How To Work At Home On The Computer
I don’t need to tell you that more people are starting to work from home, or are looking for ways to work from home theses days. Therefore in this post I am going to help you out as much as I can and tell you how to work at home on the computer.
If you are looking for ideas to start your own online business, check out my post How Do I Start An Online Business At Home? but, in this post, I am going to tell you how I do it and how you can learn about it.
How I Work At Home On The Computer
I have a few ways that I work at home on the computer:
I write blogs for holiday companies that are local to me. Blogs are a great way to drive traffic to a business’s website. These blogs need to answer questions that potential customers will have. Therefore, when people search for the answers they are looking for around a certain topic online, they find the the business website, which becomes a source of information. This builds the customer’s trust in the business, which makes them more likely to spend money.
The kind of blogs I write for the holiday companies are, based around things to do in the area, what’s on, services offered, the best way to… etc.
This is a great way to earn money, it is mostly enjoyable. Obviously, there there are a few blogs I have to write that are not particularly exciting. But I love where I live and all the things you can do here, so you have to take the rough with the smooth.
Social Media Management
As an extension to the blog writing, I manage a number of social media accounts. This is also something I enjoy. I create and post content for local businesses and shops to keep their customers informed, engaged and entertained. The great thing for me, is that these customers like to see content about all the things you can do in the area. I live in the French Alps, where we spend a lot of time snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking. Therefore, it is not much of a chore taking photos and videos to post.
I would say that the most frustrating thing about social media management, is that often the more work you put in, the less engagement the post gets. For example, I can create a beautiful video of snowboarding on a perfect day after hiking to the top of a mountain and only get a handful of likes. But, if I mange to get a picture of a dog in the snow that took me less than a few seconds to take and post, It goes mental.
If you want to write blogs or manage social media for local businesses, the best thing to do is simply approach them and offer them your services. However, I advise you to go prepared.
When it comes to blog writing, you may need to explain to the business owner how blogs can attract customers. My post Why Does My Business Need A Blog? can help you put your argument across. If you have no experience, you may have to do a couple of blogs for free to prove yourself, or just to get some experience. However, be prepared for your fist few to take you a long time and to not be of the highest quality (unless you are a real wordsmith).
The same goes for social media, take a look at what local businesses are doing with regard to their social media efforts. If they are not posting regularly, you can explain to them the benefits of you doing it for them are. But in a nutshell, you are saving them time and putting their business in the minds of customers.
I am not going to spend too much time on talking about drop shipping, as at the time of writing this post, I am just getting in to it. But drop shipping is a business model that allows you to sell products online without having to buy and ship them before a sale yourself.
Drop shipping works when a customer buys a product off you from your online shop. Then you place the order with your supplier, who then ships it to your customer.
The great thing about this business model is that you don’t need to buy a load of stock in advance, you only buy when your customer buys. Also, you don’t have to handle and ship the product, as it is all done for you. The way you make money, is by putting your markup on the supplier’s price.
The trick part to this, is that you need to get your marketing right. You do this through social media adverts. These are targeted to your intended audience, which can take a lot of trial and error, which means spending money on adverts that don’t work at first.
What I Spend Most Of My Time Doing
When I was in full time employment managing a number of apartments, I was getting frustrated with not being able to use my time how I wanted to. The main reason I moved to the French Alps, was to make the most of the outdoors. Obviously, this is very weather dependant, so I had to hope that the weather was good for my days off. But often, the weather would be terrible, meaning I could not enjoy the mountains. But then, we would get perfect blue sky days when I was back at work.
I started looking in to businesses that I could start in my spare time, that would eventually allow me to give up my job. But I really wanted to make sure that I made the right choice, so I decided that my business venture should have the following prerequisites:
- It had to give me enough flexibility to choose my own working hours
- It had to be worth the effort in terms of earning potential
- I should be able to do it from anywhere
- There had to be reliable sources of information on how to do it properly
- It had to be legitimate
While I was looking in to the various businesses I could start, affiliate marketing appealed to me, as it seemed to tick all the boxes.
I will go in to the details of what affiliate marketing is and how it works shortly. But in summary, it is the process of promoting other people’s products and services. In exchange for your hard work, you get a commission for the sales you generate through your website.
I wasn’t 100% convinced at the time, (I will go in to why later), butI am glad that I started affiliate marketing, as it has the following advantages:
I Can Choose My Own Working Hours
As long as I am being productive enough in my working week, I can work when I want to. This means I can have a couple of hours on the mountain in the morning, as long as I get home and do what is on my list afterwards. This may mean that I am working late at night, but I would rather do it this way than sit watching TV in the evening.
Obviously, I often have to forgo fun times to make sure my job list is completed each week. You have to treat affiliate marketing as a proper business (because it is) to ensure that you are being productive enough to make a success out of it.
It can be difficult to say no to my friends when they have an epic day planned, followed by celebratory beers, but you have to work out the work/life balance.
Great Earning Potential
When you realise what the earning potential of affiliate marketing is, you realise that the effort needed to be put in is worth it. How much you can earn all depends on how hard you work, the niche you are working in and the products and services you promote. But if you were to earn $30 per sale (which is entirely realistic), you can see the earning potential in my infographic below.
When you see figures like this, you can see that affiliate marketing is worth considering when wanting to know how to work at home on the computer. This is especially the case if you have a couple of websites full of content that can make you money.
The content you create can earn you money 24/7 as your audience is all over the world. They can buy things at any time and from anywhere. This content is sitting on your website and if you get it right, people will be finding it for months or even years to come. This means it has the potential to keep earning you money from the sales it generates.
I Can Do It From Anywhere
I have no plans to move from where I live, but you never know what will happen in the future. Affiliate marketing is a business that won’t be interrupted if I have to change my location as long as I have an internet connection.
But, I can work from a local cafe, my balcony or park bench if I connect my phone to my laptop. This means I can get a change of scenery from time to time.
Who Starts An Affiliate Marketing Business?
You don’t have to be an outdoor enthusiast to become an affiliate marketer. This is a business that benefits people from a number of walks of life.
Affiliate marketing suits all kinds of people, as it gives you the flexibility to do other things with your life, here are some examples:
- Stay at home parents
- Part time workers
- Full time workers that want to work at something in order to leave their job
- People that want extra income
- People that live remotely that find it difficult to get jobs near by
- Disabled people
- People that travel a lot and want to maintain an income
- People that want to manage their time to get the most out of life
- People that want to be able to change their working hours in order to reach other goals in life
How To Work At Home On The Computer As An Affiliate Marketer
To start an affiliate marketing business there are a number of steps you need to take. These are not particularly complicated, but there are some techniques you need to learn to make sure you are successful.
Step 1 - Choose Your Niche
A niche is a group of people with a similar interest. As an affiliate marketer, you need to focus your efforts on to a niche. This is so you stand a better chance of making sales, as you will target people that have an interest in products and services involved with your chosen niche.
Not all niches are profitable, there are a few reasons for this, but the main characteristic of a good affiliate marketing niche, is that it is focussed on a small group of people. This probably sounds like the opposite of what you may think, but it is very important and I will tell you why.
I chose a niche that was far too broad for one of my websites. I chose food and drink, with the idea of being able to capture everyone from vegans to whisky drinkers. This was never going to work, as I gave myself too much competition. In addition to this, those few people that found my website, found things that were not relevant to them. For example, I had content promoting barbecue sauce and content that was promoting juicers. The two don’t go together, therefore people didn’t hang around, even though it was a pretty good website that was loaded with information.
What I should have done, rather than putting everything on one website, was to create lots of micro niche websites, one for vegans, one for juicers, one for barbecues etc.
Another essential characteristic of a good niche, is that it needs to be something that you are passionate about, or at least have an interest in. This is because, if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t put enough effort in to it.
Step 2 - Choose Your Domain Name
Getting your domain name right is very important. This is because it is part of your brand and it creates the first impression. In short, you domain name should:
- Be focussed
- Be something you are interested in
- Have low competition
- Have a good following
- Have lots of products to promote
- Not go out of fashion
- Not be seasonal
Step 3 - Build Your Website
If you have never done this before, it isn’t as complicated as you may think. I will quickly go through how you build a WordPress website, but keep reading for an even easier way.
The first thing you need to do is to find a domain name registrar and a website host.
The registrar is where you buy your domain name (the URL) from and the host is the server that your website sits on. A good example of a website host is Bluehost. This is proven to be a reliable and fast host that isn’t expensive.
You may be tempted to use the cheapest host you can find. This isn’t a great idea, as cheap ones can be unreliable and slow.
Once you have a hosted website, you need to download a platform to base it on. I recommend WordPress.
You will notice that there are two different WordPress platforms. WordPress.org and WordPress.com
- WordPress.org – This is also referred to as self-hosted WordPress. This is the free, open-source WordPress software that you can easily install on your own web host. This gives you 100% control over your website.
- WordPress.com – This is paid service that uses the WordPress.org software. It is very easy to use, but it isn’t as flexible as the self-hosted WordPress, which means you are not 100% in control of your website.
When people talk about their WordPress website or blog, they are usually referring to the self-hosted WordPress available at WordPress.org.
Step 4 - Create Great Content
You need to remember when affiliate marketing that content is king. Your content needs to do be as helpful as possible. When you get it right it will rank highly in people’s online searches. This means that you will get a good amount of visitors, which will lead to sales.
Not only does your content have to be helpful, it needs to be created in a certain way. The first thing about your content, I that it needs to be targeted. This is done by basing your content around what people are searching within your niche. The way to find this stuff out, is to do some keyword research.
Keywords are what people type in to search engined to find the answers they want. So you need to base your content around these keywords to organically get visitors to your website. This means you don’t have to pay for adverts to reach your intended audience.
There are some other techniques that you need to learn in order to get your content in front of your audience. You need to make your content SEO friendly. This isn’t difficult, but you need to remember to do certain things when writing your content. SEO techniques help search engines recognise what your content is about, so they know where to rank them with regard to how relevant they are to the user’s search.
Examples of the type of content you need to create are:
- Blog posts
- Personal experiences with products and services
- Buyer’s guides
How To Learn About It
There are a few ways that you can learn about affiliate marketing. I will now go through them and tell you what I believe to be the best way to learn about it.
Find The Information Out Yourself
You can scour the internet to find information about how to work at home on the computer as an affiliate marketer. There are websites full of information that you can use created by experienced affiliate marketers.
The problem with doing it this way, is that you will come across so much information, it can be difficult to decide where to start. Also, much of what you read will be conflicting, which leaves you wondering who is correct.
Find An Affiliate Marketing Guru
While you are trawling the internet, you will come across lots of affiliate marketing gurus. These guys will have ebooks and courses you can buy all about affiliate marketing. Many of them will promise to let you in to their secret to earning loads of money within a few weeks. Unfortunately, this is not how affiliate marketing, or any online business works. I’m not saying that they are all scammers, but if anyone tells you that affiliate marketing can earn you money quickly, it is a lie.
This is the problem with gurus. Some of them will be telling the truth, but you won’t know until you have paid for their course or bought their book. But, if you pay them and the information is poor quality, you have wasted your money, but more importantly, your time.
When I was researching the different businesses I could start. I went through so many websites and signed up to loads of guru’s newsletters, to try to work out the best way to learn about affiliate marketing. If you remember, one of my prerequisites of my business venture, was that it had to have good training resources, as I was starting from scratch.
During this research period, I was really struggling to find a training resource that gave me enough information for them for me to trust them. What I really needed, was more insight in to how affiliate marketing works, what it entails and if I would enjoy it.
Wealthy Affiliate gave me this insight, via their Free Membership. My rundown of the free membership goes in to the details how this works. But the Free Membership gives you 10 lessons that take you from knowing nothing, to having a fully functional website you can earn money from. In fact, you get 2 hosted websites included at no extra cost.
I was attracted to Wealthy Affiliate by the Free Membership and the fact they are not pushy like the gurus. They give you realistic expectations about what is possible and what you need to do to be successful. I will also go in to these factors later on.
What Is Wealthy Affiliate?
Primarily, Wealthy Affiliate is a training platform, but it has much more to offer. I will now summarise the different elements that make up the Wealthy Affiliate Platform. But if you want to see all the details, check out my post Does Wealthy Affiliate Really Work?
Different Training Methods
There are a number of ways the training is delivered. The main way is through the Online Entrepreneur Certification (the first 10 lessons are included in the Free Membership). This course takes you from having zero knowledge, through building your business to expanding it and beyond. At the end of each lesson there are a number of tasks to complete. This means that you don’t miss out any essential steps, making sure you do everything right.
In addition to the structured courses, there is weekly live training sessions. These are fantastic in the way that they give you up to date techniques and information that will enhance your website. These build on the information you get in the structured courses and are extremely useful.
You can’t do any job without the right tools. The Wealthy Affiliate membership (even the free one) gives you access to some fantastic business tool.
The first one you use, is the website builder. This gives you a hosted WordPress website in a couple of minutes. Doing it this way is way more convenient than the traditional way I mentioned earlier, when you have to find a registrar and a host, then needing to install WordPress yourself.
When it comes to keyword research, your membership gives you access to the Jaaxy keyword research tool. This is an easy to use and very powerful tool to find out what you should be basing your content around. The training takes you through how all this works and how to get the most out of it.
Other tools you will get to use at Wealthy Affiliate include:
- A content creator
- Site health
- Site manager
- Affiliate program search
It can be quite daunting starting something new if you don’t have any support. This is what happens when you use gurus or are searching for all the information yourself.
Wealthy Affiliate has an excellent support network. The Help Centre has a number of ways you can get support for anything related to your website. For example, you may have questions about if you are doing something correctly, you may have technical issues or need advice on certain techniques.
You can get help from the experts at Wealthy affiliate through the help centre. These guys respond quickly and have dug me out of many situations I didn’t have the knowledge to sort out myself.
A Knowledgable Community
Following on from the support, you can also get lots of help from the community of members. You can pose questions to the community and you will get some very helpful responses.
You can also get feedback from the community. This gives you constructive criticism and the insight in how you can improve your website. I find this very useful, as you sometimes miss things and people can point out things that are not obvious to you.
If you decide that you want to give the Free Membership a try, you can join through this link and add me as your first contact on the inside.
Who Should Join Wealthy Affiliate?
Anyone that wants to learn how to work at home on the computer with affiliate marketing can benefit from Wealthy Affiliate. But, even if you are unsure what online business to start, the Free Membership will give you more insight in to it than any other platform that I have encountered. The huge bonus of this, is that it is risk free, as all you need to sign up, is an email address. This means that you will be able to see if affiliate marketing is for you without committing anything other than some of your time. IF you don’t like it, you can simply walk away. If you do like it, you can continue with the free membership or upgrade to the premium membership.
What You Need To Know About Affiliate Marketing
I always want to be upfront and honest with my readers. This is because I don’t want you to waste your time and effort on something that isn’t for you. Therefore, I am going to tell you what it takes to run an affiliate marketing business.
You Won't Get Rich Overnight
I mentioned earlier that many of these online gurus say that they have the secret formula for getting rich quick. But affiliate marketing takes lots of time before it earns you significant amounts of money.
It will take months before you make anything and it could be a year or two before you start making decent amounts of money. You need to remember that the time you are spending creating content now is an investment for your future.
You Need To Be Consistent
Your audience likes to see websites that are consistently updated with new content. This keeps them engaged and interested in what you have to say. In addition to this, search engines reward websites with higher rankings that prove to be good sources of information. When a search engine sees that you are not playing around, your content will be put in front of your intended audience more, earning you more money.
You need to realise that the more content you put out there, the more people will see your website. This increases the amount of money you will earn. It is a case of plugging away at it and eventually, using the right techniques, you will make a success of it.
You Will Make Mistakes
It is a fact that you will make mistakes. Some will be avoidable and some won’t be, due to lack of knowledge in the early days. I am still learning from my mistakes, as my knowledge increases. Unfortunately, many of these mistakes don’t become apparent for a number of months. This can be soul destroying, especially when you realise the impact of them on your business. However, you need to take it on the chin and learn from these moments. As long as you make sure you don’t do it again, you are moving forward.
That Is How To Work At Home On The Computer
Well that is how I do it anyway. I hope this has given you some inspiration to get started and some insight in to how it all works. If you have any thoughts or questions about this, please leave them in the comments section below.