How to Make Money Online for Beginners: Uniqueness, Authority, and Other Things You Wish You Knew

For someone out there, it might seem like a fairy tale when the discussion is about how to make money online for beginners.

You have probably tried and failed at it. You paid for courses and did what the tutor asked you to do. Then, after implementing a strategy, you hope for the best. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long to realize that it’s hard. 

Yeah, it’s hard. 

I won’t dispute how hard it is to make money online. Rather, you will read 10 things you wish you knew earlier. 

If you want business ideas instead, you can check the first tip in the article.

Overall, this post explains the missing pieces in your hustle and why you aren’t earning from your effort. 

This post isn’t for people looking for 33 ways to make money online for beginners.

It is about the right mindset.

Without the right ideas or beliefs, you will probably work at the wrong thing.

So, grab a seat. It’s time to hear the truth. 

All designed images are the work of Janis Ozolins, Twitter.

How to Make Money Online for Beginners: 10 Things You Don’t Want to Hear

These are the things you must understand before you plan a business. Read them, and you will know what keeps people from making money online. 

Things don’t just happen magically:

Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.

— Cheryl Strayed

#1. Making Money Is About Selling Something Valuable

If you have something valuable to sell, people will rush to buy it from you. 

It’s that simple, right? 

Sadly, many beginners don’t have anything to sell.  

The first thing you have to do is develop an idea or a skill that people can pay you for. 

So how do you find something to sell: 

  • Check these 15 real ways to make money from home or online
  • Listen to people’s stories of how they started their businesses. Listen to podcasts, read memoirs, and watch founders tell their stories. 
  • Follow a mentor. 
  • Develop a commitment to finding ideas. Like you’re doing right now by reading this post. There’re many other websites out there that consistently put out ideas. 

I should add that you need to verify things for yourself. Read and judge for yourself. There are many brands, but a few ones can be trusted.  

When you commit to the steps here, you understand what a scam is and what’s real. The next question is, are you qualified for this? Can I do it? 

I hope you will learn how to execute the idea by doing your research.

#2. Get Ready for the Competition

There are thousands of people looking for answers to “how to make money online for beginners.”

Guess where they are finding answers? 

The internet, of course. Google or whatever search engines they’re using will show the same results.

Tons of them will do the same thing, creating a lot of skills or products in a saturated market. Then they quit or fail to do the work before they start seeing remarkable results. 

Compound interest also happens in your reputation. If you have a sterling reputation and you keep building it for decades upon decades, people will notice. Your reputation will literally end up being thousands or tens of thousands of times more valuable than somebody else who was very talented but is not keeping the compound interest in reputation going.

Naval, Almanac of Naval

You’re in serious competition

Do you want to start a blog? Millions of other blogs are already doing that. 

You want more truth? They are better and bigger than what you want to start, and they have been doing it for decades.

It is easy to start something online for everyone, and this results in a lot of competition. 

I used to write on Fiverr until I stopped getting sales. Why?

When you reject a ridiculous offer, 10 thousand people are willing to take it for half the price you offer? 

Does that mean you should give up? 

No, it means you prepare to stand out from the competitors. 

These are the ways you can stand out: 

  • Focus on what you’re good at doing
  • Learn from your competitors. You can do this by doing competitor analysis under keyword research. You can go to YouTube and search for “how to do ‘the thing you want to do’”
  • Consume as much content as possible around what you want to do. 
  • Then learn by doing for years. (You’re probably rolling your eyes. It’s okay. I wish you luck in buying courses that promise quick success.) Commit for the long term. In other words, have it in the back of your mind that it takes time.  
  • Never stop marketing yourself. This blog is about marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and learning about it. 

#3. Find a New Idea for Yourself

Another way to make money online for beginners is to find a unique idea. It’s hard and almost impossible because all ideas come from somewhere. Nearly all new products are an upgrade of existing products. Apple didn’t create the first phone. They make it better.

Think about that when you’re struggling to find ideas. Look at the industry closely and ask yourself questions. What are the problems? What can be improved? 

If you can create remarkable ideas, that’s great. But the best thing you can do is carve out a portion for yourself in the market where if anyone should come in, it will be very hard for them to compete with you in that corner or territory. You’re a lion, and that’s your den. 

#4. Position Yourself as an Authority

This advice is for those who offer service-based businesses. Present yourself as an authority because people buy from people they can actually trust. And one of the ways to earn someone’s trust in business is to present yourself as the best to consult on that one specific thing. 

I’m into SEO, but out of the branches or aspects of the process, Keyword research and content writing are my favorites. So, every day, I try my best to build on that and improve the two processes. Then, when I implement, I share what I learn. 

Am I exceptional at it? Not yet. 

It’s a commitment. A lifestyle. 

Very often, specific knowledge is at the edge of knowledge. It’s also stuff that’s only now being figured out or is really hard to figure out. If you’re not 100 percent into it, somebody else who is 100 percent into it will outperform you. And they won’t just outperform you by a little bit—they’ll outperform you by a lot because now we’re operating the domain of ideas, compound interest really applies and leverage really applies.

— Naval, The Almanac of Naval

You can do the same, too. But, first, you have to be ready to commit to being the best at what you do.

The next two steps will help you achieve that.

#5. Learn, then Learn by Doing

In my opinion, becoming a person of authority comes after these three stages. 

  • Learning stage
  • Implementing stage 
  • Result stage

The result shows the world what you have become. It is what makes many people want to do business with you. 

In the learning stage, you are acquiring knowledge. The implementing stage helps you get your hands dirty. The result is what you have to sell, the reason for people to pay you. 

In reality, the people with remarkable success have failed many times before something great happens. And people start noticing.

 Show up—regularly, consistently, and generously, for years and years—to organize and lead and build confidence in the change you seek to make. To earn permission to follow up and to earn enrollment to teach.

— Seth Godin

Many content writers come into the business because they can write. They believe they can handle it. This isn’t bad. You need that type of confidence. 

However, the people who will pay for your service want to know why they should pay you. You need results. What results have you achieved? 

You have to commit to learning and producing results.

Learn – read/study/observe

Implement – build something with the knowledge. You will spend a lot of time here, learning, implementing, and iterating.

Show result — Become a winner.

#6. Build a Brand 

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are trying. If it is online, you need a brand.

There are many definitions of what a brand means, but the best I have heard is that “a brand is what people think of you.” 

Your brand is your online reputation. It is your online office and what people think they’re getting out of it if they come in. When people are looking for your business, your brand is people’s idea about you. It comprises many things: your website, your brand color, the logo, what past clients/customers are saying about you, etc. 

If I want to recommend an SEO tool to you, I will pick one and say things about it. If you go elsewhere and someone else says something similar about my recommendation, you begin to develop your perception of the tool. Now, that’s branding at work. 

What perception do people have about your business? 

Branding is a broad topic on its own, but answer this question: what do you want people to think about you when your name or website comes up? Then, do everything in your power to achieve that? 

  • Create content on social media 
  • Offer value one way or another. For example, contribute to communities, start a podcast or grow an email list and offer value consistently. 
  • Building a brand is easy once you have learned, implemented, and achieved results. Do these 3 steps again and again. 

#7. This Is Business 

One common thing about beginners is that they treat making money online like a pet project. 

It can be something you do on the side, but you have to apply the elements of a business to it. 

These are the main things about treating a hustle like a business: 

  • Great customer services
  • Time management 
  • An active marketing strategy 
  • Showing up on bad days
  • Financial management 

There are many things to talk about here, but the idea is to do what is good for you to keep getting referrals and long-term sales.

Read: How to Increase sales online

When looking for how to make money online for beginners, apply all or some of these things to what you need to do. You need them to stand out.

#8. Failures Are Cool

Yes, you want your ideas to make millions in the first year. 

Yes, you pick one of the top 3 ways to make money online. But life can happen.

This is normal. A report says 20% of businesses fail in their first year, and by the tenth year, the percentage of failure is about 87%. By the year 15, only 25% of those survive.

Failure is normal. After some time, you learn to reduce the chances of failing again.

Why?

You learn.

And your network has expanded through years of consistently building something. 

#9. No One Really Has It All Figured Out

You are a beginner. You are the target of many people selling ebooks or courses.

No one has figured it out at the start. Yes, you can learn from people who have achieved success. However, most of the work will depend on you and it takes dedication and time to do the right things.  

With this mindset, you won’t cast all your faith into what someone is teaching because you have to play your part. They are meant to help you dig in the right direction so you can find treasures a little bit faster.

Moreover, many courses are great. A far greater percentage isn’t. You should be careful buying anything from anyone. 

Do the work needed to build your business. You have to do it. 

Even if anyone holds your hands to do it, your journey will still be different from theirs. So do yourself a favor by taking the time to do additional research and learn from doing.

#10. Invest in Mindset, Marketing, and Tools

When you start an online business, you might get sales with a few tools or without spending money on marketing. 

Once you start getting sales, it is time to invest in your “business.” You need to cement your place in the industry, and you can’t do that by playing it safe or without a plan to spend money. 

Buy tools.

Buy books.

And buy courses.

Invest in things that will make you grow. Whatever growth means, though, is up to you.

Check this post to find affordable ways to market your product.

Learn, Implement and Iterate 

Latent Potential: Complaining about not achieving success despite working hard is like complaining about an ice cube not melting when you heated it from twenty-five to thirty-one degrees. Your work was not wasted; it is just being stored. All the action happens at thirty-two degrees.

James Clear, Atomic Habits

The truth about how to make money online, beginners or not, is that it is hard but possible. Be clear with what you want and set out to get it. You have to learn, implement, record some failures, and try again and again. 

And once again.

The potential is wide if you stay consistent. Make it possible.

I’m on a journey to building my brand as a freelance SEO writer/storyteller. You can follow me on Twitter to see how I am doing it one tweet at a time.

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