We hear a lot of things about the Internet in today’s world. Whether it’s your friend or sibling showing you a funny video or your uncle telling you about “that new MySpace thing”, the majority of people are connected to the Internet on a daily basis. Even though people are on the Internet more and more, it’s still very new to us as a society. The concept of buying items and doing business online is still foreign to a lot of people.
One thing that seems especially ridiculous is when you hear about people making tons of money online. It almost seems fake that people can make a living using the Internet while you’re using it to look at cat pictures while your homework piles up. How do they do it?
This article will help clear up some misconceptions about the Internet and give you some pointers about making money online.
Myth #1: The Internet is a dark scary place where people scam each other.
In 2016, the Internet is no long the obscure uncertainty that it once was. Almost everyone in today’s society is online in some way. When it comes to the money-making community, this means there are more and more people with the same level of experience as you.
Are there bad people online? Yes of course. There are people who will do whatever it takes to get their way, even if it means stealing from people. Due diligence and patience will help you sniff out a lot of potential bad situations.
Some tips to stay safe when handling money online:
- Use a reputable service like Escrow to hold the money until the transaction is complete.
- Only proceed with a deal if you’re 100% comfortable.
- When buying something know exactly what you want and ask questions to assess the validity and knowledge of a seller.
- When selling, keep a documented record of everything. Have set polices that you obey by when dealing with customers. Your return policy should be clear and fair.
- “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
Myth #2 : The Internet is great for business because you can quickly and easily make a ton of cash.
Anything worth doing takes hard work! Just because the Internet makes certain aspects of business easier or faster doesn’t mean the money will just start flowing in.
Depending on how you structure your online business, there is definitely the potential for a huge influx of cash. But if you ask most successful online entrepreneurs, they will tell you about a time in their life they spent struggling trying to figure out how to best use the internet for their business.
The Internet is a big toolbox, you need to search each website for the right tool for the job. One site may have a virtual assistant who writes articles for you, another that has a graphic designer that you work with and another that you sell certain products on. Your mission is to figure out how to effectively use your tools and take advantage of how lucrative the Internet is.
Myth #3: That any product or eBook will tell you all you need to know.
There’s no collection of information that will tell you everything you need to know in order to be successful online. No matter how much it seems like an eBook or manual might help you, it won’t give you the full picture.
Part of being able to generate income online is combining tactics that have already worked for other people and applying your own creative twist to it. EBooks, manuals, and guides can definitely be useful and help you get started but trial and error will be your best friend. Once you figure out what works for you personally, you can increase your efforts and your profits.
Myth #4 : If you figure out a secret set of steps, you can make a ton of money working four hours a week.
Part of the genius of working online is the ability to create passive income sources for yourself. Passive income means once you finish the work, you continue to receive profits from it down the road. For example, imagine that it takes you 30 hours to write an eBook. Imagine you spend 1200 hours writing over a few years and end up with 40 books.
You take all 40 of your books and take advantage of Amazon’s kindle program, where they promote your book for you. If your book is good you’ll start to see some sales. Possibly a lot of sales if people like one of your books and decide to buy your other ones.
With a setup like this it’s definitely possible to only work four hours a week as your business grows over time. But as you can see the work it takes to get there definitely isn’t easy or fast.
Myth #5: It’s all a scam! No one is making money online.
This couldn’t be further from the truth! Plenty of entrepreneurs have figured out how to market their services online and work from home.
Even more and more offline businesses have figured out how to translate from traditional business models to developing an online presence.
The only scam is when people tell you that you can start making money overnight. Or that if you give them a certain amount they’ll flip it into more for you. Just like with offline ventures, you need to put in work and be of value to people to make money.
Myth #6: You can start with no investment.
No matter what type of project you decide to work online you will need to invest one of two things; time or money. Ideally you want to invest both, but only if you know what you’re doing. When you’re first starting out you’ll be spending more time than money learning and figuring out how to best make use of your skills.
Making money online is basically being an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur you have to have a strong belief in yourself. This belief needs to show itself by a constant desire to learn and try new things. Knowledge is power in this realm.
Myth #7: You need to be an expert to make money.
Just like in the “real world”, people buy online based on a need that they have. If you can fulfill a need people have or target people who have a specific need, then you can generate income.
One of the most important things about working in an evolving arena like the Internet is to always stay learning. You may start out with no knowledge but as you progress you’ll slowly becomes extremely knowledgeable. You don’t need to be an expert to start out but knowledge is definitely what will help you move forward.
The golden rule
When it comes to creating opportunities for yourself online or trying to close a deal with someone via Skype always remember the golden rule: if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Patience and common sense will save you a ton of headaches during your online journey.
Don’t be so desperate to make money that you ignore obvious warning signs. Take your time and process each deal by taking close look at details. You should have a good feeling about the person you’re dealing with, the parameters of the deal and the agreed upon payment method. If you’re always critical about the different situations you get into online, you’ll come out on top more often than not. Don’t be afraid to ask questions until you’re satisfied.
So what are some alternatives to explore that will help you make money online?
Making money is similar to the life of a farmer. If the farmer can’t provide the ground with value by planting, watering, and caring for it properly, the ground will not reward him with crops that he can use to make a living. No matter what you’re offering, the Internet just makes it easier to reach people who may be interested. If you put value and helping people first in any strategy, you will be successful.
Once you know what you want to do, explore all the avenues available for you to find potential buyers. Niche forums, blogs, social networks, and video sites are all places where you can let people know what it is you offer and to be of value to them.
Upwork.com, Freelancer.com etc.
Job board sites like Upwork and Freelancer.com are good options for people starting their freelancing journey. You can get clients fairly easily, build a portfolio while getting paid and get reviews that you can refer to for future projects.
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and give people in your community a call. As said before, you want to find ways to be of use to people. If you learned a specific skill online, try and find some people locally that you can be of value to.
Classified sites are great ways to make some extra cash while cleaning out your garage or attic. This is a quick and easy way to use the Internet to get in contact with people who have a need that you can fulfill. You can sell items you no longer want or check the wanted section and see if people are looking for something you may have.
Try and think about an item that would be popular in your area. If you can find it at a low price on a different site, you can import it and make a profit on the margins.
Turning your hobbies into money
As always, making money is about being of value to people. Think about what you enjoy and what people like you would find useful. You can create a product or service within your niche and be of value to people.
Doing things like setting up a website, making YouTube videos, or sharing what you’re doing via social networks are great ways to draw attention from other people. You can use these tactics to build an audience, generate interest, and eventually start to sell whatever product or service you come up with.
When it comes to making money online be prepared to put in a lot of hours of work. Having a clear plan of action is a big help but a consistent desire to learn new things will be your best friend during your online journey. This article has addressed some common misconceptions that should help change how look at working with the Internet. If you’re willing to put in the work, there’s no telling where you’ll end up!
Featured photo credit: How Your Favorite Internet Companies Make Money via mashable.com