To Make Money Online Genuinely, Without Getting Scammed, Give Yourself Time To Build A Business. One Where It Costs Zilch To Start And You Earn A Lot.
If you go through your email inbox on any good day – or scour the Internet for good business ideas – you’ll find lots of suggestions from dubious operators that say you can “make money very fast”, “make money right here and now, today”, or “make money by just replying to this email and earn by evening”.
If red flags don’t appear in your head at the thought of “making money fast” on the Internet, you are a doomed to be an Internet dud.
The internet IS full of money. Don’t think I am saying it is a non-lucrative business field. But it is full of money if you are willing to spend time and effort to build a solid business. It pays those who take the effort. It pays in spades. It also buries alive those who want to make a quick buck. The words “quick” and “Internet” just don’t go together.
At Solohacks Academy, we think if you are wise, and set yourself the right expectations of the Internet as a place to make money, here is the question to ask: “How can I start a business on the Internet that costs nothing to get going, and still pays in spades?” That question has a terrific answer. There is a business called Knowledge Commerce.
1. What are the popular scams on the Internet that make a fool out of you in minutes?
One of the best sources of information on the ways scammers online can trick you with fake business ideas is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
They say that most scammers online operate on this principle: they ask YOU to pay for an opportunity to make money fast and furiously online. It sounds so good, and their fly-by-night websites and testimonials look so genuine, that you think: “What is $5000 startup money if I can earn it back in three days?”
That’s how you get trapped, because the scammer’s business is to collect as many $5000 enrollees as he can, and then disappear. Instead of making any money, you’ve lost $5000 chasing that “fast rabbit”.
There are many variations of this theme, and here are a few from the Federal Trade Commission’s attorney Dan Salsburg:
- “Some scam artists are really sophisticated. They know exactly how to keep consumers from guessing the true nature of their business by rounding up phony references or creating misleading documents.”
- “Other tip-offs include claims of high pay in weeks or months for little effort (“work only hours a week”), as well as claims about working conditions like the ability to “set your own hours,” “be your own boss” or “work from home.” The opportunities cost $5,000 on average.”
- “Many business opportunities offered through the classifieds or via spam email have little chance of success — for example, a business with little or no demand in the market; cheap, low-quality or outdated merchandise; poor customer service; and few, if any, locations.”
In short, as the FTC says, remember that legitimate employers or business opportunities generally don’t require payment from you to secure an earning – so you should never have to pay anyone to get their idea or opportunity.
In fact, the only businesses that ask you to pay any money upfront are the franchise businesses. In such cases, the promoters have to give you a lot of information and a contract before they ask for payment. If the promoters of business opportunities ask for more than $500, you must ask them for even more specific information. For example, if the promoter says that investors can make a certain amount of money, the promoter must be asked to include the number and percentage of previous purchasers who achieved what he claims.
You must also ask these franchise promoters for a disclosure document on their business, including any lawsuits they’ve faced from previous purchasers. In addition, ask for the names, addresses, and phone numbers of at least 10-20 previous purchasers closest to your geo-location, so you can physically meet and check with these people. Push them hard – and get an attorney to whet them.
2. What kinds of people – with what mindsets – fall for Internet scam businesses?
Before we put all the blame on scammers for selling us fake business opportunities, it also helps to see what psychological vulnerabilities most budding online entrepreneurs, like us, have that make us open to suspicious business opportunities. We tend to think that most of us want to make money “fast” – and that greed and its associated emotions get in the way of deep evaluation of online business opportunities. But aside from this, there could be five other reasons:
- The “I Have To Return The Favor” Trap: If someone does something for us, we often feel more obligated to them. Unscrupulous scammers could, therefore, use our latent sense of obligation to do what they ask. For example, they could make their business idea look like a favor to us because they are allowing us into an exclusive club that has a secret method. That could set us up to say “Yes” when we have to sign up, because we feel they are giving us a special privilege.
- The “Whole Lot Of “Em Can’t Be Wrong” Trap: It’s commonly understood by researchers that people like going with the crowds. So if a scammer tells you that nearly 75% of people he approached liked his money-making scheme and signed up, you will have a weak moment when you feel, “They can’t all be wrong?” It would surprise you how many people never stop to think if that “75%” could be a bogus claim. It just sounds like everyone’s going somewhere, where we are not.
- The “Little Steps Down The Hole” Trap: Okay, this is a trick a lot of us fall for. It’s one that even Dale Carnegie recommends as a persuasion technique. If you get people to say “Yes” to a lot of small questions, they will say “Yes” again, to a big question at the end. A scammer may slowly wheedle us into something horribly wrong simply by leading with a series of “Yes” answers that individually mean nothing, but accumulate his power over us.
- The “Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)” Trap: Especially on the Internet, where technology is forever promising the moon to entrepreneurs who enter the “next big thing”, the psychology operating in many eager entrepreneurs is FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out). You feel as if the whole world is progressing while you are not getting any part of the pie, and someone can easily dupe you into thinking you are on the next big tech-trip with a scam of a business idea.
- The “They Seemed So Like Nice Like Me” Trap: A horrible trap many of us may be vulnerable to is that we forget to evaluate the business idea being put in front of us, and we evaluate the person giving us the idea instead. If that person were to bluff us saying “Oh, so your birthday also is August 22nd … so is mine! What a coincidence!”, we’d instantly warm to them simply because of a sense of kinship cleverly created. After that, it’s hard to say “No” to someone we have begun to think of as “So nice, and so like me.”
3. What are the hallmarks of a genuine Internet business to make money online?
Now that we know the way we shouldn’t go, in search of money-making business ideas online, let’s look at some hard truths about online businesses. Knowing these will prevent us from thinking of the Internet as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – a magical place where you can have money in any which way you choose.
The Internet is a marketplace, and like all marketplaces, it rewards highly those who follow its rules and have the patience and stamina to do whatever it takes to succeed. There are no shortcuts in life or online.
Here are some often asked questions and their answers about online businesses and their money-making potential:
1. Can an online business be started without any investment – or is that also a scammy idea?
The answer is “Yes, you can start a great Internet business (a genuine one that eventually pays a lot), if you start Knowledge Commerce in the method shown in Section 5 of this article.” So read this article carefully, if that is the route you want to take.
Don’t pooh-pooh a business idea that can be started with zero or near-zero cost, because the Internet DOES support entrepreneurs on a shoestring budget. Starting at low or no cost is kosher – it’s a whole different deal altogether than expecting to earn in the next one minute or two. The former is possible, the latter is impossible.
2. How long does it really take to succeed in an Internet-based business?
Now this is a bit of a difficult question because you have to be clear about what you mean by “succeed”. Do you mean how long will it take to earn money? Or how long it will take to be profitable? Or how long it will take to replace your job? Or how long will it take to make your first million? What is it you are gunning for? Get clear on that first.
In general, people say it used to be easier to get to a good level of earning in the first 12 months of starting an online business. You could earn between about $5000 or so (enough to survive on without another job), if you did what was needed to be done without let up. But now there is more online competition, so it takes between 18-24 months.
I am okay with that because I always give myself much more time than I need. If people say it will take 24 months, I stay prepared for 36 months. When I think I have lots of time, I tend to make better economic decisions as I go along, and I spend less because I have to make my small budget work harder over a longer-term. Eventually, I succeed much earlier. And I end up feeling I have achieved much faster than I expected – at much less cost than I expected. I love that feeling!
3. How does an Internet business really work to help you earn money?
Now, let’s get down to the process of how an Internet-based business works. It’s not like a physical business where you have the product first and then find buyers. In fact, it works in the opposite way. You need an audience first, and then they will show you what products to create that they may buy from you. So here are the steps:
- You decide on a niche – an area where you will specialize. It could be an area you good at or know a lot about. It could be an area of passion or hobby. Decide what area of specialization you’d like to make your own.
- Start blogging profusely in that area of your niche – either from your own site or a blogging platform. Aim to attract a lot of free traffic from Google by answering questions people search for on Google. Now this will take at least six months of regular blogging without expecting any results, because Google has something called a “sandbox”. It’s where Google puts new bloggers, to see if they have the stamina to survive beyond six months. Only after that will your blog posts start getting seen on Google, and only then will the free traffic start coming in.
- From the traffic you get, you need to convert as many people as you can into subscribers to your mailing list. You have to offer them some attractive free download (it’s called a lead magnet) in return for their email addresses. Why do you need their emails? So you can bring them back and back to your new blog posts – and the more they read what you write, the more loyal they become as your “bonded community”.
- When you have sufficient amounts of traffic (say 10,000 visitors a month) and from that are able to get sufficient numbers of subscribers (say at least 1000 subscribers), you can then see what products in your niche these people may like to buy from you – as ebooks, or courses, or memberships, or consulting services. But don’t think this is all that you can make money from. In the next section of this article (Section 4), I have shown you how exponentially your earnings can grow once you’ve begun to be trusted, and loved, and read, and seen, as an “authority” in your niche.
- Did you read the word “trust” in the previous bullet-point? That is where the money lies in an online business – any online business. See the diagram below.
It shows that as trust grows in you over time, the amount you can charge for your products or services also grows over time. The really big money is there waiting for you, but you have to get to it by becoming the “subject expert” and the “best go-to-resource” in your niche. The whole online game online is about “trust building” and then “trust encashing”.
4. What is Knowledge Commerce, and what is it’s money-making potential?
Knowledge Commerce is about selling your unique knowledge or domain expertise to other people. Some of the simpler ways your knowledge could be sold to others could be as ebooks, online courses, membership sites, consultancy services, and so on.
The question arises: why would someone pay for your knowledge when so much free information on every topic of expertise is available online? The answer is this. Due to the commoditization of knowledge online, there is a value to “branded knowledge” that separates itself. People also don’t want run-of-the-mill knowledge. They want unique expertise from someone who has an angle on information that is different, and therefore can enable a competitive edge.
Knowledge Commerce attracts acknowledged experts and eager multitudes of solo freelancers wanting to build unique knowledge brands of themselves. Research suggests that Knowledge Commerce will reach $325 billion by 2025.
Knowledge Commerce money-making actually has three levels
While most people entering the field of Knowledge Commerce think only in terms of ideas like ebooks, courses, or membership sites, these knowledge products don’t even scratch 25% of the potential to earn millions. In fact, there are three levels of earning you can hit, matching the corresponding growth of your brand equity. See this diagram and the explanation below:
- Earning Level One: Focus on products you can create or market
- Convert your knowledge into a whole repertoire of products
- Identify and sell related big-ticket affiliate products
- Explore earnings from sophisticated, relevant advertising programs
- Earning Level Two: Focus on your growing authority as a brand
- Write a bestseller book or take on classy speaking engagements
- Explore joint ventures with peers to multiply networking and earnings
- Get into big-ticket consulting services with performance-based fees
- Earning Level Three: Focus on your growing opportunities as an influencer
- Learn the secrets of influencer earnings with micro-influencing
- Power up influencer earnings with mid-tier influencing
- Put influencer earnings on full-blast with mega influencing
The moral of the story? When you think of making money with Knowledge Commerce, don’t dream small.
5. How do you begin and run Knowledge Commerce without any startup costs
If you want to build a Knowledge Commerce business at near-zero costs, here’s a diagram below. It has all that you need to know to make money online with a $10 per month investment. You’ll also get high profits through this method.
The steps are easy:
- Get onto Medium, a free online blogging space where millions upon millions of readers congregate daily, to read their favorite authors. Create a brand on Medium. To see how read this article from Medium.
- Start blogging profusely, always keeping your unique niche in mind, and your target audience.
- Make sure you add an incentive (a free 6-part email course, maybe) that users can give you their email addresses in exchange for. Give them a link to click to a free Mailchimp form, whereby their email addresses get into your free Mailchimp mailing list. Mailchimp is an email marketing tool that has a free plan that’s good for up to 2000 subscribers. You can get Mailchimp to send subscribers a Welcome Email and the 6-part email course as a drip-fed sequence.
- When you get enough email list subscribers, you’ll have what we call an MVA – a Minimum Viable Audience. That means, at least enough subscribers to give you feedback on what products they’d find very useful if you created these.
- Now how do you sell products to these people who want to buy? Again Medium allows embeds of products. This is done through Embedly, a tool which changes a paltry $9 per month as its base plan. How to embed and sell products? Here’s an article “Sell directly on Medium” that explains the process. You use Paypal to collect money (and Paypal is free unless someone pays you, whereafter only they dock a small percentage fee from your earnings).
You don’t ever have to get off this business model. You can get by at this measly cost for the rest of your business life. You can increase profits by blogging more and capturing more subscribers and selling more products to them.
So What Are Your Thoughts? Do Share!
This post is incomplete without your input. The community of Knowledge Commerce solopreneurs would feel galvanized to hear from you … so do share your thoughts on this topic with us, in the comments field below this post.
This post is part of a series that elaborates on “How To Make Money Online Without Investment For High Profit“.
Other related posts you may like to read are these:
- How To Make Money Online From Home Via Knowledge Commerce
- How To Make Money Online Freelancing In Knowledge Commerce
- How To Make Money Online On The Side Via Knowledge Commerce
- How To Make Money Online By Writing For Knowledge Commerce
- How To Make Money Online As A Student Via Knowledge Commerce
- How Beginners Can Grow Passive Incomes … 10 Suggestions
- How To Make Money Online For Beginners in Knowledge Commerce
- How To Make Money Online By Answering Questions In Your Niche
- How To Make Money Online From Blogging In Your Niche
- How To Make Money Online Affiliate Marketing In Your Niche