A couple weeks back I got an email from a kid starting out who had some great questions about what he can do to get started making money on the internet… and since I was in his spot at one time too… I sat down for a while and really thought out what I’d do if I had to start all over again. What would I do to make money on the internet if I was starting from scratch tomorrow?
Well… here’s the email I sent back to him… I’ve pasted it in below. I’m not saying this is the only path… or even the best. It’s based on my own experiences of what worked for me and what was the easiest when starting with nothing… no connections… no money… no technical experience… nada.
So, if you’re wondering how to get started making money online… or even better… how to grow a REAL business online… and need some ideas to get ya going… enjoy 🙂
PS – I’d love your comments and questions. Ha, I know its a long ass article… but, it came from the heart and I hope the kid got something out of it (he hasn’t emailed back, lol… so I’m assuming he realized its a bit too much work for him to truly be successful ;-).
Alrighty… here ya go…
============= START OF MY EMAIL TO J*** ================
Hey J***, hope you had a great weekend man!
Thanks for the email. Sorry about the delay.
First off, how’d you come across me? I’m always curious… good to know where people come from 🙂
Alrighty man, when I was 20 (I just turned 29 now) I was in my 2nd year in college… didn’t even know what internet marketing was, hadn’t taken action in real estate investing yet (I ended up buying my first apartment building the next year)…
… basically I was in the “learning” phase and while I’m glad I went to college because I had fun and met some of my best friends… in all reality it probably set me back a few years business wise.
So, you’re ahead of the game man as far as the fact you’re already at least thinking about starting a business and finding ways to make money online.
Now, I know that doesn’t do ya any good or even prob make you feel better… but here ya go…
… I really can’t give you 1 book or anything that will give you everything you need skill wise to start to make money fast online. There are ways to make money online… our company does very well… but, what people don’t tell you is its a TON of work to get up to $4k/mo… then, to grow it from there its much easier and quicker… but $4k/mo is kinda a magical number where most people can quit their regular jobs to focus just on their online business.
Also, you need to make a distinction… if you’re out looking for opportunities to make some extra money… you’ll be chasing opportunity after opportunity and likely won’t make any money.
To make any real money online… you need to treat it like a business… businesses take work… take dedication… take an investment (in either money or time… or both… in your case, you have time but not money… which is where I started too). So, find a strategy you like… and stick with it til it works.
I know you prob won’t want to hear this… but it took me about 6 months to make any real money online (more than $100)… and about 18 months to make a full-time living with my online businesses… and about 3 years to get where I am today… high six figures to low seven figures a year with the businesses I own. (MY NOTES: Those numbers are *gross* revenues by the way… net is a whole different story, I’ll go into that in another post here on the blog, gross revenues don’t mean crap, but thats all you hear from people). I focused hard as heck and made the decision that it would be hard upfront… and I’d have to pay my dues… but in the long-run it would be worth it.
MAKE THIS DECISION: Be willing to have short-term pain for long-term gain. Most people by default choose to have short-term gain and end up living long-term pain. The choice is yours… and it truly is a choice.
Too many people are short term “now” thinkers and want results fast… so they bounce from one “opportunity” to the next… never giving any of them time or dedication to actually work. You have to be a long-term thinker… pay your dues now for the long-term gain.
Its either eat ramen and barely scrape by for the next 12 months while you focus and work hard as heck getting your online business going… and live an awesome and abundant life for decades after that… or, look for the quick solution (or worse, get comfortable and stop wanting a better life and settle for a crappy job you hate)… and suffer the rest of your life making less money than you know you’re worth and achieving less than you know you could.
So, with that little pep talk man… I just want to prepare ya for the fact that whatever actions I tell you below… none of it will be quick or instant… but if you stick to it it’ll be long lasting and build a solid business that lets you live your dreams (like mine do now).
Ok… the ways that I’ve made money online the easiest (and quickest for me) are outlined below. But, with that said “easy” isn’t always “easy” and “quick” isn’t always “quick”… it just depends on your definitions of those 😉
- Find something you already enjoy… a hobby or something… and start a blog about it. It costs $9 to get a blog up and going. Use a free software called “wordpress”. Get the cheapest monthly hosting plan from Hostgator (about $4/mo)… here’s my “affiliate link” 😉 https://www.trevormauch.com/hosting.All of that will cost about $15 to get up and rolling. $4.95 for your hosting account and a one-time fee of $10 or so to buy a domain name for your site at godaddy.com. And, start writing articles on that blog about that topic… try to write at least 3 per week for the next 2-3 months… by the end of that period your site will have some great content in it and the search engines will like it.Then, start to review products that are in that market. For instance, some of the first real money I made online (and still make to this today from those efforts 3 years ago) were product review posts for software in this particular market. I made a goal to review (video and written) the top 10 softwares in that market and make detailed reviews, post them on the blog, etc. Those reviews get picked up in the search engines when you do a few quick SEO things to the post that I can teach you… people land on the pages, read your reviews, and some end up buying whatever you review… through the affiliate link for that product that you posted on that review.To this day, those first 8 or so reviews I did in 2008 still make me over $1,500/mo without me doing anything… and thats only those reviews… doesn’t include anything else I’ve done to generate revenue since then.So, find a market you can write about that you will stay motivated to write about for a while, find the top products in that market that you can join the affiliate programs for, review the products and post those reviews online.
That literally is the quickest and easiest money I’ve found when you’re starting with no cash to invest.
- Go to mailchimp.com and get a free account for their autoresponder service. Or, you can sign up for the service I personally use to handle our 25,000+ email subscribers… Aweber. But, Aweber doens’t have a free version… the cheapest monthly plan is $19/mo… but go with Mailchimps free accounts if you don’t have the $19/mo. Post an email opt in box on your site to start building up an email newsletter list.It’ll start small… but will grow and eventually you’ll be able to email product reviews or recommendations to those people… which you can make an affiliate commission from. The key here is to make sure you provide a lot of value to your subscribers to they want to be on your newsletter and open your emails. This is more of a long-term strategy… but will end up turning into your full-time income.
- Go to google and type up “google adsense”. Get a free adsense account, and paste a few ads on that blog/site once you have lets say 10 solid articles up there. Don’t post too many ads.The ads we’ve found that generate the most money are the square ads posted at the bottom of articles… and the square ads posted in the middle of an article. If you don’t know how to do that, go to www.fivrr.com and you can probably find someone for just $5 to paste them on your site for you. Adsense will be very slow to start… maybe 1 cent a day… then 10 cents… but eventually if you work hard and keep posting great articles and content that people want to read… google will show you in the search results… people will land on your articles… join your newsletter… hopefully buy a product through your affiliate links… and maybe even click on a google adsense ad. Eventually you can make a couple hundred bucks a month (or more, or less… depending on how hard you work and the amount of visitors you get to your site)… all of this adds up.Ya, I do say “it’ll happen slow”… but, truth be told… we’ve had sites start earning money within 3 days of buying the domain name, writing 5 articles, and launching the site live… so you can literally start earning money online this week if you go through the right steps and stick with it. The real key is in your skill being able to Search Engine Optimize your articles… which isn’t very hard and anyone with a few hours of spare time who can read instructions can learn all the basics you need to get pages onto page 1 of Goolge. (MY NOTES: I’ll write a separate post on this blog about my simple SEO process for articles that have my sites hundreds of Page 1 rankings that make me money).The above is EXACTLY how I first started to make money online… and the above still provides multiple thousands of dollars a month today without me doing a whole lot. But, it took a LOT of work, time, and dedication upfront to get to that point… I probably went 6 months before I ever really made any real money. Most people quit before then thinking it doesn’t work… thats lazy and those types of people will likely never be successful because nothing truly worth while is that quick and easy… if it were everyone would be doing it. Those who truly want to live a bigger brighter future will do it… those who want things handed to them won’t do it. Its that simple.
- Using Your Skills As A Consultant “For Hire” – Another way you can start to make money online as you’re doing the stuff above (or if the stuff above is too much work for you) is if you have some sort of a skill or are willing to learn a skill… you can be a virtual assistant or do project work for people online.Here are a few sites you can sign up for for free… look at different projects/jobs people are posting… and you can “bid” on those jobs to do the work for them.
- www.rentacoder.com (if you’re a technie guy who knows code and stuff)
- www.craigslist.org (look in the jobs or help wanted ads)
- www.99designs.com (If you have graphic art skills or website skills)
- www.fivrr.com (you can do random tasks for people for $5 a pop)Thats just a few. There are a ton of sites where people/businesses go, post projects they want worked on… and people from all over the world hire those people for projects… and you can get paid.We’ve hired several people off of those sites for projects… and they made good money for doing it.
5. You can do social media managing for people in your local city. There are a ton of businesses out there who are terrible at using facebook, twitter, etc… who are willing to pay people to manage their facebook and twitter accounts for them. You can make good money doing it too.
The same goes here, you have to treat it like a real business otherwise you’ll just repeat the same cycle of “opportunity seeking”… but I can assure you this is as real as it gets… I personally know people who are making over $100,000 a year doing this… who started with nothing… put in the time, dedication, and work… and are now doing really well running a business on their own terms.
The best training I’ve found that shows you exactly everything to do for this is pretty affordable (I think its under $100). It’s called Mobile Local Fusion.
Again, here’s my “affiliate” link for the Mobile Local Fusion training <<
(if you notice, I’m doing this for a reason… I’ve plugged 2 affiliate links in this email to ya. Reason? I’m giving you value and real steps you can take… and am giving you resources I personally use and like… and in exchange… I’m giving you my affiliate link in case you do use those resources I make a commission. Thats how affiliate marketing works… and you can do it too. Just provide value to people… truly help them, and there are very ethical and high value ways you can make extra money by doing just that. Always look for ways to provide value first, then make money second).
6. Get out of desperation mode (I should have put this as #1). Being desperate does nothing but limit your options… because you’ve already put yourself in the mindset of having to make something happen “quick”… and if something doesn’t work right away (which “most” things won’t… some will… like numbers 4 and 5 above are probably the quickest if you have the skill or want to learn it and take action consistently)… then you’ll stop to find something else that will happen “quicker”. You’ll never find that when you’re in desperation mode.
Turn your desperation into urgency (similar but different), set specific goals for the next 30 days and 90 days (no longer than that right now) as far as action you’re going to take blog posts you’ll write, books you’ll read, etc.
People don’t wan to work with desperate people… its a turnoff. But people do want to work with motivated people with initiative and urgency. Again, very similar… just a different mindset.
A few books you can and should get and read sometime in your life that will help get you in the right mindset are:
- Happiness at Work by Srikumar S. Rao
- 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
There are a lot more books out there you should read too (I’ve got a huge bookshelf full… continual knowledge is a great thing… as long as you take action on it)... but, right now books on technical “how to make money” books won’t do ya much good without the right mindset shift. Those books above will help you get there.
There are a TON more ways to make money… both online and offline.
The biggest thing I want you to take away from this is that this isn’t about making money… its about improving your lifestyle to be closer to your ideal life… and to get there you can’t chase opportunities… you have to pick a path that has worked for many other people (all of those things I mentioned above have been done by literally thousands of people who stuck with it to make it work)… stay focused, and work it until it works.
It’ll take time, you likely won’t make $1,000 next week from those… but, you definitely could (especially with numbers 4 and 5. Numbers 1-3 will take more time… but with those you’re building a solid platform for semi-passive income and freedom… 4 & 5 are more “quick cash” strategies that are less passive.
- Get in the right mindset and dedicate first to your mindset every day… second to cash generation (the cash will come)
- Pick a path and focus on it for at least 90 days solid… don’t stop it and restart something else. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you won’t build a sustainable business that will feed you for life in a week or even a month (not saying that hasn’t happened, it has… but odds are against it)
- Provide value to everyone every step of the way, then find ways to monetize the value you’re giving. Don’t do it the other way around… don’t try to sell stuff to people first then think you’ll give them value later… it doesn’t work very well.
- Know you can do it… because you can… its just a matter of that mindset shift I was talking about… and making the DECISION that this will be the turning point in your life. You’ll have to stop doing some of the things you’re doing now that are getting in your way… like some bad habits you may have (stop watching TV at night, instead work a few hours on your online business), cut expenses where you can… cancel cable… only eat out once a month… take your girlfriend on dates that don’t require money… like a picnik or walk in the park… or a bike ride… or volunteer at a local charity/boys n girls club/shelter, etc. as a date (it’ll be meaningful, you’re giving back, and you’ll enjoy it more than an expensive date anyway), etc. Just get creative.
Man, again, I’m sure this isn’t what you were expecting as a response… but you can see I’ve taken a good bit of time writing this for you when I really should be doing other projects (that I’m behind on)… but I really wanted to help you out since you took the time to seek me out.
So, right now you can make 1 of 3 choices…
- You can look at this… say “Man, this guy is crazy. I said I’m desperate and need money quick. This isn’t quick at all and I don’t have time for this” and close this email and bounce back to “finding the next opportunity” like you’ve been doing.
- You can say “ya, this makes sense… I love it!”. Then, forget about this email later this week… lose focus… and be back in the same spot you’re now in… 2 weeks from now (this is what most people would do… most people can’t focus long enough to drive from point A to point B without having to send 4 texts on the way there. These people likely will always wish they had done somthing bigger and better and wonder why things didn’t happen for them… but, the key is… things won’t happen FOR you… you have to make them happen.or…
- You can look at this, realize that it will work and has worked for countless people… but it will take a LOT of work and dedication. You’ll print this email out… put in on your wall… and take the next 2 days thinking in detail what you want your ideal life to be like. Then, you’ll pick a path… write down goals and daily action steps for the next 30 – 90 days… post those on your wall… and make the DECISION to wake up 1 hour earlier than you are right now… cut out the extra wasteful activities in your life that don’t lead to your goals… decide every morning to read for 15 minutes a book that inspires you and gets you in the right mindset (the books above)… and dedicate the next 90 days to just this one path and your lifes true goals without waivering, without letting people discourage you, without bouncing to a “new opportunity”… and without ever feeling sorry for yourself for the position you’re in right now… because, if you continue to focus and take the right actions… you’ll be out of this situation sooner than later and you’ll be looking back in 10 years at the life you’re living… and the life your friends are living who decided themselves to never take action and you’ll be thankful as heck you made this decision when you did.
Choice is your my man. Now, its up to you to do what you wish w/ it 🙂
I’ll leave you with this… watch this video <<
Save the link to that video and watch it every month. Seriously. It’ll change things for ya.
Good luck Jose. Make things happen my man!