Let's get the harsh realities out of the way first and foremost.
This isn't one of those "Get Rich Quick and Lazy Using the Internet" type of posts.
There are more than enough of those floating around.
You need to know that making money online can be difficult if you don't know where to start.
This is a list of resources that anyone who is interested in making money online can use to get started. Most of these resources are relatively simple to use.
Many of the resources are free, and require only the minimal amount of training to use. Others have a steeper learning curve.
Feel free to try as many as you want. Combine the resources that yield the best results and invest more time and effort to what works.
Bookmark as a reference you can return to as you learn more about earning money online.
Let us know which resources you have the most success with.
InfoLinks - Infolinks is an advertising platform that provides publishers an excellent resource to monetize their content in context. Their acceptance process includes a review of the site you plan to integrate with their service.
How InfoLinks Works
To get started with InfoLinks, go to their website and apply as a publisher. They will conduct a review of your site to ensure it meets their minimum standards. Once approved, log into your dashboard to get the code to add to your site.
When you republish your site, the pages the InfoLinks code is added to will display relevant links based on the context of the content on the page.
Ease of Use
InfoLinks is a Intermediate level resource. You will need a basic familiarity with Content Marketing, Blogging, Digital Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.
If you don't have those skills, don't worry, they provide extensive training on most of the above subjects on their blog.
Ultimately, the only metric that matters is, "How Much Money Can You Make?"
With InfoLinks, your earnings will depend on how much traffic your website generates. More traffic plus better conversions will yield better earnings.
Ebates - I'll be very honest. I usually am not a huge fan of "discount" or "rebate" sites. It's not that they don't work (they do), it's that they are just so tedious to use.
Ebates makes earning money for online shopping you were going to do as simple as two mouse clicks. No hyperbole. It really is that simple.
How Ebates Works
If you are familiar with Affiliate marketing, then the Ebates business model makes sense. Ebates has relationships with thousands of vendors. When you shop with those vendors using your Ebates account, they receive a commission which they then split with you the consumer.
And that split can really add up. For buying stuff you were already going to buy anyway.
Ease of Use
Once you've set up your Ebates account, you simply have to add their "Cash Back Button" to your browser. Then whenever you make a purchase on an eligible site, you will be prompted to activate your cashback before completing your transaction.
It's that simple. There is no need to create a website, or learn any new skills. All you have to do is shop.
Ebates earning potential will depend on how much shopping you do online. But the real money is in sharing Ebates with others. Ebates Referral Program pays $5 dollars plus a tiered bonus for each person who signs up using your unique link. And the bonus stacks up quickly.
The best part is, the person you refer gets a $10 dollar bonus for signing up. And it costs them nothing.
So to recap. Ebates pays you to refer people who save money. And it also pays them a bonus for signing up.
The true definition of a win/win.
Tee Spring/Cafe Press - I've met hundreds of people who say they want to make more money, but they either don't know where to start, or don't have the money to invest as seed capital. These next resources help to solve BOTH of those issues.
While they may not be your long term business plan, they are all excellent ways to generate capital when you are starting with little to spare.
How They Work
Tee Spring and Cafe Press both operate as a wrinkle of the drop shipping business model. You handle the design and the marketing of the product. They will handle product creation, order processing and fulfillment. They will receive the payment for the products sold, and forward your share.
This is a pure profit business model that requires nothing but imagination and an investment in time.
Ease of Use
Tee Spring and Cafe Press are extremely easy to use. While each platform has it's own unique setup, the basic experience is the same.
Simply design a product, set your price and product descriptions, then market.
As with all of these resources, how much you make will depend largely on how much you commit. If your designs suck or fail to draw traction, you will have dismal results.
If, however, you invest the time in learning how to optimize your campaigns for the best results, you will discover that this can be one of the more lucrative ways to make money online.
Share A Sale/Commission Junction - If you've never heard of Affiliate Marketing, now is the best time to get familiar. Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to generate income online.
As an affiliate marketer, you are paid a commission when someone uses your affiliate link to purchase a product from a merchant you recommend.
These affiliate networks represent thousands of the top brands online.
How They Work
An affiliate program basically pays a referral fee when a transaction is completed using an affiliate's link. These merchants are looking for customers, and they are willing to pay a commission on any business an affiliate provides.
Ease of Use
There are multiple ways to make money using an affiliate network. The most common is to post banner ads on your website. As consumers have become desensitized to banner ads, however, a more effective approach is to incorporate affiliate links into content.
Another extremely effective tactic is to include affiliate links in emails messages.
Basically, once you have set up your account and have gotten approval from a few merchants, you have a host of tactics you can use to get your links in front of potential customers.
With affiliate marketing, you are only limited by your imagination and work ethic. There are everyday people making full time income from affiliate marketing alone. And these two networks are only scratching the very surface.
Over the next 3 years, affiliate marketing is expected to grow 10% annually into an over $6.8 Billion industry.
Once you get in and get your feet wet, there really is no limit to how much you can make as an affiliate marketer.
Udemy/Skillshare- Do you have a skill that you could teach? Are you able to take complex concepts and make them understandable to a complete novice? Then these resources may be right up your alley.
How They Work
In a knowledge based economy, the best way to increase your value is to increase your knowledge. These resources allow you to share your expertise on topics you are an expert on.
Simply decide what you want to teach. Then choose a platform that best suits your needs. Design your curriculum, launch and market your course.
You handle the teaching, these platforms handle the logistics of delivery and managing payment processing.
Ease of Use
Honestly, the hardest thing about teaching online is designing your curriculum. Just about everything has been covered ad infinitum.
That doesn't mean, however, that there is no room for you. You simply have to discover your voice and create a resource that speaks to those with whom your style resonates with.
Each of these platforms have extensive training programs that help walk you through every aspect of teaching online, from basic setup to marketing principles.
As with any of these resources, your potential earnings will depend on the quality of your product and how much work you put into your marketing efforts. For instance, according to Dinesh Thirupuvanam, VP of Marketing at Udemy, 25% of their approved teachers earn more than $10,000 a year.
For sharing your knowledge, that isn't too shabby.
Ad Sense - When it comes to monetizing your website, Google's Adsense is the Big Shark in a Big Pond. If you are starting a blog, this is an excellent way to get started.
How AdSense Works
Google's AdSense is a Cost Per Click advertising program that allows website owners and bloggers to earn money displaying Google ads. Publishers make money from impressions (the amount of page-views or pages or posts with ads), or when a visitor to their site clicks on an ad.
Ease of Use
Signing up for a Google Adsense account is relatively simple. An HTML code is generated when you apply, and you will be instructed to insert it into your site. Once you are aproved, the code will go live and start showing targeted ads to visitors to your site.
While incorporating AdSense into your site is relatively simple, there is a steep learning curve when it comes to actually making money with AdSense. Numerous factors will impact how much you can make.
Clicks on Adsense ads on your site can generate pennies or dollars depending on the keywords your site and/or pages are ranked for.
Keywords with higher cost-per-clicks are more profitable so the better optimized your site is for these keywords, the more you can potentially make.
InBox Dollars -This is probably the simplest way to earn money online. And while you won't get rich, by any stretch of the imagination, it is a great way to start proving that it is possible to make money online.
How Inbox Dollars Works
Inbox Dollars pays you to complete certain actions either online or on your phone. Each action has a pre-assigned value and you can do as many or as few as your qualify for each day.
Ease of Use
Once you sign up, you will determine what type of offers you want to receive. From there, offers will be sent to your inbox on a daily basis (hence the "Inbox") and you choose which ones you want to complete.
You will NOT get rich doing Inbox Dollars. I repeat: You will NOT get rich doing Inbox Dollars. You will be compensated between a couple of pennies for reading an email, to a few dollars for completing a survey.
Inbox Dollars also compensates you 10% of the earnings of anyone you refer. So while it isn't something you will do as a full time opportunity, it is a viable way to optimize your down time.
Amazon Associates - Amazon is one of the largest digital retailers in the world. Its Amazon Associates program is the Godfather of the affiliate game, as one of the first online affiliate marketing programs.
How Amazon Associates Works
Amazon is one of, if not the world's largest retailers, selling over 480 million products in the US last year alone. With over 688,000 different brands offering in excess of 353 million different products.
When a visitor to your site clicks on your affiliate link and goes to Amazon's site, you are eligible for commission on all of the products they purchase. It's really that simple.
You simply have to entice people to click on your affiliate link. Amazon will take the task of converting them from there.
Ease of Use
If you have a website, you are pretty much approved fro an Amazon Affiliates account. As one of the largest online retailers in the world, Amazon's brand recognition is second to none.
There are, however, several ways to incorporate Amazon ads into your site, and it will take some trial and error to discover the most profitable tactics.
Let's be honest; 4% commission on the sale of a $7.99 book is nothing to celebrate. But Amazon pays commission on a tiered scale, from 4% up to 8.50%. and this commission is payable on both small as well are larger ticket items.
Your task is to figure out the most profitable niche to feature on your site. Making great money with Amazon Associates is absolutely possible, but it takes a well defined strategy to achieve.
Lulu - It is estimated that 81% of Americans want to write a book. An overwhelming majority of them never will.
For those who get through the process of actually writing the book, rejection by traditional publishers is the rule rather than the exception.
Lulu is an Print on Demand publishing company has made it easier to skip the gatekeepers altogether, and self-publish instead.
How Lulu Works
Write your book. Edit and format your book. Upload and sell your book.
Lulu handles everything you need to produce and distribute your book project. You handle the marketing.
You can sell both eBooks as well as physical copies. You can also order copies of your book at discounted rates to sell in person.
Ease of Use
The hardest part of using Lulu's services is actually writing your book.
Once your manuscript is completed, edited and revised, it is simply a matter of formatting it for upload.
You choose from a variety of publishing options; upload your book; set your price and get started on your marketing.
Publishing is a $50 Billion a year industry, measured by the scores of books sold in the US alone.
The average self published author makes about $10,000 a year, though that number is largely skewed by a few ultra successful authors.
In fact, in a survey of self-published authors, 10% of authors make 75% of the money.
That said, the odds of being profitable are greater when publishing with Lulu. While most authors with a traditional publisher are paid royalty rates between 8% and 15%, authors who publish with Lulu can keep 80 - 90% of the cost of each book sold.
When self publishing with Lulu, you are free to set your price and anything you make above and beyond your costs is profit.
Ultimately, your success will be dependent on your niche, the quality of your book, the size of your list and your marketing strategy.
Fiverr - Fiverr is an online marketplace that connects digital service providers to clients.
Tasks start at just $5, which is where its name is derived.
How Fiverr Works
Fiverr connects service providing freelances to clients looking for help. Each service offered is known as a "Gig", and the initial starting price point for new sellers is $5.
Once a Gig is selected and completed, the service provider is paid from money deposited into Fiverr's escrow account.
Ease of Use
When you sign up as a seller on Fiverr, you complete a profile then post your gig. From there, you're really only limited by your creativity and efficiency.
You deliver your completed project; you get paid. Rinse and repeat.
I'm not going to try to convince anyone that $5 is a lot of money. It isn't.
But leveraged properly, you can complete several gigs efficiently. After a seller has been on the site for 30 days, and has successfully completed 10 gigs, they get promoted to the next level where they can start offering gigs for more than $5.
Fiverr allows sellers to st their pricing from $5 - 995 and they can also offer up to 3 versions of their services at 3 different price points.
Between the service upgrades, and the ability to offer multiple price points, it's possible to turn a $5 gig into a project that nets a few hundred dollars or more.
For some sellers, Fiverr provides side income. For others, Fiverr is a full-time opportunity. Once you pay your dues and become both proficient and efficient, the sky's the limit for your earning.
So now it's your turn.
Feel free to try one; a couple; or several of these resources.
Let us know which one you have the best success with.
Also, what other monetization resources were left off that you feel we should have included?
Let us know in the comments below.
Author: Daniel Williams
It took me a lot longer than I would have liked, but I finally figured it out: Time is the Ultimate Currency. Learn the tips, tricks and obstacles I encounter on my journey to escape from the rat race.