You want to make money online in a fulfilling way that you can sustain long-term. This is my first post and I want to start with the basics, so I’ll show you how to do it!
Do you want to make money online? Then, focus on your goal with positivity and create things that others find interesting and valuable.
That’s it. Really. I’m not oversimplifying.
Any business, system, or strategy is just different forms that can take. So, anytime you are focusing on techniques, tools and marketing strategies, go back and ask yourself if you’re nailing these basics.
- The align your mindset part means that you don’t have contradictory ideas and behavior. Whatever you choose to do that is good, do it confidently, with integrity, having fun with the process, and just keep going.
- The create value part means that you are relatively consistent at providing things other people want, need, or enjoy using. This opens up a world of things you can do.
You can be into music, video, art, coding, blogging, etc. and make money online creating those things. I’ll use blogging as an example since this is a blog. 🙂
Regardless of what you do, the structure is the same. Attract people who are into your stuff to the point that they spend time or money on it…
You’ll attract enough potential buyers with your content, software, art, etc. to then sell them even something more unique, more complete or just better.
Or, if you want to start creating passive income more easily from early on, you can just attract those potential buyers and point them to valuable services from other companies, that will pay you a cut of their revenue (that is affiliate marketing).
For example, on this blog, I don’t even sell that much stuff. But because people –like you– spend time on it, I can monetize that time by recommending to you the services that I use. I could also monetize through ads, but in general, I prefer affiliate marketing.
In this case, if you want to leverage affiliate marketing to create passive income, you’d have to provide value to 2 groups of people:
- The readers. By providing them with actionable information to better their lives, they will naturally be inclined to use the products you recommend.
- The companies that pay commissions for sending them leads. That makes you a lead generator. The customers you send are sales for those companies, and a nice cut of those sales will be just profit for you.
Both groups are equally important to provide value to. Both are comprised of actual people with aspirations. Sure, the roles of those two groups are different, but if your relationship to one of them fails, you won’t be able to provide that value.
- If you try to trick the companies you send leads to, they’ll see through that and they will soon dial down (or cut altogether) the commissions.
- If you treat your readers and followers like idiots, you are the idiot. Because they will see through that and they’ll eventually ignore you as you ignored them.
This is not black-or-white. Of course, there are shades to anything. For example, if I’m selling something (something that I believe in) I’ll spend more time on its positives aspects, use attractive pricing and encourage you to take action.
But I prefer being as clear and upfront as possible and reduce the trickery to zero, simply because I think it’s counterproductive and I’m not interested.
It is not true that doing it “the right way” (as if there’s one right way) is harder or takes longer. Quite the opposite. “The right way” is Your way. It is easier (to you), faster, and keeps you motivated throughout.
Treat people like you want to be treated, speak your voice and provide value your way. There will always be people who are not aligned with your way, so there’s no point in trying to convince anybody of anything.
Keep it simple. Just follow your common sense and be persistent in creating things, content, etc. that provide value so you can attract high-quality readers (yeah, just like you are to me!) and potential buyers.
‘But I don’t know how to provide value! –You may say– I don’t know what to write about, what to blog about, what to make videos about, etc.’
There are many different ways we’ll see, but first know: you don’t have to be a super expert-level guru:
To make money online, you only have to be more knowledgeable than your target audience.
Or provide an angle that your audience needs.
For example, let’s say you’re an average music producer. Still, you’re better at it than any person who just wants to start with music production. And let’s say you’re very good at one aspect, for example creating dubstep patterns and rhythms. So that could be your angle.
Any doubts that you’re “not good enough” or any of that crap are just negative beliefs you have to get rid of because their only function is to contribute to failure. You get rid of them by replacing them with positive beliefs that are aligned with what you want.
Back to finding your angle, take this blog. Don’t you think people in the online marketing space need a no-BS point of view like mine? Not all people, but many people need this type of clarity. I’m not doing anything new, just sharing my viewpoint! And that’s one of my defining angles here.
Having an angle or focusing on something you’re really good at, also gives you the benefit of working more easily, because you are being yourself with your audience. For example, if you don’t know about something, just be honest!
“So guys, here’s how to do this. Cool, huh? But that other thing, I still don’t know fully how it works. I’m working on it, though, and here’s my progress so far.”
That honesty goes a much longer way than trying to pretend something you’re not. After all, you’re talking to other people who value it too.
So, what’s your angle?
Think (and Feel) for Yourself
I cannot overemphasize the importance of following your own enthusiasm about what to do.
For example, imagine everyone’s raving about a new tool, let’s say for social media automation. There’s nothing to lose in checking it out, so maybe you do that. You’re presented with a cool new idea that saves time. Great.
But what if now is not the time for you to focus on social media? What if you intuitively know that you should be working on other aspects of your business, or perhaps in another type of promotion?
Your gut feeling, your enthusiasm, your common sense and logic are always telling you what are the best actions to take now, in the present moment.
And maybe in the future you’ll use that tool, or not.
Once you start to get the hang of this, you’ll figure out many different ways that you can structure your passive-income business to work for you.
Here are some ideas to jumpstart your passive income journey:
This is a bird’s eye overview of some popular different strategies:
1. Build an audience, then figure out how to make money.
You start by choosing a topic (best if you’re passionate about it). Assess its potential profit by checking out similar online businesses and how they’re making money. Luckily, (it is my opinion that) you can make money online out of pretty much any niche, although some topics can be more profitable than others, and invariably have more competition. Then, you focus on building an audience by providing valuable content to them, and once you get some traction, you’ll promote relevant products.
2. Choose products to sell, then attract potential buyers to them
You can start by choosing the products and companies you want to promote first, and then figure out the ideal audience you should build to send leads to those companies. The next step is to create valuable content best suited to attract those visitors. I would recommend starting with the product, then the audience, to intermediate or advanced marketers, though (unless, again, you’re very enthusiastic about it, again).
3. Monetize your passion.
Perhaps you are already very passionate about a topic. Let’s say, gaming, or tech, or dating, or whatever. Then, you don’t need to follow a structured approach, because you are so in tune with your audience that you just have to go with the flow. However, many people are passionate about things just for the sake of it, which is great, but you need to learn monetization strategies and be confident in asking for money when it’s perfectly justified. If this is what makes sense to you, that’s perfectly valid.
In my case, I like web development, I like writing, I like SEO and all that stuff, so what I do here on this blog falls right into my lap.
Other niches are perfectly valid if they resonate with you. For example, some time ago, I was making hundreds of dollars of daily profit by driving leads to online video games as an affiliate, even though I wasn’t very passionate about those particular video games themselves but, in general, I like video games.
And what if you can’t find good products to create, sell or promote in your niche that really resonate with you?
Let’s say your passion is ‘knitting scarves’. I’m not sure there is a powerful variety of products to promote as an affiliate, which is one of the strategies I mainly teach here.
Well, here I will probably disagree with most super-duper online marketers, because what I would recommend, instead of encouraging you to work hard to find a niche, is to take it easy and just keep doing what you like.
I am of the mindset that you can for sure make a killing while providing value in any area (because there is always a way). You will just have to explore your own niche and confidently explore creative new ways of making money online.
The good news is that in today’s Internet, there are a ton of monetization possibilities. There are a ton of marketplaces for creators, online store and membership sites software, crowdfunding platforms, ad networks, etc. and it’s only getting cheaper to build.
But wait, you should do dropshipping. Sell on Amazon. Or create your own line of knitting info-products. Or…
Yeah. I believe you. I can show you how to build a business around that. Problem is what if you don’t want to? Maybe you do, but I don’t want you to think you have to focus on that.
My main business is teaching you to make as much passive income as possible with the least amount of effort.
And again, I don’t care about making a sale, specifically. Because I know that eventually, pretty much all paths can be monetized. Plus, I am happier knowing you are at peace than making an extra commission at your cost.
There are other teachers, writers, business gurus, etc. who have more push-effort-based approaches. Some of them can be great if they resonate with you. 🙂
In that case-example of the scarves, I would start by exploring more direct ways first –for example, monetizing videos and tutorials, getting funded on Patreon, creating a membership site, and more. Once I get the ball rolling, I would focus on a more committed business strategy if I still want to.
I gravitate towards a simple approach: add value to people’s lives → then monetize that using passive income strategies. Period.
Now, if you only have a vague idea of what you like to do, but don’t know how to provide value in that area, then you need a simple structured approach to create high-quality content that helps your audience. Let’s see:
How to Create High-Quality Content That Provides Value
The following are some common approaches to finding ideas for creating valuable content that I actually use:
- Make a list of 20 topics in your niche and keep expanding that list as ideas come to you.
- Use a keyword research tool to find out what people are asking online and what they want solutions for. Then, create blog posts (or videos, podcasts, etc. if that’s your thing) that answer those questions.
- Research what the other people in your space already do successfully, and create (original) better versions of that content.
Promoting Your Content. Be Everywhere?
Once you start creating content, you have to put it in front of your target audience, and there are many different ways to go about it.
In my opinion, it is good to ‘be everywhere’, in the sense of creating multiple streams of visitors to your money-making site. For example:
- Creating Youtube videos.
- Starting a podcast.
- Writing on Medium.
- Guest posting on other blogs.
- Growing your social media profiles.
- Doing SEO to appear first on Google searches.
However, that doesn’t supersede the overarching principle to follow your own sense of what is good for you, now.
If you really dislike the idea of creating a YouTube channel to promote your business now, that’s ok. Perfectly fine. Really. I don’t do it either.
Whatever motivates you is a good choice either way. How so?
Because that doesn’t mean that a few months from now you won’t feel motivated then to do that. Perhaps six months from now, you’ll be making $3 000 monthly after hammering away at SEO, and now you feel way more motivated to create more marketing channels like YouTube or podcasting.
But, by first focusing on what feels right now, it tends to be easier to keep the motivation up throughout. Makes sense?
Hope so 🙂
So, What Do I Do Now? How Do I Start Making Money Online?
First of all, and I can tell you this from experience: make a decision. Make a decision you’re going to be consistent in these basics we just talked about.
If you’re not consistent, you’re going to be a potential consumer of ‘magic bullets’ that other marketers promote to be successful. Don’t be on the consumer end. Be the producer. Be the lead generator. Don’t be a lead to other businesses.
Stick to producing content with consistency. Have a life. Enjoy your life. Make the best of it. Your state of being is really important –after all, you want success to be happy, right? Practice being happy already. And keep producing valuable content with your audience in mind.
Sometimes, success comes right away.
Other times, the story goes like this: you have a minor success making money online, then nothing relevant happens for a while (that’s the tough part, you just have to keep doing what you were doing) then suddenly, the success you wanted comes like an avalanche. If you’re happy and have your goals set and clear, you’ll keep going through that dip.
Now, what are the next steps:
- Get a domain name and hosting.
- Set up your blog. Don’t overthink it. I can have a new blog up and running in 15 minutes.
- Do your first keyword research. Find, say, 20 to 50 topics to write about, and start writing articles around the 2 000 words mark minimum.
- Learn some SEO basics and apply that to your articles. Don’t overcomplicate it.
- Once you start getting some interested visitors, contact businesses in your niche that you trust and have a good affiliate program, and sign up.
- Be consistent in creating content and growing your traffic.
Then, there are other things that help me stay productive, such as keeping Excel sheets with my articles and relevant stats, for example, or optimizing your website for conversions.
On the personal development side of things, I meditate and visualize my success every day, and I’ve been doing that for a while now.
I’ll write about strategies (professional) and mindset (personal) on this blog, but many of these things are secondary if, again, you stick to the basics and don’t overcomplicate things.
For example: do I need to teach you to have a clean, easy to navigate website? Sure, I’ll remind you of it, but if you didn’t overcomplicate the design to begin with, that should be obvious.
Again, the people that will bring you passive income are real humans. 🙂 Treat them as such by being straightforward and nice.
Be honest by being ok with the people that don’t resonate with you leaving your website if they freely choose to. You like that freedom yourself, right? So it’s all fine. There are literally billions of people on Earth. 🙂
Marketing should be done to sell to people who already are interested in what you offer, not to try to convince people who are not.
This First Step (Every Day) Ensures Success
Before making any decision that will literally start a new phase in your life (because remember, you have to stay consistent) take five minutes for yourself.
Close your eyes and visualize yourself earning $3 000, $5 000, $10 000 or $20 000 per month and working only around two or three hours per day.
If you have trouble visualizing those amounts, start where you are now and imagine your life was just a little bit better, just a little bit freer, in smaller increments.
What does your day-to-day look like? How do you eat? Where are you going? What are your hobbies? How are your relationships?
This is important because that is what your imagination is for. To connect to that version of yourself. To really tell if that’s the right life for you, or you are just pursuing someone else’s idea of what’s right. My ideals don’t have to be yours, and vice-versa.
Really, take 5 minutes and visualize that in the first-person perspective, as if you were using a virtual reality device. What would you do? How does it feel?
Now, if the result of that experiment is positive (if it feels great and you are excited about taking that first step) then make a commitment to hold on to that no matter what, and proceed.
Once you’re in that energy, you are much better off to actually start working.
In this case, the first step would be to get hosting and a domain name. And if you do it via my affiliate links, I will get a nice cut from the hosting company at no cost to you.
See how easy it is?
Thank you ? and see you on the other side of your life. ??