I’m going to show you the best ways to make money online that I personally use. I feel like you’re really going to get some awesome insights and possibilities from this article so sit back and enjoy.
These methods of mine only touch on the basics. You’ll still get a good idea. Later I’ll write more in depth articles about each method.
Don’t worry, this won’t be a regurgitated list of ways to make money online thrown together or things that I pretend to have done like most chumps out there. Some of these methods you have already heard, but it’s a bit different when someone gives specifics. These are methods that I HAVE DONE and I am make money doing it. Some of the money is miniscule, however, it’s scale-able. AND MOST people don’t give you the technique, they just list something like “Sell t shirts online”. Goodness gracious.
Making money online isn’t easy. It’s not rocket science, but it does require a lot of time, effort, and persistence.
First off, a little background. With the help of my savings account, I’ve taken a year off of from my mechanically engineering job to totally focus and pursue making money online. I want a passive income, so when I go back to work, I have additional money coming in.
My Goal is to make $5,000 to $10,000 a month. Currently, I’m making about $800 to $1200 a month.
I realized very early that, things take time (some more than others), and nothing is ever instant. So, I dabbled in a lot of things while I waited for results in other projects I had started. I have spent a lot of money in online courses, many of you have probably heard of these below.
Courses that I’ve bought & been through:
- Source Wave University by Alex Becker, Greg Ortiz ($49/mo)
- Source Revive by Alex Becker ($1600/year)
- Wealthy Affiliate
- Ecom Success Academy by Adrian Morrison ($2900)
- SEO that Works by Brian Dean
- Lead Generation Explosion by Joe Troyer
- T Shirt Tango
- Kallzu by Chris Winters
- Rank XL by Chris Lee
I… have learned… quite a bit. But there is always room for more. So, if you’re relatively new or want to look at how other real people are making money online, then you’re in the right place.
I don’t regret any of those programs except for Source Revive… that was a total bust for me. Luckily they have shut the program/ software down and received a partial refund. You win some, you lose some.
Currently, I have two main sites including this site. And over 90 PBN sites, 30 which are functional. And yes, PBN links do still work. They aren’t white hat though. Most people fail to realize that most of SEO isn’t white hat.
I’m going to break everything down with the basic technique. If you want more information, I’ll try to give you a link to learn more.
Pros to making Money Online?
- HIGHLY Scalable:
- Low Maintenance:
- Passive Income:
- Flexible Schedule:
- Virtually no Interaction with People: I love people… but I don’t like dealing with them when they’re mad.
Drawbacks to making money Online?
- Hard to set up and get going – It requires a lot of patience
- Takes a while to see what works and what doesn’t work
Table of Contents
My Best Ways to Make Money Online:
1. Google Adsense (Website):
There are two ways you can use Adsense: on your website and on Youtube.
Let’s first talk about Adsense for your website. In a nutshell, you sign up with Google Adsense. Start creating ads. Paste the ad code on your website to display the ads.
The great thing about Adsense is that it pays 68% of the cost per click to you. So let’s say someone clicks on an ad that has a bid of $2. You get $1.36 from that click (68%)
Do your niche research – Pick it wisely. In Google Keyword planner, you want a good mix of being able to rank for keywords easily and also a high bid price. The high bid price is a rough estimate of what an advertiser will pay per click on your site.
- Choose a good host – I personally recommend A2 Hosting because their pricing is great, reliability is awesome, but most importantly, their speed and upgraded SSD hard drives on all plans. I recently moved over from Godaddy. While they were… ok (3 out of 5 stars), there were A LOT of problems. All my websites were down for a day, this happened twice this year AND on top of that my pages had slow load times, more specifically time to first byte (TTFB) which should be only 100ms while I was getting 3 to 4 seconds! Site speed IS A RANKING FACTOR. Now when you reach 50,000 monthly visitors, reassess your host ing plan and look to upgrade the plan
- Build a website – I use wordpress since it’s the most popular with the most support.
- Get Traffic – Build backlinks, write helpful comments, go to forums, quora.com, etc.
- Start monetizing – You can start as early as 100-200 visitors a day.
- Sign up with Google Adsense.
- Create Ads – Create your ads in Adsense and place the adsense codes on your website
- Experimenting with Ad Placements – Ads on your sidebar and following the end of your first
- Experimenting with Ad Size – I find that 336 x 280 , 300 x 250 ads work the best
- Experimenting with Ad Colors – Every site is different, sometimes the ugliest clashing color scheme converts best, somtimes a themed color works best.
Some niches pay better than others. If you have a niche about an old celebrity ( Elvis Presley ), adsense won’t pay you very much per click because there aren’t very many advertisers that drive up the bid.
Some niches perform better than others. People who click on self help items are usually optimistic people who can be easily influenced… hey it’s ok, I’m one of them too! Statistically, they have a greater chance to be influenced by an ad resulting them to click on it.
Proof of This Concept:
- I have a Celebrity site that pulls in 700 visitors a day – I make an average of $3 a day from it.
- This website (which is pretty new) only pulls in 100 visitors a day (pretty weak) – I also make an average of $3 a day from it. I’ve made a $20 day one day, a few $10 ones. This site has a better audience, higher CTR on ads, and makes as much money as my other site. If I scale this to 700 visitors a day, like my other site, I should be seeing a seven fold increase.
- The niche matters!
Curious about how much you can make?
Then perform a little Estimate with Google Keyword Planner:
Let’s get an idea by opening up Google Keyword Planner. I’ll input some of the keywords from my posts on my websites to see how much advertisers are willing to pay for that keyword. Remember, this is a rough estimate. Click to zoom in on the image. You can see in the suggested bid column that a lot of advertisers are willing to pay a lot for the keyword “best credit cards” ~$21. While a keyword like “Taylor Swift Photos” only returns ~$0.50.
Google Adsense CPM:
If you want to get into cost per thousand views (CPM) instead of clicks, Google compensates you for this in their adsense program. You would have to focus on creating a huge website, 10,000 visitors a day to see any real gains using this method. You might get $1 for 1,000 views of an ad.
Google Adsense Tips and Impacts:
Adsense can be frustrating sometimes. Sometimes you’ll make a lot one month and almost half that amount the next month. There are a wide range of factors that affect ads.
- YOUR NICHE – The single most important factor is your niche. Your niche is comprised on certain keywords. Advertisers will pay more for certain keywords than others. Makes sense. If you’re in a niche where the advertisers won’t pay much for the keywords then you are not going to make as much. Use Google Keyword planner to get a rough idea
- Create Quality Content – If you have crap content, people probably aren’t going to read it, meaning you won’t get any clicks.
- Good Headlines – You want to keep people clicking through your site so you can increase their exposure to ads, increasing their likely hood of clicking. Good Headlines from
- Website Appearance – If the website
- Country you’re targeting – Different countries have different advertisers and prices per click.
- Bounce Rate & Page Views –
- Different Times of Seasons – This is where marketing typically takes off strong for a month and then trickles out…or shuts down. For fashion, there are big bursts of ads at the beginning of each fashion season. Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall… … all you’ve got to do is call… and i’ll b… sorry I couldn’t help myself (exit James Taylor)
- Advertisers’ budgets & Experiments – Advertisers monitor their Google Adwords campaigns. Depending if they are doing good or bad, they scale up or down resulting in higher or lower bids for keywords in the end reflecting how much money you make.
- Industry Timing of your niche – For example, snow boarding sites won’t make much money in the spring compared to the fall when snowboard season is gearing up.
- Attitudes of your visitors – For example, if it’s right after xmas, most people aren’t looking to spend much. Another one is right after tax season, where people are looking to spend money since they just received their tax refund. Advertisers pay a lot to run ads during these times. They are frantically trying to lure in customers because they know they have extra money. I typically think of a vulture when I think of advertisers.
- The Ad Cycle – Certain Ads that were performing well are being replaced by other ads that aren’t as appealing to your costumers.
2. Pay per Call (Lead Generation):
What is Lead Generation or Pay per Call?:
Local Pay per call lead generation is driving calls to local businesses and those businesses pay per every call that you send their way. It’s similar to what Home Adviser does. Everything is tracked through a call tracking system. The best call tracking system that I’ve used is Callrail. You buy a number and every call is tracked through that number. You get voice recordings of each call, minutes, caller ID etc so it’s very easy to validate leads.
This is currently my favorite way of making money online because you are providing a valuable service to other companies, the next runner up is Adsense.
Businesses are always wanting to look for more business. The hardest thing about pay per call is the fact that you have to approach businesses and sell them your calls. It looks intimidating at first but once you find out that they want the leads, you don’t really have to sell them. The leads sell themselves. Usually what I do is I email a range of companies saying that our company can’t handle are influx of calls and need to outsource them, we’ll offer you 3 free calls and then we’ll follow up to see if you’d like more. Hardly anyone will resist 3 free calls.
I have had experience building a website for my dad’s architecture business and getting him on Google My Business (Formerly Google Places). After I signed up for a few courses online, learned a few techniques, and found out that they had something called “call tracking”, my eyes lit up and the race was on.
The Basic Pay per call Technique I use:
- Research and study a niche in your town: Water restoration, Plumbing, Roof Repair etc with Google Adwords and Google Trends. Look at the volume of searches per month, it needs to be 50+ or more monthly searches for a term like “plumbing kennewick wa”.
- Get a call tracking system (like callrail) $30 a month and 10 tracking numbers. Definitely worth the price. Set up the numbers on your Google my Business page and your website. Every number that calls through the call tracking number is tracked and monitored and displayed beautifully.
- Set up a business on Google My Business with your address, a friend’s, coworkers, etc. It’s super simple and easy. FYI, apartment addresses won’t work.
- Create a simple website for your business front using WordPress.
- Rank your business in the Local business search results by using citations, I use this service (get the niche add on too). It’s the best AND cheapest citation service that I’ve used, and I’ve used a lot of them! Trust me. I’ve learned more on how to rank your business in google maps and search results.
- The higher in Google you can rank, the more calls will come in.
- Start searching for competitors and emailing them your offer with a free trial incentive with no obligations.
You can definitely use other techniques and bypass Google my Business like using Craigslist etc to drive in calls.
So far.. I have 7 businesses on Google Maps. However only 2 of the 7 are being used. The other 5 are almost ready for action.
I generate about $1000 a month off of calls and I’m looking to double that here shortly.
I’ll write more articles soon:
- How to Rank in Google Maps
- Other methods to Drive in more calls
- Best Citation Service I use
- Best Pay per Call Tracking Systems
3. Google Adsense (Video):
Youtube and online video is the future. It’s been increasing every year astronomically. By 2019, 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video – Source: Reel SEO.
If you’re smart, you won’t ignore your trends… like any business, they will help you anticipate your next move. There will always be a market for text based sites. However, if more people are spending their time watching videos, then your market is shrinking day by day. I would diverse into both, like diversifying your stock portfolio so you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket.
Now, I don’t have too much experience in this area of monetizing Youtube videos with Adsense, however my brother does. He is making more money in Google Adsense for youtube than for Adsense for his website.
He’s not making a whole lot of money, but just to give you an idea, he has about 10 or so health videos (Doctor Scott Health) and he makes about $100 a month on youtube ads. That’s relatively small I understand, but that’s for 10 videos! He could EASILY scale this.
He says the steps are simple:
- Create your own videos – Focus on high quality content and presentation. An iPhone will suffice – use it to get started, but if you get a better camera that can achieve that blurred out depth of field look then it will really add some presentation value. So I would either borrow from a friend of buy a Good Affordable SLR for $300-$400. Since the kit lens that comes with that camera sucks, you’ll want to buy a 50mm 1.8 lens. It will be the best lens for the money on a budget. For lights, just use window lighting. If you need it controlled, I have purchased this setup, and it’s awesome for the price, but save yourself some money and use the window. SOUND! Good quality audio IS A MUST. I use this awesome mic for screen recording voice overs and this lapel mic for when I’m recording myself on camera explaining something – like a how to video. Make sure you read the reviews, currently it’s 3.5 stars. This is a 4.5 star mic in my opinion for the price.
- Good Quality Editor – You can get by with Microsoft movie maker. However, when you grow, you’ll want to upgrade. I use Adobe Premiere an industry standard in video editing ( I confess, I have a cracked version of it) and also Camtasia for screen recording. It’s awesome and intuitive.
- Brand your videos – Add a logo opener to the beginning of your videos. You can buy something on Fiverr.
- Refrain from using music – Using music will get tagged and flagged so you can’t monetize it.
- On Page SEO – Perform proper on page SEO in your video’s description and tags to have it rank better.
- Click on the monetize feature.
- You’re ready to rock and roll.
- Focus on helping others’ problems – Those will get the most views and likes.
- The more views you receive, the more clicks, meaning more adsense revenue.
THIS is probably the easiest way to make money online. No creating a website, no wordpress, no hosting, no over head.
4. Shopify – eCOM
Shopify and ecom has becoming more and more popular these days. Shopify is the most popular selling platform out there and for good reason.
Setting up a store on Shopify is EXTREMELY SIMPLE. It took me about an hour, and I was up and running WITH products.
The best part is that I don’t handle any physical products from Shopify. Everything is dropshipped from China, and I have no overhead. I pretty much play the middle man.
Sure there are some people that aren’t going to wait 9-15 days. But you’d be surprised.
Get ready… because the below strategy is one that I use straight out of Adam Morrison’s Success ECOM Academy which costs $1999 to $2999. So you better be thankful that I’m sharing it with you because it’s an awesome strategy and I’m excited to share it with you. 🙂
The Shopify Strategy I use is:
- Create a Shopify Store ($30/mo)
- Sign up for Oberlo App ($4.99) – NEW LOW PRICE – This app is AWESOME. It connects Aliexpress to your Shopify store seamlessly. Oberlo tracks the Aliexpress items in realtime so if the Aliexpress items sell out, it show up in your store as “sold out”. Sweet. It also auto updates the price. If the price changes in Aliexpress, so does your store. Adding items on Aliexpress to Oberlo is seamless with their chrome extension. The best thing about Oberlo is that it completes all your orders for you pretty much automatically in two clicks. I click on “pay for item” and it FILLS IN ALL the shipping address information and then I hit pay. It’s really an incredible tool. I’m in love.
- Research and find a good item to sell.
- Focus on items that have ePacket. ePacket is a really cheap shipping method that takes 10 to 15 days to arrive to the US.
- Drive traffic by using an already existing website of yours in a relative niche.
- Drive traffic by using Pay for Ads (Adwords) focusing on .01 – .10 / click
- If the customers don’t like their item, offer them a full refund if they ship it back. They will have to wait 2 weeks though. Also offer them a 50% reduction immediately to keep the item. Most people will take the 50% reduction and you’ll still be up on top!
Further Reading – Articles I plan to Write – (google these for the mean time):
- How to choose a good item to sell on Aliexpress
- How to encourage buyers to buy with a long shipping (10 to 15 days).
5. Selling T Shirts Online
Uh oh… not another “making money from t shirt” tutorial. Don’t worry, my technique doesn’t involve Teespring. Forget that website, it’s unrealistic now. The Teespring days are over.
I always had a fascination with tshirts. I first started out YEARS ago on Spreadshirt and Zazzle and earned a measly $2-$3 dollars off of selling one shirt… Bahhh… Pointless. Well, I’ve sold $500 worth of tshirts on zazzle, so it’s not a total waste. My most popular design was this odd dinosaur design. But, in hindsight the $500 could have been $2000.
Now… I use an amazing website called GearBubble.
With GearBubble, Tshirts cost about $10 for the base price and there is NO MINIMUM ORDER. I repeat, NO MINIMUM ORDER. The horrible thing about these other t shirt sites like Teespring, Viralstyle, and Represent is that all of them have a minimum order of about 50 shirts to get the bulk pricing of $10/shirt. Rubbish. Another great reason I like GearBubble is that they aren’t extremely strict on copyright rules. Let’s say you’re placing some artwork of a celebrity you made on a t-shirt, most other sites won’t allow this however gearbubble does.
Redbubble and Society6 are some other t shirt sites that are lenient on copyright rules with the emphasis on justifying it as artwork. These websites just don’t have a good pay margin like gearbubble does.
Now, If you’re making stupid, half-assed t-shirt designs, just stop.
If you can’t design – Hire a designer from Fiverr or Odesk – for about $30 to $50 a design.
I try to design shirts that I would wear OR can see other people wanting to wear.
Make something different that people haven’t seen – nobody wants to see stupid, recycled designs OR recreate a design and make it a bunch better
Use t-shirt designs that represent and identify people. More people will buy a shirt if it represents who they are at a deep level. Answer the question, “Would I wear this shirt if I were them”
Find affinity groups – Design for affinity groups, nurses, dog lovers, mechanical engineers etc.
Go out and look at ideas from Wanelo, Pinterest, other sites selling t shirts like Zazzle, Cafepress.
Here are my Techniques
Ranking Pages Using SEO:
- Create a website
- Create a post and name it something like “5 Best ______ designs that will make you laugh”.
- Gather about 5 designs that you like: all yours or a mix or yours and others
- Hire a cheap guy to write a 500 word article relating to your niche. This is mainly for SEO purposes. I use iwriter, costs me about $5.
- Rank it in google search by using SEO techniques
- Traffic is now coming in.
- Brand new sites take about 1-2 months to rank.
- It will take about $50 – $100 in SEO services. I’ve outlined the SEO services steps here.
Sending Traffic with Adwords and Retargeting:
Send traffic with Adwords, focusing on 1 to 15 cents a click. Retarget people using Google Adwords. If you don’t know how to retarget, do a google search on it.
Stay away from Facebook Ads. I don’t like targeting on facebook. It only works if you have a viral design that catches on. Google AdWords is better in my opinion because you’ll have people
Pinterest and Instagram:
Create a Pinterest account and add a lot of other pins regarding to your niche so it doesn’t look empty. Make sure your design stands out. Let’s say that you make a dinosaur pin board with all things dinosaur. Have
Use forums online that targets your specific niche. It depends on your shirt, is it forum worthy? Make a design that you can easily share on a forum, something usually thought provoking. A shirt like “This gal is loves nursing” is a poor example, they are a dime a dozen and would probably be considered spam in the forum. Choose a design that people haven’t done. Find a way to fit it in a comment…
A brilliant example is using a shirt design that is a little controversial and asking other people’s opinion:
“I found this shirt online. Not sure if I’ll buy it, but have to say it’s brilliant, haha! However, my wife keeps nagging at me saying that it’s racist. What do you guys think?
Looks genuine, doesn’t over hype saying “buy me, buy me” which causes people’s defenses to go up. A qualifier I use is “that I’m NOT sure if I’ll buy it”. It makes the comment look more genuine. This will increase people talking about it.
This method revolves around the same principle that the forum method above uses.
Go to website pages that have comments near the bottom of the page talking about the niche that your t-shirt design is in.
- Create a GOOD design & artwork – something professional that you would wear
- Drive traffic to your designs with organic search results or Google Adwords (.01 – .05 cents/click)
It’s been said OVER and OVER and OVER… “write an ebook”. It’s come to a point that it’s cliche now.
However, one thing remains true – Knowledge is power. Things are being figured out every day and NOT everything has been figured out.
If you solve other people’s problems, you will become invaluable. Please repeat that in your head. You need to provide VALUE. That’s the whole point of selling something.
ALSO, it’s all about PRESENTATION, PRESENTATION, PRESENTATION! If the book doesn’t look like it’s worth anything, people won’t buy it. People DO judge the book by its cover. If you’re curious, the ebook above was created from this Envato template that I love to use. Get a good solid design going and then use the template to spit out a high quality product!
Dig deep into your experiences – things that you know and what you have overcome in your life. Or make your mess your message. Maybe it’s something that you’re struggling with right now, an illness dealing, crone’s disease, IBS, a UTI. Make it a point to solve it. Along your journey of solving it, document it and share your experience.
My brother wrote an UTI ebook that he sells on amazon for $2.99. He sells quite a lot of them and makes around $300/month. Not a lot of money but still a good chunk of money. Now his ebook is researched extremely well (he’s a pharmacist) and adds a lot of value. In my opinion, he should be selling this for $10 to $15
I wrote a little eBook that summarized Tai Lopez’s 67 Steps and used it as a free product for an email opt in. People are so curious about Tai Lopez and his program and I solved a problem for them. I can easily sell this for $10.
So far, I have collected 2000 emails from that optin, in only 4 months!
7. Affiliates (Amazon, Etsy, etc):
I have a love hate relationship with affiliates. I don’t make much with this route. You make about 6% of every sale which isn’t much. It’s a good supporting income, but to make any good amount of money, it’s all about volume and targeting buyers.
The screenshot above shows that I make about $30 a month in Amazon affiliates.
I make money mostly through posts on my website that are related to the product. This isn’t the best method though.
If you really want to make money with affiliates, you should use YouTube videos and create a detailed review of the item and why you recommend it. When you create review videos, you are targeting people looking to buy the item- it’s extremely targeted. This method brings a high yield. However, don’t overpromote and don’t underestimate people. They can pick out phonies from a mile away. Be genuine and don’t over hype it.
Popular Affiliate Programs:
Popular Affiliate Networks:
Don’t stop there! Do you pay for a service on the web? There’s a pretty good chance that there is an affiliate program for it! The affiliate program links are usually found on the footer of the website. Or you can google “(your service) affiliate program” and it will pop up if it has one.
For example, A2 hosting is the hosting I use and love. I would search google “A2 Hosting Affiliate Program” and join their affiliate program.
8. Rank and Rent Strategy:
This strategy deals with setting up a website and ranking for keywords. The keywords that I usually try to rank for are local keywords for businesses.
- Target businesses like: Dentists, Plumbers, Cleaning Services, Mobile Dent Repair, Roofing, etc.
- Make sure you target keywords that have proven track record in Google Keyword Planner with the monthly search volume. Anywhere from 20 – 500 searches per month.
- Use SEO strategies to Rank your articles and keywords.
- Use the plugin: Rent-a-SERP. You can specify what page you want to rent out. It will display a bottom overlay of the screen saying something like ” Do you want to rent out this Page? Click here?”. Through the overlay on the plugin, any visitor can click and play via paypal to rent out the page.
- You can also approach companies by cold emailing them, saying “Hey, I have a page of mine that is ranking #1 in Google for “Boston Dentistry”. Google shows that it gets roughly 150 people per month. I’m just letting you know that I’m renting out this top spot in google. You can go over to the page here _____ to rent it out.”
Anyways, that concludes some of the best ways to make money online! Hope this helps some people. I might go more into depth with a full article on each one.
Feel free to comment if you have any questions or need further explanations!