How To Start An Online Business The Hard Way – And The Easy Way Too

Building online business

I’ve learned how to start an online business the hard way as well as the easy way. I learned them both through experience and a lot of trial and error.

When I say “the hard way” I don’t mean that it’s unlikely or that you shouldn’t try it this way, I just mean that there are other ways in which you can fast track the income stream and eliminate the headache.

The Hard Way

The hard way to start an online business in my opinion is selling physical items online. This can be done through websites like Ebay or Shopify and there are a lot of people who do it as a way to get rid of their stuff and also people who do it as a full time living.

Blue collar worker with tape gunThis really can work as a way to make money online. Eventually you’ll run out of stuff to sell and you might decide that it’s a good way to make money and you want to keep doing it.

If this happens then you could start to buy things with the sole purpose of re-selling them online for a profit.

You’ll want to get things for cheap in order to make a decent profit so the best way to do it is to shop at second hand/thrift stores.

So now you’ve added a whole nother element to this venture. Now you have to spend half of your time out on the town hunting down things that you think could sell for profit online.

This “work from home” thing has turned into a “work from home half the time” thing. Not only that but you need a vehicle to pick up the goods and you also need to be in a city big enough that you can constantly find decent stock to sell.

Not only are you driving all over the city looking for goods, but then you need somewhere to store them while you wait for them to sell. The more you sell, the more you will want to stock and the more you stock the more space it takes up. If you keep growing you’ll need a warehouse.

This might sound all well and good because yes, you’d be making decent money if you were actually selling this much volume but the hassle will be huge at this point.

delivery man at workSo then when you sell an item, you now have to ship the item to the buyer. This is a lot of work and can be costly and cut right into your bottom line.

You have to have boxes and tape on hand as well as bubble wrap and wrapping paper.

You’ll need to insure the items in case they don’t arrive and you’ll need to bring them to the post office or arrange for a courier to pick them up.

So again, this would all be fine if you’re making money at it. It really doesn’t sound like that bad of a way to make a living or some extra cash.

The only reason I’m calling this “the hard way” is because there is an alternative to this that is much less physical work and much less headache.

What I’m talking about is affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing

So this is what I refer to as “the easy way” and I want to start by saying that it actually isn’t easy, it’s just a lot easier than selling physical items online. They are both good ways to make money online, but affiliate marketing is less headache and less physical work.

So affiliate marketing is similar to selling items online except for a few details. The first similarity is that with affiliate marketing you’re still selling stuff online. The big difference is that you don’t need to stock the items, handle the items, ship the items or even touch them.

This is because you’re selling items that are on another website. You link to that website and if someone reads your sales pitch and clicks your link, then buys an item, you get a commission.

So instead of handling all of this stuff, you just get to collect the money and let someone else deal with the headache.

Affiliate marketing flowchart

There are thousands of affiliate programs you can join on the internet. Some of the biggest ones are Ebay and Amazon but there truly are thousands and you’ll have no trouble finding them.

So if you’re thinking, “how the heck do I get started with affiliate marketing”? I’ll tell you how.

The first and most imortant thing you need to get started is your own website. Don’t be afraid, you don’t need any experience or internet knowledge to do this. You just need a little bit of training.

I learned how to set up an affiliate marketing website and turn it into a profitable business all in about 2 months. I learned all of this from a training program called Wealthy Affiiate.

Wealthy Affiliate is designed to teach people how to make money from affiliate marketing with step-by-step training that is great for beginners. The best part is that there is a free trial so you can try it and see if you like it before you buy it.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t easy money. You will need to put in the time and effort in order to make this work. You will need to focus on the training and commit to it, but it’s worth it because in the end you will have a business of your own and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home.

What Do I Sell?

You might be wondering what kind of stuff you could sell with your affiliate marketing website. This is an easy answer because you could sell whatever you want.

The best thing to do is to sell stuff that is related to a topic, hobby or interest of yours. For example, if you’re really interested in eating organic, this could be the basis for your entire website.

You could write articles on your website about the benefits of eating organic and then you could promote organic cook books. If you recommend a cook book and someone clicks your link and buys it, you would get a commission.

Or you could sell non parishable food items that people could buy from amazon or other affiliate programs. It really is endless what you can sell and any topic you could think of will have a plethora of related items to sell.

There are lots of different programs online that will teach you how to set up an affiliate marketing website. I’ve reviewed a few of them on this website.

Here’s the top 2 that I’ve reviewed. These are really the only 2 that I can recommend with good consience because a lot of the other ones out there are scams or just have poor trainng.

Wealthy Affiliate and Bring The Fresh are the 2 best options. I’ve tried them both and they are great. If I had to choose one of them I would choose Wealthy Affiliate.

The training at Wealthy Affiliate really is the best and if you do decide to upgrade to the premium membership, the value is amazing. You get a ton of training not to mention the huge community of affiliate marketers that you will have access to for help and support.


Thanks very much for reading this article today. If you want to learn a little bit more about how I got started making a full-time living from affiliate marketing you can get my 6 Day Guide To Making Money Online and it’s 100% free. All you have to do is put your email address in the box on the right hand side of this page.

Have a great day.


Make A Living Online
Me on a trip to Seattle



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