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You are searching for ways to start an online business on the side. Chances are that you must have heard a lot of people talk about making money online with affiliate marketing, online courses, blogging, e-commerce and Google Adsense.
It’s true that ALL of the above can help you make money online.
But, here’s the problem.
In the case of blogging, affiliate marketing and Google Adsense, it probably takes you MONTHS before you start making a little bit of money from it.
For online courses, creating a good online course does not take days or weeks. It actually takes months. And there is no guarantee that it would sell well if you don’t know how to market your online courses.
If you are thinking about starting an online store, you probably have to spend money buying inventory before you even start selling. And you also don’t know for sure if you would make back your initial investment.
Case Studies: How I Made $100 Or More Online In A Day
Why Selling Advice Is Probably The Best Online Business
So, that’s why selling advice is probably the best online business to start with if you have little money to invest in your business or you want to start making money quickly.
(1) It’s Quick to Get Started
If you are selling your advice for money, you can get started quickly even without any website.
How does that work?
You can establish yourself as an expert in certain areas by either answering questions on Quora, giving value for free in relevant Facebook groups or write a guest article for an online publication that has your audience.
For example, if you know a lot about SEO, you can go to Quora and answer as many SEO related questions as possible.
The more questions you answer, the more exposure you get and the more people you reach.
In your mind, you might be thinking that you are giving too much valuable advice away for FREE.
That’s where you need to have a change of mindset.
Give first before you take.
It works wonders in business and other aspects of your life as well.
When you give value for free, you gain trust and establish your expert status.
If they ever need to hire help in your area of expertise, you would probably be the first one they reach out to.
(2) Little or No Capital Required
You can start this online business with little or no money. When you are selling your advice, you just need to have a working email address or Skype account to get started.
A website is a good-to-have because you can use your website to build an online presence and establish authority in your niche.
An email autoresponder software is good-to-have because you can create a powerful email sequence to help you sell your coaching offer and convert subscribers into paying clients.
Typically, you can get a decent website up with a $3.95 per month website hosting plan from Bluehost (I used it to set up this website).
There is also another web hosting that I recommend which is NameCheap.
Its basic plan starts at $1.44/Month.
Bluehost is slightly more expensive because it offers FREE domain name and also FREE SSL (which helps make your website secure) while NameCheap will charge you for both separately.
For email autoresponder, there is an email marketing software called MailChimp which allows you to use it for free as long as your list of subscribers does not exceed 2,000.
However, my experience with MailChimp is not very pleasant.
When my free account was still under 1000 subscribers, my free account kept getting suspended for a couple of times for no good reasons.
The reason why I find this puzzling is that I’ve never had this happening to me again after I switch to another paid email marketing software.
Yes, after getting fed up with the FREE service, I finally decided to sign up for GetResponse which I am still using right now to this day.
GetResponse is also a much more affordable email marketing service compared to its other competitors such as ConvertKit.
(3) Recurring Revenue
The best part about selling your advice online is that you can get recurring income every month.
When you create an online course to sell or choose an affiliate offer to promote, you are likely to get paid only once.
To make more money, you will need to get new buyers and make new sales.
When you sell your advice online, you can avoid this problem by using a monthly recurring revenue business model.
Here’s how it works.
You structure your online coaching program in such a way that your clients would pay you on a monthly recurring fee until canceled by either party.
When you focus on getting recurring clients, you are no longer starting each month with zero revenue.
It can take a lot of pressure off you.
Even if you are not getting any new clients for the month, you don’t have to worry because you know for sure that you will still have income coming in.
That is the beauty of a recurring revenue business model.
Case Study: Recurring Income From Selling Advice
Let me give you an example.
As you could probably know that I started a graphic design business a few years ago, and soon grew it to a consistent 4 figure/month business by working only a couple of hours a day.
The interesting thing is that I don’t know how to do graphic design.
For my graphic design business, I had a team of freelance graphic designers whom I outsource all the work to.
This is what I call “Service Arbitrage“.
So here’s how it works.
First, you find in-demand services that freelancers are already offering at a super low price on freelancing websites.
Then, you market their services to businesses that need it. Once you get a sale, you hire the freelancers to deliver the work for you.
How you make money is that you quote a higher price to your clients than what your freelancers quote you and pocket the price difference as your profit.
Once I’ve gotten results from my service arbitrage business, I decided to launch another online business giving advice to people on how to start their own service arbitrage business.
For this new online business, I offer my personal 1-on-1 coaching through emails on a monthly basis.
The key to retaining clients is to give as much value as possible to your clients.
This way, they will stay on with you month after month.
Let’s give you another real example.
After I have had success in launching my monthly recurring 1-on-1 coaching program for service arbitrage, I decided to create another new product.
It is a NEW 1-on-1 email coaching program that is designed to help people start a blog and launch their own monthly recurring coaching program.
Here’s the best part.
Once you have a profitable business system, all you need to do is to replicate it and use it to launch more products or start another business in a new niche.
(4) High Ticket Sale
For affiliate programs, the payout percentage for some information products can go up to as high as 75%.
Yes, the commission rate is attractive.
But, when you look at it in dollar terms per payout, it is not so much in most cases because the price range for most information products is below $100.
For online courses, it’s not easy to build high ticket online courses. Your course materials must be really great to justify the high price tag.
Also, you might need a team to help create, market and sell your online courses. A lot of work needs to be done upfront and a lot of time and money are invested right from the start.
However, it is a totally different story when it comes to an online coaching program.
You can choose to offer a basic coaching package for a standard rate.
Or, you can put together a premium coaching package to get a high ticket sale.
How You Can Start Getting Paid For Giving Advice
Here’s a step-by-step plan that you can follow to start an online business selling your advice.
Step 1: Pick A Niche
First, you need to determine what type of advice you can sell. You want to pick one that people are willing to pay for.
In other words, you must make sure that there is already a demand for it.
One of the best ways to validate your idea is to do a simple Google search and see if there are already other people doing it.
If there are already people offering it, that is a good sign that there is a market for what you want to sell.
You don’t have to worry about competition because there will always be competitors no matter what you do.
As long as you work harder or provide a better service, you can definitely get paying clients and make money.
Here are just some proven profitable niches for you to consider:
- Career Advice
- Dating Advice
- Fashion Advice
- Cooking Advice
- Business Advice
- Financial Advice
- Marketing Coaching
- Blogging Advice
- Relationship Advice
- Parenting Advice
Of course, you can go into more specific sub-niche.
In fact, the more specific problem you can help solve, the easier it is to position yourself as the go-to-expert in that niche and charger much higher for your expertise.
So, what specific problem can you help people solve? What specific results can you help people achieve?
Free Training: How I Generated A Full-Time Income Online With My Blog In Less Than 12 Months
Step 2: Craft Your Offer
Once you have decided on what you want to offer, what you do next is to create your offer.
The key to putting together a good offer is to understand what your clients really want.
This is where customer research comes in.
Here are some good places to do a deep dive on what your target customers want :
- Amazon Reviews
Let’s use dating advice for introverted men as an example. From your research, you might find out that they are having trouble talking to women and getting dates.
So, your offer could be to help them get better at talking to women and teach them exactly how to ask women out on a date without getting rejected.
Step 3: Find Potential Clients
Now it’s time to get paying clients. You need to understand how people make buying decisions:
- they only buy from people whom they trust and like
- they only buy from people whom they believe can help solve our problem or get the results we want
So, how do you create trust in your potential clients?
How do you convince them that you have the solution to their problem or you can help them get the results they desire?
Guest posting on the right sites is one good way to build your authority and establish your expertise in your niche.
What you need to do is to find sites that already have your target audience and accept guest posts.
For example, if your target audience is moms, you should check out parenting blogs and also mom blogs where their audience is moms.
Here is a good article about how to get your guest post accepted.
After reading your guest post that demonstrates your knowledge in your niche, your potential clients might want to find out more about you and what you can offer.
Guest posting is just one of the many effective ways to reach your target audience.
Below are some other methods you can use to get your offer in front of your potential clients:
- Starting a Facebook community
- Get more organic traffic by writing in-depth blog content that rank high on Google
- Answer questions related to your niche on Quora
- Paid advertising (Facebook ads & Google ads)
But if you are just starting out, I advise that you should start with FREE lead generation methods to get your first few paying clients.
If you are looking for ways to make money online from your knowledge and expertise, selling advice is probably the best way to do that. It’s very quick and simple to get started, compared to other types of online businesses.