Legitimate Way To Make Money Online At Home
Starting online businesses is getting very popular these days. There are loads of benefits from being your own boss and not having to leave the house to make a very good living. However, it can be difficult to decide on what online home business to start. If you are not in the know, you may be sceptical about finding a legitimate way to make money online at home. This is totally reasonable and it is good to be wary, as I’m sure you have found “gurus” telling you that it is really easy to start an online business. Some of these gurus are legitimate, but some are scammers and it can be difficult to tell the difference between the good and the bad.
I am here to give you some information about starting your now online home business. I have written a few guides on some options you may be interested in such as:
But in this post I am going to talk more about affiliate marketing and why I chose it as my main form of income.
Why Home Businesses Are Becoming So Popular
Popularity of home start-up businesses is growing. Building a company from your home office or kitchen table gives you flexibility and accessibility that a traditional business will not give you. For example, if you decided to open a shop, your earning potential is restricted to opening hours and it is expensive to start. Rent, bills, inventory, setup and staff members are all expensive outgoings.
Woking at home means you have to be very disciplined and hard working. But, when you get it right, you can enjoy lots of benefits, such as:
Imagine not having to walk, drive, get public transport every morning. You can literally make your morning routine work for you and then get cracking on your own work that will make you money, not somebody else. Not having to travel to work allows you to spend that extra time you have on doing something productive and worthwhile.
When you start to see success, you know what to do to upscale your business. You can refocus your efforts to where it matters and employ the services of other people that work online. These people could be anywhere in the world, so you will have your pick of the best people.
This also works if you need to scale down for any particular reason. For example, if your situation changes, you can easily adjust and do what is necessary. If you had a physical shop or office space, you may be tied in to a long term lease, which would limit how easily it would be to down scale.
Flexible Working Hours
This is the big one for me. My online business mostly allows me to work when I want to. This is where you need to be disciplined, as it is very difficult to say no to distractions. In my case, it is my friends calling me up to go snowboarding or mountain biking. These are my favourite things in the world, so I have to be really productive when I am working to make sure I have the time to do everything I want to do. This means that I will be working late at night, but usually I have had a great time on the mountain that morning.
If you are already in full time employment, you can work on your online business in your spare time. This is what I did at first. Every night after work, I came home, spend the lap top and worked until midnight.
Cheap To Start
Depending on what business you choose to start, you start up costs are relatively cheap for an online business. In many cases you need a computer, an internet connection and a hosted website. Other costs will emerge later on, but this will be much cheaper than a business that has a physical entity, such as a shop or office. This is especially the case when you take in to account the fact that you don’t have to pay for travelling costs.
Allows You To Test Out Different Business Ideas
As the start up costs are low, you are risking less. This means that you can try out different ideas. Obviously, you need to give each idea a fair amount of time to be successful. But if you realise that your first idea isn’t going to work, you can try something else.
Starting a business from home gives you lots of freedom and cost savings. It allows you to grow your business at your own pace.
The Best Legitimate Way To Make Money Online At Home
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other people’s products and services in return for a commission. This is done by creating content, such as product reviews, buyer’s guides, tutorials or videos.
Why I Chose Affiliate Marketing
In my opinion, affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to legitimately make money online at home. When I was looking at starting my own business from home, I had an idea what I wanted to get out of my new start up:
- Flexibility – I wanted to be able to work at any time I wanted, so I could enjoy life without having to wait for my days off. This flexibility also should allow me to work from anywhere.
- Worth doing – I wanted to be rewarded for my efforts with a decent amount of money
- Legitimacy – I didn’t want to fall for any scams or expose anyone else to scams
- Good training resources – As I was starting from scratch, I wanted to make sure that there were reliable sources of information.
After a lot of research, in to a few different options, affiliate marketing ticked all these boxes for me.
Steps To Start An Affiliate Marketing Business
1. Choose Your Niche
This first step is to choose your affiliate marketing niche. Without proper consideration, you may choose a niche that will cause your business to flop. Not all niches are equal in terms of their earning potential. I go in to more detail in my post on how to find an affiliate marketing niche, but in summary, your niche should have the following characteristics:
- Focussed on a narrow, but loyal audience
- Appealing to your audience
- Relevant and not go out of fashion
- Something you are passionate about, or at least have an interest in
- Have a large enough following
A niche is a group of people with a similar interest. Therefore, the main thing you need to take away from this, is that you need to concentrate on a small group of people, rather than trying to capture everyone. This is because you will have a huge amount of competition, reducing your ability to get to the top of Google searches and it won’t be relevant to everyone that finds your website.
2. Choose Your Domain Name
Once you have decided on your niche, you need to choose a domain name. You may already have a few ideas, but before you go on to the next step, you should make sure your domain name is as good as it can be. My guide on how to choose a domain name will tell you more, but in short domain names should:
- Match your brand
- Capture the attention of your audience
- Be a .com
- Easy to type
- Not contain numbers
- Not contain characters such as hyphens
- Be easy to say
- Not limit your business for the you want to expand in the future
3. Build Your Website
If you have never built a website, it isn’t as difficult as you may think. The old fashioned and difficult way is to learn how to code your website from scratch. However, luckily this isn’t necessary anymore. Most affiliate marketers build WordPress websites. WordPress is designed for people don’t know how to write code, to easily build and manage their website. WordPress is really easy to use, and its plugins allow to you easily add functions and features. Here are the steps open what you need to do to build a WordPress website:
- Choose a website host and choose a domain name – It is common for people to choose the cheapest host they can find. This is not always recommended, as they are usually slow and unreliable. A good option is Blue Host, as it is inexpensive and reliable.
- Set up your blog – If you sign up to Blue Host, you can easily install WordPress with one click. If you choose another host, they should have something similar. If not, the chances are they are a poor website host.
- Choose a theme and personalise it – WordPress themes are what gives your blog its look. There are lots to choose from and many of them are very customisable. When you choose a theme, I suggest you do a bit of research in to it. The most important thing these days is to make sure that it is responsive. This means that it will be fast and works well with mobile devices. Also look at the amount of downloads and the star ratings of the theme that you like the look of.
- Choose plugins – As I said before, plugins give your blog certain features and functions. Plugins give you the ability to speed up your website, add tables, buttons, video, add eCommerce functions, block spam add security and much more. Many plugins are free, but some have “pro” versions that unlock extra features for a small payment.
4. Keyword Research
This sounds boring, but it actually isn’t. Also, it doesn’t take too long to do. By doing proper keyword research, you will know what people are searching for online within your niche.
Each keyword in your list will form the basis for your reviews and buyer’s guides etc. But you will know that they are quality keywords that people are looking for and don’t have too much competition. My guide on finding the best keywords for search engines, tells you all the techniques you need, but keyword research is the essence of ensuring that your website is filled with content people want to see.
5. Create Quality Content
When you have your list of keywords, you need to get creating. Your content needs to do two things:
- Rank highly in search engines
- Appeal to your audience
To make sure your content gets as high in search engines, you need to learn some good search engine optimisation techniques. These techniques are not particularly difficult to learn, it is more of a case of remembering to use them. Google is looking for the most relevant content according to their user’s searches. SEO friendly content will help you put your content in front of
In my guide on how to get to the top of Google, I outline some of the things that Google is looking for.
By doing all the things above, you will be able to start your affiliate marketing website as a legitimate way to make money online at home. But there is much more to it, if you want to make a sustainable business from it.
You need to do something on your website every single day to make sure it is a success. This is because search engines favour active websites that are regularly updated with quality content. Also, once you get a following, your audience, like to be kept up to date with what you have to say.
This is the difficult part, because you don’t see any results for months. There are a few reasons for this:
- Google algorithms – These make it difficult to rank, until you have proven your website is a quality source of information
- It tales time to create content – Writing and researching your content takes time, especially if you are doing it to the best of your ability
- The learning curve – The chances are, you will be learning lots of new techniques and methods when starting your affiliate marketing business. This takes time, but it will be worth it in the end
- Mistakes – You will make mistakes (as I have). Unfortunately, many of the mistakes are not found for months. This is part of the learning curve and should be embraced, just don’t make the same mistakes again
The best way to ensure that you reduce the time it takes to learn the ins and outs of affiliate marketing and the mistake you make, is to be educated from day one.
You can trawl the internet looking for all the information, but this may not be the best solution. This is because it is very easy to miss out important steps or aspects of the process.
Therefore, I recommend that you get some training.
Where Do I Learn About Affiliate Marketing?
I did a lot of research in to finding the best training for my affiliate marketing business. The best training provider I found was Wealthy Affiliate.
The training provided is very comprehensive and easy to follow. But you don’t just get fantastic training from Wealthy Affiliate. You can read my full review about Wealthy Affiliate, but in summary you get:
- A choice between a Free Membership and a Premium Membership
- Quality website hosting
- Access to Jaaxy Keyword Research Tool
- Support from the help centre
- Support from the community
The main thing that attracted me to Wealthy Affiliate was their non-pushy style and the fact that they are realistic about what you can achieve. But I was impressed by the Free Membership. This is because at the time I was trying to decide on what business I should start. And the Free Membership allowed me to try out affiliate marketing without risking any money. It gives you first hand experience on what affiliate marketing entails and what you need to do to be successful. You can learn about this in my rundown of the Wealthy Affiliate Free Membership.
Affiliate Marketing Is My Recommended Legitimate Way To Make Money Online At Home
What do you think? Is affiliate marketing something you want to get in to? Please leave your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.