How To Make Money Online Part 1: Selling A Service

Everyone wants to know how to make money online because no one wants to work a job. The truth is making online is simpler than you think, but it’s not easy.

There are two ways of making money online:

1) Selling a service
2) Selling a product

Selling a service is the easiest and fastest way to make money online. When you sell a service you have:

1. A proven market
2. Low overhead
3. No inventory
4. No employees
5. No upfront costs
6. No refunds
7. No products getting lost
8. No shipping bottlenecks

Product based businesses are tough and the failure rate is high. I live in the online entrepreneur capital of the world and I’ve only met a few guys making good money off a product based business selling Amazon FBA. The vast majority of guys out here try and fail at Amazon FBA and dropshipping. A few eek out a living.

Every other guy I know making mid 5 figures to six figures is selling a service, the big four are:

  1. Coaching
  2. Marketing
  3. Copywriting
  4. Programming

I recommend a service business for the vast majority of guys. Especially if it’s your first or second business. That’s not to say you can’t have massive success selling a product, it’s just a lot harder.

The move is

  1. Find your passion
  2. Hone your skills
  3. Develop your niche
  4. Build your site
  5. Set up your adwords and facebook ads
  6. Do 200 cold calls or cold emails a day minimum
  7. Go hard on upwork (if relevant)
  8. Overdeliver on customer service
  9. Ask for a referral from every satisfied customer
  10. *Potentially add a niche blog (a small tailored blog to drive traffic to your services)

I’ve met five guys in their 20s doing six figures selling services and living in Chiang Mai, where the cost of living is a fifth of what it is in North America. I’ve seen two of them scale up from nothing to 10k a month in a year and a half. This shit is 100% within your reality, if you’re willing to do the work.

You might not like the idea of having clients, I certainly don’t, but it doesn’t have to be that way forever. If you play master the game, and play your cards right, you can eventually productize that knowledge and sell coaching products, or marketing products, or build an authority site telling other guys how to succeed in their own business.

A service business is your best bet for a starter business, because it has the best success rate, and you can get control of your time and your revenue. And when you get that business online, you get to go global and geoarbitrage your income in countries where the cost of living is a 1/3rd to a 1/5th less than your home country – that’s a beautiful thing.

  1. Hey man,

    I’ve been trying to decide on my spare time the skills necessary to venture on a service based business. I’ve wanted to learn both copywriting and programming/web design.

    I’m starting from a blank slate for both can you recommend from the people you’ve seen which can be more profitable in the long run? I’ve read some sources online but based on those you would think drop-shipping is the most profitable business ever. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Haha, I get to dropshipping part 2, and it most definitely is not. If you’re smart, I would do programmer, if you’re high iq and constantly learning/keeping up with the trends, i can’t imagine a more useful skill than programming.

  3. Hey Will,

    Great article. I’m currently a programmer in the states, but hate the corporate world. I really want to start a programming business, but don’t know where to start. Do you know what type of work programmers are doing that have their own business?

    Have you done any videos on programming businesses?


  4. Thanks Nate, and great to hear. I don’t know any specifics about programming work, but I’d like to get a programming guy on in the future.

    I’d check out my article on how to start a service business. Also my book how to sell will teach you the fundamentals as well as an exit plan – although keep in mind the first half is devoted to success in corporate sales and it’s heavy on in person and phone sales so it’s up to you whether it will be worth it.

    For the free version, check out my four part series on the definitive guide to sales – ideally the article version as its in depth.

    With that said, 200-300 emails/calls a day to potential clients in your niche is where i would start, plus getting yourself on upwork – id cut the going rate by 50% for year one, apply to every programmer posting where you have experience, do an A plus job and A plus customer service and ask every client for a review. I’d look at year one as strictly building your reputation. Once you’ve got some traction you can raise your rates to the going rate and when you’ve really built your brand you can charge a premium price and then start pulling premium clients off the site for consistent monthly revenue – handling all their programming/it needs.

    With that said this is something you’d have to research in more depth than I have, most profitable niches, what skills you need and what you need to stay on top of – and I would devour every book on how to program on amazon and every blog devoted to building a programming biz. You have the most profitable/marketbable skill in the world, if you can combine that with the sales skills most tech guys don’t have, and an iron work ethic, the world is yours.

Your email address will not be published.