Want to find a way to make money online but need something beginner-friendly? You also aren't looking just to make a few dollars here and there, but you want something you can potentially grow into a real business?
Here are two great ways that are great places to start if you're looking to learn how to make money online for beginners.
This is such a perfect time to learn how to make money online, and there are so many ways to get started. But they are not all beginner-friendly. As someone who has spent recent years trying to find a way to make money online, I know how overwhelming this process can be. But there are some methodologies that are better than others if you are just getting started.
You are going to learn all about how to make money online for beginners including which methods you may want to avoid until you have more experience or you are ready to take those next steps.
After learning about how to get started making money online, you will feel confident in taking those next steps.
This post is all about how to make money online for beginners for those who don't know where to start.
How to Make Money Online for Beginners (If You Don't Know Where to Begin)
This post is not going to address all the ways to make money online; only those that are best for those who are just starting out. I'm also not going to address how to make a quick buck if you are all of a sudden in need of extra money.
What I want to focus on are ways beginners can start making money online with the goal of creating a long-term profitable business.
When looking for ways to make money online for beginners, there are specific criteria I used to evaluate what made sense for someone who is just starting out.
It either needs to be something you can start using skills you already have or it needs to be something that is fairly simple to set up.
It's also important to note that any serious way you are looking to make money online is going to take work. While these are beginner-friendly options that don't mean that any of these are for someone who is looking to get rich quickly.
But these are totally doable for the beginner and you can scale them into a successful online business. Let's dive in!
What is it?
Affiliate marketing is simply promoting products or services that were created by someone else or another company.
If you are promoting a product or service, you will provide your audience a special affiliate link provided by the affiliate program. Every time someone purchases something from one of your links, you get a commission.
The products you can promote range from physical products to digital products including software and courses. With affiliate marketing, as the name states, you are simply doing the marketing.
Most major companies have affiliate programs such as Amazon, Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, Lululemon, and so many more.
Software companies such as ClickFunnels, GetResponse, ActiveCampaign, SEMRush, and Elegant Themes also have affiliate programs.
There is also an opportunity to create passive income if you promote products that have monthly subscriptions.
The point is that the opportunities are endless.
Why This is Great For Beginners
Affiliate marketing is great for beginners because you don't need to create your own product — digital or physical. You learn great marketing skills that are transferable to any business, and it works with almost any niche that you are interested in.
For example, if you are really into keto, you can find products and programs to promote about that. If you are really into cooking, you can find products and programs to promote about that. Same goes for reading, gardening, organizing, and so on.
It's a great way to pair your passion with your work.
You can also start affiliate marketing without creating a blog or a website. However, you will need some kind of platform where you can share your links such as a “link in bio” page you can add to your social media accounts.
How it Works
Affiliate marketing can be done in a variety of ways:
- Just share your links. You can apply for an affiliate program and start sharing your links on a link-in-bio page such as those provided by Linktree or Beacons. Let's say your niche is gardening. You would create content on social media about your favorite gardening products and direct people to check them out through your link-in-bio page.
- Set up a basic landing page with an email capture element built in. With this model it is easier to promote a higher ticket product or course. You would pick one main high-ticket or recurring product to promote, and that product would be the focus of your marketing. When someone lands on your landing page, they will enter their email address, and be sent to a sales page with the goal of encouraging them to purchase the main core-offer. Since you've captured their email address, you will continue to market to that person with an automation system you only have to set up one time where you will send emails about the core-offer and other related offers. (People don't typically buy a high-ticket item on the first exposure.) If we continue to use our gardening example, you would promote a gardening course or a subscription to a gardening community, and you could also promote other gardening products you love. This is known as affiliate marketing stacking.
- Create a blog. With this model you would create a simple WordPress blog where you write blog posts about your niche and include affiliate links in your blogposts. You would drive traffic to your blog using Pinterest as well as SEO optimize your blog posts to rank on Google. Again, if your niche were gardening, you would write all about gardening and include links to your favorite products and resources. With blogging, you can also make money through ad traffic. And you can also capture email addresses to keep your audience engaged.
While option one is the simplest way to get started. Options two and three are the best if you are looking to build a long-term sustainable and profitable business.
How to Get Started
How you get started is going to depend a lot on which option you decide to go with, but here are some basic steps that apply to any method you choose:
- Pick a niche.
- Pick a product or several products you would like to promote.
- Decide on the methodology you would like to start with.
If you are completely new, I highly recommend a course where someone will walk you through step-by-step how to get started. These are some courses I have personally taken and can vouch for the quality of the instruction you will receive:
- Freedom Breakthrough. This course will walk you through how to do affiliate marketing with all three options, with an emphasis on setting up a basic landing page with an email capture. It will also walk you through how to set up an affiliate marketing blog. I highly recommend starting with the 3 Day Business Breakthrough Challenge, which only costs $7 and will teach you the basics of setting up the landing page and email capture in three days. If you like it, you can decide to purchase the entire course.
- Affiliate Secrets. This course will teach affiliate marketing by walking you through the landing page and email method and how to have success with an an affiliate marketing blog. I recommend starting with this webinar.
- Perfecting Blogging. As the name implies, this course focuses entirely on blogging. A big key to success with blogging is using Pinterest for marketing. The Perfecting Pinterest course will teach you that or you can also purchase the bundle here.
- Legendary Marketer. Legendary Marketer primarily teaches how to do affiliate marketing using the landing page and email method. My favorite part about Legendary Marketer is that walk you through how to set up “done for you” campaigns. This is awesome if you don't consider yourself very tech savvy. The other feature I love about Legendary Marketer is that they actually have support. That means that you are able to schedule a Zoom call with a real person who will answer your questions if there is something you are stuck on. Get started with the 15 Day Business Builder Challenge.
What is it?
Freelancing is where you do work for a business as an independent contractor instead of an employee. As a freelancer, you can work on a project-by-project basis or establish a long-term contract.
Freelancers are typically hired to do work outside of the core focus of the business. For example, a real estate agency might need to hire a content writer to write blog posts for its website or a social media manager to create and schedule social media posts.
It typically involves important work that needs to be done, but work they don't have the time to complete on their own.
Why This is Great For Beginners
Freelancing is actually how I first got started making money online, so I have first-hand knowledge and experience with it.
I love freelancing for beginners because you can get work based on skills you already have. You won't need to go back to school or have to wait until you develop a skill to get started. The only roadblock is if you don't have any skills that are transferrable to the online space.
Freelancing online works for a variety of skill sets including:
- Content writing
- Social Media Management
- Graphic Design
- Web Design
- Email Marketing
- Data Management
Now that the world is more comfortable on platforms such as Zoom, I also think you can sell skills online that traditionally were not online skills. For example, if you're a musician, you can now do virtual music lessons. Or if you're an artist, you can do virtual art lessons.
How it Works
Freelancing can work by either marketing your skills through platforms such as social media or a website or by posting work on platforms such as Fiverr or Upwork where businesses come looking for contractors. Freelance work can also be found through traditional job boards such as Indeed or MediaBistro.
How to Get Started
I recommend getting started on one (or more) of the following platforms:
With these platforms you will set up a profile and list “jobs” you're able to do or go find job ads that are posted by businesses or individuals looking for freelancers. These types of platforms typically will not require you to have a resume, but they will typically require that you have some samples of work you have previously done.
You can also use traditional job platforms such as Indeed, LinkedIn, or Mediabistro, but you will need to have a resume and a portfolio of work.
If you feel uncomfortable just jumping on Fiverr or Upwork and you would like some guidance on how to get started, here are two courses I would recommend that were created by successful freelancers:
- The Freelance Coach. The Freelance Coach was created by Laura Briggs. I have not personally taken any of Laura's courses, but I have worked with Laura in a professional capacity, so I can vouch for her character and quality of work. Laura offers a variety of courses. Laura is an expert on how to get freelance work on Upwork. She has also written books on freelancing including: Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business and The Six-Figure Freelancer.
- Fiverr Training Courses on Mentor Camp. The Fiverr training on Mentor Camp was created by Alex Fasulo, who is a wildly successful freelance writer who got her start on Fiverr. She walks you through exactly how to set up gigs on Fiverr and how to build a successful freelance business.
What to Avoid
While there are so many ways for you to make money online, these are my favorite ways because you can get started right away, and they are both something you can scale. When you are just getting started, you will want to avoid anything that is either going to require you to go back to school or develop a product to get started.
That doesn't mean you can't do those things down the road, but get started with one of these first and then decide if you want to do more.
For example, there are a lot of people who have a lot of success creating and selling digital products on Etsy and elsewhere or creating and selling courses. Those are great next steps, but if you are just starting out and you are looking to get started right now, these are the places I would start.
Pick one, put your head down, and give it everything you got.
Once you get it off the ground, start working on an additional stream of income. What do I mean? If you decide to dive into freelancing, I highly recommend also starting a blog or something else (like I explain above) on the side that is able to start generating a second stream of income for you, even if it's slow.
As the saying goes, you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket. In real-world terms that means you don't want your entire livelihood resting upon one thing.