After covering some of the best short-term ways to make extra cash, it’s time to explore several long-term strategies to earn money online.
Unlike the previous section, the money-making ideas in the following list require some initial investment of time, and in some cases, money. Even so, they are worth considering if you want to expand your skills and work portfolio.
1. Start a Blogging Business
Blogging is an excellent way for avid writers to earn income. Many people start a blog to share insights, express views and establish brands. Some popular blogs are Say, Yes and Anywhere We Roam.
You can start a blog about any topic. Researching popular blog ideas can help you find a profitable niche. Some blog niche examples include travel blogs, food blogs, and book blogs.
The most common ways to make money blogging are through advertising, affiliate marketing, brand sponsorships, and selling products.
To have a profitable blog, find a niche and build your audience by consistently posting content. Implementing effective marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies is also important.
2. Join an Affiliate Program
Joining an affiliate marketing program is another excellent way to make money online.
Earn a commission as an affiliate by promoting products, services, or businesses on your platform. You’ll get a percentage of the profit when someone clicks on an affiliate link and completes a purchase.
Bloggers can make hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars through affiliate marketing. The exact earnings will depend on the number of affiliate programs they’re a part of and the blog’s readership size.
Make sure to join affiliate marketing programs that are suitable for your niche. For instance, if you have a blog dedicated to websites and technology, consider becoming an Interserver Affiliate.
Here are some of the most profitable affiliate programs to make money from:
- CJ Affiliate. A popular choice for affiliates with established platforms who wish to work with large and reputable brands.
- eBay Partner Network. A good starting point for all affiliate niches and levels, with commission rates ranging from 1-4%.
- Tripadvisor Affiliate Program. Perfect for affiliates within the travel industry. It offers publishers at least 50% of the commission received from its hotel booking partners.
- GetResponse Affiliate Programs. A platform offers one-time and recurring commissions for affiliates in the marketing niche.
Like any other business model, affiliate marketing requires trial and error. Some of the biggest mistakes to avoid in affiliate marketing are choosing the wrong niche, producing poor-quality content, and ignoring website performance.
If you are a business owner who wants to create an affiliate marketing program easily, consider using AffiliateWP. This WordPress plugin has handy features for affiliate management, such as an admin dashboard, real-time reporting, an integrated payouts service, and customizable emails.
3. Start an eCommerce Business
Selling products online is one of the best ways to make money. More brick-and-mortar stores are turning to eCommerce due to its advantages.
Besides having a broader market reach, eCommerce stores require lower startup costs. You’ll be able to save money on operational expenses since you won’t need different retail locations.
Thanks to the popularity of eCommerce platforms, creating an online store has never been easier. Picking the right platform is crucial because it will affect you and your customer’s overall experience.
Here’s a compilation of the four best eCommerce platforms for building your online store:
- Zyro. A beginner-friendly website builder offering free themes and numerous AI-powered tools to assist business operations.
- WooCommerce. An open-source eCommerce platform built for WordPress, WooCommerce provides all the necessary site functions to create your dream store.
- PrestaShop. This eCommerce software offers robust product management and analytics tools.
- Shopify. A popular option to create online business websites with built-in abandoned cart recovery and SEO tools.
When formulating a business plan, consider factors such as inventory, warehousing, packaging, and shipping.
Depending on your business model and operating locations, you may also need a business license. These may include registration certificates, local and federal permits, and a sales tax permit.
4. Start a Dropshipping Business
Dropshipping is a B2C business model where people sell products via an online store using a third-party supplier to process and fulfil orders. It’s easier than a standard eCommerce store since you don’t need to manage the inventory and shipping.
Starting a dropshipping store is similar to creating a regular online store – it involves choosing a niche and an eCommerce platform. The main difference is that drop shippers have to find the perfect supplier, too. Supplier quality can make or break the business.
To help you get started, here are some websites that help you connect with reliable suppliers:
- Spocket. Choose from thousands of suppliers worldwide and enjoy easy integration with platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify.
- Modalyst. Curate your online store with products from different global suppliers and use the platform’s profit calculator to set prices.
- SaleHoo. Browse through thousands of vetted suppliers in different product categories and explore its community forum for dropshipping tips and tricks.
5. Make Money Online by Creating Online Courses
The global eLearning market is projected to reach almost $400 billion by 2026. If you excel in a particular subject and enjoy curating learning material, it’s an excellent time to start selling online courses.
Digital courses come in different formats, from simple PDF downloads to videos. Popular online course topics include computer skills, health and wellness, business and entrepreneurship, finance and investing, and personal development.
There are two main ways to make money online by selling digital courses – by joining an eLearning platform or creating an eLearning website. The former is easier to do, but the latter provides more opportunities to experiment with different formats and monetization methods.
You can create an eLearning website with a WordPress LMS plugin. Then, sell courses as digital products or create a membership system to lock them behind a paywall.
If you want to try out a few eLearning platforms before creating an eLearning site, consider the following:
- Udemy. Provides courses, quizzes, coding exercises, and discussion forums on various topics.
- Skillshare. Excellent for selling courses on digital art and creative skills.
- Teachable. Create unlimited courses using any of its paid plans. Creators can also apply to have their courses and live events featured on Spotlight, an eLearning marketplace powered by Teachable and Hotmart.
- Podia. A platform for selling online courses, digital downloads, and membership subscriptions. Users can create standalone or drip courses. They can also group similar courses and market them as a bundle.
- Pathwright. A design, teaching, and learning platform for creating courses emphasizing active learning through actionable steps.
6. Create, Lunch and Make Money Online with a Membership Website
Creating a membership website is another excellent way of generating income online on a self-made platform.
Membership sites make money by selling access to exclusive content through subscription plans. With a tiered membership system, you can divide members’ privileges and determine which content they can access.
The subscription system creates a steady revenue stream as members have to renew their plans to maintain access privileges.
If you’re building a brand, a membership site can help foster a potential customer base for upselling.
When creating your own site, find inspiration from various niche membership websites. For example, Mark Manson and Magnetic Memory Method focus on self-improvement. Meanwhile, Smart Blogger offers tips on blogging and content writing.
After finding a niche that suits your interests, start developing the membership website. The easiest way to do this is with WordPress. Many useful membership plugins offer the tools necessary to create plans and accept transactions online.
7. Make Money Online on YouTube Channel
Running a YouTube channel is a popular way to make money online. As the largest video-sharing platform worldwide, it has an audience of 2 billion+ monthly active users.
There are multiple ways to earn money from a YouTube channel. The first step is signing up for the YouTube Partner Program to ensure you’re eligible for monetization.
YouTube allows many types of niche video content, from gaming reactions to daily vlogs.
To grow a YouTube channel, you must publish content consistently to generate views and build an audience base. Investing in a good camera and editing software can improve video quality and attract more viewers.
Don’t forget to practice YouTube SEO. This includes adding relevant keywords and tags to the video titles and optimizing video descriptions for search engines.
Aside from being a great way to make money online, starting a YouTube channel can benefit a brand. YouTube videos can generate leads and help redirect traffic to your website. Videos also offer a higher return on investment than static images, making them a great marketing tool.
In this article, we covered the Top 7 Ways of making money online. There are plenty of money-making ideas, so pick the most suitable one according to your financial situation, skills, and passion.
If you want to sell online, consider starting an online store if you have a limited budget, auction second-hand clothes, self-made designs, and stock photos. Alternatively, make money by adopting the dropshipping business model and sourcing products from a third-party supplier.
Professionals who want to monetize their skills can offer tutoring services and online courses. Web development, graphic design, content writing, and SEO are a few skills with high employment and salary rates.
Since not everyone can commit to a full-time job, freelance gigs may suit your preferences better. Try voice-over work, start a podcast, or become a streamer if you love engaging with an audience.
Alternatively, experiment with blogging and monetize the website with ads to generate passive revenue.
We are in a knowledge economy.