If you’ve spent any time on this site, you’ll have noticed that I have a thing for overloading myself with lots of projects. I like to give lots of money-making methods a try, just in case I prefer them to the things I’m already in. As much as I advise people against it, it’s too tempting to keep jumping from one shiny object to the next.
So let me go the main ways that I make/have made a decent income each month and eliminate until we get to the best. I’ll begin with a list of the things:
- Affiliate marketing
- Matched betting
- Online arbitrage
- Private label ecommerce
- Reselling used goods
I’ve built up a lot of skills over the years, but I would absolutely let some of them go to waste for the chance at easy money. Let’s go straight in there and cut one out on this basis: private label ecommerce.
Eliminated: Private Label
That desire to keep moving onto new things really makes private label difficult for me. I’ve learned a lot by getting a product out there and creating a full brand with supplementary print-on-demand products around it, etc. I really didn’t have to put as much effort as I did into it, but I wouldn’t feel like I can show off my accomplishments unless I did. I’m leaving this one out.
Eliminated: Reselling used goods
I probably made my first non-work £1,000 in a month through this method, but my days does it take a lot of time. It really doesn’t suit me to go on regular hunts for second-hand goods in the way that it once did. Unlike a lot of the others on the list, this is something you can’t really outsource any of the tasks to other people/software.
Eliminated: Matched betting
I’ve heard amazing things about when people take matched betting to advanced levels, and are able to consistently make over £3,000 with it each month. However, there’s a lot more maths involved than I have the patience for. Matched betting is for a nice £xxx boost every month, but it’s difficult to get beyond that using the matched betting services, like Heads&Heads etc.
A big risk with matched betting is that the bookmakers are in control and you can lose lifelines quite easily. Although it’s been possible to take part in matched betting for well over a decade, the power of how long it lasts is in other people’s hands.
Domaining is one of those fun ones that, for me, requires a more long-term approach. While you can do a few quick flips, the real money is made holding onto some decent assets and hunting out potential buyers. I’ve gone from being paid monthly to fortnightly to weekly to daily for my online pursuits. I don’t want to go back to anything else.
Speaking of putting things in other people’s hands – freelancing. Many see it as a gateway to a lot of freedom, working at your own pace in your own space, but not for me. To me, it’s unnecessary pressure that takes away from my time to do other things. It just doesn’t suit me beyond the odd one-off job. My first freelancing gigs were as a copywriter and advanced to other things. I keep going back, but not for long.
A lot of it requires you to rely on your own creativity to get paid. When it comes to getting rewarded for your work, there’s often a struggle. The same isn’t true of any of the others on the list, so I have to throw this one out.
Print-on-demand is a dream. I love how you’re able to take part in it without spending a single penny first, if you already have the necessary tools to get started. It’s also fantastic that you can earn a lot of passive income from it. It all sounds great, and it is, but there are a few drawbacks.
The reason I wouldn’t want this to be my only means of earning money is because it requires a lot of upkeep to keep sales coming. On top of that, it’s another one that needs a lot of creativity to generate income. I don’t know how long my head will be as good as it currently is for this kind of thing.
Eliminated: Online Arbitrage
I’m calling this the main reason I was able to quit 9-to-5 work last year, but I still wouldn’t choose it as my #1 way to earn money for the foreseeable future. As fun as it is, and as great as it is that you can outsource a lot of the tasks, my methods still require me to be quite hands-on with operations.
There are some ways of money where I don’t mind being very involved, but others where I feel like my time is better spent doing other things. Unfortunately, parts of the Amazon online arbitrage process fall into that territory. Another thing is that although the money is great, it’s all coming from one source. If Amazon closed my account, there are no other alternatives. It’s not ideal.
The Chosen One: Affiliate Marketing
If I was to pick one way to make money online, I would focus all my attention on affiliate marketing. I resisted for the longest time, but my calling was definitely to create online content on my own self-made platforms. Affiliate marketing is the most effective way to monetise them.
I wish I fell into it earlier, because I can’t imagine how far I could have taken things if I was taking part back in 2007, when my online money-making journey began.
I’ve discussed the benefits of affiliate marketing extensively in the past, but I’ll recap the key details here too:
- Easy to get started – you can create a valuable asset capable of generating commissions within a few hours.
- Able to create passive income – things like blog posts and videos are capable of making money months and years into the future, even when you’re not taking part
- Frontloadable – work hard for a few months and take your foot off the acceleration for a while, if you want a break and the money will keep flowing through.
- Diverse – it can be done in so many ways, and requires you to improve your skillset over the years to keep the income up.
- Income comes from multiple sources – different sites, different traffic sources and different affiliate networks, so if some fall off, you’ve always got back up.
None of the rest even come close to this in terms of the potential.