If you’re a working mom, then really you have two jobs. Raising a child is no easy task, and sometimes it can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. All of the things you have to do leave very little time to just be with your children and enjoy watching them as they grow up. Not only that, but money can be tight if you’re living off a single income, and you may feel obligated to spend more and more time working.
The problem with living this kind of money-chasing life in the rat race is that you miss all of the important moments. And I don’t just mean school plays, graduations, and first dates—life isn’t something that happens in a few peak events. Spending quality time means being around for the mundane moments of your family’s life.
Just as importantly, don’t you want to have some time for yourself, too?
It’s really difficult to have the kind of life where you can juggle all of these things if you have the “normal” 9 to 5 job. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a 9 to 5 job. It’s just that when someone else controls your income, you also have a lot less room for expansion—both when it comes to your money and your creativity.
Don’t you wish you could have a job that had extremely flexible hours? One where you could control when you worked and when you worked?
Wouldn’t you like to “be your own boss” and decide how much you make? Well, if you answered ”yes” to all of these questions, now is the time to start. With all of the hype around social media, starting an online business couldn’t be better timing!
Isn’t it more enriching to your life—and the life of your kids—to be able to do work that’s truly rewarding, instead of something that is purely for the money? I mean, that’s what I did. I wanted to teach my children that loving what you do for a living is one of the most important things in life. There is no better feeling than getting up in the morning and looking forward to starting your day. The saddest thing about this is that most people hate their work. I did not want my children to go through their lives hating what they do for a living.
All of this sounds like a dream, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be a dream. In fact, for millions of people around the world, it’s already their reality. One of the best paths to having all of these things and more is to start an online business! However, you need to have the right tools to make it work.
When people think of a business, it’s still in the general psyche to imagine a big building with employees and a cash register. However, for something to be a “real” business, all it needs to do is generate income.
Generating income is easier said than done, but starting a business online requires very little capital these days. All you really need is a website, and sometimes you don’t even need that. Tons of people make money online in a passive, automated way. A successful Internet business can completely transform your life if you’re willing to be a little bit persistence.
Some of the benefits of an online business, as opposed to the classic brick-and-mortar kind, include:
- You have flexible hours. Most work on the Internet is a “set it up, then let it run” kind of thing, which means that you don’t need to work at any specific time. You can tweak your website in your pajamas at 11:00 AM if you want or even in between a diaper change and no one will have to know that you weren’t wearing business casual.
- You can make money any time, even when you’re not working. ( and this IS the goal here) Unlike a brick-and-mortar store, almost everything about an online business can be automated. More importantly, the Internet is open 24 hours a day! This means that you can literally be making money in your sleep. It takes hard work to get to that point, but once you have figured it out, it’s rewarding to no longer have your time tied directly to how much money you make.
- The income potential is huge. More and more people are buying things online, and the market only gets bigger every day. People rarely want to hobble around a mall anymore. If you’re part of this huge revolution, you can stand to make a lot of money. Think about it, don’t you just LOVE online shopping?
- You have creative freedom. With a physical business, you’re going to be subject to more limitations, and it’s going to be harder to make certain types of changes. For example, let’s say you want to change your logo with a traditional business—you have to re-build all your signs inside and outside, and maybe get new permits from your local government. With an online business, overhauling your brand is as easy as hiring a graphic designer to redo your website (or doing it yourself!). By the way, I have all the tricks to doing this on my website. The truth is. online businesses are a lot leaner, a lot faster, and offer more freedom.
- You don’t need a lot to get started. Again, it doesn’t take much capital. In most cases, the very minimum that you need is a website with your own domain, and that costs about 10 dollars to set up—sometimes less. Now, just because it’s easy to get started, though, doesn’t mean that it’s easy to be a raging success. Like anything else, there’s a learning curve and it takes time and patience.
Now, if you’ve never built a website before and you’re confused about where to start, this is understandable. The learning curve might be slightly steeper for you. Luckily, you can just teach yourself! There are lots of resources online that will show you how to set up your own website in just a few minutes, and these days it couldn’t be easier. If you know how to customize your Facebook page, then it’s almost as easy to install and set up a WordPress website.
There are also many communities out there that can help you out if you get stuck. Personally, I’m part of the Wealthy Affiliate community. One of the things that really attracted me to WA was the fact that everything is included when you sign up. It’s totally free to join, and you get two free websites and access to a bunch of experienced online business owners. It definitely helped me a lot! Not only did it help me, it’s what changed my life! It’s the reason I am here today helping you out.
Trust me, most of the blocks to your success are probably mental. You may think to yourself, “I’m not the type of person who starts a business,” or “I’m not a techie. I know nothing about building websites!” These are just excuses. It really takes just a few days to learn, and you have a valuable skill that can make a lifetime of difference. At the very least, check out Wealthy Affiliate before you dismiss the idea of starting your own business. What do you have to lose, right?
How Do You Make Money Selling Stuff on the Internet Without Wasting a Bunch of Money? Isn’t it Risky?
Any business will have at least a slight risk, but if you play your cards right, an online business only needs to be as risky as the price you paid for your domain name (again, about $10, maybe less; sometimes you can even get it for free).
Obviously, if you’re starting a business, that means you’re going to be selling something. It could be a service, or a product, or even just advertising space, but some transactions need to happen for money to end up in your bank account.
What if you have no money to start with at all, though? How do you buy inventory or supplies? Isn’t it impossible to start a business with no money?
Actually, this is the best part! It’s entirely possible to start a business with no money and people do it every day. You don’t need inventory to sell products.
If you start with a technique that I highly recommend, you can make money without buying a single thing. It’s called affiliate marketing. Ok, don’t get scared!
Now, let’s make an important distinction here: Do not confuse affiliate marketing with so-called “network marketing”! I am not talking about a pyramid scheme here. You shouldn’t have to buy anything at all to be an affiliate marketer; if you do, it’s a scam! Run!
What is affiliate marketing, then? Let’s take a short example into consideration: Let’s say that there’s a mattress company that is eager to sell their new fancy memory foam bed with extra bamboo support. They need people to spread the word about their product. They offer a deal where you can refer people to them, and if the person buys their product, then you get a cut of the sale. This is affiliate marketing!
Your portion of the proceeds can be as low as a single-digit percentage of the sale, or it can be as high as 50% or more. Different companies have different affiliate deals, depending on how well-known or eager to move inventory they are.
It’s not just random online companies who use affiliate marketing to make sales, either. You probably know and shop at a store with an affiliate program:
- Barnes & Noble
Many major retailers have affiliate programs, and signing up to be an affiliate usually just takes a few minutes. For most of them, all you need is a website and your tax information—some don’t even require that. While a few affiliate programs are picky about how much traffic you have coming to your site, most don’t mind if you’re a complete beginner.
There are also affiliate companies like ClickBank that specialize in selling products that affiliates can promote. ClickBank has mostly digital products, so they are very easy to deliver to the customer and the profit margins (and your cut of them) can be quite high. You can even build a website dedicated to nothing but selling ClickBank products. Many people got their start online this way.
Finally, the big question that haunts every business owner: how will people notice that you exist? This is the main problem for any business, both traditional and online. Without customers, you have no business! You can do most other things wrong, but with enough traffic to your website, you are bound to be able to make money somehow.
There are many different ways to build traffic to your site, and it’s actually a very complicated field of study. The basics are simple, though: most people will probably find you through a search engine, such as Google. The main key is to make your website as attractive to Google as possible so that you will rank high in the search results when people look for the products that you’re promoting.
For example, let’s say that you want to build a website selling T-shirts for dogs. You will want to include plenty of content on your site about dog clothes so that people who are searching for products and information are more likely to land on your page. Since you are competing with other pages that have a similar subject, for certain keywords, such as “dog T-Shirt,” you may rank higher or lower than your competition in the search results.
How does Google decide who gets to the top and who doesn’t? Google is secretive about this, so at least in part, it’s a mystery—but there’s an entire industry dedicated to figuring it out. Making your site more attractive to a search engine is called Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) and it can make a major difference in your sales.
After all, how often do you keep searching past the first page of Google? Exactly. If you can get on the first page for important keywords related to your business, then you’re golden.
Another extremely important factor that you should consider before you even get started is this: what do people want?
Let’s say that you want to sell jewelry. How do you know what kind of jewelry people want or what kind of information about jewelry people are looking for? How can you make your website attractive to Google for keywords that people are actually searching for?
This is where keyword research comes in. While it’s not the end-all, be-all, and you should do market research in general before you even pick a niche, once you have picked a good category of products to sell, you need to drill down to the specifics and find out how people are asking Google for your item.
If you sell animal-free, fake leather bracelets, you might want to capture the search engine traffic for terms like, “vegan bracelet,” “humane jewelry,” and other phrases along those lines, if they’re popular. To do this, you will have to optimize your site for these keywords (by including them in your blog posts, articles, and product pages, among other things).
Also, you need to figure out what search phrases are more popular so that you can concentrate on those. If only 10 people per month are searching for “humane jewelry,” but 1,000 are searching for “vegan bracelet,” then you may want to alter your wording to use the latter more often.
There’s a lot to be said about SEO and it can be very complicated. This post doesn’t even scratch the surface. However, a good place to start is to use a keyword tool. Personally, I use JAAXY. It tells you what keywords are popular and gives you a list of related ones after you give it some input. It will also tell you the estimated number of searches per month that people make for that keyword.
JAAXY is great for beginners because you get your first 30 keyword searches for free, and you can see real benefits before you invest. If you want to sign up after your free sample is up, their least expensive tier is about $20 per month. This is actually really inexpensive for a keyword tool. Most keyword tools cost some money at least, and many charge hundreds of dollars—but for less than what you probably pay for cable TV, you can use JAAXY all you want.
Tools like these can also help you figure out what niche will be profitable in the first place, or at least give you some clues. If you find that a keyword is popular, but there isn’t a lot of competition from other websites for the top stop in Google, you might have found a hot niche with some good money-making potential.
At any rate, testing a market is fairly easy and inexpensive when you’re playing the affiliate marketing game since the start-up costs are almost zero. Feel free to make mistakes; that’s how you learn!
If you’ve never done anything like this before, it may seem like a stretch. Having a thriving business of your own that brings in thousands of dollars per month may seem like a dream, but it’s totally possible. Just imagine what you could do with all of that freedom. You would have the time and money to give yourself the kind of life you want.
It’s not easy. I’m not going to lie to you. If it was easy, then everyone would do. However, having an online business is one of those unique opportunities that allows anyone with enough persistence to reach their goals.
If working from home is what you really want, then you can make it happen if you don’t give up. If you believe in yourself and use your passion as a driving force, you’ll be able to build a business to be proud of.