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10 Great Ways to Make Money Online 2020 * Choose carefully – and then take Massive Action*

10 Great Ways to Make Money Online

Its time to make money online!

This “10 Great Ways to Make Money Online 2020” post is about providing you with an outline of some of the best opportunities available for you in 2020 to make money online.

The world is rapidly changing in this bizarre pandemic filled world. Millions and millions of people have lost their jobs. As a result, a lot more people are looking for new ways to make money.  With more people stuck at home, many have become more accepting of both working from home, but also using the internet as a vehicle to get their needs met. They search for information, products and services that they need. To make money online you have to be a supplier of one or more of these three categories.

Understand that this equates into a huge opportunity for you, if you are willing to take massive action and persevere.

When I began searching for opportunities online, the biggest issue I came up against was deciding what to do.  I lacked industry knowledge and as an outsider, it seemed overwhelming.

As I was new to online marketing, basically, I had no idea where to begin.  Due to a lack of prior knowledge, I reviewed numerous different opportunities. Actually, in hindsight, way too many things. This led to me looking in too many directions and it was too easy to get distracted.  I would find myself going down one rabbit hole after another, following some so-called “Guru” after another.

The next issue pertained to information, or rather the amount and quality of information available needed to make a decision.

The problem is that in some ways, there is too much information and a lot of it can be questionable and even conflicting.  One “guru” says do it this way, another guru that way, but only if you pay them US$997 first. This can lead to both confusion and, or even worse, as happened with me for some time, inaction. I probably spent a year trying to sort through the information overload so that I could find direction and get going. I watched so many online videos of people trying to sell thousand-dollar to multi-thousand dollar courses, all purporting to have solutions to all of my issues and questions. Where to begin????????

It literally took me thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of wasted time, days of frustration, before I started to learn the ropes, so to speak.

The purpose of this blog is to help you to not follow the same route. I hope that you can quickly identify an opportunity that appeals to you and then take massive action so that you can be successful as quickly as possible.

As for me, one day I finally had enough. I opened up my email box and started deleting email after email and unsubscribed to the most of the people that were in my inbox. As I was doing this, I very quickly identified reliable sources of information and went to work.

Now,  let’s get something out of the way.  I want to clarify that no online opportunity is a “get rich quick” schemes. There is no such thing. Making money online is like starting any business. It will take time and lots of effort and considerable perseverance. If you find anyone trying to get you to buy something that promotes “quick money,” – run the other way. To be successful you must persevere and work hard.

I put together this post to help you through this stage and decide which online business opportunity is best for you or that you are best suited for.

The 10 methods outlined herein all have the potential for you to make a livable income online or even, much more. You will need to apply yourself, take massive action, and keep at it until you make money. I will try to share what you need to learn or master. I’ll try to list the pros and cons of each method of making money online in order to help you make the best decision.

To help you, I will be sharing my own experience and insights, both positive and negative, so that you are better prepared to decide which of these opportunities you are best suited.

Some words of advice: don’t let your inbox get filled with offers. Be careful about whose email lists you sign up to. And of the one thing I wish people told me a long time ago, do not buy any of the expensive courses. Find great information for next to nothing or free that will answer most of your questions. Any exceptions I have to that rule I will share with you.

You also might want to check out this post on obstacles to making money online.

I’m going to provide you with 10 different possible ways to make a good income online, in no particular order.

So, Let’s get at it

1)    Affiliate Marketing

10 Great Ways to Make Money Online 2020
Affiliate Marketing can be done anywhere

There are many, many people who make money online by focusing on opportunities in Affiliate Marketing. Many successful online entrepreneurs, at the minimum, include some aspect of Affiliate Marketing in their income mix.

In simple terms, with Affiliate Marketing, you find a product or service you like. You then find out if they have an “affiliate” program, then you sign on. In essence, you become a marketing arm or a source of customers for the seller.  

To make money, you market the seller’s products through a number of methods, from online blogs, paid and free traffic, google ads, etc. and get the product or service in front of as many potential customers as you can. When someone buys a product or service from the vendor, you receive a commission, a percentage of the sale.

There are wide variation of products and services that you can represent. Sellers with affiliate programs vary from companies like Amazon, Walmart, to sellers of digital products such as courses and books, etc.

Understand that commission rates can vary greatly. With companies like Amazon, you will make very small commission 3-5%. With companies selling digital products, you can make 50% or more, and there is the potential to participate in recurring or monthly commissions if the sale of all subscription etc. The later can help you to grow your monthly income stream quickly.

You are going to need to learn/master some new skills (many of which you will need to master anyway):

  • Marketing and its underlying skills such as copywriting,
  • How the various Social media platforms work,
  • How to utilize both paid and free advertising.
  • How to target the right product to represent
  • Time management
  • How to Create quality content on one various platforms such as YouTube, Blogs, Podcasts, etc.

Issues you will come up against

  • Finding a quality product
  • Mastering marketing
  • Creating content for posts etc to support you marketing campaign
  • Understand that this process can have a long lead time as you will need to create content and build a following.
  • The need for a long-term goal, patience, and tenacity

Advantages

  • there is potential to make considerable income
  • You can do the who process from your home
  • This will cost you more time than money, unless you invest a lot in paid advertising
  • There are many good affiliate-marketing programs out there.

Disadvantages

  • It can have a long lead time for success.
  • There are also a lot of crappy affiliate programs out there especially on platforms like Clickbank. You have to be careful to review the offering.

Here is a short video on starting out with Affiliate Marketing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tWHz8-pWkA

2)    Social Media Marketing Agency (SMMA)

A Social Media Marketing Agency (SMMA). What a SMMA does is that they approach mostly traditional companies and offers to manage their online presence.

A large number of traditional businesses are yet to embrace or succeed online. Many traditional companies have not mastered selling their products online. Additionally many traditional businesses are basically ignorant as to how the Internet operates. For the most part, management has had to focus on their core business. This means that many traditional businesses are quite happy to get assistance from someone more familiar with online marketing.

In Simple terms SMMA companies approach businesses such as dental offices, real estate agents, garages, etc. and offer to manage their digital advertising. This usually involves doing a marketing audit and then designing a marketing campaign usually directed at getting more clients. Many traditional business owners are more involved in their day-to-day business and have not made the effort to Such as placing ads on Facebook to increase their business.

Things you need to learn:

  • How to market yourself this requires a lot of one-on-one meeting and presentation so you need good self-presentation skills.
  • Mastering online marketing i.e. writing Facebook ads and other ways to attract customers to a client’s business
  • Working with customers to design marketing goals

Advantages

  • Clients generally pay a retainer and even if you just sign on five clients for $1500 a month, you can easily make $7500 a month and
  • Once you have clients, and have launched a campaign you don’t have to spend a lot of time on the project to generate income as you can automate a lot of it and adjust it based on results.

Disadvantages

  • You have to do cold calls to get meetings
  • Then, you have to be good at face-to-face or telephone marketing.

My Personal comments:

I seriously considered the SMMA opportunity and even bought a $1000 course to help me analyze the SMMA  potential. After significant consideration, I did not go down this route for the following reasons:

  1. I didn’t want to focus on cold calls;
  2. This industry attracts a lot of young people are who grew up with technology. For me, I did not want to compete with the plethora of younger people attracted to this field. Though I thought my significant business experience would be an asset, I was concerned that my learning curve would put me too behind too far and would work against me.
  3. I thought this sector opportunity was hard to expand than others

Note, I have a number of friends who have hired some of these younger companies and what I’ve noticed is that a lot of these younger people while they may be able to place Facebook ads they don’t understand business. This has resulted in many of people sharing that they were disappointed with the quality of service.

(this could be a long-term opportunity)

If you are interested in learning more about this industry here are a couple of links: 1)How to Start a SMMA

3)    Selling Products on Amazon.

Make Money on Amazon, the World’s largest marketplace

There are two main ways that you can market products on Amazon as an outside seller. (Actually, if you include Kindle books, there are three.)

Amazon has three sellers categories:

  • Sold by Amazon – Goods owned by and sold by Amazon
  • Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) goods are shipped from merchants
  • Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) goods owned by third-party sellers and shipped from Amazon warehouse(s)

In case you don’t know, about  50% products sold on the Amazon platform are supplied by third-party sellers. As implied above, you can either handle the delivery yourself or you can ship products to an Amazon warehouse and Amazon will ship to the customer.

(As a side note, many FBA sellers on Amazon were extremely successful in making money online.)

Advantages:

  • You do not have to have a physical presence i.e. a store and can ship products direct to Amazon from your suppliers.
  • You don’t have to deal with product sales customer service issues – Amazon does this
  • Your limitations to growth are your available working capital and your success at picking winning products.  At the same time, you can start small and work up to a larger scale.
  • Amazon has hundreds of millions of customers, most have a credit cards on file for instant sales
  • There are many Amazon warehouses around the world where you can send your products. This gives you multiple sales and marketing opportunities
  • There is the opportunity to make good margins if you can buy your products properly
  • The Amazon platform is well accepted globally

Disadvantages:

  • The biggest con that comes to mind is that this is Amazon’ s platform. No matter how much you sell, you are merely a number. On the downside, as it is Amazon’s platform If you make a mistake you could see your business evaporate overnight. Trust me, many people have.
  • Many people work hard to build up their online business through the Amazon platform, only to see all their work instantly vanish when they knowingly or unknowingly make a mistake and Amazon cuts them off.
  • You own the products and Amazon doesn’t guarantee that your goods will sell. After your product remains unsold and sitting on the shelf, Amazon will charge you for storage.
  • You have to buy products that will guarantee you enough margin for both your profit and Amazon’s fees

You’ll need to learn

  • How to write offering summaries or product listings
  • How to search for winning products
  • Dealing with vendors – many times these are overseas. This also requires being able to negotiate good prices
  • Understanding global shipping processes
  • Understanding taxes depending on where you’re located and where you are selling. For example, if you happen to be selling in a state where Amazon has a warehouse, you will likely be required to file taxes in that state.
  • Making sure you don’t violate Amazon’s terms of service
  • How to follow-up on customer comments

Note: If you follow, the rules you should be fine – just have to be careful and do your homework.

There are third-party tools that can help you to choose products such as Jungle Scout

4)    Create your own online retail store/drop shipping

Start your own store online and be in control of your life.

In this case, you will make money online by selling products/services through your own online presence. This can be accomplished through your own website or by you utilizing third-party platforms such as Shopify. The products you sell are up to you and you’ll have control over your own future. Saying that, you also have to find products that sell.

In this case, you have two choices how you proceed: a) buy the products in advance and try to sell them or adopt a drop-shipping business model.

With drop shipping, you locate products from a vendor, usually overseas. Using the vendor’s sales materials, you list the product on your own website or platform. The great part of this is you don’t actually buy the product until a customer places an order. Once the customer places the order you place your own order with the vendor. The vendor ships the product directly to the customer.

Advantages

  • You are not accountable to someone like Amazon
  • By utilizing a drop-shipping model, it will allow you to list products that you don’t even have to buy until you make a sale.
  • The drop-shipping methodology can be much cheaper to start up than selling through Amazon as you do not need to buy the products.
  • You can continually list products to see if they sell and only continue with products that the market likes.

Disadvantages:

  • You have to get the right products as you would with Amazon, though there is more room to experiment.
  • You’re going to have to pay monthly fees whether it’s for your own website or through a third-party platform.
  • You’re going to have to do marketing as no one will know about your store unless you advertise.

Skills you need to learn:

  • How to find the right products, though some of this can be done cheaper if you use the drop-shipping model and just list the product on your website without purchasing it. This gives you the ability to experiment at little or no cost.
  • Many of the same issues as with Amazon in that you will need to learn to identify winning products and also deal with suppliers. You will have to understand about shipping and shipping times. You also have to understand marketing.

As a side note: many people who do drop-shipping source products in China. With the recent pandemic, many people are experiencing extremely long shipping times as a result of the shortage in commercial airline flying back and forth between North America and Asia. Personally, I ordered products going back to March that still have still not left China and here we are in the latter part of May. With most consumers in North America used to instant gratification, you could end up with many upset customers who will eventually cancel orders. The other choice is that you try to buy domestically which is not always easy.

5)    Selling from a “Wholesale” model

Buy from domestic companies wholesale and sell online platforms such as Amazon

(This is an adaptation of selling FBA on Amazon.  This is especially viable with the current economic world with its large state of flux.) 

As mentioned above many, many third-party sellers source products through international suppliers to sell on Amazon. The main focus is on suppliers located in China and other Asian countries.

There are number of issues associated with working products from Asia. These include:

consistent quality issues,

  • reliable shipping,
  • expedited shipping,
  • tariffs,
  • supply issues. 

This is further highlighted in today’s marketplace, where products arriving from China usually arrive in weeks are now arriving in many months, for the most part, due to the lack of commercial airline flights.

In contrast, the wholesale model focuses on acquiring products domestically on a wholesale basis. It requires creating relationships with North American manufacturers (if you are in North America) and convincing them to allow you to represent their products on Amazon and other platforms. (Not always an easy task and a process you will need to master!)

The benefits of acquiring products wholesale in North America is that they overcome many of the issues involved with buying products from Asia.

Advantages:

  • North American suppliers are generally extremely reliable and professional
  • The quality of products in North America is generally more consistent than those sourced from Asia
  • Delivery times are usually considerably shorter than from Asia
  • Customer acceptance of North American products is high

Disadvantages:

  • The main issue you have to address is convincing North American suppliers to take you on as a wholesaler, especially selling on Amazon. This will require developing the skills to show your value. This can be done and there are many companies doing extremely well at this business model.
  • There are many people selling on Amazon as a wholesale rep who are not good at what they do.

6)    Self-publishing and Kindle books

Become your own publishing house

Many people want to write a book. It has never been easier to get published as an author then now. One of the easiest ways to achieve this goal is to publish on the Amazon “Kindle” platform.

Basically, you write or have a book written for you that you sell via the Kindle book platform. In this case, you are responsible for all aspects from the creation of the book to getting it published.  Many books sold on Amazon are digital Kindle versions, not requiring hardcopy publishing.

Many people specializing in publishing for Kindle will hire ghostwriters to write books on a variety of topics that are currently in demand. Some people specializing in Kindle can have thousands of books they have assembled for sale on the Kindle platform, usually under various pseudonyms. This can give you multiple opportunities to create an income, which can be recurring, based on demand.

Advantages:

  • You can create your own books or hire ghostwriters.
  • You can create as many books as you want and just keep publishing
  • you can create books under a large number of different categories
  • you can keep building up your library until you create a livable income stream
  • there are number different platforms to sell your books, though Amazon is the largest

Disadvantages:

  • There is one main con and that is once again you are on the Amazon platform. This can be a risk! As an example, I knew somebody who built up a library of thousands of books only to see their main income stream evaporate when Amazon took them off the platform.
  • To expand quickly, you will have to find ghostwriters. There are a number of available platforms such as Fiverr etc. where you can find writers.
  • You will have to go through your own screening process to find good writers. To accomplish this, you have a number of writers write a chapter or two as a test. You will able to determine whether you like their writing. You agree on a price with the author of your choice and wait for the book to be completed.
  • While the author is completing the book, you also find someone to create a cover for the book. Again this can be done on a platform like Fiverr for next to nothing.

This is a relatively simple ways to start creating money online and can be done by virtually anyone

7)    Start a Blog

Starting a blog is a powerful way to get started online. Give it a go!!!!

Basically, a blog is an online location, such as this website where we can continually add content in the way of blog posts. A post is basically published content, ranging from a paragraph to an essay.  The goal of the posts are to attract readers and eventually generate income. 

Blogs are a great place to start and can be the backbone of your affiliate marketing program.  The good news is that you don’t need to be a professional writer etc. or even any credentials, etc.  You will build up experience over time and the quality of your posts will improve with experience. You can also start blogging regardless of your location or your age.

Another great point is that you don’t need a lot of experience and the things you need to learn, like Search Engine Optimization can be found through online instructions.

Your Steps: 

  • Pick a niche (what you want to write about) and then pick a name for your site. The name is where people can find you.   In the case or this site, it is viralgrey.com. 
  • You will need hosting for your blog or website.  A good article can be found here
  • You will need to design your blog. There are many options. A simple and cheap way to begin is to find a web hosting site where you can install WordPress
  • To design your blog it is best to start with a free WordPress theme. Once you start getting traffic, you can move up to a paid theme.
  • Now the fun starts and it’s simple  – write your first blog post. Some advice, don’t expect it to be perfect, it’s way more important that you begin. Learn SEO, write so that the search engines will find you.
  • Promote your blog and make money
  • Develop a successful long-term content strategy – This means writing blogs posts consistently, you will not attract anyone without content. 
  • Commit to a regular publishing schedule on your blog – This will mean the difference between success and failures
  • Understand that there are success components to a good blog post.  This means writing them based on sound SEO.  Using images/videos to enhance the posts. and designs to make your blog posts stand out

Advantages:

  • An inexpensive way to get into online income streams.
  • Anyone can do this regardless of age and experience
  • you will get better over time
  • you will be able to reach more and more people over time
  • the process can teach you discipline and perseverance

Disadvantages:

  • the biggest con is that it takes time and real actual effort

8) Create your own Online Course

There are many, many people out there looking for information to solve some need. It is likely why you are reading this post. The reverse of this is that someone has to meet that need.

If you have life skills you may be able to teach these two others for a fee. You may not even realize you have saleable skills as they take the skills they have for granted. Many people accumulate skills in everything from cooking to career advice that could translate into a saleable course. This can provide you with an opportunity to teach your skills to others.

These days you can find online courses on a wide variety of topics, everything from dog care, cooking, financial planning and auto mechanics.  There are so many possible topics that people want to learn about.

There are numerous places where you can assemble and list an online course such as Udemy or Teachable.

Advantages:

  • You can take any skill that you already have and turn it into an income stream
  • There are a number of platforms can make this easy

Disadvantages:

  • You will be operating on somebody else’s platform

9) Podcasting

Create Your Blog to Share your Knowledge and Insights

Another way to make money online is by creating and hosting an online podcast. Podcast in essence is an auditory version of a blog or video channel. You pick a topic can create audible blogs on the topic. If you find the right niche you’ll create a good following of people who want to know about your topic. Many, many people listen to audible content

The key to making a go of podcasting is to find the right niche and grow your audience. Next, you’ll have to find ways to monetize your podcast by creating relationships with sponsors or affiliate marketing contacts.

Advantages:

  • Low cost of entry
  • Anyone can download the podcast and listen when it is convenient.
  • You can use it to broadcast a message to your followers, even employees.

Disadvantages:

  • Listeners must have access to the Internet
  • Files can be large and hard to download
  • You may have to transcribe the podcast to attract a larger user base

Be warned that it can be a difficult way to money online. You’ll have to take care of a lot of the underlying issues such as writing the posts, then recording and editing each podcast,

10) Create a YouTube Channel:

Youtube is a powerful way to create a following and make money in the process

YouTube is a terrific platform that provides considerable potential for you to earn money online. There are loads of YouTube channels that cover virtually any topic you can think of. Like everything, it is about finding the right niche that people are interested in.

There are videos on YouTube about virtually anything and everything.  Think of anything that you could search for “How to………”

Well, you can do a video about it.  How to fly-fish, ride a horse, drive a bus, get rid of acne, make facial masks, etc.….. somebody is looking for the answer. 

Think of all of the things that you have used YouTube to search for answers.    Recently, I have looked for a product review, how to improve SEO,  etc.  Basically,  you can create a video about anything, on virtually any topic. It is likely that someone is looking for answers.

Can you make money with a YouTube channel? You sure can. Here is Forbes earnings estimates for top channels in 2019:

Here are the top ten YouTube earners for 2019, according to Forbes’ estimates:

  • Anastasia Radzinskaya – $18 million.
  • Rhett and Link – $17.5 million.
  • Jeffree Star – $17 million.
  • Preston Arsement – $14 million.
  • PewDiePie – $13 million.
  • Markiplier – $13 million.
  • DanTDM – $12 million.
  • Vanoss Gaming – $11.5 million.

Yes, YouTube is a very viable way to make money online. You just have to get going!

Advantages:

  • You can make videos about anything, someone will find you.
  • You don’t have to be on-camera.
  • You can create videos when you have time and add them to your channel.
  • There is the possibility of revenue from advertising.

Disadvantages:

  • There really aren’t a lot of disadvantages, other than getting started.
  • You will need to spend some money on equipment but you can start cheap (use your cell phone) and work your way up.

Here is a short YouTube video explaining how to get going with a YouTube Channel:

Blog Summary

These are just 10 ways that you can make money online. As I mentioned at the beginning the big thing is to choose one segment and take massive action. Remember you can change direction in the future or add another income source, but you have to take that first step and get going.

Do something every day. The more energy you put in the better chance that you can succeed! I hope this helped to give you some ideas. Please come back and visit as will be continually adding posts on these topics to this website.