Ever wanted to learn how to make money online with honesty? Often we have to be weary of what "experts" say because they can be seeking to make a quick buck at the sacrifice of their integrity.
I want to share 7 real ways you can actually make money online. I understand the struggles that we all face in life from my first hand experiences trying to escape poverty in my youth.
My goal is that you will learn how to create a side business that can generate $1,000 per month.
For some, this is chump change but for others it's life changing. In all honesty I chose $1,000 because I have managed to personally generate over $3,000 per month part time while also working a full time job. I would rather help you achieve something I personally have done than lie and sell you dreams.
1. Freelancing Services
This has been my go to strategy! Starting a consulting business isn't capital intensive because of it's low startup costs and it only requires you have skills that someone else is willing to pay for. I started a digital marketing consulting business at 19 while in college.
I didn't become filthy rich, but I was able to charge clients $20-$30 per hour instead of working at fast food restaurants.
If you're interested in implementing this method all you need is a website, business cards, logo, and a professional headshot.
The 5 popular freelance websites that I recommend to find jobs include LinkedIn, Upwork, Elance, Fiverr and 99 Designs.
As of May 2015 there are 15.5 million freelancers and this number is on the rise. By 2020 it’s estimated that 40% of the American workforce will be made up of freelancers.
The main reason for the rise in freelancing is:
- Corporate downsizing
- New economic conditions (tech has skewed the supply & demand curve)
- Low barriers to entry starting businesses
If you think that freelancing is for you, check out some of your local co-working spaces in your area and interview other freelancers to see how they like their lifestyle.
Or you can just review this infographic on the pros and cons of freelancing.
Here’s a guide to help you get started turning your passion into profit.
2. Creating Online Courses
We all have different personalities. If you’re an introvert you may cringe at the thought of having to meet clients for your consulting services.
I recently began offering courses and decreasing my time spent on freelancing because I desire a lifestyle that is not labor intensive and can help me to earn passive income.
Thanks to the internet, you now can have a job working from home through creating online courses.
Here are the main 5 key steps to create online courses.
Idea Generation: In order to create a successful online course you have to identify a niche that you're both passionate about and there's a demand for.
I recommend researching courses already created on Udemy and other top LMS platforms. This way you can look at the courses that have actually sold. This shows that there is already a demand for that subject matter.
Content Plan: If you fail to plan then you plan to fail. Imagine writing a paper for school. It would be more effective to create an outline with several bullet points under each heading before jumping straight into writing a paper. The same can be true about creating online courses.
Kathryn Hocking specifically focuses on helping service based entrepreneurs looking to increase their revenue. If you are already freelancing or are considering it then you can use your service offerings to help develop your content plan.
Pricing & Positioning: Have you ever felt like you were worth more than you were paid? When determining how to price your course (or even negotiating your pay) ask yourself how much value does your product or service provide.
I look at the impact on a company's revenue I have to avoid trading hours for dollars. Look at competitors with similar pricing to get a range but then use your gut instance to settle on you price.
Goals & Budget: After setting the price point for your course then it's time to determine your goals and budgets. For my own course, I set a price point of $97 and I have made the goal of 25 course sales.This would bring in revenue of $2,425 allowing me to cover my overhead cost and make a profit which I think covers my time commitment.
I don't want to solely focus on profit; I want to help a lot of people because I understand the power that small businesses can have on a family and it's community. My philosophy is to help those who invest in themselves.
When setting a budget I like to use a ratio of 1/3 of my income goal (this is just my personal preference) which goes to the course creation and advertising.
I don't actually create my courses until completing pre-sales to prove there's an actual demand. This also allows me to cut my losses before making a significant time investment.
Branding: We all have unique personalities that we bring to the table. Our personal brand and our company brand should reflect our core values.
With my company my mission is: Helping aspiring entrepreneurs live life on their own terms.
I chose this mission for two reasons. 1st I deeply believe entrepreneurship can help people escape poverty. Were not all blessed with a job that's fulfilling but we all are valuable and have skills others are willing to pay for. 2nd I have noticed many people wish to live life on their own terms.
Often we waste our lives building other people's dream (it's call a job) and failing to pursue our own deep desires. Don't get me wrong I currently work a job that I enjoy. I use my job as a learning experience and stepping stones to develop my skills to become a full time lifestyle entrepreneur one day.
So with all that being said your brand can be summed up as...
- Mission statement based on your core values that evokes deep emotions within you
- Colors that compliment the emotions you want to convey in your mission statement
- Physical items that reflect your personality (logo, website, business cards, photography)
3. Sell Digital Products
This method is similar to creating online courses because it allows you to generate passive income by avoiding trading hours for dollars. If you want to sell digital products you have two options; either create your own products or partners with someone and sell their products.
I will talk about creating and selling you own products here. If your looking to sell others products then skip to number five which covers affiliate marketing.
The 5 Most profitable products to sell (excluding online courses) as online as a budding entrepreneur are mobile apps, ebooks, photos, music, & website themes.
If you need help creating your digital product then consider using one of the top freelancing websites that I mentioned earlier.
These are all great products but if you ambitious then you may want to consider looking into the tech startup industry. Startup companies are built everyday and many fail but for the small few that succeed they experience a huge payday.
Consider joining a tech startup through Angel List. Many of them have developed products and need help with programming, marketing, and sales. If you have experience in your industry then you can expect to gain equity and in some cases salaries.
4. Membership Site
The digital revolution that was started thanks to the internet has changed many industries for the better. Some of these industries include music, television, and newspaper.
All of them had to move to a online subscription revenue model to keep up with changes.
Guess what the following have in common:
- Music: Spotify, Pandora, Sirius Radio
- Television: Netflix, Hulu, HBO NOW
- Newspapers: TIME, WSJ, Washington Post
They all are membership website that give you the ability to subscribe. This is a trend that will become more integrated with our society soon thanks to the Internet of Things (IOT)
Recently more traditional companies are moving to recurring business models. Companies like Apple & even Audi… I love to look ahead of the curve.
This 2 minute clip from a lecture at Cornell paints a vivid picture of what’s happening.
If you want to build a membership website there's a lot that goes into it. You will need the following.
- Website: This is a given, it's hard to have an online course without a website to put your course on ($60-$2,500)
- Hosting: In order for your website to stay on the internet it has to be on servers that send your information to other people computers ($8-$30)
- LMS: A learning management system lets you create your online course and deliver it to students ($50-$200)
- Payment Processor: You will need this in order to get paid! The most important part is that you want to be able to bill recurring monthly payments. (2.9% Per Transaction)
- Business Automation: To run a high quality course you want to trigger when certain emails are sent and when specific content is available
As you can see a lot goes into creating an online course. I used to simply have a WordPress website that was hosted by BlueHost when I did freelance work but then I switched to a marketing automation system (The RainMaker Platform) to be exact.
If you're strapped for cash you can start off building your course on Udemy or doing group coaching (number 8) before making the jump to your own hosted courses.
5. Affiliate Marketing
Want to avoid the hassles associated with having to create your own course or digital product? Well thank god for affiliate marketing.
"Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products." — Patt Flynn
The two most common ways of promoting affiliate products is through blogging and email marketing. You need a lot of website traffic to make money using this method.
It's common for 2% of people to convert into paying customers when doing sales if you're selling a product that's relevant to an audience.
So let's say your goal is to make $1,000 per month and you're selling a product that pays an one time commission of $50. To reach your 20 sales per month you need approximately 1,000 targeted website visitors.
If you're interested in doing affiliate marketing I would first focus on building your website traffic to around 25,000 unique monthly website visitors by blogging. Specifically write long form blog posts like Neil Patel.
Speaking of Neil Patel he's a great digital marketer that has managed to generate over 100,000 website visitors to his blog in one year. To make things even awesome he's helping someone else do the same and documented his strategies.
Neil Patel Nutrition Secrets 100K Challenge
- The $100,000 Challenge: April Update
- The $100,000 Challenge: May Update
- The $100,000 Challenge: June Update
- The $100,000 Challenge: July Update
- The $100,000 Challenge: August Update
- The $100,000 Challenge: September Update
- The $100,000 Challenge: October Update
- The $100,000 Challenge: November Update
- The $100,000 Challenge: December Update
- The $100,000 Challenge: January Update
- The $100,000 Challenge: February Update
- The $100,000 Challenge: March Update
Also remember once you are generating a significant amount of traffic you have to then focus on your conversion funnel to make sure you're converting 2% of your website visitors into sales.
6. Virtual Summit
Do you desire to create a part time income doing something that allows you to connect with authority figures in your industry. If so you should consider creating virtual summits.
What I like about this strategy is that you don't need to have any expertise. You only need to develop skills to attract authority figures to speak at your virtual summit.
I'm going to share 5 reasons why you should consider creating your own virtual summit before sharing steps on how you can get started.
- Gain Authority: Have you ever heard the saying it's not what you know but it's who you know? Well this applies to virtual summits because after having authority figures speak at your virtual summit you will be given credibility simply by association.
- Free eMail List: You can gain anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 emails quickly through launching a virtual summit. Best of all you usually have other established online businesses helping you by email blasting their own lists. Remember there's always power when others work together.
- Build A Tribe: Your virtual summit will help you build a very passionate tribe and community of raving fans willing to pay you for the value you bring to their lives. You don't want to attract everyone, only people that align with your vision and purpose.
- Develop Relationships: The number one reason I would say you should consider doing a virtual summit is because of the relationships that you can develop with established professionals. By interviewing and featuring influencers on your summit you will build your brand by association. When connecting with influencers try to take the conversations offline to build a deeper and more meaningful relationship. We sometimes use the internet as a crutch...
- Create A Product: Imagine if you could create a high value product that has credibility and the ability to go viral. Well you do with the recording of your virtual summit. After the event you can then create an online course and make passive income.
I know what your thinking.... You may be telling yourself these 5 reasons are great in all but it all seems so unrealistic; I was once in your shoes. At the age of 19 I had only completed 1 internship before landing my 1st client. I learned you just have to be transparent and be yourself. People appreciate honesty and what you lack in skills you can make up with sheer determination through your work ethic.
Here's How To Create A Virtual Summit
7. Group Coaching
In 1920, social psychologist Floyd Allport showed that a group of people working individually at the same table performed better on a whole range of tasks even though they weren’t cooperating or competing. This is one of the main reasons group coaching is so powerful.
This method can be combined with freelancing and best of all this method can be started without any overhead. Their are two companies that allow you to coach and train others. They are MakeMe & CoachMe. I will spend time focusing on MakeMe because I'm friends with the founders and have a deep understanding of their business model.
As a coach you would create your course and they would help you to integrate it within their platform.
There's 6 main features you can integrate within MakeMe courses.
- Group Challenges: Help others achieve your personal and team goals with friends, family, peers around the world.
- Action Plans: Create simple daily actions crafted and delivered by leading experts to help you achieve everyday.
- Social Motivation: Students hold each other accountable by making it and proving it with photos, location checkins, and more.
- Make Your Daily Move: Students stick to your action plan and track their progress by making it before midnight, or they can take an off day!
- Make It Together: Support your students & teammates motivate each other while engaging with skillful coaches along the way.
- Avoid Consequences: Create consequences if they miss too many moves and everyone in the team has to own up to the challenge, with photo proof!
Here's an example of a MakeMe challenge in action from start to finish (the experience with premium challenges differs a little).
Remember if you decide to focus on group coaching then you need to be able to build relationships and fill your classes with students.