one true. If they could find a way to make money with a website or some other online venture, they could quit their job to focus on entrepreneurship, spend more time with their family, and finally take back control of their time and their lives.
The crazy thing is, earning money online isn’t a pipe dream. I have been doing it for nearly a decade now with my website Good Financial Cents. I also know thousands of other people who are earning money online their own way with websites, courses, or unique marketing strategies.
Now, here’s the good news. The majority of online revenue strategies aren’t that complicated. Like any business venture, your online income takes time to grow. You need to be willing to devote the time and energy required to get your idea off the ground, and you need the grit to stick with it even if your journey is slow when you first start out.
If you’re angling to earn money online but aren’t 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 bringing in a steady amount of traffic.
One of the cool things about Google AdSense is that it’s so easy to get 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 onto your website. Google takes it from there, tracking your page views, traffic, and earnings on your behalf. There is no upkeep or maintenance to get this thing going, which makes it a no-brainer if you have a website already.
#2: Affiliate Marketing
Whether you have a website or are still dreaming up ideas for a blog, you can also look into affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you partner with brands and businesses within the content of your website. If you mention a product or service, you link to that product or service using a unique affiliate code you received when you signed up for that particular affiliate program. From there, you’ll make money any time someone buys a product or service through your link.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to partner with affiliates that are related to your blog concept. Since I’m a financial advisor, I have focused a lot of my affiliate energy on financial products like 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 overtime.
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing.
Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
While Michelle works with a ton of affiliates in the financial services industry, one of her biggest affiliates is a blog hosting company called Bluehost. This just goes to show that you can make money with nearly any affiliate company or product if you know your audience and build up enough traffic to create sales.
Another way to make money online is via consulting. If you’re an expert in any field, you could potentially find people willing to pay you to counsel them on their personal or business goals. You might think you’re not important enough to consult for big companies, but you could be surprised at the types of expertise people will pay for.
My colleague Robert Farrington of The College Investor is a good example of someone who consulted online on the side in an unlikely industry. Robert told me that, after he had been blogging for a few years, a couple of brands reached out to him to ask him for help with social media and online marketing.
Robert said he did an average of 4-6 of these gigs per year for a while depending on his schedule and the work involved. The best part is, he charged a flat rate that usually worked out to around $100 per hour. And remember, this was pay he was earning 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 next, you can also set up a free account through Clarity.fm. This website lets anyone who wants to offer consulting set up a free profile. Once your profile is set up, people will find you and book a session you’ll get paid for.