How to Make Money Online – The Basics
If you ask how to make money online, you’re generally going to hear one of two things. You’re going to hear people telling you that you can’t make money online. That all the good topics and business models are taken up. However, that’s untrue.
You’re also going to hear people who will promise you that you can make millions online. While that is true for many, it’s not common.
What is true about making money online is that anything is possible, and it’s quite likely that you can make a very comfortable living doing something that you love. So here’s the lowdown on how to make money online.
What Makes Money Online?
There are a few basic business models that generally achieve a good deal of success online. They include:
• Information marketing – Information is sold online, generally about a specialty topic.
• Membership marketing – Profit is made by selling memberships and selling advertising space.
• Service provider – Profit is made by providing a service. For example, virtual assistants provide administrative services online.
• Retailer or eCommerce – Profit is made by selling a product online.
• Affiliate marketing – Profit is made by promoting the products or services of others and earning a commission.
There are a few things these five business models have in common. They all operate online – that’s a given because we’re talking about online business. They also need people to visit their website in order to survive. How do they get people to their website?
Content is the unifying theme behind successful websites. People go online to be entertained, to be informed, to connect and communicate. The single unifying thread for all of these interactions is content.
Content can be read, watched, listened to, and shared. It can be an article, a blog post, a report, a book, an online course, a video, or audio. Without content, a website doesn’t stand a chance.
Information is the reason for the internet. If a website doesn’t provide information, it has no value to online users.
Okay, so you choose your business model. You choose a business topic or specialty; this is often called a niche. A niche is a specialty topic. For example, you could decide you want to start a membership site. Great – about what? Recipes, because you love to cook and share recipes.
Fantastic! Now it’s time to create the content for your website. You need to give people a reason to visit your website and become a member. The next step is to continue to provide value. What are you going to offer your members to motivate them to stay members?
What information are you going to provide as an information marketer that will motivate people to buy your books? What information can you provide clients to motivate them to hire you as a service provider?
Online, regardless of the model you choose, people want to know one thing: “What is in this for me? How will this benefit me?” Choose your topic and model wisely. Create fantastic content and provide value. That’s the core of any successful online business.
How to Start Your Own Virtual Assistant Business
Virtual assistants are in demand worldwide. As a virtual assistant, you could find clients in your own community or halfway around the globe. It’s a great way to make a living and work from home.
You’ll meet interesting people, learn new tasks and responsibilities and perhaps best of all, enjoy the freedom that comes with being your own boss. Here’s how to start your own virtual assistant business.
1 SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This is a personal assessment. Take a look at what strengths you have that will contribute to a successful virtual assistant business. Communication skills, organization skills, professionalism are some strengths. However, you likely bring a lot more to the table. List your strengths.
Take a look at your weaknesses as well. You’re not looking for reasons to not go into business for yourself. You’re simply making sure you’re aware of all you’ll need to do to run a successful business. If you have a weakness, and we all do, then you’ll want to create a plan to manage it.
For example, if your weakness is writing and you need to have sales and marketing copy for your business website, you can learn to write or you can hire someone to do it for you. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses helps you create the best business for you.
Opportunities and threats are the next part of this assessment. Opportunities can be anything from the fact that you have a friend who designs websites to a growing demand for virtual assistants.
Threats are things that may challenge you, like competing for virtual assistants and a sluggish economy. When you’re fully aware of your assets and challenges, you can plan for them.
2 Create a business plan. Plan the services you’re going to offer and how you’re going to offer them. For example, will you charge by the hour or by the project? Will you offer a discount for ongoing clients? Research your competition and decide whether you want to specialize.
You can specialize in a certain task, for example, transcription. Or you can specialize in an industry like real estate.
Specialization is a way to demonstrate expertise and adds credibility to your business. That being said, there are many clients who want a one-stop solution and would prefer a virtual assistant that can do a number of tasks.
3 Set up your business. You’ll want to create a website to market your virtual business. Most of your clients will be online and they’ll often find you through online searching.
A website is also a way to demonstrate your expertise. You’ll also want a business address, a phone number, email and a way to accept payment. PayPal is an easy way to invoice and track your income and expenses.
Once your business is established, the next step is to spread the word. Consider social networking, advertising, SEO, and article marketing to market your business. A blog is also a good way to demonstrate credibility, enhance your brand, and drive traffic to your website.
Virtual assistants are in high demand. Whether you’re looking for full-time work or a part-time income, it can be the perfect solution. Create your business and start making money from your skills.
How to Start Your Own Writing for Pay Business
If you enjoy writing or have a way with words, you can turn that skill into a full-time business. There are numerous opportunities for aspiring writers online and off.
Businesses need people to write content, to blog, to write sales copy and advertisements. They also need writers to write books, articles, and technical manuals. In short, there’s a high demand for writers. Here’s how to start your own writing for pay business.
Step #1 – Decide what you want to write and if there’s a demand for it. For example, do you want to write articles and blog posts? Would you prefer to write books and eBooks? What about sales copy? Additionally, do you have a preference for the topics you’d write on? You can specialize in an industry as well as a content format.
For example, you could position yourself as a brilliant blogger or a fitness expert. You could be an eBook ghostwriter or a writer that specializes in animals and pet care.
Choose a specialty that you enjoy. If you don’t like writing about a certain topic, chances are you’re going to procrastinate and not give your client your best effort.
Step #2 – Create your business. This will include choosing a business name and a website address and creating a website. You’ll also want to consider creating standard work for hire agreement. This will outline the rights and responsibilities of both parties.
Also, consider registering your business as an LLC. It offers a few more protections than a sole proprietorship does. Ask your accountant or lawyer for advice.
Finally, you’ll want to create an invoicing system. Many writers require a fifty percent deposit to begin a project with the remainder due when they deliver the content.
This helps ensure a writer gets paid for their work. Sometimes, not often, you’ll run into a client that isn’t professional. You’ll need to decide in advance how you want to handle this. Sending someone to collections isn’t fun.
Step #3 – Market your business. You’re a writer, so one of your best marketing tools is the written word. Article marketing, blogging, and a well-written sales or landing page are great ways to begin to drive traffic and clients to your website.
Get out and network too. Online and offline, networking offers a valuable way to connect with potential clients and partners. Join your local small business association or chamber of commerce.
Comment on blogs in your specialty areas. For example, if you’re a pet writer then visit and comment on blogs about pets. Link to your website to drive traffic and customers to your front door.
Also, participate in industry forums and chat rooms. Social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can also be good traffic-generating and awareness-building tools.
If you enjoy writing and would like to be in business for yourself, consider starting your own writing business. You can start small while you work your day job and then quit once business really picks up.