Let’s get this one point out the way before we begin…
Myth: You can make money online quickly
Cracked: To make money online takes consistent hard work and time. There is no magic pill or secret formula.
You will not make 30 grand in 30 days.
You will not become an overnight millionaire by buying some random dudes course online for only 9997!!!
You will make a lot of money if you put in the hard work and have a high level of determination to succeed. It is not easy, it is not quick but it is extremely rewarding both financially and emotionally.
I’m going to talk about the best methods in this article and break each one down to get a better understanding. Obviously, the actual true number of ways you can make money online are probably endless but this is what I know.
7 Ways to Make Money Online (that I know about)
- Affiliate Marketing
- Lead Generation
- Running Advertising Campaigns (PPC / Adwords / Facebook Ads)
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Social Marketer
We can have an eCommerce shop in different places each with its own advantages. Marketplaces or multi-vendor type companies have a pre-established reputation, website and some can handle the packing and shipping for you.
Marketplace Ecommerce Stores
You may have already guessed one marketplace, Amazon, for eCommerce they are the number 1 online store – there is no need to tell anyone they are the top dogs. But, that doesn’t mean they are the best place to start an online store, more on that later.
Using Amazon you can upload your products and start selling very quickly. They also pack and ship your product with Prime if you choose to use their Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program.
Best for people who have a small and lightweight product with inventory, and require storage of kind. A hands-off approach, Amazon handles a lot of the customer service and returns for you. This may be exactly what some people want, but it’s far from ideal.
eBay is another marketplace, again, well known and has a very big user base.
Etsy is a marketplace for crafted, vintage art based kind of products that could be worth looking into if that’s your thing.
Managed CMS Store
A popular online shop platform is Shopify. Managed CMS (Content Management Systems) give you a lot more control than a marketplace in that you able to use your own domain i.e. YourDomainName.co.uk and you control everything a user see’s on the web page but they still come with rules and regulations that you need to be aware of.
You are still on another platform and they provide the backend software, which is good for easy product uploading, pre-built themes to customise the look and feel of your store. New features can also be added to a store by way of plugins or add-ons… of course every plugin you add increases the monthly cost.
The downside of using a Managed CMS store is the rules you have to abide by. The most common argument with Shopify is the sale of CBD products, they are on the not-allowed list and if you try to sell them – your store will be shut down and banned!
Shopify is easy to use, by selecting a few options we can completely change the look and feel of the website… that’s great, isn’t it?
Easy customisation may sound like a good thing, but it does come with problems. The code that makes up the website is very big, it’s extraordinarily gigantic! It has to be this way because it’s full of “if this feature is selected then show this section”.
In short: easy customisation equals slow websites due to the size of the page behind the scenes.
Self Hosted CMS Store
The most popular CMS is WordPress, simply put it is a CMS that you install on your own choice of hosting provider. Installing WordPress is usually handled for you by your hosting provider, after signing up you are given a URL to login and start customizing your online store.
To use eCommerce features you will need to add the plugin WooCommerce and then you can begin uploading products.
WordPress is the best option available right now for the simple reason of it gives you the most options for the life of your store. What do I mean by this, what options?
The advantages of having more flexibility and control over your online store.
1. What’s your marketing plan? If you plan to utilise paid advertising then your choice of CMS platform doesn’t really matter. If you want people to find your store via search engines then it’s going to be a lot easier using WordPress, as other platforms like Shopify effectively shut you out and make it very hard. Many people find this out the hard way.
2. You want to look at the actual data of your site, perhaps query the database of your past customers and produce reporting. In WordPress you own your data, all of it, you can download, query it and run any report you wish. Shopify charges you for better reporting flexibility.
If you need the complete Shopify package it will cost $2000 per month… and you still don’t really have control. Bargain! (sarcasm 100% intended)
3. Need to add a new feature to the site? WordPress is open source meaning change anything you want, remove anything you want – you control it. No one is going to say you can’t change your own site. It’s your site on your server. Period.
Some other options for CMS include:
- Square Space
That’s a brief summary of the technology available to create and manage an eCommerce store. The next thing to think about is the type of product you want to sell, how you get it to the customer, stock control and handling inventory levels.
eCommerce Distribution Models
The traditional method is holding the inventory of physical products in a warehouse or other type of storage. The main advantage is you always know how much stock is available and keeping your website up to date with stock levels is easy. Retailers may see lower prices than dropshipping due to the bulk order size they require.
The downside is the capital that will be required to purchase the stock, and there is no guarantee that it will all sell, so a miscalculation or prediction in the market can lead to leftover stock, although there are ways to mitigate that outcome.
A distribution method where the retailer does not keep the goods in stock but instead transfers the customer orders and shipment details to the manufacturer who ships the goods directly to the customers. Grown in popularity because of the low overhead required to start an online business. It also gives online retailers the ability to offer items that may be difficult to find in local stores.
Word of caution… there are many people out there who talk about or try to sell you courses about dropshipping from China using AliExpress. Now, I’m not saying it’s all bad, but there are many, many companies/manufacturers in the UK that are more than happy to work with drop shippers, and it is by far a much better experience for the customer.
Arbitrage is the simultaneous purchase and sale of a product in order to profit from a difference in the price. For example, someone may spot a discrepancy in the price for the same product on eBay and Amazon, so they will sell the product on eBay and then when someone buys they will buy the product on Amazon and send it to the buyer from eBay.
I’ve never done this myself, but it seems like a big hustle to me which is also at the expense of the consumer, which doesn’t sit well with me.
You will see other articles mention B2B (business sells to another business) and B2C (business sells to consumer) as different types or models of eCommerce but it really doesn’t matter who you sell to, it’s not going to make any real difference. Remember you’re always selling to people.
Popular Methods for Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting products or services and receiving a commission by sending a user to the retailer’s website. The most common affiliate program is Amazon which is where a lot of affiliate marketers start as they have a big range of products. As a site grows then you can branch out into other programmes.
Types Of Sites Used for Affiliate Marketing
Product Review Content Sites
The most common type of affiliate marketing website. The main purpose is to sell products, but not in a sales fashion instead they try to give an objective opinion and have an affiliate link going to the actual product page.
These type of content sites usually don’t show any bias but instead try to give the user details on certain products, often comparing one product against another and giving an opinion on why a product may be better for a particular user.
Houseandgardencare.com is a good example of a site that talks about home improvement, giving as much value to the reader as possible, while also including articles that discuss and compare different products.
Comparison Search Engines
Comparison sites have large sets of similar product or services where you can search for example home insurance and you can see in one list all the companies available and the prices. Some of the most successful sites are GoCompare, CompareTheMarket and Confused, all very big sites probably making incredible profits.
Cashback and Coupon/Deals
Following a similar pattern to the comparison search sites, but they also reward the user with a coupon code or cashback. The cash is usually a percentage of the affiliate kickback they receive from the retailer they are promoting.
Similar to the affiliate model, the premise is to collect leads for service-based companies and give those leads to companies for a fee. The user most likely does not know they are on a lead generation site.
Lead generation sites are a popular method for people learning SEO as it can be a quick way to see success and generate income fairly quickly. Examples of where Lead Gen sites are more popular is local plumbers, electricians, removal companies etc.
Running Advertising Campaigns
Providing a service to companies where you manage their advertising campaigns. Advertising campaigns are often misunderstood by company owners who don’t realise the time required and the work involved in creating a solid scalable campaign. It is not simply switching it on and watching the profits roll in.
Small companies/startups usually look to hire someone internally to manage their advertising or outsource to another company/contractor. Once you build up a good portfolio of winning campaigns then you become a valuable asset.
Common Types of Advertising
Pay Per Click (PPC) or Cost Per Click (CPC) is the most common method where the advertiser pays whenever the ad is clicked.
Cost Per Mile (CPM) is the cost per thousand impressions. When the ad has been seen 1000 times the cost is incurred.
Google Ads being the most used search engine offers advertisers the biggest search engine reach. Google Ads uses PPC and CPM style advertising.
Facebook Ads is another very popular option used by different companies. Given the amount of data people feed into Facebook, the targeting can be very direct.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The process of increasing a website’s position in search engines, primarily Google, to be as close to position 1 as possible for any and all search queries that are related to the company.
Generally, the better visibility a company has in the search results, the more people will visit the site and ultimately increase sales/leads.
Our Agency, Mango & Coffee, offer companies the service of managing their SEO campaigns. The big problem we see is companies don’t really know what SEO is and the huge impact it can have on revenue.
Over the coming weeks and months, I hope to create a resource of free information for SEO on this site for clients and anyone who finds their way here.
Compared to other marketing techniques, nothing comes close to SEO for generating revenue.
How do we actually make sites appear on page 1 of Google?
When someone needs the ingredients for a recipe they may look it up on Google by typing into the search box: “what are the ingredients to make a victoria sponge cake” and when they hit enter or click the search button they expect to see a list of websites which list the ingredients.
Our job is to firstly identify what users are typing into Google and then create pages that answer the user’s question clearly and quickly. At a very high level, this is what we do, we call this content marketing as we are creating content that positions a clients website in front of their target audience.
There is a lot more that goes into running a successful SEO campaign than just creating content, and we will explore all of it in future articles.
Types of work
- Virtual Assistant
- Logo Design
- Voice Overs
- Data Input
- Website Creators
- and the list goes on…
Most jobs you will be able to do as a freelancer, and this can be a good way to get started if you only want to concentrate on a singular skill-set and that’s fine, but it’s not the focus of this blog.
Freelancers have marketplaces where they can find work/jobs from clients. Fiverr is a low-cost entry marketplace connecting clients and contractors. Upwork is a better marketplace, as it has a generally higher quality.
There are many other marketplaces for freelancers, and we will dive into them in another article, but I mention them here only because it can be a way to make money online.
In this article, we introduced several ways someone can get started in creating a business online. This is just an intro article into the subject and hopefully, it gets your thought process kicked and spinning some ideas of your own.
Which method is the best? Easy. The one that interests you the most! If you don’t like your initial choice then change it! If you have absolutely no idea where to start then I suggest starting a blog and write about whatever interests you, don’t even think of making money at this stage.
Focus on creating content and hopefully from your own experiences you are able to help someone else. That’s when you will be flooded with ideas of what to sell or create or promote and the best thing is it will 100% authentic.
These are just a few online business ideas, any site you create can be extended by adding an email list, becoming active on a social media platform or adding Google Adsense to bump it up with extra money coming in.
In closing, I can’t remember where I heard this quote about making money but I like it…
There are 1 million ways to make 1 million dollars and this is just a few of them