How to Make Money Online (Fast and for Free)
That's what I typed into Google that fateful day when I stumbled upon Wealthy Affiliate. Just a few simple words - How to Make Money Online (Fast and for Free).
One click that would change my life.
This is my account of how I came to be at Wealthy Affiliate. I hope it will help those who are new to the platform, perhaps still in Starter Membership, and are still wondering if this really is legit or a scam, and if it is possible to make money online by being here.
I am not sure how I made my way past all the scams, some that are possibly downright illegal.
All the links saying "$250 in 30 minutes"or "$5000 per day".
Yes I was naive, and I hoped not to spend a cent to start making money through the web and I wanted that money to start rolling in that afternoon as I sat watching my computer screen.
Please don't think badly of me. I have an addiction!
No, I am not planning on seeking any therapy, I am not going to join a 12 step program, in fact I hang out with people who feed my addiction and I need to find a way to support my habit.
Is it heroin? Some new designer drug? Prescription pills? No, none of those.
My two equine pals are eating me out of house and home.
Not only that they need their feet trimmed, their teeth checked, a body worker every month, a float to take them places and of course the car to tow it, then there's coaching and clinic fees, membership to various Clubs.
The list goes on, but you get where I am coming from - they are expensive!
How it Started
So back to the story. Sitting at my desk, on a quiet Friday afternoon, with a brief lull in the monotonous 9 - 5 grind that is my life, I started Googling.
I was excited and to be honest maybe just a bit desperate. I felt sure there would be a way to earn the money I needed, fast and of course free (as explained I didn't have much left after buying horse feed).
So with nothing to lose and everything to gain I clicked on a text link in a website and arrived at a shiny sign-in page that said get started for FREE!
I now know it was one of Kyle's sites but of course didn't know anything about Kyle, Carson or Wealthy Affiliate at that point. It was a leap of faith, but the sign-in looked professional, and it said No Credit Card required.
Phew, that's good cause mine was maxed out as always!
Training! Hmm but it is free
I knew enough to know I knew diddly squat about selling products online. Not to worry the very first thing that was suggested was to start the training and build a website.
Hmm OK I suppose I do need to learn something about this affiliate marketing, at least how to build the website that would be my goose that lays the golden egg.
I was still at work at this stage so pressed the pause button.
I thought "I'll really make a start tomorrow when I have some free time and by the end of the weekend the money will start a flowin'."
First thing Saturday morning I was at my laptop, hastily set up in my spare room, ready and rearing to make some money.
I clicked on the big green GO button, and started the Certification Training.
By Lesson 3 my mind was blown! This is actually interesting, my mind was like a sponge, intrigued at what I would learn next, how it would all come together.
Choosing a Niche Market
I knew what a niche was - it was like a small, exclusive group, say those women who carry Louise Vuitton bags, the ladies who lunch!
But how does that help me make money online?
Once I realised that any group of people were a niche as far as online marketing was concerned I had no problem choosing my niche.
Of course it was always going to be horse related, and it very quickly came to me that new horse owners need to buy stuff and I needed to sell stuff - a match made in heaven.
Plus the training said I needed to be passionate about my niche. I needed to be enthusiastic enough about the topic to write a lot of blogs, but I didn't need to be an expert. At this point I didn't realise how many blogs I was going to need to write but I had ideas galore.
Creating the Site
I diligently worked through every single step in every single level, doing each task as directed and by late Saturday night my very own website had come to life before my eyes.
To say I was proud of my efforts would be an understatement. I was ecstatic, I was on cloud nine about what I had created. I had so many thoughts about the look and feel of the site, and so many questions about images and products, and content and keywords. I just needed to know as soon as possible, I was hooked.
One of the early lessons was to get in and mix with the community. So I filled out my goals and commented on a few other peoples blogs. As I did so I came across quite a few member comments about how this was not a get-rich-quick scheme!
They all said that it takes time and effort and they provided links to various blogs with members posting concrete proof.
There it was - they were making money, their websites were ranking in #1 place on Google and their traffic numbers were skyrocketing.
And in that instant it became real for me. There were people here making the sort of money I wanted to make.
They were doing it and I could too and I realised that my mind set had changed.
I wanted to be an online entrepreneur, and I didn't want the get-rich-quick scheme anymore. I wanted to build something lasting, something of substance, a new business, and a new career that would be my life from now on.
Where to from here
By Sunday night I had completed all 10 lessons in the Level 1 training at Wealthy Affiliate and I was hungry for more.
I had built my very first niche website, I had started to delve into search engine optimisation, I had written my very first blog post, I had an understanding of keywords, and I had a handle on how this site was going to make me money.
All for free. The platform had done exactly what it promised and I had not spent one cent.
BUT I was now at a crossroads. I could stay with my free website and go it alone to search for all the other training I knew I needed to continue my journey and start making money.
I felt sure it was all on the internet already - but how would I find it all?
How would I know if what I was learning was even correct?
Who would I turn to for further explanation if I didn't understand something?
Or I could stick with a structure training program that would teach me everything I needed to know in an easy to follow format, one that was giving me results already.
I could go out on my own or I could stay with a community of supportive entrepreneurs who I could run my ideas past, who would celebrate my victories and who had the experience and knowledge to answer all my questions.
It was a no brainer for me by this stage I was going Premium. I had to set myself up with the very best training I could get my hands on to learn this business inside and out. I wanted to learn from true professionals within my new industry and I wanted the support of a community.
I wanted to be surrounded by like minded individuals who appreciated the trials and tribulations of building an online business but who had also been there and done that. I had no desire to reinvent the wheel and I wanted a clear, surefire way of getting to my goals.
So can you make money online (fast and for free)?
In my opinion honestly? No you can't!
Not if you are starting from scratch, and want to build a business that is going to pay beyond your wildest dreams with passive income for years to come.
But hey if you want to keep risking your life savings on pyramid schemes, paying $1000's to a guru who will take your money and give you nothing, or filling in surveys at $2 a go, be my guest.
Personally I'm happy to put in the work now and pay 98c a day towards my education with world-class training and being able to access the knowledge of online entrepreneurs who are doing it and achieving right now.
If you are a Starter Member considering whether you should join us as Premium, I ask:
"What's your future worth - 98c a day?"
In the spirit of our community I am of course happy to answer any and all questions about my journey so far as a Premium member or any other burning question you might have for a budding online entrepeneur who's only a little way down the track.
You can also check out my 3 Month Progress blog to see what I have achieved so far if you are really keen.