Some people are cashing in on $100,000 per month or more in online world, and the crazy thing is that many of them don't even have a website.
So, yes, you can make money without a website. But should you?
In this post I want to break down five ways you can make money online without a website, and the one major reason you should seriously consider not doing exactly that.
Got any more ideas you want to add to the list? Leave 'em in the comments.
Table of Contents
- 5 Ways To Make Money Online Without A Website
- 1. Do Online Surveys
- 2. Social Media Affiliate Links
- 3. Social Media Sponsored Posts
- 4. Start A YouTube Channel
- 5. Direct Linking PPC Campaigns
- Why Are You Afraid Of Making A Website?
5 Ways To Make Money Online Without A Website
1. Do Online Surveys
Making money with online surveys is a double-edged sword. Basically, you can make a few bucks doing it, but it's super boring, and you won't make more than about $2 per hour.
The great thing is that you don't need any skills to start, it's free to sign up, and you don't mind spending a few hours a day answering questions if it means that you can make about $50-$100 per month.
It'll take some time to get a good groove and figure out where the best survey sites are, and how to find the highest paying gigs, but there are some people that rely on surveys for extra money each month.
For me, it's way too boring. If I'm gonna spend time online, I'd rather be building a website, which has much more potential to earn big money. I'd rather put in the work for a big payday than tinker around with junky websites.
Earning regular income through online surveys is going to take some trial and error, but that's not even the worst part.
One of the most difficult things about doing surveys is knowing which sites are legitimate and which aren't. There are tons of scams out there, including some bad ones which install malware on your computer.
Plus, it's super-duper common to start a survey, spend 20 minutes doing it, then find out you are not qualified to finish. I have heard more than one horror story of spending 45 minutes or more on a survey, then having the website or web page crash. That means no credit, no money, and you just wasted an hour of your time.
When all is said and done, you have to battle with minimum withdrawals, currency exchange rates, and possibly processing fees. Although this method technically does work, getting paid for opinion surveys just doesn't seem worth the time or effort to me.
Some places like Swagbucks have a decent reputation online, but they do more than just opinion stuff, and have a variety of other ways to earn credits you can exchange for money.
2. Social Media Affiliate Links
I'm a professional affiliate marketer, and my website One More Cup of Coffee is all about affiliate marketing. There's big money in affiliate marketing!
An “affiliate link” is a link with a tracking code that gives you credit for a sale.
Combining social media and affiliate links is a great way to earn money without a website!
All you need is a couple thousand followers and some relevant products to promote to them. Getting followers is the hardest part of this formula though, and the main thing that stops people from actually getting paid from their links.
Building up a social media following takes time. Actually, there's a lot of skill involved, and many tricks to the trade. For example, commenting on top influencers posts with engaging comments (not just “great photo), is one legit tactic to getting followers.
Another tactic is simply following and tagging relevant people. Simple stuff, right? It does take time, and you gotta grind daily to break into influencer status.
One very important step I recommend before you get started is to find a niche. This means that you segment your audience to something specific.
For example, instead of a “fitness” account, you want to be something more specific like “keto fitness for women” or “weight loss for diabetics. Instead of “how to train a dog”, you want to be “how to train a Boston Terrier to do tricks”.
More specific = more relevant = better conversions ($$$).
Once you have a following you can start to feature product recommendations through affiliate links. Amazon's affiliate program is a great place to start, but there are thousands more, for any type of social media profile you create. Computers, adult industry, fitness, religion — anything goes.
3. Social Media Sponsored Posts
Social media is great for making money online not only because you don't need a website, but also because you can do everything from a smartphone. No laptop required!
Once your social media presence really takes off, companies will start to contact you. They may offer to pay you a flat fee for an endorsement, regardless of how many sales you produce.
With affiliate links, you are required to actually make a sale in order to get paid. With a sponsored post, you get paid the flat fee, do what was agreed upon, and then the company that paid you analyzes the results. If they get good results, they may come back for a second round.
If it didn't produce a positive ROI for them, you still get paid!
4. Start A YouTube Channel
Like social media, it's possible to make money without a website just by starting a YouTube channel! Since videos are fun and engaging, this might be a more realistic way for you to earn online income. Plus, there are multiple ways to monetize your videos, so you can create multiple income streams without ever having to touch a bit of code 🙂
Get Paid From Adsense
One way to make money with YouTube videos is to have YouTube pay you for advertising. It's pretty easy to get into their advertising network now, compared to the past. You just need to meet their minimum view count and you're good to go.
Adsense plays ads before or during your videos. You get paid per view. Industries and advertiser bids vary, but you generally get paid a few pennies per view. That equals out to about $1-$5 per 1000 views.
It doesn't sound like much, but consider that your videos can be played around the world, by any person with an internet connection, 24/7/365. A video can be played multiple times by the same person.
When you create a new video, the old video is still getting views and making money. So although you may earn just $1 per month from a video, after making 300 videos, that's $300 per month. (After 300 vids, I'm sure your subscriber count and engagement will grow too!).
Affiliate Links In The Description
A lesser-known tactic (but still common) is to put affiliate links in the description of your videos. For example, you can do some product reviews related to your niche, then link to the products with your affiliate link.
For example, you could do a DIY plumbing channel, then link to the parts needed to follow the video instructions. You could also do a makeup tutorial, then link to some cosmetics you used.
Too many affiliate links can turn off your audience, but most of the time, if you create awesome content for your channel, people won't care. Be authentic!
Collect An Email List
This is an underutilized tactic for earning money without a website, but still incredibly effective. You can use an “autoresponder” to collect emails, then you can send out promotions to people's inboxes.
Though typically this is done with a website, you can also have the autoresponder host your form and collect emails without a website. The form will likely be ugly and basic, but it can work. If you offer is enticing enough, subscribers won't care.
The idea behind building an email list is that you can engage with your audience daily through email, and send them promotional offers.
For example, let's say you have a channel about how to build fences. You can created an ebook with your most beautiful designs. On your YouTube channel, you give precise instructions on how to do basic fence designs, but ask people to sign up to receive your best fence designs.
They sign up, get your ebook, and then you can market fence-related products to them like design plans, cordless drills, or stain.
How to craft your offer and promote to your audience will depend on your niche, your channel, the offer, and many other variables. It's not cut and dry, easy stuff to do, but the option is there, and you don't even need to build a website to get it done.
Other Comments About YouTube
The great thing about YouTube there are entire video courses, ebooks, and online communities dedicated to learning how to get subscribers, produce content people want to see, and learn how to get a video to go viral. There are many different styles of videos, and incredibly mundane things can make you great money (Have you ever watched an “unboxing” video?).
You don't have to show your face, and you don't have to expose your private information. You can if you want though! People love personal videos.
The big downside to YouTube is that you do not have control over the platform. They can, at any time, demonetize your videos or remove you from the platform altogether. There's no recourse. So if you build a big income from ads and links using their platform, you should seriously consider diversifying and building a site (or paying someone to do it) at some point.
5. Direct Linking PPC Campaigns
PPC stands for Pay Per Click, and it just means that you pay for each click you receive. This is how the world of paid ads is run. Google Adwords and Microsoft Ads are two big companies where you can start your first PPC campaign.
Normally, with affiliate links, you have some kind of content which engages a person, then gets them to click. If they buy, you make a sale.
The idea of “direct linking” means that you pick an affiliate offer, and directly link from the paid ad. There is no content. Just pay for the ad, then send the viewer directly to the affiliate offer. The whole idea is that you pay $1 to earn $2.
You can make money without a website promoting affiliate offers through directly linking from paid ads.
There are two major downsides to this strategy:
#1 Many affiliate offers don't actually let you direct link to their products. It's laid out in their TOS that you can't direct link because they know everyone will spam the ad companies and drive up the price of clicks.
#2 You have to actually pay for clicks which means you need a budget to run this kind of campaign. Most campaigns don't start out profitable, so you need to be willing to go in the red before you get in the black.
It takes some serious strategizing, training, and tenacity to be able to figure this stuff out. It's really easy to end up spending way more than you get paid, and failure rate in PPC is high because newbies just run out of budget and get frustrated spending money without getting anything in return.
As an aside, this is the strategy you'll see with a lot of get-rich-quick schemes because it sounds so easy on the surface. Internet gurus are more than willing to sell you a training course with lofty promises of making millions without a website…but it's never that easy.
If you read between the lines of sales pitches like that, you'll discover that most of these basically explain what I've told you in the past few paragraphs.
- Choose an offer
- Get your link
- Get people to click your link
Why Are You Afraid Of Making A Website?
The funny thing about trying to make money without a website is that I don't really get why everyone is so afraid of it! Sure, back in the 90's you really had to know your HTML code to build something, but these days it's all done for you with content management systems (CMS) like WordPress.
I don't know how to code, and I made the website you're on right now!
Yeah, some of the bigger companies with fancy websites hire professional coders, but for your basic informational blog, WordPress does fine out of the box. No coding necessary!
The Major Reason You SHOULD Build A Website
Making your own website is the best way to earn money online because you actually own the property. With YouTube, social media platforms, and surveys you can get banned in a heartbeat. You're playing by their rules!
Remember that TOS you agreed to but didn't read? Somewhere in there is a bit of fine print that says they can give you the boot for any reason, and they can change the rules at any time. These companies earn a billion dollars a year. They are not concerned about your measly $60,000 income you helped them earn last year.
Wanna sue 'em? Good luck!
With a website, you get to say whatever you want to say and no one can kick you off.
Also, you can use your website to combine ALL of the 5 methods I listed above. Your website can feature your YouTube videos, help you gain social media followers, and even collect an email list for drip-fed profits.
A website is great as a home base for an online business. Diversifying to multiple types of income across platforms is a great idea, but keep control of your home base.
Building a website is just the beginning. Once you learn how to monetize it with affiliate ads, boom. Now you're working full time from home!