The only costs associated with a good website are your domain (about $10/year through NameCheap), hosting (SiteGround, even A2 if you want really cheap…about $5/month or less), and a WordPress theme (there are some good free ones but most of the big guys use StudioPress which is a $100 one-time cost). WordPress.org is free and can be installed in your hosting account.
If you're ready to enter the ecommerce fray, you could sell your own stuff. Of course, along with selling your own stuff on your own website comes a whole slew of both responsibilities and technical configuration and requirements. For starters, you'll need a website and a hosting account. You'll also need a merchant account like ones offered by Stripe or PayPal. Then you'll need to design that site, build a sales funnel, create a lead magnet and do some email marketing.
Choose your niche and check for demand: The golden course combination is when you can find an in-demand niche that aligns with your skills and unique experiences. A great way to do this is to use Google Trends, Google’s Keyword Planner and other key blogging tools to do keyword research and look for average monthly search volume for keywords related to your proposed course content. Are people actively looking for high-quality information about this subject? Of course, if you’re already creating content for a blog, coaching service, or a site like Medium, you can test demand this way for free just like Bryan did.
I expanded my SEO blog and started writing about hosting, cache plugins, and other relevant topics… while recommending SiteGround in each tutorial. I added social proof like the 34 Facebook polls where they were rated #1. Each tutorial was super detailed and tons of people found them helpful – many get 100+ visitors/day since great content = higher rankings.
Like talking to people and helping walk them through problems? You can bring in extra income as a contract customer support superstar for companies all over the world. Due to the 24/7 nature of online businesses, companies are looking for people in different time zones to help deal with issues that their users are having. Better yet, if you have experience in service or retail you’ll be perfectly suited. Check out indeed or the other remote job boards I listed earlier to find opportunities.
If you’re serious about making money selling things online, it’s pretty much impossible to not recommend Shopify. The platform gives you everything you need to get your online store up and running in less than a day including a custom domain, beautiful templates (so you don’t need design skills), secure payment options, and they can even take care of marketing and shipping for you. Whether you’re promoting your own products, designs, or curating other products for people in your niche, Shopify is the best option for powering your online store.
I am a teacher & mom but just started as an Independent Consultant for Jamberry Nails in October! love it and love the wraps! Jamberry is a family and my team is a sisterhood….we support each other, assist each other and lift each other up! We have one of the top compensation plans in direct sales! You are your own boss…work when you want! It’s Jamazing!
I eventually learned the best model (for me) was to copy what Yoast did… charge a flat free for SEO Audits. People were always super happy with my audits. I still have my SEO audit templates (one for local SEO, national SEO, etc). Sometimes it would only take me 4 hours to write an audit and I would get $750, sometimes more if they wanted a more thorough audit. Maybe I undercharged?
Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ad will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.
I run an online baseball training platform focusing on the mental side of the game! We are trying to add on influencers/affiliates to help drive more traffic and help them gain more traction.. I have seen affiliated marketing for a little while now and I am ready to move in on it. What recommendations do you have for a baseball company trying to expand its reach through affiliates?
If my piece of content is so unique and valuable around hiking backpack recommendations, that other reputable outdoor websites are willing to link to it and build the page’s authority, then I’d have a very real opportunity to rank high in organic search for these search terms (meaning, my page will come up first when someone searches for hiking backpacks).
Hey Max! Just wanted to stop by and sincerely thank you for motivating me to start a blog. I was roaming around the web looking for side gigs and landed on your page, someway … somehow. 4 or 5 pages later, I was head down into reading your post about how to start a blog and happy I did. I have not launched yet, but I did want to stop by and thank you for the motivation!
Getting views on YouTube can take much less time than getting traffic on a blog. It’s all about the content and video SEO. Make sure you’re researching a good keyword for the video, writing a nice title, creating a nice custom thumbnail, long description, timestamps, etc. If you are good at making videos, holding people’s attention, and finding a solution to their problem, you should be good.
This was a wealth of helpful information, thanks. In the first section you described how you found your niche. Any more suggestions on how I would find a niche that would be profitable? I understand you probably want to find something that you can write good content on, but what steps would you take to make sure to validate that it will be a good niche to work on? Thanks for any help Tom.
Banners – after testing them out I decided to take down my banner ads since they looked salesy and weren’t working like my affiliate links did. They’re easy to throw up, but distracting and probably won’t get great results. If you try them, be sure to show specific sidebar banners based on the type of content people are reading on your blog (for posts that fall under my SEO category I would show a banner related to SEO, and for posts under my website speed category I would show a different banner). You can do this using a plugin like Widget Logic.
21. Facebook – Facebook swap shops are great for selling things locally. It’s like CraigsList, but a little easier. You simply search for swap shops in your area and ask to join the group. Once you’re in, take a picture of the item, write a quick description with the price and post it. It doesn’t get much easier than that. You can generally expect to get about what you would get at a yard sale, maybe a little more.
Secret Shopper. Big companies need real consumers to walk into a store and see how their product is displayed on the shelf. A couple of apps — Rewardable and Gigwalk — enable moms to complete those tasks for a few dollars. Yes, really, set your expectations that it’s just a few dollars, but hey, maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Or maybe you were going to Home Depot anyway, so snapping a picture of the Rustoleum display for $4 is no skin off your back. Expect to get paid via PayPal.
If you cannot find a specific product in an affiliate marketplace, then check out the brand’s website. Many companies have established affiliate programs that accept applications. Some companies choose this method to create a more exclusive affiliate program. Typically, these programs have stricter audience requirements than affiliate marketplaces, but it is still worth a try. When in doubt, apply for the program.