How to make money online? I often get asked what I would do if I had to start again, knowing what I know now about websites, online, social media and online marketing.

It something that a lot of businesses are doing online, they may have good sales via retail, or they have had good word of mouth business or have been unsuccessful using offline media, or maybe you are looking to start an online business and are wondering how to get started.

When starting a business online, many people post up a website and hope that customers will find them and do little else to make that happen. The online space is very crowded, with lost of your competitors making a lot of noise, some of them with huge budgets.

That said, there are four easy pointers everyone looking to make money online should follow, I cover them in the video below.

How to make money online

Create content

The first rule you should follow is you need to create content. Every business should think of themselves as a publisher if they are looking to market their products and services and make money online. Whether that’s writing news stories on your industry, blog posts offering tips, or videos on YouTube, you should be creating content.

The most important part of this rule is you need to be consistent. Whether that’s publishing daily or weekly, depending on the quality of content you’re able to provide, you should at least have a regular posting schedule, maybe even creating a content calendar so you are able to brainstorm posts in advance, rather than having to think a new topic under pressure, when blog posting time comes around.

The best case scenario would be for you to be posting daily. I appreciate not everyone is able to do that, but creating the habit of writing or posting videos daily is one that many super successful business people have. Not only does it help you stay focused on where your business is heading and keeping you thinking about new ideas it also brings new audiences into your universe, reading or watching your content and engaging with your content.

It’s important that you express your opinion and give real insights if you want to grow your following. Many times I see people posting content that they think they should be posting which lacks any opinion, the thing is, you won’t build a real following unless you do. Maybe you will alienate some people in the process, but this is an important part of finding your tribe and having people really believe in you as an influencer.

The important takeaway from this point is that you must be consistent, try to post content daily, whether it’s a blog post or YouTube, keep your followers updated constantly with what you’re doing, maybe even consider using Facebook Live if you’re able to. Make sure it’s regular and consistent.

Make money online - build your email list

Build an email list

Creating content is a fantastic way of getting your name, service and products out there and maybe driving some traffic to your blog. However, you will never know who those potential customers are if you’re not capturing their email addresses. There may be a small percentage of people that come to your blog and sign up to your service, but that rarely really happens.

What you need to do is build influence with those visitors by building a relationship with them over time. Eventually they will get to trust you and eventually try out your products based on the quality of the information you share with them in your content.

The best way to capture the emails is to use an email capture form that either pops over your content after a certain period of time or when a user goes to exit your page, using an exit pop. Or you can even capture them using a landing mat, which is a more aggressive form of the pop up which covers your content or pushes it down.

There are many services out there that you can plug straight into your blog, my favourite one is SumoMe which also provides some great statistics on conversions rates and allows you to A/B test different versions of the pop up.

Once you’ve got a decent sized email list you’ll be able to market to these potential clients and customers over and over again and they will become your most loyal buyers as they will feel like they know you if you are in contact with them regularly and you can quickly start to make money online.

Become an affiliate marketer

Rather than spending a long lead time yourself developing products, finding out what people might or might not want, it’s often easier to get started quickly by becoming an affiliate marketer.

This is something I have done time and time again with my businesses over the last 14 years, we have worked with some of the biggest online retailers in fashion and ticketing by sending traffic to their products and taking a fee or cut of the revenue for ourselves and easily making money online. Often, this is also the best way of keeping your overheads down.

Find products in your niche and are of expertise, there are many platforms where lists of affiliate programs are available, do some research, maybe link to a bunch of them and stick with the ones that perform the best.

I recently saw an affiliate deal for a product that was offering 50% of the sale price as commission, so there’s some very generous schemes out there to get involved with. Look for items with a decent ticket price so you’re not slaving away for a couple of pennies here and there.

Make money online - networking events

Get yourself out there

Nothing beats meeting people face to face if you want to make money online. You need to get yourself out there, go to events or conferences, meet people, shake hands, talk about what you do.

Not only do other businesses get to hear about what your products and services are, but you also never know when an unexpected opportunity will reveal itself to you. It’s easy to just get stuck behind a computer bashing away at different things, but you should really push yourself to meet and greet.

As cheesy as it may sound, networking really is going to be an important part of growing any business, whether it’s a sit down dinner, conferences, whatever, you just don’t know what opportunities are out there unless you’re connecting with people. It will really get your business get moving quickly.

In summary

Create content, be consistent, publish regularly. Build yourself an email list and market to people directly, they will become your most loyal customers and clients.

Get yourself started selling quickly by setting up affiliate deals and market them to your list and save yourself some time setting up and building products. Get yourself out there, go to events, network, get to know people.

These are really simple rules you have to follow as a basic minimum if you want to get a business started, really any business, but definitely if your online focused and want to make money online.