How to Start as an Online Entrepreneur

Finding ways to make money through blogging is easy and there are a dozen different routes you can take – affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, e-courses, e-books, coaching, VA work, etc. etc. Making good money while blogging, though? Now it gets a bit tricky.

Prefer to watch instead of read? Check out the video post:

 

Now I’ve been blogging since before MySpace was a thing. I rocked my Geocities site and my Neopets page was out of this world thanks to my mad HTML skills.

Now that you’re super impressed, let me tell you something –

Despite DECADES of experience writing online, I knew NOTHING when it came to monetizing. It had never been a goal of mine. I wrote to write, helped others learn to do the same, and never believed in myself enough to think I could actually make a living doing so.

That all changed when I launched this site and began my journey towards seriously paying down our debt. Within the first month, I knew this was where my passion lay and I was going to find a way to make a livable income from it.

I spent every single lunch hour working on this site and learning about how to make money from it. I was waking up an hour earlier, going to bed hours later, and pretty much working non-stop for months. My innate ability to develop effective efficiency strategies really came into play as I balanced my full-time office job with this nearly full-time digital job, all while still dedicating the same amount of time to my children and husband.

Obviously I do not recommend this “full steam ahead” approach for everyone. Making money from blogging takes time and if you’re looking for a quick buck, it’s probably not the best route for you (especially not long-term).

Before we dive into how I make money – and ideas on how you can, too – here are a few of the first steps I took when starting out:

One of the best ways to learn is to sign up for free webinars. One of the first webinars I watched was co-hosted by Melyssa Griffin and Addi Ganley and it was a game changer. Both of these women are absolutely phenomenal and are CONSTANTLY offering incredible value FOR FREE. I’ve actually seen people question their paid courses because they’d already given out so much information for free, but believe me when I say these two are both incredibly intelligent women with a warehouse of know-how.

Don’t have time to watch webinars? There are always podcasts! Rick Mulready has dozens of them and they’re great to listen to on your drive to your soon-to-be-former office job (you know you’re over that Adele CD anyway!) He’s a social media guru and often interviews other experts in the field. There’s literally no reason to not listen to what he has to say.

Another great way to start making money is by making friends. Join those Facebook groups and starting building those relationships! Just don’t join so many that you get overwhelmed and can’t maintain consistency within them. Some of my favorites are: Blog Share Learn, Brave Entrepreneurs, and of course the groups I admin – Pinterest Pals and Entrepreneurs Embracing Temerity. While I encourage you to check out those groups, I also recommend you do a little hunting on your own, particularly once you have your niche established. Find groups that feel like a community to you, one where you want to hang around and get to know people.

Finally, the best piece of advice I can give you when first starting out is to STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS! I say that as nicely as I can, but seriously – stop. The woman who claims she makes $100,000/year? She’s either lying or has been working her tail off for years. The blog that looks absolutely stunning, as though done by a professional? Chances are it was. The Facebook page that has 30,000 likes while you struggle to hit 100? Probably built through paid ads.

You have countless ways to build additional income streams online, but you’ll only do so if you stay out of your own way. You’ll hear time and time again that most bloggers quit within six months of starting. Don’t let that be you. Keep writing, keep building connections, and keep learning.

If you want to speed up the process or you’re feeling stuck, don’t be afraid to invest in help. Whether it’s taking an e-course, hiring a Virtual Assistant, paying for your logo, or booking an efficiency strategist, investments will have to be made. I do not recommend dumping a huge pile of money into your business from the get-go, but you will need to invest if you want to see return.

Take the time to flesh out your blog and develop a rapport with your audience before trying to sell. Along those same lines, don’t clutter up your page with ads and affiliate banners – chances are good you won’t be making a ton of money from those anyway.

How can you make money? Lots of ways!

Personally, the majority of my income comes from being an efficiency strategist and blogging mentor. My former career (before a cat convinced me to quit my job) involved working with student clubs and organizations, educating them on time management, budgeting, marketing, and strategic planning. I’ve always loved this line of work and now I’m lucky enough to share it with others.

Making money online and through your site will all revolve around what you want to teach or share with others.

Do not, I repeat DO NOT, start a lifestyle blog on everything under the sun and then two months later try to launch an e-course on how to make money blogging.

You. Will. Fail.

That’s not to say e-courses aren’t a great way to make money. My first one sold out within a week and was a big part of what allowed me to quit my office job. But you have to first establish authority and prove yourself. Otherwise you will waste so much time building a course only to hear crickets and the sound of your tears hitting the floor when you go to launch.

Put out tons (and I mean tons) of free VALUABLE content and then send out your paid product – whether it’s an e-book, a course, or a digital service, don’t push it too soon only to lose hope when no one responds.

Along those same lines, don’t create a blog only to write up sponsored posts every other day. No one will believe anything you have to say when they constantly see you being paid to say it.

If you are looking to make money online or you’ve already started a blog but have yet to see any real money roll in, I’m currently offering FREE 30-minute strategy sessions in exchange for testimonials for my new site. See what I did there? Free value.

And guess what? I promise there will be NO sales pitch during this call. I genuinely just want to help and hope that in return you’ll want to write a positive review of our time together.

Interested in booking a call? Sign up here.

Meanwhile, get to finding those blogging buddies and continue learning more about how to make money online. And keep believing in your passions. You’ll only fail if you quit trying.

Make Money Online

 

10 Comments

  • Carol Cassara Reply

    Lots of advice here. So many bloggers really are clueless when it comes to this.

  • Faye Reply

    Great information here! I love your down to earth approach and the fact that you discuss the realities (and hard work!) associated with blogging for pay.

  • Silly Mummy Reply

    Great and clear advice for anyone who wants to go down this route.

  • Melinda Reply

    These are amazing tips and I will definitely check out those Facebook Groups!

    @mylifebeingrenewed.blogspot.com

    • thriftyguardian Reply

      Thank you, Melinda! I look forward to seeing you around in the groups 🙂

  • Leanne Reply

    some really thoughtful tips here Amber – obviously you are speaking from experience! And you’re right – the Blog, Share, Learn fb group is a great support network.

    • thriftyguardian Reply

      It certainly is! By far my favorite blogging community.

  • Amanda Reply

    Hi, Amber, these are some really great tips! I’m pretty new to blogging myself, so I’m always looking for advice on what to do next… Or what NOT to do! Thanks for sharing!!

    • thriftyguardian Reply

      You’re so welcome, happy to share!! 🙂

  • Annie McConkey Reply

    Amber, let me first say that I enjoyed your writing technique! I admit that very often I stop reading if I have to learn what I consider unnecessary details about the author’s life before being taught anything. In my opinion you offered your fantastic ideas about establishing a foot in the door, so to speak, as a writer while blending a taste of your personal life. I like to write but I am befuddled by the world of the internet. I intend to follow your Facebook advice first and I have saved this page to one of my Pinterest boards so I can follow even more of your ideas in my future. Thank you!!

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