With more and more people “online” these days – surfing the web, sending email or purchasing goods and services, the social commerce bug has bitten us all. Every day new and exciting businesses are opening their doors, not doors you walk through physically on the street, but doors you enter virtually – i.e., online. Now, you too can learn how to make money online free. Building an online business is one great way to finance your retirement.
With that in mind, here in a simple 4-step system is how to make money online for beginners.
STEP 1 – CHOOSE A NICHE
A niche is a target audience, a specific segment of an overall market. Think of it this way: For your business, you need a product or service. To figure out what that might be, start broadly by asking yourself, “What interests me?” Is it something to do with sports, food, fitness, or jewelry?
We all have hobbies or things we enjoy doing either alone or with other people. What topic or interest excites you, motivates you, or tickles your fancy? There are countless ideas that you could potentially explore for your online opportunity. So, begin with an area you are deeply interested in.
Now, get more focused. Define your target audience as clearly as you can. For example, if you said you’d like to market running shoes, that is a pretty broad market; marathon running shoes is a more narrowly focused distinct category. Don’t worry about getting too narrow. You will make much more impact with a narrow, rifle-focus, than with a scattered, shot-gun style appeal.
Remember: there are nearly 3 billion people online, shopping and surfing! So, regardless of the topic or interest you choose, you can learn how to make money online at home, working part time, with no initial investment … and be very successful!
Wealthy Affiliate (see my full review) provides not only lists of possible niche markets, but also great training on how to narrow down your topic. See also my article How to Find Products to Sell Online. The point here is to think of something that interests YOU because the goal is to have FUN making money online!
STEP 2 – BUILD A WEBSITE
If the thought of building your own website sounds daunting, have no fear. You don’t have to be a computer programmer or have extensive computer knowledge to succeed at this step. With Wealthy Affiliate you can build an affiliate website for free. In fact, it will take you less than 30 seconds to build the essential framework of an attractive website ready to start earning you some cash! For an overview of the process, see Build an Affiliate Website.
Your website is the foundation of your business, your “store” so to speak, and having it done right from the get go will help with your success. There are many “themes” or design options available to make your website unique and eye-appealing.
Building on this initial framework, you will flesh it out by writing pages, posts, and reviews, discussing everything related to your product or service. If your website is your online store, you could think of your articles or posts as store employees available 24/7 to tell people online about your products.
STEP 3 – ATTRACT VISITORS
As in any business, you need customers, and for online businesses we want to maximize our visitors. Visitors may be “window shoppers,” but the shoppers in the online community today tend to be ready to buy when they find what they are looking for.
So how do you bring visitors to your website? The key is keywords. Keywords are distinct words or phrases derived from how people are searching for the product you are selling. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing index pages and posts on your website according to these same keywords.
You may hear all sorts of things on keywords, and many people listen to the wrong advice. Here are three helpful criteria to employ when doing keyword research.
- Low competition. Avoid keywords with a lot of competition. Your goal is to have your website rank higher than another website selling the same thing, and with so much competition for the same key word, there is a small likelihood you will rank or get any traffic. Both the free keyword tool in Wealthy Affiliate and its more full full-featured cousin, Jaaxy, employ a specific metric called QSR (Quote Search Results). The QSR allows you to determine the exact number of competing pages in Google. You will want the QSR to be 300 or less, and the closer to zero the better.
- Better Traffic. Here you are looking to find what keywords get searched on the most. You want your keyword to get over 50 searches per month. A higher number here is better, as long as it still has a low QSR. However, if you keep the goal of ranking higher as your first priority, you may be able to rank higher and faster using lower volume keywords – they add up!
- Make Sense. Make sure that your keywords make sense. For example, how find keywords vs. how to find keywords. If you tried to use the first example, you would have a hard time fitting it into a sentence because it is not grammatical. The second example is much easier to use in your text. Remember your audience is people wanting to buy your product, not the search engines ranking your website.
Now try out a free keyword search using Jaaxy:
Wealthy Affiliate also provides a free keyword research tool, great training in doing keyword research, expert guidance for how to use keywords effectively in your articles, and specific rules to avoid ‘keyword stuffing’ (a tactic for which Google rightly ranks articles lower).
STEP 4 – EARN MONEY
Yes! This is your main objective and it will happen once you have the audience or traffic visiting your website.
You also need a plan for how to get your products to your customers. There are several ways to accomplish this, including finding a good drop shipper of the products. However, an even more popular means would be to use a special program called an “affiliate program”. When traffic comes to your website to purchase a certain product, you send that traffic to your “affiliate” company website. They pay you a commission for sales from your redirected customer. There are millions of different programs available for just as many different products.
Wealthy Affiliate will help you with the proper techniques to build your business from the ground up, without using bricks and mortar. Everything you need to get started is only a click away. Wealthy Affiliate is being used by computer novices, as well as experts, because it is a good tool for helping people earn money online. Wealthy Affiliate currently has 400,000+ members, and that number is growing.
And I saved the best for last. Getting started is FREE! You can learn how to sell online for free, and get your business rolling. You’ll have access to two ten-session “Getting Started” training courses, TWO websites with hosting, the keyword research tool, live help and support, and access to community discussions where you can get your simple and maybe not so simple, questions answered! We’ve all been where you are today! Then Wealthy Affiliate taught us how to make money online with no investment.
So, what are your waiting for? Start your new business making money online today.
Please feel free to add your questions or comments below. I do my best to read them and respond in a timely manner. ~ David