The Beginners Guide To Making Money Online 2020
A golden opportunity was presenting itself and nothing on earth was going to make me miss it. I had everything ready: Laptop on check. Internet check. Payment card check. Toddler asking for food… What? Now??? Nooooooooo!!!!
Now, what does all this have to do with making money online?
Well you see, I was presented with the opportunity to learn how to do it under one of India’s top digital marketing expert: Digital Deepak and I was not going to miss it! (That’s him on the computer screen in the picture.)
As you can see I found away. Though it did involve me carrying my laptop to the kitchen at some point so I wouldn’t miss out on anything.
Now, why would anyone go the extra mile for something? It’s usually because that thing is important. That thing whatever it is has value.
People are usually ready to do what it takes to acquire what they perceive to be valuable including part with money. If your online business can demonstrate value people will pay for it.
Digital Deepak my teacher had demonstrated to me over a period of time that learning digital marketing from him is valuable. And it is and I will show you how a little later.
Right now I am promoting him and his courses to you. If you really want to learn how to make money online from someone who is an expert at it visit his website at digitaldeepak and sign up to his email list.
Anyway, I have started my classes and in fact, this blog post is my first assignment. I have been asked by him to teach you everything I learnt in my first class.
Before we start I am going to show you the best way to master all that you will learn here using a technique.
The Learn do and teach technique of learning digital marketing and anything else
The learn- do- and teach technique also known as the golden triangle, is a method of learning that says that the best way to master anything is to first learn about it, then do it and then teach it to others. This is the way my teacher has learnt everything he knows about making money online and he is passing it down to me and I am now passing it down to you.
Here is how it works: When you are learning something for the first time, your brain processes it and stores the new information in the best way it can at that time.
When you then apply what you were taught and see practical results the information becomes better organized and it sticks you not only remember it well you now understand it even better.
You also need to teach what you have learnt. This will help you in three ways:
- It helps to reinforce your understanding.
- It will serve as an indicator to you letting you know if you really understood what you learnt meaning if you are struggling to explain it then you really didn’t understand it the first time and you need to go back and learn more about it.
- The more you teach something the better you become at it.
Next, let set some goals
Write down your goals
It is important to set goals so that you have something to work towards. The goals, however, should not only be monetary targets but you should also set goals to improve on the necessary skills you need to achieve your overall target which is to make money. My teacher set the following first set of goals for me:
-Improved communications skills
-improved sales skills (ability to sell yourself and your products or services)
So go ahead and set some goals for yourself to get the necessary skills you need to be able to learn how to make money online. Now let’s start class.
First, learn how to become a better marketer.
Eager to learn how to make money online? First, learn how to become a better marketer. Now, the act of selling is almost as old as man itself.
Marketing is selling and the basic principles of successful marketing have not changed in thousands of years. What digital marketing has done is added technology to marketing so it is now easier to do and more scalable.
So while understanding the technical aspects of digital marketing ( like doing Facebook ads, keyword research etc )is good that is not what will make you a good marketer. However, understanding how marketing works will.
So your first focus should be on the market in digital marketing. Once you have become a good marketer you can go ahead and become a great digital marketer. Learning digital marketing will show you how to effectively sell products and services online so that you can make money.
What is marketing actually about anyway?
Marketing is about:
- Understanding human psychology,
- Understanding how to communicate
- Understanding how to sell
Once you become a better marketer no matter what changes technology and time bring you will continue to sell because human behaviour and thinking has not changed in the last 1000 years and is not expected to change anytime in the nearest future.
Where is your gold?
The money you seek is out there. You just need to know how to find it. There is a lot of wealth in the world. You simply have to go out digging to uncover it.
The source of all wealth and the ever-expanding market
Wealth is created when you meet human needs or solve their problems. And guess what? human needs are limitless. Now the more problems or needs are solved, the more things there are to sell, which is why we say the market is ever-expanding.
To better illustrate this let us use the invention of the wheel as an example. The wheel has solved a very important problem for a man that is transportation. And in solving just that one problem numerous new markets were created.
Thanks to the invention of the wheel there exist now markets for selling cars, bicycles, motorcycles, aeroplanes, carwashes, car batteries, brake pads, nuts and bolts windscreens and the list just goes on and that is just the wheel alone.
So at the end of the day, everyone has an opportunity to acquire wealth by owning a piece of this ever-expanding market by setting up a business that can meet a particular need.
So whatever aspect of making money online that you are interested in whether it is blogging, consulting, digital marketing, freelance writing, affiliate marketing etc The market is big enough for everyone including you.
Your only job is to select a corner of the market also known as a niche and become number one in it.
The importance of being number one in a niche
When you select the market or niche you want to sell your services or products in one of your main goals is to be number one in that niche. That is to say, whenever any potential customer enters that niche to make a purchase they see you as the best person to buy from.
Now if the particular market or niche you are interested in already has a leader that is someone who is number one in it what you should do is subdivide that niche meaning create a sub-niche within that niche in which you can become number one.
Bottom line you should be number one in your niche. Why? Because people rarely ever remember who is number two.
Now let me illustrate this with some examples:
What blog is considered number one in Nigeria?
Easy that is the Linda Ikeji’s blog a news and lifestyle blog. All the sites I searched that gave a list of top 10 blogs in Nigeria had this blog at number one.
Who do you think is number two?
Already this has become hard. All the sites that gave a list couldn’t even agree. Most say it is Bella Naija another news and lifestyle blog.
At number three almost all the sites that I checked had completely different blogs at this position so no one knows for sure.
So the further down you are the more likely no one will think or even know you.
Let’s take a second example to explain the power of been number one in a niche
Who is the richest man in the world?
Again easy for most people. It’s Jeff Bezo the owner of Amazon
Who is the second richest man?
That’s Bill Gates the founder of Microsoft. Some people may know this
Third richest man?
If you don’t know that’s ok. It’s Warren Buffet an investor
Now, do you by chance know who the 136th richest man in the world is?
You probably will say no way. Afterall getting to number three was a struggle. But if you are a Nigerian you should know him very well.
Because despite him being number 136 on the richest people in the world niche he is listed as number one in two other richest sub-niches. Who is he?
Aliko Dangote owner of the Dangote Group.
He is the richest man in Nigeria and also the richest man in Africa.
So he is a leader and number one in two sub-niches of the richest people niche and with that, he stands out.
You need to go out there and do the same. If the niche you are interested in already has a clear number one simple create a sub-niche within that niche and become number one in it
Set your monetary goal
Before I continue its time to set your monetary goals. So pause for a while and write down what you would like to earn within the next three years from your online efforts and paste it where you can see it every day to encourage you. I personally will be working with the target my teacher gave me.
Frankly, I was petrified when I did the conversion to naira but I took it on. Because the Nigerian market has just as many opportunities as the Indian market.
So don’t be shy or too scared to set an ambitious target
And to put things into further perspective I did some research on the person who is considered the number one blogger in Nigeria
Linda Ikeji the number one blogger here in Nigeria was estimated to be doing at least N50 million naira monthly (approximately $137,000) which is a little over $1.5 million a year as at 2017 (unfortunately I couldn’t find more current figures)
This figure was derived from ads only and this number does not include what she may be making from her social accounts and brand.
So set an ambitious target and go for it!
Now let’s talk a little bit about global economics
In order to be a good marketer or business person, some knowledge of global economics is ideal. You don’t need to look far to know why. The world is a global village and all our businesses and lives are connected in some way.
Right here and now I am a classic example. I am here in Nigeria while my teacher is in far-away India. So we are all part of a global cycle and understanding how that cycle works will make it easier for your business to flourish.
The economy and how it affects you
The economy of a country goes up when the average age of that country goes up. It continues to go up until the average age of that country hits 50 years where it begins to drop or slow down.
Now here is what this means as I best understand it: at the beginning of your life, you don’t spend money you are a child and the responsibility of your parents or caregivers. As you grow you get to an age where you begin to earn your own money and as you earn you also spend.
You move out of your parents home to your own flat. You then get married and start having children this invariably will make you spend more. The family keeps growing and the two-bedroom flat you started out with is now too small so you move out to a bigger place.
The children start going to secondary school and eventually higher institutions. You also want to enjoy your life as well so you will take vacations, eat out, buy a new car etc So your spending has gone up quite dramatically.
Then suddenly the kids are adults they have jobs and you that was caring for four or more has only one responsibility or two: yourself and your spouse and your expenses are finally on a decline.
So from approximately age 25 up to 50, there is a period of heavy spending. A spending economy is a booming economy.
Now the average age of a Nigerian is 18.1 (This means that most Nigerians are about 18 years of age now) this implies that in the next ten years there about these young Nigerians who make up the bulk of our population will be entering the work/ business market to kick start their personal lives. So there is going to be a lot of spending going on.
If people are spending money then people are also making money. Your game plan now is to position yourself to ensure that a portion of that money is coming to you!
And you have a 10-year head start to get ready! Now obviously there are other factors that affect how good an economy will be. But the median age of a country is a major indicator so this is useful information which you should capitalize on now.
So I am happy to say that Nigeria despite its many challenges will be a great place to make money for the next thirty-plus years. Bottom line if you position yourself well you can become very wealthy.
The concept of debt and how it creates money in an economy
Now I just explained to you that massive spending is what creates a great economy or what is referred to as an economic boom. Now let’s have a look at where all that money comes from.
This money story starts at the bank. Individuals approach the banks to borrow from them. This could be for anything like to start a business, to inject more money into an existing business, to buy a house etc
Now say, for example, the money is going to be used to grow a business. The money may now be used to pay perhaps a supplier.
So part of that original bank’s money leaves the person who borrowed it and enters another person’s account, in this case, a supplier.
The supplier is also running a business. So a portion of that money he also spends on others(maybe pay his staff or children school fees) and the chain continues. And that is how pretty much money circulates round in an economy.
So the more banks get to lend the more money goes out into the economy and everybody gets access to it. So the more people borrow and go into debt the more money there is in circulation and there will be a lot of spending going on.
Now when things change an economy can begin to fall and descend into what we call a recession this can happen for a variety of reasons.
One of the reasons you should already know that is an ageing population. (A situation in which most of the population in a particular country are made up of the elderly who for obvious reasons can no longer work).
But there are other reasons such as the rising cost of production or the rising cost of energy. Like for example when the government announces an increase in the price of fuel.
The effects of an increase in the price of fuel usually leads to an increase in almost every other thing: transport and food for example.
When things become too expensive people stop spending. In fact, people start cutting costs. Cost-cutting measures maybe something like slashing salaries or even sacking people from their jobs. People become more reluctant to borrow because they are afraid they will not be able to repay.
Now downturns in the market or recessions are bound to happen and the best way to ensure you and your business isn’t affected is to provide value.
People always pay for value especially during the time of recession because they don’t want to waste their hard-earned money.
So what happens during times of recession is that weak businesses disappear due to lack of patronage. While businesses that have all along been providing value and doing their marketing properly and keeping their customers happy survive and emerge as market leaders in their various markets or as we say online niches.
Simply put you want that to be you. You want your business to be one of those to survive any downturn in the economy.
This you can easily do by providing value and keeping your expenses low. Keeping your expenses low should be something you can do especially when you run an online business.
Other economies and why you should keep an eye on them
Like I said before, the world is a global village. All our economies are all linked. Whatever business you decide to do chances are it will have an international connection. It could be that you have international customers or you buy international goods directly or indirectly.
The coronavirus that is currently going round has disrupted the Chinese economy in particular and Nigeria heavily imports from China.
So all this information I have given you so far should give you the confidence to start your online project or business because you now know what to do when the going is good and what you should do also when the economy is experiencing a downturn.
Let us now take a closer look at the skill sets you will need for your online business
The key skill needed for your digital business
You need to be able to properly communicate the benefits of your product or service to your potential customers. The best way to do this is to learn digital marketing. If you ready to learn how to do this visit my teacher’s website and start by subscribing to his free digital marketing class.
Now one key component of digital marketing is communication. Once you can improve your ability to communicate you will also improve your sales skills and in fact, a lot of the things you want to achieve in life is rooted in your ability to effectively communicate.
Online, a lot of communication to the customer is done via writing. So a part of what you will need to do is to improve on your writing skills. If you feel your writing skills are not the best you need to commit to improving it.
Here are some ways of improving your communication skills: read books, listen to podcasts, watch documentaries etc. You also need to start writing a lot as this will help as well.
The future of digital marketing
Now my teacher’s views on the future of digital marketing are that it will not die simply because it just an easier way to do marketing and marketing as we said before is almost as old as man itself and will continue to exist so long as man has problems that need solving. Solving problems gives rise to new markets and opportunities
What digital marketing actually is just marketing plus technology. And the world is currently moving towards digital. If you notice our consumption of other media sources like the television, radio and newspaper have gone down. Most of our information consumption now is done via mobile devices for example phones and laptops.
So businesses need to follow their customers who can now be mainly found on mobile devices. And that is why there is suddenly a need for you to know how to market your business online or teach other people to be able to do it or better still do it for them all for a fee.
So you need to see digital marketing only as an improvement in how we now do marketing because the marketing principles themselves remain unchanged.
Now that most people can be found mainly online. Businesses have to use various digital marketing methods to make contact and sell to them there. Some example of these methods are: Email marketing, social media marketing, blogging paid advertising etc
The Integrated Digital Marketing System
Below is the blueprint of the digital marketing process my teacher follows to run his own business and make money.
This blueprint shows how my teacher combines the various digital marketing methods available into one unit hence the name integrated digital marketing. The various methods complement each other and working together they boost significantly the money being made by the business.
Let’s take a closer look at it:
At the centre of your marketing efforts you have content marketing typically this will be a blog on which you post your content but it could something else like a youtube channel.
This content is picked up by search engines who will now begin to bring traffic to your site. You will also place the links of this content on your social media accounts. So your social media accounts, in turn, will now bring traffic back to your site as well.
Once you have traffic coming to your blog you can start an email list. The email list ensures that you can maintain a relationship with your visitors and you can continue to market your products and services to them.
Whenever you publish new content you can again drive traffic from your email list back to your blog/ site.
Paid advertising also helps you build your email list and drive traffic to your site.
Now once you have good email marketing and content marketing set up you can now turn your effort to selling and converting(meaning getting your potential customers to buy what you have to offer)
A well planned digital marketing process flow like the one above passes potential customers through what is known as a marketing funnel. A marketing funnel maps out the various stages a visitor passes through until he or she converts into a customer.
The big mistake a lot of online businesses make is that they try to get people to buy directly from them through paid advertising.
That is the customer sees the adverts and once they click-through they are asked to buy immediately. And that is trying to sell something without building a relationship.
It’s like a man seeing a woman for the first time and asking her to marry him. (That’s my teacher’s example, not mine) 😁 So what you should be doing instead that actually works far better is passing your potential customer through your content marketing and email marketing set up and after developing a trusting relationship you can now sell. And because the customer now trusts you he or she will now be willing to buy from you.
My teacher has a great in-depth article on integrated digital marketing and here is the link it’s called content marketing 2.0 I would encourage you to go and read it up to learn more.
Now, this is where I show you why I have so much faith in what my teacher is teaching me. You see I have passed through this very same integrated digital marketing system or funnel Below is the story.
My journey to learn how to make money online: from prospect to paying customer to brand ambassador
After having two children I was ready to go back into the workforce but I wanted something I could do from home and I knew I enjoyed writing.
And so I went online and after a bit of research, I decided it would be a good idea to learn digital marketing. It was something that I could learn from home and it had a lot of applications e.g I could decide to become a blogger, freelancer, run an e-commerce site etc
I can’t remember the exact search language I typed into Google.
But this video from my soon to be teacher on how to learn digital marketing popped up.
So note step one: I had a need he was aware of and he was ready with a free solution a simple youtube video. The video met my expectations and solved my first problem of how to go about learning digital marketing.
I was ready to learn more from him so I found myself on his website and behold he was offering to teach me for free digital marketing what luck! It took me less than 60 seconds to give away my email address (that was the only way I could access the free course)
Step 2:By giving him my email address I now became part of his email list. So I was now part of his integrated marketing system or funnel where he could patiently take his time convincing me that was he was the right person to buy a digital marketing course from to up my game.
This process can be long or short. It took me two years before I made my first purchase from my teacher
Step 3:My trust-building phase was via content marketing and it took about two years and was made up of a lot of emails, free videos, e-books and even free courses on the subject of digital marketing and how to be successful in it and in life.
Obviously I wasn’t aware of all this at that time. But now that I am learning under him all his been revealed. So again if you really want to learn how to make money online visit digital Deepak and sign up it’s that simple.
Now let’s move on and talk about how you can get started
Getting started with making money online
You need to come up with a niche that meets the following criteria.
- There is a demand for whatever you want to sell (you have an audience who will be willing to pay money for it)
- You are passionate about it
- You have the skill to provide quality products/ services in that niche
The first point is clear people must be willing to pay for what you have to offer.
Being passionate will ensure that you enjoy doing it. What you enjoy doing you will do all the time and you will not even see the effort you are putting in as work.
The more you do the better you become at it and the more you will enjoy doing it. This is why it is important you combine passion with market opportunity.
You must also have what it takes to deliver on the products or services associated with that niche otherwise your potential customers will not buy from you but would rather go elsewhere.
The necessary expertise will come with continuous practice. Or if you don’t have the necessary skill learn from an expert just like how I am doing now.
Now the internet is filled with many many niches. However, the following three major niches are the one people buy from the most
Note you are not limited to these niches. There are many more out there that you can make money from. Now, this niches as they are are too broad. So in order to do well, you need to narrow them down. That is to find sub-niches. You should already know why you need to do that. You need to create a niche you can be number one in.
For example, if you look at the health niche you can have in it the weight loss niche in the weight loss niche you can have weight loss for people in their thirties or weight loss for women in their forties etc.
In the relationships niche, there are several other sub-niches like family, children, dating and marriage. So within the dating sub-niche, for example, you can narrow it down to dating for students in their twenties. Or dating for workers etc Hopefully you get the idea now.
A narrow competitive niche makes you stand out and if you do a really good job of it you will come out at the number one expert in it and every one of your audience with that particular problem will be looking to pay you for the solutions you provide.
How you make money:
All your marketing efforts should pay off with you making money. Let’s look at an example of how that will work
Let’s say you want to make 1 million naira (N1,000,000)
You can price a product for 1000 naira and look for 1000 customers.
You can create a product/ service valued at 5000 naira in which case you will only need 200 customers. Is this possible? Yes.
In our city of Lagos alone we are about 13million in number. The Nigerian population is estimated to be over 200 million
So it is possible to find 1000 customers or 200 customers who will buy from you. So long as you sell something they want.
So my teacher will be sharing the exact techniques of doing this in the later classes personally I can hardly wait.
How to find market demand a.ka what the customer wants
This is critical before you go out actually creating a product or service you need to be sure that people are willing to pay for it. Below are the things you can do to find out what your customer needs
Use online tools to find market demand
There are a number of tools online available for this some are free and some you have to pay for.
One of the best and easiest to use is Google auto-suggest
If you go to Google search and type in anything of interest instantly Google shows a number of suggestions below it. These suggestions are what people are searching for
So in the weight loss niche which a smaller niche in the health niche people are interested in: weight loss programs, weight loss pills, weight loss tips etc
So if you create content and product around does suggestions you can get traffic to your site.
Some other tools:
Answer the public
Google AdWords Keyword Explorer
Amazon reviews is also a good place to search for market demand because reviews can tell you what people want.
Scratch your own itch
Think about your own problems. Chances are there exists a large audience who may have the exact same problem too and you can turn yourself into a solution provider.
Ask people about their problems
Talk to people. Ask them if they need a product that solves a particular problem. Or ask them what their problems are in relation to your niche of interest.
Look for pre and post products/services
For example, if you purchase a car you will need tires, a car wash near you, a place where you can service it, a place where you can buy spare parts these are all potential niches that are associated with buying a car.
So now you should know how to select a niche, how to find demand in that niche and how you can go on and dominate that niche by been well known.
Let’s now talk about personal branding
Why personal branding is important
“The best known will always be the best.”
People general always buy what they know
Here are some examples
We ask for Indomie when we want to buy noodles
We ask for Maggie when we want to buy food spice
We ask for Coke when we want a soft drink
We ask for Cway when looking for dispenser water bottles
The above brands are so popular, recognizable and everywhere that we are generally not interested in any other brands providing the same service even if they may be better! The lesson here is the best-known brand is the best brand in the eyes of the customer.
Now, don’t be afraid to be yourself while building your personal brand.
Generally, as a human, you may find yourself been torn between showcasing your uniqueness and hiding and doing things like everyone else just to belong.
But the truth is that we are all unique and out there there are a group of people who will value and appreciate that uniqueness for a variety of reasons some of which may be because you share common ideas or they like the new ideas or perspective that you are sharing.
So you have to go ahead and put yourself out there without fear of judgment. This is hard and I will admit it has been one of my biggest fears.
But my teacher has assured me that it will be fine and I just need to develop a little bit of tough skin. And take comfort in the fact that most people who say terrible things on social media don’t have the courage to say it to your face.
He said he past through the very same fears and insecurities and everything as worked out fine. He is doing well in spite of the occasional criticism here and there. So I have committed myself to build my personal brand and you should do the same.
Why personal branding works
Personal branding works because people want to hear from people. People don’t want to hear from a brand logo. They are not related able and you cannot form a connection with them.
But when you see the person you can relate to them and their personalities.
And your personal brand will help to boost your business. And it is easier to grow your business by leveraging your personal brand.
So have your personal brand and publish more content in different formats (eg video and public speaking) and you will become more visible.
Benefits of personal branding
Some people will like the way you run business meaning the way you delivered on your product or service and these people will become your followers’ members of your tribe.
Your ease of doing business improves because you have become known. So you can pretty much approach people for collaborations and because you are already known you have an edge or advantage.
So go ahead and build your personal brand.
More about how the marketing funnel works
Recall a marketing funnel is simply a way of breaking down a customer’s journey from when they find out that you may have a solution to their problem to the point when they are convinced that you are trustworthy enough for them to buy the solution from you.
Now the funnel process can be completely automated. Meaning you can set it up to be doing the work for you while you do something else or even sleep. Even the relationship-building aspect of the funnel can be automated!
So at the end all you really need to do is calculate how many people you need to get to the top of your funnel to hit the monetary target you have set yourself
So how many customers do you need to get to the top of your funnel to hit your target?
Recall when we want to make 1,000,000 naira we said one way we could do this was by creating a product valued at 5000 naira. With that, all we needed was to look for 200 customers.
Now, these 200 customers may not all convert at the same time.
Remember it took me two years to go down to the bottom of the digital integrated funnel and make my first purchase. So to make sure there is no gap you need to be getting more than 200 people to the top of the funnel at any given time.
A good funnel usually converts ( ends with someone buying from you)at 10 per cent of the potential customers that pass through it. So you will need at least 2000 customers to be entering your funnel steadily. Out of that two thousand two hundred will go on to buy your 5000 naira product enabling you to hit your 1,000,000 naira target!
And let us not forget the other very important aspect of the funnel which is to produce very satisfied customers who will become your brand ambassadors and go about telling everybody about you. This can be done by word of mouth or by leaving good reviews that attract more people to buy from you.
If you are interested in learning more, here is a link to my teacher personal branding strategy and business.
And there you have it everything I was thought in my first class about building an online business that is profitable.
So as a true teacher I have to ask I hope this post was clear and I would like to hear from you what you think and if you have any questions post them and I will do my best to answer (I am laughing at myself as I write this)😁
Also, I need to give you your own assignment all you have to do is to teach everything you’ve learnt here to someone else.