Has the pandemic temporarily canceled your job? Here are seven ways to start building an online income that can be reasonably impervious to pandemics, layoffs, or anything else the future might throw at you.
Please note: The 30-day timeline is somewhat arbitrary. When done right, some of these can begin generating income is far less than 30 days. Some might take a little longer. And all will depend on your execution. As they say, your results may vary.
How much can you earn? That will depend on the method and, again, your execution of that method. It is perfectly reasonable that even most newbies can make $500 a month through any one of these methods and scale it up to far more than that over time. But again, your results will depend on your efforts.
Pro Tip: I don't have room to go into tremendous detail for each one of these. Then again, all of these are simple enough that you don't need a lot of detail to get started.
Read through this entire list and find the one that strikes a chord with you. Make a note of anything you don't know about it and start researching via Google and YouTube.
Don't think you have to know every step before you start – you don't. Often all you need is the first step, and then the next, and then the next…
Fortunes have been built this way by people who were no more special or extraordinary than anyone else.
You can do this.
Let's get started:
Strategy #1: Affiliate Marketing via Brick and Mortar Businesses
You can make money with this method by either using your customer base or by helping other brick and mortar business people to stay afloat as they navigate these exciting times.
The key here is to choose a proven digital offering that matches the customer base.
Here's an example: There is a local business where I live that offers yoga, qigong, tai-chi, and meditation classes. They are now closed because of the pandemic and earning no money.
They have two options:
1: Stream their classes online for their students. This isn't a bad idea at all. They can charge for an online subscription and have their teachers continue to teach over the internet.
2: Find proven digital products that match their customers' needs. Ideally, these proven digital products will be subscription-based and pay a lifetime commission on referrals.
By promoting a secure membership style website, their customers are likely to get a much better user experience than if the business begins streaming their classes.
And because it's a monthly subscription with lifetime commissions, the business can continue to make money even after they reopen their studio. Plus, the company doesn't have to go through the trouble of creating a program – all of the work is already done for them.
They simply send out emails to their lists with the offer, as well as offering it through their social media profiles.
What about everyone else?
What if YOU don't have a brick and mortar business, or you don't already have a list of subscribers or a social media presence?
Then you can help businesses in your town to survive. The most traditional type of business does not understand affiliate marketing or even online marketing, other than having a website and building a list of their customers.
You can offer to show them how they can make a real income online by helping their customers to get what they want, too.
You can charge a flat fee or a percentage of income earned.
And you can do it all from the comfort of your own home, over the phone and the internet.
Strategy #2: Host a Virtual Summit
This is such an excellent business strategy for people with NO list and NO product.
Think of a virtual summit as a conference that takes place online. It requires very little overhead, it isn't complicated, and you can drive traffic and sales quickly by leveraging other people's lists.
First, you pick a topic. Examples are: How to market to your list, how to make the most of this self-quarantine, how to look and feel younger, how to improve your brain, how to start and run an online business… you get the idea.
Once you have your topic, you approach experts on the subject and ask them to participate. You will interview each expert for approximately an hour on a specific aspect of the topic.
You create a landing page to collect email addresses and a sales page to sell the summit recordings.
People who sign up can access the recordings for free, but only for a short time. For example, if you have 15 experts, you might release three recordings each day for five days.
You might give your new subscribers 48 hours to listen to the calls before they disappear. And of course, you sell full lifetime access to the recordings for a price of $47 or $97.
At the end of each of the interviews, you allow the experts to offer one of their products to your listeners, preferably with a discount.
And all of your experts are expected to promote the summit to their list. You pay them a percentage of the lifetime access price, such as 50%. And you're an affiliate for the product they promote at the end of each call, which again typically pays you 50%.
These percentages are negotiable. This is a great business model because you are very quickly building an active list of subscribers and making money, too. Talk about a win/win!
And you can continue to sell to your new subscribers. For example, if you're a coach, you could sell coaching services to them, or other affiliate products, or anything else that directly relates to your initial topic.
Strategy #3: 30 Day Challenges
This works exceptionally well if you already have a social media presence or an email list, but it's not a requirement.
A lot of people are home right now, wondering what to do with their days.
And these same people have goals. Maybe they want to lose weight, learn a new skill, create something, and so forth.
Here's what you do: Choose a topic and the appropriate product to promote. For example, if your problem is weight loss, you might choose an affiliate product to boost that shows people how to lose weight by exercising at home, reduce binge eating through meditation, and using hypnosis to reduce appetite.
Then you announce you're having a 30 days challenge with prizes. Everyone who gets the product and joins your challenge can participate on your private Facebook Group and cheer each other on. You provide plenty of extra support, feedback, bonuses, and so forth. Make it super fun for everyone, so that no matter how much weight they lose, they still come out a winner.
Your prizes don't need to be super expensive, but they should be something people want.
You can repeat this every 45 days or so, with 15 days to sign up and 30 days for the challenge.
Strategy #4: Write a Book
Whoa! I know what you're thinking… that writing and publishing a book in 30 days is crazy, insane, not possible, etc.
But here's something you might not know – people do it all the time.
First, there is no length requirement for an electronic book such as those you find on Amazon's Kindle. If 30 pages are enough to get across the information, then 30 pages is all you need.
Second, Amazon is one of the most significant search engines in the world, as well as the #1 digital retailer in the world.
They already have the customers. All you need to do is provide the product, which in this case, is a Kindle book.
Choose a topic that people are interested in. The first one that comes to mind is how best to survive and thrive during a pandemic, but there are thousands of other possibilities.
If you're an expert at something, or if you have a particular interest in a topic that interests others, then you've got a great head start.
Do your research online and write your book in your voice. Your goal here is to help your reader achieve an outcome or solution, such as learning how to do something.
And above all else, do not be boring. Add your own exciting stories and charisma to the book to make it informative and entertaining.
Think of the teachers and professors you've had over the years. If you had them all teach the same material, wouldn't you agree that some of them would still be more interesting and entertaining than others? Be that fun teacher who makes the topic sing.
If you can't type or you just don't want to, use transcription software such as Rev.
Get your cover done by a graphic artist on Fiverr or 100Covers.com. And get your book formatted at FormattedBooks.com.
Do some research online to learn how to launch a book and make it a bestseller. Generally, you'll be spending about the same amount of time promoting your writing as you do writing it.
With the right concept and great initial promotion, your book may continue to make sales without further promotion for a good long time.
Then rinse and repeat.
Strategy #5: Coronavirus t-Shirts
Okay, this is going to encompass a whole lot more than just t-shirts, but t-shirts seem like a great place to start.
With the advent of a global pandemic, there is now an almost entirely new niche.
While the pandemic is happening (several months or possibly longer), you can sell anything and everything that helps people get through this traumatic time, whether it's something to make them smile (hence the t-shirt) something to occupy their time or things they need for peace of mind.
If you go to Google and search for "flatten the curve t-shirts" and then click on images, you will find that sellers are indeed creating and selling a wide variety of these shirts.
I like the commemorative shirt that reads, "I helped flatten the curve, 2020." "Stay calm and flatten the curve" is a good one, too.
Search for "pandemic t-shirt," and you'll see, "Baby's first pandemic" and "Never underestimate a nurse who survived the pandemic."
(That last one gave me a lump in the throat – not all nurses or doctors are surviving this. Infinite gratitude to our first responders and medical teams around the world, they are our real rock stars and heroes, and we thank them all.)
No doubt, there are many other pandemic shirts to be created and sold because humor is one of our best weapons for getting through tough times.
Other products to consider selling – anything that keeps people busy while they are stuck at home. Things to occupy children's time that can be immediately downloaded are trading exceptionally well. For example, science experiments your child can do with everyday household items and art projects for a rainy (or self-sequestered day).
Jigsaw puzzles are selling so fast; stores ran out in early March. I imagine that any family type of game or activity will do quite well for the next few weeks and months.
There's something called a "Coronavirus Plush," a stuffed toy meant to resemble the virus. I have no idea if it's selling or not. https://www.reddit.com/r/INEEEEDIT/comments/fntiln/coronavirus_plush/
And then there's a coronavirus blanket. Perhaps it's to keep you safe from the virus? Strange is the best word to describe it. https://smile.amazon.com/Warm-Tone-Corona-Virus-Hooded-Blanket-Double-Sided/dp/B0857FY6WV/
You could create books or courses for kids in no time and start selling them in just days. Enlist the help of your children to tell you what kids want to do most.
A lot of people would love to know how to make more money from home. You might be an excellent example of this.
This is the perfect time for people to learn a new skill and you can teach it to them.
Guides for couples on how to survive being cooped up together 24/7 could be handy. Pandemic recipes, pandemic games, pandemic meditations… the list is endless.
I think right now, just about anyone who is a good listener could start a service where they will simply listen to someone for 30 minutes for a fee. There are a LOT of scared people out there who need to talk to someone, and not everyone has someone they can talk to.
But don't stop there… think about the time when things are getting back to normal… what will people want then?
And afterward… things like preparedness kits might do well, as well as celebratory products. It's difficult to say right now exactly what people will want when this is all over, besides the things they usually wish to. They say that after the pandemic of 1918, most people never even wanted to talk about it again, almost like it didn't happen.
My point is, there are plenty of products you can be selling right now. As to new products for after the pandemic when things are starting to normalize… we'll just have to see.
Strategy #6: Sell Advice (or Listen) by the Minute
Clarity.fm connects experts (that's you) with people who have questions.
Your client's book calls with you on the website, and then they are charged by the minute.
This is a great way to do initial consultation calls, too. And the system is drop-dead simple to use
The questions are, what expertise do you have? What will others pay you to learn? Who are your clients for your service?
If you're an online marketer, people might pay you to help them choose a direction for their new business and get started.
If you're a health coach/consultant/teacher, people might pay you to customize a plan they can use to get in better shape without leaving their house.
As we mentioned earlier, there are a LOT of people out there who simply need someone to talk to. Listening services have been gaining in popularity for some time now, and with everyone isolated in their homes, I suspect they are going to explode over the coming days and weeks.
You might even have different pay levels for a listening service so that people can pay at the rate they want to spend. Some can afford more, and others can only provide less. And when this crisis is over, because you were there for them now, I'll bet that many of these people continue to use your service.
Strategy #7: Paid Membership
You might think this strategy is too advanced for where you are right now in your online marketing career, but I'd like to suggest that it isn't.
To create a paid membership site, you need three things: Content, a system to run the membership site, and paying subscribers.
Can you either source or create content? Sourcing means you obtain it from somewhere other than yourself, such as interviewing other experts, using private label rights, and so forth.
Of course, you can. If you're not a writer, you can get content from other places, so that obstacle isn't an obstacle at all.
Can you set up a membership site? It's far easier to do this than in the old days when you had to know something about software and whatnot. Now you can simply use a Wordpress plugin such as MemberPress.
Which brings us to the last bit of the puzzle – getting new members. If you already have an email list, then you can start there along with getting affiliates. Fortunes have been made this way. Set up a sales page, drive traffic, and get new members.
But what if you don't have a list, you don't have any affiliate contacts (yet), and you don't have money to drive traffic?
Here's what I would do in that case: Assuming you've done your research and picked out a significant niche that people are passionate about, start giving away 'some' free content. Just some. Newspaper sites do this all the time. They'll let you read five free articles a month, but then to learn more, you need to subscribe.
Or you can give away the first portion of the content, and to get the rest and everything else inside of the membership, they have to subscribe.
Or you can offer each month or each week of your content as a paid stand-alone product. People can pay $20 for the one course, for example, or they can subscribe to your membership for $29 a month and get a new class every week.
You get the idea.
It's like a book author giving away the first five chapters of a 50 chapter book. People read the chapters, get hooked, and have to get the rest of the book.
Membership sites are, by far, my favorite type of online income because of its recurring revenue. People sign up once and continue to pay until they unsubscribe automatically.
Software as a service runs on the same principle, only instead of content, they simply create and maintain software. (Something for you to consider as well.)
And there you have it – 7 ways to start earning money online while you're self-isolating at home.
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