The Blueprint for Earning Online
It’s the age of the internet and all around you people are earning online. It’s like the Industrial Revolution, new opportunities and sources of wealth are opening up. And they’re open to any ordinary average person with a computer.
I will lay out my blueprint that I’ve used to make money on the internet. This is not easy nor is it a get rich quick scheme. It will take time and effort on your part to become successful. On the bright side, it won’t cost you much money at all to build a respected internet presence, and proceed to profit from it. Though, if you need $5000 by Friday then you will be disappointed.
Today there are over 3 billion internet users in the world, and the number is growing by the second. Just imagine, if you will, that you could tap in to a fraction of one percent of those users and sell them a one dollar item. Thirty thousand people is 0.001% of three billion. And believe me, thirty thousand is a lot of people to get to buy off you. But of course it’s not impossible, it just depends on what you’re selling. If your idea/product is unique, you could easily find yourself swamped with customers.
In ongoing posts I’ll be expanding and examining more deeply each of these topics, but for now here are the four steps to generating passive online income.
PHASE ONE: Choose your niche
The idea is as old as the internet. Build your list of potential customers by becoming a trusted source of information for your niche interest. The first step is to decide on your niche. What are you interested in? It’s best to choose something that you enjoy and/or have knowledge about. The word that is thrown around a lot is ‘passion.’ If you’re not passionate about your chosen niche it may be hard to maintain your own interest, let alone that of your potential customers.
Think about your domain name now. You don’t have to buy it immediately, but you should if you’ve got the money and it’s a good domain name. What’s a good domain name? Well, if it’s a .com then it’s a plus. Also, if it contains key words relevant to your niche then it’s a huge plus. For example, if you were a model railroader then modelrailroad.com would be ideal. But you want your domain name to be similar to your Twitter account name, so take that into consideration. This is to reinforce the brand with your followers and website visitors.
PHASE TWO: Build your audience
You will have to do some serious thinking about your target audience. What are the things that are important to them? What do the like, hate, or worry about every day? Once you know the motivations of your audience then you will be able to create interesting content for your website.
Facebook: The obligatory Facebook account is still a must. Make an account separate from your own personal account.
Twitter: Set up a twitter account for your niche. Use twitter to gain a following of like-minded individuals. Use the twitter search function to find people that are interested in your niche. Follow them and follow their followers. Some will follow you back immediately. Some won’t. Don’t be discouraged. Retweet and favourite their tweets, and engage them in conversation. Be honest and be yourself. Eventually people will come to know and trust you, and will follow you. At first follow a lot of people. Eventually, you’ll get to a point where Twitter will not allow you to follow any more people. You didn’t do anything wrong. This is a control that Twitter imposes to prevent spammers. Wait a while, then use an app like Statusbrew to unfollow people that don’t follow back. Don’t feel bad. They may follow you later when you’ve got a higher profile.
Tweetdeck: Use Tweetdeck to monitor your keywords/niche in real time. Find articles and posts to retweet using your Twitter account. Set up some columns using the search function. Focus on keywords for your niche topic. Tweetdeck will display all tweets containing those key words. Retweet interesting articles and tweets to your followers. Engage the people talking about your niche. This will boost your credibility in the eyes of your followers.
Mailchimp: Every online marketer has an email list and you should be no exception. Mailchimp is a free (up to 2000 subscribers) and professional option that I highly recommend. It is very easy to use and set up. You can embed sign up forms in websites or emails, or even post them on Twitter or Facebook. Mailchimp is a must-have.
PHASE THREE: Set up the website
You are going to want to have a platform, or home base, from which to promote your online business. Everyone needs a website to begin earning online. It will be a permanent place where your followers can find you, where you will publish your unique and interesting content, and where customers will buy your products. The site could be a blog, forum, or storefront. It depends on whether you are an affiliate marketer, or selling and promoting your own products.
You can begin this step at the same time as phase two, but you could also wait until you have a following on Twitter/Facebook. Now is the time to buy a domain name. This is where you may have to spend a bit of money. The domain will cost you $10-15 a year.
You will also need to get an account with a web hosting company. It’s best to pay a bit to control your own website, rather than go through a third party like WordPress.com or a free hosting site. Third parties almost always impose restrictions on how you can advertise on your site. Also, your domain may contain the name of the third party site, eg. yourdomain.wordpress.com. That is why I recommend spending money on a domain and hosting. You don’t need to spend a lot on hosting in the beginning. Get a cheap account that can be upgraded as you grow. You can find decent web hosting for $5/month or less. If you like, I can provide quality web hosting for budget-minded entrepreneurs.
Scriptaculous: When choosing a hosting company, be on the look out for Scriptaculous. It is an amazing app that allows a huge selection of websites to be installed with the click of a mouse. Great for beginners, zero technical knowledge is needed to set up your blog, forum, or storefront.
PHASE FOUR: Monetize the website
So you’ve built up your audience. You bought a domain, set up your website and now you’re live. You’ve been busy filling it with unique interesting content and now it’s time to actually start earning. Announce the site to your audience so they know where to go to get your product/service.
If you have a product then you just need to offer it for sale on your website. Use Paypal to accept payments. It takes nothing to verify your bank account with Paypal to allow transfers either way. And customers can use a credit card to pay without needing a Paypal account. It really is the best option for someone just getting their feet wet in the world of internet marketing.
While they will be coming to your site primarily to view your products/service, there are other ways you can monetize your site. You could turn to Google Adsense, and have them display relevant ads on your site. Whenever someone clicks on an ad you get paid. A few cents here and a few cents there, it adds up. Many people have done well with Google Adsense. There are several ad networks that serve ads to websites, but Adsense is the best converting and best earning.
You could sell advertising on your site. Charging other individuals or companies a few dollars a month to place a banner on your site can pay off. The more traffic you get to the site the more you can charge. This is a great way to earn a passive income.