Over the last two decades I’ve tried about 20 different ways to make money online.
Yes, I said twenty. That’s about one per year on average. Not all of them worked. And that’s OK. Because there is no better way to learn than to fail.
But enough of the methods worked that I’ve been able to earn my living exclusively from the Internet since 1996.
Some of the methods I absolutely hated (MLM). Others I fell in love with, like publishing this newsletter!
Today I’ll share my five favorite online money making methods with you. In my opinion, these are the easiest ways to generate cash online…
1. Affiliate Commissions
Affiliate marketing has been around for almost 20 years now and it has changed quite a bit through the years. The basic premise is this – you recommend products and services for vendors and when people buy from your links, you earn a commission.
This is one of my favorite online money methods. It is pretty simple and less time consuming than most other online income strategies. Here’s how I do it…
I earn most of my affiliate income by recommending business-related products and services through my small network of sites and blogs, including this one. I also earn affiliate commissions by sending recommendations to subscribers of my opt-in email lists. This strategy has always worked well, though it’s much harder to get emails though the myriad of spam filters nowadays than it was say, 5 years ago. But it’s still very much worth the effort.
I primarily use the ClickBank and JVZoo affiliate networks to find products and services to recommend. I always test test the products and services before I recommend them. Sometimes I can get a review copy but other times I just buy it myself and try it out. If it works, I tell people about it. If it stinks, I don’t recommend it.
If there’s one real secret to affiliate marketing it is this… you really need to grow a following of people who like and trust your recommendations. Yes, that takes some time, but that’s when you can start earning serious money as an affiliate.
2. Recurring Affiliate Income Programs
My favorite type of affiliate marketing is the type that generates recurring income. If you’re going to get into affiliate marketing, you need to always be on the lookout for these opportunities. In a nutshell, you make a sale and you then earn a commission over and over after that initial sale. Usually these recurring commissions are monthly but sometimes they are quarterly or annual.
For example, I use a traffic program called TrafficSwarm to push a steady flow of traffic to some of my affiliate links. Since I like the traffic service, I also refer people to the TrafficSwarm program so they can use it to get traffic. In return, I earn a monthly commission from each paying member I refer, for as long as they stay a member.
Some other residual income programs I promote are membership site solutions, web hosting, and monthly PLR vaults like this one.
In addition to promoting affiliate programs that pay recurring income, I also pay my own affiliates recurring income. That’s because my affiliate program has a recurring component built in. When customers upgrade to VIP status for a nominal monthly fee, the referring affiliate gets a monthly commission. In fact, many of my own affiliates have earned monthly commissions for YEARS from single sales they’ve made.
The bottom line… If you plug a handful of residual affiliate programs into your marketing plan, you’ll build a nice base of commissions that will hold steady, even through slow times.
3. My Own Product Sales
My main product at ezWebBusinessBuilder.com is a giant PDF and set of training videos revealing all the steps I took (and still take) to earn my living online. It’s been on ClickBank for about four years now and I update the product every month. In fact, it has brought in more than $260,000 in sales (before paying my affiliates) since I added it to the ClickBank Marketplace.
Putting together a product of your own can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. If you can commit to writing even for just 30 minutes a day, you can have your own ebook in a month or so. The best part is that you do the work once, then sell it over and over and earn money from it for years.
Having your own products has another built-in benefit that can pay huge dividends — you can open your own affiliate program and get others promoting for you. This strategy ballooned my business way back in the late 1990’s and basically enabled me to quit my day job.
If setting up and running an affiliate program seems like a lot of work, you can simplify the process by using a service like clickbank or JVZoo. They take care of the whole process including taking your orders via credit card or paypal, simplifying refunds and taking care of paying the affiliate commissions.
4. PLR Product Sales
If you don’t want to write but still want your own products to sell, there are other ways. Namely, PLR, which stands for Private Label Rights. Basically, someone else creates the product and you buy rights to it. You then stamp your name on it and sell it over and over, keeping 100% of the profits.
It may surprise you to learn that many of the products you’ve bought from gurus were simply products they bought the rights to, then tweaked as their own. Anyone can do this including you. There’s nothing underhanded about it as long as you’re offering solid content at a fair price. If you want to sell products of your own but you do not have the time required to create them, then this is a good option.
One of the places lots of web publishers get products to customize and sell as their own is this plr product vault. I’ve even used it myself with excellent results. Members get access to more than 1,000 products in all sorts of niches. New products are added constantly and the products can be used to monetize websites and blogs in different niches. You can even start your own affiliate program with many of the products.
A good strategy for selling PLR products is to offer a product for less than $10 then when the initial sale is made, then immediately offer an upsell or OTO (One-Time Offer) for a larger product or membership. A decent percentage of customers will always buy the upsell and even the customers who stick with the basic product get a great value for their $7 or whatever you decide to charge. Plus, if you get enough affiliates promoting for you, you’ll end up with a super-responsive “buyers list” that you can sell other products and services to.
5. Membership Revenue
I think everyone doing business online should have at least one membership based site. Take the niche you enjoy working in most and load up as much great content as you can into a private area of your site. Include personal help or coaching for your members. You don’t have to charge a lot. Even a $20 a month membership with 50 members will net you a nice $1,000 a month revenue stream.
Another great bonus you get with your own membership site is the ability to offer residual income to affiliates who promote for you. Give them 50% of the monthly dues for all the members they refer and you can grow a really nice recurring income source.
If you’re worried about the support it requires, you may be surprised at how little time it actually takes once you have everything set up.
If you’d like to set up a membership site but you’re not sure how to go about it, grab this training program. It comes with the added benefit of full PLR rights. That means you can use it to set up your membership site, PLUS you can slap your name on it and sell it as your own course. In fact, you can hit all five of today’s strategies with this!