Okay, you’ve got your computer, you’ve got your wifi connection, now you want to know how to put these to good use. You want to know how to make money online with your computer but you are confused with all of the multitudes of offers, schemes and platforms out there. Which ones are genuine? Which ones will actually make you money? Which ones are scams and will just walk off with your money?
The truth is, except for the very fortunate few talented individuals, there are no “get rich quick” solutions, despite what the so-called “gurus” would have you believe. There are ways, however, to build your own business up to a sustainable income and then perhaps scaling it up to the next level when the real money starts to come in. This can be started effectively with very little outlay initially.
Build Your Foundations First
Just as with building bricks and mortar business, your online enterprise needs to be built on solid foundations also. Let’s refer to the “too good to be true” make money online offers as “shiny objects”, designed to lure you in and part with your cash. Many of these shiny objects will claim that you can earn large sums of cash without having a website and that you can start earning within minutes.
That’s nonsense on both counts! As I’ve already stated, save for the people taking your money there are no get rich quick schemes that work and you certainly cannot build a sustainable business online without having your own website with your own domain. These days you cannot even run a brick and mortar business without a website, so how are you going to run an online business without one?
It’s true you can participate in schemes such as paid surveys, technical authoring and translation work for other people that does not require you to have a website. Take it from me, someone that has been there, you have to put in many hours of work for very little money. It’s much better to work for yourself, you can choose when and where to work and when fully established the potential earnings are much higher. How much higher? Potentially limitless depending on the effort you put in. Once you have found a winning formula you can scale up your business as much as you want.
The basic sequence of events to a successful online business is:
Let me go into a little more detail.
Online Business Set Up Run Through
CHOOSING A NICHE
There are billions of online searches every day from people looking for information and to find a solution to a problem they have. Each of these searches can be categorized into a niche, such as weight loss, dating, health, pets or even make money online. These broad niches will have too much competition from established, multi-national institutions so we have to dig deeper. Say, for example, you are interested in the fitness niche. “Fitness” is too broad a niche, you would never get an audience with such a broad term, it is not focused enough and the competition would be too overwhelming. So you narrow it down by choosing a niche within a niche. Instead of choosing “fitness” as a niche you can narrow it down to, for example, “strength training”. Even this is in all probability still too broad, too unfocused. So then you narrow it down again to something like ‘strength training for the over 40s”. Now you have a niche that doesn’t look too broad and doesn’t look too narrow and has marketing possibilities. It is potentially a winner.
CHOOSING A DOMAIN NAME
After choosing your niche the next building block for your online business is to choose and register your domain name. As a general rule your domain name should be as short as possible, no more than three words and relevant to your niche or business name. In terms of getting noticed worldwide by the search engines, it is best to select a “.com” domain. Most of the obvious domain names have already been taken, so you will need to be imaginative when thinking up a name.
For our example, strengthtrainingfortheover40s.com would be a good, if a little long, choice of domain name and at the time of writing it was available to buy for under $10. The chances are, though, that the domain that exactly matches your niche will probably be already taken, at least as a .com, and this is where you have to get creative. There are free online tools to help you with this.
Your chosen name will need to be registered with an online domain registration company. Prices vary greatly from company to company. When picking a registration company to purchase your domain from always look beyond the initial purchase price to how much it is going to cost you to renew your domain once the initial period, usually one year, runs out. Some companies offer a very low price for the first year only to reel you in and then hit you with an excessively high price when renewal time comes around. Also take into account what “extras” are offered with your domain registration and whether these extras, such as privacy and security are provided as free or offered as upsells which can increase the purchase price considerably.
Once you have selected and paid for your domain it is legally your own personal property just as if it was a piece of real estate that you had just bought.
CHOOSING WEBSITE HOSTING
Once you have purchased your domain, the next job is to choose the web hosting company that is going to store all of your website’s files on their servers. The same rules of selection as for domain registration apply here. Look past any low priced offers to see what the renewal price will be In a year’s time and what extras, for example, unlimited email, SSL certificate and site-building tools, are included for free and what extras you have to pay for. You definitely would need a site builder tool, preferably WordPress and if it’s included in the price all the better. The standard of site support for when you have a problem is also something that must be considered when selecting a host.
As a beginner you are probably going to have your website on a shared hosting plan, that is your website is hosted on a server with many other websites. As your website expands and has grown to attract many thousands of visitors, you may need to upgrade to a more expensive dedicated server plan, where your website gets a server all to itself.
It is okay writing a typically 1,500 word plus article related to your niche for your website blog roll, but how is anybody going to know that it is there? The answer is “keywords”. A keyword is a word or phrase that someone might type into the search box when they want to find out some information. Of course, there is much competition for simple keywords like “strength training”, “weight loss” and “make money” and are generally used by large corporations that can afford to pay the high fees to have their content placed at the top of page 1 in the search results.
Us laymen need to find “low hanging fruit” keywords, those that have little competition but still are searched for more than thirty times per month, the more searches the better. These keywords will more often than not be a longer string of words. For instance, the keyword “strength training workouts for men over 40” is searched for forty times per month yet there are only three other websites using that exact keyword, making it an ideal keyword to write an article around. Using a technique called “search engine optimization” or “SEO” for short, this article could fairly quickly be on page one of the search engines where it will be seen by those forty searchers. There are ten spaces available on page one of Google search results. If your article is one of only four using that keyword, you are going to get it onto page one. You need to be on page one because no-one looks beyond page one of the search results,
How did I know the information about the keyword in the previous paragraph? By using online software called a “keyword research tool”. There are free and paid for keyword research tools. There are free tools which will suggest many keywords for you but the only decent free one that will provide you with any useful information about the keyword is Google’s Keyword Planner tool found in its AdWords section. However, to really thoroughly perform keyword research you will need to invest in a good paid service.
Write around 50 to 100 keyword focused, SEO enhanced articles on your website and you will then have an audience large enough to sell to.
MONETIZING YOUR WEBSITE
Once the size of your audience has built up a little, then you can start selling to them. To be successful this must be done in a subtle, non-sales like way using strategically placed links to a product relevant to the post that you recommend. You must always provide valuable, free information that the reader wants before recommending a product as a solution to their problem.
Here are some of the more common ways of monetizing your website.
This is by far the easiest way to get started making money online. You earn commissions by selling other people’s products. Most companies with an online presence have an affiliate program, either directly or through an agency. When you join an affiliate program you have access to product links in the form of text, image, text and image, video or banner, You copy the html code for the link and then post it into your website.
If you have written the article based on the keyword “strength training workouts for men over 40” you could follow that up with a review of a multi-gym together with an affiliate link to the product page. If one of your visitors then clicks on your link and proceeds to buy the product you earn a referral fee. Say the multi-gym costs $500 and the affiliate program pays 10% per sale, you earn $50.
Dropshipping is similar to affiliate marketing except for the fact that you have to buy the product and sell it on. Your visitor sees your review of the multi-gym, likes it and orders one from you, paying you $500. You then buy the multi-gym from the dropshipping company for $450 and have it sent directly to your buyer’s address. Again, you have made $50 on the sale.
Dropshipping is different from affiliate marketing with respect to responsibility. With affiliate marketing the responsibility for customer service and dealing with complaints is the responsibility of the supplier. With dropshipping the responsibility lies with you.
Sell Your Own Digital Product
You can use your well-written content to sell your own ebook, video, software or cell phone app.
Going back to our “Strength Training Workouts For Men Over 40” article, you can link that post to a page where your ebook, “20 Strength Training Exercises You Can Do In The Office”, can be downloaded after paying you $19.99 through PayPal. Or, you can sell your ebook on Kindle rather than your own download page. Although you have to pay Amazon a seller’s fee your ebook will get more exposure as it climbs the best sellers lists.
Sell Your Own Physical Product
This is the riskiest money making strategy and not really one for the beginner to online marketing. Let’s say you have spotted a way to improve the design of the multi-gym you have been promoting on your website. You get in touch with a manufacturer in China, they give you a quote for a minimum production run of your improved design under your own brand name. You like the quote and have them made then sell them on Amazon for $500 a piece. Say they cost $150 each to make and ship, and Amazon take $150 in fees, that’s $200 profit for you and the Tax Inspector.
REPEAT THE WHOLE PROCESS
Once your website is well established, frequently appearing at the top of page one in the search engines, selling and making a comfortable profit you can think about scaling up, either by expanding on your original niche or by starting a completely new website on a completely different subject. To expand on our original sample niche “strength training for the over 40s” we could start writing about something like “healthy eating for the over 40s” or “strength training for the over 60s”. It’s whatever fits best at the time. Second time around will be easier as you will now have the experience of what it takes to succeed in online marketing.
Last Words On How To Make Money Online With Your Computer
You can set up an online business for very little initial outlay. A .com domain name is typically around $12 per year. Web hosting varies but expect to pay around $200 per year for hosting that includes email accounts, WordPress, SSL certificates and WHOIS privacy at no extra cost.
You can get away with using free keyword research tools for a little while but you will have to spend a lot of time finding suitable low hanging fruit keywords. It’s very fiddly and you will get frustrated by it. You will be happy to pay around $240 per year for an automated keyword research tool.
On top of this, if you are a beginner at the online marketing business you will need some training to set you on the right path. You can find many free articles, YouTube videos and even free courses that will teach you the various skills, techniques and tactics you will need to set up your online business. However, if you are really serious about earning a living from the comfort of your own home or wherever you want, some structured paid for training is the way to go to exponentially accelerate your path to success. This training can cost anywhere from $200 up to $200,000.
Let us say you have found some very good training for $200 per year. Add on the domain, hosting and keyword research tool and we are looking at $652 per year. This is the minimum spend you will need to set yourself up online. Or is it? What if I told you that you could find all of these services plus a whole lot more on a single platform for just $359 per year plus the cost of your domain name. It makes sense to at least check it out.
You can even sign up for free to test the system out on a limited access basis. When I say limited access, you can even build up to two websites on temporary domains for free. That means there is the possibility of setting up a business that is bringing in a little cash without you having to invest even one cent.
I have written a short review of this platform in another post.
I hope that you have enjoyed this introduction to how to make money online with your computer and internet marketing. If you have any thoughts or questions about this post or this website, please leave a comment below or contact HWA. I will answer you just as soon as I can.
See you next time,