One of the biggest hang ups people have when it comes to working for themselves (or someone else) is the stress around selling. While many of us want the benefits of making money online, most of us want to find a way of making extra cash without having to be salesy. Not only do we not want to fill our homes with physical products, but maybe we just don’t want to feel like a sleazy salesman type. No matter who you are or what kind of online income you are hoping to produce, I have put together a list of 18 ways you can make money online without selling any physical product. Hopefully you can get some ideas on what might work for you.
*This post contains affiliate links I may earn a commission on my recommendations at no additional cost to you.
Host webinars/digital lessons
One of the best things you can sell is knowledge! Whether you are an actual teacher or someone who had gained a lot of knowledge and skill in a particular area, hosting online webinars can be a great way to make money online.
Webinar topic ideas:
- How to care for plants
- Painting classes
- Business startup info
- Music lessons
Gone are the days when flyers would be handed out and small classes would gather at the local library. These days everything can be done via the internet.
Hosting an online webinar could be as simple as hosting private sessions on Zoom. If you want to take it to the next level, you could opt for working with a company like Kajabi that things like website, email and funnels all set up for you already!
When you create webinar funnels through companies like Kajabi, you can create passive income for yourself because all you have to do is record your webinar once and keep sales coming in day after day. Get a 2 week free trial with Kajabi.
Start a blog
While starting a blog can be a slower going process and might take a little longer to make money, it is still a viable income source.
People who run their own blogs make money through sponsored content, ad placements and affiliate links. If you are someone who loves to write and is interested in creating relatable content that people want to read, then starting a blog might be a great option for you to explore. How to start a blog.
Write for someone else
Maybe you don’t want to go through all of the technical issues of writing a blog all by yourself. If that’s the case, there are always ways to write for other brands or businesses online.
Types of writing jobs include:
- Ghost writing
- Sales funnels
- Blog posts
If you love the idea of being a writer, but aren’t sure where to start or how to find work, there are companies like Writerswork that teaches you everything you need to know about finding clients and knowing what to charge. Get started with Writerswork.
As the number of active podcasts continue to grow, so does the demand for people to edit and manage those podcasts.
Right alongside podcasters are the growing amount of people creating YouTube channels every single day. For people with larger followings, video editing is often something that is in high demand.
If you’ve got great editing skills and the right equipment to get started, take the time to put together an online portfolio, or offer doing some work for free for a some top YouTube channels in order to build your work.
Social media manager
A number of entrepreneurs, brands, and businesses are including social media in their budgets. If you consider yourself to be somewhat of a pro at social media and you love nerding out on the latest marketing tactics and social trends, it might be time to start promoting yourself as a social media manager.
This is something you could start for some companies or entrepreneurs in your area and could potentially grow into a full-blown business.
As more and more people are taking their businesses completely virtual, so grows the need for virtual assistants. Gone are the days that you’ll be taking coffee orders and sorting physical filing systems. Now there is a higher demand for people to answer emails, track spreadsheets and tend to customer service needs.
Whatever your skill set or desire, learn how to market those skills as a virtual assistant and begin seeking out people who might need your services.
Because more and more businesses are being run online, there is a bigger and bigger need for Pinterest managers. While most people don’t realize you can use Pinterest for business, the truth is one of our favorite apps can be the lifeblood for bloggers, online entrepreneurs, and even big brands.
Learning how to apply Pinterest to grow traffic can be as easy as taking an online Pinterest course. One of the most affordable ones is called Pinteresting Stratgies 2.0 and can easily be done in a few weeks. This can be a great place to get started with starting your Pinterest manager.
Start a membership
If you want to connect with people and receive a monthly commission, starting a monthly membership can be a good idea. This will probably an easier venture to start if you already have a significant social media following.
Having a membership can be a great way for people to connect with you on a deeper level and learn more from you directly.
Digital content creator
As you have probably noticed there is a growing number of people who are shifting into full time content creation. When it comes to content creation you can work to create content directly through your own social channels, or work directly with brands to make content for their social media outlets.
Create a course
Since 2020 the digital online course industry has started booming. If you have an expertise in a particular area (marketing, making money, etc), creating an online course can be a great way to make additional money through teaching others a much needed skill.
One of the best online sources to get stared with this is Kajabi for the simple fact that they have sales funnels already set up for you. You can do webinars, build a website and run your email all from one place.
If you’ve considered building an online course, and want a behind-the-scenes look at Kajabi, you can click here to get a 2 week free trial.
There is a way that people are making thousands of dollars each month and that is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing works by promoting a brand or company’s products and/or services and getting a commission for successfully recommending people.
If you want to make sure you are making the right moves to earn money through affiliate marketing, there is a course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing that was created by millionaire blogger, Michelle Schroeder. When you take the time to properly apply affiliate marketing techniques, you can begin to see results immediately even if you have a small audience size. Learn more about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Create an email subscription
Another common form of earning income is through email subscriptions. This works best if you already have a devoted fan of blog readers. An email subscription could be a great way to help you audience connect with you more and learn in your particular area of expertise.
If you love writing and want to get paid to do it, click here to try ConvertKit for free!
Build a podcast
While a podcast can take longer to earn an income from, it can be a great side project to build while you are still working full time — or can be used as way to drive traffic and sales to a current business that you have.
If you are going to start a podcast, be sure you have a quality mic. One of the top recommended microphones to use are the Yeti Microphone. These easily hook up to your laptop and have top sound quality.
If you have always dreamed of coaching others to be their best selves, starting an online coaching gig can be a great place to start. You could easily do this by connecting via social media and setting up hourly appointments through Calendly.
If you know you are ready to jump head first into a coaching career and want to make sure you have everything you need to succeed, I highly recommend staring with a site like Kajabi that has things like webinars, courses, and subscription models you can choose from. Click here for a 2 week free trial with Kajabi.
Selling with no physical product
Sell printouts on Etsy
Did you know you don’t actually have to spend hours crafting anymore in order to make money on Etsy? No, sir. In fact you can get started with nothing more than a well made PDF. Julie from Gold City Ventures is a mom of 2 who managed to start her own business selling temporary tattoos on Etsy and quickly turned it into a printables only business.
If you are an artsy person or are already great at making worksheets, spreadsheets or other graphic design type printouts, you can watch Julie’s Free Printables Workshop here to get started!
Build your own digital products and courses
If you don’t want to rely on a website like Etsy to sell products, you can do so by creating your own and selling on your own platform. This is something you can do with any variety of digital items:
- Digital courses
- Budget printouts
- Digital cards
Etsy print on demand
Again, if you are down for taking advantage of Etsy, but don’t want to spend your time creating digital products, you can work to design physical products without ever actually having to touch the product yourself!
You can do this by using print on demand shops that will print, store and sell your products directly through your Etsy shop!