Listed below are 12 different ways to make money online.
They are listed in no particular order, however the first (affiliate marketing) is the simplest to start, and #2 (Create and Sell Your Own Software or Infoproduct) can be the most lucrative.
- Affiliate Marketing: Sell Other People's Stuff Online
- Sell Your Own Products
- Build a Membership Site
- Sell Your Services
- Buy and Sell Websites
- Become a Reseller
- Sell Public Domain Works
- Sell at Online Auctions
- Buy and Sell Domain Names
- Cash Park Your Domains
- Online Surveys
Please consider and review each opportunity thoroughly before making your decision.
1. Affiliate Marketing: Sell Other People's Stuff Online
Because affiliate marketing does not require that you have your own products to sell, I consider it the fastest and simplest way to start an Internet business – especially for those new to online business and Internet marketing.
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing works like this:
- You join a merchants's affiliate program; e.g. Amazon, Friendfinder, Zappos.
- You place your affiliate link for that program somewhere on your website.
- When a visitor to your clicks through that link and buys a product (or fills in a form, or gives the merchant an email address, etc.), you are credited with the sale (click, lead, referal) and make a commission.
- The company then sends you a check.
Pretty simple, huh?
Here are a few articles and videos that I have prepared to help you decide whether or not you should become an affiliate marketer.
- Video: How Affiliate Marketing Works
- Can I Really Make Money as an Affiliate Marketer?
- Video: Affiliate Commissions Exposed
2. Sell Your Own Products
The most lucrative way to do business on the Internet is to sell your own product.
However, there are lot of factors to consider if you are planning to sell your own products online such as the payment system, the storage as well as the shipping.
Although there are already companies that offer order fulfillment solutions such as pick and pack services, drop shipping or even a complete fulfillment systems including the payment processing.
Depending on the type of product you will be selling online you may not need to store and to ship any goods.
Software and information products, in particular, are the best-selling products on the ‘Net and enjoy the best profit margins. Most cost virtually nothing but time to develop and entail no storage or shipping costs.
Can you write? Then write an ebook to sell on Clickbank and Amazon. You can even turn it into a softcover using a PoD (Print-on-Demand) service. (Just in case you are thinking, “I'm not a writer, that's not for me“, everyone has knowledge that someone else wants and there are a number of ways to produce an infoproduct without having to write a word.)
Are you a programmer? Create a piece of software for the business community OR better yet, build an iPad application. An October 2011 report stated that there are half a million apps in the Apple store, 140 thousand of which are iPad apps.
Learn more about developing your own product.
3. Build a Membership Site
If you have your own infoproduct, you have the basis for creating a membership site, much as I've done with my Academy, which uses Wishlist Member software on a WordPress blog platform. (To see how easy it is to install a blog, watch my 1-Minute Blog Installation video.)
In a membership site, your customers can be offered so much more than a one-time PDF download, such as; videos, a forum, a news blog and fresh information on a regular basis. I've found that this method of delivery simplifies matters when I have new material introduced to my students. Just post to the blog and every member is automatically notified by email.
To learn more about this topic, please read Wishlist Member Review: How to Turn Your WordPress Blog into a Membership Site.
4. Sell Your Services
One friend of mine makes her living designing business cards and other printed materials for businesses. She sells her design service online. My friend Joel is a skilled web designer. He has turned his skill into a full-time business which he advertises on his website and offline. He has also been my trusted virtual assistant for years.
5. Buy and Sell Websites
Have you noticed how many home renovation and house flipping shows there are on TV nowadays? Well, webmasters are doing the same thing with websites. They go to a website broker such as the Sitepoint Marketplace and find a site that is getting traffic but may be so ugly that it turns those visitors away. Or, it is making a small amount of money, but with a design overhaul, it could make a lot more money.
A webmaster with design experience will go in there, give it a facelift and put it back on the market. Beware though, some of the prices are absolutely ridiculous. I just saw a really ugly affiliate dating site that only affiliated with Friendfinder, 79 inbound links, an Alexa rating of 453,348,172 advertised for $100,000 US. Who did they think they were they kidding?
Drop shipping is a product delivery method in which the seller accepts payment for an order, but the customer receives the product(s) directly from the manufacturer.
For example, I have a dropshipping arrangement with a watch manufacturer in New York City and sell his watches at WindingWay.com. I buy the watches at wholesale prices in blocks of 10, advertise the watches on my site and use PayPal to accept payment for each sale. When the order comes in I (or more likely, Joel, my assistant) forwards the order to the manufacturer, and they ship it to the customer. If I was more energetic, I would also sell those watches on eBay. 🙂
Learn more about dropshipping as a way to make money online.
7. Become a Reseller
Buying resale rights and reselling products is a little more expensive to set up than affiliate program sales, but you also make more money as a reseller.
For example, I used to sell software called Headline Creator that helps people automatically create killer headlines. I could have sold Headline Creator Pro as an affiliate and earned a 50% commission on each $29 sale ($14.50 per sale). However, it made more sense to buy the resale rights for $79.00, which allowed me to keep 100% of the sale price, or the full $29.00 for each sale made. After selling only 4 copies, I had covered my cost for the resale licence and was earning 100% profits on each copy sold.
To learn more about this topic, please read Resale Rights: How to Make Money Online Reselling Other People's Products“.
Resale rights packages that I recommend are:
There are also many available on Clickbank.
8. Sell Public Domain Works
Somewhat similar to reselling ebooks, some online marketers have made a fortune finding, repackaging and selling public domain works. Public domain is any work that is not copyright protected and includes materials created prior to 1922, works created for public use, government documents unless otherwise specified, and works whose copyright has expired.
The real trick is in being able to find works in the public domain. Yanik Silver is a specialist in this area and has a 3-volume set of CD audios. To learn more about repackaging and selling works in the public domain, please read Public Domain: Old but NOT Decrepit.
9. Sell at Online Auctions
If you're like most people, you probably have things in your basement, closets or garage that you'd like to get rid of but are too valuable to throw away. Well, have you ever heard the saying, “One man's trash is another man's treasure?” Not only do other people want your old stuff, they're willing to pay for it – and you can reach a much wider market by selling that stuff through an online auction site like eBay.
The online auction business is also a relatively inexpensive and easy business to start on the Internet because you don't need a website and it's free to sign up for an eBay account. It takes only a few minutes to list your items, and each listing costs only pennies.
Learn more about making money with internet auctions.
10. Buy and Sell Domain Names
The fellow from whom I bought my current home was a ‘domainer'. He made a fortune buying and selling domain names — and he's now living in an even bigger house. 🙂
Do you have a great idea for a domain name that someone may want later? Go to GoDaddy, buy it, then offer it up for sale at some ridiculous price. You never know who will bite. I've been watching to see who buys ‘bluetoilet.com' for $2,050.00. No, not my domain name… I'd go for the pink.
11. Cash Park Your Domains
Have you bought a bunch of domain names from GoDaddy that you haven't had a chance to work on yet? You can elect “Cash Parking” for those domains and earn 60% of the advertising revenue generated. The basic plan is $3.99 per month, or less if you set it up for 12 or 24 months. The premium plan is $9.99 per month which entitles you to earn 80% of the advertising revenue and includes free Domain Name Aftermarket membership… which is great if you want to sell those domains.
12. Online Surveys
Understanding how consumers think and why we choose certain products over others, enables companies to improve their goods and services. The better they understand consumers, the more money they make. So, every year, companies in the United States spend over 250 Billion dollars trying to convince consumers to buy their products and services, and a huge amount is devoted to market research.
Those companies have gone online, offering to pay people like you and me for our opinions, and sometimes up to $150 for our participation.
To learn more about the potential for making money with online surveys and which sites pay what, please read Can You REALLY Make Money with Paid Online Surveys?.
There are SO many ways to make money online. Choose from auction selling, affiliate marketing, reselling, or selling your own product, but DO choose! The sooner you start, the sooner you can move on to ANOTHER type of online selling and DIVERSIFY your eBusiness.
What I DO know is that the more you diversify, the more you will learn, and the MORE money you will make online.