Millions of Americans lost their jobs and the number keeps rising.
Young couples and families worldwide lost their sources of income because of the coronavirus (including me), making it a disaster for those paying rents and returning loans and mortgages to the bank, making it a real struggle to provide our families, not to forget about all the small businesses that took a massive financial hit.
The relief measures adopted by the government are delaying the problem rather than solving it, as our savings are fading away while we try to maintain the level of comfort we got used to, and the overall picture is not looking good at all.
But on the other side...
Because of the high unemployment rates, people are engaging the internet more and more (making it 4.5 billions of active users today which is 60% of the overall population) and many of them are looking for ways to make money online and for options to work from home making an extra income on the internet, and their number is growing faster than ever before.
It is the perfect time to start your online business, so I wanted to share these effective strategies so you can start earning real money from home, and provide your family with financial support in such uneasy times.
So how do you actually make money online ?
Follow our step by step guide
How to build a profitable blog or website?
Create a professional website without coding:
Fortunately you don't have to be a coding expert to build a good looking website.
(And if you are, you may want to skip this part)
➼ First thing you want to do is register a domain (your www. adress).
BlueHost is probably the most popular option when it comes to choosing the right hosting provider for your website.
Check out Best Hosting Providers 2020 overview before you proceed, many of them already provide you a free domain, saving you an extra 15$.
There are many additional services and tools that can help you build a professional website even more easily without coding at all, for example this website builder .
It will take you less than 10 minutes to set up a domain, so get it going !
Once your domain is ready
➼ Choose the type of content you want on your blog/website.
Content is the reason people are visiting and spending time on your website .
You have to give people something they are interested in ,something that helps them ,solves their problem or entertains them , it is called value ,otherwise why would they spend time on your website ?
How to come up with the perfect content for your blog or website?
➼ 1. Choose the perfect niche for you :
• Find something you are passionate about and want to share with the world (even if you are not an expert...yet ).
• Make a research to find out all the trends inside your niche. Use Google Trends to find out what are the hot and leading trends and compare them.
• Use your SEO tools to get an insight, or acquire this useful tool to find profitable niches with low competition pretty fast and easy, it has already saved me a great amount of time, but you can always get few ideas using Google Trends.
• Use Google's auto-fill (once you are typing Google completes the sentence for you), if you need more answers do the same with YouTube and Amazon, it will help you locate the narrow niche people are interested in. Also don't forget to check the suggested sub-niches by Google at the bottom of the page.
• Choose something you won't get tired of quickly as you will be researching the field and become better in it. Passion is the key.
➼ 2. Find your target audience and understand what they need, then ask yourself what is the value you can provide them.
• You can guide, teach or entertain your visitors.
• You can make a survey on your site asking your visitors directly what they want.
• Find out what is your audience's age,where they live and what is their level of income, this will help you to adjust your content to suit the needs of your audience making it as relevant as possible.
➼ 3. Check the competition in the niche you've chosen,
• You don't have to avoid competition completely, it is actually a healthy sign that there is lots of demand for the topic you have chosen.
• Use Google Trends to discover trending and leading topics for your desired location.
• To skyrocket your business, you might want to invest in this SEO tool as it helps you find out what your competitors are doing, and check the keyword difficulty inside your niche (the higher the keyword difficulty the heavier is the competition for this specific keyword)
➼ 4. Do your keyword research
• The right keywords, are directly influencing the number of people coming across your site.
• The better your keywords are, the higher is your website's traffic.
• Same as for finding your sub-niche, you can find the needed keywords through Google's, Youtube's and Amazon's autofill, as well using Google Trends to get free suggestions that will make your research easier.
• You can use a KW finder tool for better and faster results.
➼ 5. Optimize your website
• Keep on improving your keywords by finding the most relevant.
• Make sure that your website is adopted to mobile (if you use Shopify it's already done for you),
• Make sure your website is loading fast , don't overload your website with everything possible, in this situation less is more.
You can also hire a freelancer to do all the difficult steps for you, check out Fiverr's freelance marketplace
Now when everything is set , and people are visiting your site , it's about time to start making money.
What is monetizing?
Monetization is actually the process of turning something into a profitable asset.
In our case, we can convert the traffic of our website into money
How to convert traffic into money ?
Here are the most effective monetization strategies:
1 ➼ Email marketing:
Probably the most simple way to make money with your website.
• Building an email list out of people that are interested in your content, it will create a powerful base of loyal followers, that will donate to your success in the future.
How is it made ?
• Email marketing should revolve around your content and If you are writing a blog giving your audience something useful that solves their problem, they will gladly subscribe to your newsletter and will be waiting for the freshest updates.
• In order to make this whole thing work, you should provide real value to your subscribers
• A great email marketing technique is to send your followers 3 emails that contain value (for absolutely free), and for the fourth time you will send them an offer, it can be your digital product or anything else they might be interested in. The offer you make should be relevant to the topic your visitors have subscribed to, otherwise it will scare them away leaving you with less potential profit in the future.
2 ➼ Ads:
The most popular monetization strategy, ads are everywhere.
To start making money with advertising you should have a stable flow of visitors,the higher your website's traffic the better.
(How to bring traffic to your website is a topic for another discussion)
Big and small businesses may pay you to advertise their product on your site.For example you can sell adspace on your website by placing a banner.
How is the profit calculated ?
• CPM-cost per mile is calculated for every 1000 visitors you have on your website. If you charge 10$, and have 20,000 visitors, you will get 200$.
• CPA-cost per action, every time your visitor clicks an ad and makes a specific action, you get paid, if you charge 10$ like in the previous example, you will only need 20 actions in order to get a 200$ profit, but making your visitors accomplish that specific action might be a harder task to achieve, so you have to decide on your advertising strategy depending on your content and you can use both and see what works better for your website.
• As time passes you will double, then triple the amount of your visitors, making more money from a single ad campaign, you can run few ad campaigns at the same time, and will be able to earn from few hundreds to thousands of dollars every month, sky is the limit, so it's all up to you.
• Be careful, don't overdo it, since too much advertising will make your visitors find your website distracting and spammy making them want to leave. You don't want to let that happen, and you might want to test different approaches and find your perfect balance.
• The best usage of ads is to combine them with another monetization strategy, for example selling your digital goods on your site with a moderate amount of relevant ads.
3 ➼ Affiliate Marketing:
What is affiliate marketing and how does it work ?
Affiliate marketing is about generating sales and traffic for another business.
• As an affiliate marketer your mission is to help other businesses make more money, their success is your success.
How to become an affiliate marketer ?
• Find a product or a service to promote.
For example you can promote other freelancers on Fiverr or Clickbank, and get a commission.
Promote only the product you believe in, that is of the highest quality, a product you have used yourself and had a great experience with. The product should also provide a great customer support and have a refund policy in case.
Offering your visitors only high quality products and the best possible experience, will create loyal users and followers.
• You connect value with the people that are looking for it, and get a commission for every sale that drives through your website to the business you promote.
How to promote your chosen product ?
• Review: Write a blog reviewing the pros and cons of the chosen product.
If your blog is about fitness and diets, you can promote high quality accessories, supplements, guides, courses and diets other professionals have worked on, and your only job is to choose the best product for your audience.
If your visitors find the review informative they might click the product's link and purchase the product, and you will a get a commission for every sale that was directed from your website, turning your review into a passive income asset.
• Guide / manual: Do you know something that will help others? Probably you do, but unaware of it.
There are many questions people are asking on the internet searching for answers. Do a research finding out demanded topics, the easiest way to do it is using Google's auto-fill, just type in "How to...."into google and it will suggest you the most searched topics.
• In order to understand the product's real value that you are promoting, you should be using the product yourself , otherwise your auditory will understand that you are just trying to profit from them and will loose their trust, hurting your business in the long-run.
• High quality service builds trust, the more your audience trusts you the more chances that they will accept your other offers (that should also be of high quality).
• Combining affiliate marketing with email marketing can be a wonderful strategy, since you supply great content and promote other high quality offer via email.
You connect your clients to a valuable offer, which helps to build trust , which is leading to even more profits in the future.
The key factors are relevance and high quality.
4 ➼ Digital products:
Create and promote your own piece of content, the most popular digital products are:
• E-books, you can write an electronic book in your favorite genre, or create a guide or a manual that people will find useful and valuable.
• Courses, just like ebooks , you can create a useful piece of content in video format, online education is only gaining popularity and people are ready to pay for practical knowledge.
• Photos, high quality images are always popular, businesses and private users might want to buy your photos for their product, blog or website. If photography is your passion perhaps it would be ideal for you.
• Audio & Sounds, from audio-books to soundtracks, you can even earn money by selling sound samples such as pre-recorded musical instruments, different sound-effects and background noises.
You can use SendOwl to automatize your selling, without having to worry about payment providers, as everything is done for you, making it a passive income business.
Selling your digital product on your website will save you from paying commissions that you'd have to pay if you were selling on someone else's platform.
You can place your digital goods on a platform until your website gets the desired traffic, till then your website will serve you as a resource of advertising, helping your clients reach out to you more easily.
5 ➼ Freelancing
A freelancer is a self-employed specialist that provides service in a certain field.
•As a freelancer you provide your professional skills supplying a vital service providing value to your clients, something useful that people would benefit from ,which is great and awesome.As time passes you grow your audience and become better at what you do generating even more income.
Here are the most demanded freelancing services:
Writing : Writing is quiet a wide and demanded field, which includes: Content writing, Copy writing, Translating and Proof reading
Designing: Brands use designing services in order to create a unique brand , stand out from the crowd and get attention to their products ,the designing field includes:
Logo designing,Products and packaging designing,digital artists and illustrators, there is also web designing but it is more relevant to coding and software development
Photography: Everyone wants great photos (right?) whether it is business, a social event or a private user that wants to show off in his or her instagram.The photography area includes the following sub-types:
Social events photography (Weddings , parties, concerts, sports, corporate events ) , Product photography , Advertising , Fashion, Photo editing, Real estate photography.
If you have passion for these it might be exactly your thing.
Consulting: If you have a certain knowledge in a specific area , you can help others achieve their goals on their way to success (and make a profit ).
The most profitable sub-niches in consulting are:
Virtual assistants,Business management and planning, Financial advisers , Fitness and diets consulting, Relationships adviser, IT consultants.
Software development: A high paying niche for freelancers, but probably tougher to get in than the others. Big variety of skills is required to create great software of high quality,but many opportunities for those who got what is needed, the most lucrative options for a freelancer are :
Games development , Mobile apps , web designing and coding.
Where to start ?
There are many platforms that let you sell your skills (or buy other peoples' services)
like Fiverr , Clickbank , Shareasale and many others.
check them out to find out what is best for you
It won't take you much time ( maybe 10 minutes to register) , follow your passion and make a living from it. If you are a specialist in a certain field it might be just perfect for you,share you knowledge with others, help them, guide them and profit from it. Its a Win Win situation.
6 ➼ eCommerce store & Dropshipping:
Start an eCommerce business by turning your website into a store (or join an existing platform).
eCommerce business is a more complex thing to start and will require more effort than all the other monetization methods of your site, but if you are not afraid of challenges, this may turn your website into a high revenue asset with a big number of opportunities for growth.
Join an existing platform or build my eCommerce business through my website ?
Of course you can join an existing platform like Aliexpress, eBay or Amazon to make it easier to start your business, as it already has a ready base of money paying users, but you will be obliged to pay a commission (about 15% - 25% of the product's cost) for every unit you sell on their platform.
If you want an easier start, joining a platform is a better option for you, but if you want to create a strong brand in the long-run, while having full control of your business, set up a store using your website.
Either way you choose, here are the most vital steps for setting a successful eComerce store:
• Find a profitable product to sell. Do your product research. Browse Amazon for interesting niches ideas, then compare them using Google Trends. You can sell both digital and physical goods on your store, but if you go with physical items, take into consideration that fragile items might be damaged before they make it to the customer, also big and heavy objects are more pricier to store and ship.
• Decide on payment methods you would like to accept, the more payment systems (credit cards and electronic wallets) your store supports, the more convenient it would be for your buyers to pay, increasing the chance of making a sale.
• Create a return policy for the case the item you delivered is damaged or even simply different from what your buyer was expecting and is now asking for a return.
But don't underestimate the power of a good return policy, as it can attract potential buyers. By promising your clients a full money return without questions asked, makes your brand look confident about it's products, making it an easier decision for impulse buyers and hesitating customers to complete the purchase.
• Find a supplier, preferably the manufacturer of the product that you've chosen to sell in your store. (Visit Alibaba to get an insight)
If you have a starting capital you would like to invest you can buy wholesale (purchase in bulk), buying a big quantity reduces the price for each item bought, letting you set lower prices than your competitors, drawing attention to your business. The idea behind that is to build and develop a brand without having to manufacture the product by yourself. You can also hire a third-party service, to store, package and ship your goods to a client once purchased through your store, if you don't want to deal with logistics.
Don't invest big amounts of money if you are not sure what you are doing, start small, test and grow bigger
• Choose the right pricing strategy, it highly depends on your chosen product and your audience.
3 most effective pricing strategies :
1‣ Penetration pricing: setting a price lower than the average price in the market, can be a deciding factor to the buyer.
New businesses that want to expose their brand and draw attention can use this strategy to raise brand awareness, however it might be ineffective in the long-run, as a result of rock-bottom prices.
2‣ Competitive pricing: setting a price similar to your competitors' or a little bit lower, preventing them from getting an edge over your brand. This strategy is effective in highly competitive niches where the buyer has many different options to choose from.
3‣ Premium pricing: setting your prices as high as possible making your customers feel they are buying a luxury product. To have success with this strategy you should have a highly recognizable brand (Apple) or deliver top quality products. Some people are ready to overpay for a certain product if they feel they are getting value, such as quality, status and shopping experience. Otherwise your customers may feel they have been cheated on, which will affect the brand's image negatively.
‣ All the other strategies are mostly combinations of these 3.
So how to get started ?
• You can create your eCommerce store using Shopify combined with Oberlo (a free app) to import goods from Aliexpress, which turns it into a systemized dropshipping business, giving you an edge over regular dropshippers.
Dropshipping is actually buying a product or a service after you get paid for it, and resell it for a higher price, without holding an inventory.
• The positive side of a dropshipping store is that you don't have to worry about logistics, the item is delivered from the supplier directly to the customer, and you don't even have to touch the product.
• The downside of this is the fact you have less control over the goods you are selling, their quality and their package design, even though you can hire a third-party company to check your product's quality and design it's package, they will be charging you a fee for their service, and you should calculate your estimated income and your expenses to avoid losing your money.
• If it is the first time you are starting an eCommerce store I would recommend you to get consulted or get instructed by someone who is familiar with the eCommerce field, you can hire a professional to help you get started.
Things to avoid
There are many ways to start generating your cash flow ,but unfortunately many of the suggested methods online are not effective.
Don't get me wrong, it can get you a few bucks but the time and effort you invest is simply not worth it.
and all the similar types will simply take your time for little or nothing in return. I highly don't recommend this type.