We’ve seen a lot of online business trends come and go since the advent of the internet. So many mamas have been able to earn money from home, and we're inspired by their success, right? But what’s happening in 2018? Is blogging still profitable? Do people actually buy courses? How long will it take ya girl to launch a product line?
I had these same questions when I started looking for a way to earn some extra money from home while I rocked my babies.
Here’s 4 things I've learned about the state of the internet and the smartest way to build an online business in 2018.
People don’t read blogs anymore.
Even popular bloggers and dedicated writers have seen a decrease in readership over the last few years. If your blog is hyper-specific and solves a unique problem, then you can bet on drive-by traffic as people search for a solution to the problem that you solve. But will they subscribe to your newsletter and check back every week as loyal readers? Probably not.
There goes my dream of getting paid to write eloquent stories about motherhood with gorgeous recipes thrown in for good measure.
Everybody wants to be an affiliate marketer.
Affiliate marketing used to be the most popular thing on the block! Every successful person on the internet was using affiliate marketing to boost their income. Tell me: did you stumble your way through the Amazon affiliate signup with high hopes? How many bills have you paid from that check?
In 2018, every person with an online presence looks for affiliate partnerships as a revenue stream. The problem with that kind of saturation is that it lowers the value of an affiliate partner. Where there used to be ten people in line willing to shout-out for brands + businesses, now there are hundreds (and half of them are willing to do it for free products instead of cash).
Unless you have a huge + loyal following, affiliate marketing is more of an income trickle rather than a stream.
Courses are awesome. But they don't sell themselves.
More and more online biz ladies are turning to courses as a way to keep their business legit (and by legit, I mean actually making a profit). And to be fair, this industry is seeing huge growth right now!
If you have legitimate experience on the topic you plan to teach and you're comfortable with techy things like video editing, then you can probably create a solid introductory course.
But can you sell it?
To make a sale, you need to know exactly who your customers are. You need to reach out to them and begin offering them value (for free). You need to acquire their email address. You need good email copy that is both helpful and personable to show them that you're a professional and you can deliver them a course worth their money. And then you need to actually ask them to buy your course.
Courses are profitable, but they take a fair amount of time + effort since you have to do the work of creating the product as well as marketing it.
Social is queen.
Consumers in 2018 are looking for people + brands that are fun to engage with on social media. Reposting quotes a couple of days a week doesn't cut it anymore. You need a strong message, beautiful pictures, and a clear strategy if you want social media to pay off for you.
So what's a smart girl to do?
1. Lead with your brand.
It doesn't matter if you plan to sell information, services, or products (and even if you don't know what you're going to sell yet!), ya gotta have a brand that people connect with.
What does brand actually mean? Your brand is simply your promise to your people.
Thus, before you can have a strong brand, you need to know who your people are. Once you've identified the people who you would like to help, decide what your promise to them is going to be and deliver it consistently.
Notice that we aren't talking about selling anything yet. Your brand is more important than whatever product or service you are selling. As Seth Godin says, "We drink the can, not the beverage."
2. Decide what you will sell
This mostly comes down to a personal choice, but here are a few points to consider:
- What are the startup costs for launching this product/service?
- How long will it take to have my product/service ready to sell?
- Is there a market for my product/service and is the market on the rise?
- Can I scale this product/service in order to meet my income goals without giving up my life?
- Do I like this product or service enough to recommend it to my closest friends?
3. Weave your product/service into your overall brand message
We've all seen it - those people who turn into marketing machines as soon as they go into business for themselves. Don't be that girl.
Tell a good story. Be helpful. Be relatable. And on occasion, pitch your product or service in a way that speaks to the greatest felt need of your people.
craft a clearly defined brand so you can make money from home in 2018
The great thing about leading with your brand (and not your sales pitch) is that you can monetize it multiple ways, meaning you can earn money from home that is equivalent (or way beyond) what you might earn at a "real job."
Under the umbrella of a singular brand for example, you could offer a coaching service, sell digital products, earn affiliate commission from a related brand, and even earn commission from a network marketing partnership (if you choose the right company for your brand).
If you want to earn money from home in 2018, the smartest way to spend your time is laying the foundation for a strong personal brand.
Today's consumers want to feel like they are spending their money with someone they know, like, and trust, rather than with a large corporate entity. So your foremost job is to make yourself known, liked, and trusted by the people you want to serve.
Does your brand need some help?
Download Creating a Timeless Brand: The 3 Questions You Have to Ask Yourself for free and start crafting a brand that people are excited to buy from so you can start earning money from home in 2018!
Go now, darling, and create a life that you don't need to take a break from.