Saturday, March 12, 2016

Making That First $

A professor of mine once told me that you should never spend money until you're making money, and my thrifty Dutch heart has never wavered from that statement. I think the reason many businesses fail is that they never even get their foot in the door financially, and especially in our digital age there's really no reason you can't, regardless of the kind of start-up you are.

If you already have a website or blog for your business (and if you don't, why not?) then Amazon Associates is a quick and easy way to monetize your site. Amazon offers lots of different options in the form of banners, text ads, link-backs and shopping widgets, so you'd be hard pressed not to find something that fits in with your company's style and vision. If I remember correctly, you have 180 days to make your first sale on Amazon's behalf, and your commission rate goes up as your sales numbers grow. This program is pay-per-conversion, so will be a slight adjustment if you already use a pay-per-click program like Google AdSense. AdSense is of course another option for monetizing your website, however they do charge a fee for you to join.

If you are hands-on, or if you need something you can do while keeping your kids busy, selling items on Etsy can be a good option for you. These don't have to be elaborate - If you make custom furniture use some cut-offs to make wood coasters. Weave friendship bracelets in your company colours. Collect small, pretty pebbles and pieces of sea glass, drill a small hole in each and sell them in bags for those who do jewelry work. Like to sketch? Make postcards! The options here can be 100% customizable to your interests and time frame. Etsy also has a great community atmosphere among its members which can be good from a motivational stand point when dealing with the growing pains of a start-up.

Fiverr I have mixed feelings about... Mostly because so many people offer services on it for cheap and it brings down market value for those services... As an entrepreneur this hurts me. Personally. But I digress. Fiverr is basically a marketplace for all things. The premise was that everything on it was offered for $5, but it has since expanded beyond this price tag. Their Woman's Day page actually offers a good outline of what Fiverr is about. Check it out, maybe it's for you.

Freedom With Writing is a cool resource for writers and content specialists. Every day they send you an e-mail with a list of companies and websites looking for freelance writers in job-posting format. They also have this handy list of 45 blogs that pay $50+ for guest posts! If you've ever tried freelance writing, you know how abysmally it can pay and you are EXCITED write now. (See what I did there? ;) )

If your heart lies within video content, YouTube is a great option for you to monetize your business. YouTube is owned by Google and its ads therefore fall under the AdWords / AdSense family. Once your uploaded videos receive a certain number of views, YouTube will provide you with the option to begin displaying ads before your own content. You've definitely seen this structure already on every music video ever. Because it's so common-place at this point, you don't have to worry so much about turning viewers off with advertising like you would have 10 years ago. And it's simple, because Google does most of the work for you.

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