While there isn’t, to the best of my knowledge, any way to instantly get rich on the internet, there are real and doable ways of starting a business online, build it, and actually make some money from it.
A few years ago, I left my corporate job to change my life and start a new career. I didn’t know how – I had no plan, no motivation, and as it turns out, no real skills to market to any prospective new employer. There wasn’t anything that I could think of that I really wanted to go to school for, I was almost 40 and had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. So, I was unemployed, and I had no prospects. Eventually, I picked up another job, which didn’t pay even close to what I had made in my office job. I still knew I wanted to do something different, but I couldn’t find the motivation, or the imagination for that matter, to figure out how to move forward. I was stuck. I was anxious, I was depressed, and I felt like a failure. And then I got laid off from that job. And I couldn’t get a new job.
I was just looking at my email history and my application history on the main jobsearch webpage I have been using. Since October 1st, I have applied for 97 jobs. I heard back from 3, and I got two interviews, and then nothing.
Ninety-seven jobs. Ninety-seven jobs that I felt I was well qualified for, but couldn’t get.
I took an online course on how to properly format a resume and how to craft a great cover letter. I went to drop off resumes in person as well as applying online. I kept trying, and I am still trying. But as of this time, I am still unemployed, and it’s hard.
Years ago, I started looking into alternate ways of making a living. I really wanted to work from home, and I have found a few ways of doing that that I want to share with you today.
I want to point out that none of these things is a magical formula, there are no “get rich quick” – schemes, and in order to achieve any kind of success, you do have to put in the work. But they are real, they are legitimate, and if you are willing to put yourself through some training and give it some time and effort, they will actually work!
1 – Multilevel Marketing (MLM).
Skincare products, home scents, kitchen gadgets, nutrition, clothing – there are a multitude of companies out there that use MLM to run their sales. You sign up as a rep to promote their products, and earn a commission if you sell something. You can also sign up other people to be reps, and earn bonuses and commissions on what they sell. Because of this concept, many people out there often compare MLM structures as “pyramid schemes”, and while it’s easy to see how they could make that assumption, it’s simply not true. Pyramid Schemes are, first of all, illegal. Second of all, they carry no actual products – you’re not selling or promoting anything, it’s just about financial transactions. With a legitimate MLM, you build your own business – you promote a product that you probably use yourself, you usually have a venue to sell said product, such as a website or home parties, even a table at a fair or craft market.
I have been a Beachbody Coach for a few years now. Beachbody is a huge online fitness and nutrition business, and their MLM reps are called “coaches”. As a coach, you help to motivate and inspire people who want to get fit, lose weight and get healthy using home workouts and various nutritional supplements. I decided to become a coach mainly because I use their products myself and I wanted the coach discount. They also offer a great commission structure, and I have actually made a little bit of money over the years – not enough to make me rich, but enough to cover the costs of my own membership, workouts and shakes, and even pay a phone bill or two. You don’t have to already be fit to become a coach – your own journey can become your business.
There are numerous companies out there that offer MLM – just search online and find the one that you feel could work for you. Pick something you are interested in and go for it!I like Beachbody because they don’t require you to carry any inventory, they fulfill any orders for you, they host your website, provide you with tons of great training, and they have a generous commission structure too!
2 – Affiliate Marketing
If you already have a bit of an online presence – a blog, an Instagram page, a YouTube channel, etc, you can promote products and get commissions if people buy from your links. For example, if you have a makeup channel on YouTube, you can put links to the products you use in the video, in the description box of your video, and if people use your links to buy a product, you earn a commission.
A few months ago, I started My Vegan Website. I already had a blog but I wanted to create something that was more subject-specific and build something around writing about an issue that is important to me. At the same time, I was looking for ways to earn income, and came across a site called Wealthy Affiliate.
I decided to sign up, because it was free and didn’t require me to put in any credit card information or anything like that. I instantly had access to some really great training as well as a big community of likeminded people who were happy to answer questions and provide support. The initial, free training was enough to get my website up and running, and get some traffic to it. I decided to sign up for the premium, paid membership, because I wanted to continue the training program, but you don’t have to. The basic membership is enough to get you started, but you might find yourself inspired and motivated to keep going! I have learned a ton about creating content and driving traffic to my site, and it’s exciting to see it growing!
3 – Merch.
This is definitely for someone who already has a bit of a following online, and I have just started to explore this option myself – mostly because I love a good logo t-shirt and happened to have a couple of ideas for shirts I would actually wear myself!
Several websites offer a service where you upload your design, a link is created that you can share, and if someone orders your shirt (or mug, towel, poster – there are many options!), you make a commission. Some sites set the price for you, others let you decide how much you want to charge. Most don’t actually print the product until an order is placed, so you don’t have to worry about paying for unsold inventory.
There are also levels of user-friendliness. Shopify offers really nice storefronts as well as a big selection of merchants/ printers, but so far, I have found it tricky to use. They offer a 14 day free trial though, so you can play around and try it out.
Teespring is a much easier, simpler site to use, and it is free. You don’t have the same selection of products, and it doesn’t, as far as I can tell, offer the option of building your own “store” to sell your products, but rather creates individual campaigns for each product you create. It is easy to use, though, and it is kind of fun to come up with logos and designs. Many YouTube influencers use this site for their merch, and if you don’t have the option of making things and selling them physically, this is a great alternative for getting your ideas out there!
You just have to get started.
If you stick with it, use any training provided, follow the tips and tricks and learn from the already successful, you have the opportunity to build a nice little online business for yourself. Before you sign up and decide to pay for any memberships, remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There is no such thing as residual income without putting in the time and effort – making money anywhere requires effort and time, but the inernet is still a largely untapped resource for business opportunity. Why not get your piece of the cake if you can?
Have fun with it, and Good Luck!