Making money online in 2018 is attainable. However, even if the processes are well laid-out by people who have had success before you, you may still experience issues along the way. As someone who has transitioned from an 8-to-5 job to an online gig that turned out into a scam, I’ve had my fair share of issues from making money online.
I didn’t write this piece to scare you. Instead, facing the problems of making money online head on and learning how to beat them increases your chances of actually earning a livable income from stuff you do off the web.
How Can You Make Money Online In 2018?
Before we discuss the 3 work-from-home problems that continue to hinder many people from finding success online, you have to be aware of all the ways you can make money on the internet. The major ones are as follows:
- Ecommerce (buying/selling products or services) – Whether you create a Facebook store or build a website from scratch, as long as you plan to sell products online, your chosen online business route is through ecommerce. You can run an ecommerce business with your own products, or go with a dropshipping route.
- Affiliate marketing – Similar to ecommerce in that your goal is to sell products, except you won’t need to manufacture items to sell, or even handle traditional store operations (such as inventory or shipping). Instead, you need to join an affiliate program, promote products, and earn commissions whenever you refer a customer to buy.
- Blogging – Blogging about anything under the sun can lead to a six-figure income, depending on what monetization options you use for the blog. Since blogging is newbie-friendly and requires very little capital, this is the most popular way of making money online. If you’re not good with words, you can always try vlogging (video blogging) or photoblogging (photography blogging).
- Influencer Marketing – There are two ways you can do this – start popular and become an online ambassador to various brands; or start from the bottom and aim to become popular in the future. Either way, once you become an influencer, you’d earn from promoting products, services, information, and so on. And since you “influence” thousands or millions of people, advertisers are likely to pay you for access to this audience.
- Service provider – If you’d rather earn by working from home and providing services like programming, app development, copywriting, virtual assistance (or a whole lot more), there’s a vast space for service providers regardless of specialty.
All these five methods are tried-and-tested, but your success or failure won’t just depend on whichever online money-making path you decide to take. Instead, it will rely on various factors and how well you solve the 3 common problems faced by those who earn their incomes online.
3 Challenges of Making Money Online
The best thing about the internet is that it gives you the flexibility to become your own boss without investing your entire life savings. However, to be able to increase your chances of success, you have to overcome these 3 problems of making money online:
1. Information Overload
In the past, people were experimenting on how to earn money from their blogs, or sell products online more effectively. They didn’t have much help, either from other people who could guide them or even resources. Today, you’ll find numerous experts helping you to do these things with a step-by-step tutorial. The problem with this though is that the more information available, the more confusion it brings.
For example, if you decide to focus on affiliate marketing, many experts would recommend that you build your own website. But plenty of people have had success with just a Facebook page or a Twitter account, and thus recommend focusing all affiliate marketing efforts on them instead of running a website as well. Both of these tips are valid and effective, but if you’re new to affiliate marketing, these contradicting recommendations can be the reason why you can’t move past step 1.
It’s easy to tell someone to do their research, but in this age wherein new information is published on a daily basis, how will a beginner decide which information has more weight?
Here’s how to solve information overload:
- Determine the type of information you need – You can’t stop information from being released into the world, so in order to beat information overload, you have to identify the kind of info you’re looking for. Become super specific during research. You’ll be amazed at how precise the information you gather by choosing to use the term “highest paying web hosting affiliate program” instead of just “highest paying affiliate.”
- Compile trusted sources – If you’re planning to earn money online for years to come, there’s a possibility you’ll need to perform research again in the future. Every time you do this and discover awesome resources, take note of them and compile into a list. Writers running a tech news blog would save time checking out answers from top blogs like TechCrunch, Engadget, Mashable and so on, instead of just Googling your questions away.
- Create your own information gathering system – Having a research system would save you a lot of time and since time equals money when earning income from the web. This system would also increase your productivity and eventually, your income. A questionnaire, step-by-step tutorial, or if-when-then system are few examples of an info gathering system that could work for your business.
- Delegate (if possible) – Once your ecommerce or affiliate marketing business picks up, or you rise in your career as a blogger, influencer or service provider, delegate research tasks to someone else. There’s a reason why most professionals like lawyers, accountants, and so on have junior colleagues who take over data gathering and disseminating for you. This also holds true even if your main income or business is online.
- Don’t contribute to the noise – Now that you know all about information overload, make sure you don’t overload information as well. If you’re a blogger, influencer, affiliate marketer, or online store, don’t send staggering amounts of information out to the world if not totally necessary.
The make-money-online world has a remarkably quick turnover of hot products or services, industry trends, competition data, or even market changes. Knowing how to streamline and deal with a boatload of information gives you a clearer path towards your online income goal.
Scams are the most popular and common problem of making money online, even still in 2018. Scammers will never run out of ideas. Their main source of income relies on fooling other people into handing over their money or valuable information.
While there’s plenty of trusted information that can lead you into actually making money online legally, effectively and (sometimes) quickly, the downside to the make-money-online (MMO) industry is that it is filled with scams left and right.
The only way to keep scams from screwing up with your online business is to become experts in spotting and avoiding scams. Here are several red flags you must always keep in mind:
- Promises of quick returns – Be careful with any program, eBook, course, marketing tools, or any other product or services that promise quick return. Terms like “get your money back within minutes,” “double your money quickly,” and other get-rich quick scams still exist even in 2018 so don’t let them blind you.
- Disclosing “secrets” only after paying – It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to succeed in blogging, affiliate marketing or freelancing online. Once you try to find out how to do something, you’ll be faced with experts trying to sell you “secrets” to doing just what you came for. If details are missing from a sales page and promises to disclose information only after you paid, this is a red flag that you’re not going to find any special info afterwards.
- Money Back Guarantees with a catch – Many programs, courses, or products and services offer trials for only $1 and with money back guarantees. In some cases, the scammer only wants you to enter your credit card details. And if the scammer didn’t use your info for fraudulent purposes, he/she just used this process to pinpoint you as a buyer (instead of just a website visitor).
- Hidden Auto-Renewal Policy – The problem with many subscription-based services or products, such as membership forums, is that they often come with an auto-renewal policy. While the actual product or service isn’t a scam, hiding automatic renewal policies seems pretty shady especially since many people just cancel the subscription and consider their lost money as a “learning experience” instead of asking for a refund.
- Missing Contact Details – One of the most obvious red flags of scams is the lack of contact details. Whether you’re buying a product, subscribing to a service, or gathering information from someone, it’s important you maintain a means of communication and a contact person should you require further assistance or flat-out ask for a refund.
These examples have yet to scratch the surface of make-money-online scams. Many scams that exist today have been around for years. Unfortunately, there are no internet police available to man the web 24/7, which is why it is up to you to guard yourself and your business against scrupulous people aiming to steal from you.
Making money online as an online store owner, affiliate marketer, blogger, influencer, or even a freelancer offering services means you’re the boss of your online venture. You’ll decide on many of the business specifics, such as working time, breaks, tasks to do, and so on. Of course, this sounds like the ultimate dream for most people.
But if you’ve given yourself too much freedom and have practiced “voluntarily delaying an important task despite being aware that unable to finish that particular task will cause us to suffer,” experts say you’re procrastinating.
Procrastination is a bad habit that affects your productivity, performance and even emotional well-being. How can you make money online with your app development venture if you’re spending half of your day playing video games instead? How can you improve your marketing efforts on your ecommerce store or affiliate marketing system if you’re busy on Facebook instead?
To avoid getting trapped into a cycle of procrastination, follow these few tricks:
- Change the way you look at the tasks on hand – In most cases, people procrastinate because they are overwhelmed at the task on hand. If you change your perception towards the task (get excited instead of getting scared), it would motivate you to work on the tasks…
- Divide a huge task into smaller ones – If you’re building an ecommerce site and you aim to launch at a given date, creating a to-do checklist with smaller tasks can help you avoid procrastinating because you get to achieve more tasks than try to fulfill a significant task all by yourself.
- Practice the Five Second Rule – If you can’t succeed with making money online due to procrastination, you should check out Mel Robbins’ book “The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage.” In it, you’ll learn how to “hijack” your brain and prevent it from hesitating with whatever task you need to do by taking immediate action within the 5 seconds right after you start a task.
The Bottom Line
If you begin your online money-making journey without getting overloaded with information, faced with scam programs or services, and suffer from the cycle of procrastination, you’re lucky. Your chances of running a successful ecommerce site, affiliate marketing plan, blog, brand, or service are optimistic because they won’t be affected by these 3 common challenges of making money online.
If you feel overwhelmed by the massive overload of information, confused by the number of scammy programs to follow, or plainly lack the drive to reach your online income goals, then I hope the tips listed here could help you become a success story in the make-money-online industry.