There are lots of ways to help others. There are just as many ways to do this though the internet. I'm a pretty selfish person, so I'm going to skip all the hippie-dippie stuff, and get right to the most profitable thing I can think of – selling information.
There are two main strategies that would fall under the category of helping others with information. I'm going to cover both below. One of them I don't have much experience in, the other I do full time, so have lots of advice on how to get started.
Strategy 1: Write and Sell an Ebook
This is much, much easier than you probably think. In fact, there's not much more involved than typing out the document and filling in the gaps with a few Google searches. For example, once you type out your informational guide, all you need to do is get it into the proper format, send it to the proper channels, then market it online.
But wait. Before you start asking where to send it and how to market it, we need to decide what you are going to write about.
This could be very challenging, or you might already know which direction you want to go. Take a look at this diagram and see where your idea fits.
Fail Scenario #1 You might have the best guacamole dip in town, but people love eating it, not making it? Plus, there are thousands of free recipes online. No one is going to pay for your ‘secret' recipe.
Fail Scenario #2 How to use iPad” tutorials are super profitable. But you don't own an iPad or even a tablet. Also, this topic doesn't interest you.
Fail Scenario #3 You have lots of experience riding motorcycles. You could probably teach a course at the local college and make some money off of that skill. But no one is going to buy a written guide called “how to ride a motorcycle”. It's just not practical.
But think positively. Do you know a lot about growing cacti? Yes! Will people buy a read a guide on how to have happy, healthy indoor/outdoor cacti? Yes! Do you think someone would pay $10 or $20 for a really well written, useful guide that answers all their questions? Yes!
You may think that writing a short guide on how to grow cacti isn't really helping people, but it is – don't sell yourself short. There are plenty of green thumbs out there that are looking for real, valuable knowledge online. But there's also a lot of misinformation, scammers, and low quality sites, and other barriers between them and the knowledge they want.
By providing a high quality, highly informative, legitimate guide to whatever it is you do, you are helping others expand their interests, grow their minds, better themselves, and gain more life experience.
Don't think of yourself as a salesman, think of yourself as a teacher.
And teachers get paid.
I wrote my own book last year called Money Blog to Amazon Kindle. It took about 2 years of experience in online marketing to learn enough where I felt comfortable teaching others. I wrote the book in about 3 months. Now it makes about $100/month and I don't do any advertising for it at all. With a little more effort, I might be able to earn more money from it.
It was very easy to publish, and it's free. You might not need a full two years to learn your topic, or you may already know something you want to write about.
Strategy 2: Information Marketing
The concept is simply that you make a website about something you are interested in. When other people are interested in the same thing, they find your blog by searching in Google. You are affiliated with companies that have products related to the topics you write about, and when a visitor buys something from one of those companies through a link on your website, you make a commission.
This is how I make money. More specifically, I do affiliate marketing.
I create something called a “niche website” which is a website based on a specific topic. This more narrow scope this topic is, the better.
- Outdoor gear is too broad.
- Outdoor gear for women is getting better.
- Outdoor gear for women in winter climates is a great idea for a niche.
If you are a woman that lives in a harsh climate and has extensive experience with things like ice-climbing gear, rainy weather water proof stuff, and whatever else goes along in that niche…blam. There's an awesome website idea for you.
If that doesn't describe you, sorry. Time to start thinking!
Once you have an idea for a website, you write, and write, and write. Sometimes you write just to provide information to your readers. Sometimes you write to advertise a specific product. Sometimes you write to answer a frequently asked question, and provide a solution to a problem your audience is having. If that solution involved BUYING something to fix it, your reader just turned into a customer.
Here's an example of an article topic for your website: What are the best crampons for glacier travel?
Someone new to ice sports is naturally going to ask that question, and they might ask Google instead of the guy at the hiking shop. Because you have a post on it and explain clearly the points and merits of various types of crampons for glacier travel you now have a potential customer.
Next, just link to some recommended products and a percentage of people that land on your site will make purchases based on your recommendations.
Wow, you made a sale!
Once you get hundreds, or even thousands of visitors to your site every day, you can make full time living from this website.
Maybe it's just that I love my job too much, but I really do feel like what I do is making the internet a better place. I try my best to provide the highest quality information to the readers of my blogs. As a result, people get better information, faster, and are able to make more informed buying choices.
Now there's a lot to learn with regards to how to build a website, how to find a good niche, how to find good keywords, topics, and products, and bunch of other things. I'm not going to discuss it here, but I will point you in the direction of the training center where I got started.
Have a good idea for a website? See if it's available and start building it for free!