Posted on: 14th Aug 2018 by: Dokoo
Andy Hill, MD Dokoo shares his ideas on how anyone can make money online.
Write A Book - During my days in Mrs Horner's English class in Sullivan Upper School I was told that I would be lucky if I passed my GCSE English exam. Now it will come to a surprise to many of you that I managed a grade C, I was surprised too. I was never a big fan of English in school, having to write long essays on the meaning of Juno and The Paycock, this wasn't my cup of tea. My writing style has been described as " you write like you are talking to someone in a bar" by my good friend Alan Duncan, he said it was a compliment, I'm not so sure.
The reason I am telling you all this boring background information is that I wrote two books in 2016, take that Mrs Horner! These books aren't War and Peace, one is a short story and the other is a collection of shorts stories, they are around 10,000 and 25,000 words in length, respectively. The first book was published through Amazon in April and has made me around £1,276 and the second book also through Amazon has made me around £7,340 after being published in November. Both these numbers are accurate as of today's date. Now, these books aren't going to allow me to quit my day job anytime soon but every time I log onto Amazon's bookshelf app I get a nice buzz seeing that I have made another sale. This morning along I have made 3 sales making a grand total of £12.90.
I am no writer and use a pen name for these books (only a handful of friends and family even know about them) and I truly know that anyone who has an interest in a certain subject can write a book. There have been over 50 million kindle devices sold worldwide and it was estimated in Jan 2016 that over 1 million Ebooks were sold every day through Kindle Store. Through my journey of writing these books I have met many other authors, one, a Belfast businessman who has many titles on Amazon's Kindle Store under a pen name (at the height of his book sales he was making $10,000 a month) gave me some great advice. I also met a US guy who writes Ebooks sold on Kindle Store on dog training who has made over a million since he started writing in 2011.
My tips for writing a book, choose a subject you love, research it online to see if similar books exist (if they do don't worry, it shows there is a market), spend a couple of hours a week writing, get a designer to design you a snazzy cover, get a friend to read it, make amendments and publish! It is my aim in 2017 to write more books and I am happy to help anyone who is considering self-publishing through Amazon.
Run An Event - I love attending events and get a real buzz in an environment that will allow me to learn something and network with fellow like-minded business professionals. Some of my favourite events are run by visionaries like my mate Gareth Quinn who is crushing it with his Digital DNA series of events. But there are hundreds of other smaller events ran every week across Northern Ireland by dedicated people who have a real passion for the event and the people who attend.
Over the last few I have mentored people who have 9-5 jobs to take a step into the unknown and to host their first event. A client of mine runs a number of well-known restaurants but his passion was in sculpture and crafts, as part of our mentoring I pushed him to host a ceramics day in one of his restaurants where he would show people how to make their own plates and bowls. The resulting workshop was a success and he got more of a buzz from the event that he did from his restaurants all being sold out at the weekends.
Another client is an SEO marketer in the manufacturing industry, he loves SEO and wanted to help small businesses to optimise their sites so I helped him set up his first event "SEO For Small Business", it sold out within 24 hours. The important thing about these examples are that both the individuals mentioned above didn't run these events for money, they ran them for their love of the subject matter and the money then came secondary.
I am aware you are probably thinking that these examples aren't really online, but every single ticket for both these events was sold online. I am running a LinkedIn training workshop Jan 13th which is almost sold out, every sale I have got for that event has been from people I have never even met in person but through fantastic websites like Get Invited (great work Kyle and David). Get Invited has made creating an event so simple and it's app makes registration a piece of cake.
Online ticket services like Get Invited show you your total sales at the touch of a button.
My tips for creating an event that will make you money. Do something you love, don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, use websites like Get Invited that allow you to market, track and process all bookings and most importantly enjoy it.
Become An Affiliate - I decided to avoid the slightly cliched "set up your own eCommerce business" as everyone will tell you about how setting up an online business will make you money. I am going to take a fairly different twist on things and tell you how you don't have to actually have a business online to make money. We live in a world of likes, comments, shares, follows, retweets, connections etc.... everyone has a desire to better online but most don't know where to start. This is where you can come in. It is very hard to find businesses that do all social media channels well, and if they do they are usually using an agency or have a team of people.
In 2017 I pushed my luck a bit and approached one of the biggest eCommerce companies in the UK and said I can make you money online, I will even absorb the cost of online advertising, all I want is 15% of all the total revenue from my ads. Their CMO was intrigued and after a Skype call we struck a deal to do some online marketing for them, within 3 months we made them over £150,000 and made over £20,000 in commission. We knew they weren't doing one social network well and we were able to see the opportunity to make sales from that, it was a win/ win situation.
There are so many opportunities out there in the digital marketing world to reach out to companies whilst you work your full-time job. An example of this is the gentleman I met who had a Facebook page specialising in Fly Fishing, he has over 10,000 people on this page who engaged regularly with the content. He only set up the page up in 2015 and now he regularly gets paid money to promote products on the page, he is still working in his 9-5 job in a completely separate industry but he has used social media to make a nice side income. I lecture at the University of Ulster and the number one tip that I give aspiring marketers is to specialise in one digital discipline and excel at it, whether that is SEO or Google Adwords or Social Media Advertising or Content Creation. I take great pride in seeing my friend Barry Adams' business Polemic Digital excel in 2017 after he delivered keynote speeches around the globe, his secret to success is to do SEO well, very well, lunch is on me next week Baz.
In a LinkedIn workshop in delivered in September an attendee took my advice to explore LinkedIn and see if there were any groups that he could setup. He emailed me the next day saying he had found a big gap in the market in one specific engineering discipline within the UK so he set up the group and within a month had over 500 members. He received an email from an event organiser asking could they share an event that was specific to his group and were willing to pay him. This has happened several times now and he has made a nice little side income (he always states in the group the event posts are paid for) via this LinkedIn group, the beauty of this was that he didn't even know what a LinkedIn group was until our workshop.
I hope you found that enjoyable and if you have any questions please feel free to email me at anytime on Linkedin or comment in the questions. I love seeing all sorts of business start-up in NI and remember it is a lot easier than you think.
Andy Hill is the MD of Dokoo Digital a social media marketing agency based in Holywood, Northern Ireland. You can find out more at www.dokoo.com.
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