If you’ve been following my story, I’ve been writing a lot about making money online. For years, this has appeared to be more of a mirage than reality. The internet is a wonderful place, but it’s also full of con artists. Most online money making schemes are of the scam-my kind, where you’re lured by guys posting photos of huge bundles of dollar bills, with new sports cars, outside their massive mansions.
They promise you riches, to the tune of thousands of dollars per day, if you just perform a simple task.
You have to be really naive or greedy to fall for such an obvious scam. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Are there any legit ways to earn online?
Though scammers exist, there are people who are genuinely earning thousands of dollars online in various ways. These include eCommerce, being social media influencers, and affiliate marketing just to name three. The possibilities are endless, but how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? How do you tell which methods of making money online work and which ones don’t?
Personally, I’ve been interested in affiliate earnings for a long time, nearly a decade now. From casually reading about it before, I’ve started really focusing on the field. Affiliate earnings are basically made when you promote another person’s products via a special referral link. When that person purchases the product, you receive a commission for sending them to the seller.
You can promote affiliate links anywhere online, whether it’s on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, online forums or a personal blog. I’ve written a piece before about whether blogging in 2018 still makes sense. You might even come across some affiliate links on this very page.
Affiliate marketing debate
Something I’ve noticed about this method of making money online is that recently it has prompted a raging debate. Some people dismiss it as a pyramid scheme, because the affiliates make money only when they convince you to buy something.
So they make you believe you’ll be rich if you sign up to a course or buy certain software, not knowing that’s exactly how they make money. The software or course might turn out to be worthless, something you could have easily gotten for free online.
Defenders of affiliate marketers, on the other hand, insist you can genuinely earn money promoting products online. They also provide ample proof to back up their claims. Most internet marketers report going for months or even years without making a single dollar, so it requires a lot of effort and commitment.
So is there a legit way of making money online?
In my journey towards making money online, I’ve decided I want to do it the hard way. Learn as much as I can, without necessarily buying expensive courses and software. Once I feel I’ve exhausted the free resources and have an inkling some premium ones could help me achieve my goal, I’ll be more than happy to spend.
While my ultimate goal is to earn through affiliate marketing, in the meantime I’ve been making money online by writing articles, what is commonly known as freelancing. You might be a freelancer yourself, or know people who are.
This appears to be the “low hanging fruit” as far as earning online goes. Other than making a few hundred dollars a month, it gives you and I the chance to do research on the wide range of topics clients ask us to write about.
During my research on the internet, I’ve come across 9 individuals I consider to be my online mentors. There are thousands of people out there teaching about making money online, these are just the ones who have made an impact on me. As I continue my journey, I’m sure I’ll come across more and will update you on the developments.
My online mentors
This list is compiled in no particular order because I believe every one of these people has played a significant role in enlightening me. I hope you’ll also find them helpful.
1. Lazy Ass Stoner
Also known as Jay Wessman. I came across this guy around 2015 and was immediately impressed by his knowledge and the ease with which he explained previously complex stuff. He also sounded genuine in his desire to teach his followers about making money online.
He didn’t just focus on what everyone in the industry was talking about but went out of his way to explore other online marketing platforms like Reddit, Pinterest, and Facebook.
The course Screw95 promised to teach you easy ways of making money online without the stress that comes with a 9 to 5 job. Judging by the already awesome free resources on his site lazyassstoner.com, the paid course must have been very helpful especially to newbies in the affiliate marketing field.
Unfortunately, Jay dropped off the map about two years ago, without a good reason. As a testament to his awesomeness, people still post on internet forums inquiring on his whereabouts. Though his website and Youtube channel are still helpful, the content is in dire need of an update.
*Update: The lazyassstoner is apparently still alive and well!! 3 months after posting this article, Jay Wessman resurfaced with a video confirming he was still in the game. I’m curious to see what he has in store for his fans.
2. Walter Akolo
Another outstanding guy, very genuine in his dealings and always ready to provide support to his followers. Walter is the founder of freelancerkenya.com. For years this site has provided valuable resources to people looking to start freelancing. Though the title makes it clear that it focuses on Kenya, people from all over the globe have benefited from its wealth of tips.
Other than this site, Walter also runs Facebook pages. One such page, Remarkable Freelance Writers in Africa, is dedicated to helping freelancers succeed by sharing advice on the do’s and don’ts of the industry.
Walter’s reputation precedes him, judging by the numerous positive reviews he has online. His freelancing course, which currently costs $40, is wildly popular. It has been praised by many who’ve paid for it for turning them from newbies to experts, some of whom start earning hundreds of dollars mere weeks after completing it.
Walter never tires of urging his trainees and followers to submit “pure gold” to clients.
3. Brad Callen
Most of you might already be familiar with Brad. He is the founder of iwriter.com. Although he recently sold the company to concentrate on other ventures, he’s no stranger to internet marketing.
Brad has been at it since 2002 and has started several multi-million dollar online ventures. Although he keeps a generally low profile on the internet, he regularly comes up with carefully crafted courses mainly focusing on SEO and internet marketing.
His nearly 2 decade experience makes him a master at affiliate marketing. Some of his other ventures include Doodly and Testly, as well as premium courses on dominating adwords and mining seven figure profits from the internet.
Most of his products, mainly focusing on the SaaS (Software as a Service) field, can be found on the website Bryxen.com. Brad is always restless. He always seems to be working on multiple new ideas at a time. Although he doesn’t like showing his face a lot compared to the other internet marketers, his products still sell like crazy.
He is also famous for offering a 30-day no questions asked, money back guarantee on his products. This shows that they deliver as advertised.
4. Kim Garst
Though I only found out about her very recently, I’m thoroughly impressed by Kim’s mastery of social media marketing. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or the many other social networks around,she has all the tricks you need to dominate. She’s the CEO and co-founder of BOOM!SOCIAL, a social media marketing company.
Her expertise on the field is unquestionable. Even experienced digital marketers regularly express surprise at some of the tips she offers that they were not aware of. To know more about her, visit her site kimgarst.com. The extremely helpful free content will easily convince you to pay for her premium products.
5. Brian Dean
A master of SEO, Dean is the founder of Backlinko, a website that contains a treasure trove of information on how to rank sites especially on page one of Google. If you’re planning on making money online, you should definitely follow this guy.
According to Dean, he started researching on SEO after failing a few times. He also had a problem with the solutions the “Gurus” were offering, which were not working.
After doing lots of trial and error, he finally discovered surefire ways of ranking websites on page one. He also leads by example, as his website ranks number one for some of the most competitive keywords on the internet.
6. Neil Patel
Another SEO master, Neil ranks right up there with Brian Dean. If making money online is your goal, you cannot avoid SEO. Neil offers valuable advice on how to drive targeted traffic to your blog, social media pages, e-commerce site or any other web property you might have. He provides these nuggets of wisdom mainly through YouTube and his blog neilpatel.com.
7. Nathan Lucas
Also known as the Freedom Influencer, this guy is unique because he’s made the bulk of his affiliate earnings through his YouTube channel. If you have or are planning on starting a channel, it is a good idea to subscribe to him.
Almost all other mentors on this list started making money online with blogs or other websites, with a YouTube channel being just another part of their web presence. Lucas has stayed true to YT, consistently updating videos on how to earn through affiliate marketing.
As of writing this post, he easily earns $10,000 a month from YouTube ads alone. Though sometimes his content can feel repetitive, he comes across as someone who genuinely wants to help others succeed online.
His videos are not also heavily edited, which in my opinion makes him appear even more genuine. His content appears to come from the heart and not a sleek marketing team, giving him a one-man-army appeal.
8. Lisa Irby
One of my favorite mentors, this lady has seen it all as far as internet marketing goes. She has also experimented with everything out there, from creating websites to SEO to selling digital and physical products like t-shirts online.
I came to know about her in 2015, around the same time I discovered Jay Wessman. Her appeal to me was the way she made it appear like any average Joe could create a website, at a time when it still sounded like rocket science.
Her main website is 2createawebsite.com. The title is self-explanatory, as she gives you helpful tips on the easiest ways of building websites.
She also touches on other aspects such as SEO and affiliate earning. You will learn a lot from her especially if you want someone who’ll explain the basics to you without making it complicated. If you’re set on making money online, she will set you on the right path.
9. Marcus Campbell
Marcus is another veteran of internet marketing. He’s been doing it since year 2000. To put things into perspective, this guy started making money online way before Google, Facebook, YouTube, PayPal and WordPress became household names. He sometimes jokingly refers to himself as the grandfather of internet marketing. The unique thing about Marcus is that he still prefers the old school way, when things were still simple. He doesn’t care about all the bells and whistles modern websites come with. His main concern is on the content you’re selling on your site. For that reason, all of his sites are very simple. You’d be forgiven for thinking they were created in the early 2000s. Despite looking like they could be made by a 5 year old, they convert like crazy. His simple sites have earned him millions of dollars over the years. The other thing about him is that he goes against the grain. He doesn’t just repeat the stuff other online “gurus” have posted. He has his own system of making money online that is uniquely simple but highly profitable. This system has been perfected though years of trial and error. Marcus doesn’t believe in fixing something that isn’t broken, so he’s stuck by and fine tuned all the tricks he learned from the early 2000s. You can find him at simplesitesbigprofits.com .
Edit: All information on Marcus Campell has a strike-through for a reason. I was gearing up to purchase Marcus’ affiliate software when I decided to dig deeper and read some reviews about it. What I found was disheartening.
I could have deleted this section, but decided to keep it up so other people looking for info about him will know the truth. It goes without saying that I no longer consider him a mentor.
What do you think of my mentors?
There you have it. That’s the list of my biggest online mentors so far. I’ve not started making thousands of dollars yet, but I believe if I follow their advice while implementing some of my own ideas, I’ll make it.
There are tens or even hundreds of other superb mentors out there. I’m sure as I get deeper into the concept of making money online, I’ll come across them. For now, these nine are the ones I feel confident enough in helping me achieve my online goals.
Do you have online mentors? If yes, share with other readers in the comments section. Who knows, we might just uncover some hidden gems!