I confess to making money online with eBay and Gumtree but it is not my preferred model. It is more work that I have time for. Although For some of my friends who don’t like to write, it is their go-to model. Personally, I like to write so my preference to make money online for free is a Blog.
What You Need To Start Your Business With A Blog
All of the following you can get for free. You just need to know where to look.
All You will need is:
- A contact email (Gmail will do)
- A Blog
- Social media to promote your site
Please keep in mind that all the detail I am about to provide apply to Australia. However, it will mostly be the business name application that will be different in other countries. Most everything else should be available worldwide.
Domain Name Note
I have not mentioned anything about a domain name. If you know what that is then you may be wondering why. The fact is you will have trouble growing your business without a domain name but you don’t need one to get started for free. Any decent Blog will creat a domain name for you and using that will be more than sufficient.
There are plenty who will argue that point with me but it is indisputable that you can get started without a domain name.
On Your Phone
There are many cases of people building a business using the local library internet to get started. It is possible to get started on your phone or tablet but it is much harder. There are significant limitations to formatting etc. But it is possible, I just don’t recommend it.
In my experience blogger is by far the easiest to build on your phone or tablet, if you insist or have no other option. You will have to download the app and there will be a learning curve to use it correctly.
My choice however is to use a laptop or desktop computer. It is much easier.
1. A Contact Email
There are plenty of free email services but Gmail is by far the one with the best reputation. A word to the wise, don’t try to do a blog using a Hotmail account. Even though Hotmail has fixed most of its issues through the years they still have such a bad reputation that there are a lot of people that will be very wary of your blog.
Some will insist that you have to have a business-named email address. You know one that looks like “Your_name@Yourbisinessname.com. There is little doubt that will help. It can help your brand a reputation. But it is absolutely not essential. Besides you have to pay for a business email and this is after all about free.
Gmail will get you started for free and you may even be able to make it look kinda like a business email if you do it right.
2. A Blog
A Blog does not necessarily have a sales cart. It may link to one but in itself, it does not have one.
A blog is by far the most effective and time-efficient way of attracting free traffic. The free traffic will start to flow as soon as you build enough content. The more blog posts you make the more traffic you will have over time. Make sure you have your product on each page of your blog and over time as you build content you will start to sell products.
When you finally do get to promoting a product, the free traffic generated by a blog will make that time you spent writing it well worthwhile.
Lots of Posts:
Now when I say more blog posts get more traffic, let me be clear, we are talking about lots of blog posts. In my case, I did not start to get any real traffic until I reached about 200 posts.
You also have to post very regularly. Do not skimp on this consistency is the key. You need to post at least once a week. More if you want to get traffic sooner. But they must be regular. Preferably a post each day to start with. If you post once a week make it the same day every week. If you post twice per week, post each post every single week without fail, each post on its own day.
Is it as efficient as advertising? No, not even close but it does work and as in my case, the more content you write the more you are likely to sell.
You can do affiliate marketing without a website if you have the money, but if you are going to start a business with no money down you have to have at least a blog. Yes, you can leverage traffic from social media to go directly to your affiliate product but if you have no money, how do you get traffic to your social media? It is a lot harder than generating traffic through your blog and directing it to your product through your blog.
You can use a blog to enhance your social media efforts by posting on your blog first and then posting the article to your social media.
If you want to spend time on SEO there is no doubt that that will enhance the ranking but I have to say that provided you write clear and interesting content most of the SEO takes care of itself.
Honestly, if you are going to try to make money online without spending money you are going to want to have a blog. I even advise all my clients to have a blog because even if you have money to spend on advertising you can leverage your blog to use in that advertising campaign.
Which Blog Platform To Use
Everybody’s first response to the platform choice question is most often WordPress. If you were going to spend money then I would advise you, as I do all my clients, to use WordPress. It is by far the most flexible and easiest to build and organise. There are many plugins that allow you to do lots of things automatically and without the use of code. I have worked with a few other platforms and I have found that the learning curve is much less steep with WordPress than with all the others I have used.
Having said that, we are talking about building an online business for free. You can’t do that with WordPress. Yes, the product is free but you have to host it and there are no free hosting services worth their salt.
There are some that will try to convince you that you can join the WordPress community for free which is true but be warned, the moment you try to sell anything on that platform you will be sanctioned or even banned.
Groove And Others:
Groove has a blog platform. It is emerging as one of the big players. There are many features with this platform that can be added on to make this a fully functioning sales platform that will help you as you grow your business and experience. Most of which are free. It comes with lots of tutorials and plenty of affiliate programs to tap into. However, the learning curve is steep. That may not bother you if you have time. Just keep in mind the learning part is going to slow you down.
Wix has a blog platform that produces beautiful blog posts but not only is the learning curve very steep but there is a paywall on so many of the most useful features. Honestly, I can’t recommend Wix. In my experience, there comes a time when as a marketer it is just unwieldy to use.
I know that many other web builder services have blog apps and add-ons as part of their free service. Any one of them will do fine if you are going to build a website as well. As long as you read reviews and the instructions on how to use them before you commit to them. Most suffer from the “shiny new thing” syndrome. That is they look really good to the eye but when you get down to the functionality there is very little.
If you have a Google email you already have access to Google Blogger. Just click on the 9 dots in the top right-hand corner of your Chrome browser, click on Blogger and set to go. Well… maybe it is not as simple as that.
There is some learning and set-up to do but personally, I found most of it intuitive and there is plenty of online help. Just type your question into your Chrome Browser and there is bound to be an answer somewhere. Both my starting blog above were started with Blogger and there are so many posts now I am reluctant to transfer over to WordPress.
Not just that, but even though I have transferred some of my other blogs to WordPress because it has some superior features, I continue to be impressed with Blogger’s simplicity and excellent functionality.
Honestly, it is my personal recommendation for all beginners to start with Blogger.
You can even get started almost straight away with Google ads on your sight with just a few clicks of a button. If you want to transfer later to WordPress it is easy and if you ever want to sell your Blog apparently that is the way to go. Blogger sites are apparently hard to sell. Just remember the more post you have the more work will be involved in the transfer.
Pick A Good Profitable Niche
It is critical that whatever you sell is in a popular niche. Not only that but your product has to have a good return. I will cover this process in more detail in another post but let me just tell you that I have had to learn this lesson the hard way. I have literally spent months trying to make businesses work that only have low returns. Maybe for you, it’s just a lot of fun. That’s what it was for me at first. But there came a time when I want all that work to turn into a real business.
Selling a low-profit product requires a lot of quality, targeted and affordable traffic.
Given that you will not be able to generate that kind of traffic with these tactics, you are left with only two choices:
- Never spend a cent of anything you earn until you have enough to buy some traffic
- Your product will have to have a good return so that you can use that return to put back into paying for traffic that will be quality, targeted and affordable.
As I say I will discuss this more in another post but just as a quick survey, you can look up the 10 Best-Selling Most Popular Niches to Make Money Online and find lots of articles. There will not be anything specific for you to just go and grab. Trust me, just because the is PLR attached does not mean it is any good don’t touch it (you can look PLR up if you don’t know but for the time being just ignore it) but you can come up with something quite presentable if you are prepared to put the work in.
This is worth taking some time over.
3. A Way To Promote Online Business For Free And Make Money
The final thing you need is a way of promoting your site. These days you can not properly promote anything without access to social media, so you will need access to social media.
Again I will discuss this further in a later post but the process is simple:
- Post to your blog
- Share your post on your favourite social media platforms
As I have already explained this is all going to take a lot of hard work but free traffic is possible. However, the extra burden of having to promote your post on social media, especially since there are so many of them, can sometimes be overwhelming. There are some tools that can help.
Buffer, Dlvr.it. There are lots of others and they all have a free component. The two I have mentioned are the ones I have found easiest to work with. You just copy the link of your post and paste it into the queue. the rest is done automatically according to your settings. It will help you by scheduling your social media posts.
Anyway, I hope this has been helpful and good luck with building your business with free traffic.
Next, we’ll talk about Make Money For Free Online: Part 3 -Pick A Niche For Your Blog.