Whether you already have a website or are dreaming of entering the digital world, you might be left scratching your head about how people seem to make money online and actually make a living off this stuff.
For some (myself included) it's not just making a living, but an incredibly comfortable lifestyle. And I do most of it from the comfort of my own couch, 90% of the time in my yoga pants (even if I haven't been to yoga). Doesn't that sound lovely?
Don't get me wrong, I hustle hard. For the last 6 years this blog has existed, I've spend most days working 12 hours stints, I can't remember the last time I had a weekend, and have spent many tears and tantrums on this thing. But boy, has it been one incredible ride. I have honestly loved every minute of it - even the hard lessons that left me in said tears. It's changed who I am as a person, and I've been on incredible adventures, enjoyed many complimentary stays in the best hotels and been offered more free food than one person could possibly dream of. Like every path, there are highs and lows, twists and turns. What I can say is I have built a life to enjoy financial freedom. That means no credit cards, disposable income, savings for a rainy day, and starting a property portfolio at 31 years old (which in Australia, is a pretty fly achievement).
I want to share that knowledge with you today, because I love my life, and I hope for you that you get to experience the same financial freedom and utter joy in your work.
To answer the age-old question of 'HOW do you monetise this?', and 'HOW do I build a business that generates income whilst I'm travelling (and even sleeping)'?
I've listed the options below. Of course, over time you might want a full suite all of these things - they're not mutually exclusive and the sky is the limit!
Remember, this is is not in a spammy "make a bazillion dollars in your slippers!!" list, but it's a way to make money online in a way that's totally authentic to yourself.
Having an ad-space like a banner or header on your website or blog can be used for to promote other brands. You can sign up to a company like Google AdSense to offer your space and select companies that alight with your brand values and mission. The pay for this ad-space is pretty minimal though, and unless you have a high volume of traffic to your site, you might decide the pay-off for detracting from your content not worth it. I personally choose not to have banners on my site for that reason, and also because I find them annoying on other peoples sites. Can I get an AMEN?!
Revenue Score: $
This is where you link products either via image or a text link to products external to your site on a commission basis. You may get a 10% commission if a customer clicks through to purchase said item, and if they re-visit the same site within 30 days to purchase, you often still make the commission. There are many commission websites you can sign up to - take a look at the programs run by Commission Factory, Amazon and Etsy as a starting point.
I use RewardStyle to do minimal affiliate marketing on The-Fit-foodie.com. When I talk about products I love that relate to a blog post or a recipe, it makes sense for you to be able to click right through to purchase if you'd like one too. I don't create blog posts around selling things through affiliate marketing like some other bloggers (though there's no harm at all in this), but I prefer to keep this as authentic and high-value for you as possible. If I can link something that I'm talking about, I may as well monetise that if possible, but my main goal here is to serve you with awesome tips and tricks you can't get elsewhere, not act as a department store for other brands.
Revenue Score: $-$$
This is usually one-on-one with a limited number of clients. This option can pay great money per hour, but is time-intensive on your part, and you're definitely not earning money whilst you sleep. You will build a relationship with each individual and work with them on actionable items to get them closer to their end goal. This can be incredibly rewarding and it's likely you'll make life-long friends in the process if you do a good job! I can wait to start this when I finish my Clinical Nutrition Degree.
Revenue Score: $$$
Online courses involve lots of work up front, but less everyday maintenance than coaching. It's a way of scaling the coaching approach to reach many more people. There are no limits to the volume of people that can enrol, and therefore profitability is endless. Online courses can range from anything to nutrition programs, fitness plans, social media workshops and more. In all honesty, I've been slack on this one front. I've been so focused on providing free content for your here on the blog and social media that it hasn't been within reach. The goal is to have an online marketing / personal branding / photography course set up in 2019 ready to share my knowledge in a succinct and actionable way so that we can work on specific steps together to get you to your end goal. Watch this space Fitties.
Revenue Score: $$$+
Physical products can be a great way to monetise your business or be the sole reason for starting. You may already have a product that you want to sell online and that is the core of our business. There are a few ways you can enter this domain - there are online stores that sell other peoples goods for a commission (kind of like a sophisticated eBay), such as Hard To Find and Etsy. You need to apply, send samples of your product and have them approved, then your products will be live for sale in their marketplace and any orders will come to you to fulfil. The benefit is you don't have to set up a website or start from scratch in direct traffic to it - it's already done for you. You do of course pay for this - around a 20% commission to the company.
The other option is to set up your own online store, like I have done with Fit Mixes. I use Shopify as my selling platform. I also have an integrated shop here on the blog to sell my cookbook (the hard-copy) which is a physical product, along with digital products like ebooks, workshops and Lightroom Presets. That is done through a wordpress plug-in called WooCommerce. These can be so great, but know that it's likely to be higher costs involved than digital products, and a LOT of work with designing packaging, testing, and getting your product market-ready, storage, plus cost of materials. The profit margins may be tight AND you have to account for time spent shipping out the products too. I spend about 2 hours a week organising couriers and tracking shipments for Fit Mixes.
Revenue Score: $$+ (depending on the value of the goods sold, and how savvy you are with profit margins)
I'm talking about downloadables like eBooks, photography presets, web elements, workbooks, action plans, calendars, templates, stock imagery, print-at-home posters, your own music, to-do lists - the sky is the limit. I LOVE these because you can help as many people as possible without having to physically be there to talk them through it (as long as you provide a comprehensive user guide to go with them as needed, of course). I sell digital products via my online store on the blog. I can wake up and people will have been ordering through the night from all around the world. Actually making money whilst I sleep! Once set up in your store, an email will automatically deliver to your customer with their digital product, so you can sit back and relax. Don't know what to sell? You're forgetting you probably have specific skills that other people don't have. Create something for the person who is starting out in the industry you specialise in - you have more knowledge to share than you might think! Don't underestimate yourself.
Revenue Score: $$+
If you speak (or rather, write) a code language, you can develop numerous things to sell online. Whether you have experience with apps, plugins, themes, snippets, websites, or something else, you can turn your code know-how into cash. Definitely not something I can handle because I can barely write my own language properly. I'm sure I'd offend the Queen if I told her I was English. #ThankGodforSpellCheck
Revenue Score: $$$+
Sponsored Blog / Social Media Posts
This is when you partner with a likeminded brand to photograph / review their products and recommend them through your blog and / or social media channels. I do this on the blog and my Instagram account where much of my following sits. I've written about how I do this before, but a good way to start with this is to begin with a Media Kit. This is where you include information about your following, their demographics (age, sex, interests etc), media reach, and how you are looking to partner with brands. You can choose to include your pricing in here per post, or ask them to inquire about pricing. Write a list of all the brands you love, head to their website and look for the 'media' page or 'contact us' and ping them a copy explaining why you would love to work with them. Pricing is dependant on your reach and quality of content creation, and should be revised regularly as your following and content improves.
Revenue Score: $$$ (follower and readership dependant)
There's a few more options to explore here that I personally use. Click the link below to download your FREE guide to monetising your blog to get this into action and start earning today!
Follow me: @thefitfoodieblog