There were few things hotter than crypto trading in the make money online space in 2020 and 2021. However, as scams in crypto have increased and the values have decreased, many are jumping ship and looking for greener pastures.
If you're looking for a new opportunity to make money online, here are my 7 favorite methods.
These are not listed in order, except for #1, which is my favorite and most recommended method.
I've shared additional learning resources below each of the methods as well.
Side note, please forgive me for posting my results with some methods. It will sound braggadocios, but I just want to showcase that these methods do work and I know what I'm talking about here.
#1 Amazon FBA (Arbitrage, Wholesale and Private Label)
This was the first model that I used and it opened my eyes to the true potential of the internet as a tool for earning money.
Amazon FBA is a program that allows us to sell products in Amazon marketplaces. They can be our own products (usually referred to as private label) or the products of other brands through arbitrage or wholesale.
Private Label = Selling your own products. Usually something simple that you order from international suppliers in bulk.
Arbitrage = Finding items at prices that are lower enough than the prices on Amazon that you can earn a profit.
- Retail Arbitrage = Finding products in physical retail stores in your area like Target, Walmart or CVS. Any place that sells branded products that are also listed on Amazon can be a source for retail arbitrage.
- Online Arbitrage = Finding products online from 3rd party retailers. We can use tools such as Tactical Arbitrage to find items that will be profitable if purchased and then sold on Amazon at higher prices.
Wholesale or Direct from Supplier = This method involves buying items in bulk from suppliers or licensed distributors (wholesalers). This is the most scalable method of sourcing, but it requires more capital.
This Is NOT Dropshipping
This method does NOT include dropshipping. Dropshipping has been a staple of the make money online niche since the dawn of e-commerce. It's pushed as a "risk free, no inventory" method because you only purchase items after someone else has made an order.
This couldn't be further from the truth, though. There is no riskier method out there than dropshipping on Amazon. It is against their terms of service because you can't inspect the inventory for authenticity and it consistently leads to fulfillment issues and late shipments.
There is a lot that goes into this, of course, but the effort is worth it.
There is truly no better option for making money online than selling on Amazon.
#2 Selling Your Own Digital Products
Creating and selling simple digital products has been my most profitable make money online business model.
Anything that can be delivered virtually can be sold through a platform like Gumroad or Etsy.
Ideals for digital products include, but are not limited to:
- Templates (Notion, Canva, etc.)
- Stock Photos or Videos
- PDFs (Worksheets, Checklists, Guides)
Anything you can think of that someone else would find value from has potential.
#3 Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a business model in which you promote a 3rd party offer and earn a commission on successful sales.
This model works fantastically well if you already have an engaged following in a particular niche, but it can also be done through paid ads if you do not and want to start fast.
I am an extreme outlier and these results aren't typical, but I've earned into the millions of dollars with affiliate marketing in my career.
Affiliate marketers can grow their audiences across different mediums or combinations of them, like Podcasts, YouTube, blogs or any major social media platform.
Affiliate marketers who grow their email lists by directing traffic to lead magnets or other opt-ins typically see the most success.
Affiliate Marketing Learning Resources
#4 Amazon KDP
Amazon KDP is Amazon's self-publishing program. KDP stands for "Kindle Direct Publishing" and allows authors to list their books on Amazon and then have Amazon fulfill them. This includes not just the digital delivery of ebooks and audiobooks, but also printed paperback and even hardback copies.
This program allows aspiring creators to bypass the politics and gatekeepers of traditional publishing companies, all while keeping exponentially larger royalties on each book sold.
The only drawback is you will not have the support in creating, editing, and marketing your book.
I've had some success so far with KDP.
My book Evergreen Affiliate Marketing earns about $10,000 per year and hopefully will continue to earn for me in the long term.
Do you not see yourself as an author or someone who wants to write? You can still benefit from Amazon KDP by using a method called "low content books."
#5 Amazon Merch
Amazon merch is yet another make money online opportunity brought to us by Amazon.
Merch works similarly to Amazon KDP, in that Amazon creates and fulfills the work we create. The creations in this case are usually t-shirts but they can also be things like mugs, pop-sockets and more.
This model requires no capital and is built entirely on sweat equity. You create designs and then list them on Amazon. Once you get the hang of it, it's quite easy to do. The difficulty comes in finding things you can make that people will actually buy. So, there is a lot of learning involved to truly make Merch a high earning gig.
#6 Selling Services
Besides Amazon arbitrage, services are the next easiest method to get to work.
You can offer your services on a large existing marketplace like Fiverr, Upwork or Amazon's mechanical turk or on your own website.
The downside is that this model is based on trading time for dollars, which is not in the spirit of passive make money online models.
However, your service based business can become passive if you build a team and outsource the services. This is essentially "service arbitrage," and can become highly profitable and hands off if you put in the work upfront.
Another popular method is services as subscriptions. Instead of doing "gigs" or project-based work, you offer a package of services that are delivered each month for a flat fee.
Companies like WPTangerine offer monthly WordPress support bundles that allow the subscriber to have on demand support for all of their WordPress issues.
As long as you price and set deliverables correctly, these can be wildly profitable businesses.
I wrote an article that shows more examples of subscription services that I've used and enjoyed that can provide some inspiration.
Selling Services Resources
#7 Create Online Courses
Last but not least, creating and selling online courses.
I know, I know, this fuels the "only way to make money online is to teach people to make money online," argument, but online courses can be on any topic. They are not exclusive to make money online programs.
For example, Learn Scrivener Fast is a program that teaches writers how to use the powerful but confusing software, Scrivener. The creator reported making $40,000/month from this program 5 years ago, and it appears to have only grown in popularity since then.
This program on Udemy by Dr. Ian Dunbar teaches students how to train dogs and has over 17,000 students.
Brainstorm the things that you know that are valuable to others and consider publishing a course on your own platform or through a 3rd party like Udemy (I don't recommend Udemy personally though).