Have you ever thought about making money online? Of course you have. We all have. In this day and age, the thought of not being able to make a living from home seems absurd. Now, more than ever before, there are ways for even the average person to make money online so they can live a life free from financial stress.
Which leads us to our first question: How much money can you realistically make online? This is a question you need to ask yourself before you jump in with both feet. There are many ways to make a living online, and while some will make you a lot of money, others may only bring in a small amount of revenue. So, how much can you realistically expect to make? That is the question.
The truth is, it depends on many factors. Your level of expertise in copywriting and content marketing, for example, will have a significant impact on your income. Likewise, the amount of traffic you can pull in and the rate at which you can convert that traffic into paying customers will also influence your income to a large extent. (If you want to learn more, read our guide to making money online.)
The Different Ways To Make Money Online
If you’re looking to make money online, you’ll most likely run into numerous options. Depending on which option you want to pursue, you’ll need to decide whether you’ll do best working solo or in a team, and whether you’ll make more money serving ads or selling affiliate products.
Here is a short guide to the different ways you can make money online. (For a more in-depth look at each one, check out our complete guide to making money online or download our free income opportunity cheatsheet.)
If you’re looking to work remotely, and we mean really work, you may want to consider going it alone. Even if you have a proven track record as a freelance content creator, writer, or marketer, you may want to consider putting in the time to prove yourself as an entrepreneur. The good news is there is plenty of room for growth in this area, and the opportunities are endless. If you want to learn more, we recommend you read the book Getting Started as an Independent Contractor.
If you’re looking to grow your income rapidly, you may want to consider teaming up with other content creators, writers, or marketers. After all, it takes a team to make a team, and we’re sure you’ll agree that working together is a great way to learn and grow. The downsides to working in a team are numerous. While you may enjoy the camaraderie, you’ll have to account for more tasks, and you’ll have to be more careful with your time. Still, if you want to give it a shot, collaborating with other content creators, writers, and marketers may be the key to your financial freedom.
As the name suggests, affiliate marketing is when you earn a commission from a business (also referred to as a vendor, product owner, or merchant) for promoting their products or services. In order to qualify as an affiliate marketer, you don’t need to have a website or blog. You can get started simply by recommending a product or service that you believe in and that can genuinely help your readers make money online. It really is that simple. (For a full list of affiliate products and offers, click here.)
As an affiliate marketer, you’ll need to decide which products to promote and how to go about doing so. You may want to consider reviewing the products yourself, perhaps using a free trial or sample, before you decide to promote them. (This is a good idea no matter what method you choose.)
When you decide to promote a product or service, you’ll need to create an affiliate marketing website. This should be a simple one-page HTML website that contains a product or service review, testimonial, and an opt-in form to receive updates on the product or service you’ve promoted.
Your affiliate marketing website will serve as an online sales channel for the products or services you promote. When a visitor lands on your site, they will likely have an interest in what you have to offer, so you’ll want to make sure your site is designed to convert that interested audience into paying customers. A/B testing is a proven technique that can help you determine the best versions of your site’s design and content to attract potential customers.
Vendor Direct Sales
As the name suggests, vendor direct sales is when a business or company sells directly to the consumer. Many businesses, such as Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten, operate under this model. (For a full list of vendors and their products, click here.)
If you decide to go this route, you’ll need to remember that you’re competing directly with other vendors for business. Additionally, just like with affiliate marketing, you’ll need to create a simple one-page website to promote your products. The difference is, with vendor direct sales, you’ll need to educate your audience on your company, what you have to offer, and the benefits of working with you versus doing business with your competitors. Just make sure you focus on convincing your readers that you are the best fit for the job.
Working with a sales agency may also be a viable option so they can take care of the heavy lifting. (For more information on how to work with a sales agency, click here.)
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that gives you the freedom to use copyrighted material in any way you want to (as long as you give proper credit). They provide a range of licenses that you can choose from. (For a full list of creative commons materials and their associated licenses, click here.)
As a content creator, you may want to consider exploring Creative Commons materials since they can often be used for free. For example, you may want to use a free image from their vast library to illustrate a blog post. Doing so will allow you to retain complete ownership of your work while benefiting from the work of others who have used Creative Commons effectively. (This is a great way to gain credibility with your audience as you educate them on the value of fair use.)
Another benefit of using Creative Commons materials is the potential to earn revenue from your work. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to charge. (Just make sure you don’t misrepresent the facts of the work you’re using.)
Daily or Weekly Blogging
If you have a knack for writing, you may want to consider blogging. Blogging is an easy way to create interest in your content and stand out from the crowd. Plus, it is incredibly easy to set up a blog. You’ll just need a place to write and a domain name. (You can choose either a free blog hosting service, such as Blogger, or use WordPress.com if you want to build a private blog.)
Blogging is an extremely versatile tool. You can write about anything you want in almost any genre (although we recommend you write in a way that will engage your readers). Plus, you can use the money you make to fund your next big purchase. So, if money is a concern and you want to get serious about making money online, blogging may be the perfect fit.
If you’re looking for a new way to build an audience and promote your content, consider podcasting. Podcasts are short, easily digestible audio or video files that typically range from five to eighteen minutes in length. They can be extremely engaging and allow you to connect with your audience like never before. (For a beginner’s guide to podcasting, click here.)
The great thing about podcasts is they are incredibly easy to create and can be done almost anywhere. Meaning, you can produce and share your podcast with little to no costs. Plus, with the right tools and equipment, you can even create high-quality and professional-sounding podcasts without needing a full-time recording studio.
Video consulting is when you act as a coach or adviser to businesses who want to improve their marketing videos. You’ll work closely with the client to create a marketing video that will not only be entertaining but will also educate the consumer on the benefits of the product or service being advertised in the video.
As a marketing consultant, you’ll need to have access to a camera, a computer or smartphone, and an internet connection to upload and download video files. (If you’re looking to create video content for marketing purposes, this is one of the best ways to make money online.)