We talked yesterday about how difficult it can be to maintain passion and enthusiasm when running an online business. Burn-out is common, and many would say, inevitable. But there are options available to online business owners that will allow them to work less and earn more. “Work smarter, not harder” is the mantra of many successful entrepreneurs, and it has a very specific application to online businesses.
Prioritize Passive Income
Passive income is a misleading concept, as it usually takes a ridiculously intense burst of activity to get passive income in place. After the active phase, however, the income keeps rolling in. Passive income comes from digital products, ebooks, affiliate marketing, and more. Here are some of the sources of income that generate revenue for me, 24/7, even when I’m sleeping or chilling at the beach:
My blogs – Read my step-by-step tutorial on setting up a blog here
Affiliate Marketing – Read my FREE 6 part series on affiliate marketing here
Most of these involve digital products I made once and can sell over and over, OR digital products (and in the case of my Amazon shop, physical products) that other people have made and I get a commission for selling. Other physical products I sell on commission include clothes and accessories from companies like Yoins and Off The Closet, and I’m not even a fashion blogger. I mainly sell those through my Fashion board on Pinterest, and the occasional Instagram post.
My Medium articles are a little different. They are behind a paywall and I get revenue in when paying subscribers read them. But once again, I create the article once and potentially get paid forever. Passive income is the real key to working less and earning more.
Automate Your Workload
We’ve talked about automation before, so I’m not going to dwell on it, but any article on working less has to at least mention it. One of the best shortcuts to free up your time is to make use of automation tools.
You can automate your social media posting and reputation monitoring, link building and analysis, appointment booking, and email marketing. Think outside the box when it comes to automation. A well-designed, searchable FAQ can cut down on customer support issues. A good autoresponder series can automate sales. Social media scheduling can save time, even though you’ll still need some real time presence on your social sites. If you find yourself stressed out over the amount of work you have to do, look into whether there is a way to automate, or semi-automate, it.
Every person has unique strengths and weaknesses. There are some things you are going to hate doing, and some things that you will enjoy. This means that you can hire people to do the things that they love to do, but you hate.
Freelancers and outsourcing agencies are available and they can massively assist in reducing your workload. Check out my book about outsourcing, or, if you’re ready to get serious about it, take a look at the Outsource Weekly course.
Hire a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant is a low-cost freelancer that you hire on an ongoing basis. He or she will do anything from basic admin jobs to more specialized tasks, with an increase in price for more specialized or advanced tasks.
You can hire someone on an hourly basis to complete simple tasks, or pay a flat fee for them to complete a set number of routine, recurring tasks each week or month. Finding the right one might take a while, but it can definitely turn out to be a shortcut to success in the long-term. Find out more about hiring a VA here.
Collaboration and Networking
Connecting with people in your field is a quick route to growing your business. You can promote each other’s blogs, products, services, and new launches. You can even sign up as each other’s affiliates for a win-win situation, financially speaking.
By leveraging the power of multiple platforms, you will be able to grow far faster compared to doing it alone. You can also network with people face to face. There is a growing number of local business groups you can join, and even digital nomad hubs across the globe, so you can connect and collaborate in real life.
These happen to be my favourite ways to work less and still keep the revenue rolling in. If you know of other ways, feel free to share in the comments.
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