“Be flexible and open minded with the various channels you can make money, especially as a content creator. If you aren’t selling your content exclusively at a hefty price tag, you can re-use and re-purpose that content for multiple income streams. One photo for example could be sold into different articles, publications and stock websites which can increase the value of that one photo significantly. We live in such a fast paced world now too often people will burn through content, use it once and ignore it when really it can provide ongoing, and sometimes passive income. Once it’s making passive income, you then have more time to grow your online business.”
You'll also need ecommerce software, fulfillment software, worry about warehousing, customer service and refunds. But that's not all. You'll also need traffic. Think search engine optimization, Facebook ads, and other social media campaigns. It is hard work, especially on your own. You could opt for Amazon's platform, which might be the easier route. But, then again, at the end of the day, this is a serious business, which could produce significant profits. So you're either all in or you're not.
Last but not least, you can also earn money online by building an online community, although the monetization strategies you can pursue will vary a lot depending on your goals. You can build a community with a blog, for example. You can also build an online forum and charge people for membership. You could even build up a Facebook group and use your influence there to sell and promote products.
But these are just ways we try to optimize things on already successful websites. If you want to make money online on the long run, just jump into all of your customers’ shoes and focus on their experience – the journey they take on your digital property. Their fears, concerns, desires, their hidden agenda. When you really understand them, you only need to personalize and automate things to skyrocket your business.”
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If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? My friend, Mark Jackson did just that, making extra money online with his travel consulting side business. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, and then move on and create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals. Eventually you could spin this into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make their dream trip a reality.
To get started with Amazon affiliate marketing you will need to sign up with Amazon Affiliates. Then subtly market products on your site that are relevant to your niche and will be of interest to your audience. Make sure you only endorse high-quality products. If your visitors make a purchase on your recommendation but are not impressed with the item, you could quickly lose followers.
Next, you’ll need the right tools. You can be as complicated or simple as you want depending on your comfort with audio equipment, but at the minimum you’ll want a microphone and software for recording your voice. Companies like Behringer, Blue, Focusrite, and others sell studio-quality plug-and-play podcast setups that can get you recording today.
You’re already an online shopping ninja, so it just makes sense to get money back for something you’re going to do anyway. Ebates is one of the biggest names in cash-back sites that reward you for shopping with their retail partners. For Ebates, that includes biggies like Walmart and Amazon. Ebates pays you back a portion of your spending through a check or PayPal and it’s free to use.
So, where are we supposed to turn to make money the legitimate way online? This isn't just about generating passive income; this is also about finding ways and means to create an active income through the conveniences afforded to us by the internet that will not only help us with our debt obligations, but also empower us to save, invest and get really rich in the future.
I am also a pragmatic person, so I know that philosophy will only get you so far. If you are at the beginning of your journey here’s what you do. List 10 things you are most passionate about. Then list 10 things you are most skilled in. Rate those from 1 to 10. Then take top 4 (2 best from each side) and try to find the best opportunities. Are there any best sellers in Amazon? Are there any keywords with low keyword difficulty, but large volume of searches? Are there any recurring affiliate commission products? Imagine if you did your absolute favorite thing, and getting paid to do it. That’s what you are aiming for, a “hell yeah”!”
Before getting started with any kind of “we’ll pay you some minimal amount to do stuff” service, read reviews. What are people saying about the payments? The opportunities? How long it takes to get paid? Are there any creative methods a person can use to maximize their profits for the work? Is the work something you can actually see yourself doing, or will you likely quit a few minutes after you’ve finished your first project?
Provide excellent customer service. Answer any questions buyers post as quickly as possible. Be professional and courteous. Positive communication builds your reputation with buyers and gets you return business. Also, package your product well and ship it out quickly. Allowing an item to become damaged or taking too long to ship can negatively affect your reputation among buyers. Wrap all items, especially fragile ones, in appropriate packaging. Commit to shipping items as soon as you receive payment.
One of the most beautiful and exciting qualities about blogging is that you can create a blog that deals with any subject area that you are either knowledgeable or passionate about (and preferably both!). You can write about personal finance, careers, real estate, getting into business, technology, cooking, travel, personal health, or just about any topic you choose.
The first follows the startup path we outlined above: You have a disruptive idea for an app or piece of software, you validate the idea with real customers, and then raise money to hire developers or a development studio to build, launch, and scale your software. If you’ve done everything right, your software will be accepted to the Apple and Google Stores and you’ll make money every time someone downloads it or pays for a premium feature.
Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
If you're ready to enter the ecommerce fray, you could sell your own stuff. Of course, along with selling your own stuff on your own website comes a whole slew of both responsibilities and technical configuration and requirements. For starters, you'll need a website and a hosting account. You'll also need a merchant account like ones offered by Stripe or PayPal. Then you'll need to design that site, build a sales funnel, create a lead magnet and do some email marketing.