I have seen it so many times on forums…

People ask: “How do I make money online?”

The answer to that is both complex and simple – so let’s keep it simple for now. When you think about it logically, an internet business has much in common with any conventional business (it just lacks a lot of the expenses of a physical business). Any business must address three basic requirements before it can call itself a business:

1. You need an offer. You need something which you can sell (your own or someone else’s), some service you can offer, or something you can give away at a commission (it’s called CPA marketing – but I’ll tell you more about that, and other options, in the future). HOW you get paid, or what you get paid for, is beside the point. The bottom line is that you need something that will put money in your pocket.

Most people trying to make money online will start out doing affiliate marketing. You don’t have to develop your own products, or create sales pages that convert, or provide after sales service (or deal with refunds). In addition to that, most affiliates start out selling digital goods (ebooks, videos, courses, memberships and software) – for the simple reason that the commissions are higher per sale, so it offers a good effort versus reward ratio.

There is a multitude of different ways of making money online – or should I say “online business models”. Some of these are more advanced, and some are difficult to get into.

Regardless of which one you choose to get started with, or what you choose to employ at any give point in time, the basic premise still stands: You need something for which you can get paid, and it needs to be worth your while to promote it.

2. You need people. You can call them whatever you like (traffic, visitors, prospects, website hits, sheep…:) – but you need people to see your offer. If nobody knows about your offer, a terrible thing happens…


In fact, there’s a whole industry built around that one single fact – it’s called “the advertising industry”.

Where your people will be coming from, will depend on a number of factors, including (among others) what you are offering, the niche you are working in, the demographics of the people you want to attract, and your own strengths and weaknesses.

For instance: If you are someone who enjoys talking to people, you may prefer to simply connect with people on social media and/or on forums related to your offer, and chat to prospective customers or clients. You might also do well using video. On the other hand, if you are an introvert, you may feel more comfortable to simply produce content and make people aware of its existence. Network marketers call it “attraction marketing”. If you lack the time or patience to create content (writing blog posts, creating videos, etc), you may prefer to simply use paid advertising.

Once again – regardless of how you get people to view your offer, it has to happen. Ideally, these should also be “the right” people – meaning they should have a reasonable probability of being interested in what you have to offer, and ideally some of them should have money to buy it.

3. You need a way to maximize your (monetary) returns. In simple terms, you need to have a system in place to ensure you make as much money as possible from every person visiting your offer. Once again, there are various ways of doing this – including creating a landing page, having your own social community, having your own forum or membership website, doing “re-marketing” (if you are into paid advertising), or my personal favorite:

Build a mailing list of potential customers.

Yes, it may sound old hat, but it works. Think logically: Having people on a mailing list to which you can send emails as you please, allows you to not only send a series of follow-up emails about the product you want them to buy, but also to contact them with additional offers in the future.

Let me put that into perspective for you: Have you ever tried to buy a car, or insurance, or even furniture? Have you noted how many of those salespeople tried to get your contact details? They know that their chances of closing the deal become better with every additional opportunity they have to talk to you.

Having a mailing list, managed from a professional email management platform like Aweber or Getresponse, will allow you to do that on AUTOPILOT. You can just imagine the amount of leverage that gives you in terms of effort versus reward…

If you still have any doubts about the value of having your own list, you may want to read my post on why you should have a mailing list – just Click Here to read it.

In conclusion:

While some of the above concepts may sound complicated, the fact remains that you can have an internet business by just having these three things in place. It’s all you need to make money online. Everything else is either optional, or it plugs in to enhance one of the three basic requirements.

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