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When we talk about how to make money on the internet, we are talking about ways and strategies to make money from work done online. Over the past 10 years, I have been specializing myself in this monetization niche market, whether direct or indirect monetization. Back in 2008 when I created my first blog with the goal to teach strategies on how to make money on the internet, that was a well-researched term in Google. Nowadays it is not so much. Still, I consider the topic extremely relevant for anyone who does not work on the internet and/or would like to earn extra income from work done online.
There are dozens of different ways you can make money on the internet or create a digital business from scratch. More importantly, you need to understand what you really like to do and then frame it into one of the several digital strategies that exist today that allow you to make money from your work on the internet. If you are reading this article because you believe you will be rich in 24 hours, or will learn easy ways to make money or will only work 4 hours a week, I advise you to close this article immediately.
For over a decade I have been working on the internet with digital marketing. I do not believe in easy ways to become rich, multilevel marketing and several other “strategies” to make easy money fast. Whoever promises that to you is lying. In fact, for you to earn some money on the internet, you need to work hard, be dedicated, focused and, above all, persistent. Contrary to what you probably think, working on the internet takes a lot of time. If you have a job from 9am to 5pm and do not want to work more than 8 hours a day, I can assure you that if you work on the internet, whether with digital products, nondigital products, blogs, or anything else, there is a high probability for you to work a lot more than that!
When we refer to the term “how to make money on the internet”, we are talking about people who, in addition to having an extra income with an internet job, can even work as professionals in that field and live off the income of their online projects. Contrary to what most people think, making money on the internet does not necessarily mean promoting offers, clicking on ads banners or watching ads all the time. It means actually working on projects directly or indirectly connected to the internet.
For 10 years I have been working as a professional on the internet, which means I have several projects on the internet that give me money through advertising and/or sales made to clients. I do not work in home office scheme, only when I first started working, though. During the first few years I worked from home on the internet and had income from websites and blogs. I made money on the internet from the internet.
Over the years, the term “making money on the internet” has been widely used for easy enrichment schemes, pyramid schemes, among other fraudulent offers. The reality is that the vast majority of the public that continues to search for that term, are looking for such offers. That does not exist. While it is often reasonable for a good professional to say that he promises to teach you the strategies he used to earn XYZ per month, if he promises that you will be able to do it quickly, he will be probably lying.
The reality is that 98% of people will never make money on the internet.
Working seriously and creating a perennial digital business is something that requires a lot of time. Just as there are studies indicating that the vast majority of companies do not last more than three years, there are also some studies that indicate that most blogs do not last more than 12 months. Only persistence can create sustainable business in the long run. I myself have deactivated blogs because I did not have the patience and/or time to write content for them. That is normal. However, I have kept my Escola Dinheiro (Money School) blog for 8 years and in the first year alone I did write more than 500 articles for it and some other projects that I created at that time (now over 9 years old) that continues to be updated daily. This is called persistence, focus and dedication.
Monetization of projects on the internet is divided into two types: projects that generate direct earnings and projects that generate indirect earnings. You need to understand the difference between each one so that you know the real possibilities for you to create your own digital projects and start making money from them.
In the category of direct earnings, all the work carried out that generates a direct income through that same work fits. Imagine this very blog you are reading now. The more content I write for it and the better that content ranks in Google’s organic results, the more money it will give me through advertising ads or affiliate programs links. That would be an example of direct earnings, since the monetization of the project itself depends exclusively on the amount of work and dedication I put into that same project.
Another good example would be a YouTube video channel. For you to earn money with YouTube videos, you need to record videos. The more videos you create and the more optimized the publication of those videos in the YouTube search engine are, the greater your earnings will be.
In either case, this does not mean that if you stop writing or recording videos, your income will disappear. In fact you will continue to generate passive income through the organic traffic that the same content continues to generate. But if you continue to create new materials, you are more likely to generate a much higher yield.
Indirect earnings are what I call the “long shot”, that is, what happens in the medium or long term, such as being invited to give a lecture, trainings, being considered by the market as an authority, having your work considered reliable, etc. Although that does not generate direct earnings to you, it generates indirect earnings.
Whenever I give a keynote at an event, my indirect gains are immense, namely, visibility, authority, confidence, number of followers, etc. I gain nothing directly from giving a lecture at an event, but indirectly I always gain something from that work.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of opportunities for you to make money on the internet. Of course, it will be up to you to understand which offers make sense and which do not. The internet is a world of opportunities, but at the same time it can also be a world of frustration. Understand that established professionals who truly excel at their digital businesses took several years to get where they are today. Nobody got rich overnight.
One of the most primary ways of making money on the internet is through content websites and blogs. Created on August 23, 1999, Blogspot was the first big blogging platform and gave the world the opportunity to start working with content in a practical way. However, when Blogspot was originally created, it did not provide any kind of functionality that would help producers to monetize their content.
In 2003, the WordPress platform, which is an open source content manager, is also the best blogging platform in the world today, responsible for more than 27% of the websites and blogs created on the internet. We are talking about millions and millions of projects that use WordPress as a content manager. This article you are reading was created with the WordPress platform.
With the evolution of blogging platforms, there are also different opportunities to monetize the traffic generated, whether through contextualized ads, promotion of offers, etc., There are countless ways you can monetize a blog, take a look:
It has been several years since Google launched its Google Adsense platform, which allows any blogger to place contextualized advertising ads on their blog. Each of those ads will show contextualized advertising with the written content, which will be presented in the form of text or image links. The author of the blog gets money for every click generated from that ad. The click value is automatically set by Google and based on the competition that exists between advertisers for that niche market. The more advertisers for that niche or keyword, the greater the value per click.
There are niche markets that pay extremely high rates for clicks, while there are other niche markets that pay really low rates for clicks. For example, if you write about making money on the internet, considering that the value per click is extremely low, you will still be writing to an audience that does not click on ads, so your earnings will possibly be miserable.
But if you write about industry, financial offers, insurance, and other more challenging (and also tougher) areas, you can earn interesting values for every click generated on the advertising you put on your site.
To effectively monetize a blog, you cannot rely solely on Google Adsense. There are other ways for you to monetize traffic and content. One of the most interesting ways to monetize a blog is using affiliate programs.
An affiliate program is nothing more than working as a commission agent, in which you receive commission for each sale generated from a particular product. In the case of digital marketing, technology helps a great deal, since it is possible to trace all the steps of the customer and assign that commission to the right person, with no margin for error.
Affiliate programs have evolved a lot over the last 10 years. Nowadays, there are thousands of offers and thousands of affiliate platforms that offer you different ways to monetize your content, whether through physical products, digital products, offers from companies well known in the market such as Casas Bahia, Dafiti, Fnac, among others.
The world’s first affiliate program was created by Amazon in 1996 and still works today by paying a commission for each sale generated by affiliates promoting products available for purchase on Amazon’s e-commerce website. In case you do not know, there are affiliate platforms that pay skyrocketing commissions, take a look:
In that affiliate program, for instance, the commission amount for each recruited user can reach up to $800, which means that whenever you generate interest in a user, he subscribes to that platform and starts making financial transactions, you earn up to $800 of commission.
There are thousands of affiliate platforms that you can use to monetize the content you write on websites and blogs. Here is a list of affiliate platforms that work best and generate more results in Brazil.
Mobile Affiliate Platforms
Another option not so common these days is for you to sell your own ad. Instead of trying to monetize your traffic with affiliate offers, you can rent the advertising space you have on your blog, for example. Another option would be for you to market other types of offers, such as sponsored posts, e-mail marketing to your newsletter subscribers list, etc. Basically, whatever you can capitalize on in terms of selling, is totally achievable.
Keep in mind, however, that direct sales of advertising is something that demands a lot of work. Most of the time you need to go after the advertisers, negotiate with them, create the advertising pieces, analyze the statistics, receive payments, etc.
Another possibility for you to monetize your blog traffic is through direct sale of products you create, such as e-books, online courses, video lessons, webinars, among other tools that you can create and market directly to your public.
In that situation, keep in mind that, besides the need to create those materials to the market, you will have to deal with all of the sale details itself, namely, the delivery of the product, payments, etc. It is time-consuming, but you can combine direct and indirect earnings by creating authority and credibility with your target audience, and in some cases, that authority gets you invited to give lectures, assuming that their content is really very good.
Platforms like Monetizze or Hotmart give you the possibility to do this. They are platforms of digital products, that is, marketplaces where you cannot only put your products on sale but also build your own affiliate program, deal with content distribution, payments, receipts, etc. Regarding Monetizze, they also offer the possibility of working with physical products and selling them directly through the platform as well, creating your own affiliate structure and using the platform checkout to handle all payments, which makes it much easier to start selling a product.
The sale of your own products is always the best option for several reasons:
As a major disadvantage, you will have to create the product, which although it may seem easy at first glance, is actually the most complex part of all. Creating and marketing your own product is a lot of work, especially if we are talking about video-lessons courses or e-books, which will require you to record large videos or write large texts, which is not always easy to fit in your day-to-day life.
When I launched my first e-book in 2010, there were few others on the internet. Over the past few years, especially when platforms like Monetizze and Hotmart were launched onto the market, the sale of e-books, courses, video-lessons, etc., has become something widely used by bloggers, marketers, communication agencies, etc.
Creating and selling an e-book is also a great strategy to start making money on the internet, especially for those who are starting or coming from non-digital areas and simply looking for an extra income from their digital work. If we imagine that you are a physiotherapist and attend clients in medical clinics, entering the digital market with the creation of an e-book about good practices on physical exercises for common people, can be something very interesting and you do not even need to create a blog to do that.
You can and should create your e-book and sell on platforms such as Monetizze or Hotmart, build your affiliate network and make available to them several promotional materials from your e-book, including text links and ad banners. Of course, you will need to work on some publicity, on Facebook or Google AdWords, to make your product reach as many people as possible, but we will talk about it later.
Recently, my friend Luciano Larrosa wrote a question on Facebook related to free ebooks and the answers clearly represent what happens when we give something away:
When we offer something for free, the tendency is for people to simply not to be interested enough in that material or not to give it due importance. After all, we are talking about a product that was offered. If the product was really good, the producer would be selling it, right?
That is the reason why I do not recommend you offer an e-book for free. It is preferable to market the e-book for only $10, but in return, you will not only be earning some money but above all will be able to separate your audiences from those who are really interested and those who are opportunistic and simply looking for free materials which they end up not even reading.
In 2010, when I released my e-book “From Unknown to Problogger”, I gave it for free on my blog. That e-book had more than 40,000 downloads, which gave me a fairly powerful e-mail list, but most of all it was made of people who were not interested in buying anything from me, only people who were looking for free gifts. That, of course, is not good. Then I started selling it in print and the results were a lot more interesting.
It requires few things to create and sell a product, in fact. The part that will take the most time will be the writing of the content (of course) and the structuring of that content in ebook format, with an index, organization of chapters, etc. To simplify, follow these steps:
Although it may seem easier than writing an e-book, creating and selling an online course also requires a lot of work. When I started my Conversion Hero course, it took me over 6 months to produce all the material available for the training. There are more than 70 video-lessons about Digital Marketing. Probably I would not take that long to write an ebook with 200 pages, but logically, both things take a lot of your time.
If you understand that the vast majority of your audience probably does not like to read, creating and selling an online course can quickly eliminate that barrier. People like watching a video more than reading a book. Also, what would take you 30 pages to write, you can teach in a 15 minute video.
In addition to all this, when it comes to technical videos such as physical exercises for you to do at home, the video gives you the advantage of being able to be paused, rewinded and repeated. This is a tremendous advantage for anyone who is trying to follow your footsteps. If we even mention it gives the author credibility and authority, just from talking in videos, then an online course is really very powerful.
From my experience, an online course has the great advantage of creating greater authority with the public for the simple reason that it creates a much stronger emotional connection between the author and the public. It is not for nothing that a video testimony has much more power than a written testimony.
To create and sell an online course, you do not need much. Probably what will take more time will be structuring the content you intend to record. After that, you only need a camera that records Full HD videos, a tripod, and a place to record the videos. If we are talking about screencast (recording your computer screen), then you do not need absolutely any material other than a notebook with a minimum of quality.
To simplify, follow these steps:
More important than recording an online course, which is far from the most complicated task in the world, you need to understand how to generate traffic and sales for that material. That will be the most challenging task of all, but certainly the one that will give you the greatest learning.
Another way to make money on the internet is through the sale of subscriptions. Subscriptions are basically recurrent payments for access to a particular material. If you imagine, for example, subscribing to a printed magazine, that would be a subscription.
Imagine you create a member area and charge a monthly digital subscription for people to have access to that content. In addition to recurrent payments, you would also be committed to delivering new materials to your students each month. It is basically like an online course, but here you would have to record/write every month and deliver that material to your subscribers.
Another interesting example would be any SaaS (software as a service), which is basically access to a software through a monthly subscription. The same goes for hosting your website, which you probably pay monthly. That is also a subscription service.
Platforms such as Monetizze or Hotmart also provide services for sellers of subscriptions, monthly and automatically charging the credit cards of your clients. Subscriptions have the advantage of recurrence when compared to other ways of making money on the internet, such as the sale of e-books or courses, which you are only paid once per customer.
The big disadvantage of subscriptions is that you need to create new materials every week, to justify why your customers should continue to pay for the subscription. Of all the options indicated, there are two that I particularly like and that I think can work extremely well for those who wish to have some recurrent earnings:
One of the areas that has grown the most in Brazil in the last 5 years is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing, as previously explained, essentially consists of promoting physical or digital products and receiving a commission for each sale. It is basically as if you worked on commission. Whenever you generate a result, you receive your commission in return.
With the growth of the market, there are numerous opportunities and offers for you to work with affiliate programs. There are currently thousands and thousands of affiliate programs in virtually every area you can imagine, from health, beauty, fashion, automobiles, digital marketing, affiliate marketing, insurance, financial services, coaching and more. Regardless of your work area, there is a strong probability that there is some offer available for you to promote through affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money on the internet. In reality, you only have two paths to choose from if you want to work with affiliate marketing: either you work as a content producer, generating organic traffic and consequently sales, or you work with direct advertising of those offers, without having to create a blog or produce any kind of content beyond ads for Facebook and Google AdWords. Let us look at each of those options so you better understand what each of them represents and requires professionally:
If you choose to create your own blog, you will understand that as you start generating organic traffic from your posts, you will need to monetize that traffic. There is no use in having 1 million visits a month if you do not make money from that traffic. Basically you will be paying your hosting for nothing. You need to monetize the traffic and promoting affiliate offers is a great way to do it.
To use that strategy and assuming you already create content for the internet and have some traffic you need to monetize, you should implement the following steps to monetize your traffic with affiliate offers:
It may seem like a lot, but it is actually a simple strategy that boils down to being authentic. You will basically be contextualizing the product to your content. If you push too hard and try desperately to sell the product, your audience may not be very pleased with the approach.
On the other hand, it is possible for you to promote affiliate offers through Facebook ads, Google AdWords, YouTube, Taboola, Outbrain and other native ads platforms on the market (I will talk about it with further details in another article).
In this strategy you do not need to create any kind of content, besides maintaining a Facebook page or a YouTube channel if you wish. Not necessarily you will need to create any other type of content, except of course, the copy of your ads!
The advantage of this type of strategy is that you can start immediately, without the need of a structure, time or a long waiting period until you achieve significant results. As a disadvantage you have the need to understand how to advertise on Facebook, Google AdWords and other media, and also the fact that some niche markets are forbidden to advertise in, such as health products, weight loss products, online gambling, and others.
To use this strategy and assuming you know how to create ads on Facebook, Google AdWords, or to use native ads platforms, you should implement the following steps to promote affiliate offers:
The most important thing about this strategy is that you master the art of making ads that lead to conversions, which is by far the most complicated part of the whole process. Custom your offer to your target audience, work your ad images correctly (sometimes ordinary images work the best), your ads copy, call-to-actions, etc. Everything counts when it comes to generating conversions with affiliate programs.
Contrary to what you might imagine, creating an e-commerce these days is one of the simplest tasks out there. The market is flooded with different platforms and tools that can help you create and set up an e-commerce in a few minutes. Solutions like Shopify or WooCommerce come in handy when the goal is to sell products.
In the e-commerce industry you have four quite distinct options that will allow you to basically market any product you want. You just need to understand how each of those options works and what each one represents. E-commerces remain one of the most effective ways to make money on the internet these days and the opportunities are immense. Take a look:
As you probably already understand, there are lots of opportunities when we talk about ecommerce and you can use each of them to make money on the internet in an effective way. E-commerce is a great way for you to create a successful digital business on the internet, although it is important for you to know that no matter how attractive and competitive your products are, you will always need to understand how to generate traffic and sales to your e-commerce.
For many years YouTube has been an incredible tool for anyone looking for visibility and content, above all. As I have said before, video creates incredible authority with your audience, and in addition, it allows you to monetize your videos with Google ads. Basically, you will receive 55% of the revenue generated whenever someone views or clicks on the advertising you have enabled on your videos.
This advertising is managed by Google, just like the Google Adsense ads we talked about. Advertisers pay per view or per click and you will receive a portion of that amount by displaying the ads on the videos you upload to your YouTube channel.
There are several formats available and you can enable the formats you want for your video channel. The quality of the content you create will determine whether or not you will succeed on YouTube. To help improve your content, I recommend that you follow Camilo Coutinho and his channel called Play de Prata, where he teaches you everything you need to know about YouTube videos. There you will find several tips and strategies to keep a successful YouTube channel and really make money from your videos.
In YouTube, there are several important rules to follow if you want to be successful with your videos and/or for them to appear well ranked in the YouTube search engine. Pay attention to some simple and effective tips:
On Camilo channel you will find several other tips to improve your videos or create videos in a professional way for YouTube. Of course, a properly organized, optimized and visually appealing video channel will do everything else. In YouTube there are two very important things that you need to take special care of: subscribers and views. Only that will allow you to make money from your videos.
Platforms like ThemeForest or CodeCanyon allow you to market all kinds of tools, scripts and templates that you can imagine, to the most diverse platforms in the market. And the best of it all is that those sites have millions of users all over the world searching for those tools and buying them. Many ThemeForest producers earn thousands of dollars in sales of WordPress templates, for instance.
Whether you are a web designer or a graphic designer, their platforms also enable you to market Photoshop files, logos, visual identities, and even PowerPoint or Keynote templates, which is a tremendous opportunity for anyone who wants to create and sell those materials online to large masses.
Making money on the internet does not mean creating a blog on Blogspot or WordPress, signing up for an affiliate platform or placing banner ads on your blog. If you think you are going to make money that way, I am sorry to disappoint you, but you will probably be one of the 98% who will never make money online.
In order to make money on the internet you need to understand how it all works. How to generate traffic to your blog, how to optimize your content for SEO, what types of content you should write, what mistakes you should avoid, how to build an audience of people interested in buying from you, how to build your e-mail lists, among many other things.
That does not happen overnight. You need to know what all that means and study, study hard. The internet is a wonderful place not only for those who want to sell, but above all for those who want to learn. Regardless of the difficulties you have in making money on the internet, understand that after some Google research, you can deepen your knowledge and understand how it all works.
If you resolve skip the steps and get things promoted without even understanding how the market works and how people behave on the internet, you will probably be unsuccessful and will end up with the 9-to-5 job you already got. The same way that when you open a cosmetics store you need to understand about cosmetics, to sell on the internet you need to understand how the internet works, what is SEO, what is content marketing, what is lead generation, what are affiliate programs and so on. All that has a logic and if you do not understand it, you will have great difficulties in being successful.
Although you may consider that all of this is simple because the internet has more than 2 billion people connected to it, do not forget that there are also many millions of people trying to do the same as you. Those who are better prepared will naturally have better results. That simple!