How to Make Money As a 17-Year-Old Online

If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either a) a high school student looking for ways to spend your summer vacation or b) someone who wants to make extra money. Maybe you’re both! If you’re the first group, make sure you check out the amazing list of summer jobs available for teens, and if you’re in the second group, read on!

The Basics

The first step to making money online is to figure out how you’re going to make money. Are you going to use a web browser to play games? How about becoming a virtual assistant? There are hundreds of ways to make money online without any special training, and all you need to do is find a way to connect the dots between your offer and a consumer who has a need or desire for your product or service. When you find that connection, you’ve got a sale.

The Difference Between Online And Offline Sales

Before we get started, let’s clear up the difference between online and offline sales. When you walk into a traditional retail store, you’re presented with products that are laid out on tables or shelves. There’s often an open area in the middle of the store where you can sit down with a salesperson and have a conversation about the products. In many cases, the salesperson will ask you questions about your needs and wants, and they’ll try and find the best product for you.

This is very different from how most online stores function. Rather than presenting you with products that are already arranged on a shelf, an online store will typically ask you to browse their offerings and choose what you want. There’s no engagement with the customer other than taking their order, and you won’t get into a conversation with the seller other than saying “Thanks!” at the end. The important thing to note is that unless you have a physical store or an in-person retail space, you’re always going to be dealing with one-on-one interactions via social media or email rather than in person.

What Type Of Marketing You’ll Need To Run Your Online Business

You’re going to need a marketing plan to make money online. Just like in any other business, you need to consider what type of marketing will produce the best results for your product or service. The great news? You don’t have to be an expert. In fact, sometimes the best marketing strategies are the simplest. For example, if you’re trying to sell workout gear to teens, your best bet may be a social media campaign with custom stickers, fun offers for students, and the occasional video game or movie deal (if your target audience is really into those types of things).

However, if you have a brand new product and you don’t have any existing social media accounts, you may want to consider creating a social media account for the sole purpose of marketing your business. Don’t get me wrong, you can still use social media for fun and to keep in touch with friends, but taking advantage of social media can help you sell your products and grow your audience.

How To Make Money As A 17-Year-Old Online: A Step-by-Step Guide

OK, now that you have an understanding of what type of marketing works best for your product or service, let’s get into how you can make money online as a 17-year-old. This is going to be a four-step process that will help you build a sustainable business that will provide for your needs.

Step one: Create a brand for your product

The first step in turning your summer vacation into a source of income is to create a brand for your product. What makes your product special? What do you offer that others don’t? Your answer to these questions will dictate the type of brand you need to build. If you need help figuring out what makes your product special, read this great article from Udemy, How to Differentiate Your Product from Your Competitors.

Once you have an answer to these questions, take some time to brainstorm potential product names and slogans. You can use tools like Google Ventures to help you come up with unique ideas, or you can use your favorite social media platform to ask users for input. Once you have a shortlist of potential names, create a spreadsheet to track the pros and the cons of each one.

The goal of this step is to choose a name that is: 1) memorable 2) easy to type 3) easily pronounced 4) has no negative connotations

Step two: Find a niche and target consumers within that niche

The next step is to find a niche and target consumers within that niche. The great thing about having a niche is that you have a clear cut audience that you know will buy your product or service. If you’re absolutely new to the world of online marketing, creating a blog around a specific topic is a great way to get your feet wet. For example, maybe you’re an English teacher and you want to create a blog around language learning. You can use tools like Google Trends to easily find the popularity of any niche or topic.

Once you have a general idea of what content will be most beneficial to your target audience, create a content plan. This is extremely essential if you want to start up a successful blog. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the blogs of successful entrepreneurs who operate within your chosen niche. Once you have your content plan in place, break down each piece of content into individually-targeted, bite-sized chunks and create individual websites for each one.

Step three: Determine the price point of your product

The price point of your product is going to dictate how much you can charge for it. It is also a key consideration in whether or not your product is profitable. The first step in determining your price point is to establish a minimum acceptable price and a maximum desirable price. Now is a good time to do some market research and see what types of products your customers are prepared to pay for. It’s also a good idea to look at what other brands in your niche charge and what their prices are. Once you have your minimum acceptable price and your maximum desirable price in mind, you can move on to the next step.

Step four: Create a value proposition

The last step in turning your vacation into a source of income is to create a value proposition for your product. What does your product offer that is unique and valuable? Your unique selling proposition (USP) is going to be the basis of your marketing and sales materials. Consider creating a short video to showcase your product and establish its value. Creating an effective value proposition is an essential part of your business plan, and it takes some serious thought and research. If you’re looking for a little help, consider using tools like The USP Calculator or my personal favorite, Proposify.

Once you know what your product is and what it offers, you can develop a marketing strategy around this information. Are you going to focus on online marketing or are you going to take advantage of local events and traditional advertising? The answer to this question will determine how you want to develop and implement your marketing strategy.

To successfully launch a product or service, you’re going to need to consider many factors. From choosing the right name to creating a compelling marketing plan, to actually getting the product to the market, these are all important aspects that you need to think about. One of the most critical aspects of getting your product to the market is getting people to actually look at it and consider buying it. To do this, you’re going to need to develop a solid marketing strategy and put in the work to make it a reality.