10 Unconventional Ways to Make Money Online

The world of digital marketing and social media is evolving. While the basics of SEO, paid social media, and paid content still apply, the way these tactics are used has changed. Simply put, people are listening to different kinds of marketers and businesses.

For example, some brands and businesses might focus more on building a reputation rather than just focusing on the bottom line. They might choose to invest in creating content that educates and inspires.

1. Create an online store

E-commerce and online stores have been around for a while, but they are still considered ‘unconventional’ ways to make money online. Basically, with an online store, you can sell anything from clothing to furniture to electronics to books and more. The only requirement is that the item is tagged properly with correct pricing and that you have a reliable supply of the good you are selling. Moreover, you can find your audience and connect with potential buyers without having to go through a traditional retail channel.

The great thing about online stores is that they allow you to test drive the product before you buy it. This way, you can be sure that you are getting what you want and that it is the right size and color.

To give you an idea of how powerful online stores can be, look no further than Amazon. Amazon is the ultimate demonstration of a successful e-commerce business. The company began its operation as an online store in 1995 and today there are over 3.8 million products available to be purchased worldwide with Amazon Prime. Additionally, since Amazon is a global company, its customer base is global as well. In other words, just about anyone, anywhere in the world can visit Amazon and buy something.

2. Start an online blog

Blogs are a perfect venue for anyone seeking to make money online. In fact, you don’t need a large audience to get started. As a matter of fact, you can start a blog for free and use a tool like Google Adsense to gain access to a wealth of free content.

Blogs can be used to write about anything from news to pop culture to sports to fashion to food to lifestyle & health and much more. Moreover, the great thing about blogs is that they are very flexible. You can, literally, run a blog any way you want. You can use the content you create to draw in prospective customers or just to entertain your existing audience. In other words, you can use your blog to make money in a variety of ways.

As you might imagine, the world of blogs is a big place. There are thousands of blogs out there that you can choose from if you want to start your own blog. Moreover, you can find a variety of topics to write about if you want to create content that will be popular and profitable. Additionally, you can hire freelancers to write for you or you can take advantage of online writing communities like Medium to find freelance writers to pen some guest blog posts for you.

3. Start an online conversation forum

Online forums, or message boards, are often seen as ‘male’ venues to make money online. After all, they can typically be used for topics that interest men more than women. However, that is slowly shifting. In fact, with online forums, you have a chance to create a space that is completely devoted to a discussion of whatever you want it to be. Moreover, online forums and message boards are perfect places to create a community. You can use the space to connect with potential customers, provide helpful tips and tricks, and even allow users to ask questions about the product or service you are promoting.

Forums, like blogs, can be used to write about anything. However, you might want to avoid using them to write about something that is already heavily publicized or discussed elsewhere. Moreover, forums are often used as a place to promote your product or service. For example, let’s say you sell mobile games. You can use an online forum to proclaim your devotion to mobile gaming and even talk about the latest mobile games. Essentially, you can use forums to build credibility and add value to your content.

4. Start an online store (revisited)

We mentioned above that you can create an online store to sell virtually any type of product or service. However, if you want to make money online, there are certainly more conventional methods. For example, you can use an affiliate program to promote a product or service and earn a commission when someone makes a purchase after your referral. Moreover, you can create a store within a store at Shopify and earn a commission when someone makes a purchase within that store. Finally, you can create an online marketplace like Amazon or eBay where customers can purchase the products or services you are promoting.

5. Start an online magazine

Online magazines, like Buzzfeed, are another example of an ‘unconventional’ way to make money online. Basically, these are news-based websites that publish content in bite-sized pieces called ‘magazines.’

As the name would suggest, online magazines are perfect for those seeking to make money online. Essentially, you can use an online magazine to write about anything you want. You can choose the topics you want to write about and the type of content you want to create. Since magazines are generally short-form, it is easy to write and easy to read. In other words, you can use an online magazine to make money online simply by creating content that is interesting and valuable to your audience.

6. Start a YouTube channel

You might be familiar with YouTube, thanks to the ever-growing list of celebrity channels and content creators that have taken their talents there. If you’re not, don’t worry, you will be. The great thing about YouTube is that it is such a versatile medium that you can use to make money online.

There are actually dozens of ways to make money on YouTube. For example, you can use Google Adsense and other ad networks to make money from your content. Moreover, you can create ‘how-to’ or ‘review’ videos on virtually any subject and become an expert in your field. Additionally, you can interview subject matter experts or prominent individuals in your niche and ask them questions about your industry. Most importantly, you can use YouTube to find and connect with an audience, which, as we’ve established above, is vital to any form of content-based marketing.

7. Start a podcast

If you have a passion for something, like mobile gaming, you can use that to create a podcast. Essentially, podcasts are just like regular radio shows, but they are available to be downloaded and listened to later. Moreover, since most people listen to podcasts while driving, walking, or doing other things, it is a perfect fit for those seeking to make money online. In other words, you can use a podcast to promote your product or service and, hopefully, entice someone to purchase what you are selling. You can also use podcasts to educate yourself about whatever you are passionate about and potentially even find new interests or hobbies. Essentially, podcasts can be used to enhance your life and the content you create can be used to promote that enhancement.

8. Start a Facebook page

Facebook is, perhaps, the largest and most popular social media platforms around today. If you’re not familiar, Facebook is a ‘social’ media network where users can connect with each other and with businesses and organizations that they feel connected to. Essentially, Facebook is a place where individuals can share content, connect with others, and express their interests.

However, while Facebook is a bustling social media network with over 500 million active users, it is still considered ‘unconventional’ to make money online through Facebook. Why? Well, it requires a bit of effort to set up. You have to have a decent amount of followers before you can start making money from your page. Moreover, you have to make sure that you are running a Facebook page for the right reasons. In other words, you have to create content that is interesting to and valuable to your followers. Furthermore, you have to make sure that you are actively engaging with your followers by posting often and responding to comments and questions as soon as possible.

9. Start an Instagram account

Instagram is another popular social media network where users can share photos and videos with their followers. Additionally, like Facebook, Instagram is quickly becoming a place where individuals can build a following and make money online. Moreover, much like Twitter, which we will tackle next, Instagram is also a place where individuals can engage with businesses and organizations they follow. In other words, if you have a business or brand, you can use Instagram to gain support and loyalty from customers.