How I Make Money Online

make money online

When you meet someone for the first time, there is always a time in the conversation when you’re going to ask each other what you do for a living. When I was working for the man, the answer was easy. I would simply say “I’m the Vice President of Marketing for a web company that offers various services to franchise companies”.

Now that I am self-employed and that I generate 100% of my revenues on the Internet, I find it a bit harder to explain what I do in one short and concise sentence. The best answer would be that I make money online. I’ve found that telling this usually generates about 60 more questions about the possible ways to make a living off a computer and an Internet connection.

In this article, I would like to discuss the various ways I make money online, mostly through blogging, content publishing and projects for clients.

How I Make Money Blogging

To me, blogging is one of the easiest ways to make money online. The start-up cost is extremely low. All you need is a domain name, a hosting plan, and a blog set up for a total cost of about $100/year. Of course, besides this you’ll need some time, expertise in a given field, and some serious motivation and dedication.

I run several blogs but there is one that I am completely dedicated to: my iPhone blog. I’ve been running this blog since May 2008 and at the time I am writing this, it is one of the most regarded iPhone blogs out there and it gets about 1 million visitors per month. Yes, you read it right. About 1 million people come visit my iPhone blog every month. Google “iPhone Blog” and you’ll see the iPhone Download Blog up there in the top results!

This didn’t happen overnight, but I can’t say that it took me forever to get here either. I’ve invested a lot of time in it. I really know what I’m talking about. I am very motivated and totally devoted to this blog, which I update at least once a day, every single day.

This being said, here is how I make money blogging:

Adsense

Adsense is a a service offered by Google that allows you to be paid everytime someone clicks on an ad on your site. This is basically how it works. You sign up with Adsense, Google gives you a piece of code to put on your site. This code will look at what your site is about and will display relevant ads. Whenever someone visits your site and clicks on one of these ads, Google will pay you a little commission. These commissions can go as little as $0.01/click to well over $50.

Although many A-list bloggers will tell you that Adsense sucks because it drives traffic away from your site, it still is a great and easy way to generate money easily. The downside to this is that you have no idea how much Google is really making thanks to you. When they pay you $0.25 for a click, they might actually make $4 for it, keeping the largest piece of the pie.

Banner Ads

I make quite a bit of money with banner ads without having to spend time managing them. I work with a company called BuySellAds (BSA). This is how it works. I tell BSA that I have a few ad spots available on my site and I also tell them what each spot is worth. That’s my part of the job.

BSA has a huge inventory of advertisors and puts my site in front of them. When an advertisor thinks my blog would be a great fit for their products, the advertisors can look at my ad spots options (placement and price) and decides to buy an ad.

From there, BSA collects the payment and takes a 25% cut. That’s their commission for their service. After collecting payment, it will automatically display the new ad on my site and send me an email telling me I just made money (I love receiving those emails).

The benefit of using such a service is that BSA helps me connect with advertisers that I may never find otherwise. Additionally, it makes it very easy and safe to collect the payment. Finally, and more importantly to me, all this is handled without me having to do anything.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing where the affiliate (me in that case) promotes a business or service in exchange for a percentage or fixed commission of the sales they generate.

Let’s take the example of my iPhone blog. Invisible Shield is a product that helps protect your iPhone from scratches. I placed a banner for their product on my site and every time someone clicks on this banner and buys an Invisible Shield, I get about $5.

There are affiliate programs for virtually every product or industry out there. Here are 5 of my favorite affiliate marketplaces:

On my iPhone blog, I promote several affiliate programs ranging from accessories to softwares for iPhone. This generates pretty substantial revenues every month.

In-Text Advertising

In-Text advertising refers to links placed inside your text, that come with a double underline to differentiate them from normal links. Once the user rolls the mouse over the link, the advertising will pop.

Although these in-text ads, also known as contextual ads, can seem annoying, they’ve been generating quite some income for me since I started using them.

I was very reluctant to include them in my blog until I realized that 1) my readers don’t mind them at all, and 2) they can generate thousands each month.

I use Kontera for my in-text ads. I even cut a pretty sweet deal with them, which is probably why I generate so much income from these ads.

Sponsored Tweets

Just like in-text ads, it took me a while to jump on the sponsored tweets bandwagon and so far, I’m not really impressed by the results. I do get people to pay me to send a tweet promoting their products from time to time, but not as often as I would want it.

There are 2 ways I go about it. The first is that I let people pay me directly via Paypal to send their sponsored tweets. That’s my favorite way because there is no middleman.

The other way is to use a service called Sponsored Tweets. It’s like a marketplace where advertisers can find tweeters like me. Although this service is very respectable, I don’t like it as much as the first method because it takes a pretty big commission, which means less money for me.

Content Publishing

Publishing and selling content is my favorite way to make money online because if you do it well, it doesn’t require much work at all and can provide a steady revenue stream.

Writing & Selling eBooks

eBooks are hot and they’re about to become even hotter. They allow anyone with a little bit of knowledge about a given topic to be published at a very small cost.

The concept is very simple: you find problematic topics and give the solution under the form of an ebook. I wrote a few eBooks on my own that I am now selling via the ClickBank marketplace.

Blog Building and Internet Marketing Consulting

I recently started offering my services to a select group of clients. From constructing a new blog from scratch, through to writing killer articles that attract more traffic and links, I help individuals and businesses, large and small, every day. Here are some example services:

  • Blog building
  • Blog teaching
  • Social Media consulting
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Content creation

More to Come

As the Internet evolves, new ways of making money online are created. I believe that what I’m doing now online has nothing to do with what I’ll be doing in 10 years.

How do you make money online?

43 thoughts on “How I Make Money Online

  1. Nice post – I’ve been running a few blogs for a while, and finally getting around to monetizing them.

    Which of the above techniques earn you the most money? I don’t think I want to go overboard doing too many types of ads, but maybe just 2-3 of the above tactics. What would be your advice? I’m considering affiliate, text links and banner ads.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Nick.
    I believe Adsense is my main source of revenue for the iPhone Download Blog.
    My advice I to try different formats and see what works for you. What works great for me might not work at all for you. I think it all comes down to trial and errors. Give a shot to all of these techniques, run them for a month or so, and analyze your result. Then, try to make minor tweaks until you fins the perfect combination.
    Sebastien

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  4. Thanks for the info. I’ve been trying to get into ePN with a couple sites to no avail; their application process is downright draconian. And now I’m trying Amazon affiliates, with some success.

    I think it’s time I checked out CJ, clickbank, and some of the others you listed.

  5. It is a bit easy to make money online if you know how to get lots and lots of visitors on your website and if you have very good content on your website. you can use adsense, adbrite or infolinks.

  6. Hi,Sebastien!It is also easy to make money with cpa programs but as we all know blogs with many action points are not exactly a jackpot-i prefer one action point for my visitors

  7. Hi Sebastien,
    first come my cngrts 4 your blog anf your tweets! :-)
    Then, i don’t want to be material, it’s only just to ask, how much money do earn per month? Are they enough and for what?
    Thank you for your answer and pardon me!
    Andrea

  8. Hi Andre, and thank you for the comment.

    I make a very good living, especially if you take into account how much/little I work.

    At the time I’m writing this, I guess my monthly average income is multiple times the minimum wage in California for someone working full time. Sorry but I think it’s indecent to publicly brag about this. Let’s meet face to face and I’ll tell you all about it ;)

    S

  9. It is really very exciting to Make Money Online from Google, Adbrite and Infolinks. All you need to do is make a website with great content and attract visitors.

  10. I am happy to finding this site, I had been looking for good sites on the Internet to inform me and give me creative ideas for publish contents on my blogs, i live in brazil and work with webdesigner. I’ll come back again and show your place to my friends too. Congratulations.

  11. Hey Sebastien,

    could you go more into Detail about how to implement the advertising in your WordPad Blog? I’m not very big on webdesign, but would like to know how to place the banners in the right place.
    Thanks a lot and keep up the great work you do on your iPhone Blog, I’m an avid reader.

  12. @Bastian Sorry but I will not write an article about this. All it takes is copy/pasting a snippet of code in your webpage. That doesn’t require a step by step guide.

    Sebastien

  13. Thank you for this blog, I’ve learned that there is more we could write in terms of blogging and promote any program you want to making money with. You will never run out of prospects while using it as a recruiting tool. By using it for training your existing members can learn how to be successful person like you.

  14. Good for you Sebastian that you are successful in your online business. I am planning also to have an online business but I do not know how to start it.

  15. I’m kinda new to the blogging industry. I’ve always heard that a smart farmer doesn’t plant just one seed. So I’m trying to pick at least 5 niches that I want to create a blog for. Do you think that is possible or will it be to time consuming?

  16. I think 5 niches is a lot to start with. I’d suggest you focus on 1 or 2 and maybe in a year from now you can add another one and so on. Launching a blog is very time consuming. The last thing you want is to spread yourself too thin and do a lot of things without being good at any of them. Do you see my point?

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  18. I’m just starting in the blogging world and i just wanted to say thanks, your articles are very informative and inspiring.

    D’un petit cousin du Quebec ;)

  19. Good stuff, Sebastien. I was wondering, according to your experience, usually in how much time can someone dedicated expect to start having enough traffic to generate profit out of a blog?

    I know it can vary a lot depending on content, design and marketing strategies, but just to have an average figure… From the day the website is put up and content starts to be written, what is realistic to expect?

  20. Hi Ian,

    Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my stuff.

    Like you said, it all depends on the content, the frequency of publishing, and a bunch of other things. Realistically, I think that if you write at least once a day and that you really engage your readers and commenters, you could start making money after about a year.

    On my iPhone blog, I started making money almost instantly but that was quite unusual. It took me a year to make some decent amounts and it took me another year after that to make very very good money from it. But again, my iPhone blog is slightly different because it got very successful very quickly which is pretty rare.

    Good luck :)

    Sebastien

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  22. Amazing bits of information. I think it’s amazing how you have been able to succeed with online sales and business. I am a artist and my main goal right now is driving traffic to my website and getting higher rankings and placement when you search for my key words that link people to my site. Abstract art, buddha art, pop art, stencil art. Any new way that I can make more traffic to my site I am willing to learn!
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  23. Very interesting information, Sebastian. Would you have a link to your eBooks by any chance? I’m might be interested.

  24. adsense and banner ads works best for me.Other intext ads such as kontera and infolinks are really useless.I have left sponsoredtweet a long time ago.They prefer only celebrity.afiiliate marketing is also good if you can convince the people to buy the product,otherwise useless,if you have low readership

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