33 Ways to Monetize a Website (or a Blog)

Making money from your website isn’t a myth. It’s doable by anyone. Don’t know how to do it? We’re giving you all the necessary knowledge for a very affordable price – click here.

In fact – turning a part-time, hobby blog or website into an income-generating asset is fairly common with a bit of luck and some hard work.

At the very least, you should be able to make enough to cover your basic expenses for a domain and hosting. You might even be able to replace your income (and then earn some more).

Keep in mind that the strategies listed below range from easy and passive, to the ones which require a TON of on-going work (so make sure you pick something that suits your site and lifestyle preferences).

There are 33 total tips in this guide, but let’s start with the ten most popular (and predictable) site monetization tips.

monetize-a-website

P.S. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve started a blog or created a website. It works for both. If you don’t have a blog or website, use the step-by-step guides below to create one:

How to Make a Profitable Website

How to Start a Profitable Blog

10 Most Common Ways to Make Money with Your Website

Making money from your website isn’t easy. These ten tips are probably your best bet to get started.

1. Affiliate Marketing (.. and affiliate links)

Affiliate marketing (Method 1)
Examples of a successful affiliate site: Booking.com

Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular (not to mention quickest) ways to make money from your website or blog.

Start by finding a product you like and would recommend. Then on your website, you endorse the product and promote it to your website visitors and email subscribers. If the product or service resonates with these people, they’ll click on your affiliate linkpurchasing the product (while you get a split of the sale price).

The commission might be anywhere from 30% of the product or service price, up to as high as 70%. For example, if the split is 50% and you promote an e-book that costs $100, you’ll get $50 for simply referring the buyer. Pretty sweet deal, huh?!

Where can I find products to promote?

  • Commission junction – offers reliable products with on-time payments.
  • ShareASale – mostly clothes, accessories, and other offline goods.
  • Clickbank – high percentage payouts, but there’s a lack of GOOD products to promote.

2. Pay Per Click Advertising (Google Adsense)

Google Advertising (method 2)
Example of a successful Google Adsense site: Mashable.com

AdWords are the advertisements that show up on the top of Google search result pages.

AdSense is the reverse, allowing publishers (which includes bloggers and other website owners like yourself) to tap into Google’s immense advertising network so that other advertisers can run ads on their website.

The best part about this system is how simple everything is.

Once you sign up, Google will place a simple code on your website that will identify the content of your site and start displaying relevant advertisements. For example, if your site is about pets (dogs & cats), Google AdSense will start showing your visitors ads for cat food, dog training and more.

You get paid each time someone clicks on the ad. (Yes, it’s really that easy!)

Your cut might be anywhere from $0.50 to $5 per click. When your site has enough traffic, you can make hundreds (if not thousands of dollars) each month.

How to apply for Google Adsense?

  • Apply for AdSense – Before applying, make sure you keep up with their latest Terms Of Service. Google has very strict rules, so it’s hard to get (and stay) approved.

3. Sell Ad Space

Selling ad space (method 3)

Incorporating Google’s AdSense on your website is just one way to make money from online advertisements.

Another is to simply sell your own ad space directly to companies looking to sponsor different blogs. You can come up with a price for each space, for example: “Sidebar banner ads will cost $xxx per month”.

You can get paid depending on how many visitors you get. Typically it’s quoted as a dollar amount per one thousand impressions (or CPM). You might see it as: $5 CPM. If the website gets 100,000 visits a month, that ad price translates into $500 bucks.

The good thing about this approach is that if your site gets a ton of traffic from different sources, your simple banner ad pricing can go up to as high as $5000 per month! The obvious downside is that if your site doesn’t get a lot of traffic, you can’t expect to earn much either.

The other common method when selling ad space directly from your website is a simple direct price. You simply name a price (based on what you think it’s worth, relative to what the competition might be charging), and get paid upfront at the beginning of each month. This pricing is also generally a simple flat fee, not tied to a Cost Per Click like AdSense.

Where can I let others know that my website is selling ad space?

  • BuySellAds – The most popular environment to let everybody know you’re selling ad space.

4. Sell Your Own Digital Product (Ebook for Example)

Selling digital product (method 4)

You have the potential to make the most money on a per sale basis when you can sell your own directly.

That’s because there’s no middle-man or person in between you and the buyer that’s taking a ‘cut’ from the money earned.

This approach seems fairly straightforward because you can simply sell these products directly through your website and get paid immediately. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple in reality.

Creating good products that are well made and polished require a ton of time and additional resources (like design, content, etc.). There’s a lot of ‘hidden costs’ in both time spent and the contractors to collaborate with. Selling your own products on your site also brings up problematic issues like payment gateways (how are you going to collect payment?), shipping (how are you going to mail or distribute the products?) and taxes (oh man, don’t even get me started with that one!).

If it doesn’t sound like enough work already, you’ll also need a well designed, persuasive landing page to make sure your product has a strong conversion rate.

Additional resources:

How to sell products on your website.

How to set up a PayPal “Buy Now” button on WordPress

5. Accept Donations from visitors

Accept donations (method 5)

If you don’t have a ton of monthly visits, but you do have a strong, engaged community? Simply ask your readers to donate!

Accepting one-off donations isn’t a fast road to wealth, but it can help you cover expenses in the short-term if people like what you have to say and want to support your journey.

For example, PayPal offers little donation buttons that only take about ten minutes to add to your website, offering you a quick way to recoup what you might be spending on a good web hosting, new product creation, research, and all of the other costs to maintain a healthy, active blog.

For example, web.archive.org makes a lot of money from donations (most likely due to their millions of visitors per month).

How to set up donation buttons?

6. Accept sponsored posts & articles (…but use nofollow tag)

Sponsored posts and articles (method 6)

One of the common ways to make more money from your website means getting those visitor numbers UP.

Once you’ve done the hard work of building steady traffic to your site with an engaged community, there are a few different ways to monetize your hard work.

For example, many companies go out of their way to look for blogs that will feature their sponsored content. ‘Native advertising‘ like this works well because it lines up with your site’s primary content and it comes across as relevant and transparent.

You can also review the products from a company in an ‘advertorial’ that’s part content, part advertisement. For example, if your website is all about the latest iOS games for iPhones and iPads, the creator of one of those ads would LOVE to have you review and feature their app to your fans.

When done right, this can create a win/win scenario. However – done poorly, with irrelevant or inauthentic site content, it can erode all of the reader’s goodwill you’ve worked so hard to create in the first place.

For further reading:

7. Generate ‘leads’ for other companies

Get leads to other companies (method 7)

Businesses thrive on new leads coming in their door to inquire about their products or services.

It’s no surprise that they’re always on the lookout, searching for creative ways to find new sources of leads to help them grow.

For example:

Let’s say you have a website about teaching math skills. Your reader’s information (like their email address or phone number) would be of great value to different online schools who’re looking to sell their courses to eager, proactive students.

Basically, you’re connecting the dots; playing the matchmaker by introducing two parties who can benefit one another. While it’s similar to how affiliate marketing works, in this case, it doesn’t actually matter if your reader ends up purchasing their product or not. They’re just looking for an introduction at this point.

Where can I find such offers?

8. Build an ‘Email List’

Build an email list (method 8)

Spend any amount of time reading blog growth tips, and you’re sure to come across people saying “the money’s in the list“.

They’re referring to your email list, which comprises your most loyal readers. The objective is to convert as many strangers who visit your site for the first time into passionate followers who want to stay up-to-date on your latest work or content.

Admittedly this is a long term strategy (and you definitely won’t get rich overnight). But it’s one of the best, long-term methods to profitably growing your blog into a full-fledged, money making enterprise.

Never lose sight of creating relationships with your followers. Offering great information or free help is a perfect way to start. Spamming people with unsolicited offers is one of the fastest ways to abuse reader’s trust and sabotage your long-term goals.

How does it EXACTLY work?

9. Set up an e-commerce site (hard work is required)

Set up an ecommerce site (method 9)

Websites don’t just have to be about content. They can be centered around tools or products on an online store.

Be forewarned:

There are literally hundreds of thousands of eCommerce websites or online stores. Make sure that yours is filling a unique niche, with a detailed strategy and the latest marketing techniques to stand out from the crowd.

How do I create a successful online store/shop?

10. Flip Your Websites (Create -> Sell -> Reinvest)

Sell your website (method 10)

Believe it or not, there’s almost always a market out there for your website.

That means if you’ve built up a following  (or possibly even sold a few products or included advertising on your site), you might be able to sell it to someone else and make a quick buck.

To be honest, I typically don’t suggest people to plan on flipping their website or blog (I’m a bigger fan of creating something for the long term).

sellwebsite

You can’t deny how lucrative it can be. For example, if your website is making $500 per/month through selling ad space, you might be able to sell the site for $5,000 – $10,000 (which is about 12x – 22x monthly income).

Another interesting option is to sell ready-made sites, These are MUCH cheaper, but there’s still some money to be made.

Where can I sell my site?

By now we have counted down some of the most popular ways to earn money from your website.

Yet, we’re still only just scratching the surface.

Below are another 23 ways to make money with your website.

(Keep in mind that some of them are slightly connected with the ones above yet they are little ‘out of the box’.)

Another 23 ways to monetize your website

23-ways-to-make-money-with-your-website

11. Sell text-link ads (NOT RECOMMENDED) – There’s still a demand for text-links ads (believe it or not). But please keep in mind that these violate Google’s Terms of Service (which means you run the risk of getting penalized).

To avoid it, simply keep the ‘nofollow‘.

12. Set up “infolinks” – Infolinks are a great alternative to AdSense advertisements, that are very easy to setup. The downside is that they aren’t high in converting, and the payouts (on a per click basis) are also quite small.

13. Use monetization widgets – These are also very similar to Google Adsense, so they’re worth trying out as an alternative.

14. Set up RSS feed ads. – Exactly what they sound like. Ad space for sale in-line with content from an RSS feed.

15. Give away premium content for extra $$$ – If you are producing mind-blowing, awesome content that visitors can’t get enough of… you can always try asking them to pay for some of it! (Crazy concept, huh?!) I’m personally fine with paying for premium content. Bear in mind – don’t ask people to pay right away. Instead, stay focused on growing an audience and visitors first.

16. Start a private forum or coaching class(es) – Most of us have unique skills that others can benefit from. Setting up a simple forum or classes is an easy way to help others and generate recurring income at the same time.

17. Create a job board – Setting up a job board on your website is another simple, easy way to collect additional money when people are accepting different job offers from various companies or individuals.

18. Offer consulting – Offering consulting gigs and providing services can help you bring in decent sums of money while other forms of ‘passive’ revenue take a little time to build up. You can offer these services via email, forum or even Skype.

19. Add “hire me” page on your website – Your new website or blog is also a perfect place to feature your freelancing services. Showcasing samples or evidence of past work will help greatly increase your chances of getting hired.

20. Sell or rent internal pages – These aren’t very common, but you might be surprised at what people would be willing to rent or spend money on!

21. Display pop-ups advertisements – Pop-ups can be extremely annoying. However, they’re also another easy way to make some quick money.

22. Use content lockers – ‘Content locking’ is similar to hiding or protecting pieces of content until a visitor takes some action to redeem it. For example, maybe you want them to pay a small amount, or perhaps click on an advertisement.

23. Display audio ads – These are relatively new and are becoming increasingly more common. Personally, I haven’t tried it. But I have read some articles and it definitely looks promising.

24. Sell an e-book – This one is a no-brainer. Many people sell e-books through their site. Some examples: If you have a website about recipes and cooking, you can easily create and sell your own recipe book. The same applies to almost every niche.

25. Create a conference around your website – Lots of work but a huge potential payoff as well.

26. Set up a teaching program – Kinda like a cross between selling your own content and offering consulting or services.

27. Host paid webinars – Similar to the last tip, which is largely a mix of consulting through content and a teaching program.

28. Create a membership site – Yet another tier on the ‘info-business’ model that has the added benefit of bringing in recurring revenue.

29. Offer coupons (with affiliate links) – People are eagerly looking for discount & promo codes for everything from clothes to travel vacations. If you can (find and) offer a valid one, you can also get a cut of that revenue too.

30. Host polls on your website – Hard to believe, but easy to do!

31. Offer writing gigs – You can easily make $20 – $30 per 500-word articles writing for other companies or individuals. There’s also a huge potential for fluent speakers of different languages, as many companies want their websites translated by those who speak the native language.

32. Create a paid directory/business page – You charge people for listing or subscribing to the page.

😉

33. Just copy what others are doing – My personal favourite! 


P.S. If you wish to use this infographic on your website, feel free to do so.

P.S.S. If you know any other ways to monetize websites, let me know in the comment section. I’ll add it to the list and credit you by putting your name under it.

How to Start a Blog in 2019

In 2019, it’s easier than ever before for anyone to start a blog and make it profitable.

This is true even if you aren’t tech savvy, don’t know how to code, or understand the first thing about web design.

With a little bit of guidance and some basic resources, you can have your very own personal or professional blog up and running less than 30-minutes after you finish this article. (But there’s no need to rush it).

I’ll hold your hand and walk you through every part of the process while helping you avoid the common mistakes that stop most new bloggers dead in their tracks.

Sound good?

Then let’s dive in and get started.

P.S.  If you’re curious about how much it will cost to start and maintain your blog, the simple answer is $0 to $60/year. I highly recommend that you opt for paid domains and hosting, but you have the option to start for free to test the waters. 

Why Start a Blog? What’s In It For You?

When I first started this blog, my aims were simple.

I wanted to teach people how to navigate the tricky (and often less-than-ethical) world of blogging and web development.

With time, my site began to pickup steam, attracting new clients for my company and giving me the opportunity to quit my day job and pursue blogging full time.

However, there are a myriad of different reasons you might decide to start a blog, beyond making enough money to hand in your two week’s notice.

For example:

  • A consistent blogging habit will make you a better writer
  • If you find the right niche, you can make a full time passive income
  • A high-traffic blog makes an excellent addition to your resume
  • You have an opportunity to share you knowledge and expertise
  • You can make important connections and grow your network
  • It’s FUN!

I could drone on and on about the benefits of blogging until the sun sets and the moon rises, but I think you get the idea.

The bottom line?

Blogging is awesome and it has the power to change your life.

Assuming you want to take the plunge and start your blog today, here are the exact steps you need to take to get started. 

Step 1: Decide – Create Free Blog or Self-Hosted Blog?

Blogging platforms

As I mentioned in the introduction, starting and maintaining an average sized blog will cost between $0 and $60 a year.

So yes, you can start your blog for nothing. However, as with most things in life, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Let me explain…

Yes, you can create a blog for free on many different platforms, such as:

But before you go smashing the above links and clicking “sign up”, read the rest of this section! 

Sure, these platforms are great for testing the waters and solidifying some of the ideas you might have regarding content and design.

However, if you are serious about starting a profitable and successful blog, you should avoid these platforms at all costs.

Here’s why:

These “free” blogging platforms have crippling limitations and totalitarian authority over your content.

They are, first and foremost, businesses. Their main only purpose is to turn a profit by using your website to sell ad space while placing limitations on your account, so you are eventually forced into a “premium” or “unlimited” blog plan.

Plans that are, more often than not, wildly overpriced and woefully under-equipped.

Without their expensive upsells, your account will be limited to a handful of generic designs, a “maximum” number of daily visits, limited storage, and all but nonexistent customer service.

And let’s not forget that these platforms have total control over your content.

So if you post something that one of your friendly neighborhood website moderators doesn’t like, your entire site (and all of your data) can be deleted in an instant.

Think about that for a second.

You spend months hustling and grinding to grow your blog. Slowly but surely, you acquire a decent number of loyal visitors and subscribers. Then the money starts to roll in from sponsored posts, paid ads, or your own products.

Things are going great. 

Then you accidentally violate your free web provider’s Terms of Service (see all limitations for Blogger.com and WordPress.com) and your entire online business is irrevocably lost to the trash bin of the interwebs.

Blogger the blog has been removed

Or

WordPress.com blog has been removed

Do you really want to deal with this?

I hope not.

This is why all of the most successful bloggers started their own self-hosted blog. 

It’s cheap, grants you access to your own personal domain name (e.g. myepicsite.com vs. myepicsite.blogging-platform.com), and you’ll have no limitations.

Oh, and you’ll also have access to premium website templates and design plugins to ensure that your new site looks like something created by a pro.

The bottom line?

Bite the bullet and fork over a little cash to get your blog started the right way.

A few months from now, you’ll be glad that you did.

Step 2: Get a Domain Name, Web Hosting & Setup Your Blog

With all of the anti-free-blog preamble out of the way, it’s time to get down to the good stuff and go through the exact steps you need to follow to build and launch your self-hosted blog today. 

To get started, you’ll only need two things:

  1. A Domain name – The web address of your blog (mine is www.websitesetup.org)
  2. Web hosting – A server to store your blog files and keep it online for others to browse and read at all times.

And with a few quick clicks you can purchase and setup both of these things as easy as 1-2-3.

1. Sign up with Web Hosting

Full disclosure: To keep my site up and running, I use affiliate links for some of the products mentioned in this guide. This means that I earn a small commission (at no extra expense to you) anytime you make a purchase using one of my links. Thank you for your continued support! 

Of the countless web hosts on the market, only a small handful are even worth considering.

Of those, only 3-4 offer truly exceptional services for the price.

And of those, Bluehost is the only hosting service that I recommend to first-time bloggers.

The reason is simple.

Bluehost is cheap, fast, reliable, and armed to the teeth with a slew of free goodies that will streamline your blogging experience and make your life infinitely easier.

Not only do they power more than 2,000,000 websites worldwide, but all of their packages come with a 30-day money back guarantee, exceptional 24/7 live support, and a free SSL certificate (a $60+ bonus).

Oh, and they also offer one click installs, making it dead simple to get your blog launched in a matter of minutes.

You can sign up with Bluehost here.

Bluehost homepage

Simply click on the “Get Started Now” button and choose a domain name.

2. Choose a Domain Name

Unlike many of the more profit-centric web hosts who charge upwards of $14.99/year for a new domain, BlueHost gives new customers a free domain name for the entire first year of their web hosting service.

choose a domain name

If you’re serious about building a strong online presence and visitors from all over the world, you’ll want to get a domain name with a .com, .net, or .org, extension (here’s a guide for choosing a domain name).

For those of you who are unable to claim your first choice of domain name, spend a few hours brainstorming ideas with friends and family. Think out loud and experiment with different words and variations to find the most brandable domain name for your new site.

3. Choose a Web Hosting Plan and Finish Your Registration

Now that you’ve decided on your domain name, it’s time to select your web hosting plan, finish your registration, and begin your forays into the wonderful world of blogging.

As a general rule of thumb, I recommend that you opt for the BlueHost “Prime” plan, since it comes with a free SSL certificate from “Let’s Encrypt”.

This will keep your visitor’s information secure, improve your engagement (no one wants to spend time on a website plagued by a giant “Not Secure” warning), and earn you a few extra brownie points with Google.

Choose your web hosting plan

Since the renewal prices for BlueHost’s Prime plan are a bit pricier than their introductory rate, I recommend that you purchase as long of a subscription as possible to make your budget go as far as possible.

Once you’ve chosen the plan that best suits your needs you can finish off your registration and checkout using a credit card or PayPal.

And there you have it! You are now ready to launch your blog instantly (instead of waiting 2-3 days for activation like you would with many of their competitors).

UPDATE: I also made a step-by-step guide for signing up with Bluehost for those who need that.

4. Setup and Launch Your Blog

Once you’ve completed the registration process, it’s time to setup an admin panel (or cPanel) password–make sure it’s as strong as possible to keep hackers at bay–and login to your Bluehost admin panel via my.bluehost.com.

Once you are there, you should be able to see this screen:

Bluehost welcome to WordPress

Congratulations! If you see this, it means that your blog is already setup.

However, there are a few things that I’d recommend you do to ensure that it’s visible as soon as possible…

  1. Go to Settings > General (left sidebar)
  2. Add Site Title and Tagline (your blog name and tagline)
  3. Change your site address to your domain name. In my case, I’m using websitesetup-start-blog.com
  4. Add your email address (so you can reset your password later)
WordPress General settings

Once you’ve completed this, launch your blog by clicking “Coming Soon Active” at the top of WordPress dashboard and then “Launch Your Site”:

Bluehost launch your blog

Now that you’ve launched your blog, you’ll be able to see what can only be described as a skeleton of a website.

This is where it gets fun.

With your domain name, web hosting, and blog setup, it’s time to get down and dirty and start customizing the aesthetic of your website.

Step 3: Design Your Blog and Make it Look Awesome!

The fastest and easiest way to customize your blog and make it look absolutely awesome is to use the free themes provided by the WordPress theme library.

1. Choose a Theme and Layout You Like

To install a new theme, go to your website’s dashboard, then go to Appearance > Themes, then click Add New from the top.

theme selection

From the search results you can test out each theme to see how you like it by clicking on “Live Preview”.

Once you find the perfect theme for your new blog, you can activate it from either the Live Preview (just click “Activate the Theme”) or from the main search area by clicking the “Activate” button.

As soon as the theme is activated, it will be installed on your site.  You’re now ready to start posting viral content and generating raving fans.

P.S. If you don’t know which theme to choose, I’ve compiled a list of most popular WordPress themes.

2. Manage Your Blog’s Content (Blog Posts & Pages)

When you’re first getting started your site will be adorned with little more than the default “Hello World” post.

To add your first post navigate to Dashboard > Posts > Add New.

From here, you can add the title and start writing amazing content for your new blog.

WordPress add new post

With the new Gutenberg editor, you can add different types of content blocks into the editor by clicking on the “Add Block” icon.

Since I don’t have the time to cover every type of block included in the new editor (there are quite a few of them), I implore you to try it for yourself as most–if not all–of them are self explanatory.

Next, you’ll want to add a featured image to spruce up your post and add some visual flair for your readers. To do this, simply click the “Featured Image” box on the right hand side of your screen, upload your image, and click “Save”.

Once you’re satisfied with the quality and layout of your post, hit the publish button, sit back, and prepare to take the blogging world by storm.

You have officially published your first post!

If you want to add a welcome page on the homepage of your site instead of a list of recent blog posts, all you need to do is go to Pages > Add New and then add the title and content.

Then rinse and repeat this process to create another page for your blog list. Choose an appropriate title (like “blog” for example), and then hit publish.

With both pages created, go to Dashboard > Settings > Reading, then in the “Your Homepage Displays” option, check “A static page”, select your welcome page in the “Homepage” setting and your blog page in the “Posts page” setting, then hit save.

Your welcome page will now be published and ready to greet your new visitors as they arrive.

3. Create a Menu

One of the most important aspects of good user experience on any new blog is navigability, a.k.a. the ease with which your new viewers can find the content for which they’re searching.

And the most important part of navigability is a well designed and up to date menu.

Luckily, creating a menu inside of WordPress is pretty straightforward.

To get started, simply go to Dashboard > Appearance > Menu.

From here, create and add a new title for your main menu and then, in the left pane of the menu editor, check the pages you want to appear on your new menu. Click “Add Menu”.

The checked pages should appear on the right pane of the editor and you can now rearrange their order by dragging the labels up and down.

WebsiteSetup menu

Once you’re happy with your menu’s structure, you can display it on your website’s main header by checking the “Primary” location checkbox (the name depends on the theme you previously selected) in the menu settings and hit save.

4. Install Plugins (They’re Free)

Plugins are one of the simplest (and cheapest) ways to extend your website’s functionality and increase the traffic and profits you generate each month.

Luckily, there are (quite literally) thousands of free plugins and libraries inside of WordPress and countless more on other external sites.

Let me give you a quick example with one of the most important plugins that you can download for your new site… A contact form.

First, you’re going to go to Dashboard > Plugins > Add new and search for “Contact Form 7.” Then, click “Install” and activate the plugin from the search results.

WordPress plugins

Once the new plugin is activated, it will create a new menu called “Contact” in the dashboard. Click it to access the contact forms generated by the plugin and then click “Contact Form 1” from the list to edit the new form.

At this point, the contact form is effectively up and running, however, you’ll want to make sure that the mail template is properly functioning so that you actually receive emails sent from the form.

To do this, go to the “Mail” tab and change the “To” value to the address where the email should be sent.

Next, you’ll need to copy the “shortcode” found just under the contact form’s name… It should look something like [contactform-7 id=”25″ title=”Contact form 1″].

After you have copied the shortcode, create a new page called “Contact Us,” and simply paste the shortcode in the content.

Then click “Publish”, sit back, relax, and check out your new content form in all of its glory:   

Contact form

If you are looking for more plugins that will improve the use and functionality of your blog, here’s a list of best plugins.

5. Customize Your Blog

To really add another level of flair and personalization, you’ll want to download another plugin that will allow you to change your website’s fonts.

Repeat the same steps listed above for the plugin “Easy Google Fonts” and then go to the theme customizer.

The customizer gives you the ability to customize your theme and preview it in real time.

Whether you want to change your site identity, colors, menus, widgets, homepage settings, or additional CSS, the customizer gives you almost total control over your website’s design.

With Easy Google Fonts installed, you’ll notice that there is a new option in the Customizer: Typography.

This setting allows you to change the fonts on your site to your liking and grants you a greater level of authority over your site’s aesthetic.

I encourage you to spend some time playing around with the Customizer until you have a strong grasp of the options available to you. Then, once you’re happy with the new look of your site, click “Publish,” and double check the changes in a new tab.

WordPress site customizer

To make it easier for your readers to share your articles on their favorite social media channels, you’ll also want to install a social sharing plugin that will allow your viewers to seamlessly promote your new content from your posts and pages.

Just do a quick search in the plugins page with the keyword “social share” and you’ll be presented with hundreds of results. Install any plugin that strikes your fancy and set it up by going to its settings in your dashboard.

If you want to further customize your blog, read this WordPress Customization Guide.

6. Create a Personal Email Account

Having a domain-based email account like yourname@yourdomain.com boosts the professionalism of your website and increases authority with your readers.

Luckily, BlueHost includes the ability to create a custom email account from your domain as a part of your web host account.

To access this feature, simply login to your BlueHost portal, click “Email & Office” in the left menu, scroll down and find “Basic Email”, and then click “See Options”.

From here, you can create your custom account in a matter of seconds.

Bluehost e-mail

Once your email account is created, click Email Accounts > Access Webmail to access the webmail application.

After confirming your credentials, you’ll be off to the races and you can now manage, send, and receive emails from your new domain-based account.

I’d encourage you to create an “About” page and add your new contact information so that all emails sent on your new site will be sent to the account you just created.

If you get stuck, here’s a guide for creating a custom email address for your blog.

Congratulations, You’ve Made It

Phew!

That wasn’t so difficult, was it?

At this point, you should have your very own fully functioning blog up and running.

But this is just the beginning.

Use the other content on my website to take your new blog to the next level and be sure to take few days to learn all the ins and outs of your new WordPress blog.

If you get stuck, don’t hesitate to email me and I’ll do my best to help you out.

P.S. If you liked the guide, please don’t hesitate to share it on Twitter or Facebook. 

27 Online Business Ideas for Beginners

Will 2019 be the year you will finally create a profitable online business?

You’ve thought about it every year. You’ve gone over countless online business ideas in your head and imagined what your life would be like if you could quit your job and generate money on the internet.

You could travel the world with ease, create a comfortable lifestyle for yourself and your family, and achieve financial freedom. You could finally escape the constraints of the 9-5 lifestyle and own your time completely.

But then, what happens? Usually, you spend some time considering the ideas but ultimately resort back to your comfort zone.

The steady income of your secure job, the ease of having somebody else tell you what to do every day (instead of trying to figure it out from scratch), and the consistent schedule.

You tell yourself, “You know what? This year is a little too crazy. I’ll start that online business next year!”

But “next year” never comes.

I’m here to tell you that 2019 is the year you should start your online business. There’s more opportunity than ever, and you should take the advantage!

To help you get started, I’m going to lay out 27 online business ideas. Read through them, see which you connect with, and start doing your research. Then get started with one, it’s that simple!

27 “Easy to Start” Online Business Ideas

Here is our list of 27 online business ideas for 2019:

1. Start a Blog and Monetize it

I talk a lot about how to start a blog on this website, and for good reason. In 2018, it’s easier to start a blog than ever before, and your blog can also be a big potential source of income (if you know how to monetize it).

Keep in mind that you don’t just start a blog and expect the money to roll in. You need to create content consistently, and it also needs to be content that educates, informs, or entertains people. In other words, it needs to capture their interest in some way.

What’s more, you need to sell something through the blog. This can be ad space, products, digital products, sponsored posts, coaching, ebooks, etc.

But if you’re willing to put in the work and you’re in it for the long haul, blogging can be extremely profitable (some bloggers make $50k per month or more).

Here are some resources to help you get started with your first blog:

2. Get Started With Affiliate Marketing

Learn affiliate marketingAffiliate marketing is basically the process of earning a commission by promoting somebody else’s product.

There are two main ways most people do affiliate marketing:

  • Information products. You promote products like ebooks, membership sites, video series, etc. This type of affiliate marketing can earn you up to 50% or more in commission, has relatively low barriers to entry, and it’s easy to find products to promote.
  • Amazon partners. Many affiliate marketers have success with Amazon. There are literally millions of products to choose from, and it can be quite profitable. For more information, you can check out the Amazon Associates Program.

Quick side note: Before you start affiliate marketing, it helps to have at least a basic knowledge of SEO and copywriting (more on each of these later).

That being said, you can read a few copywriting books and look through the beginners guide to SEO from SEO Moz to help you get started.

3. Set Up an E-commerce Site

One of the best ways to earn online income is through setting up an e-commerce store. Here’s the plus side: if you try to go the route of affiliate marketing, the best affiliate marketers are focused on 3 main niches; dating, weight loss, and making money online. You would have to compete with the best of the best, and it’s not easy.

With the e-commerce route, in many markets, you’ll be competing against old-school business people who may or may not have any internet marketing experience. Many of them have glitchy, out-of-date websites, which leaves you a lot of room for improvement, and you can capitalize on their shortcomings.

It’s still not easy by any means. It requires hard work, and you need to stand out amongst the hundreds of thousands of ecommerce websites and online stores. But by filling a unique niche and executing the right marketing techniques, you can make your ecommerce store a profitable success.

Here are some tips to help you get started with your ecommerce store:

  • Find a profitable market. Brainstorm some ideas, do keyword research, and try to get as specific as possible. For example, there is probably a lot of competition for selling surfboards. But if you narrow it down to surfboard racks, you may have a better chance of standing out in the market.
  • Ask yourself, “Is the product expensive?” There are costs associated with manufacturing, distribution, reselling, etc. If your product isn’t expensive (at least $50 or more), there may be no profit left by the time you sell the product.
  • Ask yourself, “Is the product in a growth market?” If your market has already passed its peak (i.e. the VCR market) and is on the down slope, you probably don’t want to get involved. Instead, you want to get into an industry that’s on the upswing – that’s where you’ll have the most profit and growth potential.
  • Consider building a Shopify store. Shopify is a system built for ecommerce. With some basic web knowledge, you can set up a good-looking store very quickly, with a low-cost investment and with no coding needed. Shopify has a 30-day free trial too, so you can get started without spending a dime.

Here are some additional resources for creating a successful online store:

4. Self-Publish a Book on Amazon

Publish a book on amazonHave you ever thought of writing a book, but didn’t know where to get started? All the publishing nonsense, the editing and formatting, the marketing, etc.?

With Amazon, you can self-publish a book fairly easily, and really make money from it. There are some simple and inexpensive guides like this one to help you write your book AND have it generate consistent income.

Here’s the secret sauce: If you can launch your book and get a few hundred sales in the first week, Amazon will take over and start promoting it for you. This way you can make some real money from it. It’s actually easier than it sounds, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Here are a few tips for writing a book:

  • Validate the book by giving a survey to friends, an email list, and/or survey sites like Pickfu. By validating your idea before you write the book, you’ll improve the odds of people willing to buy your book (and you’re not wasting your time by writing it.)
  • Create an outline and stick to it if possible.
  • Set aside at least 30 minutes to an hour each day to write.
  • Format the book according to Amazon’s standards.

Once the book is written and formatted, you can head over to KDP.amazon.com. Log in with your Amazon account, then under “Create a New Title”, select “Kindle eBook.”

Here’s a good strategy for your book’s launch week (to get 100+ sales):

  1.     Set the price at 99 cents for the first week.
  2.     Run a 99 cent promotion with sites like Buck Books and Robin Reads.
  3.     Post a book excerpt on a relevant subreddit and link to your book page at the end.
  4.     Post 1-2 guest posts during the launch week that link back to your book page.
  5.     Blast your email list multiple times.
  6.     By the end of the week, hopefully, your book has eclipsed the top 5,000 or 10,000 overall paid ranking. From there, raise the price to $2.99, and continue raising the price $1 at a time every few days until it stops selling (then, lower it back by a dollar). This will tell you the optimal price for your book.

(Here’s a case study of a book that used this strategy to launch successfully and consistently bring in $3-$4K a month in profit.)

5. Create a Digital Product or Course

Creating a digital product or course is similar to writing an ebook. You’re monetizing your expertise by teaching it to the others.

That being said, you don’t have the benefit of Amazon promoting your course. You have to do the promoting yourself through your own website, your email lists, and possibly through affiliate partnerships. You also need to create a compelling sales page that will convince visitors to buy from you.

If you don’t already have an audience, it might be better to self-publish on Amazon first. That way, you can validate your course idea, grow your email list (just make sure to have an email opt-in at the front and back of the book!), and more or less create a rough draft of the course (since it will probably be similar to the book).

Here are some additional resources to help you with an online course creation:

  • TheRiseToTheTop.com – David Siteman Garland’s website that’s helped thousands of entrepreneurs launch profitable online courses.
  • Monetize Your Expertise Podcast – Helpful episodes by online course expert Grant Weherley to help you start your fist online course.

6. Become a YouTuber

Videos are becoming more and more popular. From Instagram and Snapchat Stories to Facebook Live video, videos will only continue to grow. If you’ve always loved the thought of being behind the camera, now is the time you can take an advantage.

Whether it be starting a vlog and getting ad revenue/selling products to your audience, or building a YouTube channel to drive more traffic to your website – 2019 is a great time to get started.

Not only will making YouTube videos help you tell better stories and provide more valuable content to your audience – it can also help you get profitable speaking opportunities.

The best part is, you don’t even need to go out and buy an expensive new camera – as long as you have a smartphone with a quality camera lens, you can start filming your first video right now!

7. Start App Development

Mobile apps are getting more and more popular by the year. If you have an idea for a cool, useful, and/or fun app for a phone or a tablet, this may be the way to go.

It helps to have some coding knowledge, but it’s not an absolute necessity. There are plenty of software developers looking to collaborate with people on app creation.

Word of caution: the app market is saturated right now, so make sure you validate your app and do your research before investing lots of money in your idea.

Here are some resources to help you in the app development process:

8. Learn Facebook Advertising

Facebook continues to expand and grow. Therefore businesses are spending more on Facebook ads. But here’s the problem: a lot of old school businesses don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to Facebook ads. Even newer companies don’t have the time it takes to learn the ins and outs so that they get the most return on their Facebook ads investment.

Consequently, they’re looking for Facebook ad specialists to step in and do it for them. Luckily, this is something you can learn fairly quickly. Once you do, you can reach out to businesses and offer to help create profitable Facebook ads.

Here are some Facebook Ad resources you can learn from:

9. Learn and Master SEO

Search Engine OptimizationSEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to getting a website to rank higher for certain “search terms” in search engines like Google. When a website ranks higher, it gets more relevant traffic and in turn, can make more revenue.

This is another highly valued skill in the internet marketing world. That being said, it can be a bit difficult because Google is always changing its algorithms. With it, some of the rules of search change. You always have to be on the leading edge, learning and testing new strategies.

If you can master SEO, companies will always be willing to pay you for your help.

10. Become a Copywriter

Copywriting is the art and science of strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action. It can range from anything to sales pages, to email marketing, to even quality blog content.

If you have a natural inclination and passion for writing, copywriting may be your ticket to earning online income.

It’s a great way to achieve freedom in your life. Not only does copywriting allow you to work remotely, but it also allows you to control your schedule. Plus, learning the skill itself will help you in many areas of online business (i.e. building a blog, affiliate marketing, etc. – when you can write in a compelling way, all of these become much easier!)

11. Skype Coaching

Do you have an expertise that you’d like to help people with? Then Skype coaching may be a potential option for you. Basically, you hop on Skype and provide assistance to your coaching clients. This can come in the form of daily, weekly, or monthly calls.

There are Skype coaches for just about everything – life coaches, health coaches, dating coaches, etc.

Note: It’s much easier to market your coaching services when you also have a blog on your coaching topic.

12. Buy and Flip Domains

You’ve probably heard of people who buy and “flip” real estate, right? They buy a house for a relatively good price, fix it up a little bit, and then resell it for a nice profit.

It’s the same idea for buying and flipping domains. Whether it’s your own domain, or whether you’re looking to buy somebody else’s site and flip it, this can be a good source of online income.

You can use resources like Empire Flippers to both buy and sell your domains.

13. Start a Podcast

PodcastingHere’s an in-depth guide on how to start a podcast. This can be a great revenue generator.

As you grow your podcast, you can offer paid sponsorships and sell your own products and services. Through the podcast, you’ll be able to earn the trust of your listeners, which makes them that much more likely to buy what you have to offer.

14. Drop shipping

Drop shipping is when you create an online store to sell other people’s products (i.e you don’t do any of the manufacturing or shipping). Then, you get a commission for each sale.

The benefit here is that you don’t have to risk buying up stock in a product and losing money if it doesn’t sell. The entry barrier is lower and you don’t have to invest nearly as much to get started.

If you’d like to learn how to drop ship, Drop Ship Lifestyle is one of the best resources to help you get started.

15. Freelance Pay Per Click Consulting

(These are PPC ads)

You ever saw those sponsored ads at the top of your Google search results? That’s Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising in action.

It’s a form of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads are clicked. Put simply, it’s a way of buying visits on your site.

If you can master this skill, you can offer the service to other businesses.

16. Sell Products on eBay

Sell on ebaySure it’s a bit old school, but people are still making lots of money on eBay. To start selling, you can do something simple like head to a local clothing store and buy some clothing on sale.

Then, you can list it on eBay for a higher price, and if it sells, you can reinvest the profit in more clothing and continue making more profit.

It requires some strategy and planning but is surely a profitable way of online business.

17. Become a Web Developer

A web developer is someone who knows how to build a website from the bottom up. In order to do this, you need to learn coding, which will take time and hard work. But if you’re willing to put in the effort, it can pay quite well.

Here are some tips for learning to code and getting started with the web development.

18. Invest Your Time in Graphic Design

Ever saw a beautiful sales page or a website design that really jumps out at you? That’s all due to a graphic designer.

Graphic designers are basically visual communicators. They design web pages, sales pages, logos, and really anything else that needs to look sharp.

To be a great graphic designer, you don’t need to be great at drawing, you don’t need a college degree, and you don’t need to buy a fancy expensive computer. But you do need to be a visual thinker, you do need to specialize in something, and you definitely need a portfolio.

19. Build Niche Sites

The idea behind a niche website is to target a specific niche (for example, a specific kind of photography), rank on Google for the keywords related to that niche, and then turn that traffic into earnings through affiliate offers or through selling your own products.

A lot of research goes into this – you should be ready for a bit of workload. If you create a good niche site, it can bring you an extra $500 a month or more.

For further reading, check out this post from Sean Ogle: How to Build a Niche Site in 2018 that Brings in $500 a Month

20. Start a Consulting Business

Do you have tons of knowledge in a specific field? Then you may have what it takes to be a highly paid online consultant.

As a consultant, you simply must apply the knowledge, skills, and experience you have in a specific field to help clients solve a problem or issue they have in that field.

For further reading, check out this post from Next Avenue: How to Become a Highly Paid Consultant

21. Start a Paid Private Facebook Group

A paid private Facebook group provides you with the chance to create a highly engaged community.

It gives you a place to deliver your content, allows your community members to interact with each other, allows you to limit access to qualified members, and also allows you to moderate and control the group.

Note: If you already have a website and an email list, it’s easier to create a paid private Facebook group, but it’s not an absolute necessity.

22. Assist with Lead Generation

Businesses are always on the lookout for ways to create new leads. Leads, after all, are the lifeblood of businesses.

When you assist with lead generation, you basically play the matchmaker. You connect business with the leads for whom they can solve the problems.

23. Instagram Sponsorships

Do you love taking photos and dream of building up a great Instagram following? As you grow your following, more sponsorship opportunities will become available. For example, if your account is focused on fitness, you may be able to sponsor products like protein powder, supplements, etc.

24. Create SaaS (Software as a Service)

SaaS businessGoogle Apps, Dropbox, Leadpages – these are all SAAS.

SAAS is any kind of online software that you pay to get access to.

For this, you first must brainstorm/find an online service that people are willing to pay for on an ongoing basis. Once you create it, the challenge is to maintain it, which is not an easy task. That being said, it can be quite profitable if you can make it work.

25. Technical Writing

Ever wondered who wrote the instruction manual for that new TV? That’s the job of technical writers.

If you have a love for writing and like the technical side of things, then you may have what it takes to be a technical writer.

Here’s a resource that can help you get started: Starting a Technical Writing Business from Scratch

Here are some sites where you can find work:

  • Freelanced.com
  • Upwork.com

26. Resume/Cover Letter Writing

People will always be looking for jobs – they’ll need help with their resumes and cover letters.

That’s where you can come in and help them create a stellar resume to get them hired.

27. Tech Support

With online tech support, you basically offer your skills as a tech whiz. You can work with bigger companies or even one-on-one clients.

Tech support jobs can also regularly be found on Upwork.

Conclusion

It’s a new year and a new chance for you to start an online business and create an absolute financial and lifestyle freedom for yourself.

2019 is all about taking action. With this big list of online business ideas, you have plenty of options to get started with. Don’t wait any longer, and definitely, don’t put it off until next year!

Take a few ideas and run with them – by this time of the next year, you very well may have your own successful and profitable online business! Just be sure to report back here and let me know your results!

If you have other online business ideas you think are worth mentioning, be sure to drop them in the comments below!