How to Make Money Online in 2021 (the ultimate guide)

How to Make Money Online in 2021

For a long time, I’ve been teaching/coaching individuals out in the real world how to make the most of the internet when it comes to business online. 

From about 2020 April though began a turbulent year with the Corona Virus, I  decided it was time to go fulltime online and help more people startup new businesses. Many people are working at home and may continue at home , but many more face uncertain times and possibly losing their jobs as companies go broke. Travel for example and Hotel trades have been  hit very hard.

How to make a side Income or How to become a Full Time Blogger?

At this time, it doesn’t matter whether you have chosen blogging as a Full time Occupation or Side Income , the process is just the same.

So, you are new, you have limited knowledge , limited resources especially cash and time, how can you make the best start? What is the best, quickest and most profitable route to success in making money online?

What I found with most of my enthusiastic clients that have tried to research it, was, not  a lack of knowledge, but an overload of knowledge. Too much information is available and as any marketer will tell you, give too many options , your prospect will be unable to make a choice and you will lose the sale. 

There is also a lot of mis-information.  So many YouTube videos promoting the idea that you can do 1 hours work a week and earn thousands. It is of course rubbish. But people are desperate and will fall for these scams or at best half truths.

What CAN you do?

You could start : 

  • an online shop
  • a blog 
  • a review site
  • a membership site
  • a business service helping existing businesses
  • a  marketing agency
  • teaching – write a course
  • an SEO agency
  • Affiliate marketing 
  • CPA marketing

But which one to choose?


Neil Patel in a Seminar on the Future of Digital Marketing showed the trend towards finding customers through blogging was very positive and expected to accelerate. 


All of these methods make money online and from anywhere in the world. No longer do you have to buy a property, buy goods, pay staff, advertise…. at enormous expense. You can even try out one of the above see if it works, if not tear it down and start something else. If you did that in the real bricks-and-mortar world, you would probably be bankrupt!  Online you can easily start another business overnight. 

making it profitable though, is not so easy. 

Build a website and instant riches! No that doesn’t exist, it never did. 

If you go about it the right way, in not too many months from now, you’ll have some income building up. I’ll tell you how I managed to make a full time income from the internet and guide you though the pitfalls.

What is Possible? How much  can you make with a Blog or  Online Service? Here are the experiences of two successful marketers Grant Sabatier and Marissa Romero:

Grant Sabatier is a dedicated blogger, blogging every day, his blog readership has exploded, his content can be found in Googles search engine for a LOT of blogging terms..
 Seriously, if you keep at it and keep building, your traffic and revenue will continue to grow. In my first year blogging, I made about $25,000. In year 2 I made about $150,000 and in my 3rd year, I made over $400,000. I’m on pace (crossing my fingers) to make over $1 million in year 4 from this blog. And I’m able to write all of the posts on my laptop wherever I am. No matter what, keep at it! While it takes time to build momentum, blogging = freedom.”

read Grants article here .

Your circumstances will obviously be different to mine, but by following the main points in this article, I’ll give you a very good chance of making it to the full-time income level and beyond. One of my favourite marketers, Tony Shepherd, writing about starting an online blogging business, going part-time to full-time and how much to aim for,  said – you don’t have to wait until you’re making 100,000 dollars/pounds a year, just enough to replace your JOB income -which is very true. Like most of us, when he started, he did it part time until the business took off.

Marissa Romero tried many ways to earn online, some ending up in large debt, before she arrived at affiliate marketing and YouTube

Many people have unrealistic goals and no plan. If you can stick to the plan I am  setting out for you, put in the work and you will succeed. It’s a  lot easier to persist with a plan if you can see it working, so one of the most important things to incorporate into your plan is measurement.  At the very minimum, once your site, shop or agency is started you need to register it on Google Analytics, to see your visitors data and stats.  

Google Search Console is another FREE and very helpful service provided by Google,  once you are up and running, it will tell you which are your most popular pages for visitors,so you can concentrate your efforts in the right direction.

Also, Google SC will tell you whether your site has any errors on its pages and how to eliminate them.

Graph of web visitors to your site

Below is a basic description of each of the types of business in the list above. See which you think is your ‘cup of tea’, which of them appeals to you, which is a good start, you can then direct your research in that direction,  to see the major advantages and disadvantages, see if it’s a good ‘fit’ for your skills and lifestyle.

After all, if writing is not your strongpoint, blogging wouldn’t be a good choice.  If you are starting on a shoestring budget, then paid ads are not a great choice as it can take a few campaigns to get going before you see a profit.

Similarly to succeed on YouTube, are you ok appearing on camera? True you could just do voice overs or employ an actor or partner with an out-going guy who would do your YouTube videos, but its not ideal.

An Online Shop

Shopify and other Commerce Software based sites have become very popular. You can cash in on trending products or supply ever-green niche products. Although I can see many problems with clothing sites ( the trend towards higher numbers of returned goods ) many people have used the very popular Tspring and Redbubble type models to quickly build online stores with amazing sales.

Teaching - Write a Course

Teaching – Write a Course

If you’re someone who can dash off 1000 word articles, then this is going to appeal  to you. If not articles, then videos  can also be used as a medium to teach.

Once you’ve written/recorded your course, it can be available 24/7 either on your own site or on one (or more) Course Selling Sites . Which means it’s a completely hands off operation and you can go on to write another and another….. building your potential income.

Blogs - So many ways to go!

Blogging –  

My favourite and the easiest (and most anonymous for those who like to be out of the limelight ) way to earn.  There must be an infinite number of possible niches or groups of niches available and a LOT of ways to monetise them. 

Some ways to monitise don’t even involve selling. If you can create an interesting blog, one which attracts loads of visitors, then putting GoogleAdsense on your pages will net you quite a significant income. Most though use affiliate products to earn their rewards

Another type of Blog - A review site

Take a subject you know, find the best 10 selling items in that category and review them all in detail – good points and bad. 

Review physical goods. 

Review information products

Send the visitor to a vendor to purchase and collect the commission.


A Business Service

I think we can all think of a local business that isn’t doing too well.

All businesses need customers. 

With our web-skills we can put together a special webpage offering the services that , that particular business is involved in. Run ads to it and send the leads to that business.. If the business wants to continue getting the leads each day – you can offer them a monthly deal. 

A Marketing or SEO Agency

The services offered by your business services enterprise – building website, running ads, social media posts, can be expanded until you’re running a full Marketing Agency many such Agencies deal with SEO search engine optimisation, which on its own will boost the number of visitors to a website very significantly.

Affiliate Marketing

Become a promoter, you have non of the hassle of customer services, returns, staff, wages, security…. just write article pages , run ads to them promoting the goods and collect the commissions. Find thousands of offers to promote on Offervault, Amazon, Clickbank….etc

Once set up all these  promo pages run on automatic, you can multiply your income with multiple pages and sites

CPA Marketing

Very similar to Affiliate model marketing but with a lower barrier to success, since with CPA (cost per action) you only have to get a response, you don’t have to SELL anything. Usually all an advertiser wants is a lead, so  you could be collecting an email for example. Although the payout is tiny, there are thousands of CPA offers and it would typically take only an hour to study the offer and put up a promo page.

Always Build Assets

Whichever method you choose to make your online fortune, don’t fall into the mistake of building your assets on properties you don’t own. 

What do I mean?

If your  Marketing effort is on a blog. Host that blog on your own server for example Hostgator. DO NOT use Wix, Weebly, WordPress free site, Google sites or any other free site provider. You can be shut down, for any infringement, and lose everything, as you don’t OWN those sites

Avoid Losing your Work

For another example, Facebook is notorious for shutting down pages and groups and ad accounts for minor infringements of its rules. When this happens its extremely tough to reverse any bans it imposes. 

Suppose you had just spent 4 or 5 months building up a Facebook ad account which was converting well. Such an asset is worth a lot and will have cost a lot to set up and fine-tune into a money making venture. Now FB comes along and shuts it down, you might have overlooked some new ad policy. Overnight your income drops to zero ! Extremely bad news.

So always apply the old adage about eggs and baskets. Split your ads into Facebook and Google ads. OR Split the campaign into two or more ad accounts. Many marketers using FB actually have a test account that their ads will initially go into , like a sandbox. Then having been accepted, they can migrate into the main account  without the fear that it will be shut down. 

Take Backups Frequently

There is no excuse for not doing this , there are many backup and restore plugins, many are free, one of the biggest is UpDraft. Free to use, on multiple sites, automatically backs up your WordPress site database, your content and even plugins and other site materials. This is an absolute life-saver if your server goes down. Restoring is very simple. Without it, well as you can imagine, you’d have to rewrite all your website pages. Very Bad News and again for a successful site this could mean zero income until its done. 

The Magic List

By collecting your customers email address , you can build the most valuable asset possible in the online world….. An email list

Many marketers offer this advice and its true, most of  the cost of doing business is in the initial acquisition of that customer. Once you have a regular reader or a satisfied customer that has bought from you, they are 5 to 10 times more likely to buy from you again, than a new prospect visiting your website. It costs zero for you to send out your latest product details, your new course or the latest gadget news. 

A customer list is the nearest thing to a magic button for making money.  If you have say 5000 people on your list that know you or have bought from you, you can send out a “broadcast” email about your latest software or course  at $50 and could potentially sell to say 10% of your list. That’s an instant 500 X $50 = $25000 ! Magic.

What do I recommend for beginners? So that you make the least possible mistakes and achieve total success the quickest way possible

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