I thought it would be a good idea to write a post listing the top 10 ways to make money online since I get so many emails from people asking me what actually works out there.
Below I am going to go over each method and talk about how you can actually get started. I tried to list them in order, but honestly there isn’t one top way to make money because it all depends on your skills. Each person is unique, so what works for others might not work for you. Some people can make decent amount of money doing affiliate marketing while others can’t squeeze a dime and fail constantly at it.
So before you actually choose which money making method is right for you, make sure it’s something you totally see yourself doing or have passion for. These strategies work now in 2012 and will work in 2013, 2014, and for many more years to come.
1. Building Content Sites – I have always thought that the big money is in “producing content”. I am talking specifically about creating massive content sites. Some small affiliate sites do not fall into this category. Millions of dollars are being made from these content giants each year. Some of them sold for tens or even hundreds of millions.
AssociatedContent.com – sold for a cool $100 million to Yahoo…source link
HuffingtonPost.com – sold for a whooping $315 million to AOL…source link
TechCrunch.com – sold for a nice $20 million to AOL…source link
How would you like to work on a website for a couple of years and then turn around to sell it for tens of millions? You would not have to do anything for the rest of your life.
So how can you start a web property of this caliber? Well, for majority of people it’s not possible because in my opinion you need to invest funds into this project. Your $5k-10k won’t do it either. You need to hire writers, and have them post at least 10-20 well written and engaging articles per day.
Let’s just say it costs you $30/article. That’s a $600/day investment for a year. Of course, the site would start bringing in profits after a few months (if you know how to promote it right), but either way do you have $12k per month to throw at it?
Most people don’t have that kind of budget. Can you do it alone? I doubt it, you would burn out fast.
2. Creating Mobile Apps – There is a mobile app for almost everything these days. You can actually make a lot of money creating simple apps that people find useful, funny, or entertaining.
The business model is quite simple too. You want to create apps that people want to download on their smartphone. You can charge per download or sell advertising space inside your apps.
Some apps get downloaded millions of times and get major exposure. This not only creates a huge revenue stream but also builds a customer base that you could sell other apps to you will develop later on.
Here is an article from Time.com listing 50 of the most popular iPhone apps for 2011.
How can you start developing apps? It’s simple, just save up some money first because you will need to outsource it lol (unless you are a coder/graphic designer/marketer then go for it)
You can outsource small apps on sites like Odesk.com. Prices depend on the scale of your project. You could develop a simple game for about $2k-$5k.
I don’t know much about this so if I were you, I would do some extensive research on how to promote these apps and how to get them approved before you pull the trigger.
3. Selling Info Products & Software – This is probably the most popular way to make money online because the cost of entry isn’t as high. You can create video courses using Camtasia studio and Powerpoint.
It doesn’t take long to write a nice 30-50 page ebook that you could start selling. There are places such as Warrior Forum (for IM niche only) where you can sell your info products without worrying about traffic.
The key is to find a niche full of impulse buyers. Info products sell very well to people who have problems. If you can solve their problem for them or show them how to get rid of it, then you will definitely make sales.
Software products are easy to sell. All you have to do is develop something that people want or need and show them on video how it works. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
You can hire a coder on Odesk.com, Freelancer.com, or Elance.com to develop a software application for you.
Here is an article I wrote about how to make money selling software.
4. Publishing On Kindle –This way of making money became very popular in 2011. It’s very simple too and anyone can do this.
Can you write a simple ebook? If yes, then you can publish on Kindle platform. Amazon will take care of everything for you.
You don’t need a payment processor, website, or a domain name. Just write your ebook and upload it to Amazon. Once approved it will automatically become available to millions of Kindle users.
There are a lot of resources online that you can read and even courses that you could purchase. I published an article on how to get started with Kindle publishing that you should check out.
The process is very simple. Write an ebook and design an ecover graphic for it. You could write something decent over one weekend. Then just decide what you want to charge for it and put it up on Amazon.
The big money is in volume. The more ebooks you have out there the more money you can make, although it’s possible to make a million dollars with just one Kindle book.
Here are some cool articles to read:
– How to make a million selling kindle ebooks – DailyMail.co.uk
– 99 Cent Kindle Millionaires – NathanBransford.com
Keep in mind that you don’t have to write fiction ebooks to succeed. Sell ebooks that solve problems. You could publish “How To” stuff and still do well.
5. Affiliate Marketing – This is my favorite way to generate revenue online. It’s probably the easiest too. The concept basically works like this:
– Find a niche where people spend money
– Find good relevant products to promote in that niche
– Drive traffic to your landing page where you presell the product
From my experience majority of people fail at being able to drive traffic. Without targeted traffic you cannot make money with affiliate marketing.
You can either go for free traffic or buy it. Paid traffic can produce instant results and data that is required to scale your affiliate campaign.
The problem is that over 90% of newbie affiliate marketers are broke, so they can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on testing and optimizing campaigns.
If you got some capital saved up you could get straight into media buying and start banking overnight. As soon as you turn on the traffic and you know what you are doing, the sales start rolling in. It’s a great feeling!
But if you are low on budget then there is another way. You can build smaller affiliate niche sites and try to rank them for product review keywords. This method takes a little bit of time sometimes and can be frustrating. The key to making a good affiliate review site is quality content that actually provides value. Some one page site with 500 words article won’t cut it.
I wrote many posts about affiliate marketing here on my blog that you might find interesting.
6. Offline Marketing (selling online services to offline businesses) – Believe it or not offline businesses are waking up to the fact they need an online presence. There are millions of businesses out there that don’t have a website or even a facebook fanpage.
You could take advantage of this and start offering your services for a fee and make some serious money.
It’s easy to rank sites for local businesses because they usually target keywords that are not very competitive and only in their local area.
Some marketers sell “do it for me” services that don’t even cost anything. A lot of businesses do not have a clue how to submit their listing to Google places. They are scared of technology and that creates an opportunity for you.
You could offer online marketing services not only in your local area but in many different cities.
A lot of brick and mortar business owners don’t know how to create a facebook fanpage. You could charge anywhere from $100 to $200 per setup and then even throw in some monthly fees for maintaining it every month for them.
There are many great opportunities here. If you are not afraid of contacting business owners and you know how to talk to them, then you might want to try this out.
7. Flipping Websites – You can build websites for the sole purpose of selling them. It works and it’s one of the best ways to make money online quickly. Don’t confuse it with the number 1 method I talked about above. It’s different because here you go for volume rather than working on one web property for years.
You could build an affiliate site that makes $500/month in affiliate commissions and easily sell it for about $5k on Flippa.com.
The cool part is that with this strategy you can build up substantial capital in a short period of time for other bigger projects you want to jump into.
If you could sell 5 sites for $5k each that’s $25k in your bank account. Now invest into software development or build more sites to flip.
Once you have that kind of capital you can totally outsource the entire process. Flipping sites for profit is a solid business model.
Think about it…Would you rather own the site for 10 months to make the $5k, or would you rather sell it and get all that money upfront to start 2-3 more sites like that?
Here is a post I wrote about making money on Flippa a while ago.
8. Video Marketing –Becoming a celebrity is now easier than ever. You got something funny to share? Got talent? Make a video and upload it to Youtube!
Youtube also offers their partner program that allows you to not only customize your channel, but also to earn revenue from ads being displayed inside your videos.
Obviously you would need millions of views to make any substantial money from it. There is more to it though, because the big profits might not come from ads but from your following and other possibilities that open up when you become a famous Youtube celebrity. That’s where the big money is at.
Don’t have any talents? No problem, you can still use video marketing to make money online. Some people review products from Amazon using video, or drive traffic to their own blog where they can sell stuff.
I am sure you can find something valuable to share that people search for or need answers to.
Here is a post I published a while back listing 3 ways to make money with Youtube.
9. Selling Stuff On Craigslist Or Ebay – Got old stuff you don’t need? Sell them on Ebay or Craigslist. It’s a great way to earn some extra money when you are short on cash. You could actually make a full time income with this if you could find a source of products that you can sell over and over again.
One major drawback of making money this way is that you constantly need to ship stuff and you are ending up trading time for money.
Is it possible to build a stable business selling stuff on Ebay? Absolutely, but like I said you need to find things to sell that people actually want to buy.
I personally hate dealing with shipping and handling. For me to do this I would need to outsource the entire operation.
There are dropshipping companies out there, but it’s not easy to find something that someone else isn’t already selling at even lower prices.
You could go to garage sales and pick up stuff that people want to get rid off during summer time and list all that on Ebay. I know some folks that do that. They might not be making a killing from it, but still it’s extra money that can pay some bills.
10. Freelancing – I listed this method of making money at the bottom because I would hate to do this. If you are a good writer you can write articles, ebooks, reports, or blog posts for other marketers. You could ghostwrite a book and get paid well for it, but it’s basically a job not a way to build wealth.
If you know how to code you can apply for projects on Odesk.com and get paid when you deliver a finished product.
Can you make a full time income by being a freelancer? Sure, but you will be working hours everyday just to make someone else rich.
Check out my previous post on how to get paid well for writing articles.
The money making methods listed above are proven to work and people actually do make money with them. You should choose the one that you feel is best for you.
What’s important to notice is that the ones that are designed to build wealth require a substantial investment to get things started. Yes, it takes money to make money!
I am sure you’ve already been exposed to claims on other sites that you could make easy money doing nothing. Well, it doesn’t work like that.
The 3 things required for success are: patience, persistence, and money(most of the time)
You could still make it without money(it’s a lot harder), but if you don’t have any patience or you are not persistent then you will fail for sure.