15. Best Practices for Making Money Online
It is evident that you will find a lot of different opportunities to make money online. Regardless of your knowledge, experience, availability, there are so many choices, that you will surely find a career that will be suitable for you. In fact, if you keep up with the technology, soon you might even come across other exciting possibilities.
To make this a successful career and to maximize your potential, here are some recommendations for you:
Find a niche
If you have a specific area you specialize in, you will be able to get the right experience and become an expert in that field much quicker. Your attention will be devoted to the projects that help you develop and apply that specific skill.
For example, if you are a designer, you can specialize in logo design and work on with clients that have such projects for you. You will learn about all those industry secrets, tricks and most importantly, about the trends that will help you distinguish yourself as a designer. If you are a writer, it might be easier for you to specialize in a certain topic, such as fitness. With each new article, you get more experience, and you develop your knowledge. This helps you do your job better, it helps you gain reputation, and it eventually allows you to charge more (since you are an expert, after all).
Have in mind that it is impossible to be expert on everything. You might be good at multiple fields, and you can be quite resourceful which will help you demonstrate remarkable work performance, but if you want to be an expert in something, if you want to be that go-to person, you need to find your niche.
Learn how to communicate
You have already seen how good communication is essential to stay on good terms with the clients and to be able to work together successfully. But good communication goes beyond your business arrangement with the clients. Here are some situations where you need to demonstrate your skillfulness in communication:
Social media posting
These represent you personally or your brand, so learn how to create updates that really resonate with and engage your followers.
Working with customers, you will meet all sorts of people. And some of them might be really unpleasant, impatient, and even rude. You need to take the high road, always. Make sure you continuously keep your cool, stay professional, show understanding and offer assistance with solving the issue.
Your email subscribers
The way you address your subscribers affects the relationship you are going to have with them and what kind of a relationship you will create, whether they will trust you, etc.
Build your reputation
Once you start working online, regardless of your niche or type of work you do, a lot will rely on your reputation. Online reviews, forums and even social media are full of people, regular users, who constantly share their experience. Reviews you get as an online shop, or an individual who works as a freelancer will have an impact on your opportunities to earn money in the future.
You should not be too afraid, and start dreading what others might say about you, but it is critical to have in mind that building a name for yourself should be one your goals in your online career. You will achieve this by:
- Successfully completing projects
- Communicating well with clients/customers
- Staying professional
- Demonstrating excellence in the work that you do
If you choose your niche and you start working on your reputation, you will eventually create influence in your industry, which will additionally improve your opportunities and possibilities to make money online.
One of the easiest ways to build a great reputation is to always to provide value. Always think about how you can give more, how you can do better. Aim for perfection whenever you can.
The idea is not obsessing over every little detail, but instead, you want to show off your best work. Sometimes you might have a client, and you know you will not work with them anymore. Sometimes you are underpaid for the job you do. Sometimes, the job turns out to be nothing like you have imagined. Even so, try to stay professional and provide value. In the long run, this will help you build the reputation that really stands out, and you can always say that you are proud of the work you have done, even if you were not very happy with the job terms.
Never should you cut corners and provide anything but your best work. You never know who might come across your work. You might end up getting amazing opportunities when someone discovers your work online.
Also, when you provide value, when you do your best work, you are usually going to have only satisfied clients. And this is something you need to think about when working online.
The first part of this practice refers to keeping up with the trends in your industry. Have in mind that the online world is a fast-changing environment, and you need to stay on top of your game. Even though you have set up your business, and everything is up and running, you will always be monitoring your workflow, thinking of ways of how to improve things, etc.
We have seen how many scams could be a potential threat to your business effort, so keeping up with these trends should also be a part of your priority list. If you are aware of the potential dangers and issues that might affect your business, it is better to be prepared and expect them.
Be careful when outsourcing
A lot of the work you do online can be outsourced. The greatest advantage is that you can hire people to do the job for you, help you accept more tasks, etc. The person or an agency you are outsourcing work to can take the percentage, and as long as you get the job done for the client, you can use this to your benefit.
However, you have seen how much reputation is important in this industry and how one negative review can do you harm. Even though some things can be outsourced successfully, you should always be careful when using such a practice. Remember that you have got a lot to lose, and you need to provide value to your clients or customers. When hiring help, hire someone you have worked with or someone who already has a solid reputation.
This section particular refers to freelancing jobs. On the other hand, having a webshop is certainly a great place to start outsourcing work.
Define contracts /TOS
Avoid starting any online work without defining the contact, which includes your obligations, as well as your rights. Also, Terms of Service is a document you should always refer to, regardless if you have an online store, or you are a freelancer who works for companies as an independent contractor.
Starting with a positive attitude and hoping to create a career, you must never forget that there are so many devious people out there. In the next chapter, you will see some of the most common scams to avoid. But quite often, you might start working with someone and only after a while does it turn out not to be a legitimate business, or face a client that simply refuses to pay for the work you have done.
Also, it is helping define the terms under which you provide your service (or sell products). This enables you to protect yourself and your business from any claims or disputes in the future.
Working online can be quite a lonesome work. You communicate with people via email, through social networks, but hardly ever do you get the chance to talk to people. Even though the social aspect is often missing when working online, you should change that and try to find people you can interact with.
Not only will you get to fill this missing factor, but interaction with other people who do the same or similar work that you do can help you discover new interesting practice, learn about shortcuts, get ideas how to improve your work routine. Ultimately, it helps in sharing the experience and learning about ups and downs every one of them goes through. It is a priceless lesson that can have such a positive impact on your career.
Balance life and career
When you choose this to be your career, to be your own boss, it can become difficult to separate your business from your life. You get so caught up in everything, and you somehow start prioritizing business over any other thing in life, simply because the business is yours. This is especially difficult if you are working from home. You can never really leave work because you know that your business is one click away.
Nonetheless, try to make some sort balance. This is especially important to lead a successful life. Your business must not take precedence always and it must not overwhelm you completely.
The final thought in this chapter should reflect the need to be hardworking and professional when doing business online. Even if you are not an organized person, you should train yourself to become one. Ultimately, making money online is a job that requires you to have all those skills we have mentioned in the beginning, to make sure you really succeed with your efforts and unlock all the possibilities this career of yours includes.