To cash in online you need to be a game-changer.
When Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook, there was nothing like it. He is now worth $17.5 billion according to recent Forbes valuations. Drew Houston saw money to be made in online storage, and co-founded Dropbox, the web-based tool that hit $240 million in revenue in 2011. Eric Lefkofsky spotted the potential in Groupon and gave $1 million to CEO and founder Andrew Mason. Last year, Lefkofsky made the Forbes Billionaires list with a net worth of $2.9 billion.
1. Make A Viral Video
Karmin, real-life couple Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan, made it big when their cover of Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now” went viral. The video, which has gained over 68 million views since its upload in April 2011, propelled the duo to a million dollar deal with label heavyweight Epic Records just a month later. “Brokenhearted,” the lead single from their debut album, has now gone platinum.
Music videos are not the only clips that make money. If you are lucky enough, you could shoot a video of your child, pet, or a double rainbow that strikes a chord and goes viral.
YouTube could then get in touch asking you to become a partner, meaning the site will run ads along with your clip and share over 50% of the revenue with you. The father of “David After Dentist” has made more than $100,000 from YouTube ads alone. From there, diversify into TV appearances, merchandise and even iPhone apps, as the creator of “Charlie Bit My Finger” has done.
2. Sell Your Stuff
We’ve all heard of Craigslist and eBay – online marketplaces designed for the average person to log on and cash in –
but did you know you could use them to become a millionaire?
Sophia Amoruso, the founder of online clothing store Nasty Gal, started her business by selling vintage finds on eBay. After building a fanbase she outgrew the platform and created her own website. Nasty Gal is now worth $130 million, and is set to do $128 million in sales this year.
These days, there are many more online retail options on which to make it big. Up-and-coming competitors include Threadflip, a place for users to turnaround their used women’s apparel, and ModCloth, which curates vintage threads. Others, such as Etsy, a craft-focused site, offer a more targeted community e-retailer, while Zaarly flips the model, so buyers post what they want to buy and sellers get in touch to pitch why they should sell it.
3. Monetize Your Creativity
We all create media content – recent estimates suggest 375 billion photographs are taken daily, while 72 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded every minute.
Did you know you could make money from those images?
Paya is a new site by Denver-based company T3Media that allows users to upload and sell images and videos from across 250 platforms, including Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo. It’s the eBay of digital media, and a haven for photographers of all talents, allowing you to keep 80% of every sale. If you catch something particularly newsworthy or timely, there might be big bucks in it from news sources and advertisers. Gumroad is a similar site that allows users to sell anything they create, be it a song, computer program or book. Users pick the price, and Gumroad retains only a 5% cut of every sale. Both platforms are new
– how much do you think you can make through them?
4. Start A Blog
A handful of bloggers translate their content into million-dollar deals. First, you’ll need to set up a site which will become your platform to write on music, fashion, finance or whatever your interest may be. Build a following and readership, and you could catch the attention of companies looking to acquire your site.
In 2008, Johns Wu, the founder of Bankaholic.com, sold the site to Bankrate, Inc. for $14.9 million. Entrepreneurial tech site TechCrunch was acquired by AOL in 2010 for $30 million, making its founder, Michael Arrington, a wealthy man.
Fashion bloggers can also get rich. Just look at Leandra Medine, the woman behind the Man Repeller blog, whose site grew so popular it spawned two jewelry lines with Dannijo and a collaboration with Del Toro on $325 shoes.
Other ways to monetize your writing include selling affiliate marketing through programs such as Amazon Affiliates. Bloggers place an affiliate link for the product on their site, and whenever a visitor buys a product by clicking on that link, they will be credited with a sale and make a commission. Bloggers can also sell advertising space, earning higher rates for more visitors.