How To Work At Home With A Computer
I have been working from home for a few years now and I love it. Thanks to the advances in technology, working from home is becoming more popular than ever. Many business are kind enough to allow their employees the flexibility to work form home, while other people are seeing the opportunities of starting their own business. In this post I am going to focus on starting your own business and how to work at home with a computer.
Why You Should Learn How To Work At Home With A Computer
Working at home gives me the lifestyle that I want to live. This is because there are a number of advantages that make this possible. I will go through all the ways that allows me to enjoy my life with my own business.
The flexibility you get from working at home with a computer is fantastic. I live in the French Alps and my passions are snowboarding and mountain biking (along with all the other things you can do in the great outdoors). Working at home for myself means that I can go and enjoy the mountains for a couple of hours in the morning and work in the afternoon and evening. Basically, I get to choose my own working hours. There will be many occasions where I will be working late at night, but this is my choice, because I have been enjoying myself.
The fact you can choose your own working hours, also means that you can start an online business in your spare time. Whether you just want to top up your bank account or work at something to be independent, working online is the most accessible way of doing it.
You Don't Have To Stay At Home
I have no plans to leave the alps, but if I have to leave, I will be able to carry on working on my business from wherever I end up. There really wouldn’t be any reason why the way it works would be affected, making it more sustainable.
However, as amazing as my alpine view is at home, I can take my laptop anywhere and work. Often, I will work from a local cafe for a change of scenery.
I have a few income streams from working at home with a computer, but my main business is affiliate marketing. I will go in to this later, but this is a business model with huge earning potential.
Having multiple income streams means that you haven’t got all your eggs in one basket. Meaning, you have some backup if one of them starts to struggle. You can get elements of your online business to a point where they will require less input (while they are earning you money), this means you will be able to start other income streams.
In addition to this, online businesses have the potential to earn you money 24/7, as you have the ability to reach people all over the world that can buy stuff online from anywhere at any time.
I have had some great bosses and some that have been terrible. But now I don’t have to answer to anyone. This is really part of the flexibility of having my own business, but it is worth mentioning. I am 100% responsible for what happens to my business, which is both good and bad. It is good because I get to make all the decisions, but I don’t get guidance, so I have to learn a lot before making a decision.
Low Startup Costs
I have always wanted my own business. I have had many ideas, but not having the capital to start any of them has always been a barrier.
Online businesses are much cheaper to start than more traditional ones, as the overheads are much lower. In many cases all you need to start, is a computer, an internet connection and a hosted website.
Who Should Start Their Own Online Business?
There are many reasons people start their own online business at home. But, the main reasons are the flexibility and earning potential. Earning real money and working at any time is a huge attraction.
Examples of the types of people that would benefit from starting their own business are:
- People that live in remote places
- People that want to travel (digital nomads)
- People that want to create more revenue streams
- People that want to create a better life for themselves and their family
- People that want to get out of their job
- People that want to have the flexibility to do other things in life
How I Work At Home With A Computer
I have a few streams of income, I do a bit of social media management, blog writing and I am just getting in to drop shipping. However, I spend the majority of my time and effort on affiliate marketing. This is because I really enjoy it and it has huge earning potential. I am now going to tell you all about affiliate marketing, what it entails, what it is like to have an affiliate marketing business and how to start.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is method that companies use to increase their sales. They do this by allowing others to promote their products and services for them. In return for driving sales to their website, they reward affiliates with commissions.
There are three parties involved with affiliate marketing:
- The customer
- The publisher (you as the affiliate marketer)
- The supplier
The affiliate marketing model benefits the supplier, as other people do their marketing for them and only need to pay out when it works. The publisher gets paid for creating content about things that they are interested in and the customer can make purchasing decisions based on what an informed person is telling them.
This is why affiliate marketing is such a good business model. It is possible for anyone to start their own affiliate marketing business from home too.
How Much Money Can You Earn?
I mentioned before that affiliate marketing has great earning potential and that this is one of the reasons why I do it. To give you an idea of what is possible, imagine having a post on your website that gives you $30 per sale. Check out the infographic to see what this adds up to.
As you can see, this is quite a good sum of money. The amount you can earn, does depend on how hard you work, your niche, the products/services you promote and the affiliate programs you join. Now imagine how much you can earn from a whole website (or more than one website) full of content.
If this sounds like a sum of money you would like to earn, carry on reading to learn how to work at home with a computer as an affiliate marketer.
The Steps To Starting An Affiliate Marketing Business
There is a process to building an affiliate marketing business. I will now briefly go through the steps to give you an idea of what is involved.
Step 1 - Choose A Niche
As an affiliate marketer, you will be creating a website that needs to attract visitors. Therefore you need to base it around a particular niche. A niche is a groups of people with a common interest. This could be around a particular activity, sport, hobby or aspect of life.
Before you jump up and say ” I want a ***** website”, I urge you to give your choice of niche some serious consideration. This is because not all niches are equal in terms of their profitability. I go in to all the details in my post how to find an affiliate marketing niche. But in summary a niche needs to:
- Be focussed and not too broad
- Appeal to enough people
- Be something you are interested in
- Not have to much competition
- Not go out of fashion
- Not be seasonal
- Not limit you too much to prevent you expanding in the future
Step 2 - Choose A Domain Name
It is really important to choose a good domain name for your website. This is because it is what gives your potential audience its first impression. Also a good domain name has other benefits from being easy to remember to being easy to find. Check out my post how to choose a domain name for your business for more information, but in short a domain name needs:
- To be a .com
- To be easy to say
- To be easy to type
- Be available
- Be brandable
- To contain keywords
Step 3 - Build A Website
Even if you have never done anything like this before, or have no knowledge of building a website, it isn’t that hard to do. I will go in to a super easy way to build a website later, but here is what is involved:
- Choose a website host and choose a domain name – Many people choose the cheapest host they can find. This can be quite bad for your business, as cheap hosts are often slow and unreliable. If you are going to go down the route of sorting everything out yourself, I reccommend Blue Host, as an inexpensive and reliable web host.
- Set up your website – I recommend that you set up your website with WordPress. This is a super easy platform designed for people with no coding skills. Blue Host lets you easily install WordPress with one click. Other hosts usually should have equally easy ways of installing WordPress too. But if they don’t, the chances are they are a poor website host.
- Choose a theme and personalise your website – You can easily customise a WordPress website using. These are what gives your website its appearance. When choosing a theme, I suggest you research the ones that you like the look of before you decide to use it. This is because you need to make sure that it is fast loading and works well on mobile devices.
- Choose plugins – WordPress has a number of plugins available. These give your website the features and functions that you want it to have. Many plugins are free, but some have “pro” versions that unlock extra features for a small payment.
Step 4 - Create Content
Your affiliate marketing website needs to be filled with content that is created in a certain way. The content you create needs to be helpful to your intended audience. Therefore, you need to answer questions people in you niche are asking or solve their problems. You content will should, help your audience do something or help them make purchasing decisions. Examples of of content you will be creating are:
- Blog posts
- Personal experiences
- Gift ideas
By creating you content in a helpful way, you will appeal to your audience and become an authority within your niche. This means people will keep coming back to you, as they will trust your judgment and take on board your recommendations.
Your content also needs to be seen as relevant to people’s online searches by search engines. Therefore, you need to employ search engine optimisation techniques, so search engines realise what you are writing about.
The most important part of search engine optimisation, is keyword research. Without doing this, you are just guessing what your audience is looking for online.
Keyword research allows you to determine what to base your content around. This is because it will let you know how many people are searching for a particular keyword, how many website visitors it will attract and how much competition it has. With this information, you will know which keywords are worth pursuing. You can learn more in my post finding the best keywords for search engines.
Step 5 - Monetise Your Content
When you recommend products and services in your content, you can point your audience towards the best places to buy them. This is why you need to join affiliate programs.
Affiliate programs are what tracks sales through your website using affiliate links. You drop these affiliate links in to your content, people click on them and get taken to the supplier’s website. When a sale is made, you will get rewarded for referring the customer.
To learn more, check out my post what is an affiliate program and how do they work? But, generally, you can earn from 1 to 75% of the sales price.
What You Need To Know About Affiliate Marketing
I have gone through the benefits of starting an affiliate marketing business, include how much it is possible to earn. But, I want to give you a full picture of what it is like, so you are under no illusion about what it takes to be a successful affiliate marketer.
Have The Right Expectations
It is pretty common for people that are just starting out to think that they will earn loads of money within a few weeks. This is because there are loads of ‘gurus’ out there that this is how it is. It would be great if this was the case, but unfortunately it isn’t.
Affiliate marketing is possible for anyone to do in their spare time, with very little investment. But it takes a lot of time and effort to make it work. It will take 6 to 12 months before you make any money at all and maybe 2 years before you start to make anything significant.
If you are lucky, you may start making money earlier, but this is pretty rare and contrary to what most gurus tell us.
Consistency is really important to keep your audience informed and to appease the google gods. Both like to see that a website is alive and active. By posting content constantly, search engines will make it easier to rank highly. This will in turn earn you more money.
Focus On Helping Your Audience
Don’t just treat your website as a big online advert. Your posts should be based around helping people. This will demonstrate that you are a good source of information within your niche and will increase your website traffic, thanks to good rankings.
This post is an example of that. Do you feel like I am trying to sell you something? I really hope not (let me know if you do, I like constructive feedback). I am just giving good honest advice to my visitors. If you decide to click on an affiliate link elsewhere on this website, that is great, but I just want to provide you with valuable information.
Learn From Mistakes
I have made many mistakes, some of them were from me being a bit careless and some have been due to lack of knowledge. But, this is all part of the learning curve. Some mistakes won’t become apparent for a couple of months, but you need to take it on the chin and make sure you don’t make them again.
Never Stop Learning
Constant learning will reduce the amount of mistakes you make. But even a learning a small thing each day will build up your skill set and make you life so much easier and you will become more efficient at everything. All these little things add up eventually and you will become an expert in no time.
The people that fail are the ones that give up. There will be some trial, error and failures involved, but you need to keep pushing on. You don’t know how successful you would have been if you stop. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
How To Learn About Affiliate Marketing
There are a number of ways you can learn about affiliate marketing. I will now go through them and give you my recommendation on where to start.
Trawl The Internet
I started off trawling the internet (just like you are) to learn how to work at home with a computer. The information about affiliate marketing online is vast and includes blog posts, Youtube videos and eBooks. The problem with all this information is that you get paralysis by analysis. Much of the information available is very contradictory, making it difficult to decide on a starting point.
It is also possible to miss out on vital steps when you are doing all the leg work yourself. Therefore, I recommend finding some structure to your learning.
While you are trawling the internet, you will come across lots of affiliate marketing gurus. These will claim that they have the secret to overnight success in affiliate marketing. I mentioned before that there are no shortcuts, so you need to be weary about what these guys are telling you. They will have created a course or written an ebook that they want to sell. There is nothing wrong with this, and I’m sure not all of them are charlatans. But personally, when I was trying to decide if affiliate marketing was for me, I wanted more information before handing my money over.
How I learned About Affiliate Marketing
I learned (and still am learning) about affiliate marketing from a platform called Wealthy Affiliate. There are a couple of things that attracted me to Wealthy Affiliate. The first thing, was that they are not as pushy and salesy as the online gurus. The second thing, is that I got to start my business without having to spend a penny, thanks to their Free Membership.
What Is Wealthy Affiliate?
I will now briefly go through what Wealthy Affiliate is, but I recommend that you check out my full review does Wealthy Affiliate really work? I tell you all about it and what I do and don’t like about it.
A Training Platform
The training at Wealthy Affiliate is the best I have found. It is comprehensive and easy to follow, even if you have had no experience with affiliate marketing at all. There are a number of ways the training is delivered, but the main way is via structured courses. Each lesson has a number of tasks to do before you move on to the next one. This means you don’t miss anything out.
The training you get with the Free Membership takes you from day one, all the way up to a fully functioning affiliate marketing website that you can earn money from.
When you work form home with a computer, you still need the right tools for the job. Wealthy Affiliate has everything you need to build your website, create content and find quality keywords. Having everything in the same place makes life much easier than having to log in to lots of different accounts to do the simplest jobs.
There is an excellent help centre that helps you out with any problems or questions you may have. This could be technical, content related or anything you can think of.
I have been saved by the help centre on a few occasions and they have pointed me in the right direction, which has been excellent.
Wealthy Affiliate has a community of members that is fountain of knowledge. The community is made up of a helpful bunch of enthusiastic affiliate marketers, only too willing to help. They can give you solutions to problems and feedback about your website.
What Are Your Options?
I really hope that I have shed some light on how to work at home with a computer. If you have read this far the chances are you are interested in affiliate marketing. There are of course other businesses, but in my experience affiliate marketing is the best. You now have some exciting choices ahead of you.
After reading all this, you may realise that having an online business isn’t for you. And this is fine, but if you are worried that it sounds really complicated, you would be mistaken. I knew nothing about it when I started and it took a bit of learning and a lot of had work, but it is all worth it.
Check Out The Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership
The Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership is a risk free way of getting first hand experience in to what affiliate marketing is all about. You will learn what it entails and actually have the potential to make money with free websites.
If you don’t get on with it, you have lost nothing apart from the time you have spent trying it out. All you need is an email address. Have a look at my full review in my post does wealthy affiliate really work?
That Is How To Work At Home With A Computer
That was quite a lot of information there, but I hope you have found it useful or interesting. If you have any questions or thoughts on how to work at home with a computer, please leave them in the comments section below.