It’s true to say that making real money online isn’t simply a case of selling some of your old stuff on eBay or writing a few blog posts, but instead involves understanding several key concepts and attitudes that you simply have to live by if you want to become an online success. Let’s take a look at a few of these ideas now.
1. From tiny acorns do mighty oaks grow
Every great vision starts small. If you really want to make money online, you’ve got to start from somewhere, and that includes forming the very first tiny spark of an idea. From this idea the roots of the business will grow and eventually blossom into giving you the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.
The reality is though, that you’ll be contending with a myriad of other online entrepreneurs who are all looking to make their way in the world of the internet. Therefore you need to really concentrate on coming up with the most unique ideas and offering the best services. You can have the greatest business plan in the world, but if the underlying idea is at fault you’ll be doomed to failure.
So if you’re not quite sure in which direction you should be taking your online money-making endeavours, then begin by reading as many books as possible from other entrepreneurs who have made successful income generating businesses. Get a feel for what makes them different and begin researching ways you can replicate their success. Now I’m not saying you should just go out and exactly copy what somebody else has already done, but there’s certainly no harm in taking an already proven business model and applying your own unique spin on it.
Maybe someone has had a great idea for a blog, and they seem to be making a killing from advertising. Take a step back and try to imagine what extra value you can bring to that great initial idea. We’re all unique individuals, and for certain you will have ideas and experiences that no-one else has. So can you take some of that knowledge and elaborate on a theme that has already been done before?
If you’re lucky (and some might say, very, very lucky), then maybe you’ve woken up from an incredible dream with a brand-spanking new idea that no-one else has thought of. Whilst this scenario is unlikely in this modern age, it is certainly not impossible, and having your own totally unique idea will make your online success immeasurably easier. Just be prepared that someone else, somewhere in the world will be ready to take that same idea and re-use it with their own unique spin at sometime in the future.
2. Become an expert in your chosen field
Information is very powerful. If you really want to succeed in doing business on the internet, you need to know your niche inside out, back to front, and all sides in-between. You may already be knowledgeable in the area you’re considering for an online business, but you need to transition that information from sitting in your brain into working for you on the internet.
Ironically, one of the best places to learn about using the internet for your niche, is from the internet itself. There are untold pages of information out there waiting for you to read them, and all you have to do is enter a few search terms into Google. There has never been a better time to start increasing your knowledge and become an expert in a specific field.
The great thing about becoming an authority on a subject is that it breeds trust, and trust will help you grow your customer base and increase your sales. If you become the go-to person for specific knowledge then you’ll quickly find that people will come back to you for your skills time and time again.
This is one area where your unique lifetime of knowledge can really put you one step ahead of the competition. An example of this is a stock trading website that I regularly read from a blogger who lives in the same country that I do. Not only can he bring specific financial knowledge to the table that is relevant to my own country, he also has a unique background in engineering. This means that he has specific insights into the world of engineering and how certain engineering companies are likely to perform on the stock market. That’s something that is of real value to his readers and is something that gives him a very unique niche to fill.
Can you do the same? Do you have specialised knowledge that can be allied with your passions and interests to create something unique and valuable to your customers? Take some time to think about that and write down what you think differentiates you from someone else who also has an interest in your chosen field. You’ll be surprised at how unique you really are, and where your specialisations can take you.
3. Find your niche
Take a look at every successful online business and you’ll soon come to realise they all have something in common. Each business has clearly identified their chosen niche and is actively working hard at excelling and dominating whichever sector they’re active in.
Finding your own niche should be the very first thing you start to research when thinking about making money online. The unfortunate reality is that even though you might think you’ve found an amazing, fantastic and sure-fire way to make a million bucks online, you can pretty much guarantee that there will be a whole host of other people in the world who have already had the exact same thought. So what can you do to differentiate yourself from them?
Luckily for you, some of the work to make yourself different to your peers has already been done for you. For example, although there will be a hundred other people out there who might have decided to make handmade wooden dolls (your new favourite money-making endeavour), you can pretty much guarantee that there won’t be that many people in the same town as you, and even less who have though about using the power of the internet to market them.
Furthermore, you’ve now decided to narrow your niche even further by specialising in handmade wooden dolls that wear your favourite sports teams colours. So not only are you the foremost online re-seller of handmade wooden dolls in your location, you’re now the ONLY one that sells dolls in those specific clothing colours.
By finding your niche, and then specialising in a sub-category of that niche, you’ve removed a whole host of competition in one fell swoop. Offering something different that no-one else is offering is key to making money online in the current world-wide interconnected environment.
4. Have something unique to offer
Be original, provide something different to the competition, and offer it with your own unique personality. These are the three most crucial factors that will make your clients return to you for your services. You must be ready to offer something to your customers that they either can’t get from anywhere else, or is available elsewhere but is offered by you in a new and exciting way, and is also something that will entice them to come back to you again and again.
You have two main options here. You can either sell a product or service that has been repackaged into your own unique brand, or you can create something yourself from scratch.
Both methods have their pros and cons; For instance, re-selling somebody else’s idea cuts down on the time required to create something from new, but you will lose the design freedom to make the product exactly how you want it. You will also risk the possibility of patent infringements, or lawsuits from infringing on an intangible asset if you fail to differentiate the product from the original enough.
Conversely, if you have a great idea and choose to create a product yourself completely from scratch, then it will take a lot of time and effort but you can modify it in any way you please. The second method of creating your own personal product or service yourself is by far the preferred option in my opinion. Not only will you have complete freedom of design from the ground up, you will be able to create something that it completely and utterly unique to you.
I’d like to illustrate this point by considering the differences between a franchisee and an individual trader. Two people can operate in the same business sphere (lets take food as an example), but they can have vastly different personal experiences. Say someone operates a successful McDonald’s franchise. They might be making good money but they will be completely controlled from the get-go by the rules and requirements of the franchise. There will be no option to create their own unique dishes and they will only ever be able to sell the products that McDonald’s tells them they can sell.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, a restaurateur has the complete freedom to create any dish he chooses, and serve it in absolutely any way he pleases. If one style is preferred by customers over another, then he can cut the weaker dish and concentrate solely on the better selling product, modifying and changing it to customers tastes as he pleases. The ability to change the direction of your product or service according to the changing tastes of your customers is the very definition of what it means to be a successful online entrepreneur.
5. Find the online platform that best suits your new business
You have several options when trying to find the right platform to engage with your customers and clients when thinking of doing business on the internet. You can create your own platform if you have the time, and can build a vibrant e-commerce website using any of the free and paid tools that are available. Quite often when you register a domain name the hosting company will also offer a free website builder to help you get your business off to a racing start.
Another option is to create a free blog for your business and use it as a tool to engage with your customers on a personal level whilst providing advertising space for the services that you’re offering. Whichever route you decide to go down, always remember the maxim ‘content is king’. The layout, presentation and quality of the written prose has to be of the highest quality or your potential customers will look elsewhere.
6. Build a blog on a custom domain
The very fact that you’re reading this post proves that you have some technical ability and online know-how. After all, you’ve managed to identify a subject on the internet, search for it and open it up on a browser. It’s really not that much of a stretch to learn how to create useful and interesting content that people will love to read.
A blog is an extension of your personality and is a marketplace for you to sell your ideas, opinions and interests to thousands, and even millions, of potential customers worldwide. A blog can be your virtual home and is a meeting place for your customers to return to again and again to swap ideas and react to your latest designs and creations. As a marketing tool alone, a blog is absolutely invaluable, and allied with an online marketplace it can quite easily become your primary source of income.