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Best Ways To Make Money Online
Since this is one of the most frequent questions I’m asked or see posted somewhere, I thought it would be helpful to at least create some discussion about it… what are the best ways to make money online. This article is intended for complete newbies to the business, so veterans please pardon the generalities. My intent is to give you an idea of the ways people earn a living online… though there are many more than I have listed.
The obvious answer is that there is no “best way” and that virtually every single onliner I’ve met uses a variety of methods to carve out an income. What most people are likely asking is which ways are the easiest to earn money online or which is the least expensive to get started… or maybe even which one has less of a learning curve.
Whatever the case, here I’ll list what I believe to be the top 5 best ways of earning money online and hopefully some of our readers will share their own thoughts about it as well.
1) Email Marketing
There are few (if any) ways to make money online which are more lucrative than email marketing. There are easier ways (though this can be easy), but none with quite the scope of opportunity. Product creation and marketing might come close, but I still think this one wins out for most people.
First, get a free 30 day Getresponse account with this promo code link, and make list building your priority. If this is your chosen method (and a lot of people have made a LOT of money with it) then you have to start on it right away, even before you think you have a full blog or finished website.
What happens a lot of times is that people forget that 1) it’s an exponential game, which obviously starts sloowwww. So starting now makes sense. And 2) that if you wait until you have a full website or blog then you may never get started because it frankly takes a lot of work. But you can start with an email list of 1, that’s how everyone else did it.
In email marketing you’re essentially cultivating a list of people who have an interest in the same specific niche that you’re marketing to. Now you can (and should) have multiple lists (in as many specific topics as you’d like), but the people on each list will have a very specific and narrow interest for which they joined your list.
If you had a list of 10,000 random people, how many do you think would buy a new WordPress plugin that you’re recommending to them? Now if that same list of 10,000 was made up entirely of affiliates, bloggers and the like, how many would you likely sell? Clearly you’ll get more sales with a targeted group on your lists.
The hows and whys of email marketing aren’t within the scope of this article, but in a nutshell you’ll employ several strategies to get people to “optin” (voluntarily subscribe to) your list. Perhaps you’ll use Solo Ads or advertisements with search engines or even Facebook and Twitter, but you’re end-game is the same…. offer people something that they would be interested in so that they join your list in order to get it. This could be a physical product or even information.
Once you have your lists you help them and share, offering tips and advice, and of course you also present your affiliate offers to them. That is the whole point of building lists… you have an audience of interested people at your disposal, compared to blogging where you 1) build a site, 2) write content, 3) hope that search engines will rank you high enough that people find you, and 4) that people like what you write and then maybe buy something from one of your ads or reviews.
However, it’s obvious that (in most cases) you need some type of information portal that serves as the hub for an email list. It might be a small blog or website, a niche forum, or maybe even just a social media page like Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.
It’s obviously better when you can present an offer directly to them, personally, via email. It is work building an effective list, but well worth it. And if you’re ethical then it’s great for everyone on your list, too, because you’re giving them valuable free content (PLR’s, software, etc…) and giving them the scoop on great tools they might otherwise have not known about.
Also, it’s true that you can do one or more of these methods at the same time. You might write professionally, have a blog and an email list, and maybe even dabble in drop shipping at the same time. But you’re money ahead if you give it all to one specific money-making method.
Now, somewhere, someone is calling foul because many of the different methods of earning income involve writing. In order to quell the fury I’ll qualify this as writing either for article directories, or for hire (freelancing). Blogging is listed on its own. Writing like this is the easiest because there’s very little else to concern yourself with other than writing.
I’ve mentioned elsewhere that in my opinion (Squidoo and) Hubpages is the last great site to write for. Note: Updating this to mention that Squidoo was sold to Hubpages and no longer exists… content and writers have migrated over to Hubpages, myself included. The other article directories have, for different reasons, lost their appeal for many.
That’s not to say they aren’t worth writing for (I still do on occasion), but that if you’re talking about the most bang for your time then the others fall short. Some of them no longer offer dofollow links (not a big deal, but still), some severely limit your outbound links, others have lost a lot of traffic or perceived authority, etc…
If you write compelling material, and optimize it smartly for search engines, then you stand a great chance of getting traffic to the articles you write, and thereby earning some income from affiliate sales. It’s not a lot, on a small-scale.
For example, I have a top ranked article at Squidoo (top 100) and I earn about $25 a month from that one article (month in, month out), including sales from traffic and Squidoo’s writer share. For the many others I have that get less traffic and aren’t in the top 3,000 (articles in the top 3,000 are in a higher payout share) I earn significantly less.
Note: After Squidoo sold to Hubpages I moved some of the articles to my own blogs, and the rest I moved to HubPages and still maintain my writing account there. You can still earn some money at HubPages in 2017, though not a huge amount unless you write a lot.
I only have 53 articles at the moment with HubPages. Some people take it seriously and treat writing for these sites as their primary source of income, and have hundreds of articles, and so I’m sure they’re earning a good amount. For me it’s about backlinks and traffic. Also, it depends on the subject of your article. My top-ranking article that I mentioned is a “how to” and so not as good for sales as a product review article.
However, I get a lot of traffic and backlinks from all of those articles which has helped a couple of my sites reach page one of search for their niche keywords, so it’s a big win in my opinion. If you could write one article a day for a full year (and do it fairly well) you might find yourself earning a decent and residual income just from those articles.
If you just love to write and want to freelance then I recommend you check out elance.com and sign up to promote your work. If you can write really well then you might be surprised at how well it pays. Freelancer.com and oDesk.com are two more sites which can be lucrative for good writers.
Also, I belong to a group which connects writers and buyers… check out http://www.online-writing-jobs.com/ and be sure to go to their Yahoo Group and subscribe (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/freelancewritingjobs/info)… it is SPAM FREE and she sends out a message once a week with all of the newest job offers (people looking for writers). It’s the best and free, little known secret for writers. Update: YahooGroup no longer active?
Alright, so this is the most common method of making money online. And it’s relatively easy. You can grab a quick and free blog at blogger.com or WordPress.com (and there are others, too) and simply start writing your optimized and compelling content (writing frequently is the key to rapid success). If you’re active and engage people on social networks you’ll find that you can build a real presence (and income) before you know it.
You can also take the more preferred route and set up your own domain and self-hosted WordPress blog. Like the other methods here, this isn’t meant to be a tutorial so in a nutshell you go to a place like NameSilo.com and buy a domain (yourname.com) and then find a good webhost like SiteGround. Once you have those you set up WordPress (which is free) on your host, and start blogging.
If you’re looking for a great way to start, or already have a blog but no income, I highly recommend you see why people hungry for online income are flocking to Wealthy Affiliate… their training success and methods are approaching legendary for newbies or veterans.
This one doesn’t get near the attention that many other methods do, though surprisingly there is a lot of money being made in this sector. Whether you’re good at web design or marketing, know about IT security or programming, you can find a lucrative job offering your skills and expertise. In fact, almost all skilled positions can make good money online at sites like Freelancer, oDesk and others.
Some creative people are even making good money doing quick, small jobs on Fiverr.com. But the smart money is at oDesk and Freelancer because you can book some pretty significant gigs and maybe even land some good industry contacts. Photographers, designers, artists… lots of people make money by leveraging and offering their skills.
5) Direct Or Product Sales
Here we’re talking about sites like eBay, Amazon and Etsy. There are a lot of different ways to go about this. Some people use drop shippers, others buy in bulk from wholesalers and liquidators, others shop local flea marketers, garage sales, Craigslist ads, etc… and then in turn list those items online for some amazing profits.
I know someone who waits for winter clearance at stores like JCPenney and buys normally expensive coats at really low prices, then stores them to sell for huge profits at the start of the next winter season. If you think $50 profit per coat and can get 100 of them in your town at various stores, you’ll see the potential for those who can scale this.
If you’re serious about tapping in to Amazon then grab this guide… it’s a really robust tutorial for getting started and doing it right. In general, these people who are killing it on Amazon look for amazing deals and then flip them. When done properly this can be an incredible new career… there are a lot of people making a lot of money doing it.
If you’re a crafty person and make things yourself, then open up your own online presence at Etsy.com and get started. You’ll find that it’s a very warm and inviting community and this is very good opportunity if you have unique or sought-after goods.
I would really like to hear from you… what do you think? Are these the best ways to make money online? Are there others that I didn’t list which newbies should consider? Did I not go in to enough detail? Chime in…