From time to time I get asked how to start an online business or how to make money online by people who are frustrated with their current day jobs. One of the first things I tell them to do is to go start a blog. I do this for two reasons. First, for no matter what type of online business you want to do, you are going to need a blog. By learning how to setup a blog, write blog posts, promote the blog posts, learn how to start to drive traffic to your site and so on… those are all the same online marketing strategies that you will need for whatever online business model you choose! Second, to see if they are truly serious. As a busy mom-preneur, I don’t have time to waste with tire kickers!
Once you have started to take action… it is time to choose a business model and a niche. Let’s take a look at business models first.
This is how I got started. An e-commerce site is a website that sells actual physical products. An example are sites that cell things like camping gear, kids toys, cell phone accessories, office furniture, or any other physical product. An easy way to start an e-commerce site is by using a dropshipper. A dropshipper is a company that purchases products in bulk and keeps them in their warehouse until an item is purchased by one of their distributors. If you sign up as a distributor, you pay a little bit more than you would if you bought directly from the manufacturer. After you get a sale on your website, you process the order with your dropshipper and then the dropshipper will ship the product directly to your client with your name on the shipping label. Your customer sees that the package came from the same company that they ordered from… even though you personally never ever saw the product!
Dropshippers work well until a certain point. Since dropshippers are supplying product to multiple distributors, the products are available on a first come first serve basis. If a product is out of stock, you have to wait until the dropshipper orders new products and this usually results in the loss of sales.
You don’t have to necessarily start your own website to sell products online. With Amazon stores for example, you can put all of your products online easily using their interface. You will pay a slightly higher fee to Amazon for the privilege of selling your products on their site, but you won’t have to invest in any marketing as your buyers will all be people that are already on Amazon looking for your product or service.
Affiliate marketing is where you sign up to help promote another companies products or services and once you get a sale, they pay you a commission for your work. Many companies have affiliate programs including large sites like Amazon and Zappos. You can also use affiliate sites like commission junction (cj.com) to find different affiliate programs and choose the best one for you. Look for programs that have a monthly subscription that pay a recurring fee. To be really successful with affiliate marketing you need to get good at building amazing sites and driving traffic to them.
Just blogging alone is a major source of income for many. After you create your blog and start to post to it every day for 6-12 months and begin to build up your “tribe’ by promoting your content and interacting with those on social media, you will be ready to start generating revenue. You could sell advertising, offer product reviews, offer guest blog posts and much more. Blogging is a great way to not only bring traffic to your site for organic search terms, but also to build up yourself as an expert in your niche.
There are different ways to generate revenue with blogging but they will all revolve around helping other companies achieve their goals. As a blogger you are building up an audience of a specific market segment that listens to and is influenced by you. Companies will want to get access to your readers and are willing to pay you for that access. You can sell ad space on your site, newsletter blasts, product reviews… the more creative you are the better!
You could offer your services for hire! Many moms have left corporate America and have been able to earn significant incomes by simply offering the same exact services they were doing before at a 9-5 job for one employer to the world wide marketplace. Lots of jobs can be done online such as: writing, editing, bookkeeping, accounting, answering phones, data research and more. If you are tech savvy you could learn new skills such as building websites, building mobile sites, building apps, or graphic design. If you are a creative, take a course on copywriting or social media!
Help Others By Creating Courses and Information Products
Do you find yourself being asked how you do something over and over? Are others amazed at a certain skill you have? Are people attracted to you because you have mastered how to do something that you simply take for granted? Do you have a level of knowledge about something that is further along in the journey than others?
If yes, then consider packaging up your experience into an information product that you can sell to help others on their journey. You don’t have to be the best in the world to help others. You just have to be a little further along in the journey. You can teach others as you learn. As you grow.
Maybe you created a unique way to help your kids study for tests better. Maybe you are the most organized office manager your company has ever seen. Maybe you have successfully started a business. Maybe you have managed to book speaking events. Take inventory of what you have accomplished and if others can benefit from your experience, package it up as an info product to sell on your site.
So what is stopping you? Take that first step and go start a blog today!