Making Money Online — How I Did It

Making Money Online Should Be Planful

making money online takes workFor me, it started accidentally. But for you, making money online can be purposeful, meaning you’ll probably do a lot better than me. How well have I done? I’m no millionaire. But at this point, I’ve nearly doubled my teaching salary. That’s not too shabby.

How did I start making money online? I walked out to my grill one day with my trusty Canon G9 and recorded with one hand while I grilled salmon with the other. I love my method of grilling salmon. Turns out others love it too (feel free to mock me; I’m not really a cook). After a while YouTube sent me an email asking me if I wanted to monetize my video. I did it and the money started rolling in. Not much, but a little.

My YouTube journey had begun. And I had actually started making money online.

I began to believe.

Find Your Niche and Be Useful

Since I was making a little bit of money off of my grilling video, I started posting random videos of anything and everything I could think of, hoping for that one big “hit” that would get me millions of views. It still hasn’t happened. Maybe I’m just not a great idea guy. Maybe my personality is too dry. I don’t know why I haven’t made an amazingly popular video. But I haven’t. And I probably won’t. My method of posting bucket-loads of videos did increase my ad income, albeit slowly. Had I been more organized and focused, I would have done better.

I finally started making videos of something I’m pretty good at — WordPress. I made a video on how to make a free website using WordPress. Bang! People liked it. Now I’ve made a few more. Once I realized I had a skill that others might want to have, I began to develop a plan and an online personality. People started knowing what to expect from me. And the content I’m delivering is useful.

What are you good at? Is it something worth sharing? If yes, you have a way to start making money online.

Be Consistent

This is something I’m not good at. If I was I’d make a whole lot more money than I’m currently making. Since I’m a teacher, I produce more videos and blog posts during the summer. The rest of the year, my production is very sporadic. Consequently, during school months, my online income drops. I lose subscribers. My video views drop. People expect a certain level of consistency. Look at all the super-popular YouTubers. They don’t make one video then take a few months off. They keep producing. Consistently. Making real money online requires consistency.

If you’re a blogger, the same principle applies. Posting 50 posts one week and then nothing for 12 weeks doesn’t gain you subscribers. A post or two each week, written consistently over time, will net you much better results.

Affiliate Marketing Works

It’s nice to have ad income from YouTube. But it’s nothing spectacular. Unless you have significant traffic, YouTube ad income will never be your main source of income.

Once I became an affiliate, things changed significantly for me. I actually really started making money online. As an affiliate (for one or more companies), your income possibilities are limitless. I really mean that. Limitless.

So what, exactly, is an “affiliate?”

Being an affiliate means you’re a salesperson for someone else. For example, I’m an affiliate for Inmotion Hosting. I believe in their service, so it’s easy for me to sell.

Once you become an affiliate for a company, they give you a link of your own. You place that link strategically around the Internet, and when people click the link and purchase a product, you receive a commission. Simple, right?

Not really. I had my own special link for almost a year before I made a single sale. I tried selling computers for the company I bought computers from. Epic fail. I tried other affiliate marketing ideas. All of them failed. They failed for obvious reasons. I had no traffic. I had no reputation. In order to make money as an affiliate, you have to have traffic. Not only that, your product should match your content. If you’re making videos about how to maintain and use Traeger grills, you should be selling Traeger products.

How to Get Traffic

I still don’t get much traffic. If I did I’d be a lot richer than I am. Here are the few things I’ve learned though.

I make a lot of videos.

That might seem kind of simple, and it is. But I have made a lot of videos. And I plan on making a lot more videos. The more videos I make, the more avenues people have to find me. Not only that, if I make a lot of videos, people are more likely to subscribe to me because they can expect new, similar content to arrive soon. And the more subscribers, the more traffic, and the more money you make.

I optimize my video descriptions.

I meticulously craft every description of every video I produce. I use my chosen keyword in the title. For example, if I want people to find me using the search “plant bamboo,” then I’ll be sure to use those words in my title, preferably at the beginning of my title. I’ll also write a succinct, natural-language description, and I’ll use that keyword (or variations of that keyword) throughout. It works.

I carefully craft all my blog posts. 

I use Yoast’s SEO plugin to help me craft SEO-friendly blog posts. I have a hard time getting my pages to rank well in Google, so I’m obviously no expert here, but I still work diligently to make sure I’m doing all the things that the Yoast plugin has taught me to do. I use my chosen keyword in the title, preferably at the beginning. I make my title over 40 characters and under 70 characters. I make sure to use my keyword (and variations of it) throughout my post. I add images. I add external links. I write a quality meta description, using my keyword. And so it goes. If you want to learn how this plugin can help you more specifically, watch this video. Perhaps one day, if I keep consistently writing quality blog posts, and keep optimizing for SEO, I’ll have a page that becomes popular, driving traffic to my site, thereby increasing my affiliate sales.

I try to produce content on a consistent basis.

As I said before, the more consistent you are (videos, blog posts, etc.), the more money you will make. Consistency means people can expect something from you, and when they get it, it makes them happy.

I use social media.

This is something I’m not very good at either. My Facebook page is not very popular. In fact, I started it not long ago. I should have started it and pushed it more long ago. Why don’t you give it a like? My Twitter page is doing OK, but again, I haven’t really worked on it much. Just recently I broke 1,000 followers. This is a good thing. But keeping followers happy on Twitter is not the easiest thing in the world. You have to tweet consistently in order to keep your followers (and to gain more) and your tweets have to be useful to people in some way. I use Google+ as well. I know increase my ability to make money online if I used social media more effectively. It’s something I need to improve.

I try to make my content useful or entertaining.

People won’t even look at your content if you don’t give them something useful or entertaining. Why would I watch a video if it isn’t educational? To be entertained of course! And why would I watch a video if it’s not entertaining? To learn something. If I don’t learn something from whatever I’m looking at or reading, and it doesn’t entertain me, I won’t watch it (or read it). That’s basic human nature. If your content is not useful or entertaining, you might want to look for other options.

I use the best equipment I can and make my content as high-quality as I can.

My videos are not professionally produced. But I take time to make them as good as possible. I use an external recorder for better audio. I use a Canon DSLR with a good lens. I typically try to use good lighting. My kids have helped me in my introductions or closings a few times to add a touch of entertainment. I painstakingly cut out all the dead space in my tutorials. I make my presentation succinct. I practice what I’m going to say (most of the time).

The same goes for my websites. I try to produce the best-looking website or blog I possibly can. I make sure it loads fast and works in all browsers. I make sure the navigation is consistent. I try to make my blog posts useful. I write as well as I can (I’m no Hemingway so I have to really pay attention).

The higher quality your content, the more people will enjoy watching or reading it. Don’t produce crap if you’re serious about making money online.

I don’t give up.

You never know when that one page you write or that one video you produce will become popular. You just don’t. And if you don’t do SEO for a living (like I don’t) then it’s hard to keep up on Google’s constantly evolving search algorithms. So for me, the best option is just to keep producing quality content. Not too many of my videos or blog posts are super-popular, but some are at least semi-popular, and when that happens, it makes me happy. I wish I could make all my videos or posts popular (like the big boys), but I can’t seem to do it. So I keep on doing what I’m doing — consistently producing useful (probably not very entertaining) content.

Never Give Up

Didn’t I just say that? Yes, I did. I’m going to say it again. Never give up.

Making money online is hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it. I know a lot of people who have tried and I know almost as many who have failed. Why? Because they give up.

The “never give up” concept goes hand in hand with “work hard.” Treat your online money-making efforts as you would treat anything else that matters to you. Work hard. Put in the hours. If you want to make videos, learn to make them well. If you want to write, improve your writing. Make a goal then get to work. Most people who try making money online are hoping for something easy. It’s why so many fail. Because it is difficult.

Never give up! If you want to succeed, you can.

Here’s a Quick Recap for You

  • Making money online works better if you have a plan
  • Find a niche; you must be unique
  • Become a YouTube partner and monetize your videos
  • Be consistent with your content production
  • Become an affiliate
  • Believe in the product you’re selling
  • Align the product you’re selling with your content
  • Write careful descriptions for your videos
  • Make your blog posts search-engine friendly (try Yoast’s SEO plugin)
  • Utilize social media
  • Make your content useful or entertaining
  • Produce high quality content
  • Never give up

Free Support for Your Blog or Website

As always, I provide 100% free support for your WordPress blog or website. If you’re struggling or having trouble figuring something out, contact me. I give priority to those who have watched my videos and purchased their web hosting through Inmotion. But if you haven’t, don’t be dismayed. I’ll help you too.

You can make your own blog. I can help.

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