If you have any skill you can teach others, it’s also possible to set up an online course 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 take their businesses online— The Online Advisor Growth Formula.
Last year, I profiled my friend Joseph Michael of 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 he has earned.
Most people set up their online course through a platform like Teachable.com. With Teachable, you can upload your course materials and use the platform to manage customers and accept payments.
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 getting my first sponsor on the podcast and finding out they were willing to pay $8,000 for me to include a short clip at the beginning of each podcast for 90 days. That was insanely exciting to me at the time since I wasn’t sure I would be able to monetize my podcast that much at first.
However, there are tons of people making a lot more than me on their podcasts. Take the Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast hosted by John Lee Dumas. According to the show’s most recent income report, this podcast brought in a net income of over $400,000 in March 2018. Now, that’s crazy.
The key to getting ahead 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 since there are a lot of logistics that go into writing, recording, and editing a podcast, but it is still worth considering.
#6: Book Sales
While the publishing industry used to be heavy in print, you can complete the entire process of writing, publishing, and marketing a book online these days. Websites like Create Space will let you upload and take your book to print without getting a formal publisher involved, and you can even get your book on 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 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 of $1,857 in revenue. Not bad, huh?
If you think you could write a book people would want to buy, this is a smart strategy to consider since the 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 lead sales work include setting up a website, getting traffic to that website, and making sure you’re collecting leads that someone will actually 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 so I could 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, lead buyers are willing to pay for the personal information I gather from people who visit my website. This is a win-win for everyone since I get paid for the leads and my website visitors are connected with someone who can help them.
Keep in mind though, you can sell leads in many different industries —not just life insurance. Really, you just need to figure out 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, it’s also possible to get paid to create online content. I don’t do this as much as I used to, but I am very aware of how viable this income stream is.
One blogger I know, Holly Johnson, actually makes over $200,000 per year creating content for other websites. And actually, that’s on top of the six figures she earns with her blog, Club Thrifty.
Holly told me she started writing content in 2011. At the time, she still worked a full-time job but created content online part-time to supplement her income. Over time, she was able to double and triple her rates until she could quit her full-time job to write. These days, she makes bank as a freelance writer and teaches others to do the same via her online course, Earn More Writing.
According to Johnson, the key to making it as a freelance writer is figuring out a niche, networking with people who might hire you, and delivering high-quality content 100 percent of the time. While there are a ton of writing job boards to help you get started, she says it’s fairly easy to find starter 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 by pursuing 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, be it a blog or a huge Instagram following, you can cash in.
The first time I got a sponsored post for Good Financial Cents, I was totally blown away. I think I got paid only $100, but that was a lot of money to me at the time. Later on, however, I realized 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 $4,500 for a sponsored post. Plus, I clearly mark all sponsored content as an #ad to stay in compliance with Google’s terms and conditions. I also only promote companies I use or believe in.
But, I also know bloggers that get $20,000 for a sponsored post. That’s pretty crazy, but it just goes to show what is possible.
Keep in mind though, you don’t need a website to do sponsored content since you can also get paid if you have a lot of social media followers. My wife has a pretty big Instagram following, and she gets all kinds of sponsorships. Not only does she get paid in cash, but we get a lot of free stuff, too. We’ve received free rugs, free lights, and free carpet cleaners. She only promotes things she loves though, so this strategy works really well for her.
Need more ideas on how to make money online? Another strategy is using webinars to market your product, service, or course. I’ve done webinars to promote my financial planning practice and to drum up interest in my online course for financial advisors. With a webinar, you’re basically offering a lot of tips and advice for free — usually in a live format. At the end though, you pitch your paid product or service with the goal of securing a few deals.
Professional speaker Grant Baldwin uses webinars to market his courses on public speaking, including getting Booked and Paid to Speak. While Baldwin offers plenty of free tips during his webinar, he offers his course at the end for people who want to pay to learn more. And, a lot of times, his sales pitch works.
No matter what you’re selling, it’s not that hard to set up a webinar and attract 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 look hard enough.
YouTube is another platform that has made it possible for people to earn money online. There are a ton of YouTube channels out there on any topic if you can think of, and most of the people with a big following are earning some money in exchange for their videos and time.
Last year, Forbes profiled some of the biggest players in the YouTube scene. According to the study, the top ten biggest grossing YouTube stars brought in $127 million from June 2016 to June 2017. The most popular, a gamer named DanTDM, earned $16.5 million of that on his own.
Will you earn that much? Probably not. However, you can start making money via YouTube using the platform’s own ad network or by getting sponsored posts. If you like doing videos, starting a YouTube channel can a fun way to earn some cash on the side.
#12: Build an Online Community
Last but not least, you can also earn money online by building an online community, although the monetization strategies you can pursue will vary a lot depending on your goals. You can build a community with a blog, for example. You can also build an online forum and charge people for membership. You could even build up a Facebook group and use your influence there to sell and promote products.
My good friends Shane and Jocelyn Sams have become experts in building online communities. They have one right now for their website – Flipped Lifestyle. This community shows people how to create an online business and connects entrepreneurs who are pursuing similar dreams.
Prior to that group, they had an online community for teachers looking for lesson plans. That probably sounds pretty random, but it’s crazy the type of communities you can build and rally people around. If it’s something that you’re passionate about yourself and you want to connect with others that have that same passion, then an online community is something you should definitely consider.
The Bottom Line
There are a ridiculous number of ways to make money online and the ones I’ve covered here are just the tip of the iceberg. If you have time, a passion for almost anything, and at least some creative skill, you may be able to build an online income stream — or several — if you give it enough time.
But, don’t just take my word for it. If you look online, you’ll find thousands of success stories you can use for inspiration.
One day you could even create a success story of your own. But you’ll never know unless you try.
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