There are many ways to make money online and they fall into a few different categories…
- Affiliate marketing – selling products
- Affiliate marketing – selling recurring items, typically membership sites
- Creating and selling your own product
- Owning your own membership site
- CPA – click per action, a variation on selling affiliate products
- Sub-contract work
There are others but these are the main categories.
If you’re just dipping your toes in the sea of making money online, it can be hard to know what to do. It’s fair to say that the majority of people coming online to make money are in a J-O-B and are investigating ways to make money online with a view to ultimately leaving the JOB and having the time and financial freedom that working online is quite capable of offering.
The sad truth is, most people never succeed.
But don’t let that put you off – many do. Those that don’t often don’t take advice, do the wrong things, have unrealistic expectations coupled with a lack of tenacity or simply aren’t cut out for it.
A big determining factor in success or failure is mindset.
Reading all the hype around, anyone new could be forgiven for thinking that they could start online today and give up their job before next payday – that isn’t going to happen.
There’s a learning curve and it takes time to…well, to do everything really!
When you approach your new online business, you have two main assets, time and money – and each person will have their own mix of those assets. Generally, if you have money, you can spend less time achieving the same results. If you have little to no money, it’s going to take you longer (more effort) to start succeeding.
One thing I’ve learned for sure is that you need some kind of budget. Let’s say it’s $500 minimum for the sake of argument. If you have less than that as a budget to start your online business then you need to embark on a pre-business plan where you spend as little as possible and you earn what you can until you have that minimum working budget. You certainly don’t take anything out of the business for personal use.
Because if you’re cash-strapped, you won’t make the right choices when it comes to buying products or joining programs!
For example, suppose you want to join a program. Many people starting out will join traffic exchanges or mailers as a way to generate traffic (as they have no list of their own to market to yet).
(I first wrote about this topic here)
Many people will join a new program and refuse the OTOs (one-time offers). This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. If the program is worth joining at all, you should take advantage of the up-front offers; these will sometimes include lifetime memberships and yes, it might be e.g. $197 – seems steep to someone who is looking to make money, not spend it.
But your aim in any program should be to make profit as quickly as possible – and you’ll always make higher commissions if you take the upgrade(s).
If a program has a lifetime upgrade and you take it, all you need to focus on is getting enough referrals to recoup your investment and then everything is profit from there on in!
This is a key concept to embrace. I understand $197 may seem too steep for many – which is why you need to build up your working budget to $500 before you go too far.
I recently joined a program, an advertising program. It offered instant commissions and plenty of included advertising, I knew it would be a no-brainer because the upgrades were once-only payments – I never fail to recoup my investment on programs that have lifetime memberships available.
This is the range of commissions available:
Free members: 3 SALES for the Site and 1 SALE for YOU = 25%
Gold members: 3 SALES for the Site and 2 for YOU =40%
Platinum members: 1 SALE for the Site and 1 for YOU =50%
Elite members: 2 SALES for the Site and 3 for YOU (=60%)
JV members: 1 SALE for the Site and 3 for YOU (=75%)
Founding members: ALL Sales go directly to YOU (=100%)
Platinum OTO was $11, JV was an additional $27 i.e. $38
Many of my referrals remained free. Now if you had any intention of promoting this program, why would you not pay $11 to double your commissions? It makes no nsense whatsoever. You may as well not join.
I can understand people paying the $11 and not the extra $27 to upgrade to ‘JV’ for an extra 25% commission. But if you have any faith in your ability to promote the program, you really should pay the $27 because you don’t need many upgraded referrals to recoup that cost.
The founding member upgrade cost an additional $97 – ok that’s quite a leap. BUT you then get %100 commission on any upgrades by your referrals.
As always, I took the maximum upgrade and then focussed on promoting it to recoup my investment. That upgrade cost me $11 + $27 + $97 : $135 total.
Within 24 hours (easily within) I had recouped my investment and within 36 hours, someone had seen the sense in fully upgrading and I was about $90 in profit.
But the main point is that any time I promote this program now and earn a commission, it’s 100% profit.
Build A List – Or At Least Be A Member Of Multiple Mailers
Because I have a list and the people on that list trust me (by and large), it was easy for me to promote this program and get referrals almost instantly. And there is no doubt that in parallel with whatever plans you have for building your business, it’s imperative that part of your focus (a big part) should be on building your own list.
But until you have your own decent size list, you should be a member of as many mailers as possible – and at least some of the better ones you should be fully upgraded to get maximum benefit. However, at the expense of a lot more time, you can achieve the same thing by being free at lots of mailers.
Then it’s easy to join a new program, fully upgraded and just blast out as many emails as possible and you will recoup your cost for upgrading.
Recurring Upgrade Fees
You won’t always have the option of a lifetime upgrade – instead the OTO will be a significantly reduced monthly fee. You should still take it.
The difference then is that you’ll need to promote the program until you have enough upgraded referrals below you to cover that monthly fee – and anything above that is gravy! Just keep an eye on it because you will some referrals will downgrade over time and you’ll need to re-promote to replace them.
The less attractive alternative if you refuse to have faith in your ability to cover the OTO costs is to do it backwards but it will cost you more!
You join for free, start promoting and wait until you have enough paying members below you to cover the cost for you to then upgrade and benefit from the higher commissions. But because you’ll be upgrading within the site and not from any OTOs, the monthly fee will often be double what you could have been paying. This is the risk averse approach and is ok…but be brave and upgrade from the OTOs, you’ll almost always be glad you did!