A lot of my favourite blogs discuss making money online. I’ve been plotting how I can get in on the action – but I recently had a revelation. While reading about the many different strategies, I’d lost sight of what’s most likely to make me decent money online: leveraging my existing skill set.
Do I Want To Make Money Online?
Yes! When I started this blog, the purpose wasn’t to make money from it. I only wanted to cover my hosting costs. Slowly, I’ve started thinking it would be nice to make more money from it. Maybe take my family out to dinner. Maybe pay for a holiday. Maybe, just maybe, even make a living online…
Why the change in my goals? Because I read so many blogs that discuss making money. That’s right – I’m blaming you guys!
So What Ideas Have You Been Putting Into My Head?
There are a lot of great posts out there about making money online.
Some cover strategies that could generate extra income from this blog, such as Affiliate Marketing, creating and selling an ebook or information product, sponsored posts or displaying ads from WidgetBucks, TLA, Kontera, etc.
All of these sound possible to me. I’m convinced I could successfully implement these strategies. In fact, I’m planning to put more than one of these into place in the near future (but that’s a story for another day).
No Magic Solutions
One thing has stood out with everything I’ve read. None of these strategies will make me rich overnight. Many people point out that making money online is not an easy business. It’s possible, but it’s hard work and slow progress.
So, let’s stop for a minute. I’m spending lots of time learning something new, which is going to be hard work and take time to pay off? That’s fine. But why not make money from what I already know? I should be able to start earning right away. I’d forgotten the simplest route.
Leveraging Your Existing Skill Set
It will be different for everyone, but I’m sure that everyone has some skill or talent that they can leverage to make money online.
Think about your skills. Are you an SEO expert? Provide a website review service. A niche marketer? Provide a consulting service for starters. An architectural assistant? Do some freelance work. Get the picture?
Of course, many people do this already, but I haven’t seen anyone writing about it as a way to make money online. I’m not sure if it’s because people think it’s obvious or whether it’s not glamorous enough. Maybe it’s because there’s not as much mileage in telling people to do what they already know!
Whatever the reason, if you’re not utilising your skills you need to think about how you may be able to do this.
Argument Against Leveraging Your Skill Set
There is an argument against offering services which use your skill set: In most cases, it won’t lead to passive income. To keep the revenue stream going, you will have to actively keep working.
It may be better to spend the time developing passive income streams, which only require minimal work to maintain.
But There Are Follow-on Benefits
In addition to the immediate monetary benefits, there are follow-on benefits of offering services based on your skill set.
Providing services can help you position yourself as an expert in your niche, driving your blog forward and leading to greater opportunities down the line. It’s likely to lead to loyal readers, higher traffic, increased advertising income, higher sales of ebooks and so on.
How I’m Going To Leverage My Skill Set
What skills do I have? I can write WordPress plugins and develop websites.
I have other skills too, but these are the ones I think will best translate into online income. When I answered a WordPress Plugin Rewrite Challenge, I realised there’s a market for custom WordPress plugins and plugin modification that I can tap into.
I’m now offering services, including custom WordPress development. I’m not expecting to make a lot of money (one plan is free!), but it’s more likely to provide an immediate revenue stream than the other strategies are. I’ll persist with those as well, but services offer better short term value for me.
The Final Word
If you don’t offer services based on your existing skill set, you need to consider what services you could offer. By all means, pursue other ways of making money online, but don’t pass up an option which may lead to easy money.
What do you think? Let me know if you agree, or if you think I’m wrong!