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What Works In IM: The 3 Legitimate Ways To Make Money Online

I recently asked my subscribers what their biggest question was about internet marketing.

The answer was:

What Works in IM?

What are legitimate ways to make money online?

At first I thought this question was too general and hard to answer in one sitting.

But then I realized there is something inherently wrong with the question.

That – of course – is not the fault of the people asking.  It is simply caused by the state of internet marketing today.

We are bombarded by messages that all you have to do is push a button, buy software, implement 3 easy steps, and within a few days we will be making thousands of dollars per month.  Fast.

Which is a lie.

So when people try out different things and see that instant results didn’t happen – they start to wonder: what really works?

Is there really a legit way to make extra money from home?

So let’s make some order out of the chaos and clarify:

What Really Works In IM?

I have been fortunate to make money online in different ways over the past 20 years.  I also have friends who do quite well with their online businesses.

So I can tell you first-hand what works.


Just like with an offline business, there are 3 ways to make money online:

1 .Provide a service

2. Sell something

3. Invest money

Of course there are other ways to make money which are immoral (like stealing) or unlikely to happen (like winning some kind of lottery). But we’ll leave them out for the purpose of this discussion.

I am not familiar with any good investment opportunities at the moment, so this post will only address the first two.

Option #1: Provide A Service

Here you are trading your time and skills for money.

There are many services you can provide:

  • Writing
  • Graphics
  • Editing
  • Video creation
  • Programming
  • Other technical work
  • Social Marketing
  • Administrative tasks
  • And more

There are sites where you can search for freelance jobs and apply for projects on an hourly rate or per-project basis.  You can sign up for free.

Examples of sites like that are:

Simple enough. This is definitely something that “works”.

The nice thing about providing services is that there is little risk involved and you get paid fast. If someone hires you to write an article for $30 – chances are that you will get those $30 and you will get them fast.

The downside is that we all have just 24 hours a day, so there is a serious limit on how much money you can make.

However, it’s definitely something I recommend for people who desperately need the money now.

Because this is the best way to ensure that you will get paid  FAST.

Option #2: Sell Something

In order to sell something online you need to have:

  • Something of value you can sell
  • An audience who is interested in buying it
  • A way to get the audience to buy your product

There are so many ways of doing this!

For example:

Here are different types of products you can sell:

  • ebooks
  • home-study courses
  • coaching
  • membership sites
  • advertising space
  • Kindle books
  • physical products that you create and ship
  • physical products with a drop-shipper or with Amazon

These products can be yours (you are the product creator) or can be created by someone else (you are the affiliate)

There are also many different ways to reach an audience that wants to buy:

  • SEO
  • Forum marketing
  • Blog marketing
  • Guest posting
  • Video marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media (free)
  • Social Media (paid)
  • Paid advertising on search engine
  • Paid banners on other sites

They all work IF done right.

Pretty much anything that involves putting something valuable in front of an audience who wants it, and selling it to them, works.

That’s it.

There really is no magic to it.

The only thing you need to do is have something to sell and get it in front of an audience who wants to buy.

You also need to learn HOW to sell it.

These things all do work.  They worked in the 2000’s when I started out.  They worked in 2012, 2013.  And still work in 2014.

And I know people making money with every single one of them.

What To Do Now

Now pick a strategy.

Decide: will you provide a service or sell something?

If you provide a service: What will you offer?  What sites will you use to look for jobs?

If you sell something: What will you sell?  And how will you get in front of your audience?

Any one of the above legitimate ways to make money online will do.

When you are done, find a reputable teacher whose students have had results and go for it!

The trick is finding a reputable teacher who has had proven results with his or her students.  But that’s already a topic for another post 🙂


Sara Young

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