Yes, you can make money online.
That sounds really dumb to say and I hate saying it because that phrase alone sounds scammy as hell.
Anyone can make money online and I’m not trying to blow smoke up your ass.
There isn’t a crazy system that you need to learn or a mystery that you need to solve.
Go on Pinterest and check out any big blog. Everything they do to make money is sitting right there in front of you.
It might seem so obvious to you that you don’t actually believe it. You might think that there is a secret that you are missing but there really isn’t. If you study enough success stories you can see the methods that they use.
In this post, I’m going to explain to you the 5 different ways I make money online and how I was able to achieve each one.
Who the Hell am I?
My name is Paul Scrivens and I run 7+ different online brands (I lose count so I just add the ‘+’ there to make my life easier) in different niches, not including this one.
Before you get the wrong idea, you don’t need to run this many brands to make this kind of money. I just do it because I like to understand how to be successful in a number of niches.
Currently, across my sites, I make over 5 figures every single month. It varies from month to month depending on the niche and what I’m promoting but every month I’m guaranteed (okay, nothing in life is guaranteed but it’s consistent) to make at least $50,000.
(If you’re interested in going behind the scenes of my brands then check out Odd Noodle Kitchen where you get complete access to income reports and the different things that my team and I are doing to grow things.)
Here is a screenshot of one of my sites bringing in money almost daily:
Note: I can’t receive bank deposits over the weekend so some days in the above image are skipped.
If you want to get an idea of some of my sites (besides this one) then here is a list of some of them:
- Blog Simple Framework
- Blog Simple Guide
- Mind the Hero
- Seek the Offer
- The Daily Nutrition
- Keto Bootstrap
- Pocket Business
As you can see, I’m pretty varied in what I do and it’s important to keep in mind that all of these sites contribute towards the money I make each month.
What about the other sites that I haven’t mentioned? They are still in the grow-out phase so they won’t be added to the list until they start bringing in money as well.
First Things First
Before I dive into the 5 ways I make money online I want to talk to you about the most important aspect of making money online no matter what route you decide to take: building an audience.
If you can build an audience online then you have an easy road to making money.
This is a basic concept to understand. If you have an audience that pays attention to you, you can make money.
It’s the core concept of any audience whether it’s online or offline. Without an audience (clients, customers, members), you have no business.
The problem is that many people just don’t know how to build an audience or don’t put any focus on building an audience. Instead, they concern themselves with blog themes, Twitter posts, and other small things that don’t move the needle.
This is a big reason why one of the first courses in the Blog Simple Framework is a Pinterest Course. You need to learn how to build an audience and that means getting traffic.
If you can get traffic to your site then the whole world begins to open up for you.
It’s great that some bloggers will tell you that you don’t need much traffic to make money and they aren’t wrong, but if you can get a lot of traffic everything becomes much easier for you.
If I have a blog that is getting 100,000 page views a month that means that I’m probably getting at least 50,000 people to the site (most blogs will do between 1.2 to 1.4 pages per session). That means I have to try and get some small percentage of those people to buy something from me if I really want to do well. If I can’t get them to buy something then (in some cases) I have ads running on the site that will make me money anyways.
As the number of people visiting my site increases, the chances of me making more money increase. That should be easy enough to understand with one caveat. The traffic just can’t be random traffic. It has to be traffic that is interested in what I’m writing about.
You aren’t going to bring 100 vegans into your hot dog shop (no you don’t serve tofu dogs).
It’s a pretty simple formula but for some reason, many bloggers (and other website owners) don’t put a lot of time in figuring out how to get traffic to the sites.
Make It Easy With a Good Niche
Now, let’s address something else which is going to be bad news for some of you.
If you want to make money online then I’m not going to tell you to follow your passion. Instead, I advise you to do stuff that has been proven to work.
If you like the idea of starting a blog then know that there are only 7 blog niches that get good traffic and make good money.
There really is no reason to try a different niche for your first blog.
I’ve spoken with people that want to start blogs on the topics they are most passionate about and they assume that they will do well simply because they believe other people love the topics as much as them.
What people love are things that make their lives easier and better. Why do you think how to make money blogs, personal finance blogs, and health blogs do so well?
Don’t hesitate to start a blog in a big and popular niche. The audience is already established in those areas so it’s pretty silly to avoid them.
With that being said let’s dive into the ways that I make money online.
The 5 Ways That I Make Money Online
I’m going to surprise you here and say that one of the ways isn’t by blogging.
Nobody pays me to blog.
However, the whole reason why I can make money online is because of blogging so if you want to make money online I suggest you get into blogging.
Blogging is your marketing platform. Fancy marketing people like to call it content marketing.
Blogging gives you the opportunity to build an audience which in turn gives you the chance to open up new revenue streams.
Get this straight, blogging opens the doors for a ton of opportunities for you. So when you see other people talk about the virtues of blogging, they aren’t talking about how awesome it is to write a piece of content.
In fact, one of the last things I want to do is sit down at a computer and write.
They are talking about how blogging levels the playing field for individuals to be able to reach thousands or millions of people similar to a bigger company.
My site, Keto Bootstrap, reaches over ONE MILLION PEOPLE A MONTH. That’s completely insane to me.
Every single way that I make money online is directly connected to my blogging but I don’t want to say I make money by blogging.
That might be a small technicality but I wanted to get that out of the way.
This is the second easiest way from a technical standpoint to make money online because you don’t have to do much to get them set up. If you use one of the ad networks that I mentioned above then they actually do all of the work for you!
What you do need though is a shit ton of traffic for this to be effective. By this, I mean at least 30,000 page views before you even want to consider putting ads up on your site.
Now I know the question you are asking is how much money do I make for the amount of traffic that I get. I get paid every time an ad is shown on my site but you get fractions of a penny for each view. For this reason, ad dollars are measured in CPM.
This means that for every 1,000 page views I make $X amount of money.
So with AdThrive/Mediavine, depending on the niche and the quality of ads, the CPM fluctuates between $5 – $30 per 1,000 page views.
If I do 100,000 page views in a month (the minimum you need to apply to AdThrive) then I will make anywhere between $500 and $2,000 for that month. Again, it’s dependent on the topics that you write about.
Not bad, but not great considering the other ways that you can make money.
However, ads are the most passive way to make money online. Your only focus is to get people to continue to come to your site which can be challenging in its own right.
As of May 2019, I do about $15,000 a month in ad revenue.
2. Affiliate Marketing
This is the easiest way to make money online from a technical standpoint because you don’t have to do anything but post a link on your site.
That link points to a manufacturer of some product that will pay you every time someone purchases from them.
For example, if I run a car blog and I sign up for an affiliate program with a car parts shop, I can link the different car parts that I like on my blog and when people click on the link and purchase from the car parts shop I get a cut.
The commission that you get is totally dependent on the affiliate program. There is no status quo. I’ve seen percentages range from 4% to 90%.
However, making money with affiliate marketing is a lot harder than people present it. You might think that all you need to do is put a link on your site and then watch the money flow but that isn’t the case.
You have to do a lot of upfront work to convince your audience that they want/need a particular product. If you can’t do that then your links will just sit there unclicked.
I also have an awesome course dedicated to affiliate marketing that will show you all of the steps that I take to make money with affiliate marketing. It’s inside of the Blog Simple Framework.
I love writing eBooks because you can make them as simple or as complicated as you want. The easiest way to make an ebook is to simply write it in some type of word processing application (Word, Pages, or Google Docs) and export it as a PDF.
There you go. You now have an eBook that the world will enjoy.
eBooks are a great starter product for many bloggers because everyone has the tools to create them.
Some people believe that your ebook has to be super long for it to be successful and I’ve seen 4-page ebooks do well and 200-page ebooks bomb.
It’s completely dependent on the subject matter and what problem you are trying to solve.
If you don’t even want to set up your own website you can go directly through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing to reach millions of people instantly. Of course, you are dealing with a lot of competition but I know authors that make over $40,000 a month with their Kindle books.
Curious about creating your own product? Then you’ll want to check out the Offer Map which gives you the blueprint for finding that perfect product idea for your audience.
4. Online Courses
This is one of the most lucrative ways to make money online when you have an audience.
To make $1,000 with ads (on a good ad network) you need to do between 70,000 – 250,000 page views a month (remember it depends on the niche). That’s a lot of people!
To make $1,000 with affiliate marketing you might need to sell a couple dozen/hundred items.
With online courses, you can make $1,000 by selling just a couple (dependent on price).
For example, the current price (as of this writing) for the Blog Simple Framework is $799. To make $1,000 this month from the site I will need to sell 1.3 seats.
That doesn’t require me getting 100,000 people to the site. Hopefully, it only requires less than 100.
Out of these 5 methods, online courses are both the most technically involved and the most time-consuming.
I love teaching people but I hate the process of making courses just because I like instant results.
Online courses take planning and time to get right. At least the good ones.
If you throw videos into the mix it takes even more time.
This takes hours and my throat always hurts when I’m done.
But again, I make most of my money from online courses so the effort is worth it.
5. Membership Sites
Odd Noodle Kitchen is my membership site.
It provides me with a steady income that I can rely on to come in every single month as more and more people sign up.
Membership sites can work in a number of different ways. You can simply offer a forum. You might offer monthly video lessons. You can think of a number of different things but you must make sure that you are providing continuous value to your audience.
Membership sites usually work best once you have an established audience to work with. Starting them from scratch without an audience is difficult because people join membership sites with the intention of interacting with other like-minded individuals.
If they are the first one to the dance and nobody shows up for days or weeks then they will quickly lose interest.
More Ways to Make Money Online
These aren’t the only ways to make money online. There are a ton of other options:
- Offering services
- Freelance writing
The list goes on. In fact, I’ve written 15 more ways to make money with your blog that you should check out.
So where do you go from here? If you’re interested in getting a blog started I suggest you begin with my free guide to blogging to get a feel for everything I do to grow a successful blog.
If you’re ready to jump into digital product creation then you can read the story about my first product failure.
Remember, you don’t need to have as many brands as I do to make good money. Most people do it with just one and I could as well but if I’m going to teach others how to build successful businesses, then I need to show I can create successful brands in other niches.
Nobody likes the person that fakes the funk.