Where should I start? (In general...)

by RobRussell 15 replies
Basically: I want to make money online, or start some sort of online business, but I have no idea what I should do or where I should start. If you take the time to read through and respond, I'll love you forever.

First, a little about myself:

My name's Rob Russell. I'm a 26 year-old former US Marine who left active duty to pursue a BS in Computer Science, because I love computers and the internet. I'm currently working on my degree (one more year to go), and with the help of the GI Bill and me being so gosh darned good at school, I'm really crushing it! However, I have a lot of free time on my hands, and I've always been interested in working for myself, especially in making money online. I could really use some experience for my resume, but with pounding summer classes, rushing to finish my degree, I don't have the normal availability to take on a sweet paid programming internship. So, I want to make money on my own.

This is what I can do:
  • HTML/CSS/JS - I can build websites.
  • Photoshop - I can make cool graphics and edit pictures.
  • PHP/MySQL - I can make web applications.
  • Java/C++ - I can make simple desktop applications.

So what am I asking, then?

My underlying goal might be to just make money online by myself, but my real goal here is to create some sort of residual income. Now I know a lot of you are going to say "Oh well just make some kind of software to sell and sell it." But I have no ideas for great software, no ideas for great templates, and generally no idea how to sell stuff online other than posting a picture of my broken dirt bike on craigslist. I'm here on Warrior Forum because it's clear to me that any business is about being good at sales, and if I'm going to be in business on the internet, this is the place to learn how to sell stuff. I guess I'm looking for a mentor, I'm not really sure where to go from here. I feel like I have a lot of the technical skills I'd need to start making money online, but I have no idea WHERE or HOW to start. If someone here could give me some guidance and direction, or even make some suggestions as to what I should be doing with my life at this point, I'd be forever grateful.

Thanks for reading.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #general #start
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  • Profile picture of the author Fingertips
    Hi Rob

    You certainly have plenty of technical skills, and yes - you are spot on - learning marketing is what building an internet business is all about.

    I started out exactly a year ago, with very similar goals. I was quite quickly overloaded by all the information and advice I started getting, and spent money which in retrospect I probably could have saved.

    My lucky break came when I found a mentor myself, who helped me by simplifying the whole process for me, and providing support when I really needed it. He already had a successful sales funnel in place and suggested to me to learn first of all how to simply drive high-quality traffic to this funnel, and that he and his team would handle the sales and pay me.

    Fortunately for me he was honest and trustworthy and has done what he said, allowing me to build up a residual and pay for my advertising and expenses from my online income. I am now building my own sales funnel and starting to put together products and build a list. This first year for me was all about learning, and I am a slow learner. You will probably do things much faster than I did

    The free 4-part video series at the bottom of this message maps out the basics, and this may be of great help to you, as it was for me when I started.

    I hope you have a successful online marketing career. Message me if you want anything further explained.

    Kind Regards
    Richard
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  • Profile picture of the author RobRussell
    Thanks for the reply Richard, but I don't believe they'll let you post links to offers in the regular forums, so your link to your videos won't show up.
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  • Profile picture of the author EPoltrack77
    Making money online is no different than any other business. It all comes down to supply and demand. What I tell everyone is is that the money is in the list. What I mean by that is by creating a free report to give away you can build yourself a subscriber base of prospects and the idea here (that most people don't take the time to do and then they say email is dead) but its to build trust with your list. Share value and give your readers a reason to open and read your email. This is traffic on demand! Thats the whole point.

    Always start small with you free offer and give your subscriber a chance to purchase a more informative version for a low entry fee. This will build you a buyers list as well as a freebie list. Its a great way to make some upfront money on your efforts but again the big picture here is building that trust and when you recommend either your own products or affiliate products your list will be good to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    Hey Rob,

    In an effort to earn your eternal love - we just won't tell my wife! - I'd be happy to lend a hand.

    When I began in IM, a little over two decades ago, I had similar skills and found myself in a similar situation, working my way through university.

    The intervening years have seen me setup more than my fair share of different businesses. One requirement, though, has been consistent throughout. The need for income stability.

    Whenever I endeavour to establish any business - whether we're talking a membership website or an affiliate website or a product in a virtual world or a hundred and one other types of business - I never forget the dynamic nature of the digital environment and the need for the entrepreneur within it to build business structures capable of weathering the ups and downs.

    How do you do this? I'm going to give the answer a separate paragraph. It's important.

    You build relationships.

    Now, in practical terms, this amounts to setting up communication channels with your target audience and remembering that these are not numbers in a database, to whom you might hammer with requests for action-taking, but flesh and blood people who share collective problems and desire collective solutions.

    Take the situation we find ourselves in right now.

    You have a problem. That problem being: how can I leverage all of my skills, and keeping in mind my college life beyond the wold of internet marketing, use them to build a stable business? Yours truly (the chap endeavoring to earn your love), has the answers. And instead of sending you an ugly private message or throwing monetized links in your direction, I'm hoping to grab you by the shoulders, steer you around in the right direction, and set you off on the right path. Am I an altruist? I actually am, but that's beside the point. What I am is also a chap who knows that my actions here are building relationships within the market. I'm helping. And showing that I can help.

    Building relationships.

    You can do what I'm doing here in any market and on numerous platforms. Some of which are these 3:

    - Forums
    - Social networks
    - Email lists.

    With that most important aspect in mind, then, let's consider what you can do to setup a stable business, a business whose backbone is all about building relationships.

    This is the 4 step system that you're going to take:

    1. You're going to identify a problem that you believe you can solve.
    2. You're going to establish a mechanism whereby you can give solutions.
    3. You're going to find your target audience.
    4. You're going to build an ongoing relationship with that audience.

    To understand how this works in practice, I'm going to suggest 4 potential business models to you. There are hundreds. Here are 4:

    1. Email Marketing.
    2. Blogging.
    3. Product creation.
    4. Email marketing, blogging, and product creation.

    Let's look at number 4. One of the tried and tested business models, number 4, can work like this:

    1. You create a free digital product that solves a collective problem within the market.
    2. You lock it behind a squeeze page to encourage people to subscribe and receive that solution.
    3. You blog on the market subject and encourage readers to view and take action on your squeeze page. We call this "content upgrading."
    4. You build relationships with your subscribers and your social followers.
    5. You market relevant solutions within your blog and to new subscribers and to your social followers.
    6. You re-market to your subscribers and social followers, but do so by remember they're not numbers but flesh and blood people.

    That's one way of doing it.

    Now let's get very practical. You have plenty of skills, but you lack some important ones. What I'd suggest is keeping things simple, just for now, but growing a stable business. The last thing you want to do is throw yourself into a business model that either won't work or could die the moment you take your eye off the ball. I'd suggest you start out with a blog and a squeeze page. Concentrate on achieving these 5 things:

    - Identify an evergreen market (where there's always demand)
    - Grow a social following.
    - Grow your email list.
    - Develop good relationships with people on both platforms.
    - Deliver and over-deliver relevant solutions.

    If you do that, you'll have a stable business than can weather time off for exams and the ups and downs of the economy. I've only skimmed the surface here, but I hope I've achieved what I set out to do: put you on the right path.

    Best of luck!

    Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author Luke Dennison
    You have some desired skills there.

    If your main purpose is to pit something on your cv so that you can get jobs easier when you're done at uni, then I'd start freelancing online.

    You should sign up to

    1. Upwork
    2. Freelancer

    and read up on both those websites. You can earn decent money on those websites in your spare time, and just link to your profile in your CV to demonstrate that you can follow customer instructions and give them what they want.

    Good luck,
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  • Profile picture of the author RobRussell
    Thank you for all the helpful replies!
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert999
    Originally Posted by RobRussell View Post

    Basically: I want to make money online, or start some sort of online business, but I have no idea what I should do or where I should start. If you take the time to read through and respond, I'll love you forever.

    First, a little about myself:

    My name's Rob Russell. I'm a 26 year-old former US Marine who left active duty to pursue a BS in Computer Science, because I love computers and the internet. I'm currently working on my degree (one more year to go), and with the help of the GI Bill and me being so gosh darned good at school, I'm really crushing it! However, I have a lot of free time on my hands, and I've always been interested in working for myself, especially in making money online. I could really use some experience for my resume, but with pounding summer classes, rushing to finish my degree, I don't have the normal availability to take on a sweet paid programming internship. So, I want to make money on my own.

    This is what I can do:
    • HTML/CSS/JS - I can build websites.
    • Photoshop - I can make cool graphics and edit pictures.
    • PHP/MySQL - I can make web applications.
    • Java/C++ - I can make simple desktop applications.

    So what am I asking, then?

    My underlying goal might be to just make money online by myself, but my real goal here is to create some sort of residual income. Now I know a lot of you are going to say "Oh well just make some kind of software to sell and sell it." But I have no ideas for great software, no ideas for great templates, and generally no idea how to sell stuff online other than posting a picture of my broken dirt bike on craigslist. I'm here on Warrior Forum because it's clear to me that any business is about being good at sales, and if I'm going to be in business on the internet, this is the place to learn how to sell stuff. I guess I'm looking for a mentor, I'm not really sure where to go from here. I feel like I have a lot of the technical skills I'd need to start making money online, but I have no idea WHERE or HOW to start. If someone here could give me some guidance and direction, or even make some suggestions as to what I should be doing with my life at this point, I'd be forever grateful.

    Thanks for reading.
    Join
    odesk.com
    freelancer.com
    elance.com
    fiverr.com

    Bid on projects you can do and start earning from your skills.

    but if you want to enter into Internet marketing industry then you need to learn more skills like list building, content creation, SEO, traffic generation etc.

    An easier path to enter into Internet marketing is through "Clickbank Affiliate Marketing".
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    • Profile picture of the author I am Jacqui
      Tom Addams, thank you for this comprehensive response to Rob's question. It's has really helped m to focus on what I could be doing to start a business on-line.
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      • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
        Originally Posted by I am Jacqui View Post

        Tom Addams, thank you for this comprehensive response to Rob's question. It's has really helped m to focus on what I could be doing to start a business on-line.
        You're welcome, Jacqui, and I'm glad to hear it! Thank you in return. You just got my day off to a great start.

        Cheers,

        Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisNosal
    Banned
    The first thing you need to do to sell yourself to people is learn marketing. I know you said your don't know much about selling, but if you go on to Elance, or any other freelance website, you'll quickly noticed that for all your skills, many other people have similar or greater skills.

    The only thing that's going to set you apart from them, make you stand out, and make people want to go with you over the competition is your ability to sell yourself and your ideas better than your competition.

    I feel like you are ready know this, but you're asking this question hoping for an easy answer where you can skip over the hard work of learning marketing, but that just isn't going to work like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author MayWJans
    Another thing I think you should do is join a few safelist advertising sites and begin reading some of the sales emails that come your way each.

    You will:

    1. Familiaze yourself with the lucrative email marketing industry, which is huge.
    2. See the types of offers people are pitching.
    3. Begin to observe what types of emails catch your eye ie. visually how the email looks, spacing etc.
    4. Just jumping in and getting involved on ANY level, good ideas and concepts are bound to 'stick' simply because your smack dab in the middle of that environment, so to speak haha.
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  • Profile picture of the author sujit1717
    If I were you, I would be creating video courses or writing books and selling them online. You can create Udemy courses. Start blogging and start creating tutorials on your blog. Give freebies, Help people and everything will be get back to you with money.
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  • Profile picture of the author extrememan
    Hear me out here, and really consider this: BE A EMAIL MARKETER & MARKET ANY AFFILIATE PRODUCT YOU WANT. Can't spell it out anymore. Research and look for a program to teach you how to build a list and be a professional email marketer? Geez, if you can build websites you can send emails.. To your success bro!
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