There’s a lot of information out there about how to earn money at home online. Most of the suggestions are very practical and can provide you with some cash one time or a little bit here and there.

But when I wanted to stay home and make money, I didn’t want to search for a bunch of little things to bring in a few extra dollars per month. I wanted to earn a steadily growing monthly income that could actually replace my salary someday.

Is that your goal, too? If so, then keep reading!

Earning Real Income vs. Get-Rich-Quick Schemes

Earning a consistent, growing income each month is not going to be quick and easy.  It won’t be achieved by someone who is expecting to jump online, enter a few things into the computer, and then start seeing cash roll in.

But there are definitely plenty of sites promising you exactly that!  I’ve reviewed many programs that say you’ll earn $5,000, $10,000, even $25,000 a month and more working just a few minutes a day.

I don’t care how great they seem or what guarantees they promise, don’t believe them!  The fact is that there is no fast, easy money online–it takes time, effort, and commitment.

Don't fall victim to scamsYou don’t want to fall victim to scam sites and get-rich-quick schemes that will take your money and provide very little value.

No one is going to be successful at running an online business if they aren’t willing to put in the time and hard work to make it happen. No matter what you’re told, that’s what it takes!

We all have busy lives and the lure of “easy money” can be intoxicating. How many people are desperate to spend more time with their families and to have more money to pay bills and live a better life?

I know from experience how easy it was to be convinced that a program could change your life. But after you subscribe, you need to get this other program to make it work better, and then this other one will really get you the results you want……and on and on. Unfortunately, I didn’t make thousands, I lost thousands!

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So I recommend the first thing you need to do is ask yourself two questions:

~   Why do I want to earn money online?–The “why” is your motivation, and will be what keepsWhy do I want to earn money online you going when you get tired or frustrated.

  • Do you want to spend more time with your kids by replacing your job?
  • Pay off debt?
  • Save for a new house or replace an old car?
  • Add a second income that you can take into retirement?

No matter what your “why” is, use it to motivate you to work harder.  Don’t let it convince you to jump into “easy money” programs!

~   How much time and commitment are you willing to invest?–When you’re excited to start something new, it’s easy to set aside the time and put the effort into working on it. But it’s easy to be disillusioned when results don’t happen as fast as you want.

Life can get in the way of spending as much time on your online business as you’d like sometimes and research and writing may take longer than you anticipated.  But the key to success will be having realistic expectations from the beginning!

Being realistic about how much time you can devote to your new business is essential. If you only have a few hours a week, it doesn’t mean you won’t be successful, it just means that it will take longer to get results.

If you have the right expectations going into it, you won’t be lured by scammers trying to make it “easier” for you!  Here is a good general guideline for how long it takes to make money online, How Long Does It Take To Start Making Money With Affiliate Marketing?

OK, you have the motivation, and you’ve set realistic goals for the time and effort you will have to start your business! There are two online business models that can provide you the opportunity to develop a consistent, growing income.

Online Business Models That Make Money

These two ways give you the best chance of success in your own online business–Affiliate Marketing and Selling Products Online. Both of these require creating a website, but don’t let that intimidate you!

Long gone are the days when you had to create code and write computer programming or pay someone else hundreds of dollars to do it.Online Business Models

The most powerful platform to build your website on just happens to be the best and easiest in my opinion–WordPress. I literally created my own free personal website in 3 steps!

For a site that you can monetize for your business, you’d want to upgrade to the premium plan, which is $8 a month. For a plan that provides everything they offer to optimize your site for search engines, secure it, and have your own brand, it’s just $25 a month.

You can check out WordPress with your own free site here!



Affiliate Marketing–Promoting Products

Affiliate Marketing is creating a niche blog online where you promote products through links on your site. When somebody clicks on one of these links and then buys something on that company’s website, you get a commission!

Without a doubt, affiliate marketing is my favorite way to earn money online. One reason is that there are so many companies out there with affiliate programs that I can choose any niche that I’m interested in or passionate about and make money with it!Promoting Products with Affiliate Marketing

Another reason is that any beginner can be successful with affiliate marketing. If you can talk about your interests and use a computer, you can do this.

Content is king! Your goal will be to create articles that discuss all aspects of your niche and publish them on your site. These articles will be written from keywords you will generate from your research, and you’ll promote products within your content.

The best reason I love affiliate marketing is because of the training and support I got by building my site through a platform called Wealthy Affiliate. I wanted to spend my time learning from successful marketers instead of spending a good deal of my time trying to figure it all out for myself from questionable sources online.

Wealthy Affiliate has a free starter membership where you can build 2 free WordPress websites and experience everything they offer. They specialize in training you to become a successful affiliate marketer, and you will get the first 10 lessons, access to their community of successful marketers, and more without even putting down a credit card!

Once you see if it’s right for you, their premium membership is just $49 a month, and you can host 25 of your own websites!.   Add in a .com domain name for a yearly fee of $13.99, and you can start your online business with very little money and get quality training!

In addition to their awesome community of marketers, you get 1-on-1 coaching, weekly live training, all of their advanced training modules, and so much more.

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, affiliate marketing with this platform will produce long-term, consistent income–the sky’s the limit!

You can learn how to create a website in under 30 seconds with Wealthy Affiliate:

You Can Create a Website in Under 30 Seconds

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Selling Online–Creating Your Own Online Store

Selling products is my second favorite business model where you can earn an income online.  If you’re a complete beginner, I recommend affiliate marketing first an then expanding your business by creating an online store.

The biggest challenges for most people are finding profitable products to sell, handling inventory, and shipping to customers.  But there are a couple of platforms that are good to begin with that will help you through them.

Finding Products to Sell:

The best way to find profitable products is through wholesale suppliers. My best recommendation is SaleHoo, a top rated wholesale supplier directory.

There are too many scam suppliers out there to be confident of who to trust, so having access to a platform like SaleHoo is invaluable for your pocketbook. No company gets listed in their directory without adhering to very strict standards.

With over 8,000 trusted suppliers, you will be able to find suppliers for any product you want to sell!Finding Products to sell online

You can build your online store on your WordPress website, or you can build a storefront with SaleHoo.

They offer a 30-day free trial with SaleHoo stores to try out their platform, and have an extensive training and education program. Their basic plan starts at $27 a month and has what any beginner needs to start their online business.

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Another platform where you can build your online store is Shopify. It’s one of the newest platforms and getting very popular. They’ve also partnered with Amazon to enable merchants to sell products from their store on Amazon.

Shopify has a 14-day free trial period for you to set up your storefront and experience what they have to offer. Their basic plan starts at $29 a month with fees for accepting credit cards, so they are very reasonable as well.

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I recommend trying both Shopify and SaleHoo through their free trials to see which platform works best for you. You can utilize SaleHoo’s directory for a yearly fee of $67 and a 60-day money back guarantee!

Handling Inventory and Shipping:

Unless you are already experienced with inventory control and shipping, I 100% recommend dropshipping. As a beginner, you are going to be busy with setting up your store, finding new products, and learning how to market your brand.Dropshipping

With dropshipping, you won’t handle the products at all. After an order is placed on your website, you order it from your dropshipper, who then ships it directly to your customer. You don’t spend any money on the product until you have a sale, which is also a wonderful benefit for beginners!

You can learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of dropshipping here.



You CAN Achieve Your Goals

You Can Achieve Your GoalsThere are many ways to earn money from home online. But the majority of them are one time only or very limited in how much money you can make on a regular basis.

If your goal is the same as mine and you want to earn a growing income that’s virtually unlimited, I recommend you look at affiliate marketing or selling products online.

With minimal start up and monthly costs, you are only limited by the amount of time and hard work you’re able to put into your online business.

Many marketers are able to start making a full-time income within 2 years of starting their business, and some have done it much faster.  Check out these online marketers who are making $100,000+!

The only experience I had when I started affiliate marketing was a failed attempt at selling products online years ago with a scam program.  But once I found a legitimate program in Wealthy Affiliate, I now have 6 websites and a growing profitable business!

You can too!  Create your first website right now:

Have you tried to earn money online before?  Do either of these business models appeal to you?  Please share your experiences, thoughts, and questions in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

I'm Janelle, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother of 5 angels (most of the time)! I started BuildYourEarlyRetirement.com as a way to show how anyone can become financially independent and retire early. As I build out this site, I hope you'll comment and share your experiences as well. Good luck in all your endeavors, and may your success start now!