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.
You can start reading the full series here.
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?Previous: A List of Tax Benefits of Starting a Home Business & Getting Ahead in Life
Great post! Most IMers don’t talk about all the different ways people can make money online without creating a blog or even having a website. However, like you mention there are a bunch of ways. While I am personally not a fan of online surveys due to the low pay for a lot of work, I do like the idea of making eBooks and writing articles. You can also make apps too without a website! 🙂
true, although with an app you still need at least a single page for support reference. what are some strategies that are working well for you today?
Great Information on how to make money online. In my humble opinion the easiest way to making money online right now is through Kindle Publishing; publishing Kindle Books on Amazon making passive income EVERY MONTH. On my blog I show people the process; step-by-step on how to create a profitable Kindle Business online.
Lavonte, please share with us briefly your top 3 strategies that make selling on Kindle profitable for you? many of our readers are interested in how to market/get more exposure
Your post provides an excellent insight on how to carve an income path in the online world without having a website/blog. It would be a good idea to explore the virtual landscape as an earning resource first without owning a website to save funds.
Writing articles or e-books are two of my preferred ways to begin the online journey to reach some financial goals, without a website/blog.
right Sid, you can certainly test the waters. that said, a website is not that big of a financial investment these days anymore.
Sunil, more than 20 ebooks? Did i read that right?
My VAs are fumbling here, trying to complete my first e-book all this while yet they kept on posponing date and time for me. I own the idea and also gave them the work-through but just for them to complete it for me.
When I get settled (probably next week) I will take it upon myself to write and complete an ebook on my own single handedly – i guess that should take me a week.
BTW: Have you ever done split test in your sales copy? Have you ever used video and if yes, which one converts better, vid or text?
hi Sheyi – you did read that right, and the goal is to produce more this year.
if you know your topic well I find it’s easier, and better quality to write yourself. I have run some split testing, but only getting into video now. I would like to hear more about your experience as you get into it however. all the best with your ebook(s)
I like how you mention that they can all be outsourced. I think that is the most important point because if you can have someone else do it then you can focus on something else to make your more money.
totally Mike – arbitrage works wonders in this industry, especially if you’re a high wage earner
Thanks for this expensive revelation. Please those paid surveys, do they accept all country? and can i use google keyword tool for my keyword research?. Thanks
you can certainly use the Google tool, though it has some limitations and the process can take you a very long time to execute correctly. more and more paid survey companies are opening up overseas, but many are restrictive. there are a good number of them however open to most Asians, Europeans, Canadians, South Americans and Australians
Thanks you for your sincere reply. Please how long does the free trial of market samurai last? I really appreciate your kind support.
I believe it is 30 days – it’s been a while since I first downloaded it (but still use it!). are you thinking about getting it?
Yea am thinking of getting it, though the paid version is expensive. Please can i be linking to you via my blog?
sure Theodore. there is a discount for market samurai as well, so take the trial first and see how it goes for you. I remember getting the discount offer during that time.
I love how you share various ways to make money without a website/blog. It’s a good start for begginers. However, for long-term approach, people should create their own blogs to have full control of what they are doing 🙂
definitely Robert, nothing like owning your own platform. but for those who don’t want it or can’t have it, there are plenty other ways
Really liked reading this post. I am an Indian. Just wanted to know whether I can earn money doing paid surveys staying at home or I might get problem being Indian?
sure, there are several companies open to Indian residents. however, not all are right now. keep an eye out however as these are slowly opening up over time, especially recognizing the potential in the Indian market.
Great ideas on article writing. I’d also add that you should always remain responsible for your marketing, whether you do it yourself or outsource it. A great free way of having an online presence without any financial outlay is to set up a Facebook FanPage. You can promote, market and make yourself known without running a formal website.
great point Jim. social media is a great turnkey method to establish quick web presence
Great blog. excellent information. I hope to be able to put all the information you shared to use.
and I hope to hear back from you about your experiences
I really liked the writing of an eBook! Although, I am writing articles as we speak but wasn’t sure as to how to generate passive income from it. I would write the article and have the affiliate link within the article, but it’s not generating any leads.
Sheila, can you tell us a bit more in detail what it is you are doing, what kind of experience are you having and how we/I can help?
Great blog! Very informative and honest:)
thx for stopping by Margo
Its like you read my mind! You appear to grasp a lot about
this, such as you wrote the ebook in it or something.
I believe that you simply can do with some p.c. to drive the message home
a little bit, however instead of that, this is wonderful blog.
A great read. I will definitely be back.
Great Post! a lot of useful information here. good blog. thanks
welcome to the blog MN
This is awesome. A great overview showing a lot of ways to generate an income online. I’m swaying towards the ebook route and planning to get my first done by mid-summer. Have heard about outsourcing parts of it but would really like full control over the content. Can the survey route really be profitable?
Peter, my position on surveys has always been that the real $ is when you can amass a followership that you refer to these companies. otherwise, you can make a good amount of spare change (few hundred) bucks on the side. many are happy with that. i love books because of their passive nature and scaleability
I really enjoyed your article.Thanks so Much
Great list. Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online, stay away from survey sites!
Great site my friend and amazing job helping people to make money online 🙂