When I was pregnant with my first son I was desperate to figure out a way to stay home. I knew that in order to do that I would have to increase our household income. But I couldn't figure out a way to do that and still be at home. See the cycle I was in??
My mother said something to me one day that made a lot of sense.
"I think your career is going to be like a patchwork quilt of different opportunities you find." And she was right about the patchwork quilt aspect. But all of the opportunities I had weren't found. They were created. Because sometimes you have to go out and create your own opportunity.
There are endless income-earning opportunities online today. Of course, not all of those things will appeal to everyone. Here are some of the ways I earn money online.
1. Content Marketing
In February of 2012 I started my virtual assisting business. I had worked as a VA in a freelance position off and on for several years. But after Ryals was born I decided to launch my own business.
I was able to find some really great clients right away who then referred me to other clients. It was great! However, I got tired of some of the more tedious aspects of VA work. However, I loved creating marketing materials, blog posts and social media strategies for my clients. I LOVE setting up marketing plans and helping them launch new products.
SO I shifted from Virtual Assisting to Content Marketing. And while I have cut back on the number of clients I accept in that field, I love working with them and doing that type of work.
I love blogging. I love the process. I love connecting with my readers. I love writing on a weekly basis. I love the creativity of it.
Started my blog as a resume piece. I wanted to show my clients that I could do this for them, manage their blogs, curate content, and deal with the many aspects of blogging.
Then one day I started to make money from it. I had put up a few Google ads and slowly (very slowly) over time I began to see some income from it.
But it's not easy money. I cannot tell you how many emails I have gotten from people wondering how to make money blogging. While it certainly can be done, it's not a get rich quick situation.
It takes a lot of time, effort and work. You have to write, edit, promote and repeat on a daily or near-daily basis. But it can certainly be done. So if you're a blogger and you're feeling a little discouraged, stick with it.
One day when Ryals was a baby I picked up a camera and started talking. Well, more specifically I filmed what I was cooking for dinner that night. Overtime, as my husband and I began to pay off debt I began to talk about how I saved money on a daily basis.
Slowly my channel began to grow, with each passing day I saw more and more subscribers and eventually I started to see ad revenue from Google Adsense.
I realized soon that Google Adsense was not something I could rely on and I found other ways to earn an income through my channel, with sponsored content and my own products (more on that below).
But none of those opportunities would be there if the community I found hadn't stuck with me and come back to watch week after week. I feel like YouTube is a very unique platform and if you go in with the mindset of just making money people won't want to watch. You have to be willing to give away your time and effort to grow something much bigger.
5. Affiliate sales
There are so many affiliate marketing opportunities. My favorite is, of course, Amazon. They have a great affiliate program for bloggers. Simply place links to products you love in your blog post, or share them on social media. Of course, you always have to disclose that you will earn a percentage of the sale at no extra cost to your readers.
6. Coaching and consulting
This past January I launched a brand new course call VA Prep School. I wanted to help other women who wanted to earn money from home launch, market and grow their businesses.
I was amazed when the course sold out! Then I opened it to more students and it sold out again!
The course is currently closed, but there is a wait list.