Many people are interested in making money online in their spare time, or leveraging the Internet to establish long term passive and residual income streams. However, most of the material on the Internet appears to focus on starting a website or blog as a means to achieve those objectives.
While creating your own website or blog is certainly a lucrative means to achieving those goals, not everyone is capable or has the interest in going through the process of creating a web property. The good news is that there are ways to make money online without owning a website or blog. I will discuss three of those ways in this article.
Writing articles and monetizing them is one of the quickest and easiest way to generate passive income online. I do not mean writing articles for others in exchange for a payment. Although you can certainly engage in that, doing so would not be establishing a passive income stream, rather merely a job in which you exchange your time and services for money.
What I am a bigger advocate off however is to write keyword focused articles and monetizing them by submitting them to online services such as Infobarrel. Here is how this works. You pick a keyword or a phrase that gets a healthy search demand (number of searches people are conducting for the selected word) as well as a healthy advertising payout (the amount merchants are paying search engines to make their businesses visible anytime web surfers search for the target keyword). I will get to how you do that in a bit.
One you have picked the keyword to write on, write an article of 500 – 1,000 words and submit it to Infobarrel. Infobarrel will then review and publish the article on their website. Each time an Internet user searches for the keyword you wrote the article about, and if the Infobarrel article shows up on the search listings (I will write about how to maximize the chances of getting your article to appear), providing that the Internet user clicks to read the article, Infobarrel will pay you 75% of all advertising revenue it receives.
Infobarrel gets paid by advertisers because it displays ads on its articles, including yours which you submitted. It then shares with you a portion of the ad revenue. This concept is called ad-sharing.
WARNING: Never visit your own live articles to view or click on ads as this would be a violation of Infobarrel’s terms and conditions.
Let’s revisit step one of the process which is to research a keyword that has a healthy search demand and that pays a decent amount for advertisement. I typically go for keywords that get at least 1,000 searches per month, have a competition of less than 100,000 (other articles and websites that target the same keyword) and pay at least $1.50 per ad click. How do you even start finding such keywords?
There is a long and hard way to do it, which I will not cover here. Instead I will discuss the easiest, best and most accurate way to go about this process. There is a keyword research tool out there called Market Samurai, one which I have been using for years very effectively. This is a web based tool that is easy and intuitive to use. Beginners need not worry because Market Samurai has a library of short written and video tutorials that walk you through the process step by step.
You simply type in any keyword on a topic you feel like writing on and Market Samurai will scour the Internet for related keywords that fit the search demand and ad payout criteria that you set. You can modify these criteria any which way you want. Personally I like keywords with at least 1,000 searches monthly, less than 100,000 competitors and $1.50 per click in ad pay-out.
Don’t let keyword research intimidate and stop you from establishing the easiest and quickest passive income stream online. I recommend at least having a look at Market Samurai and assessing what it can do for you. Keyword research is not difficult at all. In fact I am personally addicted to it because Market Samurai makes the process so much fun.
Now that you know how the process works and how to select a profitable keyword to write on, I want to share with you a few optimization tips that will give your article the best chance of outranking other articles on the same topic. This is important because the higher your article ranks on search engine search listings, the more chance that an Internet surfer will click on it to read further.
First, make sure that the keyword of your choice is included in the title of your article, preferably to start your article off. Second, ensure that your keyword appears within the first 90 characters of your article, this would typically be within the first sentence or two. Third, sprinkle your keyword within the body of your article enough times so that your keyword density is 1-2%. Keyword density refers to the number of times your keyword appears as a percentage of the entire article. So if your article is 1,000 words and your keyword is in it 10 times, you have a keyword density of 1% (10 divided by 1,000).
Two additional tips: If you have subheadings to break up your article in smaller topical chunks, include your keyword in at least one sub heading. And finally, come up with some other keywords using Market Samurai that are relevant to your main selected keyword. Try to sprinkle these in your article as well.
Following these guidelines will ensure you have an article that is “search engine optimized”, which essentially means it has the best possibility to outrank other articles written on the same topic.
If you select a keyword that is more competitive but pays really well, you can engage in some advanced Internet marketing strategies, specifically back link building, to ensure that you article outranks your competition, maximizing your long term earning potential from it.
So how much passive income can you generate online through this method? There is no limit. The more you write the more you make. Many writers on Infobarrel and earning a full time living.
Others are writing part time while maintaining their full time jobs while earning more from Infobarrel than they do from their employer. Personally, from only 10 articles, I earn anywhere from $90-$120 per month. The beauty is that this amount comes in automatically without me having to work for it.
You take a few minutes upfront to research an appropriate keyword, write on it, submit it and then you are done. Your article now has the potential to rake in cash as long as the Internet exists and as long as Infobarrel has your article in its database. This is why I believe this is the easiest and most turnkey way to make passive income online.
Excited yet? This one will blow your mind away. With the advent of several reputable and effective self publishing platforms, anyone can author and self publish a book online free of charge. I have repeatedly mentioned on this blog that it is genuinely my belief that everyone has at least one good book in them. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
There is something you know that others may find helpful / valuable. This can be anything related to your profession, passion, hobbies, interests and real life experience. Read how I was able to monetize a real life experience through an eBook here.
Writing an eBook is not at all difficult. Open up any word processor like Microsoft Word and start typing. When done, put together a table of contents and simply convert your document to PDF. The new Microsoft Office has this feature enabled under the “Save As” option. Alternatively, you can download PDF conversion programs such as PDF995 for free.
Once you have your eBook, get a nice eBook cover image designed by freelance designers using services such as Elance. It shouldn’t cost you more than $10-15 bucks. Once you have everything, you are ready to submit your eBook. Three of the biggest and most reputable eBook platforms online are the following:
You can create an account with each of these platforms for free. Once created, you can submit an unlimited number of eBooks over time and benefit from the passive income they generate as more readers are migrating toward reading eBooks thanks to portable and mobile tablet computers and smart phones.
I now have over 20 eBooks online, some selling as low as $9.99 while some selling as high as $179. The pricing process is a bit experimental, but as you can imagine predicated on the topic of your choice as well as the audience you are catering to.
When deciding on a topic to write on, I recommend jotting down topics that fit your knowledge base, personal and professional experience, hobby or interest. You can also look at sites like bid4papers.com and learn what essay topics are the most popular. Once you have a few ideas down, search existing book stores for books on similar topics.
Seeing competition is good because it validates the need for the topic. Better yet, seeing other books on similar topics doing well and receiving several reviews is a sign that you are targeting an active market. Reading reviews of other books also gives insight into what other readers feel, some of their questions and concerns about the topic. This will allow you to create a better product than your competition.
In addition to researching existing book stores online and offline, visit blogs and forums in your selected field / topic and scour for what readers are looking for. Readers often express their needs and frustrations on blogs and forums.
Finally, leverage the Market Samurai program discussed above to determine what kind of search queries web surfers are typing in search engines. For example, if you find that the query “how to grow bamboo” receives 20,000 monthly searches and only has 64,000 competitors online (a good number), you may consider writing a book on the topic if you have any experience or interest in it. You can read more about how to determine what eBook topic to write on here.
There are other ancillary benefits of publishing eBooks. An eBook can establish you as an expert in your chosen field or industry. An eBook can lead to bigger and better opportunities for you, such as television interviews and speaking engagements, or it can help you land your dream job by showing commitment to your profession. It may also be a way to break into a whole new career or field of profession.
If you have your own website or blog, or someday decide to create one, presenting your eBook on it will instantly give you more credibility and not to mention an opportunity for more direct sales.
Like I said, anyone can write and self publish an eBook today for free. We all know something that someone else can benefit from. I have spent a considerable amount of time preparing a full, comprehensive series on researching, writing and successfully selling eBooks.
Doing paid surveys online is another relatively easy way to make money online, however unlike writing articles for Infobarrel and self publishing eBooks, this method of making money online is not passive or residual because you are paid per survey completed.
There is a way to earn passive income from paid surveys if you refer other survey takers, but unless you have a website or blog that you can leverage, the referral business can get tiring real quick. Many paid survey takers refer others by posting their affiliate links on discussion forums and online bulletin boards such as FaceBook discussion groups and Twitter feeds.
Earlier in the article, I mentioned that the easiest way to generate passive income online is by writing and submitting articles to Infobarrel. But note that I mentioned “passive”. This is an important point because there is no easier way to “make” money online than completing paid surveys. You sign up with a survey site, you take surveys and you get paid for it. It is really that simple.
Two of the best paid survey sites in my experience are Vindale and CashCrate. You can view a full list of my top survey sites here. You can also read my article on how to make money online with paid surveys for a more comprehensive discussion on this topic.
All three methods discussed to make money online without owning a website or blog can be outsourced to freelancers and virtual assistants. For example, I have leveraged one of my virtual assistant’s knowledge on kitchen design to have her write an eBook which I successfully sell online today. Similarly, I have had freelance technical writers write several articles for me, and other freelance designers create eBook covers.
The point is, once you know how the process works, you can outsource several or all tasks and act in a capacity of a project manager. Read my article on how I leverage virtual assistants to generate more money online and at the same time make my life much simpler and easier.
I hope you found this article helpful as it clears some of the misnomers commonly found on the Internet with regard to making money online. While owning your own website or blog is definitely advantageous, there are several ways to make money online without owning your own blog or website. Three relatively easy and lucrative methods are discussed above.
Readers: What are some other lucrative ways to make money online without owning a website or blog? Which methods do you prefer the most and why? What are some of your questions and concerns with regard to generating income online?
Today I want to share an email I received from Sandra a couple weeks back. Sandra is an Extra Money Blog reader who emailed me with the following message:
I just wanted to send you copy of my first check doing surveys, now to apply everything that you had taught us. Thanks for everything you do.
I am able to share this email and check image with you thanks to Sandra’s permission. When I first started in internet marketing, I was constantly exposed to bloggers and marketers touting how much they make online, but eventually that gets a bit old.
What helps sometimes is to see others (the average reader) able to replicate the success and share it to inspire others who are aiming to achieve the same. The message here is that if I can, so can Sandra, and if Sandra can so can anyone else. I hope Sandra’s email has satisfied some of that today.
If you are wondering how Sandra was able to make her first $50, she signed up with Vindale, a reputable New York based market research company that pays people for testing various products and services (you get to keep the products at the end of the test). They also offer surveys and focus groups both locally in your area as well as over the phone.
I’ve made a significant amount of money with Vindale over the years, initially as a participant and more recently as a lead generator to their program. Vindale rewards me with $5 each time I successfully refer a candidate. You can read my full review of Vindale here.
I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating. You can make some good money with get paid to companies such as Vindale, but the real money can be made by leveraging your web presence. I used to participate in Vindale’s offers, but over time referring others have become more lucrative for me as my web presence has grown over time.
Similarly, there are other such “Get Paid To” companies that I promote on some of my niche sites. CashCrate is another good example. You can see a list of these companies here. These companies collectively are responsible for generating a few thousand dollars for me each and every month.
Sandra, thank you for sharing your success with us and I wish you more continued success in the future.
Readers: It is often said that seeing is believing, and that is why social proof works so well. Do sharing examples like Sandra’s provide you more inspiration? Does it instill belief in you that “it can be done”?
My CashCrate review, which is one of the greatest “get paid to” programs I have tested…
Throughout the time I’ve made money from paid surveys and trial offers, CashCrate has been going and growing along the way for me, mostly because of their excellent referral commission program.
Because this company is one of the best at what it does, I have never seen as many blogs, forums, discussion boards and dedicated websites discussing another “get paid to” company as much as CashCrate. Unfortunately there are not as many good, detailed CashCrate review sites out there.
And as if the company is not solid enough, this past holiday season, the CEO of CashCrate Joe Coleman sends me an unexpected letter and holiday greeting card thanking me for my efforts. Enclosed in the letter was a nifty gift card to Amazon.com. Thank You Joe.
Because I started getting a flood of emails about the company, couple years back I decided to compile a dedicated CashCrate review. Few months after writing the review, I wrote another section on additional tips and strategies specifically for CashCrate that one can use to expedite their earnings on the program.
How? By cutting down the time it takes to complete offers and thereby effectively earning more on a per hour basis. There are some cool short cuts that I learned when I was completing paid offers, and I have summarized those in my tips and strategies section.
These strategies essentially cut your offer completion time. How? There are FREE tools you can download online that will automatically fill in the blank fields and clear your cookies each time you complete a paid offer.
The best thing is that the strategies and shortcuts that I discuss are not just specific to CashCrate, and can be applied to pretty much any other survey site. So while it is a lengthy read, it is definitely worth the time to go over.
CashCrate is one of my most profitable “get paid to” programs. The biggest reason for this is that they reward 20% in commissions from all first level earnings and 10% from second level. Earnings are also residual in nature, in the sense that you keep getting paid as long as your referrals keep completing offers.
This is quite remarkable and more than any other company will pay you. In addition, they also pay $3 whenever your referral earns $10 from the program. There are some screenshots of some of my old checks from CashCrate in the Proof section above if you’d like to see an example.
If you are interested in this avenue of generating income online, you might want to check out my detailed CashCrate review here. I have also included a video that will show you how to implement some other strategies so you can quickly get started. Make sure you visit the CashCrate review link above as it is a more comprehensive and detailed review than this post.