There are thousands of searches every single day about “How to Make Money Online” and it’s various related terms. Many of them are done by people searching for a way to get rich quick, but for those of us who know better understand that creating an income online is a long term strategy.
In this post, I will go over what I, and many other online marketers and content creators, consider the top ways to diversify your online income. But first, let’s get a few things straight…
Why Diversify Your Online Income?
Any smart investor knows not to put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to your revenue streams—and your online income should be no different. As a preventive measure, you’ll want to invest your time, energy and resources into building multiple different channels of income online.
NOTE: This doesn’t mean to do this all at once. But once you have one money making method online in place, you should begin thinking about which one makes sense to pursue next.
It’s important to highlight that the reason behind why you’re creating these income streams are to bring in more resources so that you can better serve your audience and bring them more high-quality content.
Now that we have that straight, let’s explore the top 7 ways to make money online.
1. Google Adsense
Google Adsense is one of the easiest ways to start generating an online income. It may be easy but is hard to make a living off of this method alone.
If you are a blogger or video creator, this is a great ad network to get started with especially when you’re just starting out. You are able to embed ads within blog posts, your sidebar, and even within your video pre-roll and more.
Here are some additional benefits of Adsense from Google themselves:
- Ads — including text, display, rich media, and more — are reviewed to ensure the content is family safe and appropriate for an audience like yours.
- Advertisers constantly bid for ad space. Over one million advertisers compete for ad space. That means more money, more relevant ads, and more ad spaces filled.
- You call the shots on the ads that appear. Block ads you don’t want, choose where ads appear, and change the look and feel of text ads to match your site. You can even control the categories of ads you allow. Your site. Your rules.
- Connect with your audience wherever they are. Mobile is built into AdSense. Responsive ad units automatically adapt to different screen sizes so you can create a great user experience and continue to earn revenue when people view your site on a smartphone or tablet.
- See what’s working and fix what’s not. Get the real story with Performance Reports. Performance metrics help you see where the right tweaks can increase profits. You can also get your stats on the go with the AdSense mobile app.
Here is an example of a responsive Google Adsense Ad that we feature in our blog’s posts and sidebar.
I also recommend following @Adsense on Twitter to get more tips on how to optimize your ads.
Are you using Google Adsense as a part of your income strategy?
If so, tell us what’s working (or not working) in the comment section or on our exclusive Facebook Group for Entrepreneurs.
And now on to the next revenue stream…
2. Affiliate Marketing
One of my heroes, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, says it best:
“Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products.”
The gist of it is as you create content for your audience, you can recommend other people’s products or services that will add value to them. You are set up with a unique link that you can send traffic to so they can learn more information about the product, and if they end up purchasing it, you get a small cut.
Again, this is not meant to be a sole source of online income, but something to supplement your income while adding value to your community. It’s a win—win for you.
The reason Affiliate Marketing works (when done right) is because when you recommend these products that drive results for your audience, they will see you as a trusted resource which will help them to keep coming back for more. It helps with establishing solid relationships with your audience, which is a priceless gem.
If you want to learn more about Affiliate Marketing, I recommend you check out Pat’s Smart Affiliate Marketing Page and download his Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way eBook for more actionable tips on how to get started and what product to choose first.
3. Online Partnerships and Sponsorships
Think of these Online Partnerships and Sponsorships as the middle ground between an ad network like Google Adsense and marketing affiliate products. This is where you can reach out to companies (or vice versa) to have their products featured in front of your audience via your content.
This has always been a popular form of advertising on websites in the form of banner ads and usually vary in price depending on the amount of web traffic your site receives. It is also becoming very popular in the world of podcasting where these internet personalities will recommend products or services on their podcast episodes.
This might be a revenue stream that you employ later in the life of your website once you have a decent amount of consistent traffic.
John Lee Dumas, of Entrepreneur on Fire, put together ‘The Ultimate Guide to Podcast Sponsorships’ where he talks about the best way to reach out to sponsors, when to bring them on, and what the best pricing models are, I highly recommend you check it out. 😄
4. Patreon Crowdfunding
Patreon is home to 200,000+ creators making a living from their work through subscription payments from their fans.
Every month, I get a regular source of income from supporters who’ve pledged to me through Patreon. Having their ongoing support means I spend less time thinking about business, and more time creating.
Also, if you use this invite to sign up and launch your Patreon page, we’ll both earn bonuses as supporters pledge to you!
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, click here to get started.
If you’re new to generating income online and don’t necessarily have your own website or platform, then freelancing may be the route for you.
Entrepreneur.com put together a number of the top, and most credible, freelancing websites out there. Here’s are 10 that I recommend from their list.
One way you can bring in great income online is to offer your services to companies in the form of consulting. Often times you can charge a pretty good price up front, and if you play your cards right you can even get companies to keep you on a retainer contract for multiple months at a time.
This is how I spent the first few years making money with my online business, and I still do it to this day. One thing I would recommend is to make sure you don’t overcommit yourself when consulting for other businesses where you find yourself not being able to build your own. I fell into this trap a few times and found myself being unfulfilled when this was my only source of online income.
I’d recommend picking clients and businesses you would enjoy lending your expertise to and make sure you charge what you’re worth. Many consultants burn out because they promise the world then charge less than their time is worth, which is worse than just trading hours for dollars.
Get started today by identifying who your ideal client would be for your consulting services and go after 5 people this week who fit that description and see if they might be interested. Let me know how you make out in the comment section below.
7. Create and Sell Your Own Products
This final section is the best form of online income that you can generate but requires a greater amount of time than any of the previous forms I listed above.
Once you set out on the journey of creating and selling your own products online, you’ll see what you’re truly made of as an entrepreneur. It will test your patience, your skills, your expertise and many other parts of your character, but if you persevere you will create an immensely valuable income stream for your business.
Many online entrepreneurs today are focused on building info-products in the form of eBooks, online courses (audio and/or video), membership sites and more where they trade their knowledge with their community in exchange for a small fee.
The reason this is the best form of online income is because all of the work you put into creating content, building your email list, and generating income, goes directly to support you and your business. One of my favorite bloggers, Darren Rowse from ProBlogger.net, put together this great overview of How to Create and Sell Products On Your Blog. I recommend you check it out before you start trying to build your products from scratch.