For many people, making money online would be an absolute dream come true. If they could find a way to make money with a website or some other online company, they could leave their job to focus on entrepreneurship, spend more time with their family, and eventually regain control of their time and their lives.
The crazy thing is that making money online is not a chimera. I’ve been doing it for almost a decade with my good financial pennies website. I also know thousands of other people who are making money online in their own way with unique websites, courses or marketing strategies.
Now, here’s the good news. Most online revenue strategies aren’t that complicated. Just like any business company, your online revenue takes time to grow. You need to be willing to devote the time and energy needed to get your idea off the ground, and you need the guts to stick with it even if your journey is slow when you start.
If you’re fishing to make money online but not sure where to start, here are several of the best and most realistic strategies to consider:
# 1: Google Adsense
If you’ve visited any website, you’ve seen Google Ads. These ads are everywhere, and for good reason. Not only are they easy to set up on any basic website, but they can be lucrative once your website starts attracting a steady amount of traffic.
One of the cool things about Google AdSense is that it’s so easy to set up. If you have a blog or website, you can sign up for a free Google AdSense account. From there, Google will give you a unique code that you will paste into your website. Google takes it from there, tracking your page visits, traffic and profits on your behalf. There is no maintenance or maintenance for this to work, which makes it a no-brainer if you already have a website.
How much will you make? I think my best month with Google AdSense was almost 5 5,000 in the last ten years. That amazing month left me speechless as I was actually close to the beginning of my blogging journey. When you go from earning zero to 5 5,000 in a month, that will shake your world. For me, it also excited me even more because I knew there were other ways to monetize.
# 2: affiliate Marketing
If you have a website or are still dreaming ideas for a blog, you can also look into affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you partner with brands and businesses within your website content. If you mention a product or service, you link to that product or service using a unique affiliate code that you received when you signed up for that particular affiliate program. From there, you’ll earn money every time someone buys a product or service through your link.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to partner with affiliates that are related to the concept of your blog. Since becoming a financial advisor, I have focused much of my affiliate energy on financial products such as savings accounts, credit cards and investment accounts.
In addition to signing up for individual affiliate programs, you can also sign up for an affiliate ad network that offers a ton of different affiliates in one place. That way, you can see what works and what doesn’t work over time.
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from The Making Sense of Sense website has become the expert in all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns over $100,000 per month from her blog and most of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has been so successful with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
While Michelle works with a lot of affiliates in the financial services industry, one of her biggest affiliates is a blog hosting company called Bluehost. This only shows that you can make money with almost any affiliated company or product if you know your audience and accumulate enough traffic to create sales.
# 3: consulting
Another way to make money online is through consulting. If you’re an expert in any field, you might find people willing to pay you to advise them on their personal or business goals. You might think it’s not important enough to consult for large companies, but you might be surprised at the types of experience that people will pay for.
My colleague Robert Farrington of the College Investor is a good example of someone who consulted online in an unlikely industry. Robert told me that, after having been blogging for a few years, a couple of brands approached him for help with social media and online marketing.
Robert said he did an average of 4-6 of these concerts per year for a while depending on his schedule and the work involved. The best part is that he charged a flat rate that usually came to around 1,100 per hour. And remember, this was a payment he earned to advise people on the best ways to use social media tools like Facebook and Pinterest to grow their brands.
If you want to start consulting, but aren’t sure what steps to take, you can also set up a free account through Clarity.fm. this website allows anyone who wants to offer consulting to set up a free profile. Once your profile is set up, people will find you and book A session for which you will be paid.
# 4: Online Courses
If you have any skills that you can teach others, it is also possible to set up an online course that you can market online. You can find online courses that teach anything from cooking to marketing or even freelance writing. Heck, I even offer my own course for financial advisors who want to run their business online: the online Advisor Growth Formula.
Last year, I profiled my friend Joseph Michael from Easy course Creation. Michael offers several different courses, including courses on a writing software called ” Scrivener.”Over the years, Michael has earned six figures or more annually selling courses that help people achieve the kind of success they’ve earned.
Most people set up their online course through a platform like Teachable.com. with Teachable, you can upload course materials and use the platform to manage customers and accept payments.
# 5: Podcasting
Another way to make money online is by hosting an online podcast. I have the Good Financial Cents podcast to go along with my blog, and I use that platform to find new sponsors and advertisers all the time.
I still remember hosting my first sponsor on the podcast and finding that they were willing to pay 8 8,000 to include a short clip at the beginning of each podcast for 90 days. That was incredibly exciting for me at the time, as I wasn’t sure I would be able to monetize my podcast so much at first.
However, there are a lot of people doing a lot more than me on their podcasts. For example, the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast hosted by John Lee Dumas. According to the program’s most recent revenue report, this podcast brought a net income of over 4,400,000 in March 2018. That’s crazy.
The key to moving forward with podcasting is finding your niche, growing an audience, and then finding ways to monetize and connect with sponsors. This isn’t the easiest way to make money online, as there’s a lot of logistics going into writing, recording and editing a podcast, but it’s still worth considering.
# 6: selling books
While the publishing industry used to be heavy on printing, you can complete the entire process of writing, publishing, and marketing a book online these days. Websites like Create Space will allow you to upload and take your book to print without involving a formal publisher, and you can even get your book Amazon.com so people can buy it there.
A blogger I know named Joseph Hogue has a successful blog (My Work From Home money) and a thriving book publishing business. Hogue has written several books that he has published online to create an ongoing source of passive income. He says he averages about 685 books sold per month to bring in an average revenue of 1,857 in revenue. Not bad, huh?
If you think you could write a book that people would want to buy, this is a smart strategy to consider as start-up costs can be minimal and you probably already have a computer and word processing software anyway.
# 7: Lead Sales
Another way to make money online is by collecting leads. The main steps you need to complete to make sales lead work include creating a website, getting traffic to that website, and making sure you’re collecting leads that someone is actually going to pay for.
Here’s a good example of how Lead Sales can work in real life: my second website, Life Insurance by Jeff, brings in a ton of traffic from people who are searching the web to find answers to life insurance questions. While I used to have the website set up to be able to sell these people life insurance myself, it was a lot of work to process all the different requests and clients. As a result, I started selling the leads I gathered instead.
Basically, prime buyers are willing to pay for the personal information I collect from people who visit my website. This is a win-win for everyone as I get paid for leads and my website visitors are connected to someone who can help them.
However, keep in mind that you can sell leads in many different industries, not just life insurance. Really, you just need to find a niche, build a website and traffic, and see how much you can get for the leads you collect.
#8: freelance writing
If you have writing skills and creative talent, you may also be paid to create content online. I don’t do this as much as I used to, but I am well aware of how viable this revenue stream is.
A blogger I know, Holly Johnson, actually earns more than 2 200,000 per year creating content for other websites. And actually, that’s on top of the six figures he earns with his blog, Club Thrifty.
Holly told me she started writing content in 2011. At the time, she was still working full-time, but she created part-time online content to supplement her income. Over time, he was able to double and triple his rates until he was able to leave his full-time job to write. These days, she does Bank as a freelance writer and teaches others to do the same through her online course, gain more writing.
According to Johnson, the key to doing so as a freelance writer is finding a niche, networking with people who could hire you, and delivering high-quality content 100 percent of the time. While there are plenty of writing job boards to help you get started, he says it’s pretty easy to find initial writing jobs on websites like Upwork.com.
# 9: sponsored posts
If you have a website or a large social media following, you can also make money chasing sponsored posts and ads. But how does this work? Basically, companies are willing to pay bloggers and social media influencers to promote their products and services. If you have a platform, whether it’s a blog or a large number of Instagram followers, you can take advantage.
The first time I received a post sponsored by Good Financial Cents, I was totally impressed. I think they paid me only 1 100, but that was a lot of money for me at the time. Later, however, I noticed companies that wanted a sponsored post really just wanted a link from my website to their own site. For that reason, I started increasing my rates.
These days, I charge around 4 4,500 for a sponsored post. In addition, I clearly frame all sponsored content as a # ad to comply with Google’s terms and conditions. I also only promote companies that I use or believe in.
But, I also know bloggers who get $20,000 for a sponsored post. It’s crazy, but it shows what’s possible.
However, keep in mind that you don’t need a website to make sponsored content, as you can also charge if you have a lot of followers on social media. My wife has a huge following on Instagram, and she gets all kinds of sponsorships. Not only do you get paid in cash, but we also get a lot of free stuff. We have received free carpets, free lights and free carpet cleaners. She only promotes the things she loves, so this strategy works great for her.
# 10: webinars
Need more ideas on how to make money online? Another strategy is to use webinars to market your product, service, or course. I have conducted webinars to promote my financial planning practice and spark interest in my online course for financial advisors. With a webinar, you’re basically offering a lot of tips and suggestions for free, usually in a live format. In the end, however, you launch your paid product or service in order to secure some offers.
Grant Baldwin uses webinars to promote his public speaking courses, including booking and paying for speaking. While Baldwin offers many free tips during his webinar, he offers his course at the end for people who want to pay to learn more. And, many times, your sales pitch works.
No matter what you’re selling, it’s not that hard to set up a webinar and entice people to sign up with a lead magnet or Facebook ads. Heck, you can probably find a free webinar on how to create your first webinar if you search hard enough.
YouTube is another platform that has made it possible for people to make money online. There are plenty of YouTube channels on any topic, if you can think of it, and most people with a large following are making money in exchange for their videos and time.
Marina official turned menswear expert, Antonio Centeno has built a million dollar business from his YouTube channel, Real Men Real Style.
Last year, Forbes profiled some of the biggest players on the YouTube scene. According to the study, YouTube’s top ten stars grossed $127 million between June 2016 and June 2017. The most popular, a player named DanTDM, won 1 16.5 million of that on his own.
Will you make that much? Probably not. However, you can start making money through YouTube by using the platform’s own ad network or by receiving sponsored posts. If you like making videos, starting a YouTube channel can be a fun way to make some money.
# 12: Build an online community
Last but not least, you can also make money online by building an online community, although the monetization strategies you can follow will vary greatly depending on your goals. You can build a community with a blog, for example. You can also create an online forum and charge people for membership.