You started off wanting to earn extra income online, part-time or full-time, and ‘someone’ with a flashy car and sparkling white teeth promised you it would be easy.

Such an easy trap to fall into…

It could have started from any of these scenarios:

– The end of the money arrived before the end of the month. It’s a real cliché, but that’s what happens to so many people.

– A large, unexpected bill arrived – maybe a car breakdown, or a major household appliance. You know you should have had some rainy day money, but you never got round to it, or it went on the last emergency.

– Perhaps retirement is looming and pension forecasts suggest that your happy life in the sun is likely to be trying to get a job fruit picking to earn loose change. Yes, your accountant warned you to save for a pension, but… (a) you could never imagine being ‘old’ (b) you love your work and would never want to retire.

– I speak from personal experience about the lack of retirement income – I went through both of those thought-processes when I was in my thirties, forties and even fifties. But somehow, without really knowing how, everything changed, and, although I still enjoy my work, and am lucky enough to have plenty for the foreseeable future, it no longer seems the ‘be all and end all’ that it once was. Although I’m far from starving, when I see my friends visiting their grandchildren regularly, taking long holidays, and generally having fun, I started wishing I had an extra income too.

– In fact, I wasn’t totally feckless about preparing for retirement – I HAD a supposedly reliable pension, but a few years ago some crash or other decimated it, and it was too late to do much serious saving. So it was round about that time I decided I needed a Plan B for extra income, under my own control.

Although the events above could have been foreseen and planned for, in March 2020 the Coronavirus pandemic struck us and round the world people were in ‘lock-down’ and many completely unable to work. Except for those lucky enough to be able to continue working at home – often courtesy of the Internet – on their ‘usual’ jobs.

Then there are the smart people – who had already built online businesses.

Types of Online Business

These can take a variety of forms:

– Online shops using Amazon, eBay, Etsy. Smart as this is, such marketers are still reliant on supply and delivery services, so not completely in control of their destinies. One example of the kind of frustrations that can arise is that my son has ordered some special boots for his poor elderly dog, so badly crippled with arthritis that his dragging paws are bleeding. Despite these costing a small fortune, they haven’t arrived yet, and tempers are fraying as everyone is blaming everyone else.

– Other people have set up in business as freelancers selling their time on sites such as Fiverr, eLance or Upwork. They may be graphic designers, proof-readers, voice-over actors, freelance writers, blog set-up/fixing services, and a whole host of exotic services you can’t imagine anyone would want. Many of these freelancers have enviable incomes and lifestyles – but at the end of the day, they’re still trading their hours for income. And while there’s always a chance that you can replace wasted income, you can never replace wasted time.

– So now we come to a completely different brand of online businesses – the smartest of all… these are the marketers whose entire ‘stock’ is digital information products.

– These include webinars and training courses, either delivered by PDF or – even better – in membership websites with a subscription-based fee structure, so that they earn the vendor a monthly income.

Sounds good – so…

How do you become an online marketer?

You probably start by asking Google ‘how to make money online’ – and you’re stunned by the number of options; hundreds of thousands. How can you possibly decide which is the best – or more to the point – which is HONEST? Although that might not be worrying you if you’re at the stage of innocence that I was at when I started looking for an online business. Naivety would be a better word for it.

So, overwhelmed by the vast choice, you eventually sign up for some program cleverly and expensively marketed (although you might not realize that yet) to appear at the top of the Google listings. Oh and there are several reviews that say how good it is, and the nice salesman tells you it’s really easy. Who’d have thought you could have your own online business for $10, and it would generate you a six-figure income with such little effort?

OK – sarcasm mode off, because if you fell for the con (and I did) you soon realize that the effort required is ginormous.

Some of the skills you need to learn include:

– Researching and creating an online product, specifically targeted enough to appeal to a small group of people with the budget and need for your product.

– Setting up a website to promote the product – better still a blog (like this one). Choose a blogging platform. Beware – while and sound innocently similar, they are OH SO different.

– Making the blog attractive enough that search engines like Google will put your content ahead of the thousands and thousands of others writing on the same topic. (Go on – just search for your own topic…)

– Thirty, or even a hundred, blog posts just won’t pass muster – you need hundreds, produced regularly – minimum weekly, and 400-word ‘adverts’ will probably be passed over by search engines in favor of meatier content.

– You’ll need graphics designed so that they don’t look as if your 5-year old produced them.

– Then, learn how to take payments in many different countries. What do you mean PayPal doesn’t operate in Bangladesh (or anyone of another dozen countries) where you’ve made your first sale?

– Are you good at producing videos and Facebook lives? Your competitors probably are.

– How do some people get away with marketing on Facebook, while others regularly end up in Facebook jail?

– Facebook’s just the start – there’s Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn – just to name a few.

– Your visitors are unlikely to buy the first time they see your product, so you need to learn how to set up a ‘lead capture page’ and send carefully written emails following-up their initial interest. If they still don’t buy the initial product, you’ll want to suggest something more suitable (errr – you have planned some alternative products in reserve haven’t you?)

– All this emailing must be done keeping within the email compliance laws, of course, and ensuring your emails don’t end up in spam. You’ll need an auto-responder for this – and a decent one too. Don’t just go for the cheapest one you can find. Will they allow you to market your chosen product? You may be VERY surprised at the number of restrictions.

– After many hours of mastering different traffic sources, it turns out ‘free traffic’ isn’t really free – you pay for it with serious amounts of time.

– So, you try Pay-Per-Click traffic – and discover that your competitors are clicking your ads and exhausting your budget. This happened to my daughter-in-law. She was spitting feathers when she realized what was going on.

– After much trial and error you find someone who’ll deliver you some honest, targeted bot-free traffic and….

– Hey Presto – you’ve finally made a few sales. But it was so much harder than you expected…

– Perhaps you could enlist some other online entrepreneurs (affiliate marketers) to make sales for you? So… you learn how to set up an affiliate program and attract other affiliates to make sales for you in return for a share of your profits.

–  Your customers and your affiliates inevitably run into problems – of your making or their own ineptitude – so let’s set up a ‘Customer Support’ desk. It’s quite normal for that only to operate between 9 to 5, Monday to Friday – so it won’t restrict your ‘Internet Lifestyle’ too much. You can probably operate it from the pool-side!

– Product 1 finished, and selling steadily? Onto Product 2 and do it all again.

PHEW – does the life of an online marketer really look so simple now? Especially if you are trying to learn all these new skills unaided.

Perhaps you think I’m exaggerating. I assure you I’m not – I tried it once. An Internet coach from the USA who will be nameless convinced me that – as a complete beginner online – I could do all the above working 10 hours a week for 6 weeks. Maybe some could, but after spending many, many more hours than that, it completely defeated me (even with a lifelong background on computing). Well – I got the product online but didn’t make enough sales to cover my costs.

That’s not to knock the model at all – I learned some amazing skills, and if I had had enough time and advertising budget that coach’s teaching could have set me up for a lifetime of producing digital products to sell online and eventually bring me in a comfortable lifestyle.

My biggest mistake was not choosing a highly enough targeted product – there were too many look-alikes already online, and they were better than mine. Shame I found that out AFTER I produced the eBook.

Nevertheless, the model is good and I have seen people make excellent incomes, especially if they have products based around a very tight market-place. Where the coach’s ‘economy of truth’ came in, was in suggesting to me that, as a complete newbie online, I could learn and apply all this in 60 hours.

If you think you have a great idea for a digital product I can recommend the much more realistic approach of John Thornhill’s training. Click this link for a trial >>>

I personally know many of his students who have been successful, and I have bought their products.

However, still working full-time, I had neither the time nor a good idea to pursue this route ☹

Setting up an Easier Online Business

To run a part-time business I was looking for a much more hands-off approach, with 90% of the work done for me. The product creation, the marketing materials, the selling and teaching webinars.

All I wanted to do was find people who needed help getting a side-income online. A subject I am experienced in. Sending visitors to a website is the minimum you need to do for any online business. No visitors – no sales – no income. Simple.

So imagine my delight when I found a business that CAN be set up in about half an hour and without learning all those skills. All you need to do is master one traffic source and consistently send visitors to a carefully designed sales funnel that will offer them tried and tested, well-chosen products. Ideally, you’ll then master another traffic source, and another, then as your skills increase – steadily – so will your sales.

The program I chose was John Thornhill’s Ambassador program and, having tried other, similar programs, I have to say that John Thornhill’s program has been the most straightforward to set up. I had it all set up within an hour and have already started finding list subscribers to go through the 99+ days of emails supplied as part of the program.

Learn more about how the Ambassador program can help you start an online business in far less time, and without your brain hurting from learning so many technical skills because so much is done for you. Just add prospects, and start thinking about how you really will be making sales online, part-time or full-time.

Click here to learn more >>>

(My own blog is: )

This is a guest post from Joy Healey, if you would like to be considered for a guest post please contact me.

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