I thought it would be interesting to share with you how I earn a full time living on the Internet.
I have not had a regular ‘job’ for a little over three years now. This is because I was laid off from my job right at the very end of 2008.
But, this does not mean that I do not work. I probably put more work and effort into my business than I ever did for any other work I have been involved with in the past.
This is a key point. If you want to make money on the Internet, you will (most likely) need to work hard for that income.
Fortunately, I had already been earning a part time income on the Internet before I was laid off.
I found that my previous employer did not seem to care about my well being at all. It was totally up to me to make something happen.
Having lost my income from that job, I decided to put a lot more effort into my online business.
I continued to search for a job as well. I never did find one. But, my Internet business fortunately turned into a full time income.
The drawback is that my income goes up and down and I am never sure that it is completely stable. I no longer have that benefit of a set paycheck from my employer every 2 weeks.
I know a lot of people want to know how to make money online. I understand. But I want to be very upfront with you in letting you know that you (most likely) will have to work very hard for any money that you earn on the Internet. As far as I can tell, there are no short cuts. In many ways, it could be harder than just working a regular job for someone else.
Having said that, I will share with you the ways that I personally generate revenue on the Internet.
Multiple Revenue Streams
The first concept you should probably be aware of is that you need multiple sources of Internet income. This is because any one individual income stream can increase or decrease in any given month.
Perhaps your E Commerce store does well one month but poorly the next. Then your affiliate income may fare better or worse on any given month. Having multiple revenue streams can help to even this out a bit.
However, you might be subject to fear, as I am, when several income streams decline at the same time. So you can see, making money online is not always the dream that people have. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.
Therefore, it is really a good idea to not rely on a single revenue stream.
I do not really know why these ups and downs happen. I suspect that people who own businesses understand exactly what I am talking about. But for me, coming from an ’employee’ mentality, it has been one of the biggest shocks that I have had to get used to.
There was a time when I would freak out if sales were low for even one day. It took my mind a very long time to get used to the idea that revenues fluctuate on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
You cannot depend on a weekly paycheck when you run your own business. Therefore, your only option is to work hard enough that you can be assured to surpass a certain minimal level that you set for yourself. The question becomes ‘when’ you have reached that point.
The answer will vary depending on many factors that you may not even be able to pinpoint. On top of that, these factors may be things that you can only influence but may not be able to fully control!
Scared yet? You should be, because running an online business or any other business for that matter is not a walk in the park on a fine spring day. You will most likely worry when your full time living depends on your business.
If I were to have several ‘bad’ months, I would certainly consider getting a job again. But for now, it seems to be working. However, I am aware that things could fall apart, or conversely, get better at any time. There is no way to accurately predict what will happen in a few months or even next month.
These are some of the difficulties that inherently exist when you try to make your living with your own business online or perhaps even offline.
List Of Revenue Streams
I will make a simple list next and expound on each item further down the page.
This list and the explanations are in no particular order. In other words, they are not listed in order of greatest to smallest or anything like that.
1. Book Sales
2. Product Sales from my E commerce Store
3. Affiliate Programs
4. Advertising Revenue
These are the main categories. Now let’s talk about each one. If you have questions, use the comment section below to ask or comment.
Creating books can be a good revenue source. Of course, it will depend on the popularity of your book(s). But, you can compensate for lack of popularity by creating more books.
It is not very likely that a single book will allow you to live happy and free. As the number of books that you draw revenue from increases the greater your potential for profit and possibly greater stability.
Stephen King makes a LOT of money from his books. There are others, but there are also many who make very little, if anything on their book sales.
Here again, much depends on factors that you have only varying degrees of influence upon.
For a better understanding of why some people are successful and others are not, I suggest reading the book Zhuan Falun by Li, Hongzhi. He reveals what I believe are the real reasons for the variations in personal success. It is not anything like the self-help gurus imagine.
When you have a better understanding about how the world really works, your perspective will become more accurate.
I have two books that currently bring in revenue for me. I may create some more in the future though. I have been thinking about taking old blog posts and making them into an e-book. Why not?
1. Currently, I have a paper back book entitled, What You Should Know About Gum Disease, which is available on my ecommerce website as well as on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It is also available on Kindle
This book is also available on a lot of other online retail sites as well. In addition, most ‘real world’ book stores will be more than happy to order the book for you.
These books also help bring traffic and sales to my Ecommerce store.
For those who shun Kindle, Nook and Ipad devices, I sell a bundled package of these two books in .pdf form at https://www.gingivitiskiller.com. This .pdf file format is readable on every computer with the free adobe reader software. The difference is that you can read these .pdf files on your computer without the need for a special device, such as a Kindle or Nook.
Self Publishing has Advantages and Disadvantages
When you go through a publishing company, the publishing house or company takes the vast majority of what is earned on each book sale.
An author might typically get a dollar or two for each book sold.
When you self-publish, assuming you have done it correctly, you can make a lot more. For example, I currently enjoy about $10 for each copy of What You Should Know About Gum Disease that is legally sold anywhere in the world.
The dark side of self publishing is that you must also be responsible for ALL of the promotion. A big publishing house has established methods to help. But, they typically look for author’s that already have a name or an audience. This is because they worry about whether a book will make them enough money or not.
This also explains why it is difficult get your book accepted by a big publishing house.
If you would like a longer post on self-publishing, let me know in the comment section below.
There is nothing quite like selling physical products of quality to customers that really want them and are happy to purchase them.
Notice that the niche of my online E Commerce story closely matches and complements the theme of my books. A wise entrepreneur (or future one) will take note of that fact. It is not a coincidence.
You may have heard the term ‘synergy’ before. Sometimes you can obtain a synergistic effect when you have related revenue streams.
‘Synergistic’ just means that the whole is greater than its isolated parts. If I get more sales at my E Commerce store because of my related books and vice-verse, than either part alone, then my business is experiencing a form of ‘synergy’.
If you would like to read a longer post on selling the E Commerce way, let me know in the comment section below.
I earn from affiliate programs in two basic ways. The above affiliate program helps Toothy Grins Store generate revenue allowing other affiliates to earn a commission for the sales that they refer to our site. This is a win-win situation. The affiliate earns money (currently around 12% of the sale(s)) and my E Commerce store earns money for my business as well.
For those who worry about search engine positions, it is great to have affiliates because they represent a pathway to sales that you would not otherwise have or make.
However, I also enjoy the other side of the coin as well. I am an affiliate in several programs. In this situation, I make a commission for selling products for other businesses.
With one particular program, I use coupons to help sell products for dental health and for combating bad breath in particular. Using these coupons has been very helpful to me as an affiliate and for the customers who are eager to save money on their purchases. (Please don’t steal those coupons).
The coupons provide a win-win-win situation for the customer, the merchant and the affiliate. The customer gets a valuable coupon that saves them money, and the affiliate gets commission earnings on a sale that makes money. Finally, the merchant gets a new customer and adds their name to an ever growing customer list that they continue to market to for years down the road.
By the way, this is an added benefit for a merchant to have an affiliate program. Your list of buying customers grows with each new lead or first time purchase.
Win-win situations are a good path forward for your business as well as all other aspects of your life. You might consider seeking out as many win-win situations as you possibly can. At the very least, you will feel better in that you are truly helping others instead of just worrying about your next paycheck.
It is the takers in this world that degrade the quality of life on Earth for all of us.
I think it is an important aspect of earning an income from your business that you exchange value in return for the revenue you enjoy. You want to feel good about what you do as much as possible. Insuring there are win-win situations in place is a good way to do this.
I suppose you could say that the more win-win situations you can create, the greater your income can grow.
Affiliate programs can be an interesting source of revenue. Although, there are pros and cons to being an affiliate. This is similar to most things in this world.
One Potential Problem For Affiliates
Affiliate programs do not always track sales well. You can never be sure if that is due to technology or some other reason.
It does not pay to be suspicious, as you can waste a lot of mental energy and time on it. However, you also should be aware of the potential for abuse. It is not that such abuse has never taken place. Keep that in mind when finding and working with affiliate programs.
You can ask questions on this topic in the comment section below.
I have several sites that allow advertisers to place their ads on them. This type of revenue generation is difficult to achieve because it requires that you have an audience – a.k.a. traffic. The more traffic you have the better you will do in monetizing advertising.
Without a significant amount of traffic, ads will probably not generate very much revenue for you. Although, I suppose there could be situations I am not aware of. Advertisers generally do not take out advertising to lose money. They want to obtain customers. If advertising on your site is not cost-effective many advertisers will not be willing to stay.
Most of the time, this means that you have to be able to offer enough traffic for it to be worthwhile to your advertisers. Again, exceptions and special situations may exist where it works out. But I am just speaking in general terms here.
With little to no traffic, it may not be worth your time to put ads on your site.
Some very popular sites make a lot of money from their advertisers.
It is possible to make a living online. However, you should be aware that even if you have an income stream from the Internet, it could change or decrease at any time.
Working on the Internet, generally speaking, requires a great deal of work and effort. It is not a true passive income as you must continuously work.
Perhaps there is a point when that changes, but I have no idea where that point is or might be. Frankly, I think you will never be free or absolved from the responsibility of putting some kind of effort into your Internet business.
Before you can even think of hiring workers, you have to first achieve a level of income that covers all of your personal expenses and then have enough surplus left over where you can afford the cost of hiring others.
I have not reached the point of hiring others. I am only able to cover my own expenses and cost of living at this point. I still am trading my time (on the Internet) for money. Therefore, this is NOT a passive form of income for me.
In addition, I cannot be 100% sure that it will continue to work for me in the future. There may come a time when I will need to seek offline income as well.
If you don’t have an existing business on the Internet, you will need to work and (most likely) work hard to get it to to be profitable for you.
If you had an illusion that making money online is (generally) easy to do, I hope that I was able to dispel that myth for you.
If you still want to make money online: Are you prepared for the challenge?
Share your thoughts and opinions below.