY SITE BUILD IT. Instead I create content that teaches you how to do everything Site Build It would teach you if you were to purchase a subscription, but if you’re not a do-it-yourself person to checkout SBI instead.
You trust that I know what I am talking about by the quality of this website.
I also like to use the “quick mention” strategy too. So if I’m writing a post about how to tell if a guy likes you, I may mention a relevant product once in the beginning, definitely at the end, and maybe in the middle. Using casual language like talking to a friend that adds value to a post that IS NOT about the product itself.
Another key of the equation is targeted traffic. You need relevant targeted traffic to your site make any sort of sale of anything. So while it would be nice to be linked to from Mashable.com, or to get stumble traffic from StumbleUpon, that traffic is not at all relevant or targeted to the goal and purpose behind this sites existence. I would much rather be on the first page of Google for relevant search terms or to be interviewed or linked too from a relevant content source than to be shared heavily on social media (if your goal is to make money online mind you).
This isn’t for everyone
Maybe you’re happy at your job.
Maybe you’re too busy..
Maybe you don’t like the idea of sitting at a computer and learning how to use it to provide for your future and present.
But if you can make an income apart from a job, what’s to stop you from eventually getting to a point where you don’t need a job?
Being able to make an income free from a job if you so choose to, makes you bolder, more charismatic and dynamic. It enables you to become a leader who can call the shots and go it alone if need be.
You can become independent if you so choose.
You can support yourself and make a difference in the world.
So what are you waiting for?
Make a small amount of money online – then grow it.