When people ask about the fastest way to make money online, the very first answer is usually – start blogging.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge advocate of starting a blog that you can turn into a lucrative side hustle… or perhaps a full time online income generator, but blogging takes a lot of patience and time.
In fact, making money online by blogging isn’t the best option if you’re hoping to make money as quickly as possible.
Why blogging isn’t the fastest way to make money online
It doesn’t actually take much time to register a domain and build a website. In fact, you can do both in 15 minutes. I even went into detail with a step-by-step tutorial here.
Here’s why it takes time to get your blog to a point where it starts to be an income stream:
1. Generating traffic to a blog is anything but quick
Even with the best content strategy ever, generating enough traffic to be able to make money through your blog takes a while.
If you’re serious about blogging, you already know that having a killer a SEO (search engine optimization) strategy from the beginning is a must, but did you know that new blogs take at least 6 months to start generating real traffic?
If you new blog doesn’t have a good SEO strategy, it will likely take even longer.
2. It takes Google a while to index your blog
Indexing by Google just means that process of adding your website or blog into Google’s searches.
The way Google indexes a website is by using its algorithm-equipped web-crawler (basically a robot) that reads through information on websites it encounters. In other words, the robot ‘crawls’ your blog.
It then sends that content back to Google’s servers so that your website can be added to the database.
Google then determines what your content is about and if you follow their strict guidelines, your blog post will rank near the beginning of a search in Google.
Sounds easy enough right?
Well, this entire indexing process takes 4 days to 4 weeks.
You can help move things along a bit faster by doing a few things, but for the most part, it’s really about time.
3. It will take you time to create good blog content
The fastest way to make money online isn’t by stuffing your blog posts with keywords in the hopes that Google will take notice of you blog either. Not only is Google smarter than that, it seriously sucks to read a blog post stuffed with keywords over and over again.
If you’re a serious blogger (newbie or not), you’ve probably heard the saying “content is king”. At the end of the day, you shouldn’t be writing for Google, you should be writing to attract readers and to help them solve their problems. The way you attract those readers is by creating quality content on your blog.
Creating really good blog content isn’t easy and frankly, it takes time and practice.
I wish I had screenshots of my very first blog that I had created about 8 years ago. My blog posts were really simple and way too short (probably about 500 – 800 words).
These days, long form content (posts with 1000 to 2500 word count) performs best. Not only is long form content more likely to be shared, there’s also more space for back links. Not to mention that you have enough content to really do a deep dive into a specific topic.
When you do a deep dive into a specific topic, you’re able to give your readers more value.
People appreciate detail.
The number of blog posts you have also matters – the more long form blog posts you have, the more traffic you will get. It’s that simple. Think of your posts as entry ways into your blog.
Making money online by blogging is an investment
You seriously have to invest your time and energy and it will pay off. It’s about consistency and dedication.
Sadly, most people give up on blogging after a few months and who can blame them! The first few months are hard… especially if you’re checking your Google Analytics stats to see that you have more friends than the number of people who are reading your blog.
It’s hard to stay motivated.
One of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make is that they give up when they’re so close to getting over that brutal hump of their early blogging days.
I can totally relate to this, because this is how I started by first few years of blogging. I’d get super excited about my blog, build it, write some great content and then abandon my blog within 4 or 5 months when I just wasn’t seeing any traffic.
Rinse and repeats. I did this with 4 different blogs and the only thing I got out of this was that I learned a ton about designing a blog on WordPress and using awesome SEO strategies.
Eventually I got it right and learned that it’s about consistency and patience, but it took years of making making the same mistakes first.
Freelancing is actually the fastest way to make money online
Even if you’re a complete beginner, the fastest way to make money online is by starting a freelancing business, but this option is rarely on people’s radar because most people are focused on blogging as the only option to generating income online.
Here are two awesome things about why freelancing is a great side hustle:
- You have the potential to get clients quickly so you can actually make money.
- You have more control over how much money you make. If you’re looking to make it a side hustle, you decide on the number of hours you’re willing to commit, which helps if you want to make sure you’re not stretched.
To be the type of freelancer who actually makes money you need to have one thing – skills that people are willing to pay for. Trust me, you have a skill that others will pay for.
This is essentially what a job is.
There are countless skilled freelancers with amazing administrative skills that make a killing as virtual assistants, which is essentially freelancing.
How to make money online by freelancing
1. Figure out what services you will offer
Start off by asking yourself what you’re good at and if you’re the humble type, ask your friends and family what they think you’re good at.
Keep this in mind – being good at something doesn’t mean that you’re the best in the world. It simply means that you’re better than the average person.
When I first started a side hustle, I did a full inventory of the things I was good at. Being a corporate recruiter who enjoyed writing, it turned out that resume writing was my thing and I started freelancing as a resume writer.
You have a ton of other options like:
- Social media management for start-ups
- Blog writing
- Developing websites
- Digital marketing
- Virtual assistance
Sometimes you just need a few ideas to get you started, so if you’re still not sure what kind of services you should offer, join the Her Side Hustle Community and download the free eBook for 19 side hustles ideas you probably hadn’t thought of!
2. Decide what type of client you would like to work with
Not everyone will be your client and the sooner you are able to decide on the type of client you want, the easier it will be to market to them. You can design your freelancing services based on what you’ve researched this type of client needs.
Research everything you can about this type of client – what are their pain points, what types of products/services do they sell, who are their clients. Assess their website to see where there are gaps.
Most importantly, ask them! Reach out to a few people could be your ideal client and let them know you’re doing some market research (or gathering market intelligence sounds better 😉 ) and ask them what their biggest challenges are.
3. Price and package your freelance services
You can charge clients in various ways:
- Hourly – This is already what you’re doing at a job. Even if you have an annual salary, you are essentially being paid for your time. As a freelancer, you would charge your clients by the hour.
- By project – Here you would be paid by the project/task that you complete. So for example, if you’re freelancing gig is web development, you would charge your client on the website that you develop for them rather than the time it takes you to create it.
- By retainer – Working on retainer normally allows the client access to your services on a monthly basis. For example, you can agree on blogging on your client’s behalf and you get paid on retainer.
Most freelancers prefer to be paid by project or by retainer. Being on retainer gives you the added benefit of having a consistent income that you can count on. Having this kind of stability will get you closer to making your freelancing side hustle into a full-time business.
The key is to figure out what your client needs on a regular basis and offer that service.
4. Create a kick-ass website and keep blogging
The very first thing potential clients will ask you for is samples of your work or your portfolio.
When you have a website or a blog, it becomes your marketing tool. Not to mention that, once it’s up and running with some decent traffic, it may even be your main source of new clients.
Once you start freelancing, it’s really easy to get busy with your clients that you forget about marketing your own services. A good productivity tip is to set aside a few hours a week to continue to build your brand by blogging.
5. Find your clients
Since you know what type of client you would like to work with, you can target those types of clients and offer your services. This would be a ‘cold approach’ and not for the faint of hearts. You will get a lot of rejections before you finally hear that beautiful word – “yes”.
If you’re not quite ready to approach clients this way though, don’t worry, you have other options. You can start by looking for freelancing opportunities here:
- Facebook groups
- Working Nomads
- Craigslist and Kijiji
- Friends and family