I’m sure you’ve heard of a bunch of ways to make money online, whether it be this program or that website. But are they really all that different or can making money online be broken down into it’s core components?
This is what this post is all about, I’m going to share with you what I think are the 5 basic ways to make money online, any method that you come across should fall into any one of these 5 categories.
You might be asking, “Why is this important?“
Think about it this way, when you start studying in school, you always start with the fundamentals like basic mathematics, you don’t straight up get taught partial differential equations do you? It makes no sense because that is too deep and too specialized in a sense.
Making money online follows the same theory, a lot of people go deep into a very specific method like e-mail marketing, without first trying to understand the basics ( this was the case with me when I found a course about e-mail marketing ).
I’m not saying that you’ll fail, but it will be difficult since you won’t know what’s going on and that can be dangerous if it requires a significant initial investment, so why not follow the easier route?
1. Online Marketing
The first ( and probably most popular ) way to make money online is online marketing, this can be anything from SEO to being a pro at using ads to generate leads.
The basic idea is that you get potential customers, from point A to point B, where A is where they currently are and B is where you want them to complete an action, whether it be a sale, a sign-up or just some basic contact info.
Online marketing is all about targeting a certain group of people within the market because you have a potential solution to their problem or you have something that they want. Essentially you are helping people get to their solutions.
In my opinion there are 2 ways you can achieve this, or rather 2 different resources that you can spend to achieve this – time or money. There is no way around it. With methods like SEO, you don’t spend any money ( not much anyway ) but your efforts will take months to get you the results you want.
Paying to advertise your product or a similar strategy would mean that you are using money to make money, of course this will have an immediate effect and if you’ve done your demographics right it will generate a positive income for you.
Neither way is better than the other, I would recommend you try both since different methods will suite different people.
There are so many different channels and ways that you can explore, like social media marketing or e-mail marketing, not to mention the different places you can put up your ads. With that said, it does take time to master this skill but when you do, it will most certainly pay off.
2. Selling products
We’ve all seen websites like Amazon or ebay, they sell tons of products. Did you know that you can do that too?
The next basic way to make money is simply to sell a product online. There are different models to achieve this like drop shipping or Amazon FBA.
Remember you are selling actual products, so the gist of it is that you need to get a supplier, and we all know the best place for that don’t we? – Alibaba or Aliexpress ! The idea is basically to get the goods from a supplier, and sell it online. You are acting as the middle man here ( or middle woman ).
Selling your own products can be fun in it’s own way, if you have your own cool or innovative idea. However, there is the hassle of storage or shipping and payment or other stuff.
This is why drop shipping is a pretty good model, you only order from your suppliers when someone orders the product from your website. Of course by doing this the product will take like a month to reach your customer. As for Amazon FBA you order the stuff in bulk in advance, send it to Amazon and have them do the shipping and customer service for you, which is crazy fast and efficient.
Again, one model isn’t strictly better than the other, each has their own pros and cons. To sell your own physical product, you don’t necessarily have to design or come up with something on your own, the simplest way to do it is just getting the goods directly from the manufacturer without any modifications and just sell it.
Of course if you want something better, you can do some customization ( like changing the material or thickness ), most manufacturers will be able to do this.
Also, the cool thing is you can design and add your own logo or graphics on to the product ( swag ~ ).
*Andrei asked a very good question below which I believe the answer could benefit everyone, hence I’m answering it here as well :
“Why won’t the customer go to the Amazon website in the first place uhmm? And what if he would request a refund?”
He is asking with regards to Amazon FBA which is fulfilment by Amazon. The thing is you don’t buy products from Amazon and sell them, you list your products on Amazon itself. You always get your products from the manufacturers. The reason it is called fulfilment by Amazon is because they help you deal with shipping, customer service as well as refunds.
3. Content creation
This probably my favourite one on this list, probably because this is what I’m trying to do as well.
So what is content? Think YouTube, blogging or even Twitch. The superstars on these platforms have a lot of fans because of their content, like videos or blog posts.
This is what I mean by content creation, you make money off the stuff you create, and don’t mistake this for a digital product, I’m not talking about that. If you think about it watching YouTube or reading a blog is free, the creators aren’t selling anything, they simply post out great stuff that people enjoy to grow their fan base.
But how do they make money?
One very obvious way to make money is simply by getting donations. If you haven’t already you can try watching Twitch streamers, every minute or so you will see a name popping up and the streamer will thank them for donating or subscribing ( If you can’t tell I love watching gaming streams ). Of course with YouTube of blogging you have the option of enabling ads to make money.
The cool thing about this way of making money is that, if you have sometime to give, a talent or a passion you will enjoy this. Look at those guys on YouTube like PewDiePie or NigaHiga, they started out with YouTube because of passion ( I particularly enjoyed PewDiePie’s story ).
You can also take some music creators as an example, some of them started out on YouTube but eventually grew to having their own concerts.
You will need some recording equipment to do this, it doesn’t matter how good or how funny your videos are, if the recording quality is un-watchable no one will be interested. So I would say you do need a small amount of investment to do this.
Well you can try out blogging which is pretty cheap to start, but with the downside of not being able to show off your talents as clearly, like making jokes.
I’m sure everyone is familiar with stock trading. When we talk investing this is what comes to mind right? ( this isn’t actually true but this will be a post for another day ).
So trading is basically anything that has to do with buying low and selling high, it is just that simple. While stock trading is the most popular, there are other things you can buy and re-sell as well, like domain names or websites ( domain flipping is actually a thing go look it up ).
Sadly I don’t have much experience with this way of making money ( the closest I’ve got to this is playing the market on an online game ), but the secret is just to know the actual value of the item you want to flip.
Take Warren Buffet for example, his trick is to look at the financial statement of the target company and sort of “appraise” it, if the current price of that company’s stocks are lower than what he valued the company at he will buy the stocks.
A word of caution though, if you go in trading with a buy and pray the price goes up attitude you will most probably fail. When it comes to making money we are not playing the lottery here, there are skills and knowledge that you need to gain before being able to succeed, even when it comes to trading.
5. Getting an actual online job
The last basic way to make money is simply, to get another job online. There is nothing much to say about this method, really you just get paid based on the work you do for someone else.
Most online jobs don’t really require any particular skill, like transcribing or being an assistant. Although there is the category of freelance jobs on fiverr or upwork, in which case you are taking on jobs based on your particular expertise for money.
I would also categorize sites like Swagbucks or doing surveys as an online job. If you think about it you are basically working as a reviewer of some sorts.
You might consider getting an online job if you need money, and fast. The other methods here require time to build up your skills so you won’t make anything immediately. Then again, the pay is usually pretty bad if you compare online jobs to an actual part time job.
So we’ve listed 5 basic ways to earn money. Now what’s next?
Well what you should know is that the methods stated above can be used hand in hand to create your own unique business plan to make money online.
Content creation can be paired with online marketing if you use affiliate links in your website or video. If you advertise your own physical product you are effectively combining online marketing with selling physical products.
Really, the possibilities are endless. But what I want you to take away from this post is that, making money online isn’t hard. The basics are really just the same, just in a different form or a different channel. This is why I think breaking things down this way and focusing on the basics are where you should start, once you’ve done that I’m sure you can easily make a living from home.
If you have an opinion or a question you’d like to share do leave a comment below,