Your website should help people learn more about how you can help them so that they self-select and come to you pre-sold. This is how you increase the percentage of prospects that become customers. This doesn’t happen by blathering on about you and your company – it happens by engaging with people through your website about what is really on their mind – making it easy for them to get the information they are seeking, their questions answered, all the while increasing your position in their mind as a trusted authority. Done right, a website can be an extremely powerful tool to help properly setup the sales conversation so that by the time the conversation actually takes place, the prospect has already determined that your business is the one that they want to work with.
Make money on YouTube. People who love the spotlight and have other online hustles should consider creating their own YouTube channel. If you’re interested — and interesting — you can use the platform to market affiliate products, sell products you create yourself, or receive ad revenue for your informal tutorials or entertaining videos. Once you get the ball rolling, YouTube offers a partner program that can help you monetize your business further.
It is hard to think about spending $5,000 just to get started with a business when you have nothing but an idea. However, an idea won’t grow into a real business without some investment and marketing. That is not fair, it MIGHT, but it will take you a lot longer than just saving up a bit more and then jumping in with a real budget to make sure your first sale happens sooner than you go completely broke.
Affiliate marketing is the underdog in this list. While networks like CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction) still exist, affiliate marketing for the modern web works best when you connect directly with affiliates you feel are relevant to your website. Have a blog about iOS apps or books? Try the iTunes Affiliate Program. Sell design resources? Try promoting other makers on Creative Market. I’m a digital nomad that lives in a different country every month (and sometimes blogs about it), so the apartments that I live in and recommend via the Airbnb Referral Program can sometimes earn me a lot of Airbnb credits!
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.