The Naked Truth About Making Money Online
You’ve decided that for whatever reason, be it COVID 19 or otherwise, that you want or need to make money online. And that’s great! I encourage you to do so! But before you set out on the internet, I’d like to share something you should know; The Naked Truth About Making Money Online.
I have a lot of experience in this area. I’ve been doing business online since 2003. When I first started out to make money online years back, the first things I came across were affiliate marketing, dropshipping, and services. (And by services, I mean web design and graphic design.) Since I had those skills already, and those were my strong suits as services, it seemed a great opportunity. And it has been.
Yes, I’ve tried just about everything over the years. And even got into YouTube and marketplaces; honestly, the two places I’ve been most happy in the long run.
But I get ahead of myself. Let’s rewind back to the beginning, where you may be at this point. That starting point where you decide to work from home and attempt to make a living online. And from there, lot of us will go online in search of opportunities and encounter what I like to call….
“The Internet Marketing Runaround”
Type “make money online” or “work from home” into Google and see what happens. That’s the first big mistake you can make. You’ll be instantly bombarded with downright maddening volumes of information and people trying to sell you on “opportunities”.
And a lot of it, honestly, is bullsh*t. There are literally so many scammers out there trying to make money for themselves, it’s flat out crazy! Internet Marketers, and sketchy ones at that, will be waiting there to hook unsuspecting newbies, with the single goal of making themselves lots of cash.
They aren’t out to help you make money, they are out to exploit you and take you for what little money you have. And this really pisses me off to no end! If you really want The Naked Truth About Making Money Online, you need to start with…
How To Avoid Make Money Online Scams
I’ve covered some of the top scams you’ll encounter in my recent post here. And I’ll get into this in a bit more detail again here. Because it’s really easy to get taken for a ride on the internet and waste a lot of time, or worse, a LOT of money.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of legitimate ways to make money. Affiliate Marketing and Referral Programs for instance, are real opportunities. It’s just that they take a lot more time, hard work and effort than the scammers will lead you to believe. And most of those niches are extremely over-saturated, so you’ll have a tough, uphill battle trying to gain any traction there.
My #1 rule of thumb…
If it feels like you are pushing a boulder uphill, go elsewhere. But honestly, avoid the boulder and make sure you are attempting something that’s possible. This means you need to seriously checkout the niches you are looking at before you go diving in and pouring effort into it. Check the keywords; you want high demand, and low competition. If the niche you are looking into has tons of competition and not enough demand, move on and try another.
Work Smarter, Not Harder.
Moving on, I’ve seen a lot of bogus training programs in my time too. They will lead you to believe that they have training for a “make money fast” business model that will cost you a little to no money to get started. These programs will cost anywhere from $24 to $999, with the high-end ones ranging in the thousands.
I know, because I took the bait too lol When I first started out, I bought into a $3k “training program”. And I’ll admit, I learned a LOT. Lol Staring your first set of 6 dropship websites, 4 blogs, and getting into affiliate marketing from that training will do that for you.
I just wish the information we have today would have been available to me then. I could have saved myself the $3k and come out in the same place lol I came out of that training after a year with a couple of online stores that made me $500/mth each…. before my expenses. One took off and did better … before Google trashed traffic a few years back with the big algorithm change. I’ve made some affiliate money. Not much to show for my $3k investment though.
I was even able to avoid the costs of building my websites because I was already a web designer and graphic designer. Had I not had those skills in place, those websites would have cost me at least $1200 apiece!
But I’ve done much better since then, learning on my own, and trusting only those who deserve my trust, to teach me things I needed to know. So I’ll do my level best to pay that knowledge forward here with a mixture of important information. I’ll give you some useful information on what works. And I’ll help you learn how to avoid scams…
Naked Truth #1…
When you see people making any $ amount claims, RUN! When you see people selling programs that make those claims, and tell you it will be fast and easy, RUN!
I know this is going to sound harsh but, it just usually doesn’t happen overnight like that. At least not very often. Sure, you may get lucky. You’ll hear about kids making thousands of dollars a month from YouTube videos. You’ll hear about the guy who was poor broke until he took a chance on his product and now, he’s a rich millionaire.
Sure, you might be that one person in 100,000 that hits a crazy easy and highly lucrative winner right out of the gate. But the truth is, millions of people set out to make money online each month, every year, and most fail. And this has been going on since the internet picked up monetary momentum back in the early 2000’s.
The odds just aren’t good.
Sadly, most fall by the wayside. I’m just taking an educated guess here; I’d wager that at least 50% of the people that come up with a product and try to sell it online via their own website, or start a blog looking to promote affiliate and referral links will give up within a month or two. 25% make it maybe 6 to 9 months, and all but a highly versatile and driven 5% will be gone completely within a year.
Yes, those stats include YouTube channels, selling training courses, mentoring, coaching etc.
My point here; you’ll be more successful with anything you try if you start out expecting a huge learning curve, a lot of hard work, prepared to put a lot of time and effort into making a living online.
Don’t expect that you will hit the jackpot and become rich overnight.
It’s just not realistic. Don’t even expect to make a dime in the first few months, maybe even a year. Honestly, when banks lend money for businesses, they don’t expect any overhead income until after 3 years!
Expect to have to put in your dues building and audience, building trust and gaining authority in whatever it is you choose to do. Because unless you intend to get an online job (working for someone else) from someplace like Upwork, Flexjobs or Indeed, you’ll have to build up your web presence to get sales. And even then, you’ll have to build your profile and resume, and often a portfolio. (That’s not to say that those opportunities don’t exist either, they are real as well. I’ve done quite well with them too.)
This includes Etsy, Ebay, even selling artwork on places like Zazzle, Envato, and Creative Market. Sure, marketplaces have tons of ready to roll traffic but, you’ll still have to build up trust as a seller. People are leery of buying from new shops, no matter where they are. You’ll need to build up those review stars before the sales will come flooding in.
Being reasonable about your expectations will help you avoid being among those that don’t make it.
Naked Truth #2
No one can tell you for sure, with no shadow of a doubt that you will make money at what ever you choose to get into. I’m not even going to go there. I’ve seen people succeed at lots of things online, and I’ve seen far more people fail at those very same things.
I can tell you that your best bet for making money online is to be adaptable and be willing to learn. To be willing to go the extra mile to get there. But I can’t promise you anything, and anyone who says they can… RUN!
Telling you how I would go about assessing the best (legitimate) opportunities for you is something I can also tell you that will help. I’ll have information and a checklist for you as soon as I can.
But Remember, There Are NO Guarantees.
A lot of it depends on your ability to learn, adapt, and persevere. It entirely depends on your level of drive and ambition. Because as I like to say; “Nothing worthwhile ever came easy.”
Okay, again, don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying it has to be grueling. I’m just saying, be prepared to work! Just because it’s online, and you are working from home in your pj’s, doesn’t mean it’s all fun and games. Even YouTube channels aren’t as “easy” to operate as you may think. There are all kinds of best practices and techniques you’ll need to learn and put in place in order to have your best chance at success; and I talk about some of those here. But I digress…
The Naked Truth About Making Money Online #3
Most of the time, unique, original ideas and content make for the best opportunities. Take blogging for example; having a unique, original voice in your writing is always your best bet. Be original, be yourself, be conversational and charismatic and entertaining. Be authoritative, informative and helpful, depending on the blog topic. Do this and you’ll get far further than you ever will regurgitating the same old stories and information everyone else has.
Be Creative, Be Unique
The best, most lucrative blogs have a unique voice, unique content, and a charismatic soul behind it.
Same thing goes with product. You’ll go further with your ecommerce shop if you have unique product. (ahem…well, unless you can source, ship and otherwise handle massive quantities of mass manufactured product.) Otherwise, you’ll just be competing with millions of others selling the same wares. Worse yet, you’ll be competing with the “Big Boys” like Walmart and Amazon, and that road leads to nowhere.
But here again, a creative, unique voice behind the marketing technique can go a long way, even so. Ever hear about that guy who made millions selling bandannas on Facebook? Yup, all he had was a unique approach and it worked great. Those are not the usual results though. So lets get back to what most of us will consider reality…
Play on your strong suits, be yourself and go with things that you have an interest and knowledge in. Use your existing skills. and always, always, be ready and willing to learn anything you need to in order to succeed.
Naked Truth #4
Honestly, for most, the path of least resistance, and ultimately less up-front investment, will be getting an online job. Or selling a product or service that you can provide.
To sell those products and service your best bet, to start anyway, is to sell from a Marketplace. You know, like Amazon, Ebay or the like. I’ve got more information about Marketplaces for digital product in a recent blog post here>>
But pretty much, Marketplaces enable you to tap into the traffic and customer base they already have going. That way you don’t have to go to the long, arduous task of acquiring your own audience, traffic, customers, and leads.
So, if you are new to the whole “make money online” thing, I highly recommend assessing your skills, and strong suits, and finding a Marketplace to sell them from. That’s the best way to avoid scams too.
Naked Truth #5
Never underestimate the scammers; they are geniuses at what they do. There are a lot of them out there, they do it because it pays, and their favorite targets are unsuspecting newbies who don’t know any better. I can’t stress this fact enough, because I really hate seeing people get scammed!
I don’t quite know how to explain this but, the online world has a certain “clan” of people. A certain breed of internet marketers who aren’t looking to market products or services for other businesses. They aren’t looking to help you or provide anything beneficial really. But they make millions a year saying that’s what they do.
They are selling you on their stuff just to make money. They use legitimate techniques; proven business models and some serious marketing know how to hook you. And once you’ve run their gamut of available products and services, they expect you to drop off the face of the earth as far as they are concerned and move on.
The Life Of The Lead
That’s what it’s called. Once they hook you into that first product, they know they can expect you to hang in there anywhere from 3-9 months. They know that you’ll stick around to buy subsequent products for that time period before you drop off their list and off their radar.
It’s just a statistical fact.
They use automated sales funnels to encourage and entice you through their “gamut of things”. And knowing that it’s far easier to get someone to buy subsequent items once they have already bought one thing from them, rather than getting fresh buyers, (another statistical fact btw) they will lead you through buying their entire product line if you will let them. They use a series of emails and sales funnels to get this done.
Once you have bought everything they have to offer you at the time, the emails will eventually stop coming on a regular basis. All you will hear from them is the occasional sales pitch for a new “product”, a link to their new sales funnel when they launch a new one. And if you take the bait again, you’ll start through their new gamut of products and services.
They rinse and repeat like this all the time. Top marketers will generally launch a new leading “product line” every 6 to 9 months, with smaller ones to fill in the gaps every other month or so.
Again, all that matters is that you bought into their full product line(s). And of course, they prefer it if you stay on their mailing list so they can pitch you new products and services when they launch new ones.
It’s basically a massive pyramid scheme…
They sell you their training and surrounding services and products that they claim are designed to make you money. They will offer “developer rights” to their products and services for a larger fee that will allow you to resell them to others. In reality, you can’t compete with their advertising budget, or their authority in the niche, and you will have a tough time reselling those products, if you can sell them at all. So, it’s unlikely that you will even become a part of the pyramid scheme, and they are just selling you their “products”; plain and simple.
You may not even be aware that what you are buying is their “product”. Worse yet, they will often claim that you can turn around and do the same exact thing, making money just like they do. And while we are at it, think about that for a minute; even if it does work for you, is that how you want to make your living?
While these scammers will tell you that doing business this way is a simple Naked Truth About Making Money Online, I beg to differ. Because stealing people’s hard earned money and giving nothing of real worth in return is just bad business. Period.
Again, I digress. You must to remember this …
Naked Truth #6 ~ Online Everything Is A Product
Training programs are a product. Memberships are a product. Graphics are a product. Videos are a product (yes, even on YouTube). Plugins for your website to get some feature they say you need in order to do what they are teaching you; a product. Software to help you get features and functionality you’ll need; product. Services for mailing lists and the like; product. (And they can code this last type of product or outsource it so fast it would make your head spin, if only you could see!)
Anything you can buy or sell on the internet, even information about a product, service or task, is a product. And that is the honest to gosh Naked Truth About Making Money Online.
Pay attention to that fact..
Because it’s one that should inspire you actually; it means that in all likelihood, you have LOTS of skills or knowledge right now that can make you a nice living online. So a good way to get started is to make a list of anything you may be able to monetize! You may be surprised at how much you already have to offer your customers. Be helpful, give them something they can use to make their lives easier, their day less stressful, or maybe just something they need or want, and they will love you for it… that means income!
But moving on here… oh yes, scammers. So, the “opportunities” and/or business models these tricksters are teaching you, and selling services and products for, may well be totally legit. But that doesn’t mean you’ll make a dime at it. And it doesn’t mean they are legit either.
Read the fine print
And I mean tiny, fine print at the bottom of their sales page, or check out their disclaimer, and they will disclose that information.
“The results you’ve seen here are not typical … we can’t promise in any way that you will make any certain amount of money…” yada yada yada
Yeah, but they tell you up front you can make “x” amount of $ in just one week right?! Yup, always read the fine, and I mean tiny lol fine print at the bottom of the sales page.
What is a sales “funnel” or sales page?
These are web pages that are specifically designed to provide information and prompting to purchase something online. Basically, an elongated add with buy buttons so you can purchase said thing directly from that page. The internet version of a newspaper ad.
Basic Anatomy Of A Sales Page
Again, this is a legit way to sell products and services. If you have a good product or service, it’s worth a sales funnel, and you can make a lot of legit money with them. And you can help a lot of people doing it. Now that, is a legitimate business. I mean, I have sales funnels. But you won’t see a load of hallow promises on them. And those are the types of sales funnels you may want to check into if they have something that you could use.
But these people use them to scam you. It’s easy to spot the right off. There is typically a large print title or “tag line” and a video right at the top fo the page, followed by a “Buy Now” button and a timer to urge you to purchase quickly before “time runs out”.
If you scroll on down the page there will be loads of images, information and key points about the product… more promises and dollar signs … another button about halfway through … more technical jargon … then come the “reviews” and “testimonials” (a lot of which are fake btw so always, always check up on those before you buy) and then another buy button and another timer.
As you near the end of the bottom of the page, you’ll notice that the sense of urgency becomes more and more intense as they carefully sculpt these pages to make you feel the need to buy, “RIGHT NOW! TODAY! BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!”
But Remember, I Can’t Stress This Enough…
Sales funnels and pages are legitimate ways to sell product and services. Techniques you may well want to use. Not all sales funnels and pages are destined to burn up your hard-earned cash, lead you off into the forest and leave you for dead. For instance, good companies that aren’t trying to pull one over on you will have REAL testimonials and reviews.
That. Is good business.
But, this particular clan of internet marketers touting “make money online”, “we’ll show you how”, use these otherwise legitimate techniques in non-legit ways (they flat out lie) to get you to buy what they are selling, and they do it well.
I recommend avoiding anything that looks like this. Most especially ANYTHING promising any dollar amount of income you can make if you buy their “thing”. This is illegal by the way. It can literally get you shut down these days if you are caught. But they might not get caught before they catch you. So do your due diligence; if it sounds to too good to be true, it usually is. And I recommend learning how to spot these tricksters before you buy into any program, product or service that is supposed to be designed to make you money online, working from home.
For Legitimate Training, Go To Legitimate Sources
Go to legitimate online training sources like Lynda.com, Udemy or some other trusted platform. And even so, always, always check the seller out, up one side and down the other. Definitely check their reviews and do a search to see if it’s a scam before you buy! A Tip: try a Google search for “x company product + scam”. See if any bad reviews and/or information comes up through legitimate scam checker sites. Those sites are the best way to find The Naked Truth About Making Money Online with the suspect!
If They Are Legit…
You will typically find that they have a long running website or blog where they will give you all kinds of useful information for free. You should be able to pick up a lot from these sites, and they should give you plenty of reasons to trust them.
I mean, I do this. I’m not selling anything except web design and graphics here on my site. I do have some affiliate links, but that’s because I’ve tried the services I recommend, had success with them, and truly believe that they will be beneficial to you in building your online presence.
It’s one of the things I do. And I love to help others. So I try to post useful information like this to my blog as often as I can. I offer it for free, to help you out. To give back to the online community that has helped me delve my income online. I like to pay it forward 😉
But, in the long run, most of my online income comes from a combination of several things; web design, graphic design, and marketplaces. I do the occasional training session or two for web design; I do love that. So last but certainly not least…
The Naked Truth About Making Money Online #7 ~ Multiple Income Streams
It would be nice to be able to just run a single business. To provide a single service or sell a single product, and be able to make a full time living online. But in all honesty, that just doesn’t happen very often. In most cases, if you find yourself making that income, it’s going to come from multiple income streams.
You are likely to need to piece it together from at least 6 sources; an ecommerce shop here, a blog there, a platform or two, a YouTube channel… yeah, it’s pretty much like that. This is perhaps, the most important Naked Truth About Making Money Online that you may ever hear.
Do some checking around. You’ll find that a most successful online money makers have at least 6 income streams running at all times. And it’s best to have as many as you can get!
But before you get all down in the dumps…
Consider this; it’s also the safest income you can get. Because if one stream fails, you can more easily start another to fill in the gap. Honestly, it’s best to have a couple coming up in ranks at all times. So when a fail happens, you aren’t too far off from covering one before the crisis occurs.
It’s far easier to get multiple streams bringing in $1000 or less each per month, than one at $6000+ per month. Like one ecommerce site to pull down $1000, a blog or two pulling down $500 each per month, a YouTube channel that nets you $400 per month, and so on. Besides, again, it’s easier to cover if you lose one of your $1000 per month streams, than turn around and come up with a single stream that pulls down a full income.
Little Blocks Build Big Castles
So I recommend that you build your little internet empire one or two streams at a time. Then keep building and growing until you have the income you need. Make sure each one is solid as you can get it before you split your time up to build another. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Otherwise you could wind up falling short before you get a steady, solid income coming in.
Put one foot in front of the other. Get started, work smart, and keep going until you achieve what I already know you can; a good, steady income online! There’s never a better time to start, than today 😉 And that, is The Naked Truth About Making Money Online.
I hope this information helps you get there. And if you like this post, be sure to subscribe to my blog. Make sure to say “Hi” in comments if you have time! You may also want to check out the other helpful information I have for you on my blog here. I hope to see you around. All my best.