Note – this article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using my links, I may earn a commission. Read the article and learn how you can do the same too.
It’s been a long and interesting journey so far… and continues to be as I continue my entrepreneurial travels and adventures both online and offline in the physical world.
It’s kind of weird too as I have seen a lot of success and failure with thousands of other people – and have had my own share of both successes and failures too.
Before we get too far into this – I will go ahead and answer the question that you likely want to ask – Can I really make money online?
The short answer is – YES!
It really is possible to make real money online, and there are systematic ways to learn and then do the things you need to make that a reality for you. Yet the challenge is that there is so much utter garbage out there that is quite hard to tell the good from the bad information, training and resources.
The other big challenge, and one there also spurs on the nonsense, is the desire we all have to find “SECRETS to MAKING MONEY ONLINE” and hoping for some magic formula or easy button that will solve all problems and bring in truck loads of cash on auto pilot with little to no effort required.
It would be nice… but alas, such a thing does not exist in reality.
Yet if you are willing to invest some time, some effort and yes – some money too – then you can indeed build yourself a profitable online business over time.
Steps to Building a Profitable Online Business
- Decide what you want to accomplish and why
- Gather information, get informed
- Take action
- Get Training, Help and Support – and accountability!
- Keep learning and keep taking action and keep growing your business
One key thing is to figure out what kind of online business you want to pursue. There are many to choose from, and they all have advantages and disadvantages of their own too.
You might want to check out my newest course on Udemy which covers all this in much more detail.
Some people will tell you to pursue your passion. That sounds nice and it’s what people want to hear – but it can lead you astray and to failure instead of success in your business. The other part of that is that you must first consider whether what you are passionate about is also something that is profitable enough to justify going for in te first place.
When it aligns with your passion and it’s also very profitable that is indeed a wonderful thing. But just remember that whatever you ultimately choose MUST be profitable.
Why doesn’t everybody else tell you that?
Because it isn’t what most people want to hear – and telling reality that is not feel good happy fluff doesn’t entice you or other people to buy their products or services – and they simply care more about THEM making money off of you than they do about HELPING you succeed in business.
Do I really care about you?
Believe it or not yes I do. The reasons are simple. First its just good (Karma) and makes me happy to see other people succeed – and I have been an Instructor, Coach and Mentor for decades and to thousands of people over the years. It alone makes me happy just knowing I am helping people.
Secondly – it is good business and is also profitable for me too. The reason is that happy clients and happy customers return again a again and again over the years and buy more of y products and services (because I actually helped them, and they know they can trust me now) and even better – they refer their friends and family and other people to me and my products.
I love building long term (many for life!) relationships with people that are mutually beneficial for us all. Life and business doesnt get much better than that!
Can You Really Make Money Blogging?
The short answer again is YES!
But not usually in the way most people assume. While it is possible to write articles, posts and create content for other people and other companies who will pay you for creating such content – that isn’t really blogging.
It being paid as a writer and content creator – not as a blogger working on your own blog.
So how do bloggers really make their money?
Here are a few ways that work very well for some people and that you might want to consider and look into if any of these peak your interest;
- Affiliate Marketing – This is when you blog (and or create other content) about specific nitch topics and then include affiliate links into your content. When people click on your links, they are taken to the company that actually supplies the product or service you are mentioning. If they make a purchase (or complete a specific action desired by the company – like signing up for a trial etc.) then you earn a fee/commission. This can range for a few cents to hundreds of dollars or more per sale depending on the specific products and companies you choose to market for.
- Selling Your Own Products – You can create your own products such as courses, shirts, hats, mugs, eBooks, books, training manuals and other things – and then sell them from your own site. Much like affiliate marketing and using the same core principles – but just selling your own stuff.
- Paid Ads and Sponsorship Deals – How do you think TV, Radio, Facebook, Google and many others make most of their own money? From Ads! From people and companies paying them to advertise and market their stuff for them. What you need to be able to do that too is steady traffic – traffic just is another word for PEOPLE who come to your site and read/consume your content. It may surprise you to learn you don’t need huge numbers either – just consistent steady numbers of highly engaged people within your specific focus areas (aka niches/nitches).
While there are MANY more as well this is enough to give you some ideas about what is possible and help you decide whether to pursue looking into this further or not. I hope you do – because it can and will work for you too – IF you do the learning and then do the work.
Now Let’s Talk PASSIVE Income
In my view there are three types of income;
- Active Income
- Semi-Passive Income
- Passive Income
The term PASSIVE income is very often misused and misunderstood. So to help clear that up let’s discuss each one of these a little more.
Passive Income is when you do a thing once and then don’t have to do anything else at all – yet you keep getting paid again and again on a long-term ongoing basis. A few examples of this would be when an actor completes a film and then receives royalties for the rest of their life for making the film/movie. They did the work once (acting) and continue to get paid for years to come – maybe even for life and even beyond (to their heirs) depending on the contract they had when they did the work.
Another example of this is an Author who writes and publishes a book. Whether they use a traditional publisher or self-publish it through Amazon – as long as their book continues to sell, they will keep getting paid. I wrote my first book way back in 2008 and I still get royalty payments every now and then from Amazon as people buy a copy or two of my books – and I have done no additional work on that book in many, many years (though I do need to publish an updated edition someday ; ) and finally we will talk about Investments.
Investment Income – There are all kinds of investments. You can invest in stocks, bonds and even into businesses directly – and so long as you they are good investments – you will be paid “passive income” for many years to come.
Keep in mind though that any thing called an “Investment” also carries the risk of loss – and you could lose all you put into it too.
We covered that one first because it’s the one most people are most interested in. However, the other two are more likely to be achieved first by almost everyone.
Active Income – is working a job and getting a paycheck – or being a business owner operator – doing the work and getting revenue and making a profit.
This is what most working people do most of their lives. The biggest two problems with this are that time constraints as to how much they can do in a given day always limit how much they can make. Also, another big risk is that anything can happen – and they can be put out of business in any number of ways – which takes out their income causing an immediate financial crisis in their lives.
Finally, we get to Semi-Passive Income. This one is what most people mislabel and misterm as passive income when it is really semi-passive. Still a great thing but it has some important differences to be aware of. You still have to do work (usually a ton of it upfront) before you can get anything close to passive income from your efforts.
Let’s say you teach live workshops – and have automated your registrations and signups, developed your core curriculum, slides, videos etc. – but you still have to show up and conduct parts of it live.
Likewise, an online course can be almost fully automated, but you may still need to respond to questions, grade assignments, monitor the platform it’s on (so it doesn’t get deactivated for some technical issue or another) and it will occasionally need updates and additions if you want to keep it selling long term.
Thats all work – and work is not passive.
A Better Business Recommendation to Start With
If you already have a specific business that you want to start with then by all means, research that one, and if it pans out then go ahead and do it.
But if you are unsure which business you want to start with – start with Affiliate Marketing.
Why start an Affiliate Marketing business first?
Because it is an excellent choice – can be highly profitable in its own right, can be started with almost nothing investment wise – other than effort and time, and a very small amount of money (domain name, hosting, training and resources). Also, because by learning this business you will learn a massive amount about all elements of MARKETING and how to learn even more along with how to learn more about SALES and Marketing and Sales make the business world go around.
One of the best recommendations on learning more about online businesses and especially Affiliate Marketing – as well as getting access to hosting and many other services very affordably is to join Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate is a wonderful resource and a full community of millions of other like-minded entrepreneurs all helping each other keep achieving more success over time.
Join me there today at Wealthy Affiliate.