#1: Freelance Writing
If you have writing skills and creative talent, it’s also possible to get paid to create online content. I don’t do this as much as I used to, but I am very aware of how viable this income stream is.
One blogger I know, Holly Johnson, actually makes over $200,000 per year creating content for other websites. And actually, that’s on top of the six figures she earns with her blog, Club Thrifty.
Holly told me she started writing content in 2011. At the time, she still worked a full-time job but created content online part-time to supplement her income. Over time, she was able to double and triple her rates until she could quit her full-time job to write. These days, she makes bank as a freelance writer and teaches others to do the same via her online course, Earn More Writing.
According to Johnson, the key to making it as a freelance writer is figuring out a niche, networking with people who might hire you, and delivering high quality content 100 percent of the time. While there are a ton of writing job boards to help you get started, she says it’s fairly easy to find starter writing jobs on websites like Upwork.com.
#2: Sponsored Posts
If you have a website or a large social media following, you can also make money by pursuing sponsored posts and ads. But, how does this work? Basically, companies are willing to pay bloggers and social media influencers to promote their products and services. If you have a platform, be it a blog or a huge Instagram following, you can cash in.
The first time I got a sponsored post for Good Financial Cents, I was totally blown away. I think I got paid only $100, but that was a lot of money to me at the time. Later on, however, I realized companies that wanted a sponsored post really just wanted a link from my website to their own site. For that reason, I started increasing my rates.
These days, I charge around $4,500 for a sponsored post. Plus, I clearly mark all sponsored content as an #ad to stay in compliance with Google’s terms and conditions. I also only promote companies I use or believe in.
But, I also know bloggers that get $20,000 for a sponsored post. That’s pretty crazy, but it just goes to show what is possible.
Keep in mind though, you don’t need a website to do sponsored content since you can also get paid if you have a lot of social media followers. My wife has a pretty big Instagram following, and she gets all kinds of sponsorships. Not only does she get paid in cash, but we get a lot of free stuff, too. We’ve received free rugs, free lights, and free carpet cleaners. She only promotes things she loves though, so this strategy works really well for her.
Need more ideas on how to make money online? Another strategy is using webinars to market your product, service, or course. I’ve done webinars to promote my financial planning practice and to drum up interest in my online course for financial advisors. With a webinar, you’re basically offering a lot of tips and advice for free — usually in a live format. At the end though, you pitch your paid product or service with the goal of securing a few deals.
Professional speaker Grant Baldwin uses webinars to market his courses on public speaking, including Get Booked and Paid to Speak. While Baldwin offers plenty of free tips during his webinar, he offers his course at the end for people who want to pay to learn more. And, a lot of times, his sales pitch works.
No matter what you’re selling, it’s not that hard to set up a webinar and attract people to sign up with a lead magnet or Facebook ads. Heck, you can probably find a free webinar on how to create your first webinar if you look hard enough.
YouTube is another platform that has made it possible for people to earn money online. There are a ton of YouTube channels out there on any topic if you can think of, and most of the people with a big following are earning some money in exchange for their videos and time.
Marine officer turned men’s fashion expert, Antonio Centeno has built a million dollar business from his YouTube channel, Real Men Real Style.
Last year, Forbes profiled some of the biggest players in the YouTube scene. According to the study, the top ten biggest grossing YouTube stars brought in $127 million from June 2016 to June 2017. The most popular, a gamer named DanTDM, earned $16.5 million of that on his own.
Will you earn that much? Probably not. However, you can start making money via YouTube using the platform’s own ad network or by getting sponsored posts. If you like doing videos, starting a YouTube channel can a fun way to earn some cash on the side.
#5: Build an Online Community
Last but not least, you can also earn money online by building an online community, although the monetization strategies you can pursue will vary a lot depending on your goals. You can build a community with a blog, for example. You can also build an online forum and charge people for membership. You could even build up a Facebook group and use your influence there to sell and promote products.
My good friends Shane and Jocelyn Sams have become experts in building online communities. They have one right now for their website – Flipped Lifestyle. This community shows people how to create an online business and connects entrepreneurs who are pursuing similar dreams.
Prior to that group, they had an online community for teachers looking for lesson plans. That probably sounds pretty random, but it’s crazy the type of communities you can build and rally people around. If it’s something that you’re passionate about yourself and you want to connect with others that have that same passion, then an online community is something you should definitely consider.
The Bottom Line
There are a ridiculous number of ways to make money online and the ones I’ve covered here are just the tip of the iceberg. If you have time, a passion for almost anything, and at least some creative skill, you may be able to build an online income stream — or several — if you give it enough time.
But, don’t just take my word for it. If you look online, you’ll find thousands of success stories you can use for inspiration.
One day you could even create a success story of your own. But you’ll never know unless you try.