By Sandi Hunter
In tough and uncertain economic times, people are taking charge of their economic future and turning to the Internet to earn money. The Internet is filled with legitimate ways to earn from home if you know what to look for. This article provides realistic advise on how to earn from reputable online sources and run your own profitable home-based business successfully.
Let’s get started. Here’s what you need to know to make money online consistently and legitimately.
1. Do set yourself up with an online place of business – get a domain address. For $10 or so per year, it’s worth it to book your own domain name. It makes you look more reputable, permanent and more accountable. Separate yourself from the sketchy programs out there by having your own domain name. Your website with a domain name is your place where you do your business and the location for all your programs, products, services or resume. If you have other websites from various affiliate programs you are involved, that’s fine, you can add the links to those programs on your domain based website.
2. Do book a website hosting account with a reliable hosting company. It doesn’t matter if you use WordPress to create your site, or a Content Management System provided by your host, but DO get an account that gives you 100% control over your site to add content, pages, widgets, images, video, search engine optimization, stats tracking, sub-domains etc. The days of a 3 or 4 page bland static website are long gone. Today, website owners can (and should) add tools, gadgets, blogs and other resources on their site to make it more customer friendly, search engine friendly, and social media friendly. Effective sites engage the visitor with live chat options, video, member areas, commenting and more. If your hosting provider doesn’t include site analysis and traffic tools, Google offers a free program that is very helpful for tracking important data related to your site traffic. It’s called Google Analytics. Website hosting will be in range of $10 – $50 per month.
Now let’s look at proven successful revenue sources.
3. When it comes to earning from online sources here are some proven successful ways to making money online:
a) Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing means that you sign up with a company as an Affiliate, refer business to those companies and you collect a commission for sales. You will be amazed at the growing number of large brick and mortar companies that offer affiliate programs. You’ve likely heard of Amazon but what about the Affiliate programs offered by WalMart, Pay-Less Shoes, Orbitz, Old Navy, G.I. Joes, ABT Electronics and American Express to name just a few. How each company pays commission and how much varies but with a high traffic website and precision marketing you can generate tidy income from affiliate marketing sources. Don’t be afraid to look outside of recognizable retailers for good Affiliate Marketing ideas. ClickBank.com for example, allows you to promote thousands of digital products. Vendors post their digital product to ClickBank, you promote it, when a sale is made you collect a commission. ClickBank handles payments and refunds so your only job is to pick the products you want to sell, promote, and collect commission. Pick a number of solid reputable affiliate marketing programs, but only a few so you can focus on those and only those to see success. I have to include a shameless plug here for my own company, Worldprofit.com. Worldprofit includes in our Earn-At-Home Program a number of Affiliate Marketing products, reseller opportunities as well as a comprehensive sales and marketing training program. As the economy has fumbled, affiliate marketing and work at home programs such as what we offer at Worldprofit have exploded.
b) Blogging: Don’t stop at Affiliate Marketing, money can be made from popular blogging sites by adding in advertising revenue from sources like Google Ad Sense, this is called Monetizing. Food bloggers, celebrity gossip bloggers, expert columnists and many more are generating sweet advertising revenue by including ads on their high traffic blogs. The ads are generated from an Advertising program such as that offered by Google and many others. They key to this revenue source is high and ongoing traffic. You will also need really unique frequently posted niche content to generate a following and get steady traffic.
c) Sale of Products: Of course you have seller options such as E-Bay for selling products either new or used. E-Bay is not a new idea for making money online but it is a source that many people have been relying on for years. Wholesale items, overstock products, collectors novelties, bankruptcy sale items, fire sale items, garage sale items – even houses – are just a few examples of what people are selling on E-Bay. Those who are reliable sellers earn status as trusted sellers and can earn significant money selling products.
d) Site Flipping: Flippa is a website that through an auction process, allows you to buy or sell complete niche websites, many with an existing customer base and verifiable traffic. If you are clever and have built up a successful online property you an sell it on Flippa. It’s a similar concept as buying a home, fixing it up and selling it. In this case though you create a site for a nice market, monetize it, grow traffic, a prospect list and a customer database, then simply sell the site. For someone who doesn’t have the interest in creating a site and all the work of building traffic and customers, a ready-made website can be purchased. Take a click over to Flippa.com to see new for sale listings, active listings, browse, price range, sold sites and more.
e) Freelancing: If you have a specialized skill or knowledge, have a look at freelancing sites such as Elance.com. Over 1/2 a million jobs are posted every year on Elance. This is a site where you can post your unique skills. Both companies and freelancers (called contractors) can post their jobs/skills. It’s unique in that you can access specific jobs including work for programmers, writers, designers, consultants and so forth. There are so many options, take some time to review these mentioned and keep an open-mind about what is available. Other sites offering a similar service include FreeLancer.com and Freelancejobs.org By posting your profile to these sites and taking on contact work you can earn considerable income.
f) YouTube.com Not everyone is destined for instant success like Justin Beiber after simply posting a video to YouTube. There IS money to be made with YouTube, that fact is a certainty. YouTube’s partner program allows you to post videos and earn revenue as your audience grows. Remember the scared baby video? What about the talking dog videos? Those videos and lots more are generating a steady source of income for someone due to the popularity of those videos. Initially the income can be very small, but if your video becomes hugely popular your commission checks will grow at the same time. Get good at it, get a following and then release videos to keep that source of income growing. Visit YouTube’s Partner section of their website to read success stories and how the program works.
g) Multiple Streams of Income. Here’s a final thought on earning from online sources. Multiple streams of income is the key to consistent revenue, pick a few programs or options and focus on those to EARN something before you move on to the next. Make sure you are not spread to thin and can devote adequate time to building those sources of revenue. You need to have the time, commitment and an advertising budget to promote on a consistent basis.
4. Realize you must work your business every day to expect to see results. Don’t expect overnight success, or even success after a few weeks. If you are in this for a hobby fine, but if you want to build an online business with a steady source of full time income realize that it will take time. It’s a slow build and a lot of work.
5. Understand that CONSISTENT marketing and promotion is critical to your success. Ever notice that Coke is always advertising? Coke is continually in your face reminding you they are there. They sponsor events, they run TV ads, Super Bowl commercials and taste-test booths. The reason is simple. Every business, big and small must constantly promote their product or service. Your online business is no different. Promotion is a daily task. How much you earn is directly related to how much time and effort you invest in marketing your product. Learn about the power of social media including FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, YouTube, and so many more. If you don’t have a blog get one, and post unique content daily with rich key words related to your products/services/business and include integrated links to social media for maximum exposure.
6. Factor in that you will have to allocate and spend some of your hard earned money on advertising. Any successful business requires that you put money back into it. If you think you will build your earnings relying exclusively on free methods of advertising you will be disappointed. Yes, you can promote your business using free sites, and free services, but accompany that with actual paid ads at reputable sites. Don’t limit yourself to the major search engines like Google and their Ad Words program. Also consider Safelist Advertising and Traffic Exchanges. Safelist advertising once spurned as the poor man’s advertising vehicle has gained popularity and is free to get started with very low cost advertising options. Traffic exchanges work in a similar way and are worth consideration. For best results in either Safelists or Traffic Exchanges be prepared to pay for ads to see the best results. If you are on a tight budget combine both free and paid methods of advertising, and make sure you have an Ad Tracker software program so you know which ads are generating clicks and from which source.
7. Set goals. Are you going to make $100 today? $500 this week? How much? Once you have set your goals, set your plans for how you will accomplish this. What are the daily, weekly, monthly tasks you will do to make your financial goals a reality? Don’t allow your self to get distracted or pulled down with tasks that don’t get you closer to where you want to be. If your day ends with no commission report or sales report that says you earned SOMETHING today, rethink your plan for tomorrow. Get up early and get busy.
8. Have a positive attitude, I can’t stress this enough. Put a smile on your face, believe, then do. In my work as a trainer and consultant, I talk to people everyday who have had mixed success in building an online business. The people I have watched grow and build their own successful business are those who think positive and take action. Don’t be brought down by negative people, the know it alls, the ones that rain on your parade. Be mindful that while they are talking you down, you are doing something to improve your financial situation. Let that negativity slide off your back and propel you forward to work harder, and smarter. Let the doubters be your motivators!
9. Accept that you will have failure. Get over it. Learn from your mistakes. Move on. If it was easy to build a successful online business everyone would be making millions.
10. Find a mentor or training program that fits for you. The web is filled with software, e-books, training programs, webinars and more. You have all of this information at your fingertips. Find the best sources and get started. Don’t make the mistake of learning, study, analyzing but never actually DOING anything. You won’t find success thinking about it, success is the results of DOING something to make it happen.
About the Author
Sandi Hunter is the Director of Website Development at Worldprofit. Worldprofit provides training, support, software, hosting, blog content, traffic, and site design for small and home based business. Now in it’s 20th year, Worldprofit’s Home Business Bootcamp has earned status as the most popular #1 Earn-At-Home Training program. Get a free Worldprofit Associate Membership here.