6 Ways to Make Money Online When You’re Just Starting Out
It can be a challenge to make money online when you’re just starting out. You may not have a lot of resources to invest toward your efforts. Even if you have resources, the goal is to make money, not spend money. The best resource you have when you’re starting out isn’t cash. The best resource available to you, as someone who wants to make money online, is yourself. Your skills, your determination, your effort and your hustle are the best resources available to when you’re just getting started.
Fair enough. Sure, you have lots of moxie. You’re a self-starter. You want to make money online. Great. So, how do you do it? Let’s take a look at six of the best ways you can make money online while you’re just starting out.
1.Build websites for clients
One of the easiest ways to make money online when you’re just starting out is to learn some basic skills necessary to build a website. Once you have built your own website, you then seek clients. The more skills you can offer, the better.
You don’t have to be a super skilled hacker to pull down a couple bucks building websites. You just need a few basic skills. Where you can’t handle something, hire a skilled programmer who can. Or outsource the programming online through freelancer websites, such as eLance. The same applies to building content. If you aren’t the next William Shakespeare, it’s still possible to hire an army of English majors ready to ply their skills online through websites like Textbroker. If you’re not the next Andy Warhol, don’t fret. Skilled graphic designers are available all over the web. It’s cheaper to pull together whatever you can learn. But, it’s also possible to hire the work out to freelancers.
The best part of building websites for clients is that the business model is easily self-sustaining. Initial startup costs for a website can be structured into the contract so the client pays the costs with the down payment. A standard contract for website design usually requires about 30% of the total fee to initiate the contract. Generally, the client pays any domain name registration fees and web hosting costs at the beginning, in addition to the down payment. If you watch your costs in handling third party freelancers, it is possible to fund all your outsourcing with the money from the down payment. You use the client’s money to fund the cost of development without laying down any of your own cash.
“The key to making money is to stay invested”.-Suze Orman
With modern website design, there are lots of potential upsells. Clients need a website that uses responsive web design to look as good on smartphones and tablets as it does on a computer. Those mobile computing options are excellent upsells. Likewise, a more aggressive upsell is the mobile app. These apps require additional programming. That additional programming is an opportunity to make another add-on sale. Video, user chat, secure logins, merchant account processing – the range of potential add-ons is as wide as the web itself. And that all represents more ways to make money online.
credit photo: Sean MacEntee
2. Build your own websites
There is more than one way to do anything. When you’re looking to make money online, one good idea sometimes gives rise to the next good idea. If you’re able to build websites for clients, then you’re also able to build and monetize your own websites. The best part is that once you’ve built a successful website, it is also possible to sell the whole website to someone else.
Much the same business model applies to building your own websites as would apply to building websites for others. You want to be able to handle as much of the work yourself as possible to keep down costs. But, where your skills fall short, don’t be afraid to hire freelancers.
The big difference is that making the work pay you for your efforts is your burden. That may sound daunting. But, there are lots of ways to monetize a website to help you make money online. You can build a content website that leverages major ad networks. In the beginning, you will depend mostly on Google’s Adsense program. But, once you have built a successful network of websites, advertisers will start to contact you with offers.
One of the best aspects of this approach is that you can always sell the website. Lots of folks who want to make money online buy established websites. If your website proves to be moderately successful, it is possible to sell it. In fact, a fairly good way to make money online is to build websites, monetize them and then sell them. Rinse and repeat.
You will need to build a profile of the site for buyers. This means becoming familiar with programs like Google Analytics. These programs allow you to provide visitor data, demographics, keyword niches and other information that buyers will want to see before they do a sale. Once you get good at handling the process, you will be able to manage multiple websites at a single time.
The best part is that maybe one of your projects will prove to be very successful. Maybe a site ends up so successful you can devote your efforts exclusively to it. And while you never bank on it, maybe your site proves so successful you can be the founder of the next Facebook. You never know. And you’ll certainly never know if you never try. And should it fail, there will always be a buyer out there willing to take your established work and roll with it.
For those with a bit of the writing bug, and maybe a bit of showmanship and marketing acumen, ebooks offer a very interesting way to make money online. There’s no end to the variety of topics for an eBook. If you find yourself to be a virtuoso with the written word, publishing an eBook may be as straight-forward as writing the next great novel.
The possible subject matter for an ebook is as endless as the human experience. 50 Shades of Gray was a self-publishing landmark, launching author E.L. James to world renown. For those who struggle to see themselves writing the next edition of On the Road, there is lots of room in writing for technical audiences, self help, marketing and more. Think of all the never ending problems facing humanity. Some of the most successful ebooks ever written have addressed the timeless problem of helping people attract a member of the opposite sex. Have more confidence, learn how to program, attract the right mate – the list of possible subject matter for an ebook is endless.
Publishing an ebook is actually the easy part. Self-publishing platforms are common now. You can have your work up on Amazon in a matter of minutes using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform. You maintain control of the rights. You collect a 70% royalty. Your work is now available to millions of people worldwide who use the Kindle ebook system.
“I have ways of making money that you know nothing of”.-John D. Rockefeller
Promoting an ebook is an exercise in perfecting your internet marketing skills. There are lots of ways to promote an ebook. You can build your own website to sell the ebook. You can build a blog. You can guest blog at other websites to build credibility as an expert. You can build a squeeze page, a type of specialized landing page on your website that directs the visitor toward a purchase. You can offer free chapters. Or you can offer a free ebook, then encourage visitors to consider buying the next ebook. You can build a killer Twitter following and a great Facebook page to promote your work. And the best part is that all these efforts will help you build your skills as an internet marketer.
4. Internet marketing as a service
You’ve spent all this time building websites, writing ebooks and promoting the heck out of your work as you try to make money online. The funny thing is that along the way you will accumulate a great skill: you have learned the art of internet marketing. The ability to attract attention and drive sales online is itself a marketable skill. People will pay you money to promote their own work, their own websites, their own ebooks and much more.
Building relationships with web users can be difficult. Not everyone has the magic gift of selling that comes from years of hard work promoting your own products and services. And some folks would just as soon pay someone else to do the marketing work for their web projects.
Much like doing website design for clients, doing internet marketing for others has the advantage that your operations can be funded using the client’s money. There’s no need for significant outlays on your end. Except for the fairly cheap work of keeping a web presence out there, you pay almost nothing from your own cash.
credit photo: crazyseo20
5. Sell a product
Sometimes, your quest to make money online can be surprisingly simple. Sometimes, you just need to build a better mousetrap. Or, failing that, you can market the current mousetrap a lot better than the next guy. Some of the most inexplicable successes in online sales came from the most basic products. A teenager sells a few flip-flops online and suddenly is a millionaire. Twitter page templates allow you to sell a virtual product without any investment in inventory or production.
Once again, you’re going to be brushing off those internet marketing skills. There’s going to need to be a website to promote the product. Your blog and your social media presence can help you connect with users, too. Only, now you have the added need to provide customer support. But, remember, with customer support there is always the opportunity to promote more products and have a positive interaction. Don’t be afraid of these new chances to interact with customers. Done right, they will help you build a relationship that can aid your marketing efforts.
If you build a physical product, you will also have the opportunity to engage new customers through other outlets. Online deal sites become a viable option. You can sell your product through websites like Amazon and eBay. You can also sell your product directly through your own website.
credit photo: RebeccaLK
Although not as wildly popular as it was during the days of the big dotcom boom in the late 1990s, the market in internet domain names remains a viable way to make money online. The acquisition of domain names is much tougher now that most of the easy domains are already owned. But, there are still a number of good options available for acquiring domains that you can then resell.
The easiest way to acquire a domain is to search for something that is not already registered. You take a collection of profitable internet marketing keywords and you start entering them into the search form at a registrar like GoDaddy. You keep searching until you find an unregistered domain that can be sold at a profit.
Another way to acquire domains is to watch those domains that are dropping. A dropped domain is a domain that was registered, but the owner has allowed it to expire. These websites are auctioned by companies like SnapNames, Namejet and GoDaddy. If they fail to sell, they go into the open pool of available domains just like unregistered domains. The really good names will need to be acquired at auction. But, some marginally good domains can be had after the drop.
For the hardcore deal makers, there is always the option of directly buying a domain from its current owner. Not every website is developed. Some domains start out as a great idea and then end up dying on the vine. The owner gets caught up in another project or life just happens. These undeveloped domains can be a great opportunity to acquire new inventory.
The big difference between domaining and building websites is that you are not seeking to invest effort building out a website on the domain. You want to park the website until you sell it. Beyond that, the goal is to have an inventory available for sale.
Finding buyers can be an interesting challenge for your marketing skills. There are websites that sell domains, such as Flippa. There are also internet marketing forums. where marketers are always looking to buy great domains. And you can identify website owners in the domain niche to approach for a sale. With a little savvy, it is possible to turn a profit in a matter of days.
Share with us your comments.