Be a remote worker? Make money online? A few years ago we didn’t even know this was possible or if it was just a dream that few people lived. Nowadays we are digital nomads and, of course, we have a very different opinion! We know that it is quite possible to make money online and it is easier than many people think.
In the first 2 years, we earned close to 15,000€ working online, in several different ways. It is not a lot, but it was more than enough to support our life while traveling the world. In the meantime, we met dozens of people who have also decided to work online and become remote workers. Many of them doing very different things in the online world.
You can work online too! Whether it’s to become a digital nomad and travel the world, or a remote worker and work from home and spend more time with your friends and family!
There are endless possibilities to make money on the Internet, however, they can all be grouped into a few categories. In this article, we will show you and explain the only 5 ways to make money online and also give you some tips on how to get started!
1 – Online Job
Having a job no longer has to mean a “prison” from 9 to 5/6. This reality is increasingly disappearing and many people are already escaping the corporate office (and boring) life. Every day there are more companies hiring remotely and people becoming remote workers.
Why? Because companies nowadays want useful, quality work time instead of “office time” where a large part of it is wasted on social networks on the sly. (shhh, it’s a secret)
Many jobs are already fully or partially digital. And many companies are willing to give their employees the freedom and responsibility to work in a comfortable space, anywhere in the world at the most productive time of the day, in exchange for quality work.
According to a study by Global Workplace Analytics, working remotely greatly increases employee satisfaction and productivity.
Many companies are already realizing the advantages of remote work and are making the transition. Then, there are companies like Buffer, a US company, valued at several million euros, which became 100% remote in 2015 and today has hundreds of workers spread all over the world!
How to find job opportunities online?
One very positive point of working remotely is that you can apply for job opportunities from anywhere in the world. However, it also has a big disadvantage which is that the competition for that spot is also global. So to get a job online often requires education and preferably experience in the field.
These are some popular platforms where you can search for online jobs:
Facebook Groups are also a very good place to try to find for remote work opportunities, here are some groups we are in:
- Remote Work
- Remote Work & Jobs for Digital Nomads
- Digital Nomad Jobs – Remote Work From Anywhere
- Remote Jobseekers
- Remote/Work from Home Jobs
2 – Freelancing
What is a freelancer?
A freelancer is an autonomous professional who is hired to provide a certain service to companies or individual clients, either for one-off jobs or projects over a certain period of time.
Being a freelancer is the fastest way to start working online and to make money on the Internet. And being that these jobs are performed digitally, freelancers have the freedom to create their own schedules and work from wherever they want.
Freelancers are also a very powerful “tool” for any project or company for two main reasons:
- They are qualified professionals for specific roles and therefore do not need training or much preparation to complete them;
- They do not have an official connection to the company and therefore companies avoid the normal expenses of an employee, such as insurance and redundancy.
Freelancing is an increasingly popular concept around the world. For example, in the U.S. it is estimated that about 40% of the working population does or has done freelance work before. And this number is growing every year! On top of that, 51% of freelancers say they would not go back to a “normal” job no matter what the salary was.
What jobs does a freelancer do?
There are hundreds of different jobs that freelancers can do online. From simpler tasks, such as administration or translating texts, to more complex tasks, such as project management or digital marketing consulting.
Each freelance job requires different skills and experience, and consequently, the payments will also be different in each case.
Examples of valuable freelance skills and jobs in high demand in 2020: Programming, Web & App development, Facebook & Google Ads, SEO & SEM, 3D, etc.
These are some of the most popular freelancer sites:
On these freelancer sites, you can see more examples of jobs you can do as a freelancer online. Or you can sign up to apply for available jobs and start to make money online.
How to get started as a freelancer? (5 steps)
Freelancing is the easiest way to start working on the internet and the process of becoming a freelancer is relatively simple. However, it requires determination and some soft skills such as persistence, communication with clients, negotiation skills, among others…
If you want to become a freelancer, we recommend you follow these steps:
- Choose a skill, with market value, to learn (if you don’t already have one).
- Study and learn as much as you can about that skill.
Read books and articles, listen to podcasts, watch Youtube videos… Or if you want high-quality content, taught by top professionals and organized in the form of online courses, sign up in Skillshare, a kind of giant digital university. Click on this link and we offer you the first 2 months!
- Practice, practice, practice!
Only by practicing can any skill be improved. Put the skill into practice! Do it several times. Try different methods. Offer work to friends or even interested clients you might find in communities and practice until you get confident with it.
- Get involved in the field and keep up to date.
This step is essential for the success of any internet business.
4.1 Follow and be inspired by the greatest references in the field.
4.2 Participate and learn from online communities: Facebook groups, Reddit, etc.
4.3 Go to related events, meet influential people, exchange ideas, and learn from other´s experiences. Networking is very important!
- Finding clients
You can find clients in many places: On freelance platforms, Facebook groups, social networks, and word of mouth. In all these cases you need to develop a reputation and/or earn positive reviews. We suggest starting by offering free work to a few clients in exchange for reviews, and of course, always deliver the best work possible. It may take a while to get off the ground, but it will get easier over time!
We also advise you to create your own website, where you can display your portfolio with all the work you have done over time. In addition, having your own website will give your brand much more credibility.
Create your own website now with this free complete guide!
3 – Digital Entrepreneurship
With the creation of the TravelB4Settle brand, we found that we are passionate about digital entrepreneurship. However, we are fully aware that being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. Life as an entrepreneur is busy and unstable, requires a lot of effort and sacrifices…
Being a digital entrepreneur is indeed the hardest way to work online and make money on the Internet. However, it has gigantic potential!
If you consider yourself a fighter, if you are willing to “fall down and get up” as many times as it takes until you reach your goals, entrepreneurship may be for you!
What is entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is based on the creation of initiatives, projects, or businesses with the goal of solving a problem in society, filling a market need, or creating innovative products or services.
Entrepreneurship is a term with a rather broad definition but is very much linked to creativity and innovation, the creation of start-ups with few or no resources. The main focus of entrepreneurship is to solve a problem in society or in any area of business.
Examples of Digital Entrepreneurship
As a digital entrepreneur, the sky is the limit. You can lead and get involved in as many online projects and businesses as you want. You can create a huge impact on society and in the world, in the areas you really care about and believe in most. And of course, your freedom and financial comfort will accompany you in your progress.
These are some examples of online businesses you can create to become a digital entrepreneur:
- Create an online product: app, courses, software, etc.
- Create a niche website/blog.
- Online Store (e-commerce, dropshipping, etc).
- Affiliate Marketing (sales funnels).
The strategy for implementing and expanding any of these online business ideas will involve a strong investment in Digital Marketing.
A very positive point of digital entrepreneurship is that it has an infinite margin of progression. Unlike freelancers who “trade time for money”, entrepreneurs “invest time” in creating products and automated systems. Once systems are set and automated, income can be made passively, releasing time to invest in other projects or businesses.
How to start an online business? (5 steps)
As we said before, being a digital entrepreneur is not for everyone. It requires a lot of dedication, long workdays, and a lot of strength to endure the times when things go less well. Because you can be sure, there will be times like that!
If you consider you have an entrepreneurial spirit and would like to work on the internet this way, here are 5 tips to start an online business:
- Decision: Type of business, industry and target audience
We strongly advise you to go into an area that you have passion or experience in. Do a market analysis (and introspective), to decide what type of business is missing in the market or that you feel you have something to offer. Is it an online store with social media communication? Or a blog that solves a problem and references your services?
Lastly, determine with as much detail as possible who your target audience is. This way your brand will have a much more effective branding and message, and your results will reflect that.
- Education and preparation
It’s very unlikely that you won’t need to learn something new to launch your business. You may have been in medicine for 20 years, but if you want to create a health blog, you have to learn how to create a website, write attractively, among other things…
The good news is that these days, you can learn anything on the internet! If you want to save time and learn from quality content, we highly recommend Skillshare. It is like a giant online university, with thousands of courses in every field you can imagine, and always taught by people who are references in the field. The best part? We offer the first 2 months free if you click on this link. (If at the end of the 2 months you don’t like it, you can leave without paying anything).
- Design, Test and Launch
This is the hardest and slowest phase. The phase of creating the online store, the software, the sales funnel, etc. Use all the tools and knowledge you gain along the way to create the best platform, the best user experience, and the best customer product possible. It’s important to make sure that the message and emotions the brand conveys are in line with the purpose of the business and the target audience.
“Better done than perfect” – A phrase said by someone somewhere, but that we use every day!
One of our biggest flaws is perfectionism. But things don’t have to be perfect to be launched. Just “good” is enough to launch, do a market test and understand what works and what doesn’t, and what needs to be improved. The most important thing is the constant analysis and improvement over time.
- Business Plan: Digital Marketing
At this point, you should already have your business set up and ready to convert from the point it receives a visitor until there is a sale. Now it is important to stipulate a business plan, with short and long-term goals, and digital marketing strategies to achieve those goals.
Opening an online business and ignoring digital marketing is like opening a restaurant in the middle of nowhere and not telling anyone.
The main digital marketing channels for achieving traffic to an online business are social media, search engines (both organic), and paid advertising. All work differently, but all have huge potential.
Email marketing is essential. Collect the contact information (email) of the business’ visitors or customers to have closer communication is a step that never should be overlooked! You can do this by offering something FREE to convince the visitor to give you his personal info (this is called lead magnet).
Only brands that are well established in the market or have a larger financial budget can and should invest in the full spectrum of Digital Marketing. To begin with, we advise you to only dedicate 100% to one or two channels that make the most sense for your target audience. If you become a reference (or bigger) on one channel it is easier to expand to others. For example, we started by investing more seriously in Instagram, and today we are already on Facebook and starting Youtube.
If Instagram is the social media channel you want to start by investing your time and energy as well, we recommend you to do the same course as we did on how to grow and monetize an Instagram account. Follow this link and get 50% discount.
- Optimize and expand
If the business is in place, is already getting some traffic and converting some sales, now is the time to optimize and expand. Some optimization ideas are:
- Optimize the digital marketing channels that are already being used to bring more traffic to the business with the same energy applied. (Example: plan and focus on practices that bring more results and stop those that bring little)
- Optimize the layout of the platform to offer a more pleasant experience to the visitor.
- Optimize the entire communication and process of the business to generate more sales.
Evolution of an online business is the constant optimization of its weakest points.
If that is the goal, there are several ways to expand an online business. You can expand your target audience, either geographically or to other types of customers. You can invest in other digital marketing channels or increase the amount of products/services you offer. A key step in expanding any business is to delegate secondary tasks to other people or even hire professionals for specific tasks.
4 – Digital Influencer (or creating an audience)
Even though we also consider Digital Influencer to be a way of digital entrepreneurship, we decided to create its own section because it has different concepts.
“Influencer” is a term that many people don’t like, especially people who use social media as marketing tools for their business (like us).
There are several ways to make money by growing an audience on social media, but we will start with the classic concept of a digital influencer.
What is a digital influencer?
A digital influencer, or influencer, is basically someone who focuses on creating an audience on social media and monetizing that audience by advertising other companies products or services that make sense to that audience.
A digital influencer can be a content creator who creates educational videos on YouTube or someone who posts the biggest nonsense content on Instagram or TikTok. The point is that, with consistent content creation, you are able to create an audience (on one or more social networks) and developing relationships with them, gaining their trust.
Think with us…
When was the last time you paid attention to a traditional, TV commercial or a billboard on a busy street? Right…
We are much more likely to buy something that someone we trust has recommended to us than to buy something just because we saw it on TV… It is this influence that content creators have on their audiences that brands are looking for. And the strategy of using the influence of content creators to spread the word about our business is called influencer marketing.
According to a study by Influencer Marketing Hub, influencer marketing generates 3 times more ROI (return on investment) than traditional advertising methods, generating on average, more than $6.5 for every $1 invested. For some reason the money invested in influencer marketing in 2020 will reach $8 billion worldwide, tripling the 2016 figures.
Alternative methods to make money on the internet with an audience
The best-known way to make money on the internet through an audience is by being a digital influencer. In which brands monetarily sponsor the creation of content exposing their products or services on the creator’s channels.
However, these are some alternative methods to monetize creating content for social media and growing an entire audience:
- Affiliate Marketing: The promoter receives a percentage for each sale they make through their affiliate links or promo-codes. It’s great for getting started and has giant potential. If the product is relevant, a small creator can generate thousands in sales.
- In-Stream ads: Platforms like Youtube and Facebook Watch pay content creators every time they show ads in their videos. Income is proportional to the number of views. (Youtube money calculator)
- Selling your own products or services: A content creator can have his own store with merchandise or sell his own services like consulting and mentoring.
How to be a digital influencer? (Or how to grow an audience?)
This is a somewhat complex question because all social networks are different and have their own algorithm (which change over time). However, there are some concepts that are common to all social networks, and that will help you grow your page or pages:
- First of all, forget all those “tricks” you find on the Internet to grow your page quickly. You will have to win each follower just with the quality of your content!
- What area will you focus on and what do you have different to offer?
This is a very strong question that you need to have well answered.
- What is your target audience?
The more specific your “perfect follower” is in your mind, the more effective your communication will be. Consequently, you will attract the target audience you want.
- Create quality content.
This is the premise of any social network. You have to create content that is interesting, educational, entertaining, or shocking. Above all, you have to create content that your target audience wants to consume.
- Develop relationships with your audience. (This is the most important part)
Interact with your audience, respond to comments and messages, find ways to engage them in your content, challenge them and give them things! Show that on “this side” is a human and that your followers have reasons to follow, remember and trust you!
- Never stop learning and outdo yourself.
Learn from references in your field, read articles, listen to podcasts, complete online courses. Constant learning is essential to the success of any business. The day you think you know it all, you start losing! Make sure that every piece of content you create is better than the last. Take advantage of two free months on the Skillshare platform to learn about anything you want, online, from the best in each field.
- Optimize your business structure and maximize your earnings.
Make sure you have your links in the right places and visually appealing. Associate yourself with brands that you use and believe in and negotiate special campaigns for your audience. Promote products and services in a natural way when it makes sense. Make sure the products you promote have the impact you want on your audience.
Want to learn more about Instagram and how to monetize it?
- Take the same course we did when we first started! (50% discount).
- Or download our Instagram Starter Pack, which contains a mini-course and a pack of filters (presets), all for free!
5 – Online Investor
This is, without a doubt, the way of making money online that we are least aware of. It is complex and has its risks, especially for those who have studied little about it. However, it is a legitimate way to earn an income online and it has enormous potential!
Investing online is a great supplement to any of the other 4 ways to make money on the Internet. Our day only has 24 hours… If you invest your time in a certain project from which you start getting a good financial return, why not put your money to work for you in other projects?
Where can we invest online?
There are several financial applications where you can invest your money: investing in the stock market, cryptocurrencies, Forex, etc.
If you are interested in knowing more about the different financial applications where you can invest your money, read this article by Jean Galea: I’m New to Online Investing, Where do I Start From?
Besides financial investments, another place where you can invest your money is in projects and businesses you believe in. This way you can help start-ups to implement themselves in the market and you can create an impact in the world and society in the areas that are dearest to you and that you believe in the most.
You can invest the Revolut application in gold, cryptocurrency, and in the stock market. You can read more about this subject in our article “Revolut Card – Revolutionize your travels, your life, your future!” (not available yet).
You may already be aware of some company or idea and decide to help or negotiate a deal. If this is not your case, you can find companies, startups or just innovative concepts on various platforms.
There are crowdfunding platforms, such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter, where you can help a startup with funding in exchange for products in special campaigns before they go on sale to the public.
And there are also equity crowdfunding platforms where you can invest in the startups themselves by buying a certain percentage of the companies. If you want to know more about these platforms you can read the article “Top 10 Equity Crowdfunding Sites for Investors & Entrepreneurs” por parte dos MoneyCrashers.
Why invest money online?
Usually, we are taught from a young age to keep our money in the bank. We are convinced that “money in the bank pays off”. The truth is that with the rate of inflation, thousands of Euros in the bank give only a few Euros of return per year.
If you are comfortable financially, maybe you should consider investing your money in smarter places than just “in the bank”. Getting into the habit of investing little by little is a good way to build your retirement and not depend on the government for your future.
As you can see, there are endless possibilities to work online. Make money online is no longer a dream, it is a very possible reality. Especially if you give in return what it takes: learning, dedication, and a lot of persistence. Then it’s just a matter of time!
We hope this article has helped you to clarify some concepts and that it has helped you to decide which way of making money on the Internet interests you the most and that suits your personality better. It is important to understand the differences between all of them, the lifestyle they provide, and the financial potential of each.
Now we are curious, which way of making money on the internet interested you the most?!
Let us know in the comments!
Kisses and hugs,