So you want to earn money online? Maybe you’ve been inspired by big brands like Ebay or Amazon and want to create your own online marketplace or shop. Or perhaps you’ve been reading about the success of bloggers like Pat Flynn and wanted to try your hand at creating content that attracts paying customers.
No matter what your reason for wanting to make money online, this article is for you. Here are 9 ways to make money online and grow your business successfully.
1. Create a niche website
If you’ve been reading online surveys, you’ll most likely have noticed that the majority of respondents say they want to learn more about a topic before buying the product. This type of person is called a “niche expert” or a “subject matter expert” (or S.M.E.).
The benefit of having a niche website is that you can become the go-to source for information on your chosen topic. Essentially, you’ll be forming your own mini-eBay or Amazon where you can teach others about your expertise.
The term “niche” can be a little misleading. Although creating a niche site is beneficial as it means you’ll be teaching a smaller audience who are more likely to be receptive to your advice, it doesn’t mean that you have to limit yourself to teaching one area of expertise. In fact, you can use your site to teach individuals about any subject you’re passionate about.
2. Start an online store
If you’re looking to make money online, you have three choices: selling and marketing your own products, offering a service for which you charge, or teaching and inspiring others. These are all viable options, but creating an online store is the simplest and most “passive” way of making money online.
The advantage of having an online store is that you don’t need to be “online” to sell your products. You can choose to sell your goods through various online marketplaces like Etsy or via a physical store that accepts online payments (Shopify has a whole marketplace dedicated to merchants who want to set up an online store).
The disadvantage of having an online store is that, in the beginning, you’ll have zero sales. You’ll essentially be starting from scratch and will need to build your audience. If the thought of having to do marketing and sales to make money sounds daunting, an online store might not be for you. But be careful not to put all your eggs in one basket. You can’t assume that just because you have a blog that your audience will automatically flock to your online store to purchase your goods. Market research is crucial and will help you figure out what works for your business and what doesn’t.
3. Start a YouTube channel
YouTube creators can make a lot of money. Some creators can even become wealthy by sharing tutorials on graphic design, cake recipes, or how to play video games. You don’t necessarily have to have a tutorial to make money on YouTube. You can simply get paid per view or earn money from memberships, live chats, and sponsorships.
The advantage of having a YouTube channel is that you can become a thought leader in your industry and can establish yourself as an expert in your chosen topic. In 2020, search “YouTube celebrity” and you’ll see thousands of results. Although YouTube creators can’t always predict how much they’ll earn or when they’ll hit their pay-per-view goal, the opportunities are there if you know how to grasp them.
The disadvantage of having a YouTube channel is that you’ll have to “compete” with creators who have established themselves as thought leaders in their industry. When you become widely known for your expertise, you’ll have to make sure that your viewers aren’t led astray by fake or misleading information. Make sure that you only share quality content that is helpful and inspiring. Even then, you’ll never be sure of what kind of income you’ll earn from a single YouTube video.
4. Start a Podcast
If you’ve got a message that you want to share and would enjoy having a podcast to do so, you can put together a little “podcast magic” and earn some extra money from it.
Podcasts are often referred to as “audio blogs” because they often have a similar format where a blogger will interview an expert and have that content available for later listening. Although podcasts can be very helpful in building an audience, they can also be a very quick way to make money. As a podcaster, you’ll need to have a decent microphone to ensure that your interview subjects don’t have any trouble hearing you. And don’t expect to make a lot of money as a beginner. You’ll have to put in the “effort” to find your audience and to “peddle” your show’s content for the sake of making money.
5. Start a YouTube affiliate channel
YouTube creators can make a lot of money, but not all of them will make the same amount of money. Some creators choose to become a YouTube affiliate partner and then promote products, services, or websites that are relevant to the content they create. In exchange for promoting a product or service, you’ll gain access to a community of affiliate marketers who are “geared” up to promote that product or service.
If your intention is to make money online, you don’t necessarily have to do everything mentioned here. However, if you “follow the money” and see what works best for you, you’ll be able to form a profitable business.