In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is selling someone else’s product by referring customers to their online store. If you can create content (on a blog) or a resource so valuable to the people looking for a certain product and then send them to where they can actually buy it, you’ll receive a predetermined percentage of each sale.
This isn’t to scare you off. I simply want you to know that this guide is going to focus solely on ways to make real, sustainable extra income online. Not just a few bucks. I want to share all the mistakes I’ve made that got me to where I am now so that you don’t have to go through them, and can build a successful online source of income for yourself.
If you’re a crazy-good writer, you can (and should) charge crazy-good prices. Proof is the pudding, though, right? Where has your work been published? If you haven’t been published, your “perceived value” will be less.
Starting up a business is by no means an easy task. If you want to learn how to make money online, you need to have good business ideas, but you also need a great marketing plan. The good news is with a domain and hosting, alongside some basic skills, your ideas can become a reality. Each of the internet business ideas below are competitive niches, so make sure you go in with all guns blazing!
Most services pay anywhere from $15 to $25 per hour of transcribed audio. If you specialize and have training in legal or medical transcription you can make even more. If you’re a beginner transcriptionist you can find jobs at Transcribe Anywhere, TranscribeMe, Quicktate, Rev, Tigerfish, and Crowdsurf.
Validate the book by giving a survey to friends, an email list, and/or survey sites like Pickfu. By validating your idea before you write the book, you’ll improve the odds of people willing to buy your book (and you’re not wasting your time by writing it.)
Once you hit the 1,000 subscriber/4,000 hour threshold, you can start monetizing your videos by selecting “Monetize with ads” under the Monetization tab of your channel. While it can take a while to build up a decent following for your YouTube channel, it can be a lot of fun to do as well as become a steady source of extra income.
Become an Amazon Associate and then use Keyword planner to find an in-demand niche: With more than a million different products to choose from and up to 10% commission the sales you drive, Amazon’s affiliate program is a great place to get started. Browse their available products and see what connects with you. Or take it a step further and use Google’s Keyword Planner to quickly check how many people are searching for a specific term. With affiliate marketing, the more relevant traffic you can pull in, the more you’ll make off your site.
A great online business for people who want to work from home, earn a great income, and need a flexible schedule is a Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) business. HRNs pre-screen and refer painters, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and more to local homeowners. The HRN owner earns a commission for any work secured. Homeowners can go online and request a contractor and they are custom matched with a contractor from my network.
Now, if you don’t know people who might want your coaching services, there are a number of online tools and communities that make it incredibly easy to find clients and teach, on just about any topic area you can think of. Community driven platforms like Savvy.is, Clarity.fm, and Coach.me provide you with a network of potential clients to interact with, as well an integrated payment solution.
Choose your niche and check for demand: The golden course combination is when you can find an in-demand niche that aligns with your skills and unique experiences. A great way to do this is to use Google Trends and Google’s Keyword Planner to look for average monthly search volume for keywords related to your proposed course content. Are people actively looking for high-quality information about this subject? Of course, if you’re already creating content for a blog, coaching service, or a site like Medium, you can test demand this way for free just like Bryan did.
Market your course: The beauty of using a course to make money online is that you can continue to sell it for as long as you’d like. Look for niche communities on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Reddit that might benefit from your content. Guest post on relevant blogs and sites. Look for anywhere you might be able to get in front of the right people. With just a few hours a month you can continue to generate sales.
From on-page tactics like copywriting headlines and meta-tags, to off-page tactics like building authoritative backlinks and generating social shares, everyone wants their site to be in the number one spot on Google. Lucky for you, they’ll pay you to help them get there.
There are a few different ways you can accomplish this. First, you should include a good, professional picture of yourself. And no, the picture of you in your Hawaiian-print shorts and “Kiss the Chef” hat from last year’s summer barbecue won’t do. Giving your visitors a professional image to associate you with will go a long way toward establishing your credibility.
A virtual assistant is a great job to have if you want flexibility. You’ll be able to maintain multiple clients at once which mean you can easily fill gaps in your week or work overtime if you need to. A virtual assistant will generally charge £15-20 depending on the specifics of their job role. Expect to be assisting with tasks such as blogger outreach, product listings, research and responding to emails.
Are you a web designer? You can make serious money designing websites for individuals. If the thought of having a one-on-one client is too limiting, you can also create website templates and sell them on sites like ThemeForest or CreativeMarket. You can also sell them on your own site.
Before you start selling, you need to find the right product with the potential for serious profitability. You’ll learn how to research different niches and even examine your own life to find problems that can be solved.
Journalists, doctors, lawyers, academics, and researchers record interviews every single day and need someone to transcribe what’s been said. So, if you’re comfortable with listening to the same audio over and over while writing it down you can make good money online doing transcriptions.
eGobie handles one of life’s more important, albeit time-consuming daily errands. The company specializes in mobile car wash/detailing services and mobile oil change service. With the use of a smartphone app, customers can order these services with a few clicks of a button. Customers can register for a free account, log in, tell eGobie what service they would like to receive, when to receive it, and where to receive it.
This short list of examples just goes to show that not all of the good business ideas are taken just yet. It seems to me that when I get one of those “genius” ideas, I’m always in the shower. By the time I get out and try to remember what was on my mind, it’s gone. I hope it is not just me that this happens to.
You’ll also need to provide evidence that other clients have been satisfied with your services. Depending on the nature of the service you provide, you may choose to do this in a few different ways. Testimonials from clients are a great way to establish your credibility. An online portfolio of your work might be another option (for example, landscapers might include pictures of well-manicured properties they designed and maintain). However, if the confidentiality of your clients is important, you may need to approach this a bit differently by including more general descriptions of problems you’ve encountered and steps you’ve taken to solve them, with no names or clues that could give away identities. If privacy is important to your clients, then visitors to your site should be able to understand why you can’t reveal names and exact details. But again, don’t assume they’ll know. Be sure to explain this.
If you have a fondness and talent for taking pictures you can make extra money online by becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like ShutterStock or iStockPhoto. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
Lastly, you need money to make money. Startups can cost quite a bit to get off the ground. So with your idea and market validation solidified, there are a few different paths you can follow to get your initial “seed” cash:
You probably have a pretty strong idea of what makes a good website. Is the design clean and easy to navigate? Does the content make sense? Luckily, there are plenty of people out there who want to hear your thoughts. And they’ll even pay you decent money for it (most sites pay ~$10 per 20 minutes, or ~$30 per hour!)
Nearly every company is now looking to build a website. In fact, even those companies that have a website are looking to make sure that theirs looks bigger and better than the competition. You can learn how to earn money from home with practically no investment and this is certainly one of the best business ideas for someone wanting huge amounts of flexibility.
Ever see a Google result and say “How the heck did that get there?” While Google and other search engines use powerful algorithms to determine what pages to show for search results, there are real people making money online by making sure the machines are doing their job correctly.
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I talk a lot about how to start a blog on this website, and for good reason. In 2018, it’s easier to start a blog than ever before, and your blog can also be a big potential source of income (if you know how to monetize it).
Selling your know-how can really pay off. Even if your know-how is super nerdy and small — I created an online course that teaches people how to start a business proofreading transcripts for court reporters. Lives have been changed in the process, including mine! The course has earned me over $166,000 in profit since its launch in February, exactly four months ago today.
Remember, you can offer the freemium model mentioned previously if there is no scope to achieve high advertising revenue. You could even be teaching others how to make money online, while doing exactly the same thing for yourself!
Shopify is a great example of the freemium model. By offering some applications for free, they get exposure for their whole business. Since the company was founded in 2004, they have acquired 30,000 customers, including Pixar and the Foo Fighters. Their revolutionary “build-a-business” competitions in the past have produced over $70,000,000 in revenue for over 14,000 entrants.
If you have experience with marketing, SEO, or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work making money online as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results.
For example, on his website, the owner of a martial arts school offered basic summary descriptions of his classes. Instead of general descriptions, he’d be better off breaking his sales copy down from his existing summary descriptions into more detailed copy that explains the key differences between his child, teen, and adult classes. By focusing on these client groups separately, he could more closely target their unique needs (and therefore attract more customers) by emphasizing the benefits that apply directly to each.
It can take time to build up your personal freelance business. Yet, there is more demand than ever for freelancers. So, if you want to kick start making money online through freelancing you can join one of the top freelance networks, such as UpWork, Fiverr, Guru, Freelancer.com, or PeoplePerHour. Sign up, build your profile, upload some samples of your work and start making extra money by doing small freelance jobs.
Who doesn’t want to earn more money? Whether it’s through part-time jobs or freelance work, adding more dollars to your cash flow every month is always nice. But unfortunately, not everyone has the time to pick up another job or do additional work on the side. If that’s the case for you, don’t give up. Instead, turn to the one thing you probably spend a majority of your time on: the internet.
Sure, some of them may be good for creating a few hundred or even thousand dollars in one-time revenue. But they’re not going to help you unlock financial freedom and achieve complete control of your lifestyle.
Shipping restrictions, zoning laws, and trademark considerations. These can all make or break your business. With this list, you can avoid the ecommerce landmines that derail your business before it gets off the ground.
The audiobook industry is booming, yet only 5% of books ever get made into audio format. If you’ve got a background in acting, or if people have said you’ve got a voice made for the radio, you can make extra money recording audio versions of independent and popular books. Sites like ACX connect authors with audiobook performers. So, whether you’re an author looking for more ways to sell your book, or an actor/voice actor looking to make some extra income, you can sell your services online.
Frameri is a company that invented the first line of interchangeable, swappable frames and lens systems for glasses. With Frameri, you can swap your lenses into multiple different frames to rock lots of looks.
If it’s not clear yet, information and expertise are two of the most consistent and lucrative ways to make extra money online. If you don’t like talking on the phone, you can sign up to get paid to answer professional questions on JustAnswer. There are thousands of questions being asked every month from people looking for help from lawyers, doctors, mechanics, vets, and more. To apply, you’ll need to supply your professional verification, resume, and a form of identification.
Blogging is not capital intensive, but there is a high potential for return. The best bloggers make 6 figures monthly. Even if you are just blogging as a hobby, it will teach you the basics that you need to know for an online business, such as web design, content creation, SEO, and advertising. These skills are essential for any other type of online business.
With $200 and his wits, Branson started an empire. That got me thinking—with all the technology within entrepreneurs’ grasps, what’s the minimum you’d need these days, realistically, to start an online business?
If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time online personal trainer can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Check out this interview with several fitness blog owners who are making a living online, from MonetizePros. As well, I’d recommend checking out this resource if you want to take this business idea seriously and get started with a business plan for your personal fitness trainer business today.