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How to Make Money Online

The Ultimate Free Guide, by Gary Simon

Beneath, you will find a very elaborate guide (22,000 words) I personally wrote about making money online. I wrote it with the anticipation of selling it, but because I'm so giving, I decided to make it free (the same day I launched the version that cost money.)

So if you really want to learn how to make money online and quit your lame job, just read my guide and you will have a very good understanding of where and how to begin.

Table of Contents

How to Make Money Online

The Coding

    The coding (or more commonly known as scripting) aspect of websites occurs in both the frontend and backend.  Remember, the frontend includes HTML and CSS, but it also includes other languages such as PHP, ASP, JavaScript, and others.  The backend is the database.  There are several different types of databases, the most popular is MySQL.

Dynamic vs. Static Websites

    A website (or page) is considered dynamic if it allows the visitor to interact with it in some way.  On the other hand, a static page provides no way for the visitor to interact.  An example of a dynamic page would be one which allows a user to register and login, a static page could just be an article.  Dynamic websites utilize the technologies above like PHP and MySQL to make their necessary features function.

    It's perfectly possible to make money online with a static website.  An example of this would be a website that generates income through advertisements and content.  In any situation though, it's always good to know some basic coding.

Custom Coding

    Based on the website you're starting, you may need dynamic features. And a question you should ask yourself, is do I need custom coding?  If you don't know how to code yourself, this doesn't mean you will always have to hire a developer to do the job for you. 

Here are some alternative routes to take:

  • Use a CMS (Content Management System)
    A CMS provides you with a dynamic environment to establish your website.  There are several *very* popular CMS's available with entire communities dedicated to modding them and adding a lot of functionality to them.  The most popular blogging CMS is Wordpress.  There's almost nothing you can't do with Wordpress.  There are plugins that can turn your Wordpress into a fully functioning ecommerce store.  If a forum is something you want to start, you might want to try vBulletin (costs $) or phpBB (free).

  • Script Samples / Tutorials / Source Code
    If you need a specific feature, you can always use google to find source code of what you need.  This requires basic knowledge of how to code in your chosen scripting language.

Otherwise, you will most definitely have to hire a developer if you don't choose either of the options above.

Hiring a Developer

    If your project requires you to hire a developer, there are a few things you should consider on your search.

  • Experience
    Always request to see what a developer has done (a developer portfolio).

  • Capabilities
    Request to know the developer's capabilities.  Which languages he uses and for how long he has used them.

  • Cost
    Each developer has their own way.  Some prefer a flat fee based on the project specifics, and others prefer to be paid by the hour.  It's always nice having a total in mind before-hand, but this relies on how well you propose the project.  You have more of a chance coming to a concrete number if you spell out exactly what you want, and how quickly you want it.  If you leave things "in the air", developers are weary about providing you with a cost on a project that may or may not be more work down the line.

  • Deadline
    Some developers work faster than others, so it's always good to ask him/her when the project can be completed.

  • Communication
    Make sure to establish an effective and consitent form of communication with the developer.  Whether this be email, phone, or Instant Message, it's important to be sure that things are getting done.

    If you're unsure of where to find a developer, you can look online.  Elance is a portal in which IT professionals (designers, developers, etc..) bid on projects posted by people like you.  If you need a custom website coded with certain features, you post the details and willing / capable professionals bid on it.  You ultimately get to choose who you want to hire.

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