Step-By-Step guide: how to make money online for beginners & start an online business!
There are a multitude of ways that you could start making money online today.
But the first way that I recommend making money online for beginners, is by starting a niche blog/website and learning how to earn with it… firstly, from affiliate marketing.
If you’re not sure what that is, bear with me and I will explain everything, step by step.
Affiliate marketing is one of the first ways that I started making money online and is a newbie friendly method to learn, with minimal start up costs.
In order to start, you’ll need a website/blog, (very simple to set up nowadays) and and idea as to what you will base your blog around.
I’ll run over exactly what you need to get started – step-by-step.
At the end of each section, I also link to some additional helpful posts.
First Steps To Making Money Online…
1/ Choose A Niche/Interest!
Your primary starting point should be to figure out your niche and what audience you’re looking to target.
Your niche will be a specific topic, or area of interest that you can base your website around.
Example of broad niches are: personal development, weight-loss, cookery, gaming, mental health, parenting, dating, finance, education, travel.
I don’t recommend you base your blog on a broad niche getting started, although some people do.
Examples of more narrow niches are : Cooking Paleo, social anxiety, breastfeeding, parenting twins, how to travel on a budget, frugal living, crockpot cookery….
There are unlimited niches you could come up with and you could even niche down further, but you’ll have a better chance of sticking to it, if it’s something your interested in already.
There is some debate about whether you should to go into a broad or narrow niche, but on the whole I’d say that for a complete beginner, you will gain more traction faster if your niche is well-defined.
This is because, you will have less competition and it will be easier to rank for many long tail keywords in the search engines.
(if you have no idea about idea about keywords, don’t worry – this is something you will need to learn about as you go on and I will link you to posts that can help).
Whatever area you choose, this is an area that you are going to be spending a lot of time on.
Therefore, it’s wise that you at least have a mild interest there and if it’s something you’re passionate about, then that’s great too.
Related posts that can help:
- Choosing a niche: passion vs profit.
- Choosing a niche blog topic.
- What is a niche website?
- What is a keyword in SEO? Keywords explained!
2/ Setting Up A Blog Or Website.
Creating your own blog or website is something that can serve you for years to come, because it’s like owning your own little piece of internet property.
Once you have your niche, you need to set up a website or blog – again, don’t worry if you don’t have any experience in this area.
You can set up great looking websites now with a few clicks of a button and absolutely no experience in web design.
However, before you can do that you will need to choose a domain name for your blog and get hosting.
I have bought all of my domain names from Namecheap – you can see step-by-step how to buy a domain name here.
I discuss several hosting options for your website here.
However, I also recommend you check out Wealthy Affiliate if you’re a beginner, because you can both purchase domain names AND host all your websites there.
They also have step-by-step training showing you exactly how to set up your websites and much more – there is free training to get you started here.
3/ Set Up Your Social Media Accounts.
Think about what social media channels would really fit into your niche –
For example, if your niche is very visual based, such as Photography, you may want to focus on something like instagram.
If you’re in the cooking, Pinterest can be a brilliant source of traffic,
(Actually, Pinterest is often overlooked in many niches – some people drive traffic exclusively from Pinterest).
Take a look on the different social media channels for posts within your own niche and see how well they convert to that particular channel.
You will most likely want to set up completely separate accounts that are just based on your new website niche, rather than personal accounts.
If you have more than one website, you can create different social accounts for each, (but you’ll need separate email addresses).
Figure out what social media platforms you’re most suited to and work on building those ones up first.
You’ll want to figure out a set amount of time to spend on these though, as social media can really be a giant waste of time!
Set a limited amount of time to spend on your chosen areas and stick to that.
For example; plan to follow 50 related accounts on Pinterest per day.
For more Pinterest training – sign up to the FREE Pinterest Bootcamp here!
5/ Create Content!
The content phase can be a stumbling block for many people who are not used to doing it, or are not natural writers.
Creating content was also tricky for me in the beginning – but it really is something that you can better at over time.
Do not think that in order to create content you have to be a great writer, that is just not true.
I know people who are making good money creating content online, where English is not even their first language and they really struggled to get to grips with it.
They do well, because they were determined to do this, they got better over time and ultimately they connect to people with their posts.
An alternative route that some people go down, is to outsource content.
You can outsource content affordably on somewhere like Upwork, but if you want quality content written several times a week.
Even good value posts can become expensive over time – of course, this will depend on your budget.
However, I would really recommend that you give it a go yourself at first and see how you go!
Related posts that can help:
- How to find content writers on a budget!
- What is SEO content writing?
- 7 SEO content writing tips for beginners!
- How to write great contest fast, (that doesn’t suck!).
- Batch Blogging – how it can help you.
4/ Getting Traffic.
Once you’ve been working hard at creating content, the most important challenge you will face – is getting enough traffic to your website, (that is, visitors!).
Getting organic, free traffic to your website via your SEO efforts will take time.
It may take several months before you start to see your traffic start to gradually increase.
The more content you write, the more your traffic will also rise over time, (as long as you have optimized your posts for SEO).
So, don’t feel bad if it feels like it’s raising at a snails pace, this can be quite normal – you can track your progress by signing up to google analytics.
A few ways that you can increase your traffic by free methods include:
- Building up a large social media following and sharing your content regularly.
- Guest blogging – so, creating relevant posts on other more popular blogs in your niche, where you can add a link to your own website.
- Answering questions online related to your niche on various forums or message boards. (related post: how to make money using Quora).
You can also pay for traffic, for example via PPC, (pay-per-click) ads, or social media Ads, such as Facebook or twitter Ads.
For beginners however, this can be risky and I recommend you try generating traffic via free methods initially.
I recommend choosing one particular social media channel and learning how to best direct traffic to your site from that channel.
Put a set amount of time into making that ONE channel work for you, before you conquer the others.
5/ Making Money.
So, you have your niche, you have your blog or website and you have started creating some relevant content.
You have also started getting a little bit of traffic.
But how do you turn this traffic, into sales?
The reason I recommend beginners try affiliate marketing, is because it is easy to learn the basics and a low-risk strategy for making money, with very little investment.
To explain Affiliate marketing in simple terms, lets just imagine you are in the dog toy niche…
You have a website that reviews all sorts of dog toys and within your reviews, you have links to the products that you recommend on Amazon.
Well, if you had signed up to the Amazon affiliate program, these links in your post could be “affiliate links,” and any time someone clicks through your link and purchases something on Amazon, you receive a commission.
See how the Amazon program works via the image below.
There are literally thousands upon thousands of affiliate programs that you could join and they’re in practically any niche you can think of.
Commissions can range from anything to 1% to 100% in some cases.
(Programs with 100% commission will be because the creator will make their money on the back end of the product or service and not from the first initial sale).
Other ways you may consider earning money from your website may include:
- pay-per-click ads such as google adsense (but you do need a lot of traffic for this to be profitable)
- Being paid to place Ads on your site from companies directly, (again you’ll need some decent traffic for this).
- Selling your own products, courses, or e-books – if you choose to.
- Doing sponsored posts for companies.
Related post that can help:
- What is affiliate marketing about: affiliate marketing basics.
- How to make your first affiliate sale online.
- affiliate marketing pros vs cons.
- How long does it take to make money with affiliate marketing?
6/ Connect to Others Like You!
There are thousands of websites, videos and resources that can help you get started online and learn about affiliate marketing.
But I actually spent months looking online at so much information and really ended up in a worse position by the end of it.
Mainly because, I was so overloaded with different ideas, methods and theories.
It seemed that no sooner did I feel I knew one way of doing something, I’d read something somewhere elsewhere to dispute it.
There is so much conflicting advice out there about how to actually physically go about getting started making money online, that it’s really difficult for newbies.
Much advice out there can involve scam products, that will generally promise to make you a tonne of money very quickly, with little effort involved.
Other ways may all be legit, but they’re just different routes to the same destination.
Ultimately, the most important thing here is having direction – you need to choose your path and put everything into following that route until you start seeing results.
The more you are distracted and sent off course, the longer and more frustrating the journey will be.
Distraction is too often the reason behind people failing online, they just can’t stick to one thing and see it through long enough to get the results they want.
For example, people may try one thing for a month and get bored – they then hop on to some other theory for a month…
Then they’re off that and hopping along to something else….
A year later, they’re back to square one.
Ultimately, it’s a sustained, focused and methodical effort over time that can produce results.
I have two recommendations that each have a community element… (I am personally members of both!).
#2 Dare to Conquer – you can check out the free blogging bootcamp here, but there are also currently courses on affiliate marketing an Pinterest and SEO. This place is going to grow a LOT in the coming months and years.
Whatever path you choose…. dedication and focus are key!
I hope this post has been helpful, if you have any questions – leave me a comment below!