Whether it’s an important consumer application, a specialist app to solve a particular niche problem, or even a time-wasting game you can play on your phone, you can create a massively successful business if you build software that helps people. (Look at the rise of Slack—the team communication software that went from side project to billion-dollar company in just 2 years.)
You may have heard of ClickBank, one of the oldest and most popular affiliate networks. A billion-dollar company, ClickBank specializes in digital products like e-books and software, as well as membership sites. If you are comfortable selling information and don’t want the management and administration hassles of “real” businesses, this may be a good starting point. Its commissions can be anywhere from 10% all the way to 75%.
Are you a highly organized multitasker who’s good at meeting deadlines? Working as a virtual assistant may be a good way to put those skills to use to help you make money from home. You may be asked to use administrative skills to assist an executive or a team with managing schedules, travel, phone calls, email, and records and accounting maintenance. You’ll need top-notch communications skills to work in this fast-growing field, and related past experience as a virtual assistant helps.
You can create your blog using a free platform from WordPress.org, but you’ll need to pay a small amount – as little as $4 per month – to have your blog hosted. Try GoDaddy.com, which can provide a domain name for your site, email addresses, database storage and other Web hosting services. To make money, you can use the free Google AdSense service to display advertisements on your site. The amount you’re paid varies by ad and usually depends on how many people see it. There's also what's called affiliate marketing, in which you earn a commission (usually less than 10%) whenever someone clicks on an ad on your site and purchases a product. The Amazon Associates affiliate program allows you to advertise the retailer’s products on your site, or try affiliate networks such as CJ Affiliate or ShareASale that work with thousands of companies. Depending on how much time you put into your blog and how many people visit it, you could be making a few hundred dollars each month within a year.
Are there related affiliate partners? Remember that list of 30 products mentioned above? You need to see if you can find companies, called affiliate partners, which will pay you to promote those types of products through your blog content. Researching this up front is a key factor in deciding if your niche can be profitable. We’ll explore ways to find affiliate partners in Step Two below.
“All types of posts have affiliate potential,” says Formaro. “On Amanda’s Cookin’, we match appropriate cookware and even ingredients in some cases to the recipes we create and post. On my Crafts by Amanda site, we match crafting products to our do-it-yourself kids’ crafts and home decor projects. These affiliate links add value to readers and are great ways to monetize recipes and how-to projects.”
I founded this site back in 2007. I lost $50 to a data entry scam when I was still in college. I felt ripped off and had no recourse, but to suck it up and pull an extra shift delivering food to make ends meet.I setup this site so no one would have to go through the same experience I went through. I wanted to stop scam artists from preying on the vulnerable and help regular people learn the true, legitimate ways of making money online.
Multi-vendor marketplaces, like ThemeForest, can be very successful. Chose a niche and create a vendor website for it. Your marketplace could be anything, from a platform for local artists to sell their work on, to an online digital product store. Once set up, invite people in that industry to sell their products on your site. You take a percentage of their profits when items sell.
Test your ideas. The cool thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to build a website first to find out if your idea is viable. Instead, you can join affiliate networks, browse products that fall under your chosen niche, and conduct research to see if these products would “sell.” Find what is trending online to see what ideas would bring more money to the table.
When you promote a product you also promote the person or the company who is behind the product so try to choose wisely. You don’t want your visitors to go and buy a product following your advice then come back unhappy. Do you think that this visitor will come back to your site and take your advice again? Most likely no; this can hurt your credibility in the long run. Usually, websites/company that offer good customer service will have better customer satisfaction so try to stick with promoting their products.
Focus on the surveys and offers at the top of the list. Here's a tip not many people know. CashCrate has a special algorithm that automatically selects the best surveys and offers and places them at the top of the list. There are several factors that go into determining which are the “best”, including payout, approval rate, and a variety of other factors. But all you need to know is that these surveys and offers are great, so you can do them in confidence!
21. Facebook – Facebook swap shops are great for selling things locally. It’s like CraigsList, but a little easier. You simply search for swap shops in your area and ask to join the group. Once you’re in, take a picture of the item, write a quick description with the price and post it. It doesn’t get much easier than that. You can generally expect to get about what you would get at a yard sale, maybe a little more.
I’d stick with Amazon if I were you. All of my Amazon sites only have Amazon affiliate links. If you use Google Adsense display ads on your site, you’re literally taking people away from your site for the sake of just a few cents with these type of ads. If you direct them just to Amazon, then you have a greater chance of earning more money from that click.
I recently stumbled on the Trim app and I have to say, this one is a game changer. It’s a simple app that acts as your own personal financial manager. Once you link your bank to the app, Trim analyzes your spending, finds subscriptions you need to cancel, negotiates your Comcast bill, finds you better car insurance, and more. And of course, the app is free! My bet is that it will only take a few days for Trim to put an extra $100 in your pocket. So easy!
Craigslist: Craigslist is definitely the scrappiest of the major online resale options. The advantage of Craigslist is its enticing profit potential, thanks to the total lack of listing and selling fees for most items. The disadvantages are many, but include potential safety risks and higher chances of nonpayment. If you do choose Craigslist, keep your wits about you and use the buddy system.
If you worry that your readers won’t like the fact that you’re making money, I encourage you to shift your paradigm on this a bit. If someone provided valuable information to you, wouldn’t it be nice to reward them a bit? Maybe they taught you something. Maybe they saved you time for not having to search for the information themselves. Maybe they showed you some great uses for a product you were considering buying anyway. Whatever the case, if you’re providing affiliate links in an ethical way, no one should fault you for it.
Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which MoneyCrashers.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. MoneyCrashers.com does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.
Don’t just hope and pray that visitors will buy; setup everything correctly and make it happen! If you think that visitors will click on your affiliate links and buy just because you placed dozens of affiliate links on your website then you are wrong! You need to have a structured plan in place. Affiliate marketing is a business so you will have a much better chance of succeeding if you treat it like one.
Click the "get started now" button and let’s get started! (see above). Select a hosting plan that fits your needs. (Normally, if you are just starting out I recommend the basic plan but, if you are really serious about this and want more resources & power go with their Prime or Pro plan). Keep in mind, you can always upgrade your plan as you grow.
And while that may sound like a tall order, just remember that all you need to do to be unique is act like yourself as you write reviews or provide readers with blog posts and articles full of interesting information. The important part is to keep up the volume since the longer you wait between articles, the further your website will fall in the search engine rankings.
How established is your site/blog/social media following? Do you already have an audience of 1 million or are you just getting started? Early on in your affiliate marketing journey you will probably want to have multiple options to make sure you can cover a broad field. You might want to become an Amazon Associate as well as joining one of the networks so you will have a product link to drop into any posts you do. An easy place to start is to promote the services you are using if you are enjoying their product - web hosting or email management systems like Aweber.
Hi Henry. First off, thank you! I agree, relying on Google adsense to make money is tough especially if the traffic is not there. Affiliate marketing is definitely the way to go. I like to use Affiliate Marketing by writing about helpful products or courses. Show the value and then tell the readers why it can help them too. If the product/service can really help the reader they will more than likely make a purchase through your link. When looking for what affiliate programs you should apply to study your competition and use the tools in this article to see what links are affiliate links and consider applying for those programs. I had a couple of programs that did not accept me in the beginning but as my traffic increased I applied later and got accepted. So don’t get discouraged, just keep working on increasing your traffic so that you can apply again. I hope that helps.
Persistence and Commitment. You’ll need to have a good amount of persistence while pursuing freelance writing gigs. This business is subjective, and while one person may love your writing, another may not. Do your best to always produce good, solid copy and hold on to your commitment to do the best you can for your clients. Just by committing to do those two things, you’ll be miles ahead of your competition.
Is the space crowded? The exercise to spot influencers will help you judge how crowded your topic is. Some competition is fine, don’t let a few influencers with heavy followings discourage you. It’s highly unlikely you’ll stumble upon a topic that doesn’t have competition. However, if you see page after page of blogs in the search results, you’ll have a hard time breaking into the top search results, which can hamper your efforts and your profits.
You may NOT earn affiliate commissions on the following items: signing up for your own account, sales earned through PPC advertising for branded (Jungle Scout, Jumpsend, Fetcher, or Jungle Market etc.) search terms, or coupon/discount style sites. We reserve the right to make the final decision whether a commission falls into one of these categories. Any affiliates found breaking these terms will be permanently banned and any pending commissions will not be paid out.
Hey Tiffany, how are you today? This is an excellent guide and I love all the information! It’s true many people who have blogs have no idea about affiliate marketing and it’s potential, but there is so much money to be made from affiliate marketing it’s unreal. One tip I could give is people who are building up blogs should get into affiliate marketing earlier! Great post, have a great day… thanks for the great information!
Easy management: All marketing tools and affiliate links are provided by the merchant. You never have to bother creating banners, links and all that. You only have to use what has been provided by the merchant. Also, you do not have to handle orders, ship any inventory, or deal with the customer. The merchant handles all that, so you are only focused on promoting the offers to your audience.
Creating and selling courses on your blog can be a successful way to make money online. The course itself should be relevant to your blog, and based on a topic that will benefit your audience. Although it may take time to create the course in the first instance, once completed, you can then repeatedly make money from the course each time you sell it.
I could have promoted WP Engine (hosting company) for $200/sale with no tier program to climb – sounds pretty good right? But when I checked ShareASale I saw their reversal rates were 24%! Just to give you an idea SiteGround’s reversals are less than 10%. WP Engine starts at $29/month while SiteGround’s is $3.95/month, plus SiteGround has a better reputation. I had to climb a tier program to higher commissions with SiteGround, but it paid off long-term.
The music industry might not be as strong as it was in the 80s, but there are still plenty of ways to make money online as a musician. Sites like SoundBetter let you sell your services as a songwriter, producer, or session musician to thousands of customers a month. While Musicbed, Music Vine, Marmoset, and SongFreedom are perfect for licensing your music to TV shows, movies, and web series.
Tip 20. Learn New Things Rise Above the Competition. There’s always competition out there and there’s no better way to make people notice you than rising above the rest. This can be as simple as releasing a new hot article every week about the trending things in your market, or it could be just as easy as truly helping people with their desires and needs. Showing people you’re on the forefront of the market will allow you to be the go to source for their needs and wants.
Companies need people with all different levels of technical ability to test out their websites, apps and social media offerings. Sign up with one of these website usability testing companies and take on quick jobs surfing the web and playing with new apps. It’s not a career, but it is an easy way to make extra money from home. The only thing to keep in mind is that this won't likely be a steady gig, just occasional. Learn more about website testing.
You’ve probably heard the overused term “pivot to video” at some point, which is both a joke about and an acceptance of the fact that many publishers are pushing their resources into video. Video advertisements are more expensive to buy than banner ads because they lead to higher click-through rates, which means a business can potentially make a lot more money through video than through other forms of content. So, if you can create great videos that make people want to watch and that drive ad revenue or subscriptions back to a website, you can become a very valuable asset.
Market your course: The beauty of using a course to make money online is that you can continue to sell it for as long as you’d like. Look for niche communities on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Reddit that might benefit from your content. Guest post on relevant blogs and sites. Look for anywhere you might be able to get in front of the right people. With just a few hours a month you can continue to generate sales.
The first follows the startup path we outlined above: You have a disruptive idea for an app or piece of software, you validate the idea with real customers, and then raise money to hire developers or a development studio to build, launch, and scale your software. If you’ve done everything right, your software will be accepted to the Apple and Google Stores and you’ll make money every time someone downloads it or pays for a premium feature.
For more business-starting resources, please take a look at our business planning mobile apps. Here is the iOS business plan app and here is the Android business plan app. Additionally, here is the iOS fundraising app. And here is the Android fundraising app. And here are our business apps on the Kindle. And here is an article where I give the argument that our Android apps are the best business apps on Android.
As far as Poker goes (at least for Texas Hold’em), I’d recommend sitting at a low stakes table (1/2 no-limit is the lowest most places have) and merely being observant/make casual conversation at the table for a while until you feel comfortable. If you’ve never played, just tell the dealer and they’ll be happy to help you out (most players will notice if you haven’t played before anyways so you’re not really at a loss there). Just play “tight” (a small range of strong starting hands) and that’s a pretty good place to start!
If you have graphic design skills then you could make money online by creating and selling your own design elements, like templates, fonts, graphics, and other assets. This is a great way to earn extra money and build up a portfolio of work, which could lead to you picking up freelance graphic design jobs. Websites like Envato Elements pay you a fee per element sold, which can become quite profitable if your work is popular.
Food. The second word in “Bed and Breakfast” is just as important as the first. Some B&Bs have tried to serve their guests muffins, juice, and coffee in the mornings, but the most successful hosts understand that the breakfast they serve will make a lasting impression on their guests. You can get creative and serve the type of breakfast traditional for the area that you’re in. For instance, if your home is located in the South, then eggs, grits, and biscuits may go over well, while Southwest guests may appreciate a traditional Tex-Mex meal. Whatever you decide, make it memorable and make sure that your guests feel welcome and appreciated. Make it memorable, and they’ll spread the word for you.
I honestly think some of us just have non-buying audiences. Some of that may be a matter of how or what we write but some of it might just be the niche. There are some niches that seem to just go hand-in-hand with spending money — home décor, for instance. My niche is largely broke moms from large, single-income families. They don’t HAVE money to spend if it’s not on essentials. So there’s got to be a balance, I think, between recognizing what we could do differently to improve conversions, and recognizing the reality of our audiences.
If you have a knack for organization, you can make money online as a virtual assistant helping people to keep their days in order. A virtual assistant will do everyinthing from bookkeeping to research, database entry, booking travel, and managing email. It can also be an awesome way to rub shoulders with some very important people, build up your professional network, and of course grow another stream of income. You can find great gigs on UpWork, Fiverr, Indeed, and Remote.co.
Marketing. When operating as a consultant, you won’t necessarily be marketing your company; you’ll be marketing yourself. You’ll have to “package” yourself in a way that makes people trust you. For instance, if you’re marketing yourself as a financial consultant, ask yourself why someone would trust you with their life savings, and then figure out a way to convey that to potential clients. It might be in the form of a brochure, a portfolio, a sales letter, or all three.
I come from an unsuccessful background of web design/SEO. I blogged because I knew it was good for SEO, but my articles didn’t monetize. I took a leap of faith and dropped my clients to figure out blogging/affiliate marketing. I was good at website speed optimization and knew hosting was the #1 factor. After some research, I saw SiteGround was #1 in most Facebook polls and had a great reputation with generous affiliate commissions. So I wrote tutorials on website speed… how to configure WordPress cache plugins, hosting reviews, and other speed-related topics. Usually near the end of a post I would say “Oh, here’s why you should switch to SiteGround” with evidence on why they’re the best… polls, tweets, load time improvements, etc. That’s when things got good. Now I have 0 clients and the freedom to do live my life. I wrote this tutorial because I’m actually excited to help people do the same – without the BS.
Once you’ve gathered a list, put together a template outreach email (as you’ll be doing this over and over) that’s short and clear with expectations. Tell your potential interviewee who you are, what your podcast is about, and what you’re asking of them. Do a few test interviews with friends and family to make sure everything is being recorded at the quality you want and then book your first episode.
Yes is the short answer. Any time you are planing on generating money, you should have a plan. No plan means no real focus. There may be some 1/1000 percent of a chance you will succeed, but I haven't met them yet. If you have already started and have generated an income, record how. Doing so will give you material for use in expanding your business faster.