Thanks to the internet there are now a wide assortment of ways to make money online. So if you are stuck in a dead-end job and would like to change your life around then this guide will provide actionable strategies to enable you to do so. Whether you are looking for ways to make a bit of extra money, or create a full-time income stream, there are plenty of opportunities to do so, all online and from the comfort of your own home.
To make this money making guide easier to digest, I have broken it down into sections. These include…
- Working as a Freelancer
- Creating and Monetizing a Blog
- Types of Websites That Can Be Extremely Profitable
- Digital eCommerce
- Social Media
- Other Ways to Make Money Online
Hopefully, there will be a few ideas in this extensive guide that appeal to you and will help you to make money online…
Work As A Freelancer
Working as a freelancer is a great way to make money online from the comfort of your own home. The beauty of freelancing is that you can tailor it to suit your needs. You can freelance for a couple of hours a week in the evenings to help save up for a holiday or some much needed home improvements. Or carve out a full-time job for yourself, giving you a more satisfying work-life balance and enabling you to do the simpler things in life like taking the kids to school. With so many jobs available online, freelancing is becoming more and more popular.
GETTING STARTED AS A FREELANCER
To get started, check out jobs on freelancer websites like People per Hour and Upwork. By browsing these sites you will get a good understanding of what freelance jobs are available. And although the majority of the jobs on these sites are quite low paid, they are a great place to start.
Once you have decided what services you will offer as a freelancer (keep reading to find out more on freelancing options), and have a couple of jobs under your belt, you should next create your own website. This will help you promote your services and showcase your work and testimonials from previous clients.
You should also email websites in your niche to advertise your services and get your name out there as a professional in your field. As you become well known within your chosen industry, you will quite quickly find you are inundated with job offers.
So now we know a bit about freelancing let’s have a look at some of the services you could offer as a freelancer…
1. WRITE FOR BLOGS
With so many blogs needing content, website owners are crying out for writers to produce interesting blog posts on a regular basis. Writing blog posts varies greatly in pay, from $5 to $250 for 1000 words. If you are serious about becoming a freelance writer, pick a niche and become an expert on this subject.
Some subjects are much better paid than others, so although you may love the idea of writing about travel (badly paid) a better bet would be a niche like finance (much higher rates of pay). Check out the Pro Blogger job board for higher paid writing jobs than some of the previously mentioned freelancer websites.
Writing copy for websites is another great freelancing option for those who have a way with words. Copywriting can involve writing the text for websites, press releases, promotional offline materials including leaflets and brochures, and any other professional text for businesses. Writing copy can be better paid than blog writing. However, clients can be more fussy, as they want the highest quality writing for the forefront of their website or advertising campaigns. Many freelance writers offer both copywriting and blog writing amongst their services. This can be a good way to juggle regular but lower paid clients (blogging) with the higher paid but ad-hoc project based copy work.
3. WRITE INDUSTRY PAPERS
If you have a background in a specific field, you may find there is a demand for writing industry papers in your area of expertise. For example, there are often adverts for doctors, lawyers, nutritionists, and business experts from particular niches, to write white papers on different subject areas. These are well paid jobs that you will need to stake your reputation on, but that can often be worked on from the comfort of your own home.
If you are a fast reader and have a good grasp of grammar and language then editing may be a good freelance role for you. Editing is a great way to quickly make money online, and there are always editing jobs available on the freelance job sites. Editor’s usually get paid per word, so the faster you can check through work the more money you will make per hour.
5. WEBSITE DESIGN
If you have an eye for design and some experience of creating websites, then you could offer your services as a freelance web designer. You will need to create your own stylish website, and have a few other projects that you can show potential clients to demonstrate your skills. You will also need to initially spend time emailing businesses to promote your services and find work.
Web design consists of mainly project-based jobs. However, you can offer ongoing maintenance for a monthly fee, which can be a good way to guarantee regular pay. Web design fees also differ greatly. So you will need to make the decision whether to target small businesses or compete for large clients with bigger budgets.
6. LANDING PAGE DESIGN
A spin-off for web designers is to offer a landing page creation service. Well optimized landing pages can be the difference between a successful and a failing business. And, as creating the perfect landing page isn’t easy, this is a service many businesses are prepared to pay for. With online software such as Optinmonster or Sumome, landing page creation is extremely easy to do, which makes this method of making money online a real possibility.
7. GRAPHIC DESIGN
There are many freelance options for graphic designers who are looking to make money online. Designing layouts and graphics for promotional material, corporate reports, magazines or book covers, are all tasks that businesses are looking for online freelancers to complete. Due to its flexible nature, graphic design possibilities can range from one-off projects, to ongoing work with regular clients.
Tools & Resources: Envato Elements has thousands of graphic elements and templates that you can use for graphic design client work, and can save you so much time and effort. Rather than creating your own graphics from scratch, you can use pre-designed elements and customize them to make them unqiue to you.
8. CREATE LOGOS
Logos are a crucial part of any business, and a talented graphic designer that can produce eye-catching logos will be in great demand. Although there are many graphic design jobs advertised on the freelance websites, pitching your services to businesses will enable you to command a better price for your work.
9. PRODUCE INFOGRAPHICS
Infographics are currently an extremely popular type of media. An infographic showing information or data in an interesting and fun way can help engage an audience and generate numerous likes and shares. As infographics take more time to create than just simply uploading an image, busy website owners are prepared to pay for custom infographics. And don’t worry, an infographic can be created using simple design software such a Canva. So extensive graphic design skills are not necessary, just a creative eye.
10. COMPUTER PROGRAMMING
If you have previous experience as a computer programmer, or have skills in this field, then there is plenty of work you can pick up as a freelancer. If lack of confidence is holding you back, then Free Code Camp is an excellent way to get your foot in the coding door. This organization provides free courses where you will build real-life apps and programs, giving you experience and plenty to add to your CV.
Tools & Resources: For the best coding tutorials and online courses check out Treehouse. You can sign up for a free 7 day trial to see if it’s for you. I’ve completed many tutorials on Treehouse over the years, and I can 100% recommend their courses.
11. APP DEVELOPMENT
With apps being constantly developed, competent app developers are in high demand. Again, if you have the experience or skills to create successful apps then this could be something you could end up working on as a full-time freelancer. Check out adverts for developers on Toptal, a higher paying jobs site for experienced freelancers wanting to make money online.
12. ONLINE PA
If you have experience as a personal assistant, secretary, admin assistant, or something in a similar field, then becoming an online PA may be a great role for you. Many professionals want someone to help organize their business and personal affairs. Jobs could include sending emails, managing financial affairs, booking flights and arranging day to day activities. If you are interested in this line of work there are many PA agencies that are crying out for reliable assistants.
13. SOCIAL MARKETING MANAGER
Another strategy to make money online is to become a social marketing manager. Being present on social media is key for any business that wants to attract new customers, promote their products and grow their following. However, constantly posting, liking and commenting on the numerous social media channels is extremely time consuming. More and more businesses are recruiting social media managers to run and organize all their social media. And to save money, social media employees are often employed as online freelancers.
A social marketing manager could be asked to complete any tasks that are social media related. This could include scheduling all social media posts, running competitions, creating ad campaigns and much more, which can easily be done with social media management tools such as Sendible, Hootsuite or even these Instagram schedulers.
Social media isn’t rocket science, so if you have an interest in this area of work, start small and work your way up. Once you have the experience of running social media projects, you can start to advertise yourself as an expert in the ‘social media’ field.
14. ONLINE MARKETING CONSULTANT
If you have marketing experience then why not set yourself up as a freelance marketing consultant. Looking at businesses marketing strategies, advising on changes and improvements, and getting projects off the ground are all jobs that will be well paid for.
15. ONLINE SEO
Offering specific online SEO services is also another online freelancer role that businesses are crying out for. If you know how to improve a website’s SEO by doing keyword research, creating content that can rank in search engines, adding metadata / schema to posts and pages, and building backlinks to a domain, to name a few tasks, then this could be a great line of work for you.
Using Fiverr is a great way to pick up work. Once you have signed up you can advertise your services. Fiver allows you to create your own gigs, whether you are offering web design, digital marketing, writing, or something else. You can choose how much you want to charge (it can be more than a fiver) and people will then contact you if they are interested in working with you. Fiverr will not only help you get experience if you are just starting off as a freelancer, it will also help you earn some extra cash.
17. CREATE YOUR OWN AGENCY
Once you have made a name for yourself as a successful freelancer in your field, quite quickly you will find that you are inundated with too much work to manage. So why not consider taking on other virtual employees and turn your one person show into an agency.
Create And Monetize A Blog
Creating your own blog can be a very effective way of topping up your monthly income. Or, for those lucky few who have blogs that really take off, it can become your main paycheck. But what are the key ways to make money from a blog?
18. GOOGLE ADSENSE
Signing up with Google AdSense will enable you to make money from advertising on your blog. Google AdSense will place relevant ads around your site, and if your site visitors click on these ads, you will earn a fee. Although each click only amounts to small change, if your blog has high levels of traffic, this will quickly amount to a reasonable sum.
19. BANNER ADVERTS
Creating space for banner ads on your website is another way to generate a revenue from adverts. However for this type of advertising you will need to contact businesses directly and ask them if they would like to advertise on your website. The upside is that you can charge a set amount, or even a recurring monthly fee, to business to promote their services on your site. Using a WordPress plugin like AdSanity is an effective way to manage this type of advertising.
20. PAID GUEST POSTS
If you have a well known and popular website then you can charge other bloggers to guest post on your blog. Paid articles will not only make you money, they will also save you time creating your own blog posts, and provide interesting and varied content for your audience.
21. SPONSORED POSTS
Sponsored posts work much in the same way as paid guest posts, but they are posted by big businesses instead of individual bloggers. Therefore, the scope for fees is much higher, as businesses have larger marketing budgets than humble bloggers. Having sponsored posts by large companies will also help promote your site as reputable and as a leader in its field.
22. PAID REVIEWS
Again, if your blog has a large reader base, then businesses may be interested in paying you to review their services or products. Not only will you get a free trial using whatever these businesses are selling, you will also get a fee for writing them a review and posting it to your site. Paid reviews (and other paid and sponsored content) can be big money, so advertise this service on your contact page to generate business.
23. OTHER PAID CONTENT
Some businesses may be interested in adding other types of paid content to your website. This could include videos, podcasts, or any other material that would work with your site and help a business market itself. Always make sure that paid content isn’t too promotional. It needs to add value to your audience first and foremost, and not just present as an advert.
24. PAID FEATURED POST
If you decide to go down the paid guest post and review road, then you should include the extra option of showcasing articles as featured posts. This allows businesses to pay extra to keep their paid article at the top of your blog page, as a featured article on your homepage, or as a ‘must read’ in your widget areas.
25. AFFILIATE MARKETING WITH AMAZON
One of the most successful ways of monetizing your blog is through affiliate marketing with Amazon. This involves adding links from your site to products on Amazon, and then promoting those products in your blog’s content. If one of your visitors clicks through to Amazon and makes a purchase then you will receive a percentage of the sale.
To get started with Amazon affiliate marketing you will need to sign up with Amazon Affiliates. Then subtly market products on your site that are relevant to your niche and will be of interest to your audience. Make sure you only endorse high-quality products. If your visitors make a purchase on your recommendation but are not impressed with the item, you could quickly lose followers.
Tools & Resources:
The best affiliate marketing course bar none – Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing
26. AFFILIATE MARKETING USING OTHER PROVIDERS
Although affiliate marketing is extremely easy to set up with Amazon, plenty of other businesses and websites also offer this service. Find products or services specific to your site’s niche and then check out their contact page, or contact them directly, to see if they offer affiliate marketing programs.
Although having to contact each business directly can be time-consuming, often independent vendors can have much better affiliate fees than Amazon and generate you a larger profit. There is also an extremely useful WordPress plugin, ThirstyAffiliates, that will also help you manage and organize your affiliate links.
27. RUN WEBINARS
Running and charging for webinars can be a great way to build a following in your niche, demonstrate that you are an expert in your field, and make a profit. Hosting a webinar can be hard work. They need to first be promoted, provide original and valuable information, and include interactive elements so your audience can ask questions and engage with your topic. However, once you have built up a large blog following, each webinar can be extremely profitable.
Webinars On Air is a powerful webinar tool that will enable you to create professional webinars for your viewers. Harnessing the power of Google Hangouts, this all in one solution will take care of all the technical aspects of hosting a webinar, including payments. Also have a look at our guide to the best webinar software, both free and paid options.
28. OFFER PAID COURSES
Creating and selling courses on your blog can be a successful way to make money online. The course itself should be relevant to your blog, and based on a topic that will benefit your audience. Although it may take time to create the course in the first instance, once completed, you can then repeatedly make money from the course each time you sell it.
- LearnDash is a WordPress plugin that will enable you to create professional and interesting online courses. Break courses into separate scheduled lessons, design quizzes, and even award certificates.
- Teachable is another easy way to offer online courses without having to own a website. You can also recruit affiliates to help you promote your courses.
29. CHARGE TO VIEW CONTENT
If your blog holds useful or sought after information, you should consider charging visitors to view this specific content. WPMU DEVhas a Pay Per View plugin that gives you the ability to charge visitors a one-off fee or subscription to access particular pages, posts or media.
30. TURN YOUR BLOG INTO A MEMBERSHIP SITE
Once your blog starts receiving high volumes of traffic then it may be feasible to turn it into a full blown membership site. A membership site usually keeps all content hidden from the general public, insisting that people sign up to access the website’s posts and pages.
MemberPress is a feature-rich plugin that will enable you to turn your WordPress blog into a fully functional membership site. Depending on how you want to run your membership site, you could have a mixture of free and premium membership plans. Premium plans could include no adverts, free downloads, access to extra content, membership forums, and much more. However, it is important to remember that if people are going to pay to view your content then it must be high quality. Otherwise your members won’t renew their subscriptions when the time comes.
31. WRITE AND SELL AN EBOOK
Writing an eBook and selling it on your blog can be a great money maker. Your eBook should be directly relevant to your blog’s content so you can sell your book to your existing audience. Creating a recipe eBook for a food blog or an eBook full of training plans to complement your fitness site are just a couple of examples that have the potential to sell.
The promotion of a product like an eBook on your website is as important as the content of the eBook itself. Use a conversion tool like SumoMe to advertise your eBook on-site through pop-ups or on a hello bar, and create specific optimized landing pages to help increase sales.
32. HOST PODCASTS
Creating podcasts can be an effective way to grow your following and reach a new audience, especially if you post them on iTunes. However, with iTunes offering hundreds of thousands of podcasts for free, charging your audience to listen to them isn’t really feasible. So how can you make money through podcasting?
Getting businesses to advertise on your podcast, either at the beginning or end, or both, is a great way to create a revenue through podcasts. Most businesses won’t be keen to advertise on your podcast until you can prove a large number of listeners. Therefore, it is unlikely you will be able to start out from the get-go with sponsors. But once you accumulate regular listeners, or a high number of downloads from iTunes, you can start to sell advertising space on your podcasts.
33. CREATE A VIDEO SERIES TO SELL
Creating a video series and selling it as a digital download on your blog, much like an eBook, can be another great seller. A video course, teaching viewers a specific skill or how to achieve a particular activity, may well resonate with your audience. If you are going to go down this route then your videos need to be as professional as possible so you should consider investing in some video and lighting equipment, as well as editing software.
34. SELL ADVERTISING ON YOUR VIDEOS
You may decide to create free videos as extra content for your blog, and not sell them at all. If this is the case then you can still make money from these videos by selling advertising space on them (in the same way as discussed for monetizing podcasts). Once you have high volumes of traffic visiting your blog, and watching your videos, you can charge businesses to advertise at the beginning of your videos. Use website’s like Izea to help you connect with companies willing to pay to advertise on your blog.
35. DISPLAY A SERVICES PAGE
If you offer freelance services or have a physical services business, then creating a blog is a must. On your blog you can write about the services you offer and how they will benefit your clients. Importantly you can add a ‘Services’ page, outlining the services you provide, what they include, and any other important information potential clients may need. This is an effective way to promote your services, generate leads, and increase your revenue.
Types Of Websites That Can Be Extremely Profitable
Starting up your own blog or website can be very lucrative. I earn over $100k a month from my blog. You can start your own blog easily here by simply following my 20 min step by step blog set up tutorial. Starting a money making blog costs as little as $2.95 per month with Bluehost.
If you are keen to start your own blog or website, then choosing the type of website and niche are possibly the most important decisions you can make. So let’s have a look at some of the different types of websites and blogs that can be extremely profitable…
36. COUPONS WEBSITE
Running a coupons website can be very lucrative. Find a coupon niche, select a WordPress coupon theme, and then display relevant coupons on your site. When your audience uses the coupon codes or discount links, you will earn an affiliate cut for example you could set-up a site dedicated to iHerb Coupons or add a page to your website with Web Hosting Promo Codes. Coupon websites are quite high maintenance as they need to be constantly updated with new offers. However, if you build up an engaged audience and allow them to post coupons and discounts they have found themselves, then quite quickly your workload will reduce.
37. TRAVEL BLOG
Travel blogging is a hard industry to break into. However, the rewards can be worth it, and let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be paid for traveling around the world! There are numerous ways to monetize a travel blog, but affiliate marketing should predominantly be your focus. On your blog, promote hotels, tours, equipment hire services, flights, and anything else travel related. Then take a cut of the proceeds as your audience books their holidays based on your recommendations.
38. FITNESS SITE
A fitness site can have numerous revenue streams. Create healthy eating plans and recipes and lock them away as premium content. Promote and sell a fitness training course, eBook, or a series of videos. Or advertise your own personal fitness services on your site. Topfithub is a good example of a fitness site with decent video content alongside product reviews.
39. FOOD BLOG
Creating your own food blog, will not only be fun, but done well it should also be profitable. Link your site to affiliate cooking products, sell your food photos, create and sell your own physical cookbook, or launch a cooking app. Equally, you could turn your cooking blog into a membership site. You would then share all your content, including recipes, how to videos, food photographs, and much more, with only your paid up members.
40. MEMBERSHIP SITE
Although mentioned briefly earlier, membership sites are worth revisiting as they provide many ways to generate revenue. A Membership site doesn’t have to start with a blog. There are in fact numerous types of sites that are membership sites from the get-go, no blog in sight.
When creating a membership site, always offer different plans and pricing tiers to appeal to your different categories of audience. Access to specific types of content is then dependent on the plan selected by a member. Membership fees can be a one-off payment or a repeat subscription. And you can even sell products on your membership site to boost your income.
41. DIRECTORY SITE
Running a directory site can be a time-consuming business, but if you choose the right niche, it can be very profitable. Directory sites can be monetized by charging businesses to display their listings on your site. Listings can be paid for on a recurring monthly basis, giving you a nice regular income.
Equally, you can charge businesses to ‘claim’ their listing, a method used by many large directory sites like Google Business and Yelp. This involves companies paying to upgrade their listing and adding information such as their web address, social media links, images, and more. Other revenue streams include charging for ad space, adding affiliate links and even charging for services and products on your directory site.
42. JOBS BOARD WEBSITE
Creating a jobs board website can be another profitable venture. The ‘jobs’ field can be quite saturated, so it is important to find a niche that is still crying out for a jobs board website. Monetize this type of site by charging businesses to list their jobs on your site. Those searching for jobs could also be charged a fee to access the higher paying job adverts.
43. PHOTOGRAPHY SITE
If you are a budding photographer and would like to be paid for your craft then you should consider setting up your own photography website. This is a great way to not only promote your services as a photographer, but also to sell your images. You can charge visitors a fee to download your images. Or, if you’d rather, turn your site into a paid membership site, with free downloads of all images for paying subscribers.
44. LIFESTYLE BLOG
Lifestyle blogging is a popular trend at the moment, and a great option for those passionate about sharing their lives online. If you enjoy posting on social media, taking selfies, and discussing what you’ve been up to with your followers, then your next step may well be setting up a lifestyle blog.
A lifestyle blogger writes about their everyday life, hobbies, and interests. From fashion, beauty tips, and male grooming, to food, restaurants, and travel, anything that you experience can be blogged about. And famous lifestyle bloggers can make big bucks. Once you have built up a following, there are many ways to make a profit. Add affiliate links to your website, promote sponsored services, create your own product range, and much more.
45. PARENTING BLOG
Once you’ve had children, many parents find themselves caught in the trap of needing to work but wanting to stay home with their kids. Creating your own parenting blog can not only be a way to make some money, it can also help you connect with other parents and make sense of those crazy sleepless early parenting years (it does get easier don’t worry!)
Both mum and dad blogs have become very popular in recent years, often with bloggers creating best-selling books based on their blog’s content. The baby business is also a multi-million pound industry, and influential bloggers can be well reimbursed for discussing and subtly promoting different products.
46. MULTI-VENDOR MARKETPLACE
Multi-vendor marketplaces, like ThemeForest, can be very successful. Chose a niche and create a vendor website for it. Your marketplace could be anything, from a platform for local artists to sell their work on, to an online digital product store. Once set up, invite people in that industry to sell their products on your site. You take a percentage of their profits when items sell.
47. DATING SITE
Dating sites and apps are extremely popular and have become more and more niche as the industry develops. They can also be very profitable, as there are many ways to monetize them. You can charge a joining fee, provide premium subscriptions, or make money from advertising on your site. White Label Dating provides a pre-built dating platform for your project. You simply choose the niche and branding for your new dating site. Once your website goes live, you just need to promote it, manage the users, and collect the earnings.
Selling products or services on the internet can be a very profitable venture. You may want to create your own products and eCommerce store, or sell other people’s goods through a range of different online platforms. So let’s take a look at some of the different ways to make money online through selling…
48. SELLING ON EBAY
If you are really short on cash and need some immediate funds then you should start by looking around your house. Clear out your cupboards and find any items lying around that you don’t need or haven’t used for a while. Then sell them on eBay. Just because they are gathering dust in your cupboards, doesn’t mean someone else won’t snap them up. Simply sign up with eBay, list your products and then, as they are sold, send them off to the buyers.
49. SELL USING THE EBAY VALET SERVICE
If you don’t have time to waste creating listings and promoting your products on eBay, then you should consider using eBay’s Valet Service. Simply drop off the products you are selling at an eBay drop off center and then let eBay’s experienced valets do the selling. When your items sell you will get up to 80% of the profits.
50. RETAIL ARBITRAGE
If you have nothing of value to sell from home then retail arbitrage might be a better option for you. Many people partake in arbitrage to earn a little extra money, and for some it has even become their full-time job. Retail arbitrage is the buying of goods at a low price and then selling them on a different platform at a higher price. Sales in shops provide ideal opportunities to pick up products for next to nothing. These can then be sold on eBay or Amazon for higher amounts, making you a nice profit.
51. AMAZON FBA
Amazon offers a service called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which can be extremely useful for arbitrage sellers, or others selling their own products. If you opt for FBA, Amazon will store, pick, pack and deliver your products. That means you can scale your arbitrage business quickly as you don’t have to store products in your own home or waste time with postage.
52. CREATE YOUR OWN PRODUCT
Many people fancy themselves as designers. If you have a unique idea for a new product then it may be time to get it designed. This can be a long process involving prototypes, discussions with factories, package design, and much more. However, the profits once the product is on the market could be substantial. And remember, with Amazon FBA, your products can all be stored and shipped by Amazon, giving you time to think up your next invention.
53. WHITE LABEL PRODUCTS
White labeling products involves purchasing pre-made products from a supplier and then adding your own labeling and branding. Products could range from candles to gym equipment or even tea, but all will come without labels, allowing you to create your own new range of merchandise. Most suppliers will advertise the fact they offer white labeled goods on their websites, so pick your niche and then find the right supplier and product for you. Once labeled, products can be sold via sites like eBay and Amazon, or from your own eCommerce store (discussed in a moment).
54. BUY FROM ALIBABA
Alibaba is a Chinese eCommerce store that matches Chinese suppliers with buyers all over the world. Prices are extremely cheap, providing the possibility of large profits. However, with the potential profits comes more risk. As you are dealing with suppliers in China, if the quality of the product that arrives isn’t up to standard there is little that you can do about it.
Products also have to be bought in bulk and shipped across the world, and customs tax needs to be paid. That said, Alibaba provides both the possibility of arbitrage or white labeling products, which can then be sold on Amazon or elsewhere.
You can also buy in smaller quantities from Alibaba via their other service Alibaba Express.
55. CREATE YOUR OWN WOOCOMMERCE STORE
Once you have decided what type of product you are going to sell, you need to decide where to sell them. Selling merchandise on Amazon or eBay aren’t your only options. Creating your own eCommerce store is another way to promote your products and generate sales. Once you have decided what you are going to sell, whether it is white labeled products, your own designs, or other people’s merchandise, you can set up an eCommerce website to display these products.
WooCommerce is arguably the best WordPress eCommerce plugin for turning your website into an online store. Features include automated online payments, affiliate marketing support, product management, and much more.
56. CREATE AN ECOMMERCE STORE WITH SHOPIFY
Shopify is another great option if you are wanting to create your own eCommerce store. Shopify is arguably easier to set up than WooCommerce but will give you less control over your storefront and cost you more long term. However, if you have little to no experience of creating websites or using WordPress, or you are working to a very tight time schedule, then Shopify may be the perfect eCommerce platform for you.
Many Shopify website owners will buy products on Alibaba Express and populate their sites with those products.
57. SELL ON ETSY
If you are a creative type, then you could make money online by designing and selling crafty products on Etsy. Etsy sells a range of beautiful and original items from independent suppliers. Categories range from jewelry, clothes, and accessories, to art, collectibles, and vintage. So if you have some stunning crafty creations, Etsy is the perfect platform from which to sell from.
58. NICHE AFFILIATE AMAZON ECOMMERCE STORE
A niche affiliate site often presents like an eCommerce store. To get started with an affiliate site, choose your niche then display products with pictures, descriptions, and prices, just as you would on an online store. However, when visitors click the ‘buy’ button, they will be taken directly to Amazon, to make the purchase. You then make an affiliate fee for sending the traffic to Amazon, but have none of the packaging hassle, or initial financial output creating or buying the products.
Resources: What is Affiliate Marketing?
59. DROP SHIPPING
Drop shipping is another great ‘hands-off’ way to sell products. Firstly you will need to find businesses that sell products in your niche that offer a drop shipping service. Then you will need to create a website promoting and selling the products. When you make a sale, you take the payment on your site and then the manufacturer ships the goods to the buyer. The profit comes from charging a higher rate than the manufacturer, and if you are selling a high number of products this can quickly add up to a healthy revenue.
60. MERCH BY AMAZON
Merch by Amazon is another service offered by Amazon that will enable you to make money online without any initial outlay. To get started you need to create an account with Merch by Amazon. Then simply design some T-shirt logos or slogans, and upload them to your Merch account. You will need to choose a T-shirt type, color, and price, and Amazon will create product pages for each T-shirt. When someone makes a purchase, Amazon takes care of production and shipping. And you are paid a royalty for your design.
61. PRINTING FULFILLMENT SERVICES
There are numerous printing companies that will print your designs onto not just T-shirts, but also hoodies, hats, posters, cushions, bags, and phone cases, to name a few items. These businesses also offer fulfillment services. This means that you promote the merchandise on your own site and once you sell a product the printing company will not only print your design but also send the item directly to the buyer. So all you have to do is concentrate on the marketing and selling of your products, and the fulfillment company will take care of the rest.
Selling digital products can be just as successful as selling physical products. Graphics, software, eBooks, design elements, sound effects, songs and videos are just a few types of digital products that are in popular demand. So if you can turn your hand to creating digital products, let’s have a look at how you can make money online from this skill…
62. CREATE YOUR OWN DIGITAL ECOMMERCE STORE
Setting up a digital download store can be a great way to make money online from your digital assets, charging visitors a fee to download each digital product. Easy Digital Downloads is a popular WordPress plugin that will enable you to turn your website into a complete eCommerce solution for selling digital downloads.
63. SELL EBOOKS ON AMAZON
Ebooks can be relatively easy to write. Couple that with Amazon, a perfect platform to sell your eBook on, and you could be looking at earning an income through your writing. Once you join up with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing scheme, you can self-publish your eBook in less than five minutes.
If your writing skills aren’t up to scratch don’t let that stop you. Find a capable freelance writer to produce the book for you. The only downside to this is the initial outlay of paying the writer, but this should be recouped in time once the eBook starts selling.
64. SELF PUBLISH PAPERBACKS ON AMAZON
As well as selling your eBooks, Amazon can also create paperback copies of your book. CreateSpace, an Amazon-owned company, will help you self-publish your book. A relatively straightforward process, you must upload your work to CreateSpace and submit it for review. Your book will then be displayed on Amazon, and printed on demand and shipped by CreateSpace when purchased. And you can collect up to 70% royalties for each book sold.
Resources: How to write a book (book)
65. AMAZON AUDIOBOOKS
Yet another Amazon service providing the possibility to make money online is the Audiobook Creation Exchange. You can create a standalone audiobook, or create an audio version of your eBook as complementary media. And you can narrate your audiobook yourself, or Amazon can put you in contact with a professional to help. Once sold, you can then earn up to 40% royalties per audiobook.
Resources: How to create an audio book
66. CREATE AND SELL DESIGN ELEMENTS ON ENVATO
If you have graphic design skills then you could make money online by creating and selling your own design elements, like templates, fonts, graphics, and other assets. This is a great way to earn extra money, and build up a portfolio of work, which could lead to you picking up freelance graphic design jobs. Websites like Envato Elements pay you a fee per element sold, which can become quite profitable if your work is popular.
67. SELL YOUR PHOTOS ON SHUTTERSTOCK
If you are a professional photographer, or have a real flair for photography, then selling your images on other sites could be an idea. This could be done alongside your own photography site, as it is a good way help get your work viewed by a wider audience. There are numerous stock image websites to contribute to, but choosing a popular high-end site like Shutterstock should ensure your photographs make you some money.
68. BUILD A PREMIUM APP
If you have a good idea for an app, and the skills to create it, then producing your own premium app can be profitable. However, with so many free apps available, it may be hard to convince people to pay. If you want to go down the premium app route, consider having a basic free version to encourage people to download the app in the first place. You can then provide the option of upgrading to a premium plan once users realize how useful the app is.
69. BUILD A FREE APP
Free apps have more chance of being downloaded, and can be monetized through selling advertising space on the app itself. However, if you want businesses to pay to advertise on your app you will have to be able to prove a high number of downloads. So make sure you are prepared to put in the effort to promote your app once it is created.
70. CREATE AND SELL A SASS
Creating Software as a Service (SASS) and charging people to use it can be a good money earner. Charge your customers a one-off fee to access the tool you have created, or a monthly recurring payment. A useful and popular SASS can expect a high return, so if you have the programming skills for such a task it may be well worth your while.
71. DESIGN THEMES
If you are a confident web developer then designing your own themes is an obvious path to follow if you are looking to make money online. ThemeForest sells a wide assortment of developers themes, including themes for WordPress, Shopify, Weebly, and Tumblr, to name a few. Once you have created your theme, get it accepted onto the ThemeForest marketplace and make money each time it sells.
72. DEVELOP WORDPRESS PLUGINS
Leading on from designing themes, you may want to try your hand at creating WordPress plugins. To increase sales it is worth creating both a free and pro version of each plugin. Free plugins can be added to the WordPress Repository, so your plugin reaches a wide audience. Users can then upgrade to the pro version to access advanced features.
73. CREATE AND SELL WEBSITES
Successful websites can sell for a lot of money. Website’s like Flippa provide a platform to showcase websites to interested buyers. If you are skilled at putting websites together, and know how to drive traffic and build a following, then creating and selling websites might be an effective way for you to make money online.
Start your own website in just 20 mins with my easy to use step my step website setup guide.
74. RE-SELL WEB HOSTING
Re-selling web hosting will enable you to make money hosting your own client’s websites. Large hosting companies like HostGatorallow you to white label their hosting services. You could start your own hosting business or, if you are a web designer, include hosting into your web design packages. And the best of it is the hosting companies take care of the hosting for you, so all you need to worry about is selling.
Do you enjoy posting, liking, commenting, and generally hanging out on social media? Then maybe you should consider making some money on these social platforms. Let’s have a look at how to do so…
75. BECOME A YOUTUBE VLOGGER
Famous YouTube vloggers have followings in the hundreds and thousands and have become celebrities in their own right. And through advertising on their videos they have made big bucks. Popular YouTube vloggers can be paid by companies to promote their websites, products, and services.
Becoming a vlogger is very easy. Simply sign up with YouTube, create your own YouTube channel, and start making and posting videos. The harder part is deciding what to vlog about, and then promoting your channel and growing your audience.
Resources: Best Vlogging Cameras Guide
76. ALLOW ADVERTISING ON YOUR YOUTUBE VIDEOS
If your YouTube channel has received over 10,000 views then you can begin to make money from your videos through advertising. YouTube place relevant ads on your videos, which in turn, if clicked on, will earn you money. To get started with this, simply sign up with Google AdSense, and YouTube will take care of the rest.
77. BE AN INSTAGRAM INFLUENCER
Similar to a YouTube vlogger, if you have a large following on Instagram then you could become an Instagram Influencer. You will be paid to promote products in your photos, from wearing certain clothes to action shots of you using particular merchandise. As your Instagram following grows, you may start out simply receiving freebies in return for a picture of you with the item in shot. However, for those with followings running into millions, you can expect large payments to display products in your pictures. Use sites like Hype Factory to help connect you with companies prepared to pay for your influence.
78. SPONSORED TWEETS
For those with a large Twitter following, you can make money from your Tweets alone with Sponsored Tweets. You could be paid for sharing a business’s information, recommending restaurants or hotels, or tweeting pictures of you using or wearing products. As with all sponsored posts on social media, businesses will only be prepared to pay you to Tweet if you have a large following that you can influence. So work hard on building up a loyal fan base.
79. BRAND AMBASSADOR
Many big businesses are looking for social media influencers to become long-term ambassadors for their brand. This would involve you working closely with one particular band, and promoting their clothes, products, and services. You may also be restricted from promoting other brands, so check out the small print before agreeing to any long-term agreements.
80. PROMOTE YOUR OWN PRODUCTS
If you have your own eCommerce store, social media is the perfect platform to showcase your products. Demonstrate your products in use and tell your social following why they need to buy your merchandise. Most social media channels allow you to add ‘buy’ buttons your pages, allowing your followers to easily click through to your site and make a purchase.
81. ADVERTISE AFFILIATE LINKS
Posting pictures of products and their affiliate links on your social media channels is another way to make money online through social media. Link to Amazon or to other affiliate program’s websites to make a fee from any purchases your social media followers make.
82. ADVERTISE AFFILIATE PRODUCTS
A popular tactic to make money on social media is to pay for advertising affiliate products. Create ads for particular affiliate products that are big sellers and have a high yield. Then target these ads at specific custom audiences to ensure your ads are viewed by those who will have an interest in the product you are promoting. If viewers click through your from advert to the product page and make a purchase then you will earn an affiliate fee.
This is a slightly risky strategy as you have to pay upfront for adverts with no guarantee of sales. However, advertising is a quick and easy way of reaching your target audience. And, by using affiliate programs, you don’t have to deal with any physical products yourself.
83. LIST ITEMS FOR SALE ON FACEBOOK
If you have second-hand items to sell, or in fact your own products that you have created or white labeled, then you can sell them through Facebook. Post your products on some of Facebook’s many selling pages, and people can then view your goods and message you about payment and pickup.
What Other Ways Can You Make Money Online?
There are many other ways to make money online that don’t quite fit into the categories already mentioned. So let’s now have a look at a couple of those…
84. BUY & SELL CRYPTOCURRENCY
Cryptocurrency or digital currency is the next big thing in currency trading. It’s a digital asset that is used as a method to pay for things, that isn’t run by a government or institution. Bitcoin is the most well known digital currency and was trading at $200 per Bitcoin back in 2013. Now it is worth over $17k and is expected to be worth well over $1m in 2022.
There are other digital currencies that are well worth investing in such as LiteCoin and Ethereum, which have also seen substantial growth recently as well as lower value coins such as Ripple and Tron which will no doubt increase in value over the coming years.
Cryptocurrency is still very much in its infancy, so get in now before its too late.
To give you some idea as to how lucrative a long term investment strategy is when it comes to cryptocurrency, I bought 100 Litecoin at $5.89 back in 2014. It’s now trading around $270 each. That means I have $27k worth of Litecoins from an initial investment of $580.
85. TEACH ONLINE
Sharing your passion and skills by teaching online is yet another way to make money online. Sites like Skillshare are always looking for teachers to create courses and support their students online. And Skillshare’s top teachers make up to $40000 a year.
86. EXPERT MENTORING
If you are an expert in your particular field of business you can earn high fees for your advice. Clarity is a business website for startups and entrepreneurs. Sign up with Clarity as a mentor and then make money online by conversing with customers.
87. BECOME A LIFE COACH
If you have an interest in helping others then you might want to become a life coach. There are numerous online courses you can complete to give you the necessary qualifications and experience to become a successful life coach. You can then start promoting your life coaching services online and picking up clients.
88. CREATE VIRTUAL EVENTS
If you have a background in marketing and a passion for a particular niche, then organizing a virtual event may be just up your street. A virtual event could span across a day or longer. Individual live sessions would be run by experts in the field. And conference features would include live question and answer sessions, forums, and plenty of free giveaways. Visitors to the virtual event would pay to attend, so the more effective your promotion of the event the more money you would make.
89. BUYING AND SELLING DOMAINS
Buying and selling domains can be extremely profitable, with a single domain earning you thousands. However, this is a long game, and you may be waiting years for someone who is prepared to pay big money for one of your domains.
Resources: Best Domain Registrars
90. DAY TRADING
Day trading is a popular money earner. However, to enter into this line of business you will need to have some upfront capital. And if you want to be successful you will need to do some research into what is involved. Sign up with eToro to learn what to do and begin trading.
Instead of trading stocks or commodities, another option is to trade in currencies. ForEx, also known as Foreign Exchange or Currency Trading, is the largest market in the world, and can make experienced traders a lot of money. If you haven’t dabbled in trading before, start small, and remember don’t risk more money than you can afford to lose.
I recommend both Plus500 and Etoro, but prefer etoro as I just love using their CopyTrader functionality. This feature allows you to automatically copy the most successful traders on Etoro.
92. BECOME A BANK
Again, if you already have capital to invest, then you could consider becoming a bank. Zopa is a peer-to-peer platform that will lend your money to others wanting to take a loan. You make interest on the money lent, which is paid back in monthly repayments.
93. MATCHED BETTING – NO RISK ( IF YOU DO IT PROPERLY! )
Matched Betting (not available in the USA) enables you to gamble (nearly) risk-free. I say nearly as there is always room for error! It involves placing bets on all outcomes of an event, using free online bets given out by the Bookies. Although it may take a while to get your head around the concept, Matched Betting can make a substantial addition to your monthly income.
Resources: Oddsmonkey – Takes all the hard work out of Matched Betting.
94. ENTER COMPETITIONS
There are numerous online competition websites displaying thousands of competitions for you to enter. These competitions could win you prizes, gift cards, holidays and cold hard cash. Spend time each day finding and entering competitions. The more you enter, the better your chances of winning.
95. FILL OUT SURVEYS
Filling out surveys for cash can quickly amount to a tidy monthly payout. Sites like My Survey reward survey completion with gifts, vouchers, e-Cards, money, and much more. Simply signup and start answering questions.
Other site you might want to check out:
American Consumer Opinion
Global Test Market
Resources: How to make money from doing surveys
96. GET PAID FOR SEARCHING THE WEB
Earn cash for searching your favorite sites and then completing surveys. You will be asked to share your opinions on a variety of brands, and get paid for doing so. Sign up with Qmee to start using their free Qmee browser app.
97. GET PAID TO REVIEW MUSIC
Slice the Pie is a review site that will pay you for every review you post. Leave feedback on tracks, artists, clothes, and more, to help brands make decisions on what works for their audience.
98. GET PAID TO WATCH VIDEOS
Swagbucks is another type of ‘get-money-to’ website. Although Swagbucks offers a number of ways to make money, getting paid to watch videos is amongst its easiest gigs. Simply sign up with Swagbucks, then watch and rate videos to earn points and cash.
99. TYPE UP AUDIOS
If you are a fast typer then getting paid to type up audio tracks may be for you. Take Note Typing is always looking for transcribers who can work from home typing up scripts.
100. WORK ON AMAZON MECHANICAL TURK
Amazon Mechanical Turk has thousands of tasks available for you to choose from. Select the jobs you want to complete and work on them from home in your own time. Pay is low, but can quickly add up over time.
101. BECOME A CLICKWORKER
Similar to Amazon Mechanical Turk, ClickWorker offers a number of online jobs for those looking to make money online to pop up their income. You can select the job that interests you, from correcting text to participating in online surveys, and then complete the work whenever is convenient for you.
102. TEST WEBSITES AND APPS
The website UserTesting will pay you $10 for every website or app you review. Simply sign up and then start reviewing. Each review should take 20 minutes, and you will need to complete a set of tasks whilst on the app or website.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOW TO MAKE MONEY ONLINE
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to make some extra money, or a full-time living, online. So if you are looking to increase your income, it’s time to try out some of the strategies mentioned above. Good Luck!
To make idea-generation easier an editorial calendar can help. Also, revisit your key themes and search phrases from time to time. Using these will keep you on topic with your content.
Another tip, which I use often, is to keep a list of favorite places to visit—sites, blogs, magazine—when I want to know what’s new and what’s trending. I make it a habit to visit some of these places routinely just to make sure I’m staying on top of things, but I always turn to them when it’s time to refill the editorial calendar for the month or when I’m just stumped on what to write about.
1. Customer feedback. I love to turn customer and prospect questions into blog posts and more. (You should be keeping track of those FAQs anyway, and answer every single one.) Don’t know where to start? Search your “sent” e-mail box. Chances are good that there are some real gems in there posing as an answer to a question from a prospect or customer.
2. Bookmarking service. I use delicious an old-school bookmarking site, to see what other folks are finding and saving. I also use it heavily to keep me organized when I’m researching topics for courses and e-books. I simply tag pages and then come back to them when it’s time to collect my thoughts.
3. Q&A site. The question-and-answer site, Quora lets you group information by topics and industries, making it easy to find good information on a topic. Community members vote on the answers so the best usually rises to the top. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed for a topic and get it fed to your inbox.
4. My RSS reader. use Google Reader to check in with some of the 1000’s of blogs you can subscribe too.
5. Blog content aggregator. Alltop is a site that collects the best blog content from leading bloggers in hundreds of categories and displays the recent posts on topic pages. It’s a great place to go and scan for topic ideas and industry updates.
6. Keyword phrases. Google’s free keyword search tools can give you keyword phrases that people are actually using to find your products and services, and offer some tips for what to call your blog posts.
7. Daily briefings. I subscribe to SmartBrief on a variety of topics and to see what some pretty smart editors are turning up for topics like social media, small business and marketing.
8. Social search engine. Topsy reveals the hottest, most shared, tweeted and talked about content across the Web. Simply put in a topic and see what’s hot. You can also subscribe to topics.
9. Random-yet-targeted searches. StumbleUpon which is a search engine of sorts, allows you to create an account and pick topics of interest. You can then “stumble” and it will show you random Web pages related to your chosen topics. It’s a great way to find unique stuff and is oddly addictive.
10. Hit the magazine pile. subscribe to Wired, Inc, Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Business Week, Success and Fast Company….
Title writing tools
Not sure which letters should be capitalized in your title? Simply copy and paste your headline into this tool and it will convert it into perfect title case.
CoSchedule’s headline analyzer breaks down your headline, segmenting different types of words, and giving you hints on how to improve it. It gives you a score each time so you can try various combinations and pick the winner.
Writing productivity tools
This writing app focuses on an uncluttered interface and has a hidden menu that you access by moving your mouse to the edge of your screen. Over 20 languages are supported, it features daily goals, timers and alarms, customizable themes, spellcheck and autosave.
Does too much clutter distract you? Maximize this writing tool and you are faced with a sea of white and a blinking cursor. Hidden in the menu is a nice feature which estimates reading time. Available as a browser extension or online.
Sometimes it’s not the clutter that distracts you, but the lure of lolz on Twitter. This highly customizable browser extension increases your productivity by allowing you to limit the amount of time that you can spend on certain websites.
The Most Dangerous Writing App
Even its creators call this app sadistic. If you stop typing for more than about 3 seconds it deletes everything you have written up to that point. It could force you into completing your work before that looming deadline, or it might just make you destroy your laptop in a fit of rage.
A unique take on a writing tool that will help anyone who is too precious over their first draft. You set a word limit at the start. When you start typing, the screen flashes up one letter at a time. You can only see what you have written, and edit that copy, once you have exceeded your set number of words.
Anyone who has had to transcribe some audio will know how painful it can be, especially when you have to switch between an audio player and a word processor. This tool allows you to upload your audio or video file and features a word processor with controls for the audio on the same page.
Style and grammar tools
The Hemingway editor allows you to paste your content into the tool and it will analyze it sentence by sentence.
The point is to make your writing bold and clear. It’s like a spellchecker, but for your style. It makes sure that your reader will focus on your message, not struggle through your complex prose.
This writing tool features a large number of checks on your writing, from vague words to sentence length and overused words.
Don’t know if you should be using effect or affect? Struggle with semicolons? Grammar girl has your back, with a library of clearly worded tips that will help clear things up.
UK vs US spelling
For anyone educated in the UK but writing for the US market, here is a comprehensive list of the variations between the two versions of the English language.
This tool ranks the most frequently used words in any given body of text. You can use it to discover words you overuse or to extract the keywords from a great piece of content you’ve found.
If Wordcounter has revealed you are overusing the same words, head over to Thesaurus.com to find alternatives.
Basically a very good spelling and grammar checker. Grammarly says it corrects over 250 types of grammatical mistakes. It also covers contextual spelling errors and poor vocabulary usage.
Enter a body of text and this tool will find a cliché faster than a speeding bullet.
SEO writing tools
Yoast WordPress Plugin
If you are writing content optimized for search engines, this WordPress plug-in will score your efforts based on several factors and ensure you don’t forget any vital components of SEO.
SERP title tool
Enter your title tag, meta description, and URL to see how they’ll appear in a Google search result.
Collaborative writing tools
You can choose who to share your documents with, both inside and outside your organization, and decide on their level of access to allow editing or comment only input.
Research & Idea generation
If you want to extract the important topics from a great piece of content, this is the tool for you. AlchemyLanguage is a collection of APIs that offer text analysis through natural language processing. It can analyze text to help you understand its concepts, entities, keywords, sentiment, and more.
Discover trends and see if the subject you are thinking of writing about is taking off or fading into obscurity.
Portent’s Content Idea Generator
A writing tool for when you’re stuck staring at a blank page. Simply enter a topic and it will suggest a title, and provide some resources for further reading.
HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator
Another tool to help when you’ve got writer’s block. Add three nouns to this tool and HubSpot will return 5 blog headline ideas.
Excuse us for blowing our own trumpet, but Brandwatch has several useful functions for a content marketer. Discover relevant trending content, research your audience and what they are talking about and unearth influencers to amplify your content. We’ve written a free SEO and content guide if you’d like to know more.
Miscellaneous writing tools
Want to give your readers an estimated reading time? Simply copy and paste your text into this tool for an estimate.
A Soft Murmur
If you find the noise of the office too distracting and wish you were on a beach instead, this tool has a variety of ambient sounds out to help with distraction free writing. You can mix your own sounds, so if you find a burning coffee shop relaxing, they’ve got you covered.
A proofreading tool
Our blog editor, who reads everything before it is published. Having a second pair of human eyes is invaluable. You will probably have to get your own human, as Natalie is very busy and doesn’t have time to read your content as well.
Content marketing resources
To end this list in the most helpful way possible, we thought we’d leave you with some further reading to brush up your content marketing knowledge.
You can find all sorts of beginner’s guides to SEO and content across the web, but I’d recommend Moz as a great place to start. Their guides are thorough while being easy for anyone to understand.
These five blogs are all leaders in the content marketing blogging world. Keep an eye on these for expert advice.
With these writing tools in your arsenal, your content should receive that extra boost to help it stand out from the competition.
HOW TO START YOUR OWN PODCAST GUIDE 2018
If so then welcome to what I think is the most comprehensive and easy to use guide on creating your own podcast.
There’s so many good reasons for starting a podcast. It’s a great way to grow your business, connect with other leaders in your space, deepen your relationship with your audience and much more.
Podcasting has seen an explosion in recent years, but just because the market it competitive doesn’t mean you should avoid doing a podcast altogether. In fact, the average listener listens to five different podcasts per week, so there’s no reason yours couldn’t be part of the mix.
Below we walk you through how to start a podcast, from the very beginning stages with no idea, all the way up to creating your very first episode.
Why You Should Start A Podcast
Naturally, you may have a lot of resistance to starting a podcast. Fear of public speaking and reaching out to strangers is a huge fear that most of us have. Beyond the internal struggle, there are all sorts of technical requirements, like recording and editing episodes, dealing with feeds, embedding podcast episodes into your site, and much more.
Now, we don’t highlight these common points of resistance to scare you, but instead to show you that you’re not alone. Even today’s top podcaster’s had to overcome these same fears and knowledge gaps when they first got started.
If you’re still on the fence, then check out some of the sessions why you should absolutely start a podcast below.
Improved Website Traffic
Podcasting can be a great way to send more traffic back to your website. According to Convince and Convert over 67 million Americans are monthly podcast listeners. That’s a huge amount of people, chances are the people who discover you via podcast would love to learn more about what you do.
In fact, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, actually found that most of his readers found out about his blog via his podcast. If you’ve been looking for a way to improve your traffic, then podcasting can be a great vehicle to help you get there.
Deeper Audience Connection
Chances are not everyone that follows you is going to be a big reader. Your audience will probably prefer to consume content in various formats. Those who prefer to listen will be left high and dry until you start your podcast.
Beyond delighting your audience by delivering them the audio content for them to enjoy, you’ll also be able to connect to your audience on a deeper level. Hearing your voice helps to build a deeper bond than just reading your writing.
The Ability To Network With Influencers
If you’ve been trying to get on an influencer’s radar, but haven’t had any luck, then maybe it’s time to try podcasting. Once you have a solid number of downloads and your podcast grows in popularity you’ll notice that it becomes increasingly easier to get high profile guests on your podcast.
Appearing as a guest on a podcast doesn’t take a ton of additional effort in regards to your guests, beyond the time investment. They show up, answer questions, and get to talk about their work in front of a new and diverse audience.
Having a high-quality podcast can be a solid value add, and help you get in the door with people that would otherwise be difficult to connect with.
Create A Potential Business Asset
Your podcast won’t be a huge financial asset to your company right out of the gate, but it could end up being profitable in its own right down the road. For starters, once you hit a certain number of downloads you’ll have the opportunity to accept advertisers and sponsorships for your show. This will help to offset any existing expenses for your show and turn it into a valuable income stream.
Beyond the potential to profit directly from each episode you publish you’ll also receive tons of additional related benefits that will help grow your business. For instance, when you interview high-profile guests you’ll increase your credibility and build trust with your audience.
Plus, a podcast will help to improve your overall traffic and expand your audience, which can be very valuable to your business.
Improved Communication Skills
Improving your communication skills will help with all aspects of your business. Whether you’re running a webinar to sell a high-end product or service. Or, are on the phone with a potential client trying to close the sale. Being able to communicate clearly and effectively will go a long way towards improving these conversations.
Having to converse meaningfully around topics that surround your market will also help you better articulate what it is you do, and the value you add to your customer’s lives.
Before You Start Your Podcast
Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of starting a podcast it’s important that we cover a few mindset shifts you’ll want to take to heart if you want your podcast to stand out from the pack. We’re in the golden age of podcasting, but that also means that everyone and their grandma now has a podcast.
The only way to rise above the noise is to be better than the noise, the following tips will help you do just that.
Go Outside Your Comfort Zone
No one’s going to want to listen to your podcast if you’re just interviewing your friends and family. Unless you’re incredibly well-connected and are friends with the like of Barack Obama. But, if you’re like most people, then you’ll be trying to get in touch with guests who intimidate you.
Make a list of dream guests for your podcast. Don’t be afraid to reach for people who you might think of as unreachable or out of your league. Sure, you might not be able to get these guests on your show right away, but in time with a large enough audience, they might just say yes.
See if you can find new and creative ways to reach out to your guests. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for introductions from people you’ve just had on the show. A referral introduction from someone you just interviewed is much more valuable than reaching out cold.
Remember, No Isn’t The Finish Line
If you’re going an interview-based podcast, then you’re going to be reaching out to a lot of guests. One thing you’ll need to get used to fast, is people saying no.
But, just because you get a no once doesn’t mean you should stop asking. Most people may not even respond to your request the first time around. Don’t be afraid to follow-up, or come up with new ways to reach out to the person.
You might have sent an email, but they could have an assistant that filters out all unknown interview requests. The key point is to find a channel the person you’re trying to reach out to actually uses. Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out more than once, even after a no. It could be a scheduling conflict, or they could be taking a break from interviews for a few months. Persistence is key.
Connect Over Story
No matter what kind of podcast you’re doing you’re going to want to bundle in stories whenever possible. If you’re doing an interview based podcast, then get your guests to share stories about their lives. As humans, we bond over story, and by conveying information in a story-based format it will be much easier for your guests to digest.
If you’re doing more of an information-based podcast, where it’s just you and the microphone, then you’ll have to find ways to make your information interesting. Take the podcast Hardcore History, instead of just listing historical facts, the host Dan Carlin is able to create a compelling narrative and in turn, it has helped make his podcast incredibly popular.
Always Be Listening
There’s no point in hosting a podcast if you’re not going to be listening to your guests. Most of the guests you’ll have on your show will have been on podcasts before. One thing you want to avoid them doing is simply repeating the same story, or same answers they gave during their last interview.
This interview might be the last time you ever get to talk to this person, so don’t waste it. What burning questions do you have for your guest? Did they say something interesting they just happened to gloss over? Ask them about it.
Pay attention to what they’re saying and don’t be afraid to dig into anything that sparks your interest.
Consider Your Why
This section can be bundled into actually reaching out to guests. Before you begin reaching out it’s smart to give your guests a reason to say yes. If you’re running just another podcast it’s going to be hard to convince your guests.
Maybe your podcast is a perfect overlap of the audience they’re reaching? Maybe you offer a unique perspective that’s not being done elsewhere? Whatever it is, find a handful of reasons why it would be worth it for your guest to spend their time talking to you.
Commit To The Long Haul
Before you make the jump into podcasting you need to commit over the long-term. A podcast is much more than just a recording of people talking. Some podcasts are, but not the good ones at least.
Podcasting can be incredibly beneficial, but those benefits usually take a long time to come into effect. You not only need to commit to mastering the technical domain of podcasting, along with consistently reaching out to guests, but you also need to commit to a regular release schedule.
Your listeners need to know when to expect a new episode from you. Create a schedule and stick to it, even if the results aren’t happening as quickly as you’d like.
Internalize the above tips and you’ll be on your way towards producing a high-quality podcast that your listeners will love, all while being valuable to your guests at the same time.
How To Start A Podcast
If you’ve made it this far, then you’re convinced that podcasting is the right step for you and your business. Below we walk you through the entire process, from having no idea to recording and uploading your very first episodes.
1. Plan Your Podcast
If you already have a website and you’re looking to add a podcast, then you probably already have a niche you’re operating in. You just take that same niche and apply it to the podcast space.
If you haven’t started out online yet, then you’ll need to spend a little more time during the niche selection phase. Basically, your niche is a small proportion of a smaller market you’ll focus your efforts on. So, instead of creating a general health and wellness podcast, you’d create a podcast that helps middle aged men incorporate yoga into their daily lives.
The questions below will help you narrow down on your niche and help you discover a topic you’d love to podcast about:
• What can I talk about into the late hours of the night?
• What do I love to talk about whenever given a chance?
• What kind of problems would I love to solve for my listeners?
• What topic could I talk about for years without getting burnt out or bored?
• What kind of influencers would be a dream to connect with?
Picking A Name
Your podcast name is incredibly important, but a lot of beginning podcasters tend to overlook its value. Your podcast’s name is going to be with you for the long-term and plays an essential role in your brand.
You could name your podcast something completely random, but when you’re new this will make it more difficult to start gaining traction. A better approach is to name your podcast something that actually gives your listeners a clue to what your podcast is about.
If you have an existing brand name, then you can always use that name for your podcast as well, but you’re not stuck to it. You may want to utilize a more catchy and clever name for your show, but make sure you include a description that includes keywords to suggest what your show is actually about.
One great way to come up with a great name is to study your space and see what the most popular and commonly named podcasts are. Chances are you’ll be able to pick out a few themes that all of the names share.
Once you’ve landed on a name make sure you register the domain name, so in case your podcast becomes popular you’re not stuck battling for a domain later on.
Your Podcast Format
Most podcasts will have a similar episode format. The biggest distinction is if you’re going to be doing an interview-based show, or not. You don’t have to copy the same format as other podcasts out there, but it can be helpful to establish a specific episode format. This will help keep all of your episodes the same, even though the content in each episode will differ.
Below you’ll find a common podcast format you can utilize if you’d like:
1. Introduction to a voiceover or theme song
2. Any announcements and recurring segments
3. Guest interview
4. Closing thoughts on the episode
The structure you use will be dependent on whether or not you’re interviewing guests, or if you’re creating all of the content yourself. Down the road, you may even incorporate advertisements, which usually occur during the introduction, and another time during the middle of the interview.
Typically you’ll choose one of the following formats that your show will follow.
1 – Co-host: In this style of show you have multiple hosts. You can incorporate interviews, or even just have a show of the two of you talking on a given topic.
2 – Solo: In a solo show it’s just you and the microphone. This style of show is typically used for entertainment or educational purposes, where you’re dispensing knowledge on a given topic.
3 – Interview: During interview shows it’s you and a guest. Typically, you’ll ask them a series of questions related to the work the do, and your audience will walk away with valuable insights about the person, and their unique skill, or craft.
The length of each episode will depend upon the type of content you’re producing. The last thing you want to do is increase the length of each episode by padding it with filler material. That’s the quickest way to bore your audience and annoy new listeners. You’ll have a wide range of podcast episode lengths to choose from, but most podcast episodes typically run from 20 to 45 minutes.
The length isn’t as important as making sure your content remains compelling throughout. For example, if you have a killer episode that’s 45 minutes long, there’s no need to cut it down to 20 minutes. The opposite is also true, if you have 15 minutes of solid content, then don’t pad it out with another 15 minutes of unnecessary filler.
How often you release isn’t as important as actually sticking to a consistent schedule. Now, if you’re releasing a new episode once a month it’s going to be hard to gain traction. The more frequently you release the more material you’ll have to promote and the quicker you’ll gain traction with your podcast.
However, keep in mind that producing a quality podcast does take a lot of work. It’s better to produce a higher-quality podcast less frequently, rather than rush through producing a podcast, just to stick to a frequent production schedule.
Be honest with yourself and the time it will take for you to produce an episode and set your timeline accordingly.
2. Get Podcast Basics In Place
Below you’ll learn how to build a solid foundation for your podcast. A lot more goes into podcasting that just recording a conversation. Below you’ll learn how to create stunning podcast artwork, how to create your podcast website, and learn what kind of microphone and editing software are worth using.
Your podcast’s artwork is just as important as your title. Think of your podcast’s artwork as a book cover. It needs to represent your podcast while being eye-catching to your visitor. When a listener searches for new podcasts to listen to it’s the first thing they’ll see.
Most of iTunes podcast lists end up using the smaller version of your podcast art, which will look like the image below. So, it needs to look good, even when shrunken down.
Keep the following in mind when evaluating your podcast’s artwork:
• It needs to be recognizable and enticing at a small scale.
• The name of your podcast should be clearly legible. Avoid having long wordy titles.
• The images you use on your cover art should represent your podcast well.
If you’re not the designer type you can commission designs through freelancer portals like 99Designs, or Fiverr if you don’t have a lot of money to invest.
Canva is also a great free tool to help you create podcast artwork.
Getting A Microphone
Luckily, investing in a solid microphone won’t cost you a fortune. When you’re just starting out you probably don’t want to invest a ton of money into your podcast equipment.
Some of the cheaper options out there, which still provide you with good quality audio, are called USB mics. These plug directly into your USB port and make recording incredibly simple. Check out some of our recommendations below.
3. Samson Q2U
If you’re looking for a higher-quality podcasting microphone, then the following are solid choices. Just be aware that you’ll be investing quite a bit more into your microphone setup.
2. Blue Yeti
Create A Website For Your Podcast
Even though you’ll upload your podcast to iTunes, Soundcloud, and other sources, it’s always a good idea to have a home base for all of your work. If you have an existing podcast you have the opportunity to either add a separate podcast page that lists all of your episodes, or you can incorporate your episodes into your existing blogroll.
If you don’t have a website set up yet, then you’ll want to purchase a domain name that matches the name of your podcast, and build out a simple website to host each of your episodes. Instead of walking you through each step here’s some useful resources to help you build your own.
Just keep in mind that you’ll want your podcast’s image to match your existing website’s brand.
Choosing Your Recording & Editing Software
When it comes to actually recording your podcast you’re going to have a few different options. Just like the microphone selection above, it will be dependent on your overall budget and technical fluency.
If you’re using one of the USB microphones highlighted above, then you can plug your microphone into your computer and you’re all set. You just need audio software that’ll allow you to record and edit your podcast.
One of the most commonly used audio software is called Audacity. You can download it entirely for free, and it will provide you with the necessary tools to record, edit, and publish your podcast episodes.
If you’re a Mac user, then you probably already have GarageBand installed, which some users opt for. However, be aware that GarageBand doesn’t offer the same level of in-depth editing features that a tool like Audacity possesses.
You also have the option of using a paid software like Abode Audition, which is a high-level audio editing tool. Since Adobe is a more advanced tool the learning curve will be a little steeper, but it will provide you with features to help you produce a very professional sounding podcast.
If you’re interviewing and recording remote interviews via Skype, then you’ll want a recording software like Skype Auto Recorder. After the interview is recorded you can easily upload the file directly into a tool like Audacity for editing.
3. Sourcing Guests
If you’re just starting out without a big audience in place, then doing guest interviews can be a great way to grow your audience. To start it’s a good idea to have a mix of both large and small guests. Larger guests will help to lend your podcast credibility, even though they might not always share the interview with their audience.
However, smaller guests are much more likely to share the interview, which will put your podcast in front of new audiences.
Remember to have a few podcast episodes ready to go before you launch. This will help give you time to source and produce new podcast episodes, without having to scramble for new guests or miss your podcast episode deadlines.
It can be helpful to create an email template you can use to reach out to new podcast guests. However, it can also be helpful to get on the person’s radar before you send a cold email. Even something simple, like tweeting and sharing their content, commenting on their blogs, or even engaging over Facebook will help them put a face to a name.
4. Producing Your Podcast
With all of the foundational podcast elements taken care of it’s time to start producing your podcast. The steps below will walk you through reaching, editing, and uploading your podcast.
You’ll want your podcast to feel conversational, not like you’re reading word-for-word from a script. But, instead of thinking of your script like a movie script, think of it like an outline. You won’t write out every single thing you’re going to say, but instead, create a rough outline of your talking points.
If you’re nervous in front of the microphone having a script in front of you can help you feel less nervous and keep you from going off on tangents. Also, if you’re running an interview-based podcast, then it can be helpful to have a basic set of questions you’d like to ask. New questions will arise throughout the interview, but having a list to choose from will help to ensure there’s no lull in the conversation.
Recording your podcast is quite simple. Especially if you’re using a USB microphone and recording software like Audacity. All you have to do is plug in your microphone into your computer, open up your software, and press record.
If you’re importing something you’ve previously recorded, like a Skype interview, then just import the audio file into your editing software of choice.
With your podcast recorded it’s time to start editing. The quality of your editing will either help or hinder the success of your podcast. High quality editing will make your podcast sound professional, while low-quality editing will make your podcast sound amateur.
With today’s competitive podcasting landscape it’s much more difficult to succeed with a low-quality podcast.
The steps you take will differ depending on the editing software you’re using. But, typically you’ll want to do the following edits to improve the quality of your audio file.
- Normalize the audio to take out high-volume spikes.
- Turn down or edit out any existing background noise.
- Delete any stuttering, big gaps in conversation, or other things that detract from the quality of the audio.
Your podcast doesn’t have to utilize music, but if you listen to a lot of podcasts you’ll notice that a ton of them utilize theme music throughout their intros. It does help to make your podcast sound a little more professional.
To source music, you’ll be looking for stock music or royalty free music. This will allow you to edit and place your own audio on top of the music, without running into any legal hassles. If you have a musically gifted friend you can ask them to create a music intro for you, but if not you can check out a website like Music Bakery to source your music from.
5. Uploading Your Podcast
With your podcast finished you’re going to need a place to host your media files. There are multiple different avenues you can use to host your podcast. Some of the most popular are highlighted below:
Soundcloud is a great option as it includes a very high-quality media player and offers very competitive pricing for beginners. You can also make your podcast publicly available on the Soundcloud site, which could lead to new listeners.
Plus, if you’re looking to embed your podcast episodes into your existing website you can easily do that with Soundcloud.
Including Show Notes On Your Site
If you have your own website that’s related to your podcast you’ll want to embed each episode into your site, as well as include show notes. You can embed your epodes using any of the media hosting options above. But, Soundcloud makes it includes easy. To embed with Soundcloud just follow the steps below:
1. Navigate to the Soundcloud podcast episode you uploaded.
2. Click on the share option and select embed, then you’ll see the HTML code you can copy and paste into your site.
3. Create a new blog post on your site and copy the code into the post.
4. Below the audio file you can then create a separate blog post, or just post the transcription of your podcast below.
For show notes you can either include a word-for-word transcript of the episode, or you can create an entire blog post about the topic that pulls out the best bits of information. You can experiment with both to see what your audience resonates with the most.
Uploading To ITunes
You can upload your podcast to a ton of different podcast directories, which can help to improve the reach of your podcast. Like, Stitcher, and Blubrry, but the one place you really must be uploading your podcast is iTunes.
The steps below will help to ensure your podcast gets listed in iTunes:
1. Double check that all of your podcast’s information is correct. This includes your title, description, author name, and cover art. You’ll want to check these settings within the media hosting service you’re using to host your podcast.
2. Copy your podcast’s RSS feed, from your podcast host of choice. This is what iTunes will use to upload new podcast episodes to your iTunes page. You’ll also want to ensure your podcast feed is valid.
3. Open up iTunes and select the Podcasts option.
4. Find the Podcast Quick Links section and click on ‘Submit a Podcast’. Copy your RSS feed into the box and click next.
5. Your podcast is now submitted to iTunes. You may have to wait a while for your podcast to show up, as each submission is reviewed manually. It’s also important to have a few episodes uploaded before you submit your podcast to iTunes. If new listeners stumble across your podcast they’re much more likely to give it a listen if there’s more than a single episode sitting in the feed.
Optimizing Episode Titles And Descriptions
One thing you’ll want to do for each episode is create a compelling title and description. If you have a popular guest, then you’ll definitely want to highlight them. But, otherwise focus on the benefits your listener will receive when they listen to your episode.
When someone uses the podcast search on iTunes individual podcasts, along with episodes show up. So, make sure to include any relevant keywords in your title and description as well.
6. Promoting Your Podcast
If you want your podcast to be successful you’re going to need to do a lot of promotion. You can’t expect your podcast to grow on its own without any help on your end unless you’ve already built up a large and engaged audience via other means.
One solid means of promoting your podcast is to create multiple forms of media from each episode you produce. For example, you could turn an episode into a blog post, a guest blog to publish on another website, a series of social media updates, or even cool shareable images.
Beyond converting your content into multiple media formats you have other options as well:
- Reaching out to guests and asking them to share the podcast episode with their audience.
- Asking your audience if they’d be willing to leave an iTunes review of your podcast.
- Doing a series of guest blogs about your podcast topic, with a link back to your podcast website.
- Reach out to other podcasts about becoming a guest on their podcasts.
- Growing your audience via content marketing, advertising, and social media, and pushing that audience to your podcast.
Overall, you’ll have a bunch of methods available to promote and grow your audience for your podcast. Instead of trying to do everything it’s important that you have a set of promotion activities you use after every single episode. This will help your podcast gain traction over time.
7. Staying Consistent And Persistent
You may have dreams of creating a podcast that achieves millions of downloads and is one of the most popular podcasts in your space. These are solid things to shoot for, but just know that numbers like these won’t happen overnight.
Creating a large podcast audience is a long-term game. Just because you haven’t seen the results you’ve been looking for after a few episodes, that doesn’t mean you should give up. With podcasting, the results will come as long as you stick to a regular publishing schedule, promote each episode, and keep improving the quality of your podcast with better guests, improved material, and higher-quality production.
Audiences take a while to build, but it will grow, you just have to keep with it. Like anything, you’ll get better in time, your show will improve, and you’ll start to attract new listeners.
Podcasting can be an incredible way to connect with your audience, expand your network, and even grow your existing business. It can be a very valuable addition to your life and business, even if you don’t end up profiting from it directly.
A lot of people go through the phase of thinking, “I should really start a podcast,” but most don’t end up pulling the trigger. We hope the tutorial above will help you get started with your very own podcast. Just follow the steps above and you’ll be on your way towards producing your very own exciting and compelling podcast.