So, in all honesty, what is the best way to make money online with limited time? If you’re asking this question, you might not like my answer. Now, before I make you too depressed, let me reassure you that you really can make money online with limited time. How am I so certain of this? Because that’s exactly what I did. I first began earning money online when I was an over-the-road truck driver. All I had was a laptop, a crappy internet connection, and no idea how to build websites. About 1 year later, I quit my truck driving job to focus on my business full time. If you’d like, you can read my full story here.
With that said, there are plenty of sites and “gurus” who over-hype the ability to make money online fast. Most of them are trying to sell you something, but of course you already knew that. What you’re looking for is the real-deal. Is it really possible to make money online with limited time? More importantly, if that is possible, HOW is it done?
Again, you might not like what I have to say here, but this is the no-hype truth…
Treat Your Online Business Like A Hobby And That’s What You’ll Get
Starting a business online is no different than starting a business offline. It takes planning, dedication, perseverance, and a whole lot of self motivation and patience. If your aim is to make money online, what you are really saying is you want to start a business. Even if you only want to make a few hundred bucks per month, that’s a business! What I’m trying to get at here is, if you treat your online business like a hobby, you can expect the type of revenue most hobbies bring people (either zero or it actually ends up costing money).
So, to start off with, you need to set up a business plan, just like what is expected with any other business. Before you ever think about starting a website or attempting to sell anything online, you need to figure out a market to target. Once you’ve identified a market, you need to identify a common problem in that market. After that, you need to offer a solution and somehow monetize from offering that solution.
As a personal example, I own the website DogFoodInsider.com. Obviously, I decided to target dog owners as my target audience. I was already aware of a huge problem in the dog food industry as the majority of dog food out there is complete crap. Most dog owners are becoming wise to this issue, but they don’t know how to find high quality dog food. That’s where I offer a solution. My site has reviewed hundreds of brands of dog food and helps educate dog owners to identify high quality foods on their own simply by examining the ingredients list. When I make recommendations, I have links leading to Amazon.com where they can purchase the product. Those links have affiliate codes in them, which enables me to earn a percentage of each sale. It’s a win-win-win situation.
So, before you even think about getting started, identify your target market, find a problem facing that marketing, and offer a solution. You should have 5 to 10 different niche industries with business plans for each before you decide on one. Don’t just go with your first idea.
Need help identifying a good niche? Here is an article that might help.
Like All Businesses, An Online Business Takes Time
Here’s where the news gets bad. There are a ton of sites out there touting how you can make money in a few hours, days, weeks, or whatever, if you simply follow their “proven system”. Deep down you know that’s all a bunch of crap, and you’re totally right. No matter how you choose to make money online, it’s going to take a ton of work. Just look at this site you’re on right now, or my DogFoodInsider.com example, or my site CatFoodInsider.com, or my site SharkSider.com, or just about any other of my websites. Does it look like I build those sites in a weekend? Heck no! It has taken a ton of work to get these sites to be profitable.
With that said, do you think the local restaurant owner down the street made a profit within’ the first month he or she was in business? Most businesses take YEARS to become profitable – and that’s when business owners are working on the full-time! To expect an online business to just be profitable right away is wishful thinking.
You CAN Cheat The System
Now for some good news. With an online business, you can, indeed, cheat the system a little bit. With an online business such as the one I own (I’m a full time affiliate marketer), the business can be run from anywhere at anytime. You don’t need to quit your day job and you don’t need to invest your life savings into the business. What you do need is time.
Sure, you can start an online business part-time and work 10 hours per week. Eventually, you’ll likely see success. But it’ll take you twice as long as if you had worked on it 20 hours per week. Just imagine if you worked on it 40 hours per week!
The truth is, it will take everyone a different number of hours before their site becomes profitable. Some people may get extremely lucky and see success after 50 hours of working on their site. They just picked the right niche at the right time and everything just sort of worked out. For others, it might take 500 hours or 1,000 hours or 100,000 hours. The more hours you work, the closer you are to finding success. Nobody can give you an exact time period for success, but the only way to shorten that time is to work more hours.
For a direct answer, I usually tell people if they work on their site for 10 to 20 hours per week, they can expect to start seeing some success around 12 months. That seems like a long time, but where will you be in 12 months if you DON’T start working on your business now? You’ll be a year older and in the same position you’re in now. Don’t get sucked into those get rich quick schemes. They are false hopes and promises. Focus on a real goal. Working 10 to 20 hours per week now for residual income around a year from now.
Think about it – what other business can you start with almost no capital, no customers, and working when you can? Starting an online business IS cheating the system, but you have to go into it with realistic expectations.
If You Need Money RIGHT NOW!
If you need money right this very second, the only solution I have for you in terms of making money online is selling your stuff on eBay, Craigslist, etc. You can try becoming a freelance writer on a site like iWriter, but even as a freelance writer you’ll be making very little as a brand new writer with no portfolio. You can also check out an article I wrote about 7 legitimate ways to make money online. Some of them do enable you to earn money in a relatively short period of time.
Final Thoughts & Why You SHOULD Start Your Online Business Today
Now that I’ve told you starting an online business takes lots of work, effort, and a moderate amount of time, let me close with this…
When I first started working on my online business, I was a truck driver working 70hrs+ per week. Little did I know that a year later I would be quitting my trucking job. These days, I earn several times what I made as a truck driver for much less work and my income is residual. I literally earn money while I sleep or walk the dog.
Was it tough getting started? Hell yes. Most people don’t have the motivation, dedication, or patience to work for 12 months without pay. But for those who do, you get rewarded with a business that operates 24/7/365 whether you’re actually at the computer or not. That, my friends, is the dream world I’m living in and it’s as great as it sounds. Do not give up and start your business today. The reality you want really is possible.