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 that I send over to the companies that email me, based on my traffic, DA (domain authority) and social media reach.
I’ve never pitched any brands for collaboration, but I know that many do! I’d recommend setting up a ‘media kit’, a 1-2 page PDF containing all the important information that brands will want to see. This includes:
- 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
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!
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 / website etc.) then 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 the Ultimate Pinterest Course. I studied and implemented her strategy, and have been amazed by the results so far. You can get the course here (affiliate link).
I now earn a significantly higher amount each month, a total of £200 so far.
Once I reach 50,000 sessions per month, I’ll be applying for Mediavine, another ad program, that enables website owners to earn more. I’m on 30,000 so far!
If you’re getting started with blog / website monetisation, Google Adsense is very easy to set up, and 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 if you have one, and charge a specific rate per month. This will depend on your traffic, and it’s worth doing a bit of research to see the standard rates. 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 an anomaly, 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!).
So far, I’ve earned over £250 with Prolific, which is easily withdrawn into my PayPal account.
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!
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! These 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!
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, and add an affiliate link.
Amazon Associates also have an Influencer Program, meaning you can set up your own ‘Storefront’, to send your followers / visitors to a specific page featuring your recommended products.
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.
Ultimate Bundles has my favourite affiliate program. I really enjoy working for them, and learning from all 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 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 become an affiliate for a brand or product you truly enjoy and use. Writing honest reviews, and sharing your results, whether this be from an online course you took, or a skincare product, will 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’ll write more blog posts about these ventures after I’ve given them a chance to succeed and worked hard.
That concludes 5 Ways I Make Money Online… Best of luck!
Hit me up on Twitter @InternetWages if you have any questions.