As of July 2019, there were a recorded 4.3 billion active internet users.
For ambitious people looking to start their digital career, that’s 4.3 billion opportunities to make more money.
We’re living in the digital age, where people can create incredible opportunities for themselves with nothing more than an internet connection and the right website. There are even translation plugins for your website that will allow you to sell to people around the globe, without learning their language.
So, how do you get started?
Load up your WordPress account and use one of the following ten strategies.
1. Start a Brilliant Blog
Blogging is one of the best ways to start making money online.
For years, people have been creating blogs to share their insights and ideas. However, countless companies out there make a lot of money from sponsored, promoted, and affiliated posts. Just look at the Huffington Post website. In the beginning, they were just a simple blog.
That said, blogging won’t bring you cash overnight. But, as your content improves and you gather more attention, you’ll find new monetization opportunities.
Here’s what you need to do to get started:
- Design your blog on WordPress– make sure it looks great and is easy to use
- Choose a topic you’re passionate about and define your target audience
- Learn about SEO so that your site can rank well in search engines
- Encourage followers to subscribe so you can grow your email list
- Network with other influencers and bloggers in your space to grow awareness
When you start generating a reasonable amount of traffic, you can earn cash from your blog by selling affiliate products, selling your own products or services, or even offering ad space.
There’s also the option to sell “premium” content on your site for VIP visitors. For a small charge each month, you can give the paying members of your audience access to exclusive content, just like the Harvard Business Review does:
2. Launch an Affiliate Website
Promoting products from other companies is one of the best ways to make money online.
Affiliate sites are magazine or blogging websites that include reviews and references to specific items. You link out to these items using a special URL that tracks a customer’s purchase. Whenever someone buys something that you’re promoting, you earn a small commission in return.
For most people, affiliate sites are just a way to earn extra income. However, there are also multi-million dollar sites out there built entirely on affiliate sales. For instance, Pat Flynn earns a significant amount of his income through affiliate marketing.
When creating affiliate sites, remember:
- Only recommend products and services that you genuinely believe in – this will help to grow your reputation and establish trust among your site visitors
- Partner with reputable and well-known brands to improve your chances of securing sales
- Always work on growing your email list and your following using valuable content
The best affiliate sites are often those devoted to a specific niche. For instance, eCommerceBooth only reviews ecommerce-related products.
3. Sell Advertising Space
Plenty of websites use advertising banners and promotions from other companies to monetize their content. Some of these ads are annoying and intrusive – which is why the use of ad blocker technology is increasing.
However, if you can show advertisements in a natural way, then you can drive customers to a partner company and reap the rewards. Monetizing your site through advertising is usually a good option if you receive a large volume of traffic.
If you’re using plugins to grow your mailing list and connect with new subscribers, you can even sell ad space in your email newsletters to generate more income .
The most common ad network to get involved with is Google AdSense. However, there are plenty of other marketplaces out there depending on the industry that you’re connected to.
If graphic advertisements aren’t in your wheelhouse, then you can sell sponsored posts on your blog too. Sometimes, these feel less intrusive than traditional ads and they add more value to your readers.
4. Build an eCommerce Site
eCommerce sites have been growing in popularity in recent years, thanks to the growth of platforms like WordPress and WooCommerce.
If you like the idea of selling tangible products to customers, an eCommerce store may right for you. There are many options available for selling physical products online. For example, you can create your own products and ship them to people around the world. Or, you can purchase cheap goods from other manufacturers and sell them for a markup.
Recently, strategies like dropshipping have also emerged for entrepreneurs who don’t want to deal with inventory management, product storage, or shipping products.
Remember, whatever eCommerce strategy you choose, you’ll need to make sure that you have:
- A fast-loading website to encourage your customers to finalize their purchases
- A reliable checkout process with multiple payment options
- Shipping strategies to deliver your products to customers (at ideal prices too!)
5. Sell Your Services
If you want to sell something online, but don’t want to deal with physical products, services can be a great alternative. For example, if you have a background in graphic design, you can help people design their websites and even install new WordPress themes for them.
Or, maybe you’re a writer who can help companies create compelling blogs and marketing content to attract their visitors.
If selling online services is something that interests you, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to make a lot of money online.
Just remember, when you’re selling your services:
- Blog regularly to share your thought leadership and show people what you know
- Join communities where you can pitch your services and connect with other people in your field
- Continuously develop your skills so you can stay ahead of the competition in your chosen marketplace
You can also consider improving your chances of passive income by creating courses, eBooks, and webinars that your customers can download for a set price. For example, market leaders like Neil Patel even make money through consulting. This simply involves sharing your insights with businesses that need extra help.
6. Design a Digital Course
Speaking of ways to make money online with your existing knowledge, why not sell what you know to people in the form of an online course or webinar?
These days, people are spending more time and money than ever on flexible learning opportunities. In fact, there are customers out there willing to pay for everything from online guitar courses to webinars about digital marketing.
All you need to do to get started is design a landing page that tells people what you offer. Of course, you’ll also need to decide what kind of digital course you’re going to provide. For instance, you might sell:
- PDF downloads and eBooks
- Self-produced video courses
- One-on-one consulting and mentoring
If you’re thinking of building a new course, but you don’t know which topic to cover yet, consider polling your existing blog audience to see what they would like to learn about. After all, those that are most loyal to you will have opinions of their own. And if you’ve built a strong relationship with them, they’ll be more than happy to tell you what they’d like to see more of.
7. Create an Online Directory or Job Board
Digital directories might not be as popular as they once were, but they still offer plenty of opportunities to make a profit online.
If you know a great deal about a specific industry, like marketing or web development, you can build a website that’s devoted to helping people find the companies that they want to work with. Directories generate money because people will pay you to be listed on your site – provided that you begin to earn a reasonable number of followers.
If your site gets a high enough domain authority, you may even begin to attract leading businesses from around the world, and they’ll all want to pay a monthly fee to join your group.
Alternatively, you can take the same strategy and build a job board for industry specialists instead. For instance, the ProBlogger Job Board asks companies to pay when they want to list an opening on the website. Because the site has a good reputation, it helps organizations to track down hundreds of candidates for all of their listings.
8. Record a Podcast or Video Series
Finally, if you like the idea of sharing content as a way to make money online, but you’re not much of a writer, why not try videos or podcasts instead?
Podcasts are growing hotter by the minute, particularly as people look for convenient and passive ways to consume content.
Your customers can listen to your podcast on-the-go while they’re driving to work in their car or while they’re taking the train. People even love to listen to podcasts as their get their daily dose of exercise in.
Although it may take a while to get the audience you need to earn money from your podcast, the potential is there. For instance, Entrepreneur on Fire podcaster, John Lee Dumas, earns a whopping $200,000 per month from his show.
Videos are an excellent opportunity too. With content posted on both your website and channels like YouTube, you can give your audience plenty of engaging material to interact with. Since people are streaming and viewing digital media more than they view television today, it only makes sense to get in on the action.
And there you have it! 8 solid ways to make money online, no matter what you niche or skillset is. Whether you start a blog, record a podcast, or just sell your knowledge online, there are plenty of reasons to start your journey towards new, online profits.
If you currently have a WooCommerce shop, and are looking or ways to improve it and make more money, check out our expert roundup of the best WooCommerce plugins.
So, how do you plan on making money online this year? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!