How to Become an Entrepreneur Online: You Can Do It, Too!
Learning how to become an entrepreneur online is one of the most invigorating and life-changing things you can do, but we want to give you a teeny warning before we dive in…
We’re not talking about an overnight transformation, and it can take weeks before you start making living wages. There is no magic pill to earning money online; it’s about the hustle.
But, learning how to become an entrepreneur online can completely free you.
It can bring you the money you didn’t think you’d ever see. It can keep your lights on, or it can build you a new house, or it might just pay for your lunch at first. The truth is that working online, while it’s becoming more popular, isn’t necessarily going to be your holy grail. Maybe it will be, but remember this is a job and you’ve got to work it to make things happen.
What we’re saying is that you should be realistic about working online without losing that hustle.
The potential life-changing effects far outweigh the struggles, and that’s why so many people want to learn how to become an online entrepreneur.
Here’s what you’re going to learn today:
- What online entrepreneurs actually do
- What you don’t do as an online entrepreneur
- What success looks like as an online entrepreneur
- Ways to make money online
- Pros and cons of learning how to become an entrepreneur online
- 6 steps to becoming an online entrepreneur
- Our super-secret tip for long-term success
What exactly do you do as an online entrepreneur?
Well, almost. You can do a lot of things online. You can be a health coach. You can be an assistant for a plethora of different social media accounts, agencies, and companies. You can write (boy, can you write). You can edit. You can read. You can caption things. You can make webcomics. You can review stuff. You can make nail polish videos.
Honestly, that’s the strength of learning how to become an entrepreneur online. If you want to go pick up weird stuff at thrift stores and make it pretty and then flip it, you can probably make a blog about it. Some people even make money online by recording and sharing videos of themselves opening random pallets of stuff (we’re serious).
While nail polish videos and unboxing is a little more out there, there are also more practical ways to make some cash.
What you do as an online entrepreneur is to make money online. That’s it. You make money in whatever way you see fit. Go forth and conquer.
What DON’T you do as an online entrepreneur?
You don’t get to work these weird “4-hour workweeks” people seem to like talking about. Total myth, by the way.
You don’t have customers flock to your business the minute you say you’re an expert in something.
You don’t get to lounge on the beach working from your laptop – sand, and laptops, not a good combination anyway.
You don’t get to be lazy and make money while you smoke a cigar in your secret underground dungeon.
… Okay, maybe that last one, but we digress.
The only thing you really don’t get to do as an online entrepreneur is inaction. Everything, no matter what, will need you to step outside of your comfort zone and do something that may or may not succeed the first time around.
What does success look like as an online entrepreneur?
This is one of those things you get to decide! But you probably want a few ideas, don’t you? We know what you’re thinking – you’re thinking if you can quit that full-time job and just work from the Hawaii Wi-Fi at the tiki bar, right?
Success comes in a couple of different forms, and it’s important to know that YOUR success could like any of these – or something entirely different.
This is the main goal of many people who want to learn how to become an entrepreneur online. It’s not necessarily to become rich for some people. And it’s not even to make a living for others.
Sometimes, the monetary gain is like three bucks and it’s just enough to prove to yourself that you can do this thing and make it work. However, if we had to venture a guess, we’d say that this is the #1 reason people turn to online gigs – to make good money.
Maybe you’re coming online just to learn something new and grow a little as a person, or maybe you’re doing it to grow your offline business.
Probably the second one.
We know of several hustlers who use their online skills to completely slay when it comes to their brick-and-mortar businesses. Being an entrepreneur online is a great way to make that happen, especially if you fall into the right groups at the right time (ahem).
Honestly, we also know a number of hustlers that fall into this category and become the “take what you can use, leave the rest” kind of folks. They come, they check it out, they gobble up some good information and they go on their merry ways to find success in some niche somewhere.
In addition, sometimes knowledge comes from failing miserably. Haha. That’s part of learning how to become an entrepreneur online, too, and is sort of success in and of itself. Let’s call it refinement in the fire.
New connections and a growing network
In our opinion, this is one of the BEST reasons to learn how to become an entrepreneur online. You meet some really amazing people that really expand your sphere of influence.
Obviously, this is something you can do offline too, but your network expands much faster online. Tribes and groups often build a “feel” about them, too – a good admin team will strive to set a particular tone for a group, and people who don’t like it will leave. Those who remain are often more compatible and quicker to become friends that support each other because, in some ways, they have similar values and goals.
This is hands down, the best thing in the world. Having a network you can depend on is invaluable, and that network will bring you both a sense of belonging (important), knowledge (more important), and business ($$$).
This is probably the second most awesome thing about learning how to become an entrepreneur online. It’s not that your actions don’t have consequences – for example, if you go to the beach on a day when a client expected something, there might be some bad blood there – but you can set your schedule any which way you want it.
This is especially awesome for parents that may have to pick up kids, drop off the kids, or pay attention to kids during the day. Those interruptions aren’t really a big deal most of the time. And while you don’t necessarily get sick-leave, you can use a resource like Catch.co to squirrel away part of your cash for time off.
You can do whatever. If you don’t want someone to expect you somewhere at 10 AM, then you don’t have to be anywhere at 10 AM.
All the time.
Okay, we lied. That is the second-best thing about being an online entrepreneur.
How to make money as an online entrepreneur
Luckily, there are several ways for you to make money online. Some are pretty small, as in commitment and earnings. And the more hustle you have, the more you earn, the majority of the time. This section can help you find a place to start.
Using apps and instant cash platforms
From Swagbucks to Postmates, there are several apps that are designed with the intention of making you a quick buck. Whether you take the offline route (and deliver food) or the online route (and take surveys), these apps will bring you cash, especially when you’re looking for a short-term solution.
What these options are best for is helping you earn extra cash on the side while you’re growing your larger business. Think of it as supplemental income.
Alternatively, use money making websites
Then you have websites where you can teach kids in China how to speak English. These sites are businesses that have built an online version of a “brick-and-mortar,” and people tend to gravitate towards these places because they’re more stable and often get more cash in your pocket.
Become an affiliate marketer and/or make money from commissions
We can’t even begin to fully address this as a way for how to become an entrepreneur online because there are so many freakin’ ways to become an affiliate. Affiliate commission can be a small part of your fortune or a much larger chunk – that’s entirely up to you.
However, one thing is certain – do your due diligence and choose a company that does what they promise to do and will actually be enjoyable for you to work with. We can’t even imagine working for a makeup company when you don’t even wear makeup (no judgment either way from us, folks).
You also want to work with companies that you see real value in. If it doesn’t align with your values, you’re going to lack the passion needed to hustle.
We dug up a pretty cool course for you to get started with affiliate marketing if that’s something you might like. Here’s Bobby’s review of the course and a bonus guide from Neil Patel that you can read to give you an idea of how affiliate marketing works and how to take advantage of it.
Really be your own boss and start a blog
It’s incredibly easy and cheap to start your own blog.
We’re not saying you’re gonna make money tomorrow or even next month, but set up will cost you just a few bucks and a few hours. Then, you’re ready to hit the ground running.
You can do affiliate marketing, run sponsored posts, sell products, create a course, and more.
While starting a blog IS an arduous task and can be kinda… well, sloggy… getting the steps right the first time will totally help you become your own tiny little world much faster. Our very own Bobby Hoyt of Millennial Money Man created Launch That Blog to help you with the setup of a WordPress blog. The service is free, and you only need to pay $2.95/month to Bluehost for hosting services.
Become an expert hustler
If you don’t want to hassle with setting up a website and trying to get traffic to it, and you don’t want to depend on the inconsistency of affiliate cash, or nothing really sounds appealing to you… pick something else and run with it.
A special tip from us to you here: you can be a lot of different things. As you learn how to become an entrepreneur online, you’ll find that some things really resonate with you. There’s also value in diversifying your income by doing more than one thing. The point is, try something and see what fits.
Pros and cons of learning how to become an entrepreneur online
Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of working online. Some of these will really stick out depending on your business, personality, and motivation.
- Flexibility – location, hours, type of job
- No need to pack your lunch
- Built-in office
- Ability to work around children if necessary
- Unlimited potential for cash
- Opportunity to add different revenue streams
- Opportunity to do stuff you actually enjoy
- No need to pay for brick-and-mortar storefronts
- No commute!
- Must be self-motivated to Get It Done
- 40+ hour workweeks are not uncommon at first
- No place to go if you need space
- No guaranteed income – 40 hours of work /=/ 40 hours of pay
- Less human interaction
- Difficulty switching off
- Things are always changing and it’s your job to keep up
Learn how to become an entrepreneur online in six steps
You’ve gotten the pros and cons and know a few of the many options, now this is the simplified version to becoming an online entrepreneur.
Step 1: Small actions
Don’t try to do it all at the same time. Learning how to start and build a business takes time. You will burn out if you try to do it all at once. Instead, do yourself a favor and just do a few things at a time. Think of your topics. Register your domain. Take one class. Learn one thing. Talk to one potential client.
This isn’t out of fear but rather careful reservation of your most limited resource – you. That might sound corny, but burn out is a real thing, especially since nothing is easy at first.
Step 2: Find a mentor
This action finds its way into a lot of our articles but it’s because it’s important, dang it! You should find a mentor, a coach, and at the very least, a mentor group (which is point #3). When you can, try to find a mentor AND a group to make it happen.
P.S. Sometimes people are gonna say no. It’s alright, they weren’t meant to be part of your success. Find someone who is. If it helps at all, a lot of communities on Facebook are open to basically anyone and you can make a lot of friends there, some of which can turn into 1-on-1 mentors.
Step 3: Find a mentor group
These are sometimes called Mastermind groups, communities, and tribes. Websites like Rat Race Rebellion have great Facebook groups for at-home workers. Bobby has a huge, free, and ridiculously hilarious Facebook community that you should join, like, now. Many of the people in that group are online entrepreneurs too.
Step 4: Concentrate on a niche
If you have grandparents like ours, you’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, and we’re here to tell you that they were wrong.
Okay, not entirely. We do agree you shouldn’t have only one client, but we don’t think you should venture into a bunch of different niches.
The reasoning is simple – it takes a lot of learnin’ because every niche is going to require specific attention on top of every CLIENT needing specific attention. You’re going to have missteps in ONE niche, which means you’ll have more if you try to focus on more than one.
So, pile those eggs in, boys and girls, and hug that basket for dear life because that’s what you have to sell at the market!
Step 5: Build your email list
The money is in the list. We say this often and it’s 100% true.
Your email list will literally be worth money (don’t sell it, please, haha). The ROI is crazy-high, we’re talking $38 for every $1 you spend on it.
So, start your list ASAP and continue growing it.
Step 6: Learn, learn, learn
One of the hardest lessons to learn about working online is that something like a single Google algorithm update can completely tank everything you’ve worked hard for. Oh yes. Everything.
And if you haven’t learned how to roll with that and you don’t hit the ground running to figure out how to fix what just happened, you aren’t going to make it in the online world, fam.
There are going to be constant changes online, and that extends to what it is your clients or customers want. Learning about trends, new software, and more can all help you adapt and stay fresh and relevant.
One secret you’ll want to know about how to become an entrepreneur online
You’ve read a lot to get here, and we have one final thing for you, and we’ll make it short and sweet so you can get back to actually making money instead of just reading about it.
Play the long game.
Selling ebooks is great. Selling a course is great.
And while you can do some things to keep these sales up, that’s not where your money should be coming from.
The truth is that anyone can write an ebook and anyone can make a (good) course and anyone can break SEO and rank websites high but you know what they don’t have?
What can YOU do that only YOU can do? The answer will vary a little bit for everyone but the answer is ultimately something like “my experience, my wisdom” and we would like to add, since we’re on the internet, the way you express your ideas.
That’s what you’re going to want to lean on. You’re going to want to find your voice and your niche and work it for a long, long time. This will make your big boost of income more successful, but it’ll also make for more consistent income over time and, most importantly, recurring income.
Sweet, sweet recurring income. From your OWN Mastermind group. From your live sessions. From whatever. It’s only possible if you play the long game and worry less about the short one.
Final thoughts on learning how to become an online entrepreneur
Being an online entrepreneur is hard sometimes, just like being an entrepreneur in general. But the money is here, and it’s rewarding when you start seeing those dollars coming in. In fact, it’s possibly one of the most rewarding things on the planet.
So hustle up, munchkins. There’s work to be done if you want to become an online entrepreneur – and we know you can do it.