How to make money online

Learning how to make money online isn’t nearly as tough as people expect. Let’s look at the main options.

How to make money online with ads

The most common way for people to try to monetise a blog or website is through ads. I do not recommend this unless you have huge traffic. Why? Ad rates are poor, so to make significant revenue you do need lots of visitors.

If you don’t have huge visitor numbers then the ads will just slow down your website, annoy your readers, and bring in no revenue.

If you do have huge visitor numbers there are better ways of making money that won’t ruin your lovely, fast blog (you’ve got a fast blog, right?)

So what are the better options?

Affiliate sales

Your first good option is affiliate revenue. This just means that you get paid by other companies to refer sales to their products.

A common example of this is Bluehost, which you’ve probably seen being “recommended” on a lot of blogs. Why are people so keen to push Bluehost when there are so many great, fast WordPress hosts out there? Simple, they pay $80+ for every customer someone sends their way. How many crappy Google ads would you have to display to earn $80? A lot!

Whatever market or niche you’re in, there will be affiliate schemes out there to promote. Find ones that you would genuinely use (promoting stuff you don’t stand behind is a bad way to build trust) and then promote them on your blog and in your emails.

How to find affiliate programmes to promote

The easiest way if you know of a specific product that you would like to promote is just to google “product name affiliate scheme”. If they have one it’ll be at the top. All you need to do is sign up and get your custom link.

If you’re short on ideas, check out ShareASale, a platform for finding affiliate links to promote on your blog. They break down all of the programmes available by category so you can find ones that will work for you. I use ShareASale for a few different products (and that link itself is even an affiliate link – see how this works..?)

By inserting the affiliate links into your onboarding emails and email funnels, you should be able to push relevant products to your readers exactly when they are interested in them. It’s a way to make serious money and is 100% worth the time to fully understand.

Your own products

Over the last couple of years, I’ve sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of my own products. It takes a bit more investment and a bit more time, but it can result in a huge payoff!

If you have a passion for something, I believe that building your own products is the way to make serious income and build something sustainable. You’re not reliant on other people building stuff for you to sell.

Some ideas of items that tend to do well that you could make and sell are:

  • eBooks
  • Real books, either using an on-demand printer or by printing a load yourself
  • Non-previous jewellery (bracelets, watches, necklaces)
  • Leather goods (wallets, purses, bags)
  • EDC goods (bags, knives, pens, notepads)

All of these items can be made cheaply in countries with lower costs of living, such as China or India, and then sold online for a good profit.

The most common problem is not coming up with an idea, but funding production. I had this problem but sold $220,000 of my first product in 30 days. How? Crowdfunding on Kickstarter.

I know crowdfunding looks like a really competitive market, but it’s honestly not hard to do as long as you get it right. I’ve written a whole section on how to run a crowdfunding campaign, and I remain convinced that it’s the route to a big online income. If I was starting today, I’d still go with a Kickstarter campaign.