How Do You Make Money Online?

Written by Tarla Makaeff

Are you a newbie, coming into the online space, and wondering what are all these people doing online? How are they making money?

Are you looking for a social media marketing strategy for personal stylists or any other creative career?

I just want to go over some of the main ways that you can make money online with a few e-business revenue model examples. There are several, but I'm just going to go over the main ones so you can kind of have an idea if you're looking to get into an online business of how you can actually make money online.

The number one way, affiliate marketing, is being an affiliate of any product. Any major store, whether it's Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Nordstrom, Macy's, or Sephora, they all have affiliate programs. So affiliate marketing for fashionistas is clearly a perfect marriage. What you may not have been aware of is if you actually scroll to the bottom of most of these Web sites, you'll see a tab that says "affiliates," and you can be an affiliate of any company and make sales for them.

They'll give you a specific link with like a number attached. So it's attached to you and identifies that it's you. And when somebody clicks on a link, whether you put that link at the bottom of a YouTube video, on Facebook, or wherever, and they buy something, you will be the one to make commission off that sale. You might wonder why would a massive company need affiliates? They actually use affiliates as almost a recruiting team or marketing team. And it's much more cost effective for them than hiring tons of people. Basically, people are working for them and it's very profitable for the companies. And that's why affiliate marketing even exists to begin with. It's been around for 25 years. So it's very viable, and I have done affiliate marketing.

And now second, there is partnering with brands, especially on Instagram. You do collaborations with brands which are like ads on your Instagram posts or in your Stories. Usually, they're done on a post. And when sales are made from that, your name again is attached. These companies usually give the influencer a code. This is not something I do, but brand collabs for personal sytlists, for example, are ideal. When promoting an influencer might say "I have a Fab Fit Fun box discount for you... use code 'Julie' to get 10% off." And this influencer's name is obviously Julie. These influencers will collaborate with brands, and they'll be making profits. It's almost like a version of affiliate marketing. 

The next one is - and you don't really need an audience for this - but it's e-commerce. So what I mean is being an Amazon seller or selling items on eBay. You don't really need an audience for that. You're just using the power of the Internet. I actually looked into it a while ago. I'm going to say, if you don't like receiving tons of boxes, unpacking things, repacking things, that's something that I wouldn't recommend. I thought I could maybe do it, even though that's not my thing. I don't like having boxes in my home, and while you could hire people to do all that, that's really only when you're at a certain level and already profitable. People do make six figures as an Amazon seller though.

Again, it's not something that you're producing. You're purchasing items from a store or you're purchasing products online, and you're reselling them through Amazon. So you're making the spread in between what you paid and what you can sell them for. You want to try and obviously buy low and sell high, kind of the same thing you do in real estate. And this can be a little dangerous in that sometimes prices will fluctuate pretty rapidly on Amazon.

So one time, as an example, I went to Target. I found an electric kettle that was about $50. It was selling for $150 on Amazon. And I thought, "oh my God, that's amazing!" It's three times the amount! Amazon's a little bit more complicated than you think. There are charts involved - graphs of historically how items have performed to give you an idea if that's an inflated price or actually a true price. And I was getting started, but I thought, "oh, this is fantastic." Well, by the time I picked this item up and walked to the front of the store to get in line, which was maybe 10 minutes, the price went down to $80 on Amazon. So I'm thinking, this is not good. I think you know where I'm going with this. By the time I bought it and came home, the price had gone back down to $50. I bought it for $50, and it was selling on Amazon for $50. Clearly, that was a loss for me. I never even ended up pursuing that business or shipping that product in. In fact, I'm the worst at returning so I never did that either. I just could see how things can change so quickly. I think of it almost as the stock market, how things can just switch with nothing but a moment's notice.

And the problem is, is when they're physical products and you're shipping them in to Amazon, there's going to be the difficulty of not knowing if prices are going to change while they're out of your hands. Even if you have the biggest spread - I mean, look, at mine - you can actually lose money. And it just kind of deflated me. So it can be a little dangerous.

Number four is my method of choice - and affiliate marketing is a close second behind it - but it's a digital courses. You can create a digital course on personal styling, interior design, online business - anything. You may think, "I can't create a course. I'm not an instructor. I don't have enough knowledge. I don't know anything about anything." 

Trust me, you know something about something, and there's something you're really good at that. Something you're not even aware. It just comes naturally to you. And you're so good at it that you don't realize that other people don't know even the first half of it. That could be fashion. That could be makeup. It could be any kind of thing that you can teach somebody something on, which is anything in the world. It could be cooking. It could be dieting. Anything you're good at, you can package it into a course.

When people start out, some of them sell their courses for $27 or $37. There's something to be said about premium pricing. Of course it depends how much effort you put in your course. If you put a course together in a day, I wouldn't be out there charging $500 or $1,000. That would be a rip off. And I don't think that would be really ethical. If you want to put something together in a day, sure, go out and sell it at $27, $37, or $49. Or charge these prices because you're using them as a low ticket strategy - getting someone to buy smaller priced items to get them as a customer and gain trust for future higher and repeat purchases.

Courses are my preferred method, because there's the most money to be made in courses. Of course, with brand collaborations, when you're an Instagram influencer, let's say you have hundreds of thousands of followers or millions. You can do a brand collaboration and get paid $10,000 a post or $15,000 or more for one post. But that's when you have millions of followers. The average person that isn't quite there yet. So truly, the most profitable way of making money online is through a course. And even with courses, there are newer people who have done course launches who have made as little as a few thousand dollars to over a hundred thousand dollars in one launch in a period of a couple of weeks, obviously with volume. If they have a high ticket course, and they've sold a $1,000 course to 100 people, they not only sold to a good amount of people, but they also had a high priced course. And when you're a pro? There are such things as million dollar launches.

It's a very profitable business. And as I just mentioned, a lot of people who are millionaires online, it's through selling a course or courses. Imagine putting something together one time. Maybe it takes you two or three months to really get it right. If you have a really good course, but you create it one time and you resell it automatically over and over again, while you sleep, while you eat, while you cook, then how amazing is that? The other thing is that you're doing a service for people because you're educating them. Online education is a multi-billion dollar industry and it's growing because people are moving away from traditional education like colleges. I have a BA so I'm never one to say, don't go to college. I believe it's best to do both. But if I actually had to start over again and do one or the other, I would probably just do online business, because you can make such a great living. There's something to be said about street smarts versus book smarts. Street smarts is through learning and life experience which sometimes can be the most valuable.

These are the ways that you can make money online. Of course, there are some other things such as advertising. If you have a blog, you can put ads up. If you do YouTube videos, you could have ads run on your videos - and you're getting revenue from those. I just think the most viable way...number one are the digital courses and number two is affiliate marketing. 

But I wanted to go over the primary ways you can earn income online because somebody said to me the other day, "don't, you just make money from doing Facebook lives, just from the exposure?" And she had a real major lack of understanding that you don't just come online, do Facebook lives, and get paid. 

You can also make money on podcasts. I've had sponsorships, and anyone can get sponsorships on the app that I'm on (Anchor). It's not very well paying though. That's just side money, unless you have millions of people listening to your podcast. Those are sponsored, but Facebook lives, unfortunately are not sponsored. You can't just make money by doing a Facebook live. You can make money by doing a YouTube video. But again, that's, if you have a considerable amount of subscribers into the hundreds of thousands or millions, because even people who have 20,000, 30,000 subscribers, or more are saying, they get a $200 check once a month from YouTube.

Surprise... you have to create something in order to sell, to monetize your social media. I prefer the digital courses because you own them just like your email list that you own. You build an email list. You also own your digital course. It's yours. It's the way to take complete control of your online business. So you're not relying on other people. Affiliate marketing is my second preference because it is more of a solo venture and you're just posting links. The issue with that is you constantly have to be putting affiliate links everywhere. So for different things, let's say you're doing them for Sephora. Maybe I do a video and there's Chanel makeup in here.

So I'd write a caption, "if you love this Chanel lipstick, click on the link below to buy it." That's my affiliate link. You're supposed to disclose it's an affiliate link. Sometimes people don't, but you're supposed to in the US according to the Federal Trade Commission. That's all there is to it, but think about that. That's one link. If I have a full face of makeup and I put all the links... let's say, I'm telling you about my foundation, my eyes, and my lips, you could easily have 10 affiliate links in there. So it's just a lot more work each time versus a digital course. That again is a lot of work upfront, but you do it once. You can literally make a killing, not everybody does, but you could have an amazing first launch. You just never know.

If you're ever wondered how people are making money online, this is what they're doing. Whether it's Internet marketing for fashion brands or any other niche, there are many ways to profit online. Pick what feels best to you, and get started with it. My journey certainly wasn't a straight one, and I don't believe anyone's is. Sending you good vibes! 

Now that you know how to monetize, want to dive a little deeper and learn how to brand yourself? Check out my free Brand Like A Boss (Babe) Guide that will help you fully develop your personal brand in just 11 days with a guide and step-by-step daily emails to guide you through the process.

Which way do you want to monetize online?


Tarla Makaeff is a self-made entrepreneur, online business coach, digital course creator, and the copy queen. She helps creative, heart-centered female entrepreneurs start and grow their purpose-filled business online.


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