Has this question on how to make money online been sneaking up on you every time you browse through a business website you admire and keep wondering how those guys do it?
Do you have an offline business, and you’d love to transition to a freedom-based business model? Or perhaps you’re not a business owner, but you have solid experience, expertise, and passion for your career, and you’d love to reach more people. Either way, there is a method to bring your knowledge online, and in doing so, skyrocket your reach, leverage your time, and take the ceiling off your income.
Gone are the days where starting a business means you need to write out a long, detailed business plan, meet with bankers, take out a large loan, and build a brick-and-mortar business, hoping that the people in your community will become your customers.
In today’s world, with a laptop and an internet connection, you have the ability to start an online business and start minting mula.
For many people, especially 21st century kids (millennials), making money online would be the real deal, the ultimate financial dream come true. If they could find a way to make money with a website or some other online venture, they could quit their job to focus on entrepreneurship, spend more time with their family, and finally take back control of their time and their lives.
Thing is, earning money online isn’t a pipe dream. I have been doing it for nearly a decade now with my website Burt Systems. I also know hundreds of other people who are making money online in their own way with websites, online courses, or unique online marketing strategies.
But that shouldn’t stop you in your track yet, this post gets better with each line! The majority of ways to make money online are not that complicated. Like any business venture, your online business can take some time to grow. You need to be willing to invest the time, skill and energy required to get your idea off the ground, and you need grit to stick with it even if your journey is slow when you first start out.
If you’re considering strategizing on how to make money online and can’t place a finger on which ways to focus your attention on, I’ve put together several of the best and most realistic strategies to consider. Let’s dig right in.
Whether you’re already coaching clients or just thinking about getting started, taking your consulting services online can help find more clients and make more money than you thought possible.
I’ve been freelancing online for nearly a decade, first as a ghost blogger, UX designer and later an online marketing consultant. I’ve witnessed first-hand how traditional jobs have transitioned over to the online space. I can tell you, few jobs have benefited from the reach and distribution of the internet like online coaching and consulting.
If you’re an expert in any field, you could potentially find people willing to pay you to counsel them on their personal or business goals. You might think you’re not important enough to consult for big companies, but you could be surprised at the types of expertise people will pay for.
Many overloaded business owners and busy individuals have a need to resolve issues that require specialized expertise. This is when they go looking for a professional consultant who can provide the knowledge and experience they lack, for as little or as long as they need the help. And guess where they go looking, online!
My definition of a consultant is a little skewed but you can live with that. A consultant is an expert who advises others in a specific field or to fix specific problems. In an effort to improve results in their lives or businesses, people bring in one or more consultants to assess issues, provide solutions, and help to implement necessary changes.
While you can turn any type of knowledge into a consulting business, here a few of the best industries to consider now.
If you’ve visited any website, you’ve seen Google ads. These ads are everywhere, and for good reason. Question is, what is Google Adsense? Google AdSense is an advertising program that allows you to run ads on your website or blog, or YouTube videos, and get paid when visitors click on them. The ads are generated from businesses that use Google’s AdWords program.
For new websites or blogs, the AdSense program can be one of the fastest ways to generate income, which is why it’s so popular. Not only are they easy to set up on any basic website, but they can be lucrative once your website starts bringing in a steady amount of traffic. The catch here is that you have to have a functioning with growing traffic.
One of the cool things about Google AdSense is that it’s so easy to get set up. If you have a functioning website, blog or App, you can sign up for a free Google AdSense Account. From there, Google will give you a unique code that you will paste onto your website. Google takes it from there, tracking your page views, traffic, and earnings on your behalf. There is no upkeep or maintenance to get this thing going, which makes it a no-brainer if you have a website already.
How much will you earn? I don’t have those numbers but from my experience and working my memory, I think my best month paycheck with Google AdSense was almost $3,000, considering the last ten years. That amazing month blew my mind since it was actually near the beginning of my blogging journey and clients from my web design business would allow me to place to use some pages on their websites to place Ads. When you go from making zero to $3,000 in a month, that will rock your world. For me, it also got me even more excited because I knew there were other ways to monetize.
That said, AdSense is a great way to earn money online, but it’s not a get-rich-quick or make-money-doing-nothing program. Further, Google has a lot of rules that aren’t always noticed upfront. As a result, many website owners have found out the hard way that they’d violated a Google policy, and have lost their account forever.
Affiliate marketing is an ideal home or online business because it doesn’t require much money to get started, and you don’t have produce, stock or ship product inventory, or deliver a service. You’re essentially paid for referring new clients and customers to other businesses. Affiliate marketing isn’t hard, but like any business venture, it requires knowledge, planning, and consistent effort to make any significant income.
Whether you have a website or are still dreaming up ideas for a blog, you can look into affiliate marketing as a way to make money online. With affiliate marketing, you partner with brands and businesses within the content of your website. If you mention a product or service, you link to that produce or service using a unique affiliate code you received when you signed up for that particular affiliate program. From there, you’ll make money any time someone buys a product or service through your link.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to partner with affiliates that are related to your blog concept.
In addition to signing up for individual affiliate programs, you can also sign up for an affiliate ad network that offers a ton of different affiliates in one place. That way, you can see what works and what doesn’t work over time.
Can you make money online with affiliate marketing?
The short answer is yes, affiliate programs can earn you extra money and even a full-time income from home. The long answer is a little more complicated. Like any online money making venture, success comes not so much from what you choose to do to make money, but whether or not you do what needs to be done correctly and consistently.
The problem with affiliate marketing, like many other home business options, are the so-called gurus and get-rich-quick programs (like venturebeat.com) that suggest affiliate marketing can be done fast and with little effort. Odds are you’ve read claims of affiliate marketing programs that say you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month doing almost nothing (“click here to get rich!”). Or, they suggest you can set up your affiliate site, and then forget it, except to check your bank deposits.
The reality in affiliate marketing is that it’s like most other work-at-home ventures; there are a few who are filthy rich, a good number who are successful enough to meet their goals, and a ton who aren’t making anything.
In Uganda, we have some great affiliate programs that you may want to consider like;
Overall, your chances for making money with an affiliate program are probably no better and no worse than any other type of online business. Your success depends on how well you execute your affiliate business plan.
If you have writing skills and creative talent, it’s also possible to get paid to create online content. I don’t do this as much as I used to, but I am very aware of how viable this income stream is.
Freelance writing (freelancing) is becoming a popular career choice for those who wish to work from home or abroad or while travelling. For some, the freedoms associated with a career in freelance writing could outweigh the actual take home pay. For others, freelance writing is a way to catapult themselves from the daily grind of the 9 to 5 world.
When you’re locked into making money online and you focus on freelance writing as your primary source of income, you can literally work from anywhere in the world. Some professional freelance writers have taken this as an opportunity to use freelance writing as a method to fund their adventures. Others use freelance writing a way to stay at home and spend more time with their families.
I’ve paid out over Ush35m over the last 2 years to freelancers for creating content for my various clients’ businesses. You can make some serious money freelancing.
So how do you start making money online with freelance writing?
First, do some research about freelancing and then start brushing up on your writing skills. The best advice I would recommend here is start a blog and write about something you think someone would be interested in reading. Through your blog you’ll learn what your users like more and concentrate on building and growing that audience. Your blog will also help you on expanding your portfolio that you’ll leverage on finding freelancing gigs. You’ll be able to find Freelance writing gigs online once you have your blog rolling or they’ll be able to find you once you focus on a niche.
Now it’s time to actively search for freelance writing jobs. When I first started freelance writing, I used Problogger and Freelance Writing Jobs. These job boards list new jobs daily and are often good quality jobs. I avoided freelance marketplaces like Upwork because the jobs weren’t high quality and I actually never landed a gig there. Go to social media and start connecting or following other writers and businesses you want to write for. Guest posting is great to build your portfolio. It’s also a way to get your name out there. For every guest post, you write and is published you receive an author bio with links back to your writer website, portfolio, or social media profiles.
The best thing you can do as a new freelance writer is continue to learn. Whether it’s writing tips, business tips or pitching tips, hone your skills by learning from those who have done it before.
When Gutenberg invented the printing press, the world changed forever. Education spread to the masses. Famous Renaissance artists, like Leonardo da Vinci, learned from books and wrote new books to be passed on to the next generation. It paid to be an author back in those days!
Today, the Internet is our printing press and we produce new content at an exponential rate. Like in the Renaissance, many people are learning new skills online, outside of their formal education. Today, it pays to create and sell online courses.
Given that you’re reading about how to make money online right now, you’ve probably already realized this. While books have traditionally been a great way to pass on information, online courses are more engaging and interactive, making it a far more effective method of education.
If you have any skill you can teach others, it’s also possible to set up an online course you can market online. You can find online courses that teach anything from cooking to marketing or even freelance writing. Heck, I even offer my own course for small business owners who want to take their businesses online.
If you’re ready to delve into the world of online teaching, follow the steps below.
Choose a Course Topic: Make a list of things you know about. Perhaps it’s something your friends and family ask you for help on. Maybe it’s a skill related to yours. Do you have a hobby you can teach others about, such as watercolor painting for beginners or how to lower your score in golf?
Do Market Research: You don’t want to spend a lot of time creating a course that no one will buy. Many people might want to know about your topic, but the question is; are they willing to pay to learn it?
Outline Your Course: If you’ve determined there is a market willing to buy your course, the next step is in determining what you’ll put in the course. By the nature of a course, the content you provide should go deep into the topic and cover all important aspects. A course isn’t like a blog post, which often just skims the surface.
Decide the Best Methods to Deliver Your Lessons: There is an expectation that online courses will offer a variety of teaching methods, such as text, video, worksheets, checklists, infographics, audio, and anything else that delivers information. The trick is in determining what format is best for what you’re trying to teach.
Create Your Lessons: It is the most time-consuming aspect of creating an online course. Consider creating a logo or a color theme that appears in all lesson content. Proofread your text lessons and watch your videos to make sure there are no errors or glitches.
Determine How You’ll Sell Your Lesson: For the most control, create a website to host and deliver your lesson. There are membership site scripts and WordPress plugins that can help you set up a system for selling and delivering your course. For faster, less technical effort, you can use an online course service, such as Udemy or SkillShare. The benefit to these resources is that you simply upload your course and the sites take care of selling it to their members/market, including payment processing. The downside is that they own the market and platform. Plus, you’re competing with other course providers, which can mean the need to reduce the price of your course to compete.
Load Your Course Online: Once you’ve picked your platform, upload your course. If the platform allows you to customize your course, such as adding a logo or color scheme, add them. It will help you create your unique brand.
Market Your Course: Regardless of your platform, you need to promote your course. Even using a service like Udemy, in which students can find you by perusing the Udemy marketplace, you want to do your own marketing.
Keep Your Course Information Up-to-Date: Every few months or so, check that your course information is current and relevant. Outdated information doesn’t help your students and can lead to bad reviews. Don’t forget to check and fix any broken links to resources.
Rinse and Repeat: There’s no rule that you have to stick with one course. If there are other courses you can teach related to your initial course, create those. You can then refer your students to these other courses.
Ultimately, creating and making money from online courses can be quite lucrative if you’re able to provide a great course and reach your target marketing. Plus, with easier to use and more affordable resources to host your course, there’s no reason to avoid becoming an online instructor. While it can take time to create all the lessons in your course, once uploaded, it can become a profitable source of passive income to your existing business or as a business all on its own.
While the publishing industry used to be heavy in print, you can complete the entire process of writing, publishing, and marketing a book online these days. There are now dozens of websites to help budding authors to publish their novels, poems and pictures and, perhaps, even make a profit from it. Websites like, lulu.com and createspace.com will let you upload and take your book to print without getting a formal publisher involved, and you can even get your book on Amazon.com or its child weread.com so people can buy it online. See Ugandans publications on Amazon.
Amazon’s digital text platform allows you to upload your pre-prepared files to its Kindle reader and then set your own price. The catch? Amazon takes 65% of the income from sales. Ouch. Fortunately, there are lots of other options for budding authors. What you get out of them is subject only to the limits of your imagination.
It doesn’t have to be an embryonic bestseller because self-publishing is best suited to limited editions. Anything over 1,000 copies and you would be better off going to a traditional printer to take advantage of economies of scale. I know a lot people who are self-publishing a record of their own lives together with memories of their parents and grandparents as a bit of family history. That’s not vanity publishing, just a great way to preserve memories for future generations and add to the archive of local history. Self-publishing is ideal for that.
If you think you could write a book people would want to buy, this is a smart strategy to consider since the start-up costs can be minimal and you probably already have a computer and word processing software anyway.
It’s no secret that the Internet has given rise to a plethora of online communities. Dubbed ‘forums’, they are online homes for like-minded followers of a particular cause. There are forums dedicated to car marques, business, travel, computer gaming and more.
As more members join these online communities, the amount of traffic to those sites increase. These days a lot of savvy forum owners are monetizing their sites to benefit from this increased web traffic.
The Internet is immeasurably huge and people can find out anything they want to know with the click of a button. But the social behaviors of humans haven’t changed even with the internet revolution. They still like to form little communities and compare notes and exchange opinions. That’s why the social networks are so popular.
But social networks are dynamic sites, the information is constantly flowing and changing. If you leave and come back at a later time, you’ve missed part of the conversation. Forums, on the other hand, are static sites. You type in your response and it stays there, online, forever. Other people, joining the conversation at a later time, can see the entire conversation and pitch in their 2 cents and a single conversation in a thread can go on forever.
But you can use this modern way of connecting to your advantage. You can also make money online by building an online community that follows your lead, although the monetization strategies you can pursue will vary a lot depending on your goals. You can build a community with a blog, for example. You can also build an online forum and charge people for membership. You could even build up a Facebook group and use your influence there to sell and promote products.
My unsuccessful search online for Ugandan online communities had me settle for Uganda Experts where you can find answers to any questions you might have about moving to Uganda. So this online community venture is untapped in Uganda and that’s your beacon to launch now.
That probably sounds pretty random, but it’s crazy the type of communities you can build and rally people around. If it’s something that you’re passionate about yourself and you want to connect with others that have that same passion, then an online community is something you should definitely consider.
Whatever, but how do I make money online through building an online community?
Well, we can’t avoid the big question any longer – how do you make money with an online forums? The answer is pretty simple. It’s just another piece of Internet Real Estate. Only this time you have a captive audience. Monetize it any way you want! Here’s what I think.
Adsense and Advertising – Some online community owners make insane bucks just having Adsense on the website you build. Remember: we talked about this earlier in point 2, above!
Memberships – Some webmasters set their forums up as membership sites, charging users a monthly or annual fee. The only problem with this is, you must make sure you’re providing information in your forum that they couldn’t find somewhere else for free. Otherwise, what a heck are you charging us for? There are billions of free forums all over the Internet. Nobody is going to pay you shit for a place to chat.
Private forums – A better solution would be to set up an open forum and then make one thread or category private. Users would then have to pay a fee to access that category.
Sell your products – The best way to make money building your own online community is to just open it up to the public and join in the conversation. Treat it as you would any other type of forum marketing. Just because you own the forum doesn’t mean you can go in there and start throwing your shitty products around and everyone will open up their wallet. You have to become a valued member of the community first. And when you do, then everyone will listen when you tell them to visit your blog for more information on your fabulous product!
Another way to make money online is by collecting leads. The main steps you need to complete to make lead sales work include setting up a website, getting traffic to that website, and making sure you’re collecting leads that someone or a company will actually pay for.
Generating online leads for companies isn’t as complicated as it sounds. In fact, you may already be doing it. Simply put, you’re sending traffic to an advertiser’s website and the advertiser will ask them to join their mailing list or complete a survey or some other type of simple action. There are almost as many methods for making money with online lead generation as there are Internet marketers on the Web.
A lot of the affiliate programs you promote are for lead generation purposes. When you send someone to a book, movie, music download or to get a free horoscope reading or pay a discount coupon, those are lead generation techniques used by advertisers to gather up all the email addresses. They don’t mind paying you a shilling or two for each of your clicks as long as they keep getting those addresses. Just like you, advertisers need to build marketing lists, too.
In order to generate leads, for companies or for your own business, you’ll need to drive traffic to the offer. There are two types of traffic you can capture: Organic traffic and paid traffic. Organic traffic is traffic generated through link building and creating content that appears on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Paid traffic is traffic that you get from using paid ads, like Adsense Ads, to drive traffic to the lead generation page.
Here’s a good example of how lead sales can work in real life: Get a savvy web designer to build for you a functional website like ours here that can bring in a ton of traffic from people who are searching the web to find answers to popular questions. While you have this website set up so I you can sell these people something too, you might as well use the traffic to your site to earn you money online. Then, start selling the leads you gather instead.
Here’s a post that I think would interest you –– How to generate website traffic easily
Basically, lead buyers are willing to pay for the personal information you gather from people who visit your website. This is a win-win for everyone since you get paid for the leads and your website visitors are connected with someone who can help them.
Keep in mind though, you can sell leads in many different industries, not just one. Really, you just need to figure out a niche, build a website and traffic, and see how much you can get for the leads you collect.
If you have a website or a large social media following, you can also make money by pursuing sponsored posts and ads. But, how does this work? Basically, companies are willing to pay bloggers and social media influencers to promote their products and services. If you have a platform, be it a blog or a huge Instagram following, you can cash in.
If you’re an influencer, you must be knowing what sponsored posts are. But for those that are just diving into this –– sponsored posts are articles or content that a blogger or website owner is paid to publish on their own sites by companies, businesses, and brands related to that site’s niche or topic.
Sponsored posts can be written by either the site owner/blogger or by the sponsoring brand itself. If you’re hired to write the post as well as publish it on your site, obviously you’ll charge a higher rate than if you’re essentially just renting space on your site. And they can take a variety of formats, such as reviews, summaries of an offer or offers, announcements of a sale, roundup/list posts, product announcements, videos, infographics.
Keep in mind though, you don’t need a website to do sponsored content since you can also get paid if you have a lot of social media followers. I have a friend that’s got a pretty big Instagram following, and she gets all kinds of sponsorships. Not only does she get paid in cash, but she gets a lot of free stuff, too. She’s received free electronics, free concert tickets, and free groceries. She only promotes things she loves though, so this strategy works really well for her.
YouTube isn’t just for amateur filmmakers and people videotaping their annoying house pets anymore. Entertainers, TV networks, small businesses, and the self-employed all find monetary value in posting their own amazing content on a YouTube channel. There are a ton of YouTube channels out there on any topic if you can think of, and most of the people with a big following are earning some money in exchange for their videos and time.
Techjaja.com wrote a brief article on the top 10 Ugandan YouTubers, check it out. In the post Julius Wasajja writes — Kansiime Ann leads the pack with just above 500k followers and Eddy Kenzo trails with just about 400K followers. Thats peanuts, if you ask me, compared to the top Kid influencers like, Ryan, gunning a whooping 9.4 Million Subscribers just selling other kids toys.
An active, entertaining YouTube channel – which is free to make through a GMail account (also free) – strengthens these users’ brands and extends their reach to new audiences. It can also build a base of subscribers that other companies using YouTube will actually pay to advertise their products to.
Before launching a YouTube channel for the purposes of making money, you need to decide what kind of profit you’re interested in. Are you looking to use YouTube as a promotional outlet for your own products and services? Or, do you want your video content to generate ad revenue right from YouTube?
There are two ways to earn money on YouTube: as an advertiser and as an ad platform. As an advertiser, you pay YouTube for Preroll, Bumpers, or TrueView ads that get your videos in front of potential buyers. As an ad platform, you publish videos that are watched enough to host others’ content as a paid affiliate or YouTube Partner.
Will you earn that much? Probably not. However, you can start making money via YouTube using the platform’s own ad network or by getting sponsored posts. If you like doing videos, starting a YouTube channel can a fun way to earn some cash on the side.
Let’s put a lid on this “how to make money online” thing because honestly, I’ve run out of ideas. You should know that the internet is full of them ideas and this space and my reptilian brain are not enough for all of them. There are a ridiculous number of ways to make money online and I just scratched the surface with the ones I’ve covered here. If you have time, a passion for almost anything, and at least some creative skill, you may be able to build an online income stream — or several — if you invest in honing a skill that people can pay for and bucket loads of patience.
But, don’t just take my word for it. If you look online, you’ll find thousands of success stories you can use for inspiration.
One day you could even create a success story of your own. However, a year from now, you’ll be happy you started today. Remember, time is far more valuable than money. Focus on creating passive income streams that will free up your time so that you can quit the rat race and focus on the things that matter. That’s the important thing here.
Thank you so much for taking time to read my thoughts. Writing such an article takes a shitload of patience, research and time and I love to know that people actually read this shit. Kindly share, like, subscribe or comment right bellow this text. I would love to hear from you.