When it comes to earning money on the Internet, there are so many methods to choose from that it can be hard to know where to begin.
Here is a narrowed down list of best legitimate or legal ways to make or earn money online with a short summary and pros and cons for each method.
There are many stories of people making their first dollar online via AdSense and for a few it’s earned them a full time income and for some, earning a sizable amount of money from AdSense isn’t exactly the norm though.
What is Adsense?
Adsense is a ad network owned by google, if you have a website you can apply for an adsense account that will enable you to place special blocks of code on your site to display ads. As an AdSense publisher you earn money when your site visitors view or click on the ads, it is similar to television ads but instead of television here the ads will be displayed on website.
An advertiser creates ads in their Google AdWords account and Google then displays those ads on websites that show content related to the ad.The amount you earn per click will depend on the market you’re in and several other factors.
- High earning potential (there are people who earn thousands of dollars per month)
- Trusted ad network
- Free to join
- Hard to get approved
- Strict guidelines (If even one guideline is breached your account will be banned permanently)
- Higher earnings per click are usually in very competitive markets
Promoting other people’s products as an affiliate is a very popular method of making money online. Some affiliate marketers are called ‘super affiliates’; those who generate a significant proportion of the sales for particular products. Even if you don’t grow into a super affiliate, affiliate marketing can certainly bring in a reasonable income.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
We talked about adsense above, where you earn money when someone views or clicks your ads.But, there is another type of ad network called affiliate marketing where you earn money when your users buy the advertised product after clicking the ad.
You earn money as an affiliate marketer when customers buy products you promote, more specifically those who have purchased via your affiliate link. There is a huge array of products to choose from to promote as an affiliate, so no matter what market you’re in you’re sure to find an associated offer.
There are different affiliate networks where you can join as affiliate and start promoting products, some of the most popular affiliate marketplaces where you can join are Commission junction, Shareasale, Clickbank and Amazon affiliate program.
Affiliate Marketing Pros
- Higher earning potential, better than adsense or any other ad types
- Can be used in email-marketing, article writing, review writing..etc
Affiliate Marketing Cons
- Most lucrative offers are very competitive
- Time spent promoting other people’s products instead of your own
- Many low percentage-share offers
- Need skills in converting leads into sales
- Still the market is opaque
Learn more about affiliate marketing strategies.
Another popular way of earning online is offering writing services. The popularity of the internet and the constant need to publish fresh and compelling content means that writers are in demand more than ever.
This is the best suited job for anyone who has a good command over english.
Writing in Brief
Online freelance writing involves a variety of jobs such as writing web content in the form of brief articles, becoming a staff writer for one or more websites writing in-depth articles on specific subject matters, or writing ebooks and reports as a ghost writer.
Upwork and Freelancer are two websites where many writers seek work, once you’ve established good feedback and you become known for quality work that’s delivered on time you will likely be able to increase your writing rates.
At the outset though you will need to offer competitive rates to be awarded a job and have the chance to prove yourself.
- Good work life balance
- High demand for skilled writers
- No start up costs
- Seasonal income
- Difficult to acquire clients at the start
Just like brick and mortar real estate can be built and sold, so too can websites be built and sold. Online a domain name acts as a type of virtual street address, the website content management system provides the foundations and the content and graphics brings it all to life. So those analogies are a little hard to grasp but you get the idea.
The best thing about building and selling websites is that it costs only a tiny fraction of what brick and mortar real estate demands.
How to sell a website?
Law of the world is that wherever there is high earning opportunity, there would be great competition like that website selling business is highly competitive field and is filled with scammers.
In this business selling a profitable website is easy, but buying is very difficult most of the websites you encounter to buy will be a scam.So, first before starting this business you need to learn more about web analytics, google analytics and many other analytics tools.
Selling Websites Pros
- Quick and large amount of profit
- Easy to start
- Easy and interesting business to learn
Selling Websites Cons
- Opaque industry, lot of scammers
- There is still not a trustworthy selling platform
- Difficult to find a buyer
A global marketplace where virtually anyone can sell goods, eBay brings together buyers and sellers of just about everything you can imagine. Whether it be an obscure antique broach, a set of golf clubs or a caravan, if you’re looking for it you’re likely to find it for sale on eBay. Everyone has things they no longer want and eBay is the perfect place to offer them for sale.
eBay in Brief
eBay acts as a virtual auction marketplace and classified listings platform for selling products worldwide. eBay Stores are also popular as they allow a seller to place their items in their store without the restriction of having to end the item listing within a short period of time like an auction listing requires.
With eBay’s significant brand recognition and subsequent high traffic volume, it offers a relatively easy way to make money online. Once items from around the home are exhausted you can offer to sell unwanted goods that belong to your friends and family and take a share of the profit. Following on from there, you can buy used goods at markets and garage sales and sell them on eBay or set up your own eBay store selling products of your choice.
- High volume of customers ready-to-buy
- Robust feedback/security measures
- Very low cost
- Can make money online very quickly
- Opportunity to set up a serious virtual store
- Listing fees even on unsold items
- Difficult to calculate postage for some products
- Time consuming to pack and send
Online forums have become a place for people from around the world with shared interests to come together in one place to make friends, have discussions online as well as co-ordinate off-line meet-ups. Establishing a forum is one thing, making money from it is another thing altogether.
Forums in Brief
We all have interests and when we find other people who share those same interests it can be delightful to discuss, debate and discover things together. Setting up an online forum isn’t too difficult, it’s attracting members and then eventually monetizing the forum that is the real challenge.
When forums become popular they can be a very lucrative way to make money online and that makes them very much worth their while. If you have what it takes to stay the course with establishing a popular forum you could earn quite a nice income online eventually.
- Repeat traffic
- User generated content
- Direct insights into user wants and needs
- Several monetization models such as advertising, marketplaces etc
- Little to no cost to start up
- Challenging to attract initial members
- Discussion moderation required
- Dealing with in-fighting
- Resistance by community to monetization if not handled carefully
Digital Product Creation
Just as many once unheard of musicians have found a place to market their creations, so too have authors, artists and comedians to name a few. The Internet has provided the opportunity for anybody and everybody to release their talent to the world in digital format, and for many this has lead to earning a decent income.
Furthermore, with the advent of Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iPad and various other e-readers, ebooks have become extremely popular. No longer do writers have to wait for a publishing deal, they can simply create and publish their work as an ebook.
Digital Product Creation in Brief
A digital product can be in the form of an ebook, membership site, software program, iPhone app and the list goes on. Whatever your particular talent, idea or knowledge base is, there is a good chance you can make money online selling it in digital format.
Not only can you produce a digital product and market it, but you can also create an affiliate program that rewards other people for marketing your product too. Having a band of affiliates promoting you can boost your earnings significantly.
Digital Product Creation Pros
- Easy to learn
- Little to no start-up costs
- Time and energy devoted to your own business
- Easily scaled with affiliates
- Leads to passive income
Digital Product Creation Cons
- Product creation can become laborious
- Ability to market required to get the word out
Learn more about how to make money online from digital product creation.
To help move a web business forward, many tasks need to be done on a day-to-day basis. When webmasters try to do everything themselves, progress can be thwarted. Engaging the services of a virtual assistant has become the smart move for growing Internet businesses, which has opened up virtual job opportunities for the organised, web savvy assistant.
Virtual Assistant in Brief
Much like freelance writers and programmers, virtual assistants (VAs) are able to offer their services on an hourly or set fee basis. A quick search on ODesk turns up quite a number of job listings for various virtual assistant roles although many offer relatively low hourly rates. There are serious webmasters who understand the value in paying highly skilled workers whose work is impeccable so avoid underselling yourself and working for pennies.
Virtual assistants perform a variety of tasks such as calendar management, writing and publishing web content, link building and other search engine optimization tasks. Taking on a VA role is very similar to an everyday job only you get to work from home or virtually any location with an Internet connection. Be sure your pay rate at least matches or exceeds what you would earn from a job otherwise it might not be worth your while.
Virtual Assistant Pros
- Work from home/mobile office
- Set pay rate and hours
- Little to no start up costs
Virtual Assistant Cons
- Competing for work in a global job market
- Working on someone else’s business not your own
Blogging has grown tremendously since the days of people keeping a simple web log of their daily life and travels. In fact, there is an entire industry that sells products on how to make money online blogging. Blogging isn’t at all complicated, moreover, blogging in its own right isn’t a road to riches.
What is blogging?
Building your own website in the form of a blog is not difficult to do. Registering a domain and installing a blog can take only a matter of hours and you can begin blogging. Blogging tends to involve publishing new content regularly, which could be in the form of articles, videos and or podcasts.
Attracting an audience is a significant challenge for most people new to blogging and converting that traffic into generating some form of income is an even bigger challenge. Private advertising, AdSense and affiliate marketing are popular ways to monetize blogs, however without an enormous amount of traffic those options rarely bring in a decent income. On the other hand, using a blog as a platform to build a loyal following to whom you can eventually offer your products and services can lead to sizable earnings.
- Easy to learn
- Low start-up costs
- Work at your own pace
- Opportunity to interact directly with your customers
- Platform to promote your business
- Earnings tend to be low without significant traffic
There are many online businesses that enjoy significant volumes of traffic and earnings. Building and developing an Internet business into an authority in its market is no small endeavor. It can be tempting to abandon a web business before its had time to find its virtual feet. Another temptation is to attempt to grow several web businesses at once, which can mean no site receives consistent attention nor builds momentum, especially if resources are limited. Establishing an authority site can bring in more than a full time income but it takes a concentrated effort and plenty of determination.
Authority Website in Brief
Establishing an online business could mean offering design services, freelance writing or even selling handmade crafts. In the instance of this list of 10 ways to make money online, let’s focus briefly on building an online business into an authority site. Take social media news for example; there are many sites that bring us news related to social media.
Although not every market will attract a massive audience such as social media news and web design. It doesn’t mean you can’t build a site that is the authority within your particular market segment. There are thousands upon thousands of people trying to make money online. But, very few commit to building an authority site and therein lies significant opportunity.
Authority Website Pros
- Can build into a sizable income
- Working on your own serious business
- Opportunity to sell for considerable amount in the future
Authority Website Cons
- Takes time to establish
- Could require capital for branding, marketing and product development
- Need some knowledge of Internet marketing and general business development
Each of the above methods have their own unique set of requirements and additional pros and cons; understanding these will help you choose an option that better matches your strengths and general work preferences. Decide on which options you think suit you best and then investigate each of your choices further.
All in all, what matters most is that you choose one method and stick to it. The longer you work at something the more you’ll learn about making money online and what actually does and doesn’t work for you.
What you think? do you know any other ways to make money online.If you do, let us know in the comment section below.