If you have experience with marketing, SEO, or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work making money online as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results.
When writing this guide, we reached out to the marketer community to collect case studies and learnings about creative marketing strategies. Most of these examples are included throughout the guide, but some didn’t quite fit. So we included those loose ends here, from the perspective of four awesome marketers. What better way to wrap up this guide than with you, our community?
It’s fairly easy to build your own website if you take advantage of the many free learning opportunities online. However, much of the population isn’t equipped to build their own site, or doesn’t have the time, which is why so many people make a living building websites and blogs for others. According to the BLS, around 16% of web developers were self-employed in 2016, with the vast majority able to work at home, or anywhere with a laptop and speedy Internet connection.
It's clear that online marketing is no simple task. And the reason why we've landed in this world of "expert" internet marketers who are constantly cheerleading their offers to help us reach visibility and penetrate the masses is because of the layer of obscurity that's been afforded to us in part thanks to one key player: Google. Google's shrouded algorithms that cloud over 200+ ranking factors in a simple and easy-to-use interface has confounded businesses for well over a decade now.
If you live near a university, there are likely all sorts of research studies looking for participants. While I was an undergrad at Virginia Tech, I got paid $500 to participate in a 6-week dietary study. The study provided all my meals and paid me, but I had to eat a 5,000 calorie diet of 50% fat for 6 weeks, plus I had multiple muscle biopsies, urine/blood testing, etc.
Mentorship. With sites like Etsy, it simply doesn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel when opening a shop. Instead, look to others who have been down the path and have learned the hard way what to do – and what not to do. Blogs like Handmadeology and EverythingEtsy.com offer hints and guidance for artists just looking to get started in this profitable home-based business.
Traveling Vineyard – Pop open opportunity and get ready to change your life one cork at a time. The only real requirement of this job: being awesome. It helps if you like wine, too. Other than that, the rest is easy peasy. Maybe you’re looking for a little extra spending money. Or maybe you just need a reason to get out of the house. Your reason for becoming a rock star Wine Guide is up to you. But the opportunity is all yours—all $30 billion of it. You ready? Let’s rock this dream.
Symbria provides programs, services, and tools to post-acute care providers, including skilled nursing, assisted living, independent living, outpatient, and home health. They occasionally hire data entry clerks to input prescription information; search for the positions “Pharmacy Technician Specialist” or “Prescription Entry Clerk”. Symbria is an employee-owned company.
We have the capability to work with our clients’ internal content, creative, and email marketing teams or handle the whole campaign for them. We incorporate our proven strategic consulting services as part of our Email Marketing offerings in order to help our partner clients develop effective strategies for building their email lists. These consulting services include assistance with event planning, creative design, website and landing page email capture, and much more. We help our clients not only with engagement but new email acquisition, list segmentation and list cleansing.
There are two avenues for this one: Consult on your own or with a company. Consultants who are also selling a product need to beware of scams. Trust vetted sites like ZipRecruiter for cosmetics and makeup opportunities. The same resource can be used for tech consultants or business consultants looking for a way to start their work-from-home career.
A wide range of businesses need workers to enter various data into their systems, whether that data are used to track inventory or shipments, create business plans, or measure performance or output. And since a computer and typing skills are the most important requirements for this job, many data entry workers are able to work at home, and on a schedule that fits their lives.
Read product reviews before you buy. Decide whether a desktop or a laptop is best to suit your needs (Ex. You will likely need a desktop to get a customer service position. On the other end of the spectrum, proofreading can be done on a tablet if necessary.) And, while you’re budgeting for new hardware, don’t forget to factor in a good headset – many remote jobs require them. (To increase your marketability, you can also add a decent mic and an all-in-one printer. Or even a foot pedal if you’re going into transcription.)
Watch them. How are other content creators in your niche utilizing advertising? What types of ads do they use? What are they promoting? What do they talk about repeatedly (if you keep seeing the same affiliate product show up again and again, there’s a good chance they’re making good money from it)? If you see a product or service they talk about that jogs your memory and you can ethically promote it too, find affiliate information by the methods described above.
Rakuten helps you handle it all. It offers influencer campaign management that aids in influencer recruitment with detailed reporting and campaign insights that can spur users into action. It offers blogger and client networking to help professionals further build up their networks. Rakuten is trusted by brands such as Best Buy, Macy’s, Walmart, ecco, Dialogtech, and more.
You can also market your ebook on your own website or blog, particularly if the site gets good traffic. Still another method is affiliate marketing. You can offer to pay sites related to your ebook a percentage of the sale price – say, anywhere between 20% and 50% – for them to post an ad or linked article for your book on their site. This could enable you to market your ebook on multiple platforms for greater market exposure.
Choose your niche and check for demand: The golden course combination is when you can find an in-demand niche that aligns with your skills and unique experiences. A great way to do this is to use Google Trends and Google’s Keyword Planner to look for average monthly search volume for keywords related to your proposed course content. Are people actively looking for high-quality information about this subject? Of course, if you’re already creating content for a blog, coaching service, or a site like Medium, you can test demand this way for free just like Bryan did.
Whether you have a website or are still dreaming up ideas for a blog, you can also look into affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you partner with brands and businesses within the content of your website. If you mention a product or service, you link to that produce or service using a unique affiliate code you received when you signed up for that particular affiliate program. From there, you’ll make money any time someone buys a product or service through your link.
The peer-to-peer concept is coming to virtually every corner of human existence. That includes the hospitality industry. Through AirBnB you can actually rent out your house for various lengths of time for a predetermined fee. That gives you an extra income on your house and gives the visitor the benefit of having an entire house, rather than being crammed into a single hotel room.
Some subjects are much better paid than others, so although you may love the idea of writing about travel (badly paid) a better bet would be a niche like finance (much higher rates of pay). Check out the Pro Blogger job board for high paid freelance writing jobs – other places to look might be Textbroker or you can look at the “gigs” section on Craigslist.
Affiliate marketing allows its marketers, or “affiliates,” to take their income into their own hands. This strategy is, in some instances, referred to as a form of “passive income” for those who endorse products. By this, we mean affiliates aren’t always actively selling to make money. They put their strategies in motion and any sales that come through their site drive income.
Many affiliate programs run with last-click attribution, where the affiliate receiving the last click before the sale gets 100% credit for the conversion. This is changing. With affiliate platforms providing new attribution models and reporting features, you are able to see a full-funnel, cross-channel view of how individual marketing tactics are working together. For example, you might see that a paid social campaign generated the first click, Affiliate X got click 2, and Affiliate Y got the last click. With this full picture, you can structure your affiliate commissions so that Affiliate X gets a percentage of the credit for the sale, even though they didn’t get the last click.
Ebates has long been one of my favorite services and they offer an awesome referral program. This service pays members cash back on their online purchases – and some in-store purchases now. When you refer your friends, you will earn $5 per person when they make their first purchase of $25 or more. They also offer some stellar bonuses if you can refer a number of people. And, they offer a $10 gift card for new members.
In my (unpopular) opinion, getting a raise is harder than getting a promotion. Think about it from your boss’s perspective, would you rather a) pay more money for the same service, or b) pay more money for additional responsibilities. Alas, if you feel you’re overdue a raise, check out Dr. Randall Hansen’s article on Getting the Raise You Deserve. There are some really useful strategies there.
City-dwellers often don’t use their cars for days or weeks at a time. That idle time can translate to money with services like Getaround and Turo, which let you rent out your car by the hour or day. Earning potential varies by car and location, but standard vehicles typically rent for $30 to $50 per day. Luxury cars and sport-utility vehicles command even more money. Just be sure you talk to your insurance provider before signing up to make sure that you don’t run afoul of the policy.
Find your niche partners, collaborators, and champions: As you’re creating your course, look for notable people who are also creating content in the space. Look att how their businesses operate and incorporate that into your own plan. You can also reach out to any influencers and make them affiliates for your own course. This way, they’ll be incentivized to share your content with their own audiences (which can be a major way to generate your first sales—it helps if you're using one of the best CRMs for small business—and start building your own community!)
Multi-vendor marketplaces, like ThemeForest, can be very successful. Chose a niche and create a vendor website for it. Your marketplace could be anything, from a platform for local artists to sell their work on, to an online digital product store. Once set up, invite people in that industry to sell their products on your site. You take a percentage of their profits when items sell.
Internet marketing is a number of things. And true success in the field involves an immersion into several skill sets that are required if you really want to succeed at the highest level. That's why I knew I needed to go the top of the food chain of online marketers to get an understanding of what this actually takes. And it's important to note that while there are many hyped-up gurus out there, there are also genuine individuals that aren't just looking to extract money from you.
Shifting the focus to the time span, we may need to measure some "Interim Metrics", which give us some insight during the journey itself, as well as we need to measure some "Final Metrics" at the end of the journey to inform use if the overall initiative was successful or not. As an example, most of social media metrics and indicators such as likes, shares and engagement comments may be classified as interim metrics while the final increase/decrease in sales volume is clearly from the final category.
Robert said he did an average of 4-6 of these gigs per year for a while depending on his schedule and the work involved. The best part is, he charged a flat rate that usually worked out to around $100 per hour. And remember, this was pay he was earning to advise people on the best ways to use social media tools like Facebook and Pinterest to grow their brands.
Take surveys. You can earn $50 to $100 per month in cash and products by taking online surveys. Find survey sites by searching for “paid survey sites” online. Sign up for several survey sites to increase your chances of being selected for higher-paying surveys. Register with an email address, and check your email often so you can respond quickly to survey offers.
Evaluate Web sites. Another way to make extra cash in a short amount time – $10 for about 20 minutes of work – is to sign on with UserTesting and evaluate Web sites. You need a computer with a microphone and Internet connection, and you’ll have to fill out a one-page demographic profile. You’ll receive work if your profile matches that of the target audience of sites being tested. Then it’s just a matter of using UserTesting’s screen recorder, which you'll need to download to your computer, to record your verbal comments and on-screen movements as you click through a site. Site owners typically are looking for feedback about whether the Web site is confusing to navigate.
One last note. I’ve been asked what I think of other affiliate marketing resources, both free and paid. I’m familiar with some of them, not all. I’ve read ebooks, watch videos, bought courses and more. So far, the only paid-for course that has impressed me enough to recommend is Kayla Aimee’s Affiliate Acceleration: Impactful Strategies To Increase Your Passive Income.
But that tends to complicate things. Making some extra side hustle cash doesn't actually have to be that complicated. As someone who's been immersed in the field of online income generation for nearly two decades now, I can tell you that it takes some work. However, there are several clear paths forward. At the end of the day, it all boils down to what your goals are and just how much you're looking to automate your income.
The first follows the startup path we outlined above: You have a disruptive idea for an app or piece of software, you validate the idea with real customers, and then raise money to hire developers or a development studio to build, launch, and scale your software. If you’ve done everything right, your software will be accepted to the Apple and Google Stores and you’ll make money every time someone downloads it or pays for a premium feature.
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Storage. Depending on how big your business gets, you’ll need ample room to store the books. You can’t get lazy or disorganized about it, either. You have to keep the books in good condition, and you need to be able to find them when someone wants them. For instance, if you list a book in “like new” condition, and then the pages get smashed during storage, you’ll be in a bind if someone places an order before you realize what happened.
The hardest part about saving money is actually transferring the funds out of your checking account and into a savings or emergency fund. No one wants to see their savings account drop without an immediate benefit! But with Rize, you can automate saving so you never have to think about it. Just set a savings goal and a date, and Rize will do the rest.
Dating sites and apps are extremely popular and have become more and more niche as the industry develops. They can also be very profitable, as there are many ways to monetize them. You can charge a joining fee, provide premium subscriptions, or make money from advertising on your site. White Label Dating provides a pre-built dating platform for your project. You simply choose the niche and branding for your new dating site. Once your website goes live, you just need to promote it, manage the users, and collect the earnings.
Online savings accounts usually come with crazy good interest rates to help you grow your money faster (regular in-person banks can’t offer rates as high). We’re fans of CIT Bank and Discover Bank (among others) because their interest rates are often over 25 times the national average. That means the money in your savings account will grow 25 times faster than the pace it’s most likely growing at now. Really, though, you can’t go wrong with pretty much any online savings account that offers over 1.50% APY 🙂
Content is king. It always has been and it always will be. Creating insightful, engaging and unique content should be at the heart of any online marketing strategy. Too often, people simply don't obey this rule. The problem? This takes an extraordinary amount of work. However, anyone that tells you that content isn't important, is not being fully transparent with you. You cannot excel in marketing anything on the internet without having quality content.
Experience. Whatever area you want to work in as a consultant, you must be able to show clients that you’re qualified to advise them. If there are organizations related to your field, make sure that you’re a member of them. Similarly, if you can take a course and become certified or registered in your field, do it and then add that to your credentials.
Routine tasks like booking travel arrangements and answering emails can become overwhelming. Virtual assistants step in to take on a variety of daily tasks. They can work for a variety of clients such as, executives, small business owners, and journalists. They perform administrative and clerical tasks. All a virtual assistant really needs is a secure internet connection.
Your Price. When establishing a price for your classes, start by calling around and finding out what other choices your clients have. If you plan to offer cooking classes, call some commercial establishments and other in-home teachers. Compare your own talent and experience to what they’re offering, and set a price accordingly. You should always come in a little lower than classes offered by commercial establishments as that will be one of your selling points: expert information for less money.
Tutor students. Many families prefer the flexibility of using an online tutor. Depending on your background, you could be simply helping a child with homework or providing college-level support. You need to have your own computer and high speed internet. Experience required differs among companies. Some require “strong experience,” while others require a specific educational background. However, most companies do require a college degree.
Tell Wut is a survey site where you can win prizes and earn rewards for sharing your opinion. Most surveys award 5 to 15 points per survey, but you can also earn points by referring friends (25 points), creating an account (100 points) and providing your information (100 points). Points can be redeemed for Best Buy, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Visa, and various other gift cards. Tell Wut has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau.
eBay: eBay is one of the most popular websites in the world, period. That means it’s a great way to attract lots of eyeballs to your unwanted items, fast. Initially designed as an auction site for DIY sellers, it’s now primarily a venue for fixed-price (though often heavily discounted) sales by professional merchants. Still, as long as you include high-quality photographs and thorough descriptions in your product listings, you can likely break through the noise. eBay’s fee schedule is complex, but as a general rule, expect to lose 10% of your final selling price to the site’s commission.
While cryptocurrency is still relatively new, it will ultimately become the standard. Bitcoin and Etherium might be the primary cryptocurrency platforms today, but the US Dollar will eventually become the Digital Dollar by leveraging the blockchain. You can take advantage of the current boom in cryptocurrency by trading it through platforms like eToro and Kraken, amongst many others.
A niche affiliate site often presents like an eCommerce store. To get started with an affiliate site, choose your niche then display products with pictures, descriptions, and prices, just as you would on an online store. However, when visitors click the ‘buy’ button, they will be taken directly to Amazon, to make the purchase. You then make an affiliate fee for sending the traffic to Amazon but have none of the packaging hassle, or initial financial output creating or buying the products.
Your Idea. It’s not enough to say that you’re going to offer an exercise classes. The people considering your classes will want to know exactly what they are going to get for their money, and it will be up to you to explain it concisely and effectively. Understand that you’re basically giving a sales pitch to potential attendees. You’ll have to really narrow down your topic.
You may have heard of ClickBank, one of the oldest and most popular affiliate networks. A billion-dollar company, ClickBank specializes in digital products like e-books and software, as well as membership sites. If you are comfortable selling information and don’t want the management and administration hassles of “real” businesses, this may be a good starting point. Its commissions can be anywhere from 10% all the way to 75%.
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The fit must be right between you and the merchant who is going to benefit from your promotional efforts, or it simply won’t work. The easiest way to begin with affiliate marketing is to select an affiliate network. Many affiliate networks exist, some which are tied to well-known companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple, while others specialize in specific types of products and services.
How many email newsletters are you bombarded with every single day? There’s a reason for that. Marketing to an actively interested group of email subscribers is one of the best ways to make money online. There have even been million-dollar businesses built from simple email newsletters like TheSkimm, or Mister Spoils. Each newsletter targets a specific type of user with interesting, daily content, while also partnering with relevant companies and affiliates to bring in extra money. If this seems daunting, it’s not. Tools like MailChimp, ConvertKit and AWeber make it easier than ever to get started with email marketing. And another great option to consider (with the largest free plan available) is SendPulse, with their ability to send up to 15,000 emails per month to 2,500 subscribers, and then affordable plans starting at under $10/month as you grow from there.