One thing you ‘ll find when you start looking into earning honest income on the internet is a LOT of hype. Get-rich-quick “programs” and gimmicks of all kinds. In a future blog post I’m going to share some of the most obvious, tell-tell signs that should send up red flags that you’re probably looking at some over-sensationalized, over-inflated hype product that probably won’t make you a dime.
As I mentioned before though, there are some very honest, legitimate, time-tested and proven ways to make money on-line, and I’d like to share with you the top 2 right now.
1. Creating Your Own Information Products
We are, and have been for years now, in the information age. However the information age has come with a rather unfortunate side effect: information overload. Do a Google search on any topic and you’ll find hundreds of thousands of links that take you all over the place. Learning how to do something you have no experience in can take months of research and leave you more confused than when you started.
Consequently, there is a huge demand for products that save people all those hours and hours by compiling all that information including all the research, tools, references and steps into one neat little information product. Often people are intimidated by the thought of creating a product of their own and putting it out there for sale because:
1. They don’t think they know enough
2. They don’t think people will buy information they can find free on the internet.
First of all, everybody- including you- is an expert at something. There is some subject you know more about than most people, guaranteed. We’re living in an age where just about anyone can package that knowledge and sell it to people. Will people buy it? They will if it’s knowledge that there’s a demand for.
Any subject you know a lot about can be packaged and sold if that subject is one that lots of other people want to know about. It can be something you actually got professional training to learn or knowledge you obtained just from your own interest in a particular subject. I’ll give you two prime examples from my own business.
I practically grew up working in the music ministry at church. Over 30 years and counting of just serving in my local church.As you can imagine I’ve learned a lot about music ministry serving all those years. One thing I knew, just because I’ve worked with choirs and singers all those years, is that many people want to lead songs but they’re afraid to come to the front. The reason? Most people don’t come to the front to lead songs not because they can’t sing, but because they can’t do that ad-libbing part at the end: the “press” or the “vamp”, we call it.
I saw both a need and an opportunity to create a training product that could help people learn how to do this, and I knew I had the knowledge and the skill to explain it. So I created a 45 minute Training Video called Ad-lib Like A Pro. That video, which I shot and edited in an afternoon, still sells regularly for $19 without any additional effort on my part beyond the initial set-up of the sales page, adding it to my sales funnel, and creating a way to accept payments on-line.
Understand that I did this work one time and it continues to sell over and over again. People see it as they’re moving through my sales funnel (we’ll talk more about sales funnels in future articles). The sales page ( which is basically just a 5 minute video of me explaining what’s in the training video) resonates deeply with people who want to lead songs with their choir but are afraid because they can’t ad-lib. So a good percentage of them buy the product.
I’ve also created a full length home study vocal training course called Vocal Ministry Breakthrough, which I promote mainly via a much shorter free 5 day course that encourages people to upgrade to the paid version. But I was able to create that using knowledge and skills I learned from paid training to become a professional vocal coach.
I really like using Ad-lib Like A Pro as an example of what’s possible for pretty-much everybody, because it’s knowledge that I didn’t go somewhere and pay to receive. It’s knowledge I learned from just years of being interested in it. Several more products are in the works that will also be born out of my years of experience just working with the choir at my local church.
But these two alone: sales from Ad-lib Like A Pro and recurring monthly payments from students taking The Vocal Ministry Breakthrough course have deposited a couple hundred dollars into my account pretty-much on auto-pilot over the last couple of weeks. This is not much money, I know. But understand I’m not really even doing much to promote these products or drive traffic to them. They could both do much higher sales. That’s what I’m working toward.
But also understand this is work I did once, back in 2011 when I created the products. Most people have a similar amount of knowledge on one topic or another, whether they gained it on a job, through paid training or from hobbies.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing, simply explained, is the process of promoting someone else’s product and making a commission. This is very appealing to many people who are either intimidated by or have no interest in creating a product of their own. In a nutshell, a person or company has a product they want to sell. They learn how to market it and they’re doing great, making money. Then they think “I could make a lot more money if I could duplicate my efforts and get lots of other people to sell my products too. So they create what’s called an “affiliate program”.
This program allows people to sign up, receive specially coded links, banners and other marketing products from the company and use them to market that company’s their products. You take those specially coded links and put them on your site, in your e-mails, blog posts or any other place you can place a link. Whenever someone clicks on one of your specially coded links and eventually buys that product, you make a commission.
This is one of the oldest and time-tested ways to make money on-line. In fact Amazon.com has an affiliate program, and if you have an account, you’re already an affiliate! Many, many people make a full time income as affiliate marketers. But like everything there is a learning curve. There’s a right way to do it and if you learn affiliate marketing you can be successful.
I’m just really getting into affiliate marketing as another income stream in my business. But to give you an example of how powerful it can be, I once wrote a blog a couple of years ago entitled 5 Ways Learning To Play Piano Will Transform Your Singing Ministry. It was a very detailed article that listed and discussed in detail 5 ways a singer’s ministry is dramatically improved by learning to play piano.
At the end of that article I recommend what I consider one of the best ways to learn Gospel Piano out there. I believed in the company and had used their products myself, so it was an honest recommendation of a product I’ve used myself. I have a good reputation with my readers and followers on Facebook so several people took my recommendation and bought the course from the link I placed in the article. That link was an affiliate link, so I made about $150 in affiliate commissions.
I haven’t used affiliate marketing very much in my main business but you’ll see me using those much more heavily here on this blog. For an example of an article full of affiliate links being used in a very informative, non-sales’y way, take a look at my article in the learning guitar category on this page where I compare the top two on-line guitar training sites on-line. And yup, you guessed it; I’m an affiliate of both.
I’d love to hear from you! Type your comments or questions below.