The concept of making money online today resides somewhere between a dream and an urban myth. But is it really like that? In this article based on an interview for BK Magazine, Carl gives you hands-on advice on how to make money online with your personal skills.
1. Are you personally making money online?
We are making money online in a number of ways.
Teaching online courses to people all around the world. I recently taught someone on Koh Samui to create a website for his wife’s nails business, a lady in Nepal how to use WordPress for her school and a consultant in Belgium to make a business card for his consultancy. We arrange to meet the student via Skype and then use Teamviewer to guide them through everything by sharing and controlling their screen. This can be done for anything, for example you can teach someone to use MS Word or even how to use their computer.
Creating online courses and posting them on websites like Learnable.com and Udemy.com. The websites give you tools and guidelines for creating courses on anything from basket weaving to web programming. You then help promote it alongside them and you share the spoils for each person who books your course. Takes time to make a good course but a worthwhile investment.
Affiliate schemes. This is whenever someone buys a WordPress theme or registers for our recommended hosting provider we get up to 50% for each sale. There are many of these available including the famous Amazon. Simply sign up, choose a product you think you can sell and off you go. With every sale the actual company sends and deals with the payment and you get a % at the end of the month.
Advertising. We run a number of successful websites such as webjobsbangkok.com where we offer advertising. The service is free and this promotes people to use it, so we then can show potential advertisers we can bring them a lot of customers.
All of the above requires you to write compelling content which is an essential part of making money online. Online users are so used to being sold to that you need far more creative ways of making money online.
An essential skill is writing for the web, this may sound obvious but it is very different from writing for print. You need to chop all your writing into quick paragraphs that ask a question to lead people in, give quality information and then round up by telling the read exactly what to do. A great site to learn about this is Copyblogger.com.
2. What ways are the easiest? How does one get paid?
Listing yourself as a copywriter is one way. This is a skill that is becoming much more in demand as more and more sites need to have quality content on their site to rise in the Google rankings. No longer is it just enough to have your keywords wrapped around fluff with some pretty pictures. You need compelling, relevant and engaging content.
I recently found an excellent site called Fiverr.com where you can list a task you will do for $5. Keep it short and to the point e.g. “I will write you a product review up to 50 words for $5”. This is a less time consuming method and fun!
As you learn how to really connect people you can offer your services on freelancer sites.
Payment is generally done through PayPal. For Fiverr once you deliver you can get paid and with freelance projects you generally work out a 50% deposit and 50% on delivery. Make sure though with any freelance projects you use a good contract to agree the terms and deliverables of the project e.g. how many words, how many revisions etc.
3. You mentioned writing courses for online use. Is it as hard as it seems?
Writing courses just takes three things:
- Experience in the field you want to teach. A piece of paper with your name on it is not enough. You need to know the ins and outs of what you are talking about, the quirks and things to look out for.
- Patience and the ability to explain things in natural progressive steps to all types of learners. Some people are very visual learners, like me, so a picture will always tell me more than a worksheet and a video is the best! For others they want to work logically through instructions and respond to detailed explanations.
- Passion for what you are teaching. I think this is one of the most important things. If you sound bored or unsure then you`re online course will not get the reviews it needs to bring more customers. Also if you are writing about what you love, you`ll enjoy making the course much more.
Passion, patience and experience is all you need for writing online courses.
4. How hard is it to set up a blog, write in it regularly, and make money that way?
Blogs are now wonderfully easy to set up. The easiest, in my opinion, is Posterous.com as you simply email in your blog posts. The subject of the email becomes the blog post title, the email content becomes that of the post and any attachments are either embedded into the page (such as PDFs) or shown as an attractive gallery.
The essence of good blogging is consistency, interesting content and bit size chunks. Consistency gives you not only credibility but when people pick up on your rhythm of posting you will get regular readers who are more inclined to purchase that recommended product or click one of your advertisements. Interesting content comes from being passionate about what you are writing about and seeing what works. When you have your blog keep a close eye on what type of posts work best, then just repeat and refine.
When you have a readership you can start interjecting reviews about products that as a affiliate link attached to it. For example if you like writing about cooking why not recommend a book from amazon on “healthy Thai cooking” or “cooking on a student budget”.
You can also add Adsense to your blog. First register for Google Adsense, create the advertising blocks and then copy the code into your blog. Hay presto you have advertising that you can make money with each click.
5. What about translation services?
Good translation is hard to find! I highly recommend that choose to translate on a topic you understand. If you try and translate text that you don`t understand it can be really boring and hard. If you are into fashion then do fashion translations or other topics in that area.
At Web Courses Bangkok we will be moving into teaching in Thai early next year, so we will need all our courses and website translated and I would rather pay for it to be done by someone who understands the text as we all know direct translations don’t work.
6. Any other tips?
Use Facebook! It is a wonderful tool and one great way of making money is by running the online profile and fan page for companies. For example there are many bars in Bangkok who want to have a great online presence but no time to actually do it themselves. You can offer to run their fan page by uploading pictures, offers, sporting events etc.
Or what about Twitter. Again you can use Tweetdeck to listen to the twitterverse and when someone mentions anything relevant to your client you can quickly write 140 characters that help promote their service or product to that twitter user.
Online Social Networking is a massive industry that needs writing skills. It is also a niche! This means more potential of getting customers who really need your service.
Another important factor is that Facebook now allows you sell via their website. So if you find a good product you can easily put those writing skills to work by creating your own online shop and persuading your potential customers with perfect prose.
7. Your company teaches people to set up websites and online businesses. Any unexpected success stories of people who have started from scratch and managed to make money?
One of the best ones that comes to mind is Johannes who created BangkokCondoFinder.com. He went from knowing nothing about web design to creating this custom site and now has a beautiful office near Asoke and his business has really taken off.
By far the best has been RestaurantsofBangkok.com. Willem met me at a Online Marketing talk and he joined our Web Design Beginner course. This then gave him the idea for ROB and with his talent for writing he now has one of the best websites for restaurant reviews in Thailand that is both profitable and helping Bangkok restaurants get more and more customers.
Both of these people started with a simple idea, mixed in a lot of passion and with our help we were able to guide them on how to make their ideas into profitable businesses.
8. How can I learn to make my own website?
Whether you want to make a blog, an online portfolio, an e-shop, a website for your business, Web Courses Bangkok can teach you how. Check out our Web Design courses and start your very own website!