Times are tough.
There’s this pandemic going on. A lot of businesses have been closed. A lot of people are without jobs.
Unless you’re Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, or any of the super-rich people out there partying on their super-yachts or diving into their rooms full of golden coins and swimming around like those coins are liquid (that’s what I imagine rich people do), then you’re just like most of us around the world who are struggling to get by.
We’re all looking for ways to make money, to put food on the table, pay the bills. We’re all figuring out how to survive, for our families, our friends, and for ourselves, hoping that these bad times are soon over before our dreams of making it big one day doesn’t completely die out. There’s no shame in that. That’s who we are – normal people just trying to get by.
But most businesses are only now just opening, and business on the whole is still slow. There aren’t a lot of jobs to go around. Companies aren’t looking to hire just yet. If they are, then they’re mostly rehiring their laid-off staff.
Most of the ways to make money are now online. There’s plenty of opportunities on the Internet, even for people who are looking not just to make a few bucks or so, but to make an actual living. Real, full-time jobs. Real, full-fledged businesses. If you’re looking for the best ways to make money online, then here are seven of the most in-demand and most profitable ones.
Blogging has been around for some time, but it still remains one of the best, most lucrative, and long-term ways to make money online. It can become your full-time job and your full-fledged business that will earn you passive income even up to your retirement and maybe beyond, all from the comfort and safety of your own home, or anywhere, really – but only if you do it right.
Sounds exciting? It is!
But before you get too excited, you should know more about blogging.
Blogging is more important and profitable than ever
Twenty-six years since the first ever recognized blog (it wasn’t called a blog back then) was created, blogging is still well and alive today. In fact, if anything, it has become more relevant now – and more profitable than ever!
The recent surge in popularity of blogging is largely due to the digitalization of businesses. Many companies today are shifting part or all of their marketing and other operations online, harnessing the power of the Internet to widen their reach, connect more with their customers (existing and potential), reduce costs, and increase their profits.
Brands and businesses are now relying on bloggers, social media influencers, and other Internet personalities to do their advertising for them. But bloggers by far still remain the most reliable and most effective advertisers, owing largely for their ability to deliver high-quality, in-depth, and long-form content.
In fact, a study by SEMrush among small and medium businesses found out that blog posts remain the most important type of content among 86% of the respondents. Research also shows that 77% of Internet users actually read blogs. Other studies discovered that 60% of consumers feel a company’s positivity after reading their blog, and that as much as 61% of US consumers have made a purchase based solely on a blog post.
How do bloggers make money?
Gone are the days when bloggers could only rely on intrusive, disruptive, and rather suspicious-looking ads to make a living. The bloggers of today have many more options of monetizing their blog, and they could earn a much higher income than before.
Nowadays, bloggers mostly earn their money from sponsored content and affiliate marketing, thanks to brands and businesses going digital and paying bloggers and influencers to advertise their products and services.
Sponsored content – online material paid for by an advertiser and is intended to promote the advertiser’s product – generates big money. In fact, in 2019, for a single sponsored blog post alone, an average blogger with a fairly sizeable audience could expect to earn around $1,442! In comparison, a sponsored blog post in 2014 earned, on average, only $407; in 2006, it netted a measly $7.39!
But even more lucrative is affiliate marketing, a form of marketing model where you endorse someone else’s products and you get a commission from a successful sale.
Affiliate marketing pays really well. Around 35% of affiliate marketers earn over $20,000 yearly, while the top affiliate marketers can make as much as $10,000 a day – not bad for a passive income! But you’ll know more about affiliate marketing in the succeeding sections.
Then there’s still the good old-fashioned display and cost-per-click ads. They’re not yet gone. They’re actually becoming even more popular and more profitable as advertisers increase their spending on mobile ads. In fact, in 2019, mobile advertising spending worldwide amounted to $189 billion, and it is expected to surpass $240 billion by 2022.
Apart from sponsored content, affiliate marketing, and ads, other ways bloggers can make money online include selling their own products and services, such as blogging tutorials, courses, books, etc.; and hiring out their writing skills, graphic and web design expertise, search engine optimization skills (SEO), and other related skills to paying clientele.
Anyway, these are just some of the most common and most profitable ways that bloggers make money online. There are plenty more, of course.
Can I be a blogger?
In fact, anyone and everyone can be a blogger.
You don’t even need to be an expert in writing. You just need to have passable writing skills. You can learn and improve your writing as you blog along.
And you don’t even need to be a tech genius to build your own blog. It isn’t that complicated. In fact, in a matter of a few minutes or so, you can start your own blog in just a few simple steps.
But all these, of course, are just for getting started. Maintaining your blog and devoting the necessary resources to it until it begins to earn is an entirely different matter.
Blogging, after all, and for the most part, is not a get-rich-quick scheme; it is a long-term investment that requires long-term commitment. And like all businesses, you need to put in the time and the effort.
But if you’re prepared to put in the work, then you can build yourself a very lucrative business that generates you passive income up to your retirement and beyond – all from the comfort and safety of your own home.
How do I start blogging?
Ready to start your own blog and launch your blogging journey? I’ve put together an in-depth, step-by-step guide/tutorial/walkthrough to help you create your own blog in just 6 simple and easy-to-follow steps.
2. Affiliate Marketing
These days, affiliate marketing is one of the most popular and most profitable ways to make money online. It’s now become a staple source of income for many of the bloggers, influencers, and other Internet personalities out there. But what really is affiliate marketing?
What is affiliate marketing?
If you haven’t yet heard of the term ‘affiliate marketing’, then you must not have been on the Internet for the past five to ten years or so. And that is actually…very remarkable, to say the least. To have lived without the Internet for so long a time – you should tell me your secret.
Anyway, affiliate marketing is a marketing model where you endorse someone else’s products or services and you get compensated in return, usually with a commission from the sale.
Ever notice how on some websites you visit you sometimes read something like ‘if you click this link and make a purchase, I might earn a commission, at no extra cost to you etc.’? That’s affiliate marketing.
Or what about when you happen to click the description below a YouTube video and you see a lot of product links (the blue ones) there? That’s also affiliate marketing.
Although affiliate marketing is a relatively new word, its concept is not – in fact, people have been doing exactly just that for years. So why is affiliate marketing getting so much attention right now?
Well, the term affiliate marketing actually started alongside the rise to prominence of the Internet in the 1990s. When affiliate marketing started, the Internet was available to only a few people, so back then affiliate marketing was just something small and novel and unknown to the masses.
But fast forward to now, about three decades later, with literally almost everyone having access to the Internet, and everything going online and digital, affiliate marketing is now a common and familiar term in Internet parlance.
Now, almost all businesses have some form of digital presence, from maintaining e-commerce websites to having social media accounts. And they are rapidly turning to affiliate marketing as a core strategy to promote and sell their products and services, whether those are fashion and beauty products, gadgets and electronics, books and online courses, or web hosting services.
In fact, 81% of brands now rely on affiliate marketing. Globally, the affiliate marketing industry is worth $12 billion (that was in 2017, I can’t find more recent data, sorry), and that is only projected to grow by 10% in the next few years.
And for the affiliates – the endorsers – affiliate marketing pays well. Around 35% of affiliate marketers earn over $20,000 yearly, while the top affiliate marketers can make as much as $10,000 a day! Not bad, huh? But what is even more amazing is that what affiliates earn is passive income – the best kind of income there is!
Who can be an affiliate marketer?
By now you must be pretty excited about affiliate marketing. You’re probably wondering – can I be an affiliate marketer, too?
Anyone and everyone can be an affiliate marketer, as long as you have a digital platform to advertise to. That means you must have either a social media account or a blog/website, or both.
Some affiliate programs only advertise on blogs/websites. Others promote exclusively social media accounts. The rest use both, plus other digital platforms, too.
These days, most social media influencers, bloggers, etc. who endorse a product or service are affiliates.
How do you do affiliate marketing?
To become an affiliate marketer, the first step is to find and join an affiliate program with products and services that are appropriate to the content of your social media account or to your blog/website.
For instance, if your Instagram account is mostly filled with pictures of you in different outfits, then joining a fashion or beauty-related affiliate marketing program is only logical.
If you have a Pinterest account which you use to collect pins of home decors and designs, then you might want to promote exactly just that – home furnishings and decorations.
And if you own a blog/website, you naturally should endorse products and services related to the niche of your blog, i.e. travel equipment and travel packages for travel blogs, gadgets and devices for tech blogs, etc.
Once you have joined a suitable affiliate program, you will get a custom link for the products and services you are promoting. That’s your affiliate link. Now, your job is to share that link to people through your social media account or your blog/website AND get them to click it.
When people click your affiliate link, it will send them to the website where they can purchase that product or service. And when they do make a purchase, you earn a commission. In short, profit!
That’s it, really. That’s the basic concept of affiliate marketing.
How do I become an affiliate?
There are three common ways to become an affiliate.
One way is to join affiliate marketplaces or affiliate platforms. These are companies/websites that act as intermediaries between merchants and affiliates, bringing them together to make affiliate marketing easier. They help merchants sell their products and services by making these available for endorsement by affiliates; and they help affiliates by making it easier for them to find products and services to endorse. Affiliate programs require no cost to join (usually).
One of the largest and most popular affiliate platforms out there is Amazon Associates, the affiliate marketing program of Amazon. Other popular ones are Clickbank, ShareASale, and FlexOffers. Just Google ‘top affiliate programs’ and you will see there are a lot.
Another way is to visit the websites of the products and services you want to endorse, or the websites of the companies making them, and simply look for their affiliate program option. Most companies offer some form of affiliate program these days. A good tip is to scroll down to the bottom of their websites – at the footer – and look for the affiliate program link that’s usually there.
Web hosting companies are some of the most popular companies that offer affiliate programs. So if you run a blog/website and you are happy with your web hosting platform, why not join their affiliate program?
The last way is to reach out directly to the companies or people whose products and services you want to endorse, and negotiate an agreement with them. Tell them you want to promote their products in return for compensation, and if they think you’re legitimate, then they’ll probably be happy to work out an arrangement with you.
How do I get people to make a purchase through my affiliate links?
That really depends upon you. If you’re on Instagram, then naturally you need to post a lot of high-quality and interesting photos of the products or services you are endorsing. The same is true if you’re on Pinterest.
If you have a blog/website, you can write product reviews, price comparisons, and other useful articles related to the product or service. For example, if you are promoting a web hosting provider, then write helpful and informative articles like blogging guides and tutorials, etc. and then include your affiliate link.
But no matter what strategy you use, you should always be honest, sincere, and transparent about the products and services you are endorsing. So the best practice is to only promote products and services that you have personally tried and used, or are very knowledgeable about. And you usually have to disclose that you are part of an affiliate program or tell people of your affiliate links.
Remember, there’s always some trust involved between you (the affiliate) and your potential customer. It’s not worth it to break that trust just for a couple of bucks.
3. Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is one of the most in-demand online jobs right now and one of the most profitable ways to make money online.
The exponential rise in demand for freelance writing is mostly fueled by businesses moving part or the entirety of their marketing strategy and other operations online. Brands and companies continue to create or update websites, launch new e-commerce channels, and create social media campaigns.
Of course, this has been going on for some time, even before the COVID-19. The pandemic only made it more urgent than ever for businesses to have some form of online presence, so as not to lose relevance and profitability.
You already know this of course, but the vast majority of physical shops and face-to-face businesses have been severely impacted by the coronavirus and forced to close for a while. Some are only reopening now, fortunate enough to escape the devastation only slightly scathed. But other physical businesses weren’t so lucky – they have been forever closed and aren’t coming back.
Meanwhile, a lot of online businesses were not as affected. In fact, many have even thrived and flourished, and continue to do so, as customers have turned to the Internet to meet their consumer needs during this ongoing pandemic.
The rise of content marketing
This continuing and ever-growing trend of businesses shifting part or all of their marketing strategy from traditional methods to digital means has given rise to the relatively new industry of content marketing.
Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
Content marketing is a massive global industry worth over $300 billion, and it is only projected to grow rapidly in the coming years. In fact, a survey conducted by SEMrush among small and medium businesses discovered that 91% of the respondents now employ some form of content marketing strategy. And more than 62% of the respondents planned on increasing their budgets for content marketing in the next years.
Accordingly, businesses and brands need content to fill their blogs/websites and Facebook and other social media accounts. And they need people to make those content for them.
What kinds of content do they want, you ask?
Some want videos and visual materials like posters and infographics. But most still prefer written content, such as blog posts, tutorials, case studies, success stories, and the like. The same study by SEMrush found out that blog posts remain the most important type of content among 86% of the businesses surveyed.
And this demand for written content is in turn fueling the demand for freelance writers. In fact, SEMrush also discovered that of the businesses that outsourced content creation, 52% outsourced writing. And this demand for freelance writing is only expected to surge in the next few years.
What do I need to be a freelance writer?
A laptop, an Internet connection, and some writing skills, mostly.
But you should know that because of its attractiveness and its profitability, competition in the freelance writing industry is tough. There’s plenty of talent in the market jockeying for the same positions and the same contracts.
And businesses aren’t looking for just any freelance writers. They want those who can deliver high quality, long-form content that will rank highly on search engine results and in turn generate more leads and increase sales and profit.
To stand out from competition and end up with the high-paying jobs and contracts, you need to be an expert on a broad range of skills, including in written communication, copyreading, research, marketing, and SEO skills.
But people won’t know you’re an expert on such skills until you demonstrate them. That’s why you need a portfolio of your published works and sample material. This portfolio, in turn, is best displayed through a website – hence, why you definitely should have a blog/website of your own if you want to be successful freelance writer!
A blog/website will significantly improve your freelance writing prospects by lending you additional professionalism, allowing you to demonstrate your skills, and enabling your works to be readily viewed and perused by potential clients and customers.
If you don’t have a blog/website, you’ll be forced to compile a number of your best writings and then send them as file attachments every time you are applying for a contract. But if you do have a blog/website, you can simply link people to it. Plus, it’s easier for potential clients and customers to find you and discover your talents.
So if you’re looking to begin a career as a freelance writer, then consider starting a blog/website of your own – it only costs as cheap as $6.99 a month! And it’s easy to set-up – you can start your own blog in just a few simple steps!
How much do freelance writers make?
Your income depends on what you write, how well you write, how often you write, and who you write for. So in theory, your income potential is unlimited.
But PayScale reports that freelance writers earn, on average, anywhere from $10.31 to $53.79 per hour; while ZipRecruiter reveals a much broader range: from $5.29 to $193.03 per hour. ZipRecuiter also reports that U.S.-based freelance writers pull in an average annual salary of $63,213, while those on the higher end of the spectrum can make as much as $159,500 per year!
4. Online Tutoring
This ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives, not least of all education and learning. And with many schools still closed, only partially reopened, or still debating whether to go ahead and hold face-to-face classes, online learning, or e-learning, is now the new normal. Maybe just for now. Maybe forever.
Of course, even before this pandemic, e-learning has already been becoming increasingly popular because of its accessibility, affordability, efficiency, and effectiveness.
But this pandemic has fueled an exponential demand for e-learning solutions. And as education goes virtual, schools and online learning companies are in demand for online tutors.
What do online tutors do?
There’s probably no need to explain this, but online tutors are tutors who instruct, assess, and support students on a variety of subjects via the Internet.
Online tutors fulfill their roles through different kinds of teaching methods. Depending on the nature of the course offered, the needs of the students, and the preference of the tutor, among other factors, you may teach on a one-on-one format or within a group setting. You can use virtual classrooms, emails, audio or video conferencing, and other methods besides, to achieve the goal.
What do online tutors teach?
Anything and everything, really. For anything people want to know, there’s somebody willing to teach it.
Most of the time, subjects offered online include those taught in formal educational institutions, like math and science; economics; finance and accounting; language and communication; and music, arts, and crafts, among others.
Some are less formal and tend to be very specific courses, such as how to start a blog, how to increase website traffic using Pinterest, or how to earn money via affiliate marketing.
If you are employed by schools and e-learning companies, then you have to teach the courses they are offering.
But you can also teach courses on your own, courses that are your expertise. In fact, I’ve been reading a lot of stories about people who were unemployed because of the pandemic, but then they started offering their own courses online – on interior design, cooking and baking, blogging, etc. – and people actually paid good money to learn from them. Just look it up on Google and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Can I be an online tutor?
If you want to be an online tutor, you must have the requisite skills and qualifications, especially if you are applying with schools and other formal educational/learning institutions.
Obviously, you must be skilled and knowledgeable in the subject you are teaching. It may sound harsh, but there’s no point in teaching math if you can’t even count beyond five. And you can’t teach zoology if you don’t know the difference between a dog and bird.
And you must have the required education, too. While some employers accept tutors with only a highschool diploma, most require a bachelor’s degree or a specialized postsecondary training, and sometimes even a teaching license or other qualifications specific to the subject being taught. For instance, a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate may be necessary if you want to tutor English to students whose first language isn’t English.
But most informal courses do not require such educational qualifications. For example, even if you haven’t even gotten through highschool, but you’ve made a fortune in affiliate marketing, then of course people will want to listen to what you have to say about affiliate marketing.
How much do online tutors earn?
It really depends.
If you teach with a school or educational company, your salary depends on the course you are teaching; the learning provider you are affiliated with; and your teaching expertise, experience, and other qualifications, among other factors.
But according to Tutors.com, self-employed online tutors are typically paid around $30 per hour, and $50 or $60 per hour for advanced subjects. Meanwhile, ZipRecruiter reports that U.S.-based online tutors take home an average yearly salary of $43,914; while this figure rises to a much higher $59,561 a year as per Salary.com.
Of course, if you offer your own courses and classes, then your income depends on how many students you have and how much you charge each student.
Although affiliate marketing started becoming popular only around five to ten years ago or so, it’s already a very common way to make money online these days. But there’s another relatively new and very profitable online money-maker – it’s called dropshipping.
Maybe you’ve already heard this term, but most people haven’t just yet. I myself only heard of dropshipping only two years ago but forgot completely about it. And then a while ago I read this BBC article about this young hustler who made millions of dollars through dropshipping and I knew I needed to learn more about it.
Actually, dropshipping isn’t new. It’s been around for some time. But it’s only now that it’s starting to become very popular and very profitable, so everybody who wants to make money online would do well to know more about dropshipping.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping refers to a business model where an entrepreneur sells products to customers without ever handling or owning any of those products. Instead, the entrepreneur simply orders the product from the supplier/manufacturer and has it directly shipped from the supplier/manufacturer to the customer’s address. In short, the entrepreneur only acts as a middle man.
In a standard retail model, the entrepreneur buys a product from the supplier/manufacturer and keeps it in a storage area. When a customer buys, the entrepreneur then ships that product from his storage area to the customer’s address.
But in a dropshipping model, the entrepreneur doesn’t handle the product directly. He doesn’t need to have inventory. He doesn’t even need to have a warehouse or a storage area to keep the products. Only when a customer buys from him and pays him does he order a product from the supplier/manufacturer – and has it sent directly to the customer.
For example, if you have an online shoe store operating in a standard retail model, you would first order a lot of shoes from a supplier and then keep those shoes in a warehouse. When a customer buys from your online shoe store, you would then ship the shoes from your warehouse to the customer’s address.
But if you have an online shoe store employing the dropshipping model, you don’t need to buy your own inventory of shoes beforehand. Instead, only when a customer visits your website, buys some shoes, and pays do you order those shoes from the supplier. You then give the address of the customer to the supplier, and the supplier ships the shoes to the customer.
What are the advantages of dropshipping?
Dropshipping has a lot of advantages over the traditional retail method. These include:
Lower capital needed to start
First of all, dropshipping is becoming very popular because it doesn’t need a lot of capital to get started. You don’t need a lot of money to buy inventory. And you don’t need money to buy or rent a large space, like a warehouse or a storage area, to keep your inventory in. In fact, you don’t even have to buy any products until you’ve already made a sale and have been paid by your customer.
Imagine, for example, starting an online t-shirt store. You spend thousands of dollars to buy boxes of t-shirts and you have all those boxes stored in a large wooden shed. But then lightning strikes that poor wooden shed and it goes up in flames, along with all your boxes of t-shirts and your hopes and dreams. You’re not getting those t-shirts back, and you’re not getting those thousands of dollars you spent on them, either.
But what if there is no lighting involved? What if you do actually manage to start your t-shirt business, but nobody, literally nobody, wants anything to do with your t-shirts. People aren’t buying any, you aren’t making money. Now you’re stuck with all those boxes of t-shirts, and the only way you can recover some of the money you spent on buying those t-shirts is if you dump them at a cheap price.
Anyone can do it
Second, because it involves much lower costs than the standard retail model, anyone and everyone can engage in dropshipping. You don’t need to raise a lot of money before you start your business. You don’t need to take out a loan from a bank, start a fundraiser, borrow from your family or friends, or use up all your savings. All you need to worry about is building your online store and upping your marketing game.
Third, because you don’t need a storage area or a warehouse, a dropshipping business can be done from anywhere, as long as you have a solid Internet connection and can communicate with suppliers and customers easily.
Wider range of product offerings/listings
Fourth, because your product offerings aren’t limited or constrained by what amount or types of products your money can buy (you don’t need pre-purchase products or have inventory, remember?), you can offer a wider range of products. In fact, you can list for sale on your online store whatever items your supplier has.
What do I need to start dropshipping?
If you’re considering trying your hand in dropshipping, then these are some of the things you need to start:
An online store/shop or e-commerce website
Of course, you’d need, first of all, an online store/shop.
You can repurpose your Instagram account or some other social media account into an ‘online store/shop’. But then you’d look cheap like that and unprofessional.
Or you can spend just a few bucks to have a fast, fantastic, and fully-functioning e-commerce website. That will make you a thousand times more professional, more credible, and more reputable to people.
In fact, there’s no reason not to have an e-commerce website of your own. It’s actually very affordable to own one – you only need $6.99 a month to have your website hosted on the Internet with SiteGround’s StartUp web hosting plan.
And as for the actual website, you can build it yourself or hire a professional to create one for you. Remember, you aren’t paying for inventory any more or storage space, so why not use that money to invest in an impressive and functional website?
Effective marketing skills and strategy
Next you need a very, very strong marketing game. You need to have the skills to convince people to buy from you. Otherwise, they’ll just buy from the manufacturer or supplier directly. In this business, reputation counts a lot. That’s why you need to have a beautiful and functional website in the first place.
And that’s why you need to have a marketing strategy. You need to understand who to market your products to and what kinds of digital platforms you need to use to connect with your existing customers and reach out to potential ones.
Should you use Instagram or Pinterest to drive traffic to your website? Or should you use Facebook? Should you even pay for banner ads or just hire influencers and social media personalities to endorse your online shop and your products?
And of course, your website needs to have a blog, with useful, relevant, and well-written articles published frequently and consistently to make sure you rank well and high on Google.
In fact, if your business website features a blog, you have a 434% higher chance of being ranked highly on search engines. And securing a coveted spot on Google’s page one is very, very crucial, since research shows that 75% of users don’t scroll beyond the first page of search results.
Besides, a website with a blog is very easy to set up. In just a matter of a few minutes or so, you can start your own website with a blog in only a few simple steps.
Connections with reliable suppliers
Third, you need to have connections with quality and reliable suppliers and manufacturers. This is obvious, of course. Where else would you order your products from?
But beyond that, you need to have a close working relationship with them, so that you can keep track of their inventory, monitor the shipping/delivery, and avoid complications.
What if the customer ordered this type of product from your online store, which you have listed as ‘available’ or ‘in stock’, and they’ve already paid for it, only for you to find out that the supplier doesn’t have that product in stock after all, or doesn’t even manufacture it anymore?
Or what if the supplier never bothered to mention to you that the product never actually reached your customer, who has already paid you?
Or what if you advertised a high-quality product on your online store, but your supplier actually shipped a low-quality one to your customer?
These are just some of the reasons why you need to pick quality and reliable suppliers.
6. Selling Stuff on Facebook
In the West, Facebook may not be as popular as it used to be, particularly among younger people. But with over 2.7 billion monthly active users, it is still the biggest and most popular social media network worldwide.
Where I come from, people use Facebook for literally anything and everything – from making new acquaintances, keeping up-to-date with the latest news stories (genuine or otherwise), spreading political propaganda, to making money. Of course, Facebook is also used like that in every other country – how else would it be used, anyway?
And at a time like this, with many businesses only partially opened, temporarily shuttered, or permanently closed, Facebook has grown into something like a virtual marketplace (funnily enough, Facebook has just that, Marketplace).
People sell all kinds of stuff on Facebook these days – phones and laptops, cookies and pastries, home cooked meals, pajamas and sweatpants, blankets and bed sheets, plants and gardening equipment, motorcycles – you name it, it’s on Facebook. People even trade and barter things or simply rent out their stuff on Facebook!
How do you sell stuff on Facebook?
It’s very easy to sell things on Facebook and you can do it for free. There are usually two approaches to selling on Facebook.
You can use Marketplace, Facebook’s own online exchange where you can list – for free – your own products and services, to be viewed and (hopefully) bought by customers from your local community.
Transactions on Facebook Marketplace start via Messenger, where you can chat one-on-one and connect with existing and potential customers. Remember, Marketplace is just a venue for buying and selling – the price, payment, and logistics must be negotiated upon by you and your buyer.
Or you can do it manually. Contact your friends via Messenger and tell them you’re selling stuff. As with Marketplace, you can simply work out the payment and shipping/delivery method.
To lend credibility to your business, you should set up a Facebook page where you can advertise your products and services – it takes only a few minutes or so. And in a couple of clicks you can send invitations to all of your friends to like and follow your Facebook page.
Considering Facebook’s ubiquity, dominance, popularity, and vast audience; and its easy-to-use and free tools for communication and marketing, it’s not difficult to understand why many people are flocking to Facebook to buy and sell (and even rent and trade), and why it’s one of the best ways to make money online.
So if you yourself have something to sell – cakes, clothes, chairs, cars, or whatever – why not sell it on Facebook? But be sure you have read and understood Facebook’s policies, rules, regulations, etc. before you start selling.
YouTube started sometime in 2005, I think, but it didn’t really take off until 2008. Back then, I was watching YouTube mainly to see documentaries about dinosaurs, short clips from The Lord of The Rings movie trilogy, and lyric and music videos of songs that I was really passionate in, songs that ‘really got me, man’. Back then, I didn’t know the big business behind YouTube, or that people were actually making money off of it.
As the years passed, I grew more and more aware of the fact that an ever increasing number of people were earning from YouTube. And a lot of them weren’t just making a few bucks or so. They were literally making a living from creating and posting videos on YouTube – it was their full-time job and business!
Of course, back then people weren’t taking these YouTube content creators – YouTubers, in short – seriously. Some people thought YouTubing was a joke. Others thought it was just a hobby, and that YouTubers should just find a ‘real job’. Even then, people always had a lot of opinions about a lot of stuff.
But then the income reports – whether genuine or simply pure speculation – of these YouTubers started being shared online. And people saw that a lot of these YouTubers were making more money than those who were working ‘real jobs’. Suddenly everyone wanted to quit their miserable nine-to-five’s or eight-to-five’s. They all wanted to be on YouTube.
Ah, those were the days. Now, everybody and their cat has a YouTube channel, and everybody and their cat dreams of making it big on YouTube someday.
YouTubing is very lucrative
Today, YouTubing is recognized as one of the best ways to make money online, one of the best jobs out there, primarily because it is extremely profitable (at least for the bigger channels). From advertisements, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, to selling your own products and services, there are many ways to make money from YouTube.
In fact, according to Forbes, the highest-paid YouTuber in 2018 and 2019, Ryan Kaji, earned an estimated $22 million and $26 million, respectively. If you think that’s amazing, then wait until you find out that Ryan is just eight years old! Eight years old! He’s the kid behind the children’s channel Ryan’s World, where he reviews toys for kids and conducts science experiments for kids, among other stuff.
Imagine earning S26 million from something people only a few years ago dismissed as nothing more than a ‘hobby’ and not a ‘real job’. I mean, what even is a ‘real job’ anymore, right?
Most people wouldn’t even earn a million dollars in their entire lifetime, even if they spent all their waking hours working and working, and when they’re done working, working some more – in ‘real jobs’, no less!
In fact, according to Financial Samurai, based on data from The Economist, it will take 19.3 years for the typical American household to earn $1 million gross. Note the word gross. But for the typical Romanian household, it will take well over 100 years to earn the same amount!
I know I spent many nights imagining what I would do if I earned what Ryan earned. I mostly thought about buying houses and cars for my family, stashing away a portion of the money to see me through the rest of my life in relative comfort, and giving the rest away to charities and good people doing good things.
Today, kids would rather be a YouTuber than an astronaut
Anyway, all these is simply to prove to you that YouTubing is no joke. Now, it is not only recognized as one of the best ways to make money online, but is regarded as a legitimate and lucrative profession.
In fact, YouTubing is one of the most highly sought-after careers, particularly among younger people. A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll/LEGO found that today’s children in the U.S. and U.K. are three times more likely to aspire to be a YouTuber than an astronaut!
I mean, who wouldn’t, right?
Getting paid for creating and sharing videos about things you already like doing in the first place – it’s almost a dream come true! It’s literally the realization to the age-old mantra ‘Do what you love and the money will follow’!
How to be a YouTuber
So if you haven’t already, then you should try your luck in YouTubing. A good thing about it is that it’s virtually free and anyone can do it. All you need are decent equipment for recording or creating videos and decent skill for video editing.
And if you’re wondering what videos you should make, well, you could make videos about anything and everything, really!
Do you want to make videos about beauty and fashion? Go for it.
What about unboxing and reviewing tech products? Go ahead.
Video game playthroughs and tutorials? Great idea.
Hiking and camping videos? Yes!
You see, another good thing about YouTube is that you can post videos on a wide range of topics. People will always want to see your videos. Of course, some topics attract far more viewers than others, so don’t expect if your channel about jumping slugs doesn’t get as much attention as beauty, fashion, and lifestyle vlogs.
And of course, you can’t post hateful content, extremist propaganda, and conspiracy theories – I mean who in their right minds would even do such a thing anyway?
But remember, when you start YouTubing, don’t expect to be the next Ryan Kaji overnight. Otherwise, you might quit if success and money do not come as easily or as fast as you hoped for. If you expect good things to happen to you immediately, then you might be disappointed. Some of the biggest YouTube personalities became overnight successes. But the rest made it through consistency and dedication.
You should also know that YouTubing isn’t as glamorous and effortless as many people make it out to be. In fact, most beginner YouTubers eventually quit after only a few months of trying, and many YouTubers, mostly those with smaller channels, actually struggle to earn a living wage off of YouTube.
That being said, if you want to try your hand in YouTubing, then just head on over to YouTube to know more about their policies, rules, regulations, etc.