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How to Make Money Online

Updated on April 19, 2011

Making Money On-Line - My Story

There are a few things I wish I had known when I started trying to make money online. Its taken me almost a year since I decided to seriously make money on-line. I still am not making a full-time income at this game: and I feel as if I am finally starting to understand which way to go. However I think I have finally got to the point that I know what I need to do to create my own Internet business.

Although making money from home is one of the great catch calls of the Internet it is in fact incredibly hard to make a sustainable, ethical business on-line. Why? Try this: go off and google: "make money on-line" - off you go and try it now, I'll wait.

Lissie in Kalgoorlie, where the real gold is found!
Lissie in Kalgoorlie, where the real gold is found!

Make Easy Money: Scams

You back? Did you notice the ads the little ones on the left side or at the very top of the page under "sponsored listings":

  • Free $400 in 24 hours
  • Make £300 in 15 minutes
  • Need $1000 Fast Cash
  • $30,000+ a Month? How? Not a Scam.
  • Full Proof Make Easy Cash NOW

Those were the ads got on the front page. You probably got different ads, similar though I bet. Why do people pay very good money for those ads: well probably because most people looking for a quick easy way to make money on the Internet. How many times do the forums at hubpages have a post like this: "I've been here 5 days I have 3 hubs and I haven't made any money - why not?"

I've got a bit of news for you if fast cash is what you are looking for:

  1. there is no free money in this world: doesn't happen unless your long-lost Aunt Maude dies and leaves you millions - she'll be contract via the lawyers not via an ad on Google;
  2. Made $30,000 a month? How? By spending a lot of money on advertising, hopefully, though not necessarily, less than $30,000;
  3. Need $1000 Fast cash: rob a bank (maybe not such a good idea with the current economic meltdown), sell some gear on eBay, turn a trick, get a second job or a do some overtime. Starting a business desparate to earn fast crash is a genuine way to guarantee failure, and that doesn't just on-line business's either.

Avoid the Make Money Scams

But you're smarter than that aren't you: you you wouldn't fall for that sort of thing would you. Maybe. I always thought I was smarter too. But I fell for their more subtle cousins: the so-called A-list bloggers. They make money on-line fine. They make great money - why? Because they are happily selling their system of making on-line - to you. What is the problem with that well think about it. Their system needs a lot of people to believe them and buy their system. They sell to their email lists, they sell to their mate's lists. Why will you fail: you don't have a list: its essentially a piramide system: and you are at the bottom.

Real Internet marketers don't make their money from teaching other people how to make money online.I there is real money to be made in developing the right sites on the right niches: I could paraphrase him and keep you on my page rather than send you to the source of the information - but I'll take the risk that you will come back.

Scam Alert! Photo: Martin Deutsch via flickr
Scam Alert! Photo: Martin Deutsch via flickr

Major Problems With Making Money On-Line

In my opinion there are three main issues which make making money online harder than most people think it is:

  1. you start with the idea that its easy, everyone is doing it. That's because every second Internet marketer needs you to believe that so that you will buy the $49.97 E-Book that he shares his secret success formula with you.
  2. there is very low cost of entry. Its very cheap to start a website: in fact its free if you start a hubpage or a blogger blog. You don't need to borrow from the bank (assuming that they are still lending), so you don't need a business plan. You don't need to clear out the spare bedroom to start storing your stock in. No you just need to login the Internet and start building - done in 1/2 a day!
  3. many of the people who want to make money online don't understand anything about being in business and come from a background of unhappy employment.

Lets Look at These Three Issues in turn:

Dis-information on the Internet

Everyone is making money. Really do you know someone who is? They are making a living on it? I've got news for you: I said earlier I wasn't making a living on the Internet: but I could equally well tell you that I can afford an idyllic lifestyle on a tropical island. Both statements are true: the money that is not a living wage in Australia will set me up nicely with a beach bungalow on any number of Thai islands, with change left over for 3 meals and day and a beer or two.

Lesson: 90% of what you read on the Internet is misleading, repetitive and ill-informed at best, some of it is just plain wrong.

Making Money at Home is Easy To Do - I can Get Started Today

Yes and no. It is relatively easy to do; you don't need a special license, you don't need to pass any exams. But the skill set range is broad.

Here are some of the skill set I've learnt in the last 12 months:

  • how to build a WordPress blog on my own domain
  • how to build a blogger blog
  • how to build pages on hubpages, squidoo and numerous other free content sites even Google's own knol experiment
  • how to create a static site and include a link to paypal for payment
  • how to choose a keyword phrase,
  • how to research the competition affiliate programs:
  • what are they, where do I find them and how do I use them to get paid
  • AdSense: what terms will pay, which don't, how to avoid loosing my account and why this is a very bad thing to happen
  • ditto with eBay
  • how to market my site
  • how to get anchored backlinks, actually what is an anchored backlink
  • what is trends blogging and why it can make a big difference; why Google sometimes ranks my sies and hubs how to write,
  • how to write better and quicker
  • how to write for search engines without annoying people
  • how to avoid writing and the options for buying my content
  • how to use Google Analytics to track my sites
  • why I shouldn't use Analytics to track every site and the alternatives
  • how to move hosts and survive the experience - just!
  • write a some html, understand less css and can ocaisionally get php to do what I want.
  • upload and download files coincidentally to my websites how to build backlinks via article marketing
  • how to buy new domain names and pre-owned domains and I know why I should: I've seen the Google sandbox in action
  • know that sometimes I should take boring pictures with my digital camera and also sometimes I know how to make my good shots better. I know where to find photos I can legally use which aren't mine and ditto with videos.
  • how to create a pdf
  • how to write a sales page
  • how to optimize my blog for SEO purposes
  • how to install a BANS store to promote eBay listings
  • the psychology of marketing; what makes people buy
  • the mindset of an entrepreneur

Lesson: the last two items are the only really important ones: the rest are easily learnt technical skills. And the odds are the most people haven't read this far to find that little bit of information out!

I'd Like Your Opinion

What's stopping you making money online?

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Unlearning the Employee Traits

Employees generally get paid whether or not they add value to the business that pays them. If you are on a salary you will generally get paid somewhat regardless of your productivity. I hated my job for years. I hated it not because I was bad at it, but because I was bored and less and less inclined to play the office politics game.

What did I learn to do efficiently:

  • how to waste time while appearing productive: meetings are great
  • for that never do today what you can delay until next week: it may go away
  • helping real people is a career limiting move in most organisations

So I when started my own business I discovered:

  • I was overwhelmed with information and my well-honed skills of procrastination meant that I did: nothing I jumped from one forum or blog to the next.
  • I had no plan I got frustrated with not making any money; but I wasn't doing what I needed to do to make that money
  • I got fixated on my statistics: checking my Adsense earning 10X a day so I knew at what time of the day I made each 10c! Again procrastination.

My main problem was that I had to understand how to think like a business owner rather than an employee: something that our education system is not good at teaching. I had to step back and actually work out what my self-limiting beliefs were and get over them.

If you are serious about making money from your own business whether on-line or in the real world you really need to be aware of the pitfalls: not just of the internet itself and the information that bombards you, but also of your own attitudes and abilities.


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