If you can make $100 every day, you don't need a job almost anywhere in the world.
Making $100/day is also validation.
It means you have enough marketing chops to make it on your own. The answer to the question "can I make a living on the internet?"
Most importantly, once you know how to make $100/day, you can scale up your business to make $500, $1,000 and even $10,000 per day (hey we can all dream).
Reaching the $100/day mark, however, is not easy because it takes more than a few lucky sales or Adsense clicks to hit that number consistently: it takes a proven method.
The good news is, there are more methods today than there ever was. Back in the day niche sites and SEO were pretty much the only consistent way to achieve it.
Nowadays, SEO is a matured market and is very competitive making it a poor choice for newbies. However all the 3rd platforms out there are much easier to gain visibility on and can spark a business than can THEN compete on Google.
For newbie marketers, it can be really confusing choosing a single method and sticking with it(especially sticking with it, people keep switching idea when they are starting usually).
This is why in this post, we've combed through the most popular methods for making money online without SEO and picked out 7 of the best that don't need any initial investment.
Additionally, with all of these methods, you have the opportunity to then build an authority site that could make your business a lot more passive in the future.
What are these 7 methods? Read on to find out!
Become a Youtuber
Youtube is largely underestimated by most online marketers because video scares them. But that's an incredible opportunity given the fact that Youtube is the #2 search engine and #3 website in the world.
It's also incredibly easy to generate traffic with the related videos, search etc and unlike sites like Instagram, the guys at Youtube give you plenty of ways to send traffic OFF of Youtube to affiliate offers, sales pages etc.
Getting video views easier than getting site traffic since you have access to YouTube's massive built-in audience.
Well-optimized YouTube videos regularly show up at the top of Google search results.
With cards and annotations, it is easy to direct traffic to landing/sales pages.
You need to be not afraid to talk and appear on camera.
It takes time and lots of videos to build up a large subscriber base.
Your subscribers will expect regular content updates from you. You will have to commit to a set posting schedule.
Why it works
Despite its size, competition on YouTube is still WAY low when compared to blogs and websites.
All this makes YouTube a wonderful platform for newbies without an audience.
Ads will be a big source of earnings especially for viral videos. On average, you can make up to $2 per 1,000 views.
You can direct traffic from keyword-focused info videos to affiliate products and earn commissions.
You can sell your own products by directing traffic to landing pages and building an email list.
What it takes to make $100/day on Youtube
There are two ways to get to $100/day: advertising, and selling your own or affiliate products.
YouTube pays its content partners more or less $2/1,000 views.
You will need 50,000 views/day to get to $100/day.
Useful only if you can consistently make fun, viral videos.
You can also take sponsors in if you are in a specific niche. Those pay up to $10/1000 views making the view threshold much lower (9000 - 10,000 per day realistically).
YouTube videos can get a CTR of up to 4% - depending on where the link is placed. For most people, however, a CTR of 1-1.5% is common.
At 1% CTR, you will need 15,000 views/day to get 150 visitors to a landing page. (50 videos @ 300 views daily is quite realistic)
With 150 targeted visitors/day, you can easily capture 75 emails/day with a conversion rate of 50% (our average for cold traffic to a squeeze page).
With a $35/sale earning and a 4% conversion rate, you can easily make 3 sales per day, netting over $100/day.
Remember that you can always tap your list multiple times. This list will also grow with each passing month, making it the preferred method for making money from YouTube in 2015.
How the business can scale
Building a 6, 7 or even 8 figure business is a matter of increasing your view & subscriber count, building a list, and collaborating with other YouTubers.
Get more views: Increasing subscribers and views will help you get more ad revenue. PewDiePie made $7M in 2014 from ads shown to his 38M subscribers. The best way to do that is simply to produce more videos.
Get Acquired: Working with other creators to build a 'network' can help you scale revenues and know the right people to then be acquired. Maker Studios, a network of YouTube content creators, was acquired by Disney for $950M.
VidIQ: Great Youtube analytics extension to optimise your videos
Famebit: Find sponsors for your channel and earn money on top of advertising.
Patreon: Get your subscribers to sponsor your channel with a monthly pledge.
First Steps To Get Started
Sign up for Google and setup your own channel.
Invest in a HD capable camera and microphone (or use your phone if it's good enough).
Record your video, edit it, then upload on YouTube.
Promote on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and related forums. Make sure to optimize the title for search. It surprisingly doesn't take much more than that to get views.
Launch a Niche Product
I have said it multiple times in previous podcasts, if you want to make money quick, product comes first (I actually think we'll create products before we launch sites next).
The idea is simple: Create the way monetise the audience and piggy back ride other people's audiences by giving them an opportunity to get a piece of the pie.
Don't worry about the blogging, the content, the social media, leave it to the people who have been in the niche for years.
Instead, market to the influencers in the industry by offering something their audience wants (training, software, service) and give them the opportunity to earn good money for promoting you with an affiliate program.
If you manage to convince even 1-3 influencers, you will be able to earn money quickly and grow an audience off the customers they send your way.
Don't need a lot of traffic to get to $100/day. You can also do recurring billing for consistent revenues
Recruiting affiliates enables you to generate traffic without the need for an audience initially.
New tools make it easy to receive payments and deliver products.
Products can be hard to create, especially if you can't code or design.
Recruiting affiliates can be challenging for unknown marketers
Need to master multiple disciplines (marketing, sales, conversion optimization, copywriting, etc.) to hit it big
Why it's great
You just need to convince a few people that what you have is great to get massive exposure.
You now have a list of people who spend money in a given niche. It's easy to push more offers to them.
You can build a blog on top of your sales page and grow an authority site from that product site.
You can play with scalable tactics like PPC from day 1 because you have a monetisation path.
Your own product sales will be your bread and butter, making for the largest chunk of revenues.
You can either recruit affiliates to sell your products, or include affiliate offers inside products or as a follow up to maximise revenue.
What it takes to make $100/day through niche products
Taking a product from 0 to $100/day in sales is relatively easy (actually easier than Youtube), Plus you get to control the customer experience and add upsells any time to maximise income.
Depending on how you price the product, your conversion rate and the quality of the traffic, you can get to $100/day.
You get the idea. When you have a quality product, a proven source of traffic, and a strong sales page, it is dead simple to get to $100/day with niche products.
The best part? You can capture emails and send them additional offers. You can include affiliate links inside products and make extra cash.
How the business can scale
Of all the methods on this list, creating niche products is the easiest way to scale to 6-7 figures.
Here are some ways to grow into a multi-million dollar info business:
Launch multiple products in the same niche, like Shane Melaugh who made millions selling WordPress themes and plugins.
Slowly grow a single product in size and complexity, then raise venture funding - the path taken by Rand Fishkin of Moz.
Turn a single info product into a complete membership program - the method followed by Brian Clark of Copyblogger.
Clickbank: Sell your products and recruit affiliates.
Membermouse: Build quality member areas for your customers
Thrive Themes: Build your sales pages and member content with their affordable drag & drop builder.
First Steps To Get Started
Research the market. I could tell you a bunch of fluff on finding what the market needs. Don't bother, find books in that market on Amazon, read the 1 and 2 star reviews to find what the most critical people want and build that. The 5 star people will love it too.
Outreach to bloggers and people with an audience in this market pitching them the idea, a hypothetical price and a commission structure. If they say they'd like to promote it you have a winner, if not, ask them why and adapt your pitch until they want to promote it.
Create your product. Either build it yourself by acquiring the right skills, or hire freelancers to do it for you but always edit the final copy yourself, you can't outsource caring.
Setup the sales page, conversion funnels, landing pages, email autoresponders, etc. using the tools listed above.
Outreach back to the bloggers and get them to send some traffic your way.
Create a Visual Niche Curation Site
Buzzfeed, ViralNova, Distractify, Diply...countless websites have made millions in the last few years by curating content from other sources and presenting them in a visual format. Creating listicles, quizzes and slideshows is not only easy, but can also get you millions of visitors for cheap.
As Jon Dykstra, one of the bloggers on our top 23 bloggers online list shows, creating a visual niche curation site is one of the fastest ways to get to $100/day online.
Content creation is straightforward since you only have to curate instead of creating fresh content.
Access to massive existing audience on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest through paid and organic channels.
Facebook's organic reach is steadily declining, which means you have to pay to get traffic
Lots of existing competition, though the quality varies considerably
Difficult to support affiliate models; need lots of traffic to make advertising profitable
Why it works
This is one of the most newbie friendly methods on this list to get started with your own site - at least when it comes to creating content.
You don't have to stand before a camera, build niche products, or master lead generation.
All you need to do is put together a WordPress site, curate content from sites like Reddit, and throw up some Facebook ads to get started.
Plus, there are other reasons to choose this method as well:
Easier to scale: Once you've mastered the basics, you can expand the site's focus, buy more ads and scale to millions of visitors - like Buzzfeed, ViralNova, etc.
Easier to run: You won't have to spend hours writing content from scratch - you just have to wrap existing content in your own voice.
Easier to market: Social media loves visual, viral content. You can easily expand your focus by buying ads on Facebook and even doing some retargeting for ultra cheap traffic (as low as $0.01/click)
Advertising will be your primary source of income, either from AdSense or display ads
You can easily link out to affiliate offers for product focused content
Once you have a large enough audience, you can sell your own niche products (don't expect high conversions though)
What it takes to make $100/day through visual niche websites
Since your primary source of income through visual niche curation websites will be advertising, figuring out how much traffic you'll need to hit $100/day is relatively easy.
At an average $4 CPM, you will need 25,000 page views daily to hit $100/day. This might sound like a lot, but even a couple of viral posts can earn you hundreds of thousands pageviews once they hit.
With better ads and ad placements, you can easily increase earnings to $6 - 10 CPM. At this rate, you will need around 13,000 daily pageviews.
With services such as Ezoic or Sortable (which Jon from FatStacksBlog used to grow revenues by 40%), you can push the CPM even higher. For most niches, anywhere between 400,000 to 600,000 pageviews will help you hit $100/day.
How the business can scale
There are two ways you can scale this model:
Increase advertising spend: By spending more money on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Outbrain/Taboola and retargeting, you can exponentially increase your audience size.
Expand focus: By increasing your site focus beyond a single niche, you can reach a larger audience.
As ViralNova, Buzzfeed, Distractify, Diply, etc. prove, this model is incredibly scalable. ViralNova managed a sale a $100M, while Buzzfeed has raised $96M at a $850M valuation.
So forget six figures - with enough ad spend and writers, you can even hit eight or evennine figures with this model (if you're lucky).
Scaleable? Definitely yes!
Canva: For creating blog headers and social media graphics
Buy a domain name. Choose something that is brandable and doesn't have your niche term in it. This will help you expand to other niches later.
Setup a WordPress site on the domain name. Make sure to pick a host that can handle your target traffic figure. For best results, choose Traffic Planet Hosting, it's cheap and affordable.
Choose a clean, responsive theme that emphasizes social shares.
Start creating content by curating pictures, stories and ideas from platforms such as Reddit, consider using ahrefs to reverse engineer top content from viral sites too adding your own shareworthy headlines and captions.
Sell Fiverr Gigs
You've probably heard of Fiverr - the platform where anyone can sell anything for $5. Internet marketers already know and love it for its marketing gigs, but it is also a great platform to make your first $100 online.
This is clearly not as sexy as receiving checks from Google because it involves working for others but Fiverr can be the start of a pretty decent service company as it helps you do the hardest thing for service businesses: find clients
From social media marketing and logos to videos and songs, there is little that you can't sell on Fiverr, and along the way, reach your $100/day mark.
Easy to get started. Signing up takes just a minute and there is no need to handle payments or delivery.
Huge existing marketplace of hungry buyers.
You can increase earnings exponentially with Fiverr 'Gig Extras'
Need 25 gigs/day to get to the $100 mark or a lot of extras. Fiverr keeps $1 from each sale.
Service-focused business take time and are hard to scale up.
Some niches already over-saturated with competition.
Why it works
Fiverr is one of the most newbie friendly platforms to start a service-focused business. There are no setup costs, no complicated sign-up process, and no delay before you can start selling.
It's massive audience and trusted brand name means you can start making sales right from day one.
Fiverr is also location agnostic - that is, you can sell gigs from anywhere. If you're from outside the US/UK/Europe, or want to travel while you make money, this is for you.
If you're thinking "$5 is too low", you can always make extra money with each sale by offering 'Gig Extras' (over $100/sale) , which are not bound by the $5 limit.
This is a great way to upsell expensive services after hooking in buyers with your cheap $5 offer.
Offering services in exchange for cash will be your primary source of earnings with Fiverr
What it takes to make $100/day on Fiverr
As per Fiverr's rules, all gigs must be priced at $5. From this, Fiverr keeps $1 as its fee. This means you get $4 for each gig you sell.
Simple math says that you will need to sell 25 gigs every day to reach the $100/day target.
This might sound like a lot, but remember that you can always earn even more through Gig Extras.
You can charge anything from $5 to $100+ for each extra. This testimonial video recorder, for example, offers to film with a green screen for $50. He also offers to advertise your video on his own YouTube channel for an extra $100.
As you can imagine, these numbers can quickly add up. If you can upsell even $40 worth of gig extras, you will need to make just 12 sales/day to hit your target numbers.
That is totally possible when looking at the sales numbers of many gigs.
How the business can scale
Outside of transitioning into products, there is only one guaranteed way to go from making $100/day in Fiverr gigs to a 6-7 figure business: upselling.
If we were still in the agency game I'd certainly set fiverr gigs up not to make a profit but to build a client list.
I would then attach a URL of a free bonus lead magnet on my site while delivering the gig with an offer on the thank you page (think 1 click up-sale after you bought) and slowly try to transform these clients into multi hundred dollar recurring clients through email marketing and relationship building.
You could then scale your site up by investing the profit into content, ads etc.
None other than looking on Fiverr for Gigs ideas, this is a true bootstrap one.
First Steps To Get Started
Browse Fiverr to get a feel for the competition in different categories. Brainstorm some gig ideas.
Setup your account. Choose a catchy name that aligns with your business.
Create your gigs. You can setup as many gigs as you want. The key to Fiverr success is to experiment aggressively with different gig types (they cost nothing to setup anyway).
Create appropriate graphics to sell your gigs. Use a tool such as Canva to make this process easier. Also make sure to write an attractive description that focuses on the gig's benefits (and not just features).
Teach on Udemy
Udemy is the (relatively) new kid on the block - an e-learning website that has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Today, it is one of the top 700 websites in the world with thousands courses from instructors all around the world.
Teaching on Udemy is a great way to reach the vaunted $100/day mark. The platform is massive and easy to use, and the students are more than happy to shell hundreds of dollars for each course. It also supports courses in virtually any category and for any skill level.
If you have a love for teaching and have knowledge to share, this would be the easiest - and the most enjoyable - way to $100/day.
Relatively unsaturated market for video courses with lots of potential
Target market is not very price conscious; easy to sell courses for over $100
Udemy handles payment, delivery and also helps in marketing your courses
Need to have existing knowledge about a topic in order to teach it
Current course offerings are more tailored towards tech and marketing
Most courses focus on video; need to be comfortable before a camera
Why it works
Teaching e-courses on Udemy is one of the easiest ways to get started on your $100/day journey. Plus it has that passive income feel most people are after unlike Fiverr. Once you're up and running, sales happen and you don't need to manage clients other than answering questions.
You don't have to deal with setting up a website, sales page or worry about payment and delivery. Udemy will do everything for you, handling payment, delivery, and even helping you create your first course.
But that's not all - Udemy (which has raised a massive $113M so far) aggressively markets itself across the internet. It regularly features top courses in its marketing, which means you get tons of expensive targeted paid traffic without spending out of your pocket (but they take a cut if they make a sale).
Perhaps most importantly, the Udemy brand name is recognised by students. By teaching on Udemy, you get an instant audience (existing Udemy customers), and the credibility that comes with the Udemy name (people are not afraid to drop their credit card info on the site).
Your courses will be your primary products, and the largest source of your income. The good news is the profit margin on those is very high.
You can include referral links in your course material (when it's actually useful), or guide students to affiliate pages to earn extra cash.
Many instructors achieve "expert" status in a niche and offer additional "done for you" services on the side for extra cash.
What it takes to make $100/day on Udemy
According to Udemy, the average price per course is $75. Udemy follows a rather odd revenue sharing formula (shown here), but on average, you can expect around a 70:30 split between you an Udemy.
Which means you can expect to make ~$50 from each sale on average.
At this rate, you will need just 2 course sales/day to each the $100/day figure, or just 60 students a month.
Considering that some of the top courses have nearly 20,000 enrolled students, reaching 2 sales/day is a relatively easy task, especially if you come from a marketing background (or read this blog religiously :).
I actually have been hanging out on their content creator Facebook group to get an idea of how much money real people make off it and ran into several stories like this one proving you can clearly hit the $100/day mark after putting some work into Udemy:
It should also give you some confidence to know that 1 in 4 instructors on Udemy makesupwards of $10,000/month through the platform.
How the business can scale
There are essentially two tactics to scale up your Udemy business and one to transform it into a fully owned business:
Get more students: Top courses in each category regularly draw tens of thousands of students. This course on selling courses on Udemy, for instance, has 23,990 students - at $300 per student!
Create more courses: Top Udemy instructors often have several courses on offer, varying in price and complexity. This company, for example, offers 67 courses with nearly 380,000 total students. On an individual level, developer Brad Hussey offers 6 courses that have a combined 92,859 students.
Get off Udemy: Udemy is an incredible way to acquire an audience but after a while if you gain some credibility you probably want to create your own spin off on your site to keep most of the profit and to open up new marketing opportunities like content marketing.
Other than this, you can try to scale up your prices, but the market won't tolerate high prices beyond a certain point. Udemy also limits course prices to $300.
Your best bet is to start by maximizing the number of students enrolled in your courses initially, then creating additional courses and cross-selling them to existing students and then consider creating your own platform when you already do well.
Because Authority Hacker already had a decent audience we did not go that route here but I will certainly be leveraging Free and cheap courses on Udemy as tripwires to then upsell people into becoming full time AH pro members.
I might even reach $100/day on Udemy doing that :).
Browse Udemy to get a feel for the competition in your category.
Follow this link to become a instructor on Udemy. You will have to link your Paypal and complete an application if you want to sell paid courses.
Gauge demand for your course by offering a 'lite' free version of your course. Use Facebook ads with retargeting to get initial traffic.
If you get enough interest, start creating a full-version of your course.
Local Lead Generation
Every day, thousands of local businesses around you wake up and wonder how they can get new customers. They know that internet marketing can be effective, but have no idea how to use it.
This is where you come in - with your marketing knowledge, you can help local businesses generate fresh leads, and in the process, get paid top dollar.
Local lead generation is one of the best kept secrets in internet marketing. It is wildly lucrative, relatively easy and incredibly scaleable.
To be honest if I had to start from scratch today, I would probably consider that route over authority sites and I've been thinking of ways to implement this on our sites as well because the potential for earnings is insane and it's really easy.
Easy to get started since most local businesses are clueless about online marketing.
Most businesses are happy to pay $50 or more for high quality leads
Limited competition locally, especially outside big cities (NYC, LA, London, etc.)
Lead buyers who can't close deals because of poor sales processes will question quality of your leads
Need some experience in getting traffic and capturing leads
Need to work out agreements with local lead buyers, often on an individual basis
Why it works
Even though local lead generation is a multi-billion dollar industry, it is incredibly easy to get started, even for rank newbies.
If you know the basics of internet marketing and can put together a lead capture form with a landing page, you can generate leads for local businesses.
You will have to negotiate agreements with local lead buyers at first. However, once you've done this a few times, you will not only have the process pat down, but will also have clients you can use as validation of your services (overall it's much easier to sell on a pay per lead basis than on a monthly retainer so that's not super tough).
You'll find plenty of takers for your offer because local businesses are often paying up to $50/click to Google. If you can offer them targeted, qualified leads for the same amount, they'll love you for it.
A lead is essentially the same as a 'product'. Selling leads as a product will be your primary source of earnings
Down the line you can create a site ranking for local keywords and sell ad space on top of capturing leads.
What it takes to make $100/day through local leads
How much you can charge for each lead depends on two factors: the industry and the lead quality.
Industry: The value of each lead is directly proportional to the value the businesses can derive from the lead. Lawyers, financial institutions, etc. are often willing to pay top dollar for leads. Check Google AdWords CPC to get an idea of what businesses are willing to pay in different industries.
Lead quality: The amount of data available for each lead and the lead's current stage in the buyer's journey have a big impact on lead prices. Typically, the more data you have and the closer the lead is to making a purchase, the higher the lead value.
For some businesses, it is possible make nearly $50 or more for each lead. Even with a conservative $20/lead pay rate, you will have to sell just 5 leads a day to make $100/day.
At 1% conversion rate and cold traffic, you will need just 500 visitors/day to capture 5 leads/day. If the traffic is targeted and the site content highly relevant, you can increase the conversion rate to nearly 4-10%.
Thus, you can make your 5 leads/day quota with as little as 50 visitors/day.
How the business can scale
You might not realize it, but some of the top websites in the world essentially follow the local lead generation model.
Yelp, for example, makes money by charging local businesses for leads. This has catapulted Yelp to nearly $2Bn in market cap with nearly $360M in 2014 revenues.
To scale this business, you can do two things:
Target other industries: Increase your earning potential by targeting more than one industry.
Target other cities: Go beyond your local city and target businesses from cities nearby.
Create companies offering the service yourself to keep all the money.
In fact, when you think about it, even Google is essentially a referral engine for businesses. And I think it's done pretty well for itself
Plus, if you're intimidated by the process, just take a look at some of the landing pages I found for highly commercial keywords that can yield $100+ leads without problem.
Top of adwords: Private Investigator Desmoines, note the @aol.com email
#1 on Adwords for "pool cleaning service Oxnard". That's right, not even about pool cleaning service.
Middle of Adwords "locksmith santa rosa". Note how there's no call to action at all.
Thrive Landing Pages: For creating the landing pages for your campaigns
Active Campaign: Powerful tool for managing leads and marketing automation
First Steps To Get Started
Choose a target industry. The best industries are ones that spend a lot on ads and have a limited internet presence (such as lawyers)
Setup a website, preferably with the industry/location name in the domain (such as "FindLawyers.com" or "NYCDoctors.com").
Create a landing page and direct traffic to the page to collect your leads. Try to collect more than the email (name, address, budget etc) to sell the leads for more.
Once you have 2 -3 leads, Contact local businesses and offer them your leads at a price lower than their ad spend.
Become a Freelancer
Every year, businesses spend tens of billions of dollars (up to $300Bn, according to Accenture) on freelance labor. A huge chunk of this is spent online on platforms such as Freelancer, Upwork, etc.
For newbies looking to start their online careers, taking a slice of this $300Bn pie presents one of the best ways to reach the $100/day mark.
You don't need any capital investments, no website, and no contacts. If you have a marketable skill - and the patience to build upon it - $100/day should be a cakewalk.
While many will argue that this is not better than a job I disagree. If you are able to charge enough, you can make a sustainable living in less than 8 hours/day and spend time on other projects rather than being at the office.
This is not a perfect long term solution and you probably won't become an overnight millionaire with this but it's a good way to get off the "mandatory 8 hours/day" that kill your time and opportunities to grow your own thing.
High potential: top freelancers often make over $10k/month or just make a living but have time to spend on other things.
Easy to get started; don't need website, product or advertising
Working directly with successful clients is a valuable learning experience
Have to deal with clients; can be stressful for deadline focused work
Tons of competition from cheap bidders on popular platforms (try to price high and deliver high value instead)
You are essentially trading time for money - like a job
Why it works
Freelancing is arguably the most newbie friendly method on this list for four reasons:
No startup costs. Can get started on popular platforms for $0.
Tons of existing trusted platforms such as Freelancer, Elance (Upwork), etc.
Massive demand for thousands of skills in thousands of industries. Whatever your skill, there is arguably a client for it
Don't need a website, blog or any technical expertise to get started.
Because it's so easy and close to a job, it's also the one with the lowest ceiling for earnings but hey, the goal here is to make $100/day to get out of the cubicle.
Freelancing is a great first step for that especially if you also make a move to a cheap place and re invest smartly.
As a freelancer, you essentially make money by offering services
You can package your services as a 'product', such as offering monthly SEO packs, website content, etc.
What it takes to make $100/day through freelancing
With freelancing, your income potential depends on your skill, expertise level, and ability to market yourself.
For example, there are writers on Freelancers charging just $1/article.
Depending on where you fall on the skill-marketability spectrum, you might need dozens of clients to reach the $100/day figure, or just one.
As an example, if you are a writer, at an average rate of $20/500 words, it will take you just 2,500 words, or 5 blog posts to hit the $100 mark. A skilled writer can easily write at least 500 words/hour. This means you can reach your target figure within 5 hours of work every day.
That gives you 3 - 5 hours per day to work on your own projects while making a decent living and pushing for more passive / scalable income.
How the business can scale
Scaling up in freelancing is difficult since you are essentially trading time for money, and there are only 24 hours in a day. However, there are a few ways to hit the 6 or 7 figure mark with this model:
Charge more: Top freelancers routinely charge over $100/hour. At this rate, you will need just 80 hours of work to hit the 6-figure mark.
Start an agency: To grow beyond 6 figures, you will need to expand your client base and hire people to serve them. This obviously involves higher responsibility and may not be everyone's cup of tea. Do you want us to write about our experience growing an agency to a team of 30 people? Let us know in the comments and we might make a post about it :).
UpWork: Massive new platform formed after merger of oDesk and Elance
FreshDesk: Freelancer-focused tool for creating invoices and managing billing
Time Doctor - A complete time management suite for freelancers and web professionals.
First Steps To Get Started
Make a list of your marketable skills. Browser platforms like Freelancer to see if there is a strong demand for any of these skills and how much people charge for it.
Identify the main pain points of your customers - what are their challenges and issues when working with freelancers?
Setup accounts on all popular freelancing websites. Also frequent niche focused job sites such as Problogger job board if you are a writer.
Start applying to jobs, making sure to highlight how you can solve the client pain points you brainstormed in step #2 and customise every application. 90% of freelancers send a template not even reading the job ad. Don't be that guy if you want to charge above average.
In the meantime, build out your portfolio and try to get featured on known publications and websites to increase your credibility.
If you're getting started with internet marketing, you'll find that setting up a website/blog and building traffic is one of the slowest ways to hit the $100/day mark.
I know it sounds sexy to just "rank in Google" but the truth is it takes a lot now to show up there and even then you need to convert that traffic (even harder than getting the traffic in the first place).
Instead, you will find far more success faster if you pick one of the methods outlined above.
The best way to get started is to use a popular 3rd party platform (Fiverr, Elance, YouTube, etc.) to build up your skills/traffic/cash flow/client base. Once you have enough experience (or clients), transition them to your own properties.
Once you have people on your own site, you can do anything - capture their emails, push affiliate offers, sell products, offer services, etc.
This is often the step you need to go from 9 to 5 to true financial independence: your own audience, on your own site, and your own terms.
Alternatively if you already have a mildly successful site, using these methods can generate great traffic and customer flows to it.
I am personally going to use Udemy, Youtube, Visual posts, niche products and maybe local lead gen to grow our sites in the future.
What did you think of these methods? Do you use 3rd party platforms to grow your business? Let us know in the comment section.