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Content Marketing and Making Money: 8 Ways to Earn Online

How hard is it to make money online? Explore 8 ways content marketing and freelance work can bring you income, via the Grey Matters podcast.

Content marketing and creation as a sustainable income source

[0:00] – Introducing this episode: 8 ways to make money online.

  • Content marketing is not a guaranteed path to riches; it takes years for even a full-time content creator before they could look at their income and feel some sense of security.
  • However, one can find success in the online world; and it is a matter of when, not if.
  • There are 8 ways to make money online.

[9:28] –  The first is through advertising.

  • Google has a program called AdSense, which allows you to place a piece of code on your website, which will then deliver ads to your website that are relevant to (1) the type of content that is being served on your website and (2) the type of people that come to your website. 
  • You are paid a tiny percentage of money when people access these ads or click these links; however, there won’t be a ton of revenue from this.
  • Nevertheless, it is good for baseline revenue–and if you generate a lot of traffic, it can indeed add up. 
  • While most content creators don't make great money this way, delivering  good, compelling content to a niche marketplace can mean a fair amount of revenue coming in.

– The second is via affiliate marketing.

  • The easiest way to make money at the start is through affiliate marketing.
  • Amazon has an affiliate program where if you review and recommend products, people click on the link that you provide to purchase the product. Amazon gives you a very small commission on each purchase done in this manner. 
  • You can be an affiliate for online courses, software tools, productivity tools, or anything else, for as long as you help people discover and make a purchase decision.

[14:34] – The third is via consulting.

  • Using your reach, the connections that you make, and the information you share, you can build some sort of a traditional consulting business. 
  • Most online marketers have a portion of their revenue coming from consultations.

– The fourth way is by offering online courses.

  • The idea of creating online courses is one of the most compelling online revenue models; You put in the work to generate a course that can actually help people.

[16:25] – The fifth way is through sponsored content on videos, blogs, or podcasts.

  • Unlike the affiliate marketing model, sponsored content involves brands or products coming to you and asking you to create specific content or recommend their product in some way. 
  • Once you've developed a larger community, you can earn big from affiliate marketing and consulting. 
  • Getting into sponsored content necessitates having some reasonable numbers to show potential partners that you are a serious player.

[17:38] – The sixth way is by becoming an author.

  • You can publish your own books now using Amazon, and it's easier than ever to self-publish. 
  • If you develop a platform and have a solid online social following in any of the networks (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.), if you have a platform that's related to the content of your book, you can pretty much predict that your book will be successful if you are serving that community correctly. 
  • Being an author in the social and content marketing space is a definite path to significant revenue.

[19:18] – The seventh is through the gig economy: Freelance work in writing, editing, accounting, managing, supporting, and the like.

  • The least appealing but most stable option, working within the gig economy means finding jobs to do that you are good at and being hired to do them by others.
  • There are numerous job boards for this, offering different kinds of jobs at slightly lower than full-time rates.
  • Whatever your core competence is, you can make that available for hire in a virtual sense in the online space and work as a part of the gig economy. 
  • Still, that's not going to earn you the kind of money that developing an online course could potentially earn. But a lot of people are carefully considering this transitional phase in their life. 
  • The gig economy may not have the highest dollar value, but it has some very appealing aspects, from both a personal and a satisfaction point of view.

[20:50] – The last method is through membership sites and online communities.

  • You can actually charge people to be a part of a community where you're pouring a large amount of content into. Sites like Patreon are now great opportunities for generating revenue.

[21:32] –  Most will embrace several of these different revenue models, but there are some best practices to remember.

  • Open your eyes to opportunities, start to recalibrate your expectations, and measure all of these opportunities against your experience and the possibilities that fire up your imagination.
  • To build a platform, you're going to need to develop the content, and then start to serve that content into the social platforms that work for you. 
  • You can start to build your bona fides, help your community, and start to understand the world of social marketing works more intimately. Indeed, there’s no better time to get into this than right now.


I would be lying if I told you that Content Marketing was a guaranteed path to riches.

It took me over 2 years of being a full time content creator before I was able to look at my income and feel some sense of security.

Is that representative of what you may experience, can you do it in a shorter time or will it take longer?
I have no idea, 2 years is how long it took me.

I do believe, however, that you can find success in the online world, and it is a matter of when, not if.

  1. Advertizing, using Google Adsense and others
  2. Affiliate Marketing, Amazon and others
  3. Consulting
  4. Online Courses
  5. Sponsored Content on YouTube, Blog or Podcasts
  6. Become an Author, building a platform
  7. Gig Economy – Writing, editing, accounting, managing, supporting
  8. Membership Sites and Online Communities

Useful Links from this Episode

Creating a Podcast (video)

How to get started with Patreon (video)

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