Hey there sea changers – and of course, anybody else interested in making money in an online world. Welcome to today’s post where we will discuss 5 ways that you can earn an income online from home, or the beach, or the country, or pretty much where ever the mood takes you. There are actually 100s of ways that you can make money online. Some legit, some not so much and some that might make you money in the short term, but are not sustainable as a long term income – something that we are definitely looking for as a part of a sea or career change.
The five that I have included in this post are here because they are ways that will allow you to slowly build a means of generating ongoing, evergreen income. They will take work, and, unless you have a product or service that you can sell immediately, you will probably not see any income at least for the first few months. Sorry, but it is best to be honest here however I am very confident in the fact that if you work at them with consistency, you will create yourself an online business that will make you a solid income and that sea change all the more enjoyable.
So, let’s get stuck in…
1. Sell your own products
There really is no limit to the type of things that you can sell online. Don’t believe me? I just asked my wife to call out something that she wants me to buy online that is strange… half an hour later once I explained to her why I wanted this information, she said, “I want a space shuttle in the back yard”. BOOM – a simple search of “space shuttle for sale” and here it is — a space shuttle available for purchase! Now I just need to find $28.8 million…
Anyway, you get the drift… Do you paint? Have you written a book? Do you make candles? Whatever it is there is a way you can sell it online via any number of methods including:
Your own website
Create your own website to showcase your products and sell them to others. This option will take the longest to get up and running as you build your site, seek traffic and attract customers but you also get all of the profits.
Amazon is one of the most popular ways to sell a product online. Listing your product with Amazon gives you access to a worldwide customer base in the hundreds of millions with websites in 15 countries. Products are sold via categories and for a little extra, you can even get them handle your shipping and customer service processes for you. You can sell on amazon with or without your own website.
The advantage of its size here however is also its downside. Unless you have a specific niche product, you may potentially be in competition with 1000s of others selling the same or similar products. You will also be paying a fee to Amazon for the privilege so you will need to make sure your price point is high enough to make a profit after fees but low enough to compete.
For more information in regards to selling on Amazon, click here.
What started as a simple auction site has grown into a multi-billion dollar a year empire with sites domiciled on over 26 countries worldwide. The inception of the “buy it now” option allow you to sell your product for a fixed price rather than having people bid for it. If you have more than one product you are also able to set up your own ‘store’ where you can display them all in the one place.
As with Amazon, it is easy to get lost in the crowd with eBay so you might need to do a little more fancy work to stand out from the crowd but again, you don’t need your own website. Check out their fee structure carefully however as there are tiers based on the amount of listings you have, the cost of the product and whether you use any of their ‘extra’ services such as your own online store or promotion of your products. For more information on selling on eBay, click here.
Is your product more on the creative side? Then ETSY might be more up your alley. In fact, the easiest way for me to describe it is to take simple copy and paste the lead line on the ETSY page : “If it’s handcrafted, vintage, custom or unique, it’s on Etsy”
As with the others, there are plenty of tools and processes to allow you to set up your own shop and promote on social media as well as 24/7 support. Also as with the others however there are fees which can add up to about 10% of the sale price. For more information on selling on ETSY, click here.
If you are looking at taking your online selling processes to the next level or creating your own marketplace then shopify is a good place to start. It is a complete online commerce platform allowing you to handle all aspects of online sales including product management, inventory, payments and shipping. It can also be set up to sell in multiple places including social media, amazon and eBay etc., physical shop fronts or through your own website.
You can start shopify with a 14-day free trial. For more information, click here.
As with anything online there are a number of other marketplaces online that you can utilise to sell your products. These include:
- Zazzle – aimed at designers and artists.
- Alibaba – Asian based marketplace
- Newegg – tech-centric online marketplace – computer hardware etc.
- Bonanza – Good comparison site to Amazon or eBay
And that is only a small list, if you want to try your hand at a smaller niche specific marketplace then do some searching. There is more than likely one for you!
The world of social media has exploded over the past decade and with it, a spawn of internet superstars known only for the fact that they are an ‘influencer’ on their chosen platform. If your target market fits into the social media world, then this could be the way to go. Post page after page of your product on FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and so on and so on until you start to gain traction. And it helps if the ‘right’ people start to follow you too… and don’t forget those hashags!
Need some inspiration? Click here and start reading about a lady by the name of Sophia Amoruso – She started out with a social media account and ETSY.
2. Affiliate Marketing/blogging
What if you want to sell stuff online but you don’t have any products to sell. That is where affiliate marketing comes in… In the last section we talked about ways of selling your own products on marketplace sites such as Amazon, eBay and ETSY. What we didn’t discuss however was the fact that all of these sites (and almost all others) also contain affiliate programs that allow you to make commissions by selling any of the products that they list.
How does it work?
Affiliate marketing works via the earning of commissions for referrals you make to another sales site – usually to solve a problem that a customer has. In most cases, you are going to use your knowledge of, or interest in, a certain subject to outline possible solutions on your site. For example.
A fisherman wants to go fishing for a certain type of fish but doesn’t know what type of lure to use (his problem). He goes online and searches for “lures for catching bass” and finds your site where you have outlined the 5 best lures to catch bass with referral links to each lure on the post. Once he reads the page and decides to purchase one of the lures by clicking on the link he is taken to another site (see below) that takes the sale, processes the payment and delivers the lure. The link he clicked on has a code in it that references back to you – the company that sold the lure then sends you a commission based on that sale.
Want to know more about how this all works? Want to start your own site? Click here for free access to the best affiliate marketing training on the planet – bar none!
What are the main programs?
There are so many affiliate programs out there that it is almost impossible not to find one for any niche. If I take the example above and do a search in google for “fishing lure affiliate”, I get the following results:
This means that you can join any of these programs, write about their products and refer customers to their sales pages. The main programs however are:
- Amazon/eBay etc. – Almost all marketplace platforms have affiliate programs that allow you to link to products in their sites. For example, I can go into Amazon, find a fishing lure and copy the link into my post ( as I have below). If you happen to click on that link and purchase the lure, I make a commission (go on, who doesn’t need a bass fishing lure).
- Affiliate Networks – Affiliate network sites such as Share a Sale, AWIN and Commission Junction allow you to join a number of programs all in the one spot with the ease of centralised management and payment. Depending on the program you are automatically given access to all affiliates or you my need to apply to each one individually. Some, such as AWIN will also charge you a small joining fee.
- Individual programs – In many cases, if a company has an online sales presence they will have an affiliate program. This makes sense to them as essentially you are doing all of the work for them and paying a commission is cheaper than advertising. In most cases, if you want to see if a company has an affiliate program, search for the company name or product and then the word affiliate in your favourite search engine.
How do you join affiliate programs?
In most cases, you will need to apply to become an affiliate for that program. Individual companies will usually want to know what your site is about and how you plan to promote their products. Some are quite picky and will reject you if you do not take the time to explain who you are and what you plan to do. Others, such as Amazon, will let you join without any real issues however will reject your application at a later time if you have not driven at least three sales to them in the first three months (you can reapply without any problems though).
3. Freelance Writing
Are you a writer, or think you would like to be a writer. Well there are a number of sites that you can visit that allow you to apply for freelance writing positions in areas such as:
- Instructional design
- Technical writing
- Academic writing
- Advertising copy
- Company documents (business plans etc.)
- Speech writing
- Book writing
- Language translation
In fact, if it is something that can be written, there is usually someone looking for someone else to write it for them.
How do I apply for freelance writing work?
As with everything, there are a number of sites that you can look at:
Upworks is probably the biggest and most widely used freelance writing platform there is. There are 1000s of writers on there looking for work which is good if you are looking to get a post written, but a bit competitive if you are looking for writing posts. Potential writers need to apply before they are allowed to tender for jobs and Upworks are fairly brutal on who they let in so if you are applying, make sure your application is comprehensive outlining your experience and examples of work.
It can take a while to get your name out there and to prove yourself but once you do, good freelance writers make very good 6 figure incomes annually. For more information in regards to Upworks, click here.
Fiverr works in a similar vein to Upworks however freelancers offer ‘gigs’ at $5 per pop (hence the name). You have the option to post a number of ‘gigs’ in the site ( I think 7 to start with). Some people make extremely good money from it if they are offering quick, pre done work for $5 – i.e. such as 5 recipes for a healthy cook book or 3 social media posts. Others use it to get work that allows them to earn a small income whilst building a solid portfolio to use on other sites such as Upworks. As you get more gigs you can also up your starting price allowing you to make better money. Alternatively, if you do a good gig for someone they are allowed to re-hire you at a better rate via the payment of tips.
For more information in regards to Fiverr, click here.
There are numerous others that you can use also from traditional job to niche writing sites. Here are some other options you can try – these are a little smaller than the likes of Upworks as well so you may do better here as a beginner:
- Craigslist – search freelance writers – in most cases you need to search a particular city however if you look around there are sites that do this work for you and list jobs from multiple areas/countries.
- Seek.com – or any other job search site
- Bloggingpro.com – similar to Upworks
- Mediabistro – TV, PR/marketing, magazine and book publishing and social media
- flexjobs – concentrates more on remote working, part-time contracts and freelance work.
This is a very small list – a simple search for freelance writing jobs on any search engine will open you up to a world of work from home opportunities.
Are you more of a talker than a writer? if so then maybe you can try your hand at podcasting. Podcasting is where you record an audio file that users are able to download or stream at their leisure and listen to what you have to say. You can obviously podcast on any subject as long as you have a base of people that have an interest in, or a problem around that subject.
How do I monetise a podcast?
Podcasting is similar to blogging in that it can take quite a bit of time to develop and maintain a following but once that happens, you can make money from a podcast by:
- Promoting products or services on your podcast (like a paid talking ad)
- Promoting your own products or services whilst providing value in the podcast
- Syndicating your podcast on YouTube, Apple etc.
- Allowing ‘guest’ speakers to promote their own products
- Sell products as an affiliate by sending listeners to a website or adding links to your download pages
- Asking for donations for listening
I was also about to add a whole other section on YouTube but you know what? Just re-read the Podcasting section but think about YouTube and video instead of podcasting and audio. I will add here however that YouTube is currently the second most used search engine online after Google – yep, even higher than FaceBook – and it did make Justin Bieber famous!
5. Online Coaching
Online coaching is probably one of the fastest growing businesses on the worldwide web at the moment (along with weight loss/fitness and making money online). It is also one that is full of scams and get-rich-quick proponents who really only get rich quick by ripping off those who pay money and get little in return. However, if you are an expert in any sort of area that people need help in then online coaching may be the way to go. The most effective method of setting up online coaching is usually via some sort of sales funnel but they can also be done via a blog site. Most commonly, the process would run as follows (in VERY basic terms):
- Develop your product – online coaches need to be able to provide good value and have tangible materials in order to fully service their clients.
- Develop a webinar – in the webinar, you will provide free assistance and coaching at the basic level to allow those interested to see what you can do and others to get some value without having to purchase.
- Push webinar participants to a sales funnel – This is where they can purchase your online coaching at different levels and price points – say for example they can purchase the bronze level which is some documents and email support right up to platinum where they get hands on coaching from you with accountable outcomes.
- Do the coaching – well, yes, you need to coach them – or in time pay someone else to coach them.
Online coaching also works well in conjunction with affiliate marketing sites as well as podcasts and YouTube. There are some absolute superstars in this field like Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, Russell Brunson and Brooke Castillo. If online coaching is something that you are interested in – even at a small level – I recommend taking a look at how these guys structure their online coaching businesses.
Do you know what you want to do but not sure how to do it?
I have mentioned a number of times in this post that to be successful in some of these areas such as online selling, affiliate marketing or gaining traction with podcasts or YouTube videos that you will need a good traffic driving website/YouTube or podcast channel. Click here to open up a whole new world of online training and support including:
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So there you have it, 5 ways you can fund your sea change by making money online. Please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions or need any information or advice on how to start any of these endeavours. I look forward to chatting with you.
Have fun planning your sea change
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