10 Ways to Make Money Online
Making money online is doable for anyone but requires hard work. Are you up for the task?
If you are at any stage of adulthood and have half a brain, you should have realised by now that there are no get rich quick schemes.
They don't exist. Stop looking for them. That's not how the world works. Make money online the right way. However, don't let that opening paragraph get you down because surely the next best thing is to earn money doing something you love?
How many people do you know that are unhappy in their jobs but cannot see a way out? I left the rat race in 1998 and haven't looked back since.
If you can wake up on a Monday morning and feel good about your day, you are on the right track. I actually wake up on a Monday morning and wonder what day it is most weeks. Days just seem to roll into each other with no formal structure to the week.
Sometimes I work all weekend and take a day or two off during the following week. Other times I work all week. Occasionally I will take a week off and head out somewhere for a break with the family.
Life can be very good with unlimited possibilities in the online world so let's look at some ways to earn money online. I have made money from most of the methods outlined below but one or two I haven't (but fully intend to do so soon).
- 1Google Adsense
- 2Affiliate Sales
- 5Membership Sites
- 7Email List
- 8Sell Ad Space
- 9Sponsored Posts
- 10Local Leads
- 11Bonus Method - "Flip" the Sites
- 12Bonus Method - The Obvious One!
Ok, let's start off with a really simple one to get started with...
If you want more in depth knowledge regarding Adsense, head over to Google Adsense to hear it from the horses mouth.
In a nutshell, Adsense works by merchants placing adverts for their products on related websites that accept Adsense (like yours and mine). They pay anything from a few cents to a few Dollars and more per click on that ad.
That revenue then gets shared between Google and the website owner. Again, win-win-win.
If you want to start earning from Adsense, it is essential that you first have a platform on which to implement it. One of the first things I learnt about making money online was to wait.
Don't rush to monetise. Leave it for a few months while you build your website and your online business gets some traction. You need a suitable, good looking, useful and ready-to-go website up and running before Google will accept you.
I think I waited a year or so before adding Adsense but when I did, and at it's peak, I was earning close to £1000 a month from the traffic I was generating (between 5,000 and 8,000 visitors a day on one site).
Since then, I have moved more towards promoting my own products and affiliate sales for monetisation but Adsense is still a good source of income. The only downside is that people (visitors) can become "ad blind" so clicks become less frequent.
To combat this, spread the ads few and far between but keep them showing in the "hot spots" of your website (above the fold, in a sidebar etc). You are only advised to have a maximum of three ads on each page or post. Try to keep it to 2 but never go over three.
Below is an example of how a Google ad will look when placed into the content of your website.
To be honest, after creating and selling your own product, I think affiliate marketing is one of the most exciting ways to make money online. After all:
All you are is the middle man. You are pretty much left to your own devices to simply promote that product and watch the sales come in.
Caveat: Devalue someone's product with spammy marketing methods at your peril. Once word gets out, you will be blacklisted and may have trouble building bridges and getting your reputation back from tatters.
Once your niche is chosen, domain and hosting sorted and your website has been built, the fun begins. To compliment the superb, well written, engaging and incredibly useful information you have on your site, you now want to earn from it right?
Well, with a few carefully chosen products that fit well into your whole business ethic and niche, you can start your marketing efforts. I love hunting out new products to promote. A lot of the time I will buy the product myself because:
- 1The excellent sales patter grabbed my attention (therefore it will others)
- 2I need and would use the product myself (therefore I can review it well)
- 3I want to see the entire sales process all the way through (great lessons to be learned)
Before you do any of that, you need something to promote.
Choosing a Product
Start by looking at your content. What is it that you are teaching or writing about? What pages or topics are most likely to draw sales? Look at each page and think "has someone come here with a buying mindset" or are they more likely to be information browsing?
Some will be obvious and others not so.
A blog post about a funny story that happened to your dog in the local park may not attract the buying public (at first glance). They are more than likely there because of a friend's recommendation on Facebook or just browsing for funny dog stories. However, this doesn't mean you can't then hook them into a sales funnel.
In that post, you could mention that the story unfolded because of a cheap, faulty lead you were using and that since buying the new Dogholder 3000 lead (links to affiliate sale), your life has been made so much easier.
Obviously this is made up but your story needs to be genuine. If there is no product involved, leave it as it is and let the visitors enjoy the the story but do perhaps offer them a chance to join your newsletter on that page.
Call to Action (CTA)
Every page must have a call to action if you can, whether that is:
Try not to leave a page without one (CTA).
If you have a page entitled "The 10 Best Dog Beds for Under £100" and visitors come to that page via keyword searches, you have a potential customer. Whether you build that page well enough to entice them to join is another thing.
To fill that page with products, you need to find affiliate programs. Just Google "dog beds affiliate" and let Google do their thing. You should be presented with a bunch of dog related affiliate websites with some emphasis on dog beds.
I came across an amazing product from Wheeler's Luxury Gifts but I don't think they have an affiliate program for that particular bed. £1400 for a dog bed! Even just a 5% commission on that would net you a cool £70 for sending someone their way.
This just shows that people are mad about their pets and many spend a lot of money on them.
Now I came across this pet dog affiliate program that pays good commissions. The site and videos etc could do with a little updating but it all seems legitimate, the people seem nice and the products are good. Their homepage also has a lot of CTA's mixed in with some good info.
Whatever product you have, do a Google search for that product followed by "affiliate program" or "affiliate". This should keep you busy for a while.
I won't go into too much more detail about products right now but that should give you a good heads up about where to start.
I think I started writing my first eBook almost immediately. If you already have a large website with a ton of information but are stuck for ideas for your eBook, try this. Simply convert those website pages into a well designed eBook and sell that.
When you do this, and because the information is already freely available, you should sell the eBook for a fair price of say $5-$10 (or GBP). People tend to buy into this because they like to read your information at their own pace and away from their computer. Buying an affordable PDF eBook allows them to do just that.
Little to No Cost
The great thing about eBooks is they cost very little to produce other than your time. Think of an idea, perhaps a narrower niche within your site's topic and build it around that. Write out all the main chapters and slowly start writing. What I found is that once I started, I couldn't stop.
If you are knowledgeable in a certain area, simply unload your brain into that book.
Create the book in Microsoft Word for example, add images and even affiliate links where you can (without spamming). Then convert it to a PDF file and upload it for sale.
Once finished, you can set about selling it through your own website using someone like PayPal as your payment processor or you could accept affiliate sales. This would put you on the other side of the coin which would show you just how cool affiliate marketing really is.
Having a team of hungry, experienced and dedicated affiliates selling your product for you is incredibly exciting. Because an eBook costs little to produce, you could offer high commissions in order to attract and leverage all that talent.
Would you rather sell a $40 eBook once a day through your own website making you $40 a day. Or would you rather pay 50% commission and sell 20 books a day netting you $400 a day?
This gets a little more technical, more expensive and definitely more time consuming. However, it can be worth it. Before heading down this route, you have to think about the future of DVD's.
Most people are now getting used to streaming data such as music, films, training courses etc. For a single, 1-2 hour DVD, I would say do both. Have a hard copy ready to go to those that use them but offer a streaming service at the same time.
The first DVD product I made was a 4 disk box set of training DVD's. In my mind I knew what I wanted to make but didn't know how to go about doing it. I spent around £1,500 on two courses that taught me everything I needed to know about launching a DVD.
I then spent 6 months writing, filming, editing, producing and marketing the product. Yes, I actually started marketing the product to my email list before I had even created it. This not only made me follow it through (accountability) but it also gave me all that time to build a buzz around the product along with growing my email list.
Attract an Army of Affiliates
During that 6 months, I would capture emails from visitors that were keen to learn more once the product was ready. When it was ready, I had a special price on offer for two weeks, one method taught by the courses I used.
I had also accumulated a bunch of affiliates ready and willing to sell them for me.
Well, on the day of launch, I hit the "send" button to my email list and affiliates and within one minute, I made a sale at $207 which had a 30% early-bird discount (in two weeks the price was going up to $297). By the time I had gone to tell my wife and back into the office, I had made another sale.
This went on all day.
In the end, I had 2,869 affiliates all over the world selling my DVD's through their websites, blogs, email lists and so on. I eventually reduced the price to $125 as I was filming V2.0 at this point.
I was paying my affiliates 30% commission. The box set of DVD's cost me under $10 to produce and send anywhere in the world. Win-win-win.
The cost of the £1,500 courses I used to help me produce the DVD's was greatly outweighed by the eventual 6 figure sales that I made. Today, nearly 10 years on, the course is still selling via a streaming service online with around one sale a day.
The work I had done marketing the DVD's leading up to it's launch was invaluable.
Building a Product
Creating your own DVD's is much the same as with an eBook. You need to plan it thoroughly and lay it out bare. I created a huge storyboard for how I wanted to DVD's to run. I then:
I have to say it was a lot of work but so rewarding. Even a decade on I am still making money from it and the income was enough to buy a small house (but I didn't ; )
I think I only had 6 returns which is amazing and three of those were unopened. The best part was the stories that followed. People giving up their day jobs to follow a new career. People making serious money using the training I had given them. A bunch of thank you emails from happy customers. Brilliant stuff.
This was even more work than creating a DVD but I did it...alone. I would suggest that you "get your feet wet" for a while in the internet marketing world before attempting this.
A membership site is either a whole website or simply a section of your niche website that has specialist information on. It is only accessible to paying members. The paid site has info that digs a lot deeper than the free content on your main website.
You cannot imagine the way this business can change your life and a membership site, or well run affiliate website, can run on autopilot earning money while you sleep.
However, you need to put the work in!
Content for Membership Sites
I built my membership site soon after creating my first set of DVD's. The streaming version of the DVD's would be included along with the eBook weaved into the pages. I also wrote three other eBooks and hosted those within the site.
I used pretty much the same marketing process as I did for the DVD's only this time when I launched the site, I had a prize to give away on launch day...New Years Day. It was the iPod Touch 4G and I loved giving that away live on the site.
When writing content for your membership site, you need to step it up and produce really engaging, helpful and interesting pages that go into way more detail. Write content and give advice that people would struggle to find anywhere else. Always over-deliver if you can.
How to Set up a Membership Site
When I built my site, it was tough. There wasn't much choice in the way of help and software that would do the job. I had a huge learning curve and it took forever. Things have changed now.
There are many options out there for you to build your WordPress membership site around like:
You just need to pick one that suits you, learn it and crack on. However, don't run before you can walk. Maybe come back to this later, even in a few years when you have a ton of experience, and go for it then.
Saying that, as you build your business, it is always worth having this in the back of your mind so you can slowly piece it together over time.
A good membership site will have:
Webinars (Seminars on the Web)
I personally noticed that webinars got a solid foothold in the internet marketing world in 2017. Whereas in the past it was quite a feat to find a live platform that was reliable and stable enough to last an hour or more.
Now with faster broadband speeds and the increasing rise in popularity of mobile devices, webinars are gaining popularity.
Ah'm a Guitar Man
When I started to learn electric guitar in 2017, I found a whole bunch of cool guitar teachers that I wanted to follow. I also signed up to a couple of their paid membership sites which are great.
Note: For the first two months, I did nothing but learn the basic chords. I would also spend 2-3 hours a day running up and down the fret board in the same pattern but with different sequences. Sometimes I got so bored I would lie down whilst doing it and a couple of times I actually fell asleep whilst playing!
I was also practising super fast "picking" using a plectrum. I would play one note fast, then two, then three and finally four (I only have four fretting fingers ; )
They say you need to do hundreds of thousands and even millions of fast "picks" for it to become ingrained into your muscle memory and become second nature. No bother though, even at 10 picks per second, I was doing around 36,000 an hour!
That would take 27 hours or 13, 2-hour sessions to do a million picks.
Anyway, I would gradually speed up the metronome as I went to build that muscle memory and it worked.
For the third month, I did this for just half an hour a day with the rest of the time now devoted to learning a single lead guitar piece/solo. I chose Highway Star by Deep Purple. Very hard and very fast at times.
After a month I had pretty much nailed it! The hours I put in learning speed play and increasing my muscle memory had paid off.
Ok, here is a video of me playing along to HighWay Star but please be gentle, I am still relatively new to guitar but like I said, this was the very first song I learnt after 3 months of building my muscle memory as described above...
Anyway, I digress but there is a point.
The Benefits of Webinars
I felt that the more I watched their tutorials on YouTube and within the members section, the more I got to "know" these teachers. Therefore, when they did a live webinar, I felt like I was listening and engaging with an old friend.
During a webinar, you have the chance to make comments and ask questions that the host will hopefully engage with. It gives you a sense of worth that your membership is worth the X amount of money spent each month.
I have learned a lot from various webinars and sites I am part of and not just with guitar.
The internet, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube etc are constantly changing the way they do things. These changes can dramatically affect your online business. These regular webinars keep me up to date with all of it.
Not only that, they also remind me of old tried and tested methods I had forgotten about as well as new marketing techniques that work. I love them!
Webinars and You
Eventually, you may want to hold your own webinars online for your own audience. In my opinion, there is no better way to engage with your readers and keep the membership retention figures high.
Note: I am completely re-writing a 1300 page website at the moment but when I am done, I fully intend to start my own webinars there. They are exciting and a great way to make money.
However, webinars can be quite intense from the host's point of view. Firstly, you need the right equipment and knowledge about setting the whole thing up.
Secondly, you need to be confident that:
- 1You will attract a decent sized audience (although not always important, even 25 is good)
- 2You have something worthwhile in your niche to teach people
- 3You have the confidence to talk to an invisible bunch of people for an hour or more
So, picture this. Your website is now getting a reasonable amount of traffic and some of those visitors are signing up to your growing email list. You decide to host a webinar about, say, a newly discovered and guaranteed way to train any dog to:
I know nothing about dogs so pick one and imagine holding that seminar.
If you have multiple email lists for narrower doggy niches as mentioned earlier, this is a typical situation where you could email all lists as it applies to all breeds of dogs.
You are fired up, you love your niche, you love dogs and you can't wait to teach other people how this works. You could even have your dog on the webinar with you as you show the methods.
Your audience are loving it, you finish the training and open up to a Q & A session. More engagement. You are truly giving great value to your viewers.
Call to Action
These people are now in a buying mindset. If you then add a call to action (which you can also do during the webinar), I can almost guarantee that sales will be made. I bought into my guitar membership for $200 during a webinar because the guy promoted a "50% discount" deal during it!
You could sell memberships, an eBook you have written, a DVD, affiliate products etc. When selling someone else's product, a great idea is to do a deal with the vendor.
Tell them you are doing the webinar and ask for a discount on their product for your viewers for just that webinar. The vendor makes more sales, your audience get a great deal whilst learning something new, you make commissions. The higher the value of the product, the more you make.
A lot of the webinars I go to are hosted by Gotomeeting.com. I have never experienced a problem with them, they offer a superb service and you pay £34 per month (yearly) for up to 100 attendees.
A great alternative is webinarsonair.com (watch the video on that page). Slightly more expensive for 100 attendees but you also have an option of unlimited attendees if you ever got to those dizzy heights.
Is all this starting to make sense? Are you excited yet?
We've touched on this a few times already so I hope you understand the importance of getting email addresses from people. Think about it, you have more than likely have arrived on this site after leaving your email address with me.
The entire process I am using your emails for here is not really any different than other forms of advertising and teaching.
For example, you see an ad in the local paper for evening classes on internet marketing. You either call them or you don't. If you do call, you pop along for a free chat and get a sample of the course.
You either sign up or you don't.
The online process for you here was most likely:
This website has taken weeks to write and prepare using years worth of knowledge and experience. I genuinely hope it changes your life for the better in some way.
You may have also received a few additional emails from me as a follow up to this course. If you stay on my list, I hope to continue to provide more valuable and free training for you.
We All Win
Well, not always. I run the biggest risk as I am not taking any money from you directly. It is my hope that you have listened to my advice and will use the companies that I recommend and use myself to become successful.
If you do that and continue to stay on my email list, I can help you succeed.
Hopefully you are getting ideas about how you could utilise email lists to further your own business whether it is online or offline. Yes, this also works as a great marketing tool for offline businesses but that is for another lesson.
Two of the most common email platforms are:
I personally use aWeber and have done for over a decade.
Sell Ad Space
This is a very simple and straight forward way to make money online so I will only touch on this.
To entice merchants and suppliers to pay to advertise on your website, you need:
That's pretty much it, an advertiser simply wants eyeballs on his ad. The amount you can earn this way is directly related to how much traffic you receive. The higher the footfall, the more you can charge.
For this, you need to understand tracking your traffic via Google Analytics for example.
Most advertisers will ask how much daily traffic you receive to your homepage (prime ad spots) or how much traffic you receive to a specific page within your site.
Sometimes they just ask "how much for an ad on your site"?
Once you are established and have regular traffic that you can track, and if you want to monetise this way, build a page for advertisers. Have a full schedule of prices on that page for ads that are:
Lots of ways to capitalise on your traffic and make money.
I get requests for these all the time. Sometimes I charge, other times I don't depending on the post.
This is where another website or business relating to your niche wants a more permanent placement on your website that standard advertising doesn't give.
A sponsored post, by way of an article for example, should stay or your website forever.
Free or Paid?
If I don't charge, I get free content and the chance to place Google Adsense or affiliate links on that article. If I do charge, I don't place any other monetisation on that page but charge accordingly depending on:
How much you charge depends on how popular your website or blog is and the traffic you get.
Again, this is something that will come to you once you are getting regular traffic. However, when starting out, you should definitely accept free, unique article submissions to get some great content onto your website.
This is also something I intend to look into and in a way, I have already done this for some clients.
Let's give you an example of how this works.
You either know of, discover or look for a local company that needs help (even if they don't know it). They are a great business (you may even use them yourself) but their online presence is awful.
After a bit of research, you pop by and have a chat with the owner(s) and introduce yourself. Giving a genuine compliment when you meet always goes a long way if you have already received great service from them.
For example, my NHS dentist once apologised for messing up one of my teeth during a routine appointment. I left and since then have gone private.
Example (Private Dentist)
The private dentist I found is incredible. I have had 4 amalgam fillings replaced with ceramic fillings and I could not be happier. The process was a breeze and fascinating to watch/be a part of.
My new teeth were "fixed" and the ceramic fillings in place super quick enabling me to eat within seconds. It was amazing. Amalgam fillings last about 15 years and then deteriorate to the point they will start to crack your teeth*. "White" fillings last about 10 years but ceramic fillings last up to and beyond 50 years.
*I know this because when he told me I didn't believe him. Once he had removed one particular amalgam filling, he showed me the cavity on screen. I could clearly see a crack running through my entire tooth but luckily we caught it early. The ceramic filling would prevent it getting any worse and effectively hold it together.
Promoting the Dentist
Now, you should be able to tell from this that I had an amazing experience with this guy. My teeth have never been better and I know these are going to last. Do you think I would have any problem raving about and promoting him?
Putting internet marketing aside, I have already recommended him to so many people.
Sadly (for me anyway), this guy just happens to be incredibly well-informed and already into internet marketing. His website and social media efforts are great.
However, if this wasn't the case, I would do this.
How Much to Charge?
I would offer to do all the marketing for his business free of charge for a limited time. It is important that I monitor the people I send to him by various methods so I know that what I am doing is working.
The dentist would let me know (or I could stay in direct contact with the visitors) how many of those people converted into a "sale" or customer.
We could then work out the value of each lead that I send to him.
E.g. I send 100 visitors in a month of which 20 spend £1000 on average. This makes him £20,000.
Divide that by 100 visitors and that gives a value of £200 per lead sent. Using this information, we could then agree on a fee for each lead I send thereafter (or a just a simple monthly charge).
Using the figures above, my fee could be 10% or £20 per lead giving me £2,000 per month (£20 x 100 leads).
All I need to do is build a website, build a Facebook page (optional) and simply do what I do with all my other websites. Get traffic to it.
Now, my dentist charges just over £1000 per tooth for the ceramic option. A lot I know but I figured that once it is done, it is done forever. No more worrying about my nasty amalgam fillings.
On top of this service, he does a lot of other cool things such as organic, oxygen based and super fast teeth whitening. So, he has a lot to offer and I have a lot to rave about.
Once that is done for the dentist, I simply wash, rinse and repeat for any other businesses. If you think about how many businesses there are in your area and within a 20 mile radius, you could just do this and nothing else.
All of this makes great business sense right?
If you don't know what this is, let's take the previous example to illustrate.
Once the dentist's website is up and running, you may not want to do the ongoing work involved with running it. What you can do then is flip it.
Flipping websites can be done in one of two ways:
- 1Buy an existing website (a cheap one but with a good niche), build it up and sell it on
- 2Build an entirely new website to the point where it is earning money and sell that too
Using the dentist example, once that site is earning good revenue, it's value increases dramatically. A website earning £2000 could sell easily for around £30,000 or more. Maybe even to the dentist!
In fact he would be the perfect buyer for two reasons:
- 1He can stop paying you and now control the website himself (with some training from you)
- 2He can prevent someone he doesn't know taking over the site and altering the terms etc
Again, you could wash, rinse and repeat this indefinitely. Happy days!
The Obvious Way to Make Money Online
Build websites for local businesses. I just had to put this in as it should be so obvious. Once you have learned how to do all of this, how valuable do you think you are as a person? Let me tell you.
Whatever business you do, even if you end up back in a job, these skills will be incredibly valuable to the company. Wherever you work in the future, you could use these skills in many ways.
You could even set yourself up as a web designer for local businesses that need an online presence or help with their marketing. Really, you cannot lose.
I never intended to build websites for clients but I got roped into it on numerous occasions. There was a time when I was also advertising for website clients as it was going so well.
I must have built close to 100 sites for other people with many of those for one single client.
On average, I would charge around £1,500 for a simple, 10 page website. You could do the same or do it as well as building your own affiliate sites.
If you didn't know how to make money online before, hopefully you do now.
If you are not absolutely buzzing with excitement and ideas at this point, perhaps this business isn't for you. However, think about this...
Most people get worried thinking all of this is hard to do. Isn't anything at first?
The learning curve can be fairly steep for some so you can take this as fast or as slow as you like but I can guarantee if you stick with it, it will work.
With the basics you have learned here, imagine doing this gradually over the time you spend at college or university. Now imagine leaving there with a thriving, well paid online business.
What could you do with that money?
Perhaps you guys are in a job with no prospects, a dodgy boss or work you hate?
This is something you can do whilst still at work. How would you feel the day your online income reaches or surpasses that of your day job? How would it feel to just walk away with no worries?
Again, this will only happen with hard work but how hard can it be doing something you love from home? I have worked at home (I now have an external office for filming) since 2003 and love it.
Life is good and good things don't come to those who wait, they come to those who work for them. What's to lose? Did you make a decision 10 years ago that you wish you had made differently? Don't let another 10 years pass just to feel like that again...
So we have reached the end of the free course, I sincerely hope you enjoyed it. I will continue to send emails with hints and tips and I will send you a link to sign up to a different email list from which I will send you more in-depth tutorials, advice and tips to become successful that much quicker.
If you have decided this is not for you, you are able to unsubscribe from my emails using the link at the bottom of any email received to date. However, if you know of anyone you think may be interested in this course, please share it with them.
Thank you and I wish you all the best in whatever you do!
Nick Stubbs - Drop the Day Job