Are you just starting your first online business and not sure whether you want to be a product creator or affiliate? Personally, I prefer being an affiliate. It's not as glamorous as owning your own product, but I think it gets much closer to the idea of passive income. Check out how affiliate marketing creates passive income better than any other type of business.
You can absolutely use websites like eBay and Etsy! Try listing some items and making a professional Facebook page for yourself with a link to your eBay/Etsy pages. Then share the information with friends and family and get them to spread the word to people they know. Also, make sure that you have detailed descriptions and multiple pictures with anything you list online. This will help your listing show up in keyword searches, and you are more likely to sell something if the buyer knows a lot about what they are looking at.
The sales flow will go something like … A search is made that brings a user to your content or an ad brings visitors to your content. The visitor reads the article and is impressed – they subscribe to get the free offer – you get their email. You email them the free offer and thank them. A couple of days later, you send them another valuable piece of content. Then after a few more emails, they get the offer. At this point, you have hopefully built up authority and trust. You have earned the right to ask for the order. You send them the affiliate offer and follow up emails.
High-ticket consulting or coaching: You could sell your own high-ticket consulting or coaching products from your website. You'll still need a website, merchant account, sales funnel, lead magnet and many other items. But you can easily earn a substantial amount of money from each individual customer, making it well worth the arduous setup required.
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No matter what method you choose to make money online, understand that you might be able to make some money fast, but for the sizable returns, you'll need significant sweat equity. However, a year from now, you'll be happy you started today. Remember, time is far more valuable than money. Focus on creating passive income streams that will free up your time so that you can quit the rat race and focus on the things that matter.
Direct linking: This means you’ll send people directly to the vendor’s sales page. This used to work well and still does in some rare cases but most of the time, it’s not recommended to go down that route. You need to “warm up” your visitor first before sending them to the offer page. Unfortunately, because this is the lazy man’s route, a lot of people choose it.
Cafe Press: This website allows you to create digital designs that can then be sold on the platform. You'll earn a commission for everything that sells and you'll never have to deal with logistics like printing, warehousing and customer service. If you have some graphic design skills, then this is a great potential source for your web-based income.
Sign up for a reputable affiliate network: Aside from Amazon, there are dozens of large reputable affiliate networks, such as Share-A-Sale, Clickbank, and Skimlinks, that specialize in connecting you with merchants who are looking for affiliates to sell their products. They charge relatively low commission fees for the privilege of connecting you with merchants, and the merchants on these sites tend to offer much higher commission percentages or set dollar amount payouts.
18. CraigsList – Some things don’t ship very well. Other things may make you feel uncomfortable to sell to someone across the country. Anytime you’re selling a large item or something you just don’t want to ship, Craigslist is a great place to go. It’s simple to list your item (again, take good pictures!). If you don’t like the idea of putting your phone number out there, the interested individual can send you a message to your inbox without even getting your email address.
ClickBank represents primarily digital or downloadable products. These typically have high-percentage payouts to affiliates. The commissions average around 50%. You do need to be careful and closely vet all products. There are some great products, some good products, and many crap products. You need to be sure the product and the promotional methods are appropriate for your audience. But ..
Clickbank U. was seriously lacking in their affiliate training course. That's not unexpected though! Their affiliate training course seemed like a side project, instead of a main course. For serious affiliates, I recommend joining the top affiliate training center online. They've been training successful affiliates for over 15 years now, including myself (six-figure income earner).
Tip: Aim for products with reasonable commission. No lower than let’s say 40 percent, to make your efforts worthwhile. Also, you should note that ClickBank deducts transaction fees from a sale. Here’s a calculator to help you calculate your actual commission. More so, you need to remember to disclose all your affiliate links and mark them as nofollow. Here are a few reasons as to why you need to do this.
The more traffic you have, the more money you can make with ClickBank. In order to maximize your traffic, you should spend some time identifying commonly searched keywords that relate to the product you plan to sell. If you create articles and other content based on those keywords you can often get some traffic from search engines, especially if you target the less competitive long-tail keywords in your niche.
Research individual companies in your desired niche: If possible, it’s always better to become an affiliate directly with a company (if they have an internal affiliate program), as no one else will be dipping into your commission rate. This is the preferred route for most of the prominent affiliate marketers, including Pat Flynn. Unfortunately, it’s also the most work, as you’ll have to do the research yourself to see who offers programs (they’re usually listed in the website footer).
If you’re the vendor, then you create your own product and set it up using Clickbank’s system. They then list your product in their marketplace so that tens of thousands of affiliates can see you. They handle the tracking using unique tracking links and cookies so they know exactly where the sale came from and credit the referring account accordingly.
But don't make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you're on call whenever you have a guest and you'll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, consider offering your guests paid add-ons, like Lauren Gheysens', Royal Day Out in London, England—where she gives visitors a local's only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
Hostgator is one of the best all-around hosting companies for new bloggers in terms of performance and cost. They also have a great infrastructure to accommodate your blog as it grows, which is important. At some point you may need to upgrade beyond what Hostgator can offer, but there is no need for that level of investment when you are starting out.
My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and grow my blog to over 400,000 monthly readers and $50,000/mo in side income.