Covid19 pandemic has made everyone receptive to the idea of working remotely. Those who could never have entertained the idea of working online have now believed that one does not have to go to the office to get things done, at least if greater components of your work does not involve physical interaction (e.g. doctors and nurses).
Online work is real work and must be treated with the seriousness it deserves. You must develop the discipline and consistency required to make everything work just like you would do if you were employed in a traditional set up. You must clear your mind and get rid of get-rich-quick thoughts. Even if you manage to make some quick money online, I can bet that the strategy is not sustainable.
Why Should you Start an Online Business?
People start online business for different reasons. The best reason for starting an online business is to fulfill an existing need.
Some of the businesses you can start to fulfill an existing need include:
1. Offer Professional Services
If you have a skill you can teach, someone somewhere is willing to pay for it. If you can write, transcribe, create graphics and logos, do voice over commercials, edit animations, offer customer feedback, etc, you can earn full time income working online.
Large businesses are always looking for people to help them with content and other virtual assistant jobs. You need to be really good at what you do and you will certainly get the job. Such jobs pay way better than most employment positions for the same tasks. Just sign up at any of these online workplaces that suits your skill, create a profile, and start sending pitches.
2. Sell Physical Products
If you have an offline shop that sells physical products, you can expand your market by levering the internet. You can list your items on Craiglist, Facebook Market, Jumia, or even create your own ecommerce website to fulfil orders from the internet shoppers.
You can also start a niche web property to sell physical products such as unique handicrafts. This can be a perfect side hustle for busy people who do crafts for leisure. With time, dedication, and sufficient marketing, your side hustle may generate enough income to replace your full time job.
3. Sell Digital Products
Nothing defines passive income much better than selling digital products. You can write books (Kindle Direct Publishing), audio files, audio books, software, videos, etc., which you list for sale to your subscribers on the internet. All you have to do afterwards is marketing and promotion.
If you can create a powerful digital product, you can tap into the full power of the internet to generate income for yourself. It does not matter the time of the day, the internet will work for you without a hitch. You can take a few courses and learn how to create a digital product and start marketing it online.
4. Affiliate Marketing
With affiliate marketing, you don’t even need to create your own product or sell your service directly. Here is where giving away something for free pays big time. Many affiliate programs exist to help content creators earn money from their free content. Sites like Amazon, Alibaba, Jumia, Commission Junction, Shareasale, etc are perfect for affiliate marketing.
If you have a popular blog/YouTube channel/Instagram/Facebook page/Tiktok, you can recommend products in your content and get a commission from every sale your recommendation generates. The secret here is recommending a product that people really need. Make sure your recommendations are aligned to your channel’s theme for credibility’s sake. Be true to your readers and don’t be deceptive in your marketing just to get a sale. You will lose credibility if you lie to people.
You can also sell advertising spot on your blog/channel for major brands. If you have sufficient traffic that is targeted to a specific niche market, you are likely to command higher rates. Google AdSense is so popular among many bloggers. You can also use Infolinks for advertising.
If you have a large email list, you can promote products directly to your list and charge the advertiser for the service. Bloggers with a large following on social media can also offer sponsored tweets and posts to promote their brand. You can also do sponsored posts in your blog to achieve the same effect.
How to Start Selling Online
First, you can leverage social media to reach your target audience if that is where they are found. Facebook pages work very well for most people. It has the advantage of near zero financial implications (you will need to boost your posts for greater reach).
For some products, you will need to have a dedicated website. A website gives a more professional feel but you will need to spend money on a professional website. Even if you are going to use WordPress, make sure to get someone who knows how to optimize it for super performance. We offer WordPress optimization service.
Other people rely majorly on email lists to sell their products. Armed with tools such as GetResponse or Aweber and Lead Pages, they can create an email list running into millions of subscribers to whom they send offers. You can also develop your own email list (start with a free service like Mailchimp) or spend substantial amount of money to create your own CRM system.
Here are the tools you need to start selling online:
- Powerful smartphone with good camera
- A computer with access to the internet and right software
- Social media account and product page (free)
- Domain name
- Hosting package (we recommend Contabo VPS)
- An autoresponder / CRM
- Payment settlement account.
Please note that you may not need all of these tools together. They’ve been listed to suit all purposes of making money online according to this article’s recommendations.
Legitimate Ways to Make Money Online
1. Start a Blog if you Want to Make Money Online this year
I don’t mean creating a blog that is full of crap like the ones we are so used to seeing these days. I mean you should start a blog with a purpose.
Niching is the name of the game given high competition that exist these days. People have learnt to game the search engines these days. You need a solid content and marketing strategy to win the stiff competition.
Some of the hot niches right now include:
a) Entertainment blog:
You can borrow a leaf from leading entertainment blogs. You will need connections and contacts with insiders in the entertainment industry. You can follow them on their social media channels to stay on informed all the time.
b) Gossip blog:
People are always looking for the juiciest gossip and celebrity news on the internet. If you can be the person to break the scandals and tell gossip from an interesting angle, here is where you need to be. Monetizing a gossip blog is easy due to the surging traffic you will realize when your blog becomes popular.
c) Soccer/Football analysis blog:
Quite lucrative right now given the fanatical following football has. Additionally, the recent craze in football betting has made this niche very attractive. You can provide a score board, transfers, injuries, fixtures, and other analyses. Soccer fanatics will religiously follow your blog if you are providing real value to them in real time.
d) Food blog:
People cannot get enough of yummy recipes. If you can create recipes for unique cuisines, especially local healthy cuisines, you will get a huge following from people who are looking for healthy recipes.
e) Tech blog:
Who does not like tech? If you can create a blog that helps people solve their tech challenges in a simple and straight forward manner, you are in business. Tech is wide, so, you will need to narrow down to a sub niche and deal with a specific subject area, say drones for instance.
f) Crypto blog:
Given its relatively young age in the market, many people still do not know about it. If you are willing to learn about crypto, you can create a blog to document your journey and share tips as you grow in the journey. With time, you can be reviewing the best graphic cards for crypto mining and earning commissions from sales. You can also monetize the site by selling adverts to crypto companies.
g) Dating site:
You can charge premium fees for the match making services.
h) Property website:
People are always looking for property to buy and / or rent. If you can create a website that will match the buyers and the sellers then you are in business. Yu can list the property at a fixed fee or on an agreed commission per sale.
i) Political blog:
Politics is a hot button subject anywhere in the world. If you can serve the political news the way your country people like it, you are in business.
j) News site:
People are always looking for new developments and news around the clock. You can curate a specific type of news e.g. financial news. This website can be a critical asset to financial planners and investors who are looking for viable indicators when trading stocks. Borrow a leaf from Bloomberg.
k) Career site:
Many people are actively looking for jobs. Create a website that will link them to the available opportunities in the job market. This is an evergreen niche and you are highly likely to earn more through premium services such as premium listing that is only visible to highly qualified applicants, priority alerts, CV optimization, etc.
l) Information resource blog:
Can be niched around any subject of your preference. You need an in-depth knowledge of the subject to provide a comprehensive resource database for the subject matter. People will associate your site with the kind of information you offer and it will be the first stop when they are looking for that specific information.
2. Make Money Online With an Ecommerce Store
You can create your own ecommerce store and start selling your own products online. It is easy to start out as a niche ecommerce outlet before diversifying into other products when you have build steady traffic. You may need to partner with a courier service provider for timely deliveries and offer top notch customer service.
Additionally, you can create an affiliate program to help content creators earn income by selling the items on your site for a commission. You can also create a digital marketplace where content creators can sell their digital products and allow other marketers earn a commission by promoting these products. Think of platform like Click Bank.
3. Make Money Online With a Custom Search Engine
You can create a custom search engine by leveraging a free search engine and crawler script from Github. You will need a fast web hosting package to install the crawler and modify the front end to suit the needs of your users. Make sure you have the technical skill (or hire someone) to run and manage the technical aspects of this business. Monetize with ads when you’ve built reputation to make money.
4. Make Money Online Streaming HD Videos and Audios
You can have a contract with film producers to allow you stream their videos to a premium audience for a monthly subscription fee. If you want to learn how this stuff works, read about Kwese network. If you do not want to manage your own video streaming site, you can create your own video content and share on a YouTube channel. Monetize through adverts and affiliate links.
You can also create a website dedicated to curating a certain type of music for your audience. You can also provide the lyrics to the songs and allow the users to download the music. Sell ad space on your site to make money off your site.
5. Make Money Online by Creating a Social Media Forum
A forum is an exclusive platform where like-minded people come to share ideas. You do not have to make it grand like Facebook or Twitter. If you can find a group that loves to use the platform, you are in business.
The beauty of a forum is that you don’t have to struggle with content creation because the users of the forum will create all the content shared on it. After finding your niche, install the social media scripts and modify the platform for excellent user friendliness.
6. Make Money Online With a Podcast
Podcasts are a big hit right now. It is not difficult to start, you can look for top blogs and agree with the bloggers to allow you read their best posts. With time, you will be hosting all the big shots in the industry. With sufficient audience, you can start charging for adverts in your podcast.
All you need is a hosting platform, a podcast optimized website, and an audio production studio. You can start with a single microphone (the one inside your smartphone works just fine) and your computer.
7. Start a Classified Website to Make Money Online
Allow people to post their ads on your site for free and make money via direct sales, sponsored listings, and advertisement. You will not have a problem with content creation and marketing since users create the content and market their own stuff on your site.
Closely related to a classified website is a directory website. If you create a directory listing hotels or destinations then you can sell airline tickets and get commissions from ticket sales when guests book hotels listed on the site. This works well if there is an incentive such as a discount through online booking.
8. Make Money Online With a Stock Photo Sharing Site
Bloggers, marketers, designers, and other netizens are always looking for fresh images to use with their content. If you can create unique images and graphics and share with your audience, you will certainly have people trooping to your site to scout for fresh content.
You can create high quality images suitable for web use from your mobile camera. If you want to take it a notch higher, you can get a camera and edit the created shots with Adobe Studio (paid) or Photopea (free online tool that works just like Adobe) for stunning images.
9. Make Money Online Offering Your Professional Services
Freelance economy is on the rise. Find the perfect platform to start working right away. The best advantage of working on a platform is that you don’t have to look for the client. Additionally, you are protected from any form of scam since the platform has an Escrow protection.
On the flip side, the competition is open and someone else has a chance of beating you to the deal. Again, your account can be suspended or banned for no good reason. You will lose clients and money since most of these platforms do not encourage sharing personal details such as email addresses or phone numbers. Watch out.
10. Make Money Online Flipping Websites and Domains
You can start making money online by buying expired domains and reselling at a marked-up price. You need to understand factors that make a website domain powerful e.g. domain age, backlinks, etc. Do not get into this business before doing your research otherwise you will end up buying domains that have been spammed to death.
This business works closely with website flipping. You can create websites, give them a momentum and flip high.
11. Make Money Online With a Bulk SMS Website
This website allows users to sign up, make payments and send bulk SMS to a number of recipients. All you need is a hosted website and an SMS delivery system.
These are just some of the methods you can use to make money online. You can choose any that looks easy to you. You will notice that we have not listed some methods like data entry and online surveys here. We have intentionally omitted them because they are not a stable source of income for most people. The surveys are far between that you cannot depend on them to pay the bills. Data entry is just too saturated and the pay meagre that it is not worth the effort.
If you need more clarification about a particular method, you can join our community and chime into to the conversations going on there.