Learning how to make money online by starting or growing a business is a great way to make money from home, to supplement an income or make it a full-time gig.

For the most part, all as you need is a computer, internet connection, and time.

There are many legitimate ways for people to make money online, but what one is best for you, depends on your experience, skills, education, commitment, and your ability to financially invest in the business.

Making money online takes time and determination, it is not a “get rich quick” thing.

However, it can be done…I am proof of it!

Below I break down the ways you can make money online by sharing with you what you can sell online, and where you can sell it.

  • What You Can Sell
  • Where you can Sell It
  • Summary

What You Can Sell Online to Make Money!

People make money online selling products or services. These products can be physical products, digital products, service that offer knowledge, or services that do work for someone else.

Physical Products

Physical products can be something you have created or invented or something that you have purchased or drop shipped from a wholesaler or distributor, or something that you affiliate for a third-party like products from Amazon. Selling physical products comes with some risks depending on how your source them.

If you create or wholesale them:

  • You can get stuck with stock that no one wants.
  • You have to deal with the shipping woes of physical products – sometimes things get lost or broken or stolen or returned broken, and there isn’t always an easy fix for it.
  • The profit margins can be thin compared to selling other items like digital products and services.

If you drop-ship them:

  • There is a lot of competition.
  • The profit margins are usually thin.
  • A lot of times you still have to deal with returns, so if the customer changes their mind, the product goes back to you.

If you affiliate:

  • You need a lot of traffic to make a substantial income, and even then the profit margin is very, very low.

The benefits of selling physical products are.

  • It’s quick to start, you can order from a wholesaler tomorrow.
  • It’s fun! Some people just like the feeling of selling physical products.
  • It is a huge industry. Pretty much everyone wants and likes physical stuff.

Digital Products

Digital products can be something that you have created or purchased for distribution. Think music, printable art, stock photos, workbooks, worksheets, templates, newsletters, courses, etc. There is nothing physically shipped; the item is sent to the purchaser in a file that they download to their computer and use. Selling Digital Product isn’t as easy or quick as selling physical products.

  • For the most part, you have to create it, there are a few exceptions, but it can be time-consuming to create.
  • You need to have the skills and time to create it, plus the financial stability while you are creating it.
  • You can spend all that time creating it, and no one buys it…test first!

Selling Digital Products does have a lot of benefits over selling physical products.

  • You don’t have to ship anything – I don’t like shipping!
  • Competition can be less stiff – You need to have particular skill and time
  • Profit margins are much better you create it once and sell it over and over and over again.
  • It is passive income. You can set it up to instantly, and the customer downloads it once it is purchased, which means you can make money on the beach!

Services  – Knowledge

A service that provides knowledge, information or advice that you give to someone else, is another excellent way to make money online. You get paid directly for that knowledge or information from the user, or you get paid for it through advertisements and endorsements. Below is are examples of some services that provide knowledge and information.

  • Teaching
  • Coaching
  • Reviewing/Comparing products
  • Professional Advice

People want to learn how to do things. They need help being motived or pointed in the right direction. They want to know if the toaster is a good toaster, or what is the best stroller to buy. They need advice, and they need to know if their decisions are good, or just what choices to make, or how to operate their business. The problems with offering a knowledge service are:

  • It is not always passive income – It can be time-consuming meeting one on one with people.
  • You need to have the experience and knowledge or ability to learn the knowledge to provide the information.
  • You need to have the proper certification and education if you are providing professional advice.

The benefit of offering a knowledge service is:

  • It is some of the most profitable industries online. People will pay for the knowledge that will help or improve their life.

Service – Doing Work

A service that completes work for someone else is another way you can make money online. You get paid for the work you do directly from your client or company. There are so many types of services that complete work for someone else. Below is are examples of just a few of those services.

  • Writing
  • Designing
  • Photography
  • Admin Support
  • Customer Service
  • Marketing – IM, Social Media Marketing, Advertising, etc.
  • Transcribing

If you have a unique skill set or the ability to learn a unique skill set you can you make money online doing work for others. People need things done. There is not enough time in the day, and I do not have enough skills to complete all the tasks that need to be done to run a growing, thriving business. Sure, in the beginning, I might try to do things myself, but once I start making money and growing I want to outsource, and I need help with the things I can not do or do not have time to do. If you have one of those skills or the ability to learn one of those skills well, you can make money online providing these services to other people. Some of the obstacles you might face providing a service to someone else is:

  • You need to have the experience and knowledge or ability to learn the knowledge to provide the service work.
  • It is not passive income – you will have to meet with clients and have the time to work on the projects.

The benefits of providing a service that does work for others is.

  • You can make good money at it; people will pay for quality work.
  • Not everyone can do it, so if you have a special skill set, you might have a great market.

Where You Can Sell Online

Your Blog

I wanted to start with blogging or creating valuable content (it doesn’t just have to be words…video, voice, and pictures can work too) because it is one of the best places for people to make money online with a low start-up cost.

What You Need

The bare minimum you need to get started is:

  • Access to a computer and internet
  • Knowledge of a profitable subject or niche
  • Domain Name and Hosting provider and a Theme (themes can be free if you are not too picky)

Why It Works

It’s Cheap Marketing

That means you don’t need a lot of startup money to blog. If you have the computer, internet, and knowledge on a profitable subject, you can get started with just a domain name, hosting and your computer.

Blogging or content creation is an excellent source of free traffic.

You are creating content that is rich in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which helps people find you in search engines for free. 

Also, creating that valuable content allows you to post it to social media platforms like Pinterest or Instagram another great source of free traffic.

Finally, it is a great way to engage with your target market or niche; they love learning about the topic that you are explaining or teaching. You are providing them with valuable insight for free, that they will appreciate. They are getting to know you, which helps them like and trust you more.

There Are So Many Ways To Profit From It

You can sell products that include anything from products you advertise or affiliate, products you wholesale dropship, or products you create.

These products can be physical products or digital products.

You can offer services include knowledge that people will pay for like coaching or teaching, knowledge about products like review or comparisons, and services where people want work done like freelancing things like digital design, photography, writing, marketing. The services can be done by you, or you can outsource them.

Finally, you can monetize your blog with just one thing like affiliate offers (this is how I got started). Or you can pick a mix of things like affiliate offers, digital products you created, and one on one coaching about your subject.

Benefits

  • Great way to build free traffic with SEO and Social Media
  • Establishes a trusting relationship with potential consumers, by helping them know you better.

Not Perfect

While blogging is a great way to start making money online with a low start-up cost there are a few hindrances to blogging.

  • It can be time-consuming, you need to create that content, and that takes time.
  • It can take time for you to build and magnetize (email lists) your traffic.
  • You need to have the knowledge or the ability to learn the knowledge of a subject.
  • The subject needs to be profitable and relevant to a large enough group of people.

Marketplaces

Making money online selling your products or services in a Marketplace is another great way to make money online with a low start-up cost. The bare minimum you need to get started is:

  • Access to a computer and internet
  • A product or service that people want
  • Access to a Marketplace that fits your product or service.

Why It Works

Have Access to the Marketplaces Traffic

Marketplaces are a great way to get found for free online. The successful Marketplaces have a lot of traffic that they are bringing in each day. Think Amazon or Etsy or eBay. They all have thousands to hundreds of thousands of people coming to their store every day.

A New Way to Discover You

Even if you had your own content-rich blog, this is another opportunity for you to get in front of your target market. The way people search and buy things are changing. If I am looking for a particular toy, I don’t always google it anymore. I go to one of the major marketplaces to see if I can buy it there.

Trust

People sometimes feel more comfortable buying from a marketplace. While with a blog or e-commerce store you can establish trust by them getting to know you through your content. The marketplace has trust build in, if a customer has a problem, they can deal with this established marketplace to help work things out.

What You Sell

There are so many Marketplaces to sell your product and service the opportunities are endless. Here are just a few of the marketplaces and what type of product or service works well to sell in them.

  • Amazon FBA – Physical Products you wholesale or arbitrage
  • Amazon Handmade – Physical Product you create
  • Amazon Create Space – Digital products like books, music, and film
  • Etsy – Physical products you create
  • Ebay – Physical or digital products you wholesale, drop ship or create
  • Udemy – Digital product like an online course you created
  • Upwork – Freelancing services work that you can do for others

Benefits

  • Get some free traffic without having to create a lot of content (you still need sales copy)
  • Another way for your product or service to get discovered
  • Marketplace trust for consumer purchases

Not Perfect

While Marketplaces are a great way to start making money online with a low start-up cost there are a few hindrances:

  • Oversaturated – you are competing with LOTS of other sellers in your marketplace.
  • If you are too unique, they might not even search for your product.
  • Marketplace Rules – contacting the customer, market funnels, etc. are not always in your favor.
  • Marketplaces sometimes have a way of siding with the customer about complaints, even if its not your fault.

E-commerce Store

Making money online with an E-commerce store is a great way to make money for those who don’t want the over-saturation of a marketplace and or don’t think blogging is their cup of tea (even though creating great quality content helps keep marketing costs down). The bare minimum you need to get started is:

  • Access to a computer and internet
  • A product or service that people want
  • Hosting platform all-in-one like Shopify
    • Theme (free or charged)
    • Plugins (free or charged)
    • Credit Card Processor Fees (pay per use or monthly)
  • Self-Hosted Store
    • Website Hosting
    • Domain Name
    • Theme (free or charged)
    • Plugins (free or charged)
    • SSL certificate
    • Credit card processor fees (pay per use or monthly)Why It Works

Why It Works

You are in control

With your own e-commerce store, your customer is yours, you can communicate with them more freely. You are in control of the selling fees, and you don’t have to cut into your sales to the Marketplace.

Not “Totally” Saturated

While you are now responsible for driving traffic to your e-commerce store, whether through free social media, blogging, or paid advertisements. When the customer gets to your e-commerce store your products are the only products they see. No one is selling it cheaper.

Blogging Shmogging (…I don’t think that’s a word)

Let’s face it, writing endless information blog posts is not everyone’s cup of tea. It is time-consuming, and the fruit of your labor takes a long time to show off. With an e-commerce store your products are the content, and if you find the knack for marketing just products, you are off to a great start.

What You Sell

You can sell anything and everything in an e-commerce store.

  • Physical Products
  • Digital Products
  • Service for Knowledge
  • Service for work

Others Are Doing It

However, there are many successful cases of people rocking it by selling physical products online like:

Benefits

  • You are in control of all aspects of your business, and not the ever-changing terms and conditions of a Marketplace.
  • When a customer comes to your e-commerce store, they only see your products.
  • Blogging takes time to establish a reading base before significant income happens. E-commerce can be done quicker with paid ads.

Not Perfect

While opening an e-commerce store is a great way to start making money online there are a few obstacles you will need to overcome to name a

few.

  • There are a lot more security measures needed.
  • You have to drive your own traffic.

Summary

As you can see there are a lot of ways to make money online.

Of course, it all starts with picking a niche that is profitable, sizeable, and not too saturated. Then you can decide what kind of products and services you are going to sell to that niche, and where you are going to offer those products and/or service for sale.

Finally, you need to develop a solid marketing plan, so that your blog, or e-commerce store, or marketplace is getting the traffic it needs and the conversion (actual sales) you want!

I am glad you read this post on How to Make Money Online, be sure to share and leave a comment below, with what ways have tried to make money online.

Rachael