I’ll admit that even on my own blog, AlexisGrant.com, I’m sometimes lazy about taking an extra minute or two to pull an affiliate link when I see an opportunity to use one in a post. But if you want to benefit as your traffic grows, you have to be consistent about adding those affiliate links every time, even if you don’t expect the post to take off. This is something we’re religious about on The Write Life (thank you, editor @Heathervdh!), so when we get unexpected traffic to a post, we earn.

If you have previous experience as a computer programmer or have skills in this field, then there is plenty of work you can pick up as a freelancer. If lack of confidence is holding you back, then Free Code Camp is an excellent way to get your foot in the coding door. This organization provides free courses where you will build real-life apps and programs, giving you experience and plenty to add to your CV.
Blogging can be a great side hustle. Though the income may not be steady and it can take awhile to get rolling, there are a few steps you can take to ensure success. I would recommend that before you start thinking about money, you start thinking about the topics you are truly passionate about. What can you talk about and learn about for days? That’s exactly what you’ll be doing for years to come, after all. Get some more tips on starting a blog here: How to Start a Blog and Make Money in 7 Steps

If you can find and restore items like furniture and appliances, you can make a substantial amount of money. You can acquire the items on Craigslist, or even at garage sales or estate sales, restore them, and then list them for sale on the site. You may also be able to market certain items on eBay, particularly if they are small, unusual, but high in price.
25. Products – You can create your own product, such as an ebook or computer software. You would then use your blog as a promotion tool to get people to buy your product. As long as you create a legitimate product with a whole lot of value, you should be able to get some buyers, but like everything else with a blog, you’ll need the traffic to get the sells.

However, if you're looking for realistic ways you can start earning money online now, then it really truly does boil down to seven paths you can take towards profit. Some will provide you with immediate results, helping you to address your basic monthly necessities such as rent, utilities and groceries, while others have the potential to transform your life by revolutionizing your finances in the long term.


That being said, I want to give you an idea of what I earn, so you can see what's possible. I don't like to “show off”, but here's income proof. These screenshots prove that yes, I actually make money online. I've been making over $10,000 per month for many years now. You'll have to ​make your first dollar​​​ before you earn ten thousand though, so keep reading below to see how you can get started doing the same type of business I do.


Regarding “convincing someone to buy your product is not that easy”, I do agree with you, but at the same time, I remember all those products I’ve bought online. I did not search on Google for those products neither I went to the company websites to get information and buy. They were affiliate people and their blogs that inspired to buy them. PrettyLink Pro, SEO Pressor was recommended by Kimberley, I bought Profits Theme, WP Zon builder because Alex Whaley recommended. Similarly I bought CommentLuv Premium because Ileane, Kavita, Steve and many others were talking good about it.
If you want to clear some space out in your house and have a big stack of books you’ve been holding onto for too long, you can make money selling your books and textbooks online. Stores like Half Priced Books and others will give you cents on the dollar for each of your current books while you can check what your book is worth by simply entering the ISBN number on Book Scouter.
Thanks a lot Spencer for these affiliate marketing tips. I was looking for some tips on how I can improve myself with affiliate marketing and there your email landed in my mail box and I came across this wonderful piece of information. I am happy that you have suggested linking images with an affiliate link and that’s what I did in my last promotional post on my blog.
I tried affiliate marketing years ago. Back then I was just randomly posting ads online hoping to get sales. After about 4 months I had one sale and commission was $100. Well, I gave up on it. I went to eBay, ran a successful store on there for the last 8 months, sales totaled over $2,000 and my last month I had my biggest sales in a single month at $500, then BAM, eBay killed my account. Now, today, I’m back at looking into affiliate marketing and I need help with the fine details. I think I understand the big picture, but it’s the details I need help with. So, I make a website? Specifically, do I use some free service like Wix or should I use GoDaddy, and sign up for a domain name and build a website? What do you think of, or rather, what do customers think of being on subdomains? You know websites like mystorename.majorbrand.com? I also see you mentioned writing articles, and getting ranked on Google. I’m not familiar at all with getting ranked nor do I really understand what that means. So, am I writing articles and posting them on my new website or am I writing articles, putting them somewhere online then link them to my website in hopes of generating traffic? If you could help with these concepts, I would greatly appreciate it.
Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
Shopify is another great option if you are wanting to create your own eCommerce store. Shopify is arguably easier to set up than WooCommerce but will give you less control over your storefront and cost you more long term. However, if you have little to no experience of creating websites or using WordPress, or you are working to a very tight time schedule, then Shopify may be the perfect eCommerce platform for you.
Need more ideas on how to make money online? Another strategy is using webinars to market your product, service, or course. I’ve done webinars to promote my financial planning practice and to drum up interest in my online course for financial advisors. With a webinar, you’re basically offering a lot of tips and advice for free — usually in a live format. At the end though, you pitch your paid product or service with the goal of securing a few deals.
If you would like to take a more subtle approach, include a product or service from your company that relates into your blog post. For example, let’s say that you are a wine connoisseur and that is what your blog is based around. In any post that is enticing your readers to open up a good bottle of Merlot or what have you, it would be wise to embed an ad for a quality, easy-to-use wine opener, wine glasses or stoppers that keep the wine fresh.

Double check yourself, before you double wreck yourself. Make sure everything you send to a company, whether a résumé, an email or a portfolio, is good to go. Double check your grammar and wording, and for God’s sake use spell check! This is especially important when it comes to the company’s name. Don’t spell their name wrong and be sure to type it how they type it (e.g. Problogger, not Pro Blogger).


FlexJobs is 100% legit. While it may not be necessary for everyone, if you have limited time available to dig around on the internet and vet companies for legitimacy it’s well worth the investment. They research each job lead to make sure it is truly remote or flexible and it isn’t a scam. I’ve had a membership for a very long time and find it well worth the small investment.
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Great stuff here Sean – thanks for all of these insights and sharing some best practices when it comes to affiliate marketing. I’ve never been comfortable giving it a shot, but after reading this post and your perspective on how and when to do it, I may just have to give it a try. Especially considering I’m already mentioning and recommending services and products on my site, I’m just not getting the potential rewards associated with doing so. Thanks again.
…and the list goes on! The main thing to keep in mind is that your first website doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be a home run with your first try. I started three or four failed websites before I really got into the groove and picked a topic that worked for me. My very first websites was about horse care, and it didn't last long. My first successful website was about computer software!

Great post, Sean! I have been using Adsense for the most part for two years now and each year, due to great content, my income has doubled. Thanks for all the great content, and this is sure to open my eyes a bit more to the likes of Amazon, which, I will admit, I have been ignoring due to the way they treat their affiliates. But, maybe it’s just me being a turd….
The first thing to do is to join an affiliate program then select the products you intend to sell. The owners of the products would provide you with an affiliate code you can use for referring traffic to the main site. Also, you will be offered banners, text links and several forms of creative copies in which you just copy and paste the code on your own site to refer traffic. Any interested customer who clicks on the links from your website will be redirected to the main site where the product is sold and if they pay for the product or subscribe to a program/service and indicate you as the referral, you get a certain percentage as commission.
Once you've protected your prospecting pool, maximize your affiliate program by working with the best and leaving the rest. As the old 80/20 adage implies, most of your revenue will come from a very small percentage of your affiliates. Because it can be time-consuming to manage a larger affiliate network, consider selecting only a few companies initially, and interview them before signing them on. Affiliates are an extension of your sales force and represent your online brand, so choose partners carefully.
Great article as always. As far as finding the right keyword phrases, what I’ve always been unsure of is where and how often do we use these keywords? In your example, “sleeping bags under $100,” would I place that in my post titles and/ or content? How often is ideal to still make it look natural? Could I use that keyword phrase again on other articles/ reviews? Thanks for what you do.
My name is Angie Nelson. There was a time where I was right where you may be now. I’d had enough of the cubicle farm, and I was going to find a way to escape. Jumping to another corporate job wasn’t going to make me happy. I wanted to be in control of my future. I needed to get out of the office politics. I started a hunt to learn how to make money from home legitimately and for the long run. I read and researched and read some more and finally decided to start my online business was the way to go. I started my Virtual Assistant business in 2007.
The phrase, "Affiliates are an extended sales force for your business", which is often used to explain affiliate marketing, is not completely accurate. The primary difference between the two is that affiliate marketers provide little if any influence on a possible prospect in the conversion process once that prospect is directed to the advertiser's website. The sales team of the advertiser, however, does have the control and influence up to the point where the prospect either a) signs the contract, or b) completes the purchase.
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