The world of online entrepreneurship is becoming a viable option for young people across the globe. Launching a side-hustle and making money online is no longer reserved for those who are older or have more experience. Thanks to platforms like Teambuilding and Blue Pitch, which help young entrepreneurs connect with potential customers, it’s never been easier for teens to find online work that suits their skills and interests. But just because there are more options for young people to make money online doesn’t mean that the path to riches is easy. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. In order to successfully navigate this new world of digital entrepreneurship, teens first need to understand how to make money online and the various opportunities that exist to do so.
The Many Ways to Make Money Online
Before they were born digital entrepreneurs, digital nomads and creators of online businesses, the young Satoshi Nakamotos and Elon Musks grew up in the post-World War II baby boom. They both had entrepreneurial spirits and were passionate about creating value with technology. However, it wasn’t until they became adults that these two business titans came together and founded Bitcoin, which would go on to revolutionize the way we send and receive money online. As a brief aside, before Bitcoin existed, making money online essentially meant getting paid to write articles and build a website. There were a few major players in the industry, like U.S. Government-sponsored Project Welfare, that paid people to create websites for them. These were typically sponsored crèches, which still exist today and are usually reserved for teen entrepreneurs who want to create a side-hustle.
Today, with the rise of blockchain, the original Bitcoin network has largely been replaced by distributed ledger technology. However, the basics of making money online in the post-WWII boom remain the same. There are still many ways to make money online, as long as you have a computer and an internet connection.
The Three Main Opportunities to Make Money Online
There are three main opportunities to make money online: selling and marketing products, offering web content management services, and running a money-making website. While there are numerous ways to make money online, these are the primary ways that entrepreneurs can make money and build a sustainable future for themselves. Let’s explore each one individually.
Selling And Marketing Products
If you’ve ever shopped online, you may have popped into a few online stores that you’ve never heard of. Maybe you’ve even bought something from a store that goes by the name Alibaba. This is because the company gets half of its revenue from online marketing and selling. As the New York Times noted, “Alibaba’s sales are driven by its marketing budget, which is considerable: the company spent $25.1 million on ads last year.”
Marketing a product or service online means using various methods, like advertising and affiliate marketing, to drive traffic to your website. Once you have traffic, you can use tools like Google Analytics to track how many people are landing on your site and how they’re interacting with it. From there, you can determine the next step in your digital marketing strategy.
Content Management Services
If you’ve ever created a blog or an e-Commerce store, you may have considered hiring content management services (CMS). These are companies that help you create and maintain a website for you. They can help you with everything from designing your site to choosing a domain name and hosting your website on their servers. There are a few reasons why you might want to consider a CMS.
If you’re completely unfamiliar with creating a website, using a content management service can help. They can take care of everything from creating the basic structure of your site (the HTML and CSS) to applying the theme you choose and uploading content, like photos, videos, and blockquotes, that you provide to them.
Depending on what you need, they can help you choose the right platform and tools for the job. Are you looking for a simple blog? They might suggest using a WordPress platform, which is extremely popular among content creators, due to its open source nature and large community. Or, are you looking for a fully-functional e-commerce store? They may suggest using Shopify, which is a popular choice amongst entrepreneurs and online stores across the world. Don’t worry—they’re not going to force you to use their recommended platform. Just explore the different options available and choose the one that best suits your needs.
While you might consider a CMS as an option to get your site up and running, don’t underestimate the value of hands-on experience. If you have a specific design idea in mind and want to apply it to your website, you can use tools like Canva (free) to create a mockup of what your site might look like. Then, you can launch your site and make some small adjustments. If you’re completely unfamiliar with coding and HTML, using a CMS can be a bit overwhelming, especially since it means you’ll have to learn how to code. In this case, using tools like Wix (free) or Squarespace (paid) can be a better option. These platforms offer an easy-to-use interface that even those with no technical knowledge can easily figure out.
Monetizing A Blog
If you’re looking for an affiliate marketing opportunity, you can try Monetising A Blog. This is a sponsored blog where you’ll earn a commission for promoting a specific product or service. Typically, you’ll be asked to create a blog post that includes a link to the product. Then, you’ll get paid when someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase.
This can be a valuable source of income for teens, especially since it doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge or experience to get started. However, it can be difficult to monetize a blog unless you have a sizable audience. If you do, you can use tools like Affiliate Marketing Tool to find products to promote and earn commissions. Once you have a functioning blog with a few posts, you can use tools like Google Analytics to track your online marketing attempts (hits and bounces). From there, you can determin if this is a lucrative source of income for you or if it’s just a hobby.
If you’re looking for an easy way to make money online as a teenager, consider pursuing one of the three options mentioned above. However, if you want to get into the full-time entrepreneurial game, you may want to consider exploring Crowdfunding, as I’ll discuss below.
As a young entrepreneur, you may wonder what Crowdfunding is. If you’re unfamiliar, Crowdfunding is when multiple individuals pool money together to fund a specific project or idea. In return for their contribution, investors gain some form of return (generally in the form of equity or profit shares).
There are many reasons why you might want to consider crowdfunding. Perhaps, you have a product that you want to release but don’t have the financial backing to do so. Or, maybe you’re looking to raise funds for a specific cause (like fighting climate change or raising money for your school’s art gallery). Whatever the case may be, Crowdfunding provides a tangible way to get money online and make an impact (just remember to do your homework first to make sure you’re taking the right route).
One of the most well-known crowdfunding platforms is Kickstarter. Launched in 2009, Kickstarter allows creators to seek financial support from the general public for their next project. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or simply want to create something that will be fun and profitable, Kickstarter is a great place to start.