So you’ve decided to try making some money online. Congratulations! You’re on the right track. Now, it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty—how to make money online for free. Bear with me, because there’s a method to this madness.
Join A Community
The first step to making money online is to join a community. When I say “community”, I don’t mean a social media platform like Facebook or LinkedIn. I’m talking about the actual communities that exist for people who want to make money online. You’ll find communities for affiliate marketing, blogging, and many more niche areas. Whatever your expertise, there’s a community for you.
The great thing about communities is that they’re built on trust. You’re already inclined to believe in the goodness of other people. Now, you can make a profit off of that belief. Remember: you’re not alone in this. There are countless others who want to do the same. In fact, you’re probably reading this because you’re interested in making money online yourself. You’re in the right place. Let’s get to the good stuff.
Create A Product
Now, you’re not going to create a product and sell it online. That’s too easy. What you’re going to do is “mini-create” a product. What’s the difference? It’s all about the level of effort you put into it. If you put in ten hours of work per week, you’ll achieve something that’s virtually indistinguishable from a product that was fully developed and marketed by a professional. It doesn’t matter if you do this for fun or for profit—as long as you put in the required hours, you’ll be able to generate some money online.
You’ll need to make a decision here. Do you want to create a physical product (i.e. a t-shirt, mug, or mousepad) or an digital product (i.e. an eBook, SaaS product, or plugin). There are pros and cons to each. Let’s discuss the pluses and minuses.
Pros Of A Physical Product
There are many advantages to creating a physical product. To begin with, you’ll have something to show for your efforts. Even if you end up not making a profit, at least you’ll have a tangible item to show for your work. Think about it—if you spend three months creating a product and going door-to-door to sell it, you’ll have a lot more to show for than an ill-conceived blog post about making money online. People are much more likely to believe that you actually put in the effort to create a useful product. They’ll also be more inclined to trust you than a complete stranger.
Another advantage to creating a physical product is that you have more control over the pricing and production of your product. If you’re comfortable doing it yourself, you can set the price and order the raw materials yourself. That way, you won’t be at the mercy of fluctuations in the cost of commodity/inputs (i.e. steel, plastic, etc.). You’ll also know exactly how much your product costs to manufacture. This will give you a much better sense of how much you’re actually making vs. what you’re spending.
Cons Of A Physical Product
There are a few disadvantages to creating a physical product. The first is that it takes more work to bring a product to market. The second is that you have less opportunity to make money off of it. The final con is that, unless you have a very specific market (i.e. luxury goods, high-end garments, etc.), it’s much harder to make a profit. Remember: you’re competing against companies that can employ specialized labor forces and use sophisticated software to produce their goods. You’ll have to get very lucky to make even a small profit from a physical product.
Pros Of An Digital Product
An advantage of creating an digital product is that it doesn’t require as much work. Instead of having to create and sell a physical product, you can simply create a website and sell your product online. You can use various methods to monetize a website (i.e. affiliate marketing, advertising, sponsorships, and more), so you’re not limited to one source of income. You can create as many sales channels as you want, which can increase your revenue.
The great thing about digital products is that you don’t need to manufacture them. As long as you have a computer and an Internet connection, you can create whatever number of copies you want. The only limitation is your imagination. You can sell your product around the world, and you don’t have to worry about costly distribution channels (i.e. finding stores that will carry your product).
Cons Of An Digital Product
There are a few disadvantages to creating an digital product. First, you don’t have anything to show for your efforts. Second, you don’t have direct control over the pricing and production of your product. Third, you can’t be sure how much your product will cost to manufacture. Fourth, you can’t be sure that someone isn’t going to copy your idea and try to make a profit off of it. Finally, you can’t market your digital product internationally. The U.S. commerce system alone is a giant market, but you have to start from scratch wherever else you do business.
Let’s examine each of these points.
You Don’t Have Anything To Show For Your Efforts
Remember: you don’t have anything to show for your efforts until you actually create something. The moment you post about how you’re going to create a product and make money off of it, you’re breaking the law of gravity—you’re suddenly in the position of an overachiever. People will now believe in your abilities. Some will even think that you’re smarter and more capable than you actually are. While this may sound like an ego boost, it can also have negative ramifications. People will compare you to others who are more successful than you, and you’ll find yourself in a competition to “prove” that you’re capable of doing more than you actually are.
What you need to do is simply create something. No, I don’t mean post on social media platforms or waste hours of your time playing video games. I mean that you need to start by taking notes, jotting down ideas, and asking questions. Then, you need to seek out the answers by doing some research. If you want to start a blog, make a webstore, or build a brand new website; create a blog post describing your idea, flesh out the details, and get to work. You’ll have results before you know it.
You Don’t Have Control Over The Pricing And Production Of Your Product
In the case of a physical product, you have some control over the pricing and production of your product. You set the price for it, and you can seek out specialized manufacturers who can help you bring your product to market. You don’t have complete control—there are always going to be outside factors that influence the cost of the material (i.e. the cost of steel, plastic, etc.). However, you do have some control. In some cases, you can negotiate hard sales with manufacturers. In other cases, you can just go with what you’re given.
In the case of an online product, you don’t have any control over the pricing and production of your product. Anyone can copy your idea and try to make a profit off of it. You’re essentially giving away the intellectual property (i.e. the product) for free, so there’s no guarantee that someone won’t just come along and try to make a quick buck off of your hard work. If you’re worried about protecting your idea, the best thing to do is to make an exact copy of what you’ve created and sell that instead. You’re not the only person who wants to make some extra cash—others are competing for the same customers as you are. Plus, you still have the tangible product that you can show for your efforts.