How to Make 1 Million Dollars Online (Even If You're Broke)

How to Make 1 Million Dollars Online (Even If You're Broke)

How can I get rich with no money?

To get rich with no money, you need to put some strategies into play that have been proven to make people wealthy. It won’t happen overnight but, over time, you’re almost guaranteed to become rich by following these systems:

  1. Control your spending
  2. Get into the right mindset
  3. Commit for the long haul
  4. Pay off (and stay out of) debt
  5. Set clear, actionable goals
  6. Start investing as early as possible
  7. Keep learning
  8. Build up your income
  9. Automate your finances
  10. Stay the course

To see exactly how this works in detail (including the math that proves it!), take a look at our article on how to get rich from nothing.

Avoid a Self-Defeating Mindset

Wealth-building is as much a mindset as anything else, so it’s important to make sure you eliminate beliefs that will work against you. If you want to make your first $1 million: Don’t think anyone owes you a living.Don’t expect something for nothing.Don’t take on any consumer debt. If you don’t have the cash to buy something, then you don’t need it.Don’t get distracted. If getting rich is your goal, persist through obstacles.Don’t avoid education. Learn the skills to excel in your chosen pursuits.Don’t be afraid to take on an extra side hustle.Don’t keep up with the Joneses. They’re neck-deep in debt.Don’t forget others. Giving seems to beget reciprocity. If you want to learn how to make your first $1 million, it’s preferable to start when you’re younger and be patient. It’s also crucial to have fun along the way — because, ideally, that’s the point.


What do rich people invest in?

Thanks to data from the IRS, we can see the most common income streams for millionaires. This, in turn, can give us a good idea of what do rich people invest in, as it includes:

  1. Publicly traded stock – includes individual shares and mutual funds
  2. Other real estate – includes commercial property, REITs and “residential property other than the personal residence”
  3. Cash assets – not only is this actual cash, but also bank accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts. This shows they generally maintain a healthy liquid net worth.
  4. Bonds
  5. Closely held stock – this is stock in companies that isn’t publicly traded
  6. Retirement assets – IRAs and 401(k) accounts fall into this category
  7. Personal residence – where the person lives
  8. Real estate partnerships – these are partnerships where the main function is the ownership of real estate
  9. Other limited partnerships
  10. Other non-corporate business assets – this is where the person is either a sole proprietor or a partner in a business partnership

This information is taken from the IRS’ estate tax statistics, meaning it primarily shows the assets held by people who died in 2018 whose estate when they died was worth at least $5.49 million.

Andit gives a pretty good indication of how people at that level of wealth split their assets. While it’s true that not all of these are investments (such as your personal residence), most of them are.

In particular, it shows how investing in shares and real estate seem to be the most popular way for millionaires to allocate their money. This should be no surprise, given how these are pretty widely accepted as the most popular – and often most successful – forms of investing.

Related: 10 Best Personal Finance Podcasts for Beginners

Learn About Sales and Marketing

Selling is everything in business, and marketing gets the right audience to the salespeople. A business could hardly become successful without being good at sales. That’s why you need to learn more about sales and marketing, which is a continuous learning process in the middle of a constantly changing business landscape.

You don’t have to be an expert to beat the big dogs in the industry. You just need to learn the tricks of the trade to put up a working strategy that sells. There’s always a way to sell without being salesy, and only you can find that out through studying and learning, having a mentor, and joining sales training and seminars. 

Make Savings Automatic

To ensure that you keep up with your savings goal, automate the process.

“Setting up automatic direct deposits from your paycheck into a savings or brokerage account and increasing your withholding into a company-sponsored 401(k) helps put those goals on autopilot,” said Michael Fischer, director and wealth advisor at Round Table Wealth Management. “Automatically allocating these resources via direct deposit or withholding simplifies the process and ensures you don’t overspend.”

Advice: 6 Ways To Start Building Generational Wealth for Your Family

Start With $10 Million

“Start with $10 million” is actually a joke, and it reflects how our brains tend to trick us into doing the wrong thing when investing. The best way to circumvent our “inferior mental angels” is to learn about investing, create a plan and stick with it. Our psychology often works against us, said Kirk Chisholm, principal at Innovative Advisory Group. It’s not difficult to make a million with investing — if you start young enough and avoid psychological pitfalls, such as following the crowd. Avoid trading in and out of your investments. Create a sound investing plan, invest through thick and thin, and over time you can become a millionaire. Those who buy and sell more frequently tend to underperform compared to those who buy and hold, according to Vanguard Research.

Help the Nigerians

Nigeria is a small African nation located on the west side of the continent. Apparently, the country is full of people with a lot of money who are anxious to transfer it into your bank account. You just have to give them your bank account number. Also, give them your social security number and a few other pieces of information. There is apparently some problem in Nigeria that prevents them from transferring their money from one bank to another. However, they're super nice people who just want to conduct some bank transfers and help the people who help them. How better to become a millionaire than to let somebody give you a million dollars? These offers come in all the time via email. Just answer them and give them all your personal information. You'll be set for life!

Optimize Your Tax Situation

“Taxes are a significant expense that the general consumer just accepts when they don’t have to,” Dunbar said.

In addition to utilizing tax-advantaged retirement plans, he recommends taking advantage of cash value life insurance to set up a tax-exempt bucket, and working with a good CPA to maximize other available deductions.

Can Trading Make You Rich Overnight?

The short answer is no, and certainly not without taking enormous risks.

If someone becomes a millionaire in the stock market overnight, and it is truly by luck, the risks are extensive, and they come in many forms. In some ways, the risks of becoming an overnight millionaire are comparable to winning the lottery: A person who is ill-prepared for it may find that they have a whole new array of friends who don’t really have their interests at heart. 

6. Start Multiple Streams Of Income

If you look at the vast majority of self-made millionaires or billionaires, they have more than one source of income.

In fact, I know they do.

Tom Corley, the best-selling co-author of Rich Habits, Poor Habits, discovered that most millionaires have at least three forms of revenue.

They typically have money invested in real estate, several e-commerce businesses, a cryptocurrency portfolio, an indie publishing house, etc.

That might seem like they’re being “greedy”, but they’re just protecting their income, especially because of the volatile economic environment we’ve found ourselves in since the dark days of 2008.

Having multiple streams of income protects you against the failure of any individual business or investment.

So, let’s say you have $250,000 tied up in real estate. Good for you! But what if there’s another “housing bubble”, and an ensuing bust?

Smart investors spread their investments around. They never have all their eggs in one basket. Their investment account is diversified in the stock market, an online business, etc. 

So, they might lose the $250,000 in real estate, but they have another $250,000 in mutual funds. That’s backed up with $100,000 in e-commerce income, and a cryptocurrency portfolio.

Elon Musk is a perfect example of a wealthy person investing in multiple businesses simultaneously.

He owns Tesla, Solar City, and SpaceX.

Solar City feeds the energy demand of Tesla car owners in certain parts of the United States.

It also complements his Tesla Powerwall range of products.

Not being one to hedge his bets, he also has SpaceX to fall back on should the worst happen.

Diversifying your income sources is smart. It’s basically insurance against losing everything you own because of one or two bad business decisions.

Combining passive income streams with non-passive income streams will also make it far easier for you to earn $1,000,000 within the next five years.

13. Start a Niche Website

Starting a website is a viable way of making money online.

When Spencer founded Niche Pursuits, he had used niche sites to quit his corporate job and generate a full-time income from home.

You can do the same thing.

The first step to starting a niche website is to figure out what kind of website you want to have.

You need to make sure that you’re solving a need for someone. The best way to do this is to use a keyword research tool.

These tools help you see what people are searching for online.

You’ll want to target long-tail, low difficulty keywords. These are keywords with low search volume that are easy to rank for.

It’s counterintuitive, but the long-tail strategy wins big in the grand scheme of things.

Try to find a niche idea that you are passionate about.

Even if there are tons of people searching for dog supplies, this doesn’t mean it’s a good niche. If you hate dogs, then this is a horrible niche for you!

Your niche should be at a point where opportunity meets your passion. Find a niche that has low competition but that you could write about and enjoy.

Next, you’ll want to figure out how you’re going to monetize your site.

Are you going to use informational content and ads? Or maybe you could find an affiliate relationship and get paid to recommend products.

As mentioned above, you could even get in on the e-commerce craze to sell your own stuff.

Once you’ve got your niche picked out and know how you’re going to monetize it, it’s time to do some strategizing.

It’s best to have an idea of what kind of content you’re going to be producing. 

You want everything to fit into a few categories in your niche. Don’t go too broad. Start small and when you’re making some money, expand from there.

These niche websites have a high ceiling. You could make anywhere from $2985 per month to millions of dollars per month.

ESPN is a niche site and they’re killing it!

Compared to other businesses, the earnings can start pretty quickly.

Spencer’s Niche Site Project 4 started making $1000 just 10 months after he published his first article.

That’s $1000 of passive income for life! And he outsourced everything.

Imagine what you could do by putting your energy into a niche site.

2. Save Early and Often

A portfolio worth $1 million is the gold standard for many new retirees. Depending on where you live and how much you can count on from guaranteed sources of income, it’s often enough for a secure retirement.

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Employer-provided retirement plans offer the best route to success. Contributions to a 401(k) are pretax, which lowers your taxable income. Money inside the account grows unfettered by taxes, which boosts your annual return.

The sooner you start saving, the more likely you’ll reach your goal, but you must be willing to increase your contributions. Nearly 60% of companies with 401(k) plans automatically enroll new employees, usually at a 3% contribution rate. But that will leave you short of your goal. For example, if a 30-year-old makes $60,000 a year and contributes 3% a year, he’ll have about $367,000 by the time he’s 65 (that assumes a 3% annual raise and a 7% rate of return). But if he bumps up his contributions to 10%, he’ll end up with $1.2 million.

If your employer matches contributions (and the vast majority of large companies do), you’ll have an even better shot at reaching the million-dollar milestone. If the same 30-year-old earns $60,000 and contributes 10% of his salary to a 401(k) plan with a 50% company match of up to 6% of pay, by age 65 he will have nearly $1.6 million.

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How to Make 1 Million Dollars Online

I go into detail in the entire episode with specific stories, but below you can see the show notes on what I talk about with building your online business to generate millions.  Also note: I recorded this on my iPhone in Spain between practices while playing pro handball with the Reale Ademar team in Leon.  This is not recorded in the SOG studio in L.A.

1.  Start With Passion

–  My Sports Networker Journey, here I share how I got started, and why I started in the sports business.

–  How I Utilized LinkedIn marketing to build everything- the list was key for me, and LinkedIn gave me a platform to build an audience and I enjoyed teaching this to others.

–  Even more: I started hosting LinkedIn events, wrote a book, then did  workshop, speaking, bigger ticket product and webinars.

2.  Invest In Yourself

–  Keys to Finding Mentors– I cover the importance of investing time into a mentor (and how to find the right one for you)

–  Study as much as you can from people you admire or want to be like online.  As an athlete I learn from watching other great athletes compete.  Apply this to the online business world.

–  Investing in your online education:  If this means buying a course, software, or hiring a coach… do it!

–  Join a mastermind ASAP!  This is a HUGE key to making your first million online.  It might be the biggest accelerator to achieving this goal.

3.  Build Your Audience

– If I could do it all over again I’d just build a list without a site.  So many people are concerned with creating a site that they forget the most important thing is building a list.  Even when people do have their site up and running they forget to have a place for people to opt in.  The site almost becomes pointless when this happens.

4.  Learn Sales and Marketing 

–  You don’t have to be the best at marketing, you just need to know enough to get the job done.  Once you do, sales will be your focus.  I love using webinars to sell because it’s a great way to build your audience as well.  Start with an online bootcamp because you can start selling without having a product (this is key!).

5.  Build Credibility 

–  There are many ways to build credibility online.  I mention how to in this episode but to name a few you can write a book about the topic you love,  guest post on other sites, speak at trade shows, or write for magazines.  Anything to build credibility to increase your personal brand and value perception.

6.  Hustle Every Day 

–  Be as consistent as possible.  No one is going to hand you a million dollars.  It took me a few years of constant 14 hour days of hustling to the point we generated our first 7 figures.  Now I’m able to leverage my time and money to create greater products and live my lifestyle at the next level.


Inheriting a million dollars is easiest when you're related to a millionaire who leaves a million dollars to you in their will. Done. However, if you aren't related to a millionaire, I suggest contacting your oldest living relative and encouraging them to play the lottery. They can also open a business, or invest in a hot stock so that they can easily make a million dollars and leave it to you in their will. This has a higher probability of working if you're the one who gives them the advice. If that leads to them making the million dollars, they're that much more likely to leave it to you.

One other option here is to read the obituaries, attend funerals, and then figure out where wills are being read. If you do a little research, you can generally figure out who has money and who doesn't. Usually, a good sign is an expensive funeral. Then show up to the reading of the will and claim you're a long lost relative and that you're entitled to some of the inheritance. This is a long shot in terms of making a million dollars. However the odds are actually better than the lottery in many cases, so it's worth a try. Then again, it does require a bit more work than some of the other options.

Inheritance is a great way to make a lot of cash.


8. Earn Income on the Side

James Foster

James Foster

A part-time job or side gig courtesy of the sharing economy could be the ticket to generating some extra cash. If you invest the money or use it to, say, help you buy a house, you’ll get closer to your $1 million goal.

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Danielle and Joe Haymes of Houston found a side gig they love two years ago after searching for a place to board their two dachshunds. Danielle is a technology instructor for a local school district and Joe is a sales manager, but they decided to become dog sitters on the side after learning about DogVacay, which matches pet sitters with dog owners. The Haymeses usually take in three to four dogs at a time, depending on their schedules. In 2015, they earned about $13,000; the year before, they earned about $12,000. (Sitters set their own rates and pay 20% to DogVacay.) That income alone might not make them millionaires, but they’re planning to use it as leverage to reach a larger goal: They have saved most of the money as a down payment on their dream house in a neighborhood with a great school district.

8. Start a business on Amazon

"I would invest $100 in business education. Start with free online content from proven business leaders, then read every book you can get from the ones that resonate with you.

Next, find a product that you can buy on for 10% to 30% of what you can sell it for on Amazon. To find products that sell well, look for those with a 'Best Sellers Rank' between one and 5,000 in the high-level categories.

Save, hustle or borrow to get another $500 to buy your inventory. Try different marketing strategies to sell the product — starting with social media, online advertising and content marketing. Then stop doing what isn't working and start doing what is working.

To grow your business, focus on increasing the profit margin and the quantity you sell. Eventually, you want to own the brand so you have a valuable asset that produces wealth."

Matt Clark, co-founder and chairman of and co-creator of Amazing Selling Machine. Follow Matt on Instagram.


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