From an early age I always had the dream of working from home and earning money online. Why? I don’t know, maybe I’m just weird. I saw everyone on a path to a standard, boring career. Nothing wrong with that AT ALL, I just wanted something more.
I worked at it for years, and nothing seemed to click. I was working on my business part time when I knew I wanted to give it my all and build a residual, sustainable income.
Eventually, something clicked. I brought my part time business from a few hundred dollars a month to $7,000-$8,000 a month in less than a year.
How did I do it? Simple. I used this one weird trick that the government doesn’t want you to know 😨. Totally kidding. Maybe. Before we get into the weeds, here are some income reports for you number freaks:
Here’s another income source:
These are just two of many sources of income.
This is just the start. If I can go from $600 to $8,000, what’s stopping me from going to $100,000+ a month? Nothing! That’s the beauty of online business.
Do you want 10-20x growth in a year?
I get that many of you might think these numbers are small, but to some (including myself), it makes the difference between working at a job you hate and pursuing a career you love.
Many people have asked me to talk about what I did differently to increase my income drastically in less than a year, so I decided to walk you through the steps in my course and PDF: Full Time Income Online.
Here’s a snippet for you. Check out the link for the full thing (10,000+ words).
Let’s Make This Practical
Earlier on we talked about how putting effort into the right thing can bring exponentially higher returns. In this section, I want to help you figure out what to invest your effort in. More than likely, if you’re reading this, you’re working a full time job or just barely making it with your business. That’s ok.
It’s important to have hope and vision for your business. It’s so easy to lose sight of what you want to accomplish. More than once I’ve gone into my office thinking, “What am I even doing?” This happens from time to time. It’s normal (well, at least for me). How do we get on the right track? Most would tell you to do a business plan. This could be a good use of time, but more importantly you should have a vision of what you want to accomplish and what brings you fulfillment.
It’s a good assumption that if you’re doing fulfilling work, you can figure out a way to monetize it. But if you’re doing something you hate and struggling to make bank, you’re going to have a rough time. Here’s what we need to do:
- Find a fulfilling task that can be monetized
- Figure out how to measure its success
- Figure out key ways to monetize or sell
- Drive traffic to the offer
- Get paid
First, let’s find a task. This may seem impossible, but it’s really not. Pretty much anything you can do online has the opportunity to make money. You may already know exactly what you want to do. Here are example tasks and every single one can bring you a full time income by itself.
- YouTube channel doing literally anything (just not everything)
- Live streams on social media talking about anything
- Selling anything on Etsy
- Setting up your own store and selling products
- Selling ebooks
- Selling courses
- Building software plugins
- Building apps
- Making websites for clients
Find a Task
By task, I just mean a service, product, offering, whatever. Something to do.
The trick here is to focus on one or two things. When I started making YouTube videos, each new video made $0 a month. Later on, every video on my channel brought $1 a month. Then every video brought $2 a month, and so on. The more effort I put into YouTube, the more everything performed as a whole.
Whatever the task of choice is, give it your all in attempts to be in the top 10% of your niche. I’m by no means the most successful YouTuber, but I can easily count the number of software development channels performing higher than me. It’s ok, I’m not bitter or anything…………………………………………………
One of the most effective ways to rise to the top of your niche is by narrowing your niche. Once you conquer a niche, you are able to broaden your reach.
In my scenario, I started out with one topic. Database design. Fortunately it’s a pretty small niche, so I broadened and talked about SQL (the language used for databases). Again, I broadened and focused on software development.
Be careful not to broaden too much or too soon. There are channels on YouTube teaching a subset of my content and performing much better overall. More is not always better. I have to remind myself of this a lot. I want to do everything. Doing everything is the shortest path to achieving nothing and burning out.
If you want to sell on Etsy, it’s probably in your best interest to figure out one set of items to sell and become the very best in that niche. Instead of home decor, specialize in coasters (ok, I’m not really good at home decor, but follow along). This is a small enough niche that you could become number one, but large enough that you could probably make a full time income from it. There’s multiple examples of people making millions just selling socks. It’s possible to replicate this with pretty much anything.
How to Measure Success
Obviously, if we’re trying to make a full time income, money is nice. However, analytics exist for about every task you want to do online. Here is an example of YouTube analytics (I know, they’re weak).
Similar metrics can be found for website data, social media engagement, Etsy, You name it. You can get specialized data to see how people are engaging with your content, when they leave, audience demographics, and more. Of all these metrics, there is likely one or two driving forces that will bring success.
For YouTube (at the time of this writing) it is CTR (click through rate) and watch time. These are generally good metrics for any project:
- What percentage of people click?
- How long do they stay?
They say not to judge a book by its cover, but as a digital marketer, the cover is part of the sale. In YouTube, this means clean thumbnails. On Etsy, it means good product photos. On a website, it means good imagery. In social media, it means a common theme and persona across posts.
Fortunately, CTR is not the only important metric. This would lead us to a world with ONLY clickbait. Average watch time or average session duration shows how well you were able to maintain the viewers attention. This is an average. Some people may stay an hour. Some may stay 10 seconds.
Generally, if your retention rate is high, this means you’re delivering on whatever you promised. If you get clicks only because of the use of clickbait, a low retention rate may show this.
A reasonable amount of clickbait is ok as long as you deliver something of value. Here’s a comical example.
I think in most cases, I’m able to put together a fairly decent thumbnail (you may disagree). If you are absolutely unable to do the graphic design work, try an easier photo editor (maybe PicMoney) or you can outsource to someone on Fiverr.
Using these metrics for anything, whether it’s YouTube, a website, Etsy, etc, you can build a regular audience.
How to Monetize and Sell
We’ve addressed the hard part: building an audience. Again, stick to a niche and keep creating! Building an audience is the hard part (we’ll talk about some shortcuts soon), but not the most important part. In fact, if you do the next part right, you can make it big online with a very small audience. There are YouTubers with a fraction of my views making 10x what I’m earning. Just in the last two years I’m trying to make up for this.
Viewers with no monetization…It’s like a bucket with holes in the bottom. You can work your butt off pouring more water into the bucket, but it eventually all falls right through. Buckets are not designed for water to go through the bottom.
Instead of having each viewer fall through a bunch of holes, we want to direct this traffic to a final offer. Instead of a bucket, let’s make a funnel.
Our goal is to get people to go from visitor (top of the funnel), to customer (bottom of the funnel).
Notice that the funnel only has one exit. We direct traffic to a specific outcome we desire.
For my YouTube channel, my goal is to get people to follow links in the description. These once pointed to sponsors, but now link to courses, programs, and products.
Let’s say I’m selling a course for $99. We have a product. From here, it’s all math.
If 1% of people that visit the course sales page make a purchase, and 1% of viewers click the link to the course in the YouTube description, we can assume 1,000,000 YouTube views would translate to 100 course purchases.
100 course purchases at $99 each? That’s nearly $10,000!
This is a contrived example, but you get the point.
Another example may be getting sponsors. “Would you be interested in sponsoring my content? Check out the link in the description!” which then links to a sales pitch and contact form we discussed earlier.
In the case of an Etsy shop, if 1% of people that view your product make a purchase, we can reach our income goals by:
- Optimizing our conversion (maybe we can get to 2% instead of 1%)
- Write extremely valuable tutorial blogs to link to the products
- Promote our blogs on Pinterest or Instagram
Our funnel would look like this:
Social media → blog → etsy → cart → purchase
In a totally not weird way, we are massaging our target audience into becoming a customer. Instead of just being like “BUY MY PRODUCT,” we offer interesting social media posts, valuable blog or video content, captivating sales pages, and amazing products and services.
The reality is that if you want to make it online, you’re going to need a product. If you have nothing to offer, ask your friends and family what you’re good at. Or spend a boatload of time studying, prepping, and becoming an expert at something so that you can offer a product.
Or, if you’re feeling overwhelmed coming up with something to sell, think a bit smaller. Instead of offering a $5,000 leadership retreat, offer a $5 leadership checklist (whatever that is) with a money back guarantee.
Get your friends, family, and professional network to try the product and give a review. Or, give it away for free or at a discount to your first customers in attempts to get some testimonials. This is exactly what I did when trying to get my first sponsor.
Once you got something good going, just scale it up! $1,000 earned can easily become $10,000 earned with an online business. And that’s the beauty. In a traditional job you’re guaranteed a certain amount of money, but you usually can’t make a whole lot more than that. In a business, you’re not guaranteed anything, but you can make millions if done correctly. Do your best to set up your business and product in such a way that getting ten times the number of conversions doesn’t overwhelm you with work. It only multiplies your income
I hope you enjoyed this little preview. Again, if you want the full thing, check out the course Full Time Online Income.