We’re in a time when traditional bricks-and-mortar jobs – especially the kind that pay a living wage and offer full benefits – are becoming increasingly scarce. At the same time, opportunities to make money online are increasing all the time.
We may even be in a major shift in the occupational landscape, one of historic proportions. Just as workers went from farms to factories more than a century ago, and from factories to office suites more than 50 years ago, there may be a shift toward Internet jobs taking place in our own time.
If that’s the case, where are the best job opportunities? When it comes to the Internet, there aren’t too many jobs, at least not as we traditionally define them. But there is incredible opportunity! That being the case, the question needs to be rephrased: where are the best income opportunities on the Internet?
More people are making money blogging than ever before. However it is also true that more people are blogging than ever before, and most of them aren't making any money at all. How do you join the ranks of moneymaking bloggers?
Increasingly, the more profitable blogging opportunities are found in specific niches. If you are an expert in areas such as finance, credit cards, careers, insurance, travel deals, and even auto repair, the rewards can be rich. This is because these are areas that are wide open to advertising offers. And that's what blogs run on – advertising revenue.
The blogger establishes a site that specializes in a popular niche, draws a large audience, and is eventually approached by advertisers, who may want to either place paid ads on the site, or include the site in affiliate offers focused on selling their products and services.
Blogging is becoming an increasingly specialized niche, so you have to do a considerable amount of research to find out what works. But all the research in the world won't beat real-world experience! If you start a blog, you’ll have to be prepared to work with it for many months, and even a year or more, before you even start making money.
But even if the blog doesn’t make any money, you may gain valuable experience and exposure, that will enable you to branch out into other opportunities. Some blogs function primarily to direct readers to the specific products and services that are offered by the blog owner. This can include financial services, e-books, or even specialized products and services.
Social Media Manager
The whole concept of social media is relatively new, and the field as a potential career or business opportunity is still forming. But business and industry are becoming keenly aware of the value of the social media in drawing attention. Increasingly, social media is coming to be recognized as an advertising platform. If you are fluid in the social media, particularly Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, you may be able to provide paid services for a variety of businesses.
The key is to be able to use the social media to draw attention to a website or a business. If you can, career opportunities are growing in the field. Not only is there demand for social media managers, but there are also some spinoff capacities, such as social media strategists and social media coordinators.
Some of these opportunities may come in the form of a formal job, but they can just as easily be fulfilled either on a contract basis, or as a business-to-business service. If you’re good at social media you can make this happen.
This is a way to make money online then I’m partial to, mainly because it’s what I do. If you like to write, and you are particularly well-versed in two or three common areas, there are opportunities to write for various blogs and other types of websites.
Blogging was once a fairly simple affair, in which all tasks can be handled by the site owner, but the level of complication is growing. Many blog owners today spend most of their time creating and maintaining the site, and especially marketing it across the web. Most of their time is consumed on these tasks, so they will often subcontract out content creation to freelancers.
A typical blog post runs anywhere from 600 to 1,000 words, and pays anywhere from $15 to $60 each, depending upon your skill and experience. If you’re just starting out, you can get your name out there by guest posting for free on popular websites. This will enable you to build up a portfolio of published work that you can use to actively solicit paying clients.
One of the many advantages of freelance writing on the web is that you can do it on either a part-time or full-time basis. I started doing it as a side venture, but now it’s my main income source. You’re completely home-based, and you can work anywhere there’s an Internet connection. That opens incredible opportunities.
This is one of the more challenging ways to make money online, but it is also one of the richest. If you have access to a product line, particularly one that you are very knowledgeable about, you will market directly online through a dedicated website. You can also offer it on an affiliate basis, in which you market your product on other websites, paying the site owner a commission on each sale.
It's always best when the product is very specific, fills a unique niche, and isn’t readily available at your friendly neighborhood big-box retailer.
This is a highly specialized area, and if you plan to enter it you’ll need to do a considerable amount of research beforehand. A good place to start is Steve Chou’s website My Wife Quit Her Job. Steve and his wife are earning six figures per year, selling wedding handkerchiefs. Now there’s a niche if ever there was one – but that’s the basic idea.
Servicing the web community
If you have solid web and internet-related skills, you can often find income opportunities by providing various services to established websites and blogs. This could include being a content manager for a blog, an SEO manager, a social media manager, creating YouTube videos, or even working with the more technical aspects of building and maintaining sites.
People often learn these skills well before graduating from high school or college, and have more income potential than they realize. It’s likely that most of the blogs and websites available and coming online each year are started by people who have only minimal web and Internet experience. If your abilities are simply above average, you may have more potential clients than you could ever imagine.
Inventory the skills you have in regard to both the Internet and with websites. If you are particularly good at one or two areas, you might want to market your skills directly to site owners, and see what turns up. If you can do well with a small number of sites, you can get enough referrals to keep your business going on an ongoing basis.
One of the biggest advantages of making money online is that the Internet is in a constant state of flux. That cycle of change creates an almost limitless number of opportunities. Making money online is often just a matter of matching your specific skills to the current market demands. The best course, very often, is to go for it and see what happens. My guess is that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you find.
Are you making money online? What could you suggest to others who’d like to do it too?