Blog Post

6 Tried and True Ways to Make Money Online

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

So you want a job that allows you to work from home or café while connecting online with people around the globe? But none of our new ways to make money online suit? Consider whether one of these more proven pathways to earning income online might be right for you.

Publish an ad-supported website. Create a blog or other site about a topic you have some passion for and knowledge of, put advertising related to the content on it, and wait for the revenue to roll in.

Of course, it’s not that easy to make big money this way. You not only have to build up substantial traffic, you need traffic from people who click on ads. You need to create an evergreen archive of useful articles that will draw people in through search engines and also keep people coming with fresh new content. You need to place your ads so they’ll attract clicks without cluttering up the pages so much that readers never return.

Google’s Adsense is the best-known of contextual advertising services, but you might also want to check Yahoo! Publisher Network or Clicksor. You can also sell sponsorships directly to advertisers or see if your site qualifies for a boutique advertising network like Federated Media Publishing, to which Web Worker Daily belongs via the GigaNet.

Open an online store. Create your own e-store and do some C2C (consumer to consumer) or B2C (business to consumer) e-commerce — doesn’t that sound just like 1999? But it still represents one of the best ways to make money online.

You can sell stuff that you stock and ship yourself or use a drop shipping service to handle those logistics for you. You can sign up for an account with a small business store host like Yahoo! Merchant Solutions, which offers site design tools, a product catalog builder, and of course shopping cart and checkout services. Or, even easier, turn your existing website or MySpace page into a store with a tool like BlinkCart.

Sell software or other downloadables online. This is a variation of opening an online store, easier in that you don’t have to stock baby gear in your basement and harder in that “information wants to be free.”

Actually, it’s people who want information to be free and they’re getting used to freely-available documents, videos, and software online. Still, if you tantalize visitors with a taste of what you offer, you may be able to sell premium content like a downloadable ebook or a more fully-featured version of your software.

Earn affiliate commissions. You act as a salesperson for another store online — posting images or links to their products on your website and then getting paid when someone clicks through and buys. Amazon, eBay, and Cafepress all run affiliate programs. ProBlogger Darren Rowse has some great tips on using affiliate programs on your blog, including this important one: “Genuine recommendations and personal endorsements always work best.”

Serve subscription content and services. If your content is so compelling that people will pay outright for it, sell monthly or yearly subscriptions and put it behind a subscription wall. This might be a hard sell, given the plethora of free options online. But many companies have made it work, from The Wall Street Journal to 37Signals to AOL (for a while, anyway).

Write online content. Sell your articles to ad or subscription-supported websites. Look for opportunities on job boards — MediaBistro and ProBlogger both offer them, for example. Or find an ad-supported website that you like and contact the editor directly. Note that pay for freelance writing is generally pretty low, reflecting the large supply of writers looking for work. Some blogging gigs don’t pay at all, except in increased visibility and possibly bonuses tied to pageviews.

You can also find online writing jobs by browsing more general job boards like Monster or, visiting the job search engine at, or searching Craigslist — and of course those are all good places to search for any jobs that might allow you to work remotely and use the web to connect, such as one possibility we profiled recently, online community manager.

Related posts:

35 Responses to “6 Tried and True Ways to Make Money Online”

  1. I want to be straight forward the best way to become a millionaire is to know how to add or multiply your investments.
    This little secret in not known by most people.For sure there companies ready to work for you but to find the true and real on may be hard.
    you can try may ways but what you need is the true way or to get some one to show you a way out.

  2. Great infomation but ive noticed the adsense are not paying as well fomr my blogs so ive gone back to Cpa and wordpress blog using Cpa as it seems more profitable then Google, Love your website and thanks for the read


  3. In addition to the 6 tried and true ways to make money online you’ve mentioned in your post, I would add consulting services. Whether your expertise (consulting) is offered and advertised on your own blog or other blogs or even both, you can help teach others via email or via telephone.

  4. Bloggers can also earn money with online music stores that offer free music as a part of promotional program. This way you attract traffic, get more returning visitors and get paid if your visitors register with music sites. So as you can see it’s slightly different from ordinary affiliate program.
    how to start this and earn good money Look at

  5. One other site that pays people for online content is Triond ( They let you upload any kind of material through a centralized site, and then they publish the material on a variety of different content sites. Triond splits the revenues that your content generates with you.

  6. Great article – I have tried pretty much all of the methods you mention and I can attest that they all bring in money. The key is you need to put forth enough content and effort on a regular basis.

    Like the saying goes, “Nothing worthwhile is easy”.