They make it look so easy, don’t they?
Sell your stuff, make some dough — right?
If you’ve spent any time in the online marketing circles, you know how “easy” they tell you it is.
Since the dawn of eBay, plenty of people have been trying their best to make it online.
Some are successful. Others? Not so much.
What makes those “others” fail while the rest thrive?
Simple: their lack of planning and persistence.
The Fountain of Fortune is elusive. Those who are making the money are those who refuse to give up — they’re forever in search of the niche needs they can fulfill.
So where is your Fountain of Fortune?
Is it selling on eBay or Etsy? Or maybe you’re a natural teacher and can even sell education on Udemy.
Wherever your Fountain might lie, you can only reach it if you have the right map.
Those people willing to take on any old gig online — like selling “happy birthday” gigs on Fiverr — aren’t likely to see any riches. Once the site takes its cut, those vendors make $2 or $3. If that’s a road to success, it’s paved with crumbled brick.
What about the Etsy shop selling “crocheted double finger rings”? How much do you think she’s made?
You can’t sell just anything.
You must know what a market needs before you can try to make money in it.
Follow these seven steps and greatly amplify your odds of making money online.
Your Roadmap to a Fountain of Online Fortune
1. List all the things you know how to do really well.
Maybe you’re a great baker. You can still make money online without selling actual cakes. You could become a Baker’s Coach, or you could set up a website promoting baking classes in your area. Think outside the box. Blend your specialties to generate an idea that’s unique to you. Here’s a tip: the more your idea relates to helping people increase their income, the better your chances of success will be.
2. Research your idea.
Check Amazon, online forums, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ for information on your developing idea. Ask yourself if there’s an existing market. If there’s already 5,834,544 books on the subject, you’ll be swimming in a swollen market. If you find some information on the topic, but not an overwhelming load of resources, you may have found a winner.
3. Figure out how to make money from it.
Once you’ve found your sweet spot, start mapping out what you can contribute to that niche for the most money. Maybe you’re a baker who teaches the best techniques in fondant. Or maybe you make baking so easy that even newbies will learn how to make a winning recipe.
4. Find your customers.
Start joining online forums and groups where members could use your services. Don’t join other bakers’ groups. Join “Mamas Who Don’t Know How To Boil Water” instead. It might sound counterintuitive, but your help in the forums could earn you true evangelists who are willing to spread the word about your baking courses.
5. Be patient.
Once you’ve started on your path to the Fountain, expect setbacks, dry spells, and failures. Not everything you do in the beginning will sell, especially if you’re still unknown.
6. Start networking with influencers.
But be sincere. If you’re engaged only to soak up some of their stage time, they’ll know it, and you’ll end up with nothing for your time or engagement. Make contact, but do so because you were genuinely inspired. Be specific about what inspired you — comment on their posts and share what’s helped you the most.
7. Measure and assess.
Get started, and set specific dates to gauge your progress. Are you on schedule? Are you meeting your goals? Or does it look like you’re going to fall short? If you’ve given it your all and there’s still no sign of hope, it might be time to rethink your niche.
Understanding what buyers are willing to pay for, becoming a helpful resource for others, and knowing when to change gears (no matter which platform you choose) are key to making the most money online — even if it takes you a while to get there.
Have you tried doing business online? How has it worked for you?