Author: Ecommerce Guide

Introduction to making money online

Over the last 15 years there’s become a new vehicle through which millions of people are making money. Of course, it’s called the Internet.

The Internet has allowed anyone (employed, unemployed, teenager or adult, professional or amateur) to find new and creative means of making money online, either as a side project or as a completely new career.

It’s hard to believe that 20 years ago careers such as ‘Social Media Manager’, ‘UI specialist’ and ‘Online Influencer’ didn’t exist. Now Internet adoption is widespread, with 40% of the world population having access to an Internet connection. However, this has turned it into a much more competitive landscape.

Ways of making money online are still plentiful, but Internet-users are increasingly savvy. They expect those providing services, products and campaigns to be even more savvy and they’re aware that they have plenty of other options available, at the click of a button.

This makes it crucial for those looking to make money online to think outside of the box, learn new methods and take advantage of the tools and networks available (for example Dropshipping and PPC arbitrage as discussed in this article) in order to find opportunity.

This resource has been developed as a guidebook to break down some of the latest and most profitable ways to make money online, without any prior experience needed. Allowing you to generate revenue, change careers and even build a multi-million pound business, with nothing but your laptop and a Wi-Fi connection.

The guide is separated into quick, moderate and long-term ways to make money online, along with an insight into the financial investment needed. This means that regardless of the time commitment and money available, you can easily find a way to make revenue online, work from home or even quit your day job.

Section one: Quick ways to make money online

How To Make Money On eBay

Level of investment required: moderate

Most people will have used eBay to either buy or sell unwanted items at one time or another. After all, one (wo)man’s junk is someone else’s treasure right? With eBay you can easily sell any old thing you own, from shoes, through to an old sofa and even clippings of Justin Bieber’s facial hair if the rumours are to be believed!

It’s also possible to make money online through eBay even when you don’t have a product to start with. Wondering what products you could sell? We’ve dug around and there seems to be a few models which do particularly well.

The first is to find a product in a seriously niche area and then go deep into what you can buy and sell for a profit. For example, a few old baseball cards from a little league team probably aren’t all that interesting to you but imagine if you could collect the entire set. Now wouldn’t that be more interesting (and of high value) to a super baseball fan from that area?

Secondly, you can buy and resell products that you have easy access to (or have sniffed out) that others may not. For example you may find items that are on sale in a local discount store such as TK Maxx, which you can then sell for a little lower than full price online. Anyone not living near a TK Maxx store won’t have access to them but you do, so you have the opportunity to make a profit.

Lastly, some of the most successful merchants on eBay make their money through doing better marketing than anyone else. For example, cheap plastic roses that you can buy aren’t worth much on their own, but one individual made a lucrative business out of bundling them up with diamantes and ribbon, then boxing them into luxury ‘Valentine’s Gifts’ that sold out on eBay every single year.

The only disadvantages are that you may require some capital to start with if you need to buy the products before reselling them and that it can often take trial and error before you cash in on a profitable niche.

The key with eBay is to hunt out the unusual, the hard to find and the exclusive in order to make money online through little more than simple buying and selling.

How To Make Money on Gumtree

Level of investment required: moderate

Sites like Gumtree are similar to eBay with a couple of exceptions. Firstly, it’s completely free to post on Gumtree and it covers 60 different cities across the world. All you need to do is upload your images and advert copy into the relevant category and you can be selling anything from the rent of a spare room, to puppies, to old books. Gumtree also allows you to hunt out lists of the most searched Gumtree items which can often give you ideas of what area to focus on.

However because Gumtree is free to advertise on, your listing can get lost extremely quickly. One of the ways to combat this is to keep posting the item each day and across multiple categories. For example, ‘Free sofa’ could go into furniture, location-based categories and soft furnishings. Many of the success stories from those making money on Gumtree by selling items also suggest using other marketing tactics such as Facebook ads and PPC to direct traffic to the item from search engines or social media at low cost.

Like all buying and selling initiatives it can take time, money and resource to refine your offering until you hit the jackpot. But when you do, Gumtree is a cost-effective way to sell items and make money online.

How to Make Money Social Spamming

Level of investment required: low

If you’re a stickler for ethical use of the internet then look away now. Because all across the web thousands of people are using social spamming tactics in order to make money online.

Social spamming is where you post links to social media sites (or often blogs) and then earn money depending on how much traffic the post receives, or where you are able to link it. If you manage to post a link onto a site or fan page with upwards of 30,000 likes, you can receive anything from $13-$20 per post. Do this ten times a day and it can easily lead to a $200 day job that’s little more than stealthily link posting to groups.

Technically this practice is against protocol of social media giants such as Facebook, as third-party advertisers are prohibited from posting on fan pages without permission, but it’s a difficult trend to crack down on. Firstly, because advertisements aren’t always obvious when used with clever copy and on-brand messaging. Secondly, links can be placed through shorterner URLs such as bit.ly in order to deter attention from where the link is truly directing you to.

The reason it can lead to success so easily is because it operates in a market where there are already huge amounts of traffic and content direction i.e. social media.

Another social spamming tactic is to set up fake profiles under various usernames and email addresses and then sell ‘likes’ or follows on individual posts or brand pages. While sites such as Facebook and Twitter will do everything they can to block and clamp down on such practices, while the loophole remains it can be an instant source of online income.

How to Make Money Saving and selling exclusive items

Level of investment required: low-moderate

If only you knew what that record/dress/picture would have been worth in 10 years time you would have bought hundreds right? Unfortunately it can be difficult to predict the trends and future demand of products.

However, buying, hoarding and selling exclusive items can be a quick way to get rich online. One example is buying exclusive domain names and then selling them later down the line for a profit.

Most regular domain names can be bought for as little as $0.99, however if that domain relates to something that rises in popularity or a future trend it can be sold for up to 1000x its original value. Take a friend of mine who bought a domain name relating to a service that created a specific type of hairstyle. Last year, when that hairstyle took off she was suddenly inundated with offers from beauty brands who all wanted the domain for their own and were prepared to pay a hefty sum for it.

Another example is buying items that are guaranteed for exclusivity. A notorious example you may have heard of is the Disney Studios restricted releases. Each time a Disney ‘classic’ is released on film (such as Beauty and the Beast) the studio restricts how many copies are sold. This is to keep demand high but ensures that when the movie goes back into the ‘vault’ again (i.e. is not available for another 10 years), the copies left become seriously exclusive and easy to sell online.

The selling of exclusive items is easy – they’re in demand after all. The trick is to find the ones worth selling in the first place in order to use them as the base to make money online. With a little creativity, it’s easier than you think.

How to Make Money Website reviewing and user testing

Level of investment required: low

If you like browsing the internet (and chances are you do if you’re reading this guide) then you can make money from doing what you already know. Websites such as UserTesting.com pay around $10 per test for you to review someone’s website or product. Each review should take around 20 minutes and requires you to navigate the website as you would normally and articulate your thoughts, sometimes out loud, about the user journey or how easy it is to use.

Most sites like this pay via PayPal so there can be exchange rate fees that you’ll need to account for, but if you’ve got a few hours to spare this can be one of the quickest ways to make money online.

Other sites worth checking out in this area include WhatUsersDo and TestingTime.

How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing

Level of investment required: low

Affiliate marketing is where you’re rewarded by a business for every person or shopper you recommend the business to, who then goes on to convert. In this case, conversion is usually classed as someone who buys the product or service, however some affiliate programmes can also reward you for a sign-up or similar.

It’s a practice most commonly recognised in online businesses such as etail, ecommerce and SaaS (software-as-a-service).

Here’s how it works: a blogger shows you a new top in their latest video. When you, as a reader, want to know where they got it from so you can buy the same top, you click through on the link the blogger has kindly provided.

If you do end up purchasing the top, the blogger receives a small commission paid to them by the site that you brought it from. This will be paid through an affiliate network channel such as Skimlinks, rewardStyle or VigLink. If you consider that some products can sell out based on recommendation, the blogger suggesting them can earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month from this alone.

If you already have a large audience interested in your subject matter, affiliate marketing is a total no brainer. For example, say you had a site that spoke about best practices to use within Twitter marketing. It’s likely that you’ll recommend a Twitter tool for your audience to use. It’s also likely that at least some of your audience will click through and subscribe to the tool. If you were going to suggest it anyway why not make money from it at the same time?

If your area of expertise is clothes or marketing channels, finding your affiliate marketing match is easy. But what about if you don’t fit in easily with any of these ‘click to buy’ topics? There is another way.

I once downloaded an awesome free ebook by two guys who were continually updating the subject matter and ensuring that their audience had all of the latest data and statistics needed. In return, all they asked was that anytime you purchase a DVD or book from Amazon, you do it by clicking on their link to Amazon first.

Through this method, the guys weren’t asking you to buy anything that you weren’t already buying. Instead they just asked you to do it in a different (and completely transparent) way in order to gain a referral fee paid by Amazon that would contribute to them continuing to be able to provide their free resource.

The downside to affiliate marketing is that like most marketing channels, its popularity has lead to an increase in interested parties.

This makes it harder to get a sale as readers and audiences often have so many different options to choose from. Also, for affiliate marketing to take off you need to have a ready built audience, interested in what you have to offer. Unless you have the time to build this, or have been building this for a while, you might find it takes a while to get going.

How to make Money Renting out your time

Level of investment required: low

Ever sat down on the internet all day, scrolling endlessly because you’re bored? Fortunately there are sites out there that will pay you to do just that.

Maximiles allows you to earn points from simple tasks such as watching videos, answering surveys and shopping, which can then be cashed in for gift vouchers.

Sites such as Swagbucks reward you for completing short online tasks which can then be exchanged for money or giftcards to spend on sites such as Amazon.

Then you have sites such as Qmee that pay you for the privilege of your browsing history. Qmee is a plugin that sits on your internet browser. While you browse normally, it captures data about what you view and where you go. Qmee will also show additional adverts that you wouldn’t usually see alongside your search results. If you click on one of these ads, Qmee makes money from the advertiser and will therefore pay you a cut. In this method earnings can differ from $0.15 per click up to $1.

If you fancy yourself as a secret agent you can even use your smartphone to capture price and product information while out and about, then earn cash by submitting it to a site such as Field Agent. Earnings per task you complete can be anything from $5 up to $15.

The above tasks are time consuming and probably not the quickest way to get rich online. If you just want to earn some money while not doing very much, or to ease the guilt of wasting an hour then they’re ideal, but you won’t be able to expect a big pot of gold at the end of them.

Section two: Moderately quick ways to make money online

How to Make Money with Pay-Per-Click Arbitrage

Level of investment required: moderate

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) arbitrage, also sometimes known as just ‘arbitrage’ allows you to become a middleman in the system of buying and selling web traffic for profit. If you understand the basic process of PPC advertising on a search engine such as Google, you’ll know that businesses can ‘bid’ in order to appear more highly in the search results for specific terms. The user searches a keyword, they click on a link that the business has paid to be there, the business gets their customer and they pay Google for the cost of the user clicking on the link.

So here’s how PPC arbitrage works: you become the middleman between the original PPC advert and the end product. Say someone searches for ‘Amazon Kindle’. You outbid all of the other sellers buying up clicks on Google for that search term so that your ad appears first. This may cost you something like $5 for the click. The user then clicks through on your ad, gets sent to an arbitrage site which might not have much more on it than another advert for an Amazon Kindle. The user clicks through again (passing through an affiliate link from a network such as AdSense) and ends up on Amazon looking at their Kindle. Because channels such as AdSense offer a higher clickthrough rate than Google, you receive $7 for the click they passed through, leaving a profit of $2.

PPC Arbitrage is ideal as a moneymaking scheme as it takes very little effort, particularly when you have resources linked to numerous networks.

However there is of course a downside to the system. It’s essentially inserting a middleman that doesn’t need to be there, which in turn ramps up higher bid prices for everyone. This is detrimental to the future of PPC and is naturally something that networks such as Google are working hard to stamp out. In fact, if you get caught doing arbitrage by Google you’ll likely find yourself blocked from advertising on their network.

It’s also not much fun for user experience. After all, who wants to have to go through a second site to get to where they want to be and one that’s probably not designed very well at that?

As competition increases and PPC networks work to shut down arbitrage campaigns this practice will only become more difficult, so if you are looking to use it to cash in, now’s probably the time.

How to Make Money with Online job sites

Level of investment required: low

Sites such as Upwork and Side Income Jobs allow anyone online to take on extra jobs and projects at a fixed rate in order to make a little cash. Whilst some of these sites focus on jobs that are completed in person such as gardening or home removals, many can also be completed online.

These types of sites offer freelance work that can be anything from creating social media plans, to proofreading articles, transcribing Podcasts and designing blog images. If you already work within a field related to marketing, design, customer service or product you can easily make more money online by taking projects on as and when you have the time to complete them.

There isn’t really much of a downside to it, other than the time and skills you may need to successfully complete the work. Sites such as Bidvine also help match up skills outside of the creative fields, helping anyone to find a professional to help with a task they need completing. This could be hanging a door, finding a personal trainer or organising a party.

For someone looking to go freelance or find work online, Bidvine can help you to find customers without having to do any of your own marketing, as it already has a large established customer base.

The benefits of sites such as these are that it’s easy to find work without spending on marketing and most sites ensure any costs are concurred by the company or individual hiring, not the freelancer. It also provides a secure environment to take work on as payments are managed through the site as a handler and not directly between freelancer and client.

The downside is that with so many ‘professionals’ now registered, jobs can get spammed with tens or hundreds of applicants, making it difficult to stand out from the noise.

While the company hiring you will cover the fees, it can also mean that you earn less than you would if you found the business direct.

How to Make Money being an Virtual assistant

Level of investment required: low

In a similar vein to the above, a lucrative career coming into fruition is that of the virtual assistant. If you have a knack for organising, or experience in a field such as ghostwriting, social media or customer service you could get a part time gig as a virtual assistant, or VA as they’re so commonly known. VAs can earn around $20-$25 per hour for completing set tasks and are able to set the number of hours they want to work per week.

If you’re looking for a quick way to make money online becoming a VA could help you close the gap. There are two ways to begin picking up positions. The first is through a third-party network such as Time etc. or AVirtual. These sites offer more of a concierge matching service where they find someone with your desired skill sets and introduce them to potential employers. The upside is that you find work quickly and easily without having to do your own research and that you get paid on time, every time. The downside is that there are often referral fees involved which can come out of your salary.

The second method is to find your own clients who are looking to hire a VA with your skillset. Facebook groups specialising in VA matching, Twitter searches around the term and SEO can all be useful ways to do this. In parallel to using an agency, working with someone direct does mean that you can negotiate your own rates and work days, but you will need to keep a tight handle on the payment arrangements and exactly what it is they are expecting you to deliver.

How to Make Money with Bank account loopholes

Level of investment required: high

If you have a little money sitting in the bank you could use this method in order to make it generate more money for you each month, with absolutely zero risk.

Firstly, let’s take a look at the theory behind this method. You see bank accounts have become a highly competitive market. Each bank wants you to save and put your money into their account. It’s why many offer an ‘account switching fee’ of a few hundred pounds or dollars in order to get you to switch all of your money and most importantly, your salary payment, over to them.

However, as things have hotted up even more, many bank accounts have introduced higher interest rates and a reduced set of criteria for setting up an account in order to entice more customers. For example, say the average bank account offers you 1% interest on annual payments of less than £30,000 and 2% for annual payments over £30,000.

In order to entice you to switch, some bank accounts have upped this current account interest level to 4 and 5% respectively. This is more than double the usual interest rate and over the course of a year, will make a huge difference.

The second important point is that a bank would usually require you to have your salary payment and two direct debits going into their current account in order to allow you the interest. However in their bid to encourage more people to switch they’ve relaxed the rules, so that you don’t need to have any direct debits set up on some accounts, and while they do need a minimum monthly payment this doesn’t necessarily have to be your salary.

This means that if you have spare funds where you could transfer £500 or £1,000 into a different account each month (you can even transfer it back a few days later) you can make anything from £60 up to £300 per year.

If you have enough funds to be able to do this three times over, you could make more than £1000.

Now this does require some consideration to ensure all of the money is in all of the accounts at the right time but with automated standing orders and online transfers, it works itself after the initial setup.

If you have a few thousand pounds sitting spare or in your savings account, why wouldn’t you get it working harder for you using the ease of online banking to facilitate the way.

How to Make Money Online with YouTube tutorials

Level of investment required: low

Did you know the most commonly searched phrase on YouTube is ‘how to…’? There are also thousands of other types of videos (not just your standard pet clips) that are in demand on the channel. The traditional YouTube tutorial can make money based on the number of views it receives and therefore the number of views the adverts before it also receive. Advertisers pay Google to show their videos as display adverts on videos. The way you can leverage this to make money is to set up an account with an advert network such as AdSense and link it to your YouTube channel.

Once it’s linked, you can choose the type of videos you want to show as adverts around your videos (from banner ads to video ads) and wait for the profits to roll in.

Of course, your videos have to be pretty popular in order to earn their keep. The entry barrier is thousands rather than hundreds of views before you begin to make money. However, if you can narrow in on a popular subject matter with a big audience, thousands of views can occur more quickly than you might think.

How to Make Money Online with Match betting

Level of investment required: moderate-high

Firstly, match betting, despite what many think, is completely legal. It’s a practice that has become popular alongside the rise of online betting and can make hundreds of pounds very quickly. It works by taking advantage of the free bets so often offered by online betting sites as a way to entice users in. The method to make money takes advantage of the free bets by ‘matching’ them on another betting site using the opposite outcome. So win or lose, this allows you to always guarantee a result.

How much you can make by this method obviously depends on how much you can afford to invest in the first place. Also, it’s not an infinite method of making money as there are only so many betting sites offering free bets. Once you’ve run out of options that’s as much money as you are able to make and if you think you can get round it with new logins and email addresses you haven’t counted on how seriously online betting systems take betting fraud. However, if you are looking to make a smallish amount of money very quickly online, then match betting could be a good route.

How to Make Money Online with Article writing

Level of investment required: low

Article writing is one way that wordsmiths can make money online. There are plenty of sites out there that will pay writers to produce content. What type of content and the length will depend on the website. For example, if you have subject knowledge around ecommerce, sites such as eCommerce Insiders will pay you to write about it. eCommerce Insiders pays by number of words so $75 for every article from 400-600 words up to $150 for every article that’s 600 words plus.

For more general subject matter, you can check out a site like Listverse which pays writers $100 for each article. The posts have to be in list format with 10 items and 1,500 words plus so how quickly you can churn these out will determine how much money you are able to make. Examples include anything from ‘10 Everyday Ways We’re Destroying Our Planet’ to ‘Top 10 Period Films Set In The 1600s’ so unique and niche areas really are key.

To find paid writing opportunities in your niche to help you earn from writing online, just search your topic of choice and the words ‘write for us’. Most blogging or news sites will have a ‘write for us’ page and this way you can quickly narrow down the sites that pay and those that don’t.

The downside to this method is that the internet is saturated with writers, many of whom are only too happy to submit content for free in order to build exposure or backlinks. Paid opportunities are becoming less and sites will make the most of the free writers before they opt in to paid ones. However if you can find the sites that do pay it can be an easy way to make money online through writing.

How to Makey Money Online with Online Tutoring

Level of investment required: moderate

The power of the internet means that you can teach anyone anything, from sitting in your living room. If you have skills in web design, marketing, or even just general business you could use these to form an online tutoring or coaching business. As well as being a quick way to make money online, it also comes with zero overheads as you can connect through your laptop and teach over Skype or Slack, using screensharing where required.

By offering your services you’re not only helping someone to nail the subject they wish to learn but you can also make an easy income using knowledge that you already have.

This could be anything from Maths tutoring, to teaching someone how to setup a website, to giving advice on dog training. To be successful you naturally need to be an expert in your niche and able to answer any question or query that might come up (if you want to get repeat business and recommendations). If you want to tutor children it may also be worth speaking to a specific tutoring agency or third-party who can help you to work out what type of security checks and insurances you need before you get started.

However if you’re looking to teach a more creative or subjective topic such as marketing or graphic design, you don’t necessarily need a qualification to be successful. Some people will even pay someone who speaks native English just to sit and chat with them once a week in order to improve their language skills.

Sites such as Upwork, Craigslist and Tutorvista are all strong candidates for sussing out the market and finding new clients.

 

How to Make Money Online with Facebook Ads

Level of investment required: low

Facebook ad experiments that help users to make money online are one of those practices that almost seem too good to be true. So are they? Here we’ll look at how you can make money online through Facebook ads and the pros and cons of it as a business strategy.

Firstly, let’s look at how you can make money through Facebook ads without necessarily having a business to promote or product to sell. The basic idea of creating a profitable Facebook ad campaign is ensuring that the profit is more than the cost of acquiring the customer. In marketing language, we call this ‘CPA’ which means ‘cost per acquisition’. This helps determine if your marketing activity (in this case, your Facebook ads) are a profitable way to sell products.

For example, if you had a stock of t-shirts that cost $20 each to produce and ship and you were able to attract a customer through a $2 Facebook ad who paid $40, there would be a clear benefit.

In fact, one guy did exactly that by using a Groupon type model in order to sell t-shirts through Facebook ads that he didn’t yet own. Once he had enough sales and interested Facebook users committed to buy, the t-shirt company began printing t-shirts, allowing him to make over $1000 in profit, per campaign.

Some of the ways you can make money online through Facebook ads include selling products you don’t own yet, or using it to advertise a product or system that you can receive a kickback on, such as a fashion item or SaaS product. For example, if you can find an online course or service that will pay you for every person you get to sign up, all you need to ensure is that your CPA is lower than the amount you make in return.

Facebook’s advertising platform gives you a wealth of tools that can help. From narrowing down your target audience by demographic to choosing an audience that looks like an audience you already know is interested in your product.

Become a pro at using the ads platform and you can create a profitable business model.

How to Make Money Online with Dropshipping

Level of investment required: moderate

Dropshipping, sometimes called retail fulfillment, is a form of ecommerce where you sell products that don’t yet belong to you. While this may sound confusing, it comes with a wealth of benefits over the traditional retail model.

Dropshipping merchants offer products within an online space for customers to buy. However, rather than holding these products in stock, the merchant only purchases them once sold and ships them directly from the wholesaler (or other merchant) to the customer. The merchant never sees the product, or has any physical handling of it in order to fulfil orders.

Dropshipping comes with a wealth of benefits over traditional buying and selling businesses. From not having any overheads, through to having everything from shipping, security and insurance taken care of by the supplier.

Products can also be bought on an ‘as and when’ basis so no initial capital is required to invest in stock.

Dropshipping is an extremely flexible and fast way to begin making money online, but it does of course come with a downside. If it didn’t, everyone would be doing it right?

With dropshipping margins are often extremely low. The double-edged sword of the Internet means that while you can make money through sourcing and reselling products, so can anyone else. This leads to dropshipping margins becoming lower and lower, as each merchant looks to undercut the next. Secondly, your customers also have access to the same resources. If they can find the products you’re selling online elsewhere (and for half the price) chances are, you aren’t going to make the sale.

Dropshipping also relies heavily on other merchants and how well they fulfil their end of the deal. When you stock physical products and sell them yourself, you have control over the majority of the process. From checking you have enough inventory to fulfil the order, through to choosing a shipping company and ensuring that the product arrives to the customer safely. In dropshipping, almost all of this gets taken out of your hands.

The dropshipping model also comes with further complications relating to selling products which could all be procured from different stockists. A visitor on your website might choose three items to purchase from your ‘shop’ but if all of those different items are from different stockists, you’ll be looking at three separate shipping charges, two of which can’t be passed on to the customer.

In conclusion, dropshipping can lead to a ludacris business income, with little effort, time or money on your part. The model comes with a variety of benefits, which allow almost anyone to make money online. However, its complexities must be taken into consideration too, particularly in an online world that’s filled with increasingly savvy-shoppers.

Sell your craft

Level of investment required: moderate

Sites such as Etsy and even your own ecommerce site created through a platform such as Shopify, can open the doorway to an online business that helps you make money online through product sales.

Etsy has become famous for helping small business owners to make money online through launching mini ‘shops’ where they can sell items such as prints, photographs, homeware, candles and more.

The benefit of using an online platform such as Etsy is that you have a ready-built audience. Shoppers browsing through Etsy are already qualified as interested in the types of products you may sell and its discoverability means they could stumble across you while searching.

The drawbacks of using a site such as Etsy to sell your craft is that it does come with rather high entry fees. Each item you sell is subject to listing fees, payment processing fees and transaction fees. Pair that with any physical costs you may have to create your product, plus your time and you have to consider whether it’s worth the outlay and effort.

Secondly, as we’ve mentioned before when selling products online, if you use a hosted site such as Etsy or eBay you are building your business on someone else’s piece of land. That means that if Etsy ever decided to shut you down, you wouldn’t really have a say in the matter and you’d lose access to the audience you’d spent time and money building.

For this reason, it can sometimes be more beneficial to build your own site for selling on through an easy ecommerce platform such as Shopify. However, once you’ve chosen your platform, selling your crafts online can be a great way to make money through something you already know and (hopefully) enjoy.

Section three: Long-term strategies to make money online

Build your own influencer agency

Level of investment required: moderate

Online influencers are people who have built up a fanbase and following, that they have direct access to through a digital channel such as their blog, Instagram feed or email newsletter. Online influencers often hold huge gravitas as they have built their audience organically, one-by-one, around a key subject of interest such as fashion, beauty, marketing or technology.

Brands today are quickly coming round to the idea of leveraging these influencers in order to send their message directly out to thousands (sometimes millions) of potential customers. Influencers have an advantage over traditional advertising methods such as radio, TV and web banners as the message appears more authentic when it has a real and trusted person endorsing it.

So without becoming an influencer yourself how can you begin to make money online through the medium of online influencers?

The key is to become the middleman.

You see most online influencers use an agency or agent in order to help them broker deals with the brand in question. This takes away the need for them to negotiate rates, terms of contracts, timescales and more. An influencer agency takes on ‘the talent’ i.e. the online influencer and then both fields incoming enquiries of brands keen to work with them and hunts out new brands that they can build relationships with. This is not dissimilar to buyers in advertising or agents that influencers such as singers or musicians have employed for 60 years. The difference is simply the medium, as the activity happens online.

In its most basic sense, to begin making money online through influencers you need firstly, some influencers who are willing to let you manage their paid campaigns and some brands who are willing to pay for them. Luckily the internet (again) makes it easy to track down both and you can find the right people to speak to through simple Google search.

The difficulty of course, is navigating how the industry works, choosing the right fees and being a successful negotiator between the two parties. With influencer agencies growing in popularity you’ll also be competing against many others, some of whom may have much more experience (and connections) than you do.

However if you can jump those few hurdles, creating your own online influencer agency could help everyone to make more money online.

 

How to Make Money Online by Building a Product

Level of investment required: high

Ever wished that there was a tool or website that hasn’t been built yet? This is how startups and entrepreneurs begin their business, however it can also be a great way to make money online.

Facebook started as a college networking site, Instagram as a way to be able to check-in and share images with friends. Your idea doesn’t have to be that big-vision it can just be a product or tool that you think there’s a demand for.

For example, check out PopUp Domination which was a piece of software created in 11 days which created the now-so-familiar pop up box asking for the user to subscribe. This was a simple tool that the founders themselves wanted, that has gone on to fuel an incredibly successful company (and help shape an industry – after all, when do you ever go onto a website now without seeing a data capture pop up?).

Or take internet writer Everett Bogue who made $100,000 per year by charging a $25 monthly fee to readers for access to “letters” he writes.

The type of product you make can be as simple or difficult as you want. It could be a Google Docs spreadsheet that lists every press contact in the technology industry, that you charge for access to and build yourself. It could be a simple piece of code that helps you see what your site looks like when viewed by someone who’s visually impaired.

You don’t have to be a product designer or developer either. Some developers will build products for free if they see its potential, on the understanding that you pay them a share of the profits when it makes money. Alternatively, you can hire a coder from a site such as Upwork and pay them a set amount of hours to create for you.

Once created, it’s down to you to promote it so it’s important to ensure that there’s a demand for your product outside of yourself before you invest funds. However, if you do manage to create something that others need, who knows where it could take you?

How to Make Money with Podcasting

Level of investment required: low

Podcasting, the art of recording an audio file and sharing it, has risen in popularity as a new form of content sharing. Anything from interviews, to creatives speaking about their personal journey, through to megahit crime series’ like Serial are all attracting listeners and as a result, helping the people who create them to make money online.

Like most online practices, having a large audience helps when it comes to monetisation. If you have managed to grow a following, then Podcast advertising network sites such as Podbean and Midroll welcome any podcaster that has an audience. By selling advertising space around your Podcast (usually a clip of the sponsor speaking or you speaking about their business somewhere within the episode) you can easily make money back from the time and effort it takes to create. Of course, if you can find your own Podcast advertisers you can cut out the network completely and get paid directly by the sponsor. This is a great method if your podcast is particularly niche (i.e. on bird watching) or has a localised audience such as being based around a small town where local services may want to advertise with you.

Other ways podcasters can make money is through asking for donations, giving away merchandise related to their podcast (Startup podcast by Gimlet Media do this particularly well) or even through gating the content and allowing listeners to download only after they have paid an entry fee.

However you choose to make money from your podcast it can be a successful way to make money online and on your own terms. All you need to do first is find your subject matter and then begin building your audience.

How to Make Money with Linkbuilding

Level of investment required: low

Making money online through a quality linkbuilding business can be difficult but once built, is still a very popular way to make money online. Despite changes in Google’s algorithm, backlinks (the link on a website that links back to your own) is still a factor for consideration when trying to improve your domain and ranking authority. Demand for linkbuilding agencies and individuals who specialise in ‘whitehat’ linkbuilding tactics i.e. ones that are of good quality and are accepted by Google and other search engines, are in high demand.

Linkbuilding as a practice can be extremely time-consuming and difficult to get right if you don’t know what you’re doing. As a result, many marketers and business owners are prepared to outsource their linkbuilding activity to someone who knows what they’re doing – i.e. you!

There are hundreds of way to build backlinks but some of the ones that remain legitimate today that you could offer as a way to make money include include:

  • Social media – encouraging brands and other companies to tweet or share posts from your website can help to contribute to the number of backlinks. Direct outreach, hashtags, posting in social media groups and forums and using a tool such as Quuu which allows you to schedule content for others can all be good ways of increasing the number of backlinks on social media.
    • Guestposting – getting an article featured on a high-ranking page as a guestpost is an excellent way to achieve a high-quality backlink. However, every site worth its bacon will be extremely careful about what it accepts so you’ll need to ensure that the post is of quality, is well written and suits the tone of publication before you can even think about being accepted.
    • Directories and forums – another way to build up backlinks is to add the product or service to directories across the web and forums looking for recommendations within your niche. This doesn’t carry as much weight as other methods but is still worth including as part of your portfolio.
  • Ask for backlinks – list type posts and articles that recommend services within a niche area may be open to accepting your request to add a similar product or service to their post. You can even ask friends, colleagues or partners if they can add backlinks to the product or service from their own website or blog. Just remember to only ask ones that are relevant as otherwise this could do more harm than good.
  • Provide testimonials – testimonials work particularly well as a linkbuilding strategy as they benefit both parties. Firstly, the testimonial shows how great the second party is at what they do and for you (or your client) they create a backlink that has a reputable message.
  • Create good content – it’s no surprise that content such as data, infographics and statistics all get shared across social media and the web. This type of content is easy to digest and useful – a win-win in most people’s eyes. By investing in this type of content you could see tens (or even hundreds) of backlinks come your way as people are likely to share this information on their blog, website or social media channels. Much more than a standard blogpost or news article alone.

There are many other simple and complex ways that you can use for linkbuilding but the idea that you can make money from it as a practice is an easy one.

How to Make Mone with Blogging

Level of investment required:moderate

Bloggers make money. It’s something we’ve all become accustomed to as the practice has grown into a profession and even a new type of celebrity culture that children now aspire to. Successful blogs largely rely on their audience and with the internet now hosting so many blogs, which can run into hundreds of thousands for each individual niche, the audience has a lot to choose from. As a result, it’s now harder to make money online through a successful blog than it was five years ago when the practice was still relatively unknown.

However, if you do have a successful blog with a high readership or you’re prepared to commit the initial investment needed to create one, it is still possible to make money from the channel.

So how do bloggers make money online? Often through a variety of methods. Firstly, there is affiliate marketing which we discussed briefly above. This is where a blogger links to a specific product or service through an affiliate link and then receives compensation each time the product or service they mentioned is purchased. This is one of the easiest and most fruitful methods as it is as simple as sharing a link and can advertise either low or high cost items.

There is also the blog itself as a space for selling advertising space or sponsored content. Banner ads, splash pages and skins can all be sold on a blog in order to create advertising opportunity for the brand and financial revenue for the blogger. Sponsored content, sometimes called ‘native advertising’ has also risen in popularity. This is where the blogger is paid to write an article around a specific topic and share it to their audience in the same format they would share their own articles. Sometimes this can be written by the brand or will have specific wording or links in place.

Another method is through offline activities. When your blog has a high readership interested in what you’re doing you can be paid to speak at events, attend events or even get sent on press trips around the world.

All of course, will depend on your blog, audience and area of expertise, but once these are built the sky is the limit for how much income you can earn.

How to Make Money online with eBooks and online content

Level of investment required: moderate

eBooks and long-form content such as whitepapers, research papers and data analysis can all be sold online in order to make money. With Kindles and iPads becoming popular reading devices, as well as many apps for your smartphone, eBooks have never been so popular.

What you can sell your eBook at and how much of a cut the host (such as Amazon) will take depends on what you charge. For example, if you upload your eBook to Amazon at $0.99 Amazon will take 35% of every copy sold. If you upload it at $5.99, it will take 70%. The Apple bookstore seems to take 70% across the board, regardless of price and other retailers average at around the 40% mark, although they have lower audience numbers. Obviously, if the seller takes 70% of each book sold this can considerably cut down your profit margin.

It’s also notoriously difficult to get your eBook noticied due to the sheer number now being published, many of which will be of extremely low quality. With so much content being given away for free on the internet, you may also find your audience reluctant to part with cash for it, unless it’s of a highly desirable topic nature.

As well as non-fiction subject matter around business, marketing and any other practice, fiction can also sell particularly well.

Self-published authors are taking to sites such as Amazon and publishing their own eBooks, occasionally landing on bestseller lists. Not only can this lead to deals with literary agents and publishing houses, it’s also a fast way to make money online. Once the product is written, it can be sold multiple times over without any additional investment.

Now all you need to do is go and write one!

Service rental

Level of investment required: high

The sharing of services and things is becoming more and more popular, as the internet connects us to anything we may need. Want to rent an apartment in Berlin for the weekend? Checkout Airbnb. Need someone to look after your dog for the day? Download Dog Buddy.

Want to share a lift? Of course you’ve already heard of Uber.

In order to make money online off the back of the trend you firstly need to think about what you have to rent or share. If you have a property, it can quickly be uploaded to Airbnb and left to make money for you, anytime you don’t need it.

If you have a parking spot that you don’t need you can register it on sites such as Spot and JustPark (UK) and let others pay to have the privilege of parking on it. For this method, you don’t even have to meet the people paying to park there you can simply upload your spot, take the payment online and let them do their thing. These types of apps can take anything from a 10%-25% commission on what you earn, but if you’re not using it anyway what have you got to lose?

Even if you have a spare hedgetrimmer or Halloween costume you can rent them out to your neighbours using a site such as RentNotBuy or NeighborGoods so that your stuff is working hard to earn money for you.

Finding what you have to rent out and how you can do it with minimum effort to yourself is the tricky part. Once you have that figured out, you can get everything from your house, to your land, to your old things making money online for you.

Ways to make money online – your turn

When it comes to finding ways to make money online there truly are a wealth of options. Every day individuals from all walks of life are finding ways to make money, sell services and build products which come to life and help provide additional or even fulltime income.

The key to finding your best route to market is accessing your skills, the time you have and the initial investment you’re prepared to spend to get it up and running. Once you’ve done that, it’s easier than you think to begin cashing in on some of the online income wealth that’s out there for the taking.

 

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