One of the best ways of making money online is by sharing your knowledge with thousands of people who are willing to pay for it.
It could be a skill you picked up over time and currently use in your day job, or one you learnt out of curiosity. Whatever it is, if it’s valuable and can solve some problem that people face, you can make money from it.
This post covers 11 interesting ways you can use to monetize your expertise and knowledge starting today – that are actually worth your time.
How to make money online with your expertise
Here are 11 of the best ways to make money online using your expertise, skills and knowledge.
1. Paid Newsletters
Newsletters have been around for years, but paid or premium newsletters are booming.
Another startup, Revue, was acquired by Twitter in January 2021.
If you have some expertise that’s in demand and valuable, there are thousands of people willing to pay for it. It could be about health, finance, business, marketing, politics, sports or countless other categories.
But you’ll want to niche down and find an engaged audience to stand out and charge for your expertise.
For example, Scott Keyes of Scott’s Cheap Flights started with a newsletter for people looking for great flight deals. The newsletter has grown to over $320k per month with more than 2 million subscribers.
Premium members get more deals on domestic and international flights for only $49/annum– a good bargain considering they’ll save hundreds to thousands of dollars on each flight.
Similarly, you can create a niche newsletter and offer value-adding advice, guides and resources to all readers. Then provide extra and exclusive benefits to paid members.
Your own newsletter can be focused on cryptocurrency investing, weight loss or fitness, curated children’s activities, small business accounting or marketing and many more.
Getting started is fairly easy from the technology side. You have many options to choose from including:
- Substack: 10% charge + the credit card fees.
- Revue: (recently acquired by Twitter) takes 5% fees on paid newsletters
- Patreon: charges between 5-12% on your monthly income from the platform
- Campaignzee: a Mailchimp integration for selling subscriptions to newsletters takes a 10% cut.
Another way to make money online by sharing your knowledge is by starting a blog.
Blogging isn’t just a great way to monetize your skills, it’s also a fantastic way to build your brand and get your name in front of your potential clients.
How do you make money from a blog?
One obvious way is through ads on your blog. But ads are just scratching the surface in terms of how to monetize your blog.
You can also make money by recommending products and services that’ll be valuable to your audience. Or use the blog to generate leads for your online training or courses, coaching sessions, books and many more.
To get started, you’ll need a place to write and reach your target audience.
Medium and similar platforms make it easy to start with minimal effort for free, but you won’t have full control over your blog. Plus your options for monetizing the blog and selling your expertise will be limited.
WordPress is a better option. You can buy a domain and get WordPress hosting for cheap (as low as $3.95/month from Bluehost for example). Next, install a theme and some plugins and start publishing to your new blog.
Blogging is hard, and doing it well consistently is harder. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s actually great news for you.
It simply means if you commit to it for the long term, continue to add value to your audience and treat it as a business, it’ll eventually pay off.
If you’re interested in blogging, take this free course on how to start a blog and make money in Canada.
YouTube is the second most visited website, just after Google.
Every day, over a billion hours of video are watched, translating to billions of views every month.
What better place to go to share your expertise to the world?
So if you love being on camera and helping people, YouTube, and vlogging in general, is another great way to earn money online.
With nothing more than your mobile phone, you can record and upload your very first video to YouTube.
Of course, you’ll want to invest in some equipment to improve the quality of your video production and come across as professional. You can start with a decent mic, camera and light at the minimum.
You can make money on YouTube through
- Channel memberships
- Selling your own branded merchandise
- Sponsored video posts
- Promoting other people’s products (affiliate marketing)
- Selling your own digital products like trainings, courses, ebooks etc
And many more.
Other Skills needed: Video editing skills (and software), content research skills, SEO knowledge. You can outsource some of these to freelancers on Fiverr or Upwork.
Podcast listening is growing in popularity and it is estimated that the number of listeners in the USA alone will reach 132 million by 2022.
With podcasting, you can share your own knowledge with listeners, and get interviewed by other podcast hosts within the same or related niche to grow your reach.
Similarly, you can also invite other podcasters to come on your show.
Let’s say your podcast is about small business accounting. Your podcast listeners will probably be interested in marketing their product and services too.
So bringing a marketing expert on your show will be a great idea.
Your listeners will get more insights on how to manage their businesses; the guest may pick up some leads and increase in their brand awareness; and you get to add to your content library.
It’s a win-win for all parties.
What do you need to get started?
- Equipments: Headsets and microphone at the minimum.
- Software: You’ll need to get a software to edit your audio, and learn how to use it
- Podcast hosting: A place to host your recorded and edited podcast. Some of the popular ones include Buzzsprout, SoundCloud, Captivate, Transistor etc
- Podcast Directories
Directories like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify make it easy for your podcast to be discovered by millions of potential listeners.
Check this 6,800+ words guide on How to Make a Podcast from Buzzsprout, a podcast hosting company.
Webinars are live, interactive seminars done online. They’re a relatively easier and quicker way to share your knowledge.
Usually, the attendees would sign-up in advance for the session and can ask questions at the end of your presentation. Webinar sessions can be as short as 30 minutes, but 1 hour sessions are fairly common.
You can make money from a Webinar by charging the attendees. Or make it free, but upsell your other products like online courses, coaching or even books.
If you’ve done a great job of delivering value during an hour free webinar, it should be easy to persuade some of the attendees to sign up for your higher priced services.
Simply rinse and repeat as many times as you wish. Alternatively, you can create an evergreen webinar to sell your products on autopilot.
Evergreen webinars are great for teaching principles and foundational knowledge in your field. That means you can record the session once with a live audience and use it for years to come.
6. Online Course
Online courses are everywhere, and you’ve probably taken one in the past.
People love online courses because they can be taken on-demand, at their convenience and pace, and at a relatively cheaper cost compared to a traditional school.
So if you can create an engaging course that captures the attention of your students and improves their knowledge, you can definitely make tons of cash through online courses.
At the end of your course, the participants should walk away with a specific knowledge or skill they can use in their lives or business.
It could be as minor as learning how to tie a tie, or as significant as knowing how to play a musical instrument. Whatever it is, there should be a measurable goal and objective for your course.
How much can you charge for an online course?
You can charge anywhere from $50 to over a thousand dollars. The skills level and its complexity, course duration and the value to the students will dictate how much you can charge for your online course.
What I love about this option for making money from your expertise is that it is relatively passive. You can create a course once and earn recurring income from it for years to come – with minimal or no updates required depending on the subject.
Your course will be available to million of potential students immediately. But in exchange, they’ll take a percentage of your course earnings and you lose some control.
This may not be a problem if you have an existing audience. Otherwise, marketing an online course as a beginner with no track record may be hard.
But it’s doable.
One smart way of doing this is by leveraging on other people’s audience and subscribers. For example, let’s say your online course is on how to use Pinterest to drive leads for small businesses.
A quick way of getting in front of your potential students will be by reaching out to bloggers, podcasters or Youtubers that serves small businesses. If your offer is valuable, they’ll likely be willing to partner with you.
Check below for some helpful resources to get you started:
- Free Live Training on the Steps To Launch Your Own Profitable Online Course from Teachable
- Guide on How to create an online course in 2021 from Podia
There are services for anything from copywriting, graphic design, web development, content writing, SEO, accounting to financial consulting.
Your biggest problem here is that you’ll be selling your time. So scaling your offering could be a challenge. Unless you can charge a sufficiently high rate to make it worth your while.
Another concern with freelancing platforms is the race to the bottom because of the intense competition with the other freelancers.
But if you niche down, do a great job consistently, and manage to get glowing reviews, you can make it work.
Getting started is easy. You simply create an account, verify your profile and start applying for gigs on Upwork, for example.
Fiverr lets you list the services you offer and people can reach out to you.
8. Paid Ebooks and Reports
Compared to the other ways for making money using your skills, ebooks will generally have a more accessible pricing. Therefore, you can expect to make more sales from an ebook compared to, say, an online course or one-on-one coaching.
But done well, ebooks can build your brand and drive leads to your more expensive offerings.
An ebook can be anywhere from a few to hundreds of pages depending on the topic. And you can definitely put one together in a few days or weeks. Or come up with an outline and get it ghost-written for you by professional writers.
Paid reports on the other hand are usually more technical, detailed and research-type writings for a specific industry. If you can put in the time and resources to produce a well-written market research that addresses a specific area of an industry, this can be very lucrative.
And you can charge thousands of dollars for your report.
Once you have your ebook or reports written, you can simply convert it to PDF or epub formats to sell online.
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing makes it easy for anyone to make money by sharing their expertise and knowledge to millions of readers worldwide. It takes less than 5 minutes to self-publish your ebook and make it available on kindle stores worldwide.
Gumroad is another alternative. You can start for free but pay a 5% cut on sales plus a payment processing charge.
Or pay $10/monthly to reduce their fees to 3.5%, have your own custom branding, use your own domain and many more.
9. Group Coaching
Group coaching is another powerful way to share your knowledge while getting paid to do so.
A coaching session can be used to drive results for people looking to improve a specific area of their lives or business.
These could be about public speaking, managing a business, developing leadership skills, job search strategies, starting in a new field, growing an online business and many more.
The possibilities are endless.
Group coaching is perfect for you if you want to establish your expertise, increase awareness for your brand and grow your business quickly and exponentially.
You’ll be reaching more people at the same time and make more money in less time.
To really do well here, you should have great communication and facilitation skills or gradually improve the skills over time.
Your biggest challenge will be getting people signed up to your coaching sessions. But you can drive leads to your sessions using one of the other methods above or by running ads.
If you have that area covered, organizing an online group session is a piece of cake with tools like Zoom or Google Hangout.
10. One-on-One coaching
This is similar to group coaching, but the sessions are between yourself, as the coach, and a client.
Obviously, you’ll charge more for a private coaching session than a group session. Your ability to scale and make more money will be limited.
But if you charge a reasonably high price for your time, and more importantly, the value you deliver to your clients, you can have great results with one-on-one coaching.
These coaching calls can be live, over the phone or using tools like Skype, Zoom, Google hangout and so on. Just pick the right one that best serve the result you are hoping to achieve for your client.
11. Mastermind Groups
Think of this as a premium and higher priced version of group coaching sessions. Here, members of the group are not only trying to solve their own problems, but they are also helping the other group members too.
A Mastermind group is an accountability group, peer mentoring group, success team and support group – all rolled into one.
If you have the expertise in a specific area with track record of excellent results, you can make loads of money from organizing mastermind groups.
You can meet monthly, quarterly or as often as you think is suitable for the goals you’re trying to achieve.
Mastermind groups can be used for entrepreneurship, investing, writing and so on.
Best way to make money with your Knowledge and Expertise
The best way to make money online is the one that utilizes your existing skills and expertise, has the potential to scale and provides a good balance between the efforts you put in and the money you make.
Beyond the expertise, each of the 11 ways to make money by sharing your knowledge covered above requires additional skills at varying level. Blogging, newsletters and ebooks will require some basic writing skills for instance.
That means the best one for you will vary depending on your unique situation and abilities. For example, selling a coaching program or mastermind group program may be easier if you already have an audience or know how to get in front of one.
Are you comfortable speaking in front of a camera? Then webinars or YouTube could be for you. Otherwise, you can start with a blog, ebook or freelancing.
Ultimately, you will have to combine a few different options to really maximize your earning potentials. With careful planning, you can create a value ladder that combines different offerings at varying price points and value to your client.
Here’s an example using Susan, a sales and marketing expert. She can combine several offers into a value ladder that looks like this:
- Free PDF download of the “7 low-cost ways to generate leads” through her blog, Youtube and Podcast
- Automated Sales Funnel System ebook for $29
- Get More Sales Using LinkedIn Course for $97
- Ultimate Sales Training for Entrepreneurs for $597
- Sales Blueprint Group Coaching Program for $2,000
- One on one coaching with Susan for $5,000
- Access to her Mastermind group for $1,000/month or $10,000 per annum.
Each level in her value ladder provides more value to her clients. And of course, more money for her.
Sharing your expertise, skills and knowledge can change your life beyond just the money you can make from it.
It can make you a recognized leader in your area, build your reputation and ultimately generate more leads for your business.
And the best part is: You don’t have to be 10x more knowledgeable in an area to make money by teaching others what you know.
In many instances, you just need to be a few steps ahead of them. That means you don’t need a formal education or certification to get started in most cases.
So take action today and get started with one of the online money making options covered in this post.
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