If you want to make money online you’re going to have to master a very steep learning curve. That means a lot of frustration and poor earnings until you either breakthrough or quit.
With that said, once you learn how to make money you can earn as little or as much as you’d like. If you’re willing to invest your time into learning, you’re going to reap some major rewards.
As the old saying goes, “You’ve got to pay the cost to be the boss.”
I used to work on oDesk where I wrote articles for fly-by-night companies. I earned about $15 an hour. Most of what I wrote was garbage. 500 word articles about “Cheap Sunglasses” or “Best Dehumidifiers.” I hated it.
I was miserable and stuck in a rut. Then I stumbled on some of the best advice ever given. It was from Warren Buffet’s biography, Snowball (Amazon).
Charlie, as a very young lawyer, was probably getting $20 an hour. He thought to himself, ‘Who’s my most valuable client?’ And he decided it was himself. So he decided to sell himself an hour each day. He did it early in the morning, working on these construction projects and real estate deals. Everybody should do this, be the client, and then work for other people, too, and sell yourself an hour a day.
I took that advice to heart and started to focus on my own eBooks and websites. Within months I was no dependent on oDesk for money.
At the moment I run four websites that vary in profitability. 30 Days To X makes the least amount of money (we’ll get to why in a moment). The others each make enough to cover my entire cost of living.
The Two Most Basic Mistakes that Everyone Makes
The two biggest obstacles that most people face are failure to be original and failure to articulate why a product or service is beneficial.
If you can avoid making either of these mistakes you’ll bypass the competition in no time at all.
While it’s easy to tell you that originality and good content are important, let’s take a deeper look into each subject:
1. Copying Established Blogs And Websites
If I had to guess, I’d say that 99.99% of blogs and websites plagiarize other people’s work. They add nothing of value. If the vast majority of websites shutdown tomorrow, you wouldn’t be missing much.
Years after it’s been published, The 4-Hour Workweek still has thousands of imitation blogs built around it. Even comparatively small men’s blogs have tons of imitators. If you browse around long enough you’ll discover knock-off sites like Focused & Forthgoing, Battle & Recreation, or Attractive Guy Who Isn’t Very Successful.
When you copy something that’s a proven success, you’re about three years behind the times. That’s why a lot of those “location independent passive income blogger” sites that people are still making are ghost towns. Same with a lot of motivational blogs, or websites about general life advice.
Instead of starting a website about motivation, or fitness, or dating advice, try to focus on a specific and unique subject. 30 Days To X is a broad subject blog and it doesn’t make nearly as much as some of my newer, and more specific, ventures.
A few months back I started a blog about self-publishing. Within a month it was racking up 500 hits a day. Additionally, the site’s a great platform for my eBooks. I usually move about five titles a day.
In contrast, most of those “How To Become An Alpha Male” sites make nothing and get like 100 pageviews a day. They don’t offer anything unique and can’t provide real value.
2. Only Review Products That You Use And Benefit From
Include before and after pictures. My review of The Six-Figure Erotica Author contained screenshots of my earnings. I sold 75 copies. My Scrivener review contained pictures of different books I’d formatted and projects I’d created. People ordered.
If you can’t show direct results from a product why would anyone else want to buy it? I see a lot of guys who read books and then write articles like “5 things I Learned From The Power of Habit” but only discuss abstract ideas.
In 2015 everyone knows that eating healthy is good for you, waking up early makes you more productive, and being fiscally responsible will eliminate a lot of life’s problems. People want actionable advice and they want to know what a product can do for them. Saying “The Elon Musk biography taught me that hard work is important” makes you sound like a dumb f*ck. You aren’t saying anything new, everyone already knows that working hard is important. Plus, there are a million other books that could teach you that same lesson.
If you wrote an article titled “I Implemented 5 Of Elon Musk’s Personal Habits Into My Own Life: Here’s What Happened” people would be intrigued.
Large companies pay big money for before and after pictures, testimonials, and personal success stories. That’s because they work. When people see these they’re more willing to buy. Go watch an ad for some fitness product or diet pill, you’ll see dozens of before and after images.
Most of the people who want to make money online are lazy. They aren’t going to actually put in the effort to learn a new skill. If you buy a product, use it, and are able to show your audience how you benefited from it you’ll be light-years ahead of the competition.
How To Build A Tiny Website That Earns $1,000 A Month (And Averages 21 Pageviews A Day)
At the end of last month I bought a book titled Web Copy That Sells (Amazon). “This is pretty good,” I thought. “I’m going to start a new niche site following the plan laid out in here.” After planning out keywords and looking over a few sales letters, I wrote a couple posts. Within a few days I had my first sale. If things keep going they way they are, I’ll net about $1,000 from my flyspeck of a site.
That’s because people coming to the site are there to buy things. They aren’t there to be entertained or to argue about the content. They want to know about a product and how it can help them.
There’s a huge difference between readers who visit a site to be entertained, and readers who visit a site to buy something. According to a report titled The Purchase Path of Online Buyers:
Fewer than 1% of transactions could be traced back to social links.
Out of every 100 people who visit your site through Twitter or an aggregator, maybe one or two will actually buy something.
If you have to choose between building a large audience and making money, go the money route first. You can always start a personal blog in your free time.
If you want to make money online, I’ve prepared a check-list for you. It’s easy to follow and will help increase your earnings. Here’s what you need to do:
- Invest in yourself – Set aside an hour a day and focus on learning a new skill. Copyblogger has 16 free eBooks about selling online. Go read one a day.
- Be original – No one likes, or buys from, a copycat.
- Review products that have benefited you – If you can attest to a product’s power people will buy. Be sure to include lots of pictures too, people love a good visual reference.
- Focus on finding readers who want to buy from you – You can entertain a million people without ever earning a dime. Likewise, you can provide quality content to a handful of folks and turn them into lifelong customers.