When I say make money online, people lose their minds and think I’m an internet guru-scam-speaker-closer.
Business is simply solving a problem and having the courage to charge for it. You don’t need to be a born entrepreneur. As long you can solve a problem for someone – you have a business, and you can monetize it online.
Here are 10 ways to make money online. Use them for ideas to get started on your big plans this year.
1 – Sell products online.
It’s simple to set up an online store these days, using platforms like WordPress, Shopify, or Easystore.
What is important is not the platform or tech you use. It is about the problem you solve, by selling your products. If you sell fitness equipment, you solve the problem for people wanting to stay fit from home. If you sell boutique cat food, you solve the problem for cat owners looking for an alternative besides store-bought mass market cat food brands.
Think about how big or painful the problem, that your products solve, before setting up a store.
Learn more: See how we built an RM1000 business, selling microphones.
2 – Offer Services Online
If you don’t want to deal with physical products, offering services online is another great alternative. Think about what someone or a business will need. Chances are, you have a skillset that someone needs.
People buy services mainly for two reasons:
- They need someone with the expertise. (E.G. A company hiring a web developer to build their website.)
- They don’t have time. (E.G. A CEO delegating work for a dispatcher to bank in his company cheques.)
GoGet is a great platform to offer services and find jobs. You can find jobs for literally anything, from helping someone replace their car tire to setting up an event for them.
You can also build your own brand, by building your own website and marketing to services to people who need them.
3 – Become a Freelancer on Upwork
Upwork is the largest freelancing platform in the world, with millions of jobs posted every year. That means a lot of opportunities for you as a freelancer on Upwork.
The top in-demand jobs and skills on Upwork are:
- Video editing and production.
- Machine learning jobs.
- Data analytics.
- SEO (Seach Engine Optimization)
- Content marketing.
However, a note of caution to freelancing on platforms like Upwork is the amount of competition you will face. A typical job poster will receive up to 50 proposals from freelancers, so your profile or resume has to stand out.
Also, be careful of agreeing to work with bad employers who demand for too much and shortchange your work on the platform. The beauty of the platform is you get to filter and choose the client you want to work for too.
4 – Start a Blog
The internet is made out of content, powered by websites & blogs. Google records 5.6 billion searches every day, by people searching for solutions. With a blog, you can show up to help searchers with their questions.
Start a blog with WordPress. Make sure to build your blog around a niche, so it is focused. Here are some examples of blogs with a focused niche:
- Ringgit Oh Ringgit – A blog on personal finance.
- iMoney – A blog on finance and credit cards.
- Paul Tan – Car review and automotive blog.
What do you notice? These blogs all focus on one niche. Rather than trying to cover every topic, they focus on a single niche. This helps the blog become more targeted and relatable for people searching for information around a niche.
When your blog starts building traffic, you can monetize the traffic through platforms like Google Adsense or sponsorship deals with brands. You can use Google Analytics to track the growth of your blog.
Discover more: Learn how to use Google Analytics.
5 – Create YouTube Videos
Got a knack for creating videos? Go into becoming a YouTube creator by creating interesting content on YouTube.
According to a research by Hubspot – most people go to YouTube to watch videos that entertain them.
This doesn’t mean YouTube is out – if you create informative or how-to videos. It simply means you should add some entertaining elements to the videos you create. If you create cooking videos, think about how you can inject some humor to increase its entertainment value.
When you have at least 1000 subscribers and 4,000 valid public watch hours, you can apply as a YouTube Partner and begin monetizing from your videos.
6 – Do Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is more common than you think it is. Look at your favorite YouTube creators, and you’ll find that they are usually affiliated with some brands and products.
Affiliate marketing is attractive, because you don’t need to build any products or service, to make money. You only have to refer a product or service through your blog, social media, podcast or website. You earn a commission everytime someone makes a purchase through a unique link you recommended.
Here are some Malaysian companies who offer affiliate programs:
- Exabytes – Up to RM350 per sign-up.
- Lazada – Bet you didn’t know Lazada had an affiliate program too!
- SecretLab – Is it no wonder then, why everyone seems to say good things about the chair?
One of the ways to be successful with affiliate marketing is to build an audience early on. You’d want to use email marketing platforms like Mailchimp or Getresponse and build an audience database early on.
Join a program: Set up your affiliate marketing business from scratch.
7 – Build A Following on Social Media
Love creating and engaging content on social media? Turn it into a monetizable opportunity by moving from a consumer, to a creator. Technically, you’d want to become someone who has an influence.
Most people become an influencer for what they did – business, cause, impact, style, etc. and not the other way round. So don’t start out by being an influencer. Identify a content niche you’d like to create, then build your brand in it by creating content regularly.
Once you have a following on social media, be it on TikTok, Instagram or Facebook, brands & agencies would naturally want to work with you.
8 – Write on Medium
While it seems like short-based content videos are taking over the internet, written content still play big. While video content may bring many benefits, written articles allows deeper elaboration and nuance.
If you enjoy writing, a platform to consider writing on is Medium. (You can also support me on Medium as a writer here.) Medium is a platform for readers to find ideas and dynamic thinking, and writers (you) to share your writing on any topic.
You can write about anything on Medium. The best types of writing I see on Medium are:
- Self-help articles.
- Writing on politics.
- Coding tutorials.
- Crypto and blockchain related ideas.
- Mental health articles.
- Startup stories.
Medium pays writers based on how much time its members spend reading their stories. The longer people read your article, the more you will earn. There’s also an affiliate-like program, where you get paid when you help convert a reader into a paying Medium member.
To be successful on Medium, you have to be extremely consistent and publish more oten than what is comfortable. The top writers on Medium go so far as to publish a content everyday on Medium.
9 – Teach on Skillshare or Udemy
We’re living in a knowledge-based economy, where the production of goods and services is based on intellectual capital. A developing country has a manufacturing and service-based economy, and developed countries tend to have service-based economies. (A good example is Singapore.)
Simply put: People are now realizing, that in order to get ahead, they would have to upskill themselves. This realization created a market explosion, hungry for knowledge.
Whether it’s your knowledge in mathematics, playing the piano or computer programming – there will be people willing to pay to learn it from you.
Leverage on platforms such as Skillshare or Udemy, to create digital courses. Go niche, when creating a course that solves a single problem. As an example, instead of creating a course titled ‘Everything Yoga’, niche down and create a course titled ‘Yoga for seniors’.
10 – Sell Digital Products
It’s more attractive to sell digital products, compared to physical ones, because you don’t have to deal with messy shipping and returns. Furthermore, it’s easy to scale selling digital products. Unlike physical products, there are no incremental cost for selling more digital products.
Digital products refer to E-books, music, photos, templates, themes and audiobooks. Basically, they are items which a customer purchases, downloads and consume digitally.
Selling digital goods is the same as selling anything. Make sure they actually solve a problem for someone. If you sell Photoshop templates, you’re helping your customers save time with their design.
Some websites to consider selling digital goods on are:
- Videohive – Sell video effects and footage.
- 123RF – Sell stock photos and vector files.
- AppSumo – Sell software, courses and digital products for businesses.
- AudioJungle – Sell your music!
If you prefer not to rely on marketplaces and to sell digital products on your own, consider using platforms such as Gumroad, FastSpring or Podia.
Ready to start?
There are many ways to make money online.
It all comes down to thinking as a business, and solving a problem in the marketplace. The bigger the problem you solve, the more you get compensated.
Making money online can be done by anyone – even if you don’t know how to code or build website. But you have to get started.
If you found this post helpful, make sure to forward it to a friend. Otherwise, let me know if I missed a great way make money online in this post. Till next time.
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