I’ve been hammered with this question as of late.
In order to effectively answer this question, of which I’m asked multiple times daily, I decided to write a simple post in response.
How do I make money online?
Many are interested in working online because of the lifestyle it affords, flexibility and ability to work from home.
It’s not an easy way to make money, and requires continual dedication, but if there’s a passion there’s a way.
What People Don’t See
I didn’t just wake up one day and find I started making mounds of money online.
It took work. Hard work and long hours.
From the time I was ten I started learning how to develop websites, manage communities and market products.
What people don’t see is…
- The countless hours spent building a dog sledding community when I was 15. Coordinating interviews, product reviews, keeping stock in products, shipping dog supplements and supplies on a daily basis, and attending events with my booth.
- Attending college for a degree in Computer Information Systems with Internet concentration and writing.
- Spending Friday nights learning from internet marketers on message forums and chat rooms.
- Mountains of books read. The librarians continue to be some of my best friends and have come to recognize my presence. When younger, I’d rush from school and head to the library to see what new books had arrived in subjects ranging from social media, computers, marketing, design, biographies and more.
- Working alongside my father almost every weekend since I was 14 at special events across California. Marathons, triathlons, bike relays, breast cancer walks and more. Coordinating with cities, pulling permits, contacting sponsors, driving trailers, handling merchandise booths, managing the on-site registration process, setting up courses and much more. Later in the process I was able to manage and direct a few races of my own with a team of employees, while my father was in yet another location. Some events have garnered participants in upwards of 20,000 people. What I’ve learned from race management & marketing over the years has been a very intensive, hands on form of training in management, marketing and race development.
- Failures. Most don’t see the failures you amass by working online. The websites I’ve tried to develop. Code broken. Etc. It’s all part of the process.
I don’t share these stats to blow a horn, but to share how much time and dedication it takes to build something of worth online. You need to study, work hard and grow yourself.
I know I’ve been blessed, and would not have been able to accomplish all I have without the support of parents, siblings, grandparents, friends and online friends.
Surround yourself with people who understand your commitment to making money online.
How I Make Money Online
There are various ways to make money online. Many ways.
Below are just some of the ways I make money online; which have come through being involved with the online world for over ten years.
- Blogging - You can earn an income online from blogging. You continually write content, and once you amass a strong following, are able to market your blog to advertisers. What many bloggers miss out on is direct sales of ads to sponsors. Look in your phone book, Google, anywhere; and contact businesses who might be interested in paying for ad space. This is how I monetized Sleddoggin.com quickly when it was first developed. As your blog continues to grow you’ll be recognized as an industry leader, and will have opportunities for speaking engagements, book deals, sponsored posts, partnerships and more. I own and operate multiple blogs and communities online.
- Freelance Writing – I spend some time writing blog posts, magazine articles, articles for newspapers and content websites. Often these are written under pen name. Places like HubSpot are a good place to start writing content and monetizing, although I don’t recommend giving them all of your content at such a small return. Contact your local newspaper for information on how to send in freelance articles for approval. Another very valuable tool is the Writer’s Market guide, which you’ll want a new copy of each year. It tells you the submission process for each news-source, magazine, etc…in the country.
- Website Design & Development – Since I was younger I’ve spent time developing websites, shopping carts and blogs around the country although I’ve since removed myself from much of this work. I only do so for current clients on an as-needed basis.
- Social Media Consulting – This is where most of my income is derived from. I take businesses and train their teams how to manage their social media marketing profiles in-house, with supplemental work provided by myself. In this area of making money online, I’m responsible to different businesses, but able to work from home and everywhere. This form of making money online isn’t something you can just decide to do within a day, but something to work towards as you begin your online money making journey.
- Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketing is the process by which you send people to a product hosted by another business, and receive a percentage of profits purchased.
- Selling Goods & Services – A very profitable form of making money online is opening an online store. Selling goods, virtual or otherwise. I’ve had experience in handling shopping carts where I stock and ship all products ordered, drop shipped products from warehouses, and virtual products. All have their pros and cons, with more details than can be covered here.
- Twitter, Email Lists & Other Forms of Advertising – Often I’ll Tweet an ad, share a link or promote a product of which I’m being compensated. Once your following grows, you’ll have opportunities arrive that take this form of monetization.
Remember that making money online can take various shapes and venues. Blogging, email lists, search engines, social media, etc…are all “appendages” to web marketing, and all coexist to cause a brand to be promoted and developed.
You don’t have to be technically skilled to work online. There are countless ways to make money. Including surveys, working with various companies, freelance writing and more.
Open your mind, and search for opportunities. They are many. I’ve had experience in almost all venues of making money online, but what you see bulleted above is what I spend most of my time doing.
It doesn’t mean you have to do the same.
Why do I work online?
The benefits to working online are many, whereas there are cons too.
It’s a financially unstable situation to begin working online. Often you’ll find the need to keep your day job while also simultaneously working online during the late night hours.
Kristi Hines of Kikolani just recently talked about that juggle.
And don’t think you won’t report to a boss if you work online. By working online, having clients, balancing customers, etc…you often have hundreds of “tiny” bosses ripping at your throat.
- Working online gives me the ability to work from anywhere. As long as I have my laptop, my office is attending. That’s why occasionally you’ll see me jumping from state to state, visiting friends and family – with no regard to reporting to a brick-and-mortar location.
- I have the flexibility spend time with family. Although I spend the day time hours working, my family is still nearby, and I’m available to them if needed. If I feel like taking an impromptu walk with my brothers and dogs during the middle of the day, I’m able to do so.
- Because I work online I haven’t lost my job. What I mean by this is that for the past year I’ve been very ill (will talk more about this in later blog post) and I wouldn’t be able to keep a job where I report to a facility each day. When I’m particularly ill, I’m able to work from bed. I’m very grateful for that.
- I wear pajamas to work sometimes.
- I love it. Simply, you shouldn’t work online if you don’t think you’ll like it. The hard work and long hours aren’t going to suffice if you aren’t passionate about what you’re talking about. That’s why it’s so important to work online with a topic you have passion for. I love teaching people how to blog, I love teaching, I enjoy marketing & I’ve been doing it since I can remember. Find that one thing you can’t stop thinking about each and every day, and dive right in.
All in all, I’m incredibly grateful to work online. It affords me the opportunity to do what I love, pursue a path in music, travel, read, write, take pictures, interact, talk and learn.
Most of all, I do it because of the people. Daily I’m introduced to new people I immediately learn from, respect and look up to. People in the entertainment industry, marketing, bloggers, photographers, scientists, teachers. Each with a special passion and zest for life.
So that, my friends, is the long-winded story of how I make money online. Now get to it!