5 typical ways to earn money online

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Start a YouTube channel

YouTube is great. A lot of creators make good money here but, on the flipside, YouTube is hard. Putting out content that is anything above decent requires time and effort. That’s not the hard part though. YouTube rewards consistency almost more than anything else and consistency takes discipline.

Moreover, it will take some time before you start making money. You need to have at least, wait for it, 4000 watch hours before you are even eligible to make money on YouTube. And sure, there’s some channels that hit it big with one video, but chances are slim that that will be the case for most people. So, your best bet when going this route is producing decent (or above decent) content that people want to watch consistently and trust that it will all work out in the end.

Doable? Yes. But it will need your dedication and time.

Fill surveys

This one seems easy enough; that is until you realize just how little each survey pays on most platforms. Not only that, the survey is essentially taking your information for much less than it is worth. This one has a low payout compared to the effort you put in.

Data labeling

With the advent of Machine learning and AI, there is a greater need for data than there ever has been in known human history. The thing is, we are generating more data in a year now than people generated in the entire 20th century going back. Artificial intelligence loves data and can learn from it. That in itself is pretty close to the definition of machine learning. Before I explain what data labeling is about, let me explain what it is needed for. There are two ways to train a machine:

Supervised learning – This is akin to what humans do. We teach our children how to read and write and rectify them when they go wrong. Machines do this through labeled data which basically tells them what is right and helps them make sense of the data. This is relatively fast as it has a reference point when learning.

Unsupervised learning – This is similar to what eagles do. Drop your youngling off the nest and let it learn how to fly as it falls. This can take data that doesn’t have labels but takes way longer than the supervised learning route.

Enough talking already, tell me how I can make money. With the increase in demand for labelled data, companies are paying humans to label data which is then used to train AI.

Blog

How exactly do people get paid to write what they think? Well, I’m glad you asked. There are a couple of ways you can make money blogging:

  • Google AdSense – directly insert ads into your blogposts. The payout for this isn’t that good compared to the other methods mentioned.
  • Sell your products – You’ve written something awesome about your own product and use that to drive leads to your product.
  • Affiliate marketing – Sell someone else’s product. This one is easier in that you do not need to own or create a product to sell. You are basically selling your audience.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is where a business pays you (the affiliate) to bring customers to them (marketing). Usually, they will either pay you a fixed amount or more often than not, a percentage of the sale that you brought. Popular affiliate marketing programs you may see around are: Amazon’s affiliate program, Fiverr, Brilliant.org, VPNs (NordVPN), Dashlane, Squarespace etc.

How exactly does it work? For starters, they (the affiliate marketing partner) give you a special link or coupon code that your customers can use. In that case, you may be wondering what their incentive to use your link or code may be. The partner generally takes care of that. The deal is usually structured in such a way that when you recommend someone and they use your link/code, they get a discount and you get a commission. Sure, this may seem like lower revenue for the affiliate partner but it all comes down to customer acquisition cost. So, the next time you hear your favorite content creator say something on the lines of “This video is sponsored by Fiverr”, this is what they are actually talking about.

If it’s that easy, why not?

At first glance, things look great! And generally, they are. This is one of the most straight forward ways to make money online. However, like YouTube, it may take time. Affiliate marketing needs you to have an audience; or at least have access to one. If you are just starting out, you will need to grow your audience. Once you do, this is easily one of the easiest ways to monetize your audience.

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