The Ultimate Road Map to Making Money Online
There are over 350 posts on Income Diary and each one is designed to help our readers make money online.
Put together, these articles are a comprehensive resource. They’ll teach you how to start your first website, design it, optimize it for search, drive traffic to it, monetize it, and put it on auto-pilot.
But it helps to have directions through all of this advice. That’s why I’ve created a road map, to guide you every step of the way – from getting inspired to making a your fortune and everything in between.
If you’re just getting started making money online, then scroll down and start with the first section. If you’re already on the road to making money online, then you can check the table of contents to the right and jump straight to point you need.
Table of Contents
Roadmap to Making Money Online
The first step before going on a long road-trip is to fuel up. The same is true before starting on your entrepreneurial journey, but in this case the ‘fuel’ is inspiration that will continue to motivate you and propel you forward on your journey.
One of the best ways to get inspired is to look at the successes of those who came before you. That’s why we’ve previously shared the life lessons of entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Richard Branson (just to name a few). We’ve also conducted many of our own interviews with top bloggers like Pay Flynn and Gary Vaynerchuck.
Just like with getting gas, you’ll probably need to fuel up a few times before your journey is over. So when you begin to feel unmotivated or pessimistic, you can return here and find more inspiration.
Starting a Blog
A blog is the vehicle for online success. Michael Dunlop has called blogging “the cheapest way to bring in new leads, customers and build a solid brand,” and the source of all of the money that he makes online.
Before you start blogging, first read these 7 Business Decisions to Make Before You Start a Blog from Nicholas Tart. They include deciding who your audience is and what the primary keywords are for your niche. You’ll thank yourself later for having started your blog with a clear vision of the end goal.
When you’re ready to begin, then read Nicholas’ guide for what to do on day one of your blog. From there, you can go through Michael’s 30 Day Plan to Create a Blog where he walks you through everything from buying your domain name name to running your first contest.
Great content is the engine the engine of your blog. It’s the reason people find your site and the reason they stay there. More than that, it’s the way that you provide value to your audience.
Nicholas Tart has written a step-by-step guide for writing blog posts that will take you from researching your post to publishing it. Michael has also offered up his own blog post creation tips, in which he discusses the best time to publish an article and how long your posts should be.
Part of writing good content is writing content that’s optimized for search. If you feel like your posts suffer from a lack optimization, check out these 10 SEO blog post publishing steps. If you would simply like to be a better online writer, you can find my 20 tips here.
Correcting Your Path
It’s not a road trip if you don’t get lost at least once. The same is true on your entrepreneurial journey: if you don’t make any missteps, then you must not be taking enough risks.
Still, once you realize that you’re not going in the right direction, you’re going to want to change your path as quickly as possible. Luckily, Income Diary has your back and we’ve written several posts designed to help you troubleshoot the problems with your blog and improve them.
Josh has chronicled the embarrassing mistakes he made as a beginner blogger – and how he overcame them to turn Expert Photography into the huge success that it is today.
Last spring, Nicholas Tart asked Income Diary readers about their struggles online. He received a ton of responses (the post has over 140 comments) and broke it down into the 33 most common online struggles. By far the most common complaint was that their sites weren’t receiving enough traffic (more on that next).
Driving Traffic to Your Site
Few people know more about how to build a site’s traffic than Michael Dunlop. Last year, I sat down with Michael and got his top traffic tips. Michael has also explained the fastest way to 1000 visitors per day with three words: Twitter, Facebook, and Lists.
One of the fastest, tried-and-true methods to boosting your traffic is to write a guest post on an A-list blog. Tommy Walker wrote a great first hand account of how to he wrote a successful guest post for Chris Brogan’s site. If you want a comprehensive list of techniques, Tommy has also written a list of 101 ways to drive more traffic to your website.
I find that it’s difficult to grow your blog’s traffic unless you have a reliable way of measuring it, so if you don’t do this already check out Kristi Hine’s excellent guide to how to measure your blog’s growth.
More than anything else, Income Diary is about teaching people how to make money online. We have a wealth of articles on the subject.
Michael has explained the most powerful ways to make money online, which include selling products, building membership sites, and affiliate marketing. Since so much of his earnings have been through PopUp Domination, Michael has also gone in-depth on the six steps to selling a product online.
If you’ve already monetized your site but you’re just not making as much money as you want yet, you may want to check out these seven fast fixes to increase your website’s conversion rate.
Reaching Your Destination
Making money is great, but true wealth is in a business that expands even as you devote less of your time to working on it. This has been Michael’s focus lately, as he’s automated his site with writers like myself and invested in other sites like Expert Photography. I sat down and talked with Michael recently about the big picture and how to go from a blog to an online empire.
Personally, my focus as an entrepreneur is much more about cultivating my ideal lifestyle. My online business has allowed me to travel the world and spend more time with my friends and my music. If that’s a priority for you as well, check out these twelve tips for creating a freedom business that will allow you to travel the world.
Ultimately, a big part of being successful online is discovering your own personal definition of success. Like with a road trip, there’s some sort end result in mind – but also like with road trips, the journey is far more satisfying than the destination.
I hope you find this road map a helpful resource as you advance on your entrepreneurial journey. Happy travels!