Shall we start making more money?
When I set out to write this post, I was going to talk about different ways to make more money but why talk general when I can take a more focused approach and share with you what people do online specifically? I live and breath the Internet these days, so when I ask you to take some time to make more money, I’m thinking about some of these as suggestions.
I need to start here, because doing this led me to take the leap away from the 9-5. I won’t bore you with the details, because you already know what to do – Throw up a website, write great content, market it, rinse and repeat.
The great thing about these informational websites is that most people can start without expectations and expenses. The lack of pressure frees them to just let their instincts and passion guide them.
On the other hand, the lack of pressure may be a bad thing, as you might not be committed to this side income project. To make matters worst, it is not as easy as everyone has you believe. Know that the vast majority of people who are even remotely successful spent a ton of hours tweaking, learning and building their website. I often tell people that these websites work much like a real world magazine so think about it this way. You can easily slap a few pages of stuff together, call it a magazine and start selling. With some luck, you may even make a few bucks. If however, you want to truly make a comfortable living with your magazine, you better spend time learning how distribution, publishing, and content creation works. This is because even if you don’t do anything yourself, knowing what is involved helps you avoid overpaying your contractors.
Now let’s talk about a more interesting idea. Have you always wanted to sell something but have no intention of renting retail space, modeling your store and then dealing with all the foot traffic, not to mention the dusting and cleanup? If so, consider an online store. The great thing about the online version is that you can spend as much money (or as little as you want), and everything about it can change on a dime (design, payment flow, expansion, contraction among others).
Warning though. You still have to deal with customer support, inventory of your products etc. You also need to always remember that this is a business you are building, so don’t take this lightly just because it’s done online and you never see a physical location.
Online Store Front Redirecting Traffic
Third up on the list is a less popular idea that I’ve seen cleverly implemented. Why worry about payment, customer service, category and inventory when someone else will take care of it for you? With the complexity of software these days, merchants are able to track and distribute commissions to anyone who can send them targeted traffic that ends up buying their products. Some clever entrepreneurs decided that they will just setup an online store front that looks exactly like an online store and redirect everything to a particular merchant. No customer service questions ever again.
Of course, this is an overly simplified version of what goes on, but you get the idea. These people spend a lot of time marketing their online facades. After all, what keeps them separated from the actual store is clever marketing and value add along the sales funnel.
Sell an eBook, or Actually, Anything
You see a ton of these self-made products being sold online these days, and even see a few products promising to teach you how to sell these products. Through the online medium, ANYONE can start selling anything. Be it an ebook, a published book, consulting services or even t-shirts, many people are making money because they are able to reach virtually anyone in the world.
There’s only one important point to remember, and it’s crucial to your success. Forget your product. Yup, I said it. Sure, you absolutely need a good product to be successful long term, but the key to your success is the marketing behind it. Sales won’t happen even if you are giving away a car for everyone that reads your $5 ebook unless people know about it.
Spend at least as much time marketing the product than creating it.
Charge a Subscription Service
Better yet, charge a subscription for your online service. And if you don’t think you can do it, here are three examples of what I have seen that should suggest to you that anyone can do this.
- The Tax Expert – I love this one, because it’s so simple. Daily videos answering reader questions every single day. Ideas are coming from the customers, and people stay subscribed because they want to learn more about taxes. The videos are 5-10 minutes, and she only charges $10 a month.
- Paid Newsletters – Remember the website content idea we spoke about? Many people charge for it, billed monthly. I’ve seen a ton on investing, but others for restaurant owners and garden lovers as well. The starting cost is practically nil, and people will eventually know about it if it’s worth subscribing, so give this one a thought.
- Classes – If you are good at explaining a concept people want to learn about, you can probably start an online class and charge for it. Sure, there are the usuals like math tutors and maybe even digital camera classes. But how about magic tricks?
It Shouldn’t Stop Here
Even if you are successful with any one of these, the worst thing you can do is stop there. Most people never do this, but no one is stopping you from combining any (or all) of the above into a huge online empire. Just like you wouldn’t say no to selling soft drinks if you are a fast food company, you should never say no to selling your own products in an online store.
And if you are smart like McDonalds, you can even start selling coffee too. Now, who would’ve thought of that?