First Published: October 15, 2013; Last Updated: Monday, December 22, 2014
I hate to write “make money online” blog posts as it creates a sense of expectation. If you are a blogger, an internet marketer, or even a beginner then you already know that it is POSSIBLE to make money online.
What’s interesting is that, there are plenty of ways to make money online — from selling ads, e-books, affiliate marketing, freelance writing, podcasting, consulting, designing, coding, etc.
The idea of this blog post is to highlight some of those online income streams. Please don’t expect overnight success. The thing is, creating an income stream online requires a lot of work, patience, and some money too.
If you are a beginner and is absolutely clueless about where to start then this blog post should help you to kick-start (and that’s the idea too). If you have any trouble with any of these options, leave a comment below or you can email me, and I will do my best to find the best resource to help you.
Make Money Online With Your Website
Do you have a website or a blog? If yes, then selling advertisements is the easiest way to make money online. Since there are tons of ad networks on the Internet, make sure that you choose the best ad network to maximize the revenue.
If you can create your own products then it’s the best way to make money because that way you’re actually building a passive income stream online. You can use your own blog or website to market your products so that people will buy it when they’re convinced.
Advertising networks can be Cost Per Click (CPC), Cost Per Mille (CPM), or Cost Per Action (CPA). A Cost Per Click network pays you each time a user clicks on your ad and the actual amount you’ll get is determined by the advertiser. Now a Cost Per Mille network or simply a Cost Per Impression network pays for every 1,000 page views that you generate. If they pay $1 for every 1,000 page views, then you’ll get $30 if the number of page views a month is 30,000.
Now I’m going to list some of the popular ad networks in each category. If you’re looking for a comprehensive list then check out 24 Google AdSense Alternatives for more CPC and CPM networks and also check out the Top 10 Affiliate Networks for more CPA networks.
Cost Per Click (CPC) Ad Networks
Cost Per Mille (CPM) Ad Networks
- Advertising.com (by AOL.com)
- Burst Media
- Casale Media
- Technorati Media
- Tribal Fusion
- ValueClick Media
In-Image Ad Networks
Pop Under Ad Networks
Cost Per Action (CPA) Affiliate Networks
Cost Per Sale (CPS) Affiliate Networks
Sell Ads Directly To Advertisers
You can always sell ads directly when someone wants to buy a banner ad, or text links, or even a sponsored post on your blog. But if you’re not lucky enough then you have to become a part of a bigger network where you can showcase your ad inventory.
Automated Affiliate Marketing
You have a website or a blog which is getting good targeted traffic but don’t know how to monetize it? Then you can try the following automated affiliate marketing networks. It converts all the normal links in your website to affiliate links and you make money when clicks result in sales or leads.
So by joining these networks you’ll get access to thousands of affiliate programs without applying individually and you don’t have to manage any affiliate programs or links or anything as they offer a centralized reporting as well.
- Cloudswave Affiliate Network — is a white label affiliate program by Cloudswave that lets you promote over 150 business software deals — with a single affiliate account. Here’s a sample store.
In-house Affiliate Programs
If you like a product then obviously you write about it, tweet about it, and tell your friends, right? Now how about getting paid for that? That’s right! If you check the websites of most Internet companies (others too) then you can find their affiliate program.
So, you can use the affiliate links while promoting their products and they’ll pay you for referring new customers to them. They may have their own in-house affiliate program, or one that is managed by an affiliate network, or both.
…and much more.
Bloggers: Sell Text Links & Sponsored Posts
If you have a good quality website then advertisers will try their best to buy a text link or a sponsored post from you. But wait, selling text links is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and they may ban your website from its search results unless the links are rel=”nofollow”.
Sell Text Links
Sell Sponsored Posts
Join Ad Networks For Bloggers
- BlogHer (for Women bloggers)
- Foodie Blogroll (for food blogs)
- Written — license your content and make money.
Start A Newsletter
If you have loyal traffic, it’s a good idea to start a newsletter so that you can engage with your readers in a more friendly way. And it’s also one of the best way to market your products since people usually don’t buy your product when they first visit your website/blog for the first time.
- MailChimp — design and send email marketing campaigns.
Note: You can start an online newsletter even if you don’t have a popular blog or website. For instance, if you’re able to give expert advice or opinions about a topic, you can start a daily/weekly/monthly newsletter and create a simple blog to build email lists. And you can monetize your newsletter as you grow — by say, offering premium services or promoting a product.
Are You A Freelance Writer?
Content is King on websites. Content is often outsourced so if you have got good writing skills, you can make a living writing online. Here are some content marketplaces where you can sell your content.
- Digital Point
- ProBlogger Job Board
- BloggingPro Job Board
Are You A Professional Writer?
If you are a professional writer, you can contribute content to some of the top content provides like Yahoo, AOL, About.com, etc. and get upfront payment.
Are You A Graphic/Web Designer?
- Design Contest
- Freelancer Contests
- Freelancer Marketplace
Make Money Sharing & Creating Videos
- YouTube Partner Program — Upload videos on YouTube and make money from ads.
- Break — You can earn up to $600 if your Video is featured on Break.com homepage.
- Dailymotion Publisher — Share Dailymotion videos on your website, blog and social profiles and get a share of their advertising revenue.
- Dailymotion Official — Upload videos on Dailymotion to earn advertising revenue. And you earn extra revenue when those videos are shared on your own websites, blogs, social profiles, or any third-party websites.
- Vimeo — Make money sharing videos on Vimeo.
Click Photos? Sell Your Photos & Graphics!
Like To Do Micro-jobs?
Now you can offer your micro service online and get paid for it. You post what you’re willing to do for $5 or even $50 and get paid when you deliver the work. It’s that simple!
Have A Skill?
Try any of the following freelance marketplaces to find freelance jobs or to sell your service. You can become a virtual assistant, manage the social media profiles of a company/person, design a website, design a logo, offer writing or translation service, develop a software, design a website, develop a web application, etc.
Offer Expert Advice
- Clarity.fm — If you’re an expert in some field and can give expert advice, you can charge advice seeking users by the minute.
Be A Tutor
Be A Tester
- UserTesting.com — UserTesting.com pays you up to $15 per test to evaluate websites’ usability and clarity.
- uTest — uTest compensates testers for approved reports they submit.
Sell, Sell, Sell
Today, online marketplaces are extremely popular and you can sell almost anything online.
Sell Your Domain Names
Sell Your Websites
Sell Everything Else
- Etsy — Sell all things handmade, vintage, and supplies.
- Quirky — Got an innovative idea? You can sell it on Quirky and make money.
Create An Online Store
Create an online story by yourself and start selling your own products.
Love Stock Market?
- Robinhood — lets you trade U.S. stocks for free on your iPhone.
BONUS: The Remora Method
The “Remora Method” is a name coined by James Clear of Passive Panda. He explains that there is a fish called “remora” that’s different from other fishes in the ocean.
Most fishes are always in search of food and can be attacked by one of its predators. Remora has a special fin on its back that allows remora to stick itself to large fishes like sharks (known as a host).
The host provides remora with transportation, protection and the food it needs. And in exchange, remora cleans the bacteria and other parasites from the host.
This mutually beneficial relationship allows the remora to avoid the struggles that most fish deal with on a daily basis. And within the remora’s strategy is a key insight that successful people use to boost their income…
James’ idea is that you can partner with a business (or even an individual) in a similar fashion to earn an extra income. He says: choose a profitable idea, find a business who will need your product or service, partner with that business and share profits.
He also recommends diversification by partnering with more businesses so as to create multiple income streams online (or even offline). You can check out the “Remora Method” to learn more about it.
Of course, there are hundreds of other ways to make money online. But like I have already mentioned, the idea of this blog post is to explore different opportunities so that you can decide where to focus on.
I haven’t included the not so easy ways to make money online like selling your apps or music or movies on iTunes, Google Play Store, Windows Store, Amazon etc.
Let me know if I missed your favorite website (or an online income stream) and I will be happy to feature it here. :)
Image Credit: Flickr