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So, you want to make money online? It’s honestly easier than you think, whether you’re looking to monetise your skills, social media, blog… or if you’re starting from scratch.
In this blog post, I’ll be going through 5 ways I make money online, and how much I make. It’s not enough to live off (yet), but I’m getting there.
5 Ways I Make Money Online
1. Sponsored Blog Posts + Guest Posts
The largest portion of my blog income comes from brand collaborations.
I have a standard rate I send to the companies that email me, based on my traffic, DA (domain authority) and social media reach. Sometimes I get offered more, sometimes less. The key is to negotiate! Also, take into consideration what the brand is asking for before offering a flat rate. Anything additional, e.g. photography rights or a high word count should cost more!
Where to find sponsored blog post opportunities?
- I often use GetBlogged, a website that connects brands with bloggers. They provide many opportunities to apply for.
- There are also plenty of blogging Facebook Groups – they’re worth joining!
- Browse the Twitter hashtags #bloggerswanted and #bloggerrequest.
- Make sure your blog email address is easy to find on your website. Set up a ‘work with me’ page, and create a ‘media kit’. This is a 1-2 page PDF containing all the important information that brands will want to see, e.g. your stats.
Your Media Kit Should Include:
- Sessions + Unique Viewers per month.
- Followers on your blog, email list subscribers, and social media followers.
- Engagement rates on social platforms.
- Niche / Audience demographics.
- Previous work examples.
Sometimes a company will be very upfront about what they would like to offer for a blog post, or a PR will send you their budget. In this case, I’ve sometimes been offered more than I usually charge!
A highlight for me in 2020 was getting offered £300 for an Instagram photo. I have less than 2000 followers on Instagram. Yep, micro-influencing is a thing. Since then, I’ve been charging separately for all Instagram collaborations. I no longer automatically include Instagram promotion for every sponsored blog post.
If a brand offers significantly less than you’d expect, or they need additional work (high word counts, videos, rights to reproduce your photographs for their marketing campaigns etc.), consider if it’s worth your time.
In these circumstances, I’ve found that many will understand and offer more after you explain your usual rates. Sometimes, they won’t. I politely decline and let them know I’m open to future collaborations.
Google Adsense has been hit and miss for me, and I ended up removing it from my blog before I started reaching higher traffic. For me, it wasn’t worth earning pennies.
This all changed when I learned how to use Pinterest to drive huge levels of traffic to my blog. This is all thanks to the brilliant Emily Dyson, who created Big Pin Energy. I studied and implemented her strategy, and have been amazed by the results so far. You can get the ebook here.
In November, I switched my ad provider to Ezoic. My monthly ad revenue is double the rates I got from Adsense, and fewer ads are shown on my site. I’m earning $60 a month from Ezoic ads at the moment. You need 10,000 monthly sessions in order to apply.
When I reach 50,000 sessions per month, I’ll be applying for Mediavine. This is another ad network, known for paying well!
If you’re getting started with website monetisation, Google Adsense is very easy to set up. Their ‘auto-ads’ can place the adverts for you, in the best places to be seen.
Alternatively, you could personally sell advert space on your website. Set up a specific area, perhaps in your sidebar, then charge a specific rate per month. This will depend on your traffic, and it’s worth doing a bit of research to see what other bloggers charge.
I used to sell small sidebar ads on Fiverr, because it’s an easy-to-use platform where customers can find you.
3. Research Studies with Prolific
I don’t know if I’m strange, but I really enjoy participating in research, particularly if it helps universities!
Prolific is much better than your standard ‘survey site’, and it’s the only one I’d recommend personally. The platform is clean, easy to use, and I make decent money from it.
The studies are varied – some have included games, fun experiments, challenging mind puzzles, and I even took a study on hypnosis (yes, I was hypnotised by a PhD student!).
Since 2019, I’ve earned over £350 on Prolific. The money is easily withdrawn into my PayPal account. Plus, I had fun while doing the studies!
I’m not what they call an ‘eBay flipper’, but you could be!
Check out local thrift stores, Facebook marketplace, or just anything you have lying around your house and list it on eBay. Do some research to see what similar items typically sell for, and don’t forget to account for shipping costs as well as eBay / PayPal fees.
Take clear, bright photographs!
When I’m in need of extra cash, or decide to clear out my wardrobe, eBay is where I go!
Recently I’ve been clearing out my wardrobe and selling some old books from my university course. I’ve made over £250 in 2020 just from selling things I don’t need.
5. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is where you earn a commission if someone purchases a product or signs up for a service using your specific tracking link.
There are many affiliate programs out there, probably including some of your favourite brands!
Here are the ones I use frequently and earn money from:
Did you know that Gumroad isn’t only for selling your own digital products?
You can become an affiliate for any Gumroad product, providing the creator is happy to add you!
Even better, they can set their own commission rates. A higher rate is definitely motivating for us affiliate marketers!
I have some free printables and fonts available on my Gumroad. Sometimes people leave tips, which is lovely!
The thing I like most about Amazon Associates is that it fits pretty much any niche. No matter what you’re reviewing or promoting on your blog, you’re likely to be able to find it on Amazon, then add an affiliate link.
Amazon Associates also have an Influencer Program, meaning you can set up your own ‘Storefront’, to send your followers or blog visitors to a specific page featuring your recommended products. Here’s my Storefront if you want inspiration! I mostly feature my favourite books, these tend to sell well.
The ‘Bounty Program’ is what I typically focus on, because they pay more, and often the customer doesn’t even need to buy anything. For example, you get a flat-rate commission on free 30-day trials for Amazon services, including Prime, Prime Video, Audible and more.
Note: Amazon Associates does have specific rules you must follow, make sure to read up on these if you join.
I’m also part of a similar program with Skillshare, where I earn a commission if people sign up for their free trial. I’ve written about some of my favourite Skillshare classes here if you want to find out more.
Ultimate Bundles is my favourite affiliate program. I really enjoy working for them. I’ve learned a lot about affiliate marketing from the brilliant resources they make available to affiliates.
Anyone can join Ultimate Bundles, and will be paid a 40% commission rate. Even better, they provide free promotional graphics you can use on social media, in emails, or on your website to promote their products.
What do Ultimate Bundles sell?
Digital product bundles, including resources, courses, printables and workbooks… all based around a specific theme, often up to 98% off compared to purchasing separately.
If you’re a digital creator, you can earn a 70% commission rate to include one of your resources in a bundle.
The main tip I have for affiliate marketing is to become an affiliate for a brand or product you truly enjoy and use.
Write honest reviews, and share your results! This can be from an online course you took, a skincare product, a book… provide the ‘social proof’ a customer is looking for.
There are more than 5 ways I make money online, but these have been the most profitable for me.
I’ve been working on a few other side hustles recently, particularly during the COVID-19 quarantine, as I cannot work at my day job! I even started selling illustrated greetings cards…
I’ll write more blog posts about these ventures after I’ve given them a chance!
That concludes 5 Ways I Make Money Online… Best of luck!
I’m on Twitter @InternetWages if you have any questions.
Em from InternetWages.
P.S. Check out the InternetWages Library for more Side Hustle blog posts, and online money-making ideas.
P.S. Did you find my blog through Pinterest? I bet you did! Big Pin Energy is the ebook I studied to skyrocket my blog in 2020, it's the best investment I've made in my 6 years of blogging.