Making money online means you found a way to offer value (your product or service) in exchange for other values (money, gifts, or others).
There are a ton of ways to make money online.
However, you want to engage in those that are low-hanging fruits to you. This means not every online business will suit your skill, career, trajectory, or capacity.
There are four factors I consider before choosing a money-making path. These factors serve as the lens through which I sieve all internet business ideas.
Some money-making paths will look enticing, but the profits are so small, it is worse than your day job! The last thing you want is another labor route that yields little or nothing.
Making money online is not magic. It requires efforts, time, commitment, and (very often) some financial investment on your part.
Any business that does not require such commitment or nurturing is magic or voodoo.
But these efforts and investments should at least yield commensurate (if not quantum) results.
Before I commit to any shinny online business idea, I measure it against these factors. These factors will guide us in choosing what type of business we should dwell and plan on.
ONE: Is the offering digitized? Can I digitize it?
For every idea, I seek the lazy man's path to online riches. This means I only subscribe to ideas and businesses that I can offer in digital formats. Zero inventory involved. At least the parts that concern me.
I know, there are a lot of great offers that are not digitized, and this is not what I mean.
What I am talking about is the part that concerns me HAS to be digitized.
I have to be able to affect sales from my comfy chair, and never touch any inventory, save my sales sheet.
For instance, there is this male hair grooming product that sells like wildfire in the US. I don't own the product, but I profit from it.
I simply created an e-book that talks about grooming hair for bald men, or those who fancy beards (the beard gang, lol).
My book discussed all the best ways to make your hair grooming the bomb. At the end of the book, I offered the (physical) product as the real deal that takes out the work in hair grooming. I offered the book for free.
Well, I made $3/sale and normally would make 122 sales a day. Cost of reaching out to potential buyers: average of $24/day.
Now, this is an exception in the kinds of products I normally commit to selling.
I generally shy away from products that require shipping. I like e-delivery. It is instant and the payout, quick.
If there is no way to bring tech or digital into the process, if I need to maintain inventory and keep stock, if I need to do it the dropshipping style, where I have to replicate a sale on the owner's website, handle payments, etc, then it is a job I don't want.
TWO: Can I automate it?
Check if the business is automated. Getting stuck with a business with some mundane process is killing! You want something you can automate.
Set up by morning, go to other things. Check-in by day's end to count your sales or progress. Any business that does not offer this (in at least the part that affects me) is not worth my time. It is another job!
I usually look out for how to automate the entire process of making a buck. Where this is not feasible, then it is not for me. I value my time and should not begin to slave for another fancy named business.
THREE: Easy to set up and run?
How soon can I set up and run the business? If the parts to move are more than 5 core parts, it probably is not for me.
By my definition, an online business is one I can set up quickly and run. I need to test it quickly, automate the process and count my profits or growth.
Online businesses that are easy to implement are usually faster to duplicate.
Same model, maybe a different niche, but basically the same principle.
If the said business takes forever to set up, walk away. Your time is more valuable.
FOUR: Sell Everywhere:
This is precisely why it is an online business. You should be able to sell everywhere.
The onus is in picking the right product, the right market, the right audience, and the right channel.
Any business that limits your sale to a region or location is not worth the time.
Also, any product or offer that is only needed in a few locations or regions is usually not worth my time.
I want a product that is super niched but with a large audience.
There is it. Take the time and push all your online business through these four lenses.
You don't need another job; you need a profitable, easy-to-manage online business.
To make money online, you need to be selling something. To really sell, you need four tools:
- A mailing list.
- A magnet/bribe
- A small budget and
- A website or platform to organize your business.
By the way, to make money online, you need to start building your mailing list right away!