My name is Tom Kuegler, and my business is run entirely online.
It consists of four major pillars — Youtube ad revenue, Facebook ad revenue, online courses, and money that I make writing. I average about $8,000 in earnings every month.
I started my business in November of 2017. That was the first time I ever sold my online course to anybody. I remember putting on my first webinar and telling my Dad to keep the dogs in the house so they wouldn’t bark at anything. 30 people came, and an hour later I had made $2,000. When I came downstairs and told my Dad, well, I’ll never forget the look on his face.
Since then, I booked a ticket to the Philippines and have (basically) lived here ever since. I’ve gone to Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and some other countries as well. It’s been life-changing.
Every year I spend making money online, I learn more “principles” that help with future success.
If you or anybody you know wants to make money entirely online, job free, then keep reading. Here’s what I’ve learned.
1. Here’s My Money Making Funnel As A Blogger
The basic structure of my business is I write blog posts, put a Call To Action at the end of it, and get initial email subscribers. Then I take the subscribers through a free 5-day email course (made via Convertkit), then tell them about an upcoming webinar whenever I plan to have them.
On the webinar I provide value and pitch a course that’s setup through Teachable.com. That’s the gist. I average about $5,000 per month in online course revenue these days. I can max out at $8,000 if I really try, though.
Webinars are a great way to sell people something. They convert at a 10–15% rate typically, while emails convert at a 2–3% rate if you’re very very lucky.
2. If You Hate Selling Stuff, Offer It At A Low Price
You need to learn how to get more comfortable with selling yourself. One way I do this is by offering my courses at a price that’s lower than they should be. That makes me feel better. I know I’m not gouging people for money, and I know I’m giving them something very valuable.
3. Write Down Your Goals Every 6 Months
One thing I do every 6 months is create a new Google Document. Then I write “6 Month Plan” at the top of it. Then I write that day’s date and the date of whatever day will be 6 months from then.
After that, I write down EXACTLY what I want to accomplish in the next 6 months. Exactly. I also talk about where I’ve been in the last 6 months, and I ruminate on where I want to go in the next 2–3 years.
I’m constantly re-evaluating where I’ve been, what I’m doing now, and where I want to go. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of time and space when you work for yourself from home. This has done wonders to keep me grounded.
4. Generosity Is The Most Underrated Business Strategy
If someone messages me a year after they took my course and tells me they want a refund, I’ll give it to them.
I want to be generous.
Generosity is something my Father instilled into me. I try to be generous with my time and make people feel valued. That’s good business.
For example I used to work at Disney World in college and we were challenged every day to make “magical moments” for guests. Sometimes we’d give away free cupcakes and sometimes we’d sit on the pavement with guests and draw Disney characters in chalk. I want to create magical moments for those who take my course and take time to learn from me in that same regard.
Even 15 minutes of generosity goes a long way.
5. Dip Your Toe In The Water First
When I started writing on Medium 4 years ago, it was an experiment.
I set a goal to do a “‘sprint” and publish 30 new blog posts in 30 days. After one month I had 300+ followers on my new publication and it was growing by 20 followers per day. That was good enough for me. I continued.
My first webinar sold a course I hadn’t even created yet. I was seeing if that course was something anyone wanted. Spoiler Alert: They wanted it.
I dipped my toe in the water before committing.
Do experiments all the time and commit only after you see favorable results.
6. Selling Stuff Is As Simple As Being Genuine
You don’t need to be a master salesperson to make money online. You just need your audience to trust you.
I generate trust the second someone reads my articles. I try my best to give people something they’ve never seen before, and I’m honest in what I’m writing.
I don’t write stuff to go viral, I write stuff because that’s what I want to write about that day.
My audience can feel that. I try to always be genuine, and when I pitch a course saying they can make an extra hundred or so dollars within the first few months of taking it, they believe me.
Because I keep the bullshit to a minimum — always.
Trust is the foundation of sales online, not the best sales funnel.
7. Be Strategic As Well As Creative
If you’re 2–3 years in as a blogger and haven’t seen the success you want, it’s likely a marketing problem. You haven’t learned enough about email lists and lead pages and maybe even SEO. I think you need to be 50% tactical and 50% creative.
Learn SEO. Learn how to build an email list. Try new things in your business and see what results you get. Stay curious about new tactics, and you’ll find success in time.
8. Spend 80% On Your Cash Cow, and 20% On New Things
Prioritize spending time on your cash cow. Whatever makes you the most money, throw 80% of your time at it.
But also leave room to experiment. For me, I spent 20% of my time trying to grow a Youtube channel in 2018 and it paid off for me eventually.
Now I make an extra $1,000-$1,500 per month with my videos.
That’s a good portion of my monthly expenses.
Spend a lot of time with your cash cow, but also spend 1/5 of your time experimenting with new things to develop new skills and “diversify” yourself.
If you can do those 8 things as a writer online, it’s only a matter of time before you find success.