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How to Make Money Online with AI in 2024

How to Make Money Online with AI in 2024

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Ready to put AI to work? Here we dive into how to make money online using our AI companions.
Ready to put AI to work? Here we dive into how to make money online using our AI companions.

Have you ever wondered if you could use AI to make money online?

Maybe you’re interested in earning some extra cash in your spare time, or you’ve dreamed about starting a bright new career as your own boss.

The good news is that with advancements in technology and the internet, there are plenty of actual ways to make money online. And with the recent leaps in Artificial Intelligence (AI), it’s now easier to make it happen.

In this guide, we’ll look at the real methods of generating income over the internet with AI. Our focus will be on practical, real-world advice tailored for beginners. It will also aid entrepreneurs looking to incorporate AI into their existing strategies.

Using tools like ChatGPT, we’ll explore how AI can automate tasks, analyze trends, and even help create content.

Whether you’re looking to build a side hustle or establish a full-time online business, this is a great starting point for you! Let’s begin with the primary methods of making money online.

An image of a laptop from the side with a person's hands typing

Digital income opportunities have been on the rise for several years. Online ventures are often attractive due to their low startup costs and accessibility.

With many schemes and scams out there, it’s essential to know the actual methods of generating an online income. These methods are:

  1. Selling Products or Services
  2. Advertising Revenue
  3. Affiliate Marketing
  4. Sponsored Content
  5. Donations and Patronage

(Note that we’ve omitted income methods that involve competition or games of skill, like professional gaming and gambling.)

The most direct way to earn money online is by selling products or services. This can range from physical goods sold through e-commerce platforms to digital products like e-books, courses, or software. Services may include consulting, coaching, or freelance skills like graphic design or programming.

If you have a website, blog, or a significant following on social media, advertising can be a lucrative revenue stream. By attracting traffic to your site or profile, you can earn money through display ads, sponsored posts, or paid promotions.

This involves promoting other people’s products and earning a commission for every sale made through your referral. It’s a popular method for bloggers and influencers who can leverage their audience’s trust to recommend products or services.

Similar to advertising, sponsored content is where a company pays you to create content that promotes their product or service. This could be a blog post, a video, or a social media post.

This method involves creators receiving financial support from their audience. This model works well for content creators who have a dedicated following and provide value through their work, whether it’s art, videos, podcasts, or writing.

Next, let’s explore the places where we can put these methods into action.

Image of a phone with the Shopify home page

After you’ve decided on a business method, you will need a platform to operate on. The web has several options for commercial services:

  • E-commerce Websites
  • Content Publishing Platforms
  • Video Sharing Platforms
  • Social Media Platforms
  • Streaming Services
  • Freelance Marketplaces
  • Online Course Platforms
  • Stock Photography and Art Platforms
  • Podcast Platforms
  • Affiliate Networks
  • App Stores
  • Digital Marketplaces
  • Crowdfunding Platforms
  • Patronage Platforms

E-commerce platforms are ideal for selling physical or digital products. They offer tools to set up an online store, manage inventory, and process payments.

Popular E-commerce Platforms

  • Shopify: A customizable e-commerce platform for building online stores with payment and inventory management.
  • WooCommerce: An open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress, suitable for customizable online stores.
  • BigCommerce: A feature-rich e-commerce platform offering tools for online store creation and scalable growth.
  • Magento: An open-source e-commerce solution known for robust functionality and scalability.
  • Squarespace Commerce: Squarespace’s integrated feature for adding e-commerce to websites.
  • Wix eCommerce: Wix’s solution for creating online stores with marketing and payment tools.
  • Etsy: Marketplace for handmade and vintage items and craft supplies.
  • eBay: Global online marketplace for various goods and services.

Content platforms allow creators to publish articles, blogs, or newsletters. Monetization comes through subscriptions, paid memberships, or ad revenue.

Popular Content Publishing Sites

  • Medium: An online publishing platform offering a mix of amateur and professional writers and publications.
  • Substack: Newsletter publishing tool that allows creators to send digital newsletters directly to subscribers.
  • WordPress: The popular content management system for creating websites and blogs with extensive customization options.
  • Ghost: A modern publishing platform focused on professional publishing, offering a clean, user-friendly experience.
  • Blogger: A user-friendly blogging service offering customizable templates and Google integration.
  • Weebly: Web hosting service that offers drag-and-drop website building with integrated e-commerce and marketing.
  • Squarespace: An all-in-one website building, blogging, and e-commerce solution with designer templates.
  • Wix: Website builder known for its ease of use and extensive design flexibility.

Video platforms offer expansive toolsets to upload, share, and monetize your content. Earnings can be achieved through ads, sponsored content, and fan donations.

Popular Video Sharing Platforms

  • YouTube: The world’s largest video-sharing platform, offering a wide range of user-generated and corporate media videos.
  • Vimeo: A video platform catering to creatives, known for its high-quality content and lack of ads on videos.
  • Dailymotion: Video hosting service offering a mix of user-generated and licensed content with monetization options.
  • Facebook Watch: Facebook’s service for watching videos, shows, and live content directly on the social media platform.
  • Instagram Reels: Instagram’s short-form video platform that allows users to create and share content straight from the user’s account.
  • TikTok: A social media platform for short-form mobile videos, known for its viral content and creative tools.

Social media is a fantastic, modern option for building an audience. Creators can monetize through sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, and direct product promotion.

Popular Social Media Platforms

  • Instagram: Photo and video-sharing social networking service famous for its stories and visually focused content.
  • Facebook: Platform offering a broad mix of content sharing, community interaction, and personal/business pages.
  • X (Formerly Twitter): Microblogging and social networking service known for its short posts called tweets and real-time updates.
  • TikTok: The platform for short-form mobile videos, famous for its engaging, creative, and often viral content.
  • LinkedIn: Business and employment-oriented service for professional networking, job searching, and industry-related content sharing.
  • Snapchat: Multimedia messaging app known for its disappearing content, filters, and Snap stories.
  • Pinterest: A visual discovery engine popular for image sharing and inspiration, often used for DIY, recipes, and project ideas.

Streaming services allow users to broadcast live video to their audience. Streamers earn through ads, sponsorships, subscriptions, and donations.

Popular Streaming Services

  • Twitch: The live streaming platform primarily for gamers, featuring gaming content and creative streams.
  • Facebook Gaming: A gaming-focused streaming service within Facebook, offering live gameplay and community interaction.
  • YouTube Live: Google’s live streaming service for real-time broadcasting of events, gaming, and more.
  • DLive: Blockchain-based live streaming service with a focus on gaming and rewarding creators and viewers.
  • Caffeine: Social broadcasting platform offering live streaming with a focus on entertainment and gaming.
  • Steam Broadcasting: Valve’s service for live streaming games within the Steam community, allowing users to broadcast their gameplay.

These marketplaces connect freelance professionals with clients for services like writing, graphic design, and web development, allowing professionals to monetize their skills.

Popular Freelance Marketplaces

  • Fiverr: Marketplace for freelance services, known for its vast array of gigs in various fields.
  • Upwork: Platform for freelancers and agencies to find projects, with a focus on long-term and complex work.
  • Freelancer: A large freelance marketplace offering a wide range of categories from web design to writing services.
  • Toptal: A network for top-tier freelancers in software development, design, finance, and project management.
  • PeoplePerHour: UK-based freelance job site where clients and freelancers agree on an hourly rate for projects.
  • Guru: Platform offering professionals for hire in multiple fields like programming, design, and writing.
  • Behance: Social media platform for creative professionals to showcase their portfolios and find work.
  • 99designs: A global design marketplace connecting clients with graphic designers for custom creative work.

Online course platforms are fantastic for creating and selling educational content, tapping into the growing demand for online learning.

Popular Online Course Platforms

  • Udemy: A platform offering a wide range of courses taught by industry experts and professionals.
  • Coursera: A provider of online courses, specializations, and degrees from universities and colleges around the world.
  • Skillshare: Vast educational community with thousands of classes in creative, business, and tech fields.
  • Lynda/LinkedIn Learning: Platform offering video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business skills.
  • Teachable: Platform for creating and selling online courses and coaching services, with customizable branding.
  • Pluralsight: A tech-centric online learning platform specializing in IT, software, creative, and professional training.

Photographers and artists can sell their work on these platforms to monetize their work and grow their personal brand.

Popular Stock Photography and Art Platforms

  • Shutterstock: A global provider of stock photography, stock footage, stock music, and editing tools.
  • Adobe Stock: Adobe’s marketplace offering high-quality royalty-free images, videos, and templates.
  • Unsplash: A platform for freely usable, high-resolution photos contributed by a community of photographers.
  • Getty Images: Renowned supplier of stock images, editorial photography, video, and music for business and consumers.
  • iStock: A subsidiary of Getty Images, offering millions of royalty-free stock images, photos, and illustrations.
  • Dreamstime: Stock photography community selling high-quality stock images and videos.
  • Alamy: A stock photo agency providing a diverse range of high-quality images and photo collections.
  • 500px: Photography community that licenses images and allows photographers to sell their work.

Monetization in podcasting can be achieved through revenue streams from sponsorships, ads, or listener donations.

Popular Podcast Platforms

  • Anchor: A free podcast hosting platform offering tools for creation, distribution, and monetization of podcasts.
  • Podbean: Podcast hosting service providing publishing tools, automatic distribution, and ways to monetize content.
  • Spotify Podcasts: The famous digital music service featuring a wide range of podcasts across various genres and interests.
  • Apple Podcasts: Apple’s podcast platform, offering a vast library of free audio stories, shows, and educational content.
  • TuneIn: An internet radio and podcast listening service offering a wide array of content, including live sports, news, and podcasts.
  • Overcast: A podcast player app known for its unique features like Smart Speed, Voice Boost, and a user-friendly interface.

Joining an affiliate network can help monetize blogs, websites, or social media through product referrals.

Popular Affiliate Networks

  • Amazon Associates: Offers website owners and bloggers a way to earn commissions by advertising products from a vast online retail catalog.
  • ClickBank: A retail marketplace and affiliate network known for a diverse range of digital products including e-books and software.
  • ShareASale: Affiliate marketing network connecting marketers with merchants for product promotion and partnerships.
  • Commission Junction (CJ Affiliate): Global affiliate marketing network providing solutions for publishers and advertisers in various niches.
  • Rakuten Marketing: A comprehensive digital marketing solution specializing in affiliate marketing and retargeting strategies.
  • Impact Radius: Affiliate marketing platform focusing on technology-driven solutions for effective marketing and monetization.
  • Avangate: A Global software and digital goods network catering to software and SaaS companies.
  • FlexOffers: Versatile network offering a wide range of advertisers and competitive commission opportunities in affiliate marketing.

If you’ve ever wanted to build an app, you can utilize these online storefronts to distribute your app to the public. You can monetize through in-app purchases or by charging a fee to download.

Popular App Stores

  • Apple App Store: Online marketplace for iOS apps and games, offering a variety of applications for Apple devices.
  • Google Play Store: Platform for Android users to download apps, games, music, books, and more.
  • Microsoft Store: Offers a range of applications, games, and digital content for Windows devices.
  • Amazon Appstore: Amazon’s app store for Amazon Fire products, providing a variety of apps and games, including Amazon exclusives.
  • Samsung Galaxy Store: Exclusive app store for Samsung devices, featuring apps and content tailored for Samsung users.

Digital content marketplaces provide creators with a place to sell digital products like ebooks, music, or software.

Popular Digital Content Marketplaces

  • Gumroad: Platform for creators to sell products directly to consumers, specializing in digital goods.
  • Spring (formerly Teespring): Service for designing and selling custom merchandise, popular for its print-on-demand model.
  • Sellfy: E-commerce platform tailored for creators looking to sell digital products, subscriptions, and physical goods.
  • Envato Market: A marketplace for creative assets, offering a wide range of themes, graphics, and templates.
  • Redbubble: Marketplace for print-on-demand products featuring artwork from independent artists.
  • Creative Market: A platform for buying and selling handcrafted design assets like fonts, graphics, and templates.
  • Society6: Artist-driven online marketplace offering print-on-demand products featuring unique designs and artwork.

Crowdfunding platforms are ideal for raising funds for a project or product, offering a pre-sale mechanism or special perks to backers.

Popular Crowdfunding Platforms

  • Kickstarter: Crowdfunding platform for creative projects, offering backers rewards for their support.
  • Indiegogo: Platform for entrepreneurs to raise funds for innovative products and ideas, with flexible funding options.
  • GoFundMe: Fundraising platform focusing on personal causes, from medical expenses to community projects.
  • StartEngine: Platform that enables startups to raise capital through equity crowdfunding.
  • Fundable: Business-focused crowdfunding platform, offering both equity and reward-based funding opportunities.

Patronage Platforms support content creators through a subscription-based model where fans pay for exclusive content or perks.

Popular Patronage Platforms

  • Patreon: Subscription-based platform allowing fans to support creators in exchange for exclusive content.
  • Ko-fi: A service where supporters can offer one-time donations or memberships to support creators.
  • Buy Me a Coffee: Platform for fans to make small, one-time donations to creators, similar to buying them a coffee.
  • Memberful: Membership software integrating with websites to create subscription-based products for creators.
  • Tipeee: A european-based platform for fans to financially support and tip creators through one-time or recurring payments.
  • Podia: All-in-one platform where creators can sell courses, memberships, and digital products.
  • Liberapay: Crowdfunding platform focused on recurring donations to support creators, activists, and projects.
  • SubscribeStar: Platform for content creators to receive recurring payments and donations from subscribers.
Image of OpenAI logo on a computer monitor

We’ve talked about how and where to make money online, now let’s look at the powerful tech that’s been dominating headlines recently: AI.

This section is going to be a brief overview of what AI actually is, and how it can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, with practical AI applications like ChatGPT.

AI stands for “Artificial Intelligence.” It’s an area of computing that’s designed to simulate human intelligence to perform various tasks.

These tasks can range from performing data analysis to playing a game of chess.

Currently, the most popular AI tool is ChatGPT. This chatbot is a powerful language model that interacts with users through normal human language.

ChatGPT has been trained with massive datasets, based on millions of web pages, books, and articles. This makes ChatGPT an exceptional assistant for tasks like business development.

💡Tip

If the idea of using AI sounds a little intimidating, don’t worry! Tools like ChatGPT are designed to be very easy to use for business. You can read more in our other post: ChatGPT: The Not-So-Secret Weapon for Web Entrepreneurs.
Image of cute white AI robots in a row with light blue metallic accents on laptop computers

As entrepreneurs, we can take advantage of AI by automating different areas of our business. Here are some of the popular ways we can leverage this powerful technology.

AI can help generate unique and engaging content for your blogs, social media, or video scripts. It can tailor content based on audience preferences, increasing engagement and loyalty.

AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle customer queries, provide 24/7 support, and improve overall customer service, freeing up your time to focus on core business activities.

AI tools can analyze vast amounts of data to provide valuable insights into market trends, customer behavior, and effective strategies. This information is crucial for making informed business decisions.

From scheduling posts to sorting emails, AI can take over repetitive tasks, increasing efficiency and allowing you to focus on creative and strategic aspects of your business.

AI can optimize your content for search engines, helping your website or blog rank higher in search results, thereby increasing organic traffic and potential revenue.

Through AI, you can offer personalized product recommendations to your customers, enhancing user experience and increasing sales through upselling.

From inventory management to personalized shopping experiences, AI can transform how you manage your e-commerce store, making it more responsive to customer needs and market changes.

AI tools can assist in creating visual content, like logos, banners, and images, aligning with your brand’s aesthetic and message.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, we’re going to go over the steps that you can follow to start up your own online venture.

Here’s the process:

  1. Identify Your Niche: Choose a niche based on your interests, skills, and market demand.
  2. Market Research: Conduct research to understand your audience, competition, and market trends.
  3. Business Plan: Draft a simple business plan outlining your business model, revenue streams, and goals.
  4. Choose a Platform: Depending on your niche, select an appropriate online platform (e.g., Shopify for e-commerce, WordPress for blogging).
  5. Set Up Your Online Presence: Create a website or profile on the chosen platform, ensuring it’s user-friendly and visually appealing.
  6. Create Your Product or Service: Develop your offering, whether it’s a physical product, digital content, or a service.
  7. Implement Marketing Strategies: Use digital marketing techniques like social media marketing, email marketing, and SEO to attract and engage your target audience.
  8. Launch: Officially launch your online venture with a promotional campaign.
  9. Monitor and Adapt: Regularly analyze the performance of your business, adapt your strategies as needed, and stay responsive to customer feedback.
  10. Scale Up: Once established, explore ways to expand your business, like adding new products or services, reaching new markets, or scaling up your marketing efforts.

While these steps are straightforward, a few of them have been simplified. For instance, setting up a website can take additional time and knowledge to complete.

But what if we could use our AI tool to help us streamline those tasks?

Another reason ChatGPT so valuable is that you can also use it for effective business planning.

To get started, just head over to chat.openai.com and sign up for an account if you haven’t already done so. Once you’re signed up, here’s what you can ask it for each step of the process:

StepAsk ChatGPT:
Identify Your Niche“Can you help me come up with a niche for my new online business?”
Market Research“I need help performing market research on the niche for my new online business. Where can I start and what should I be looking for?”
Business Plan“I’d like you to help me draft a business plan for my online business”
Choose a Platform“Which platforms would be the best for my niche and method?”
Set Up Your Online Presence“Can you provide suggestions and services for the easiest ways to create a user-friendly and appealing website for my business?”
Create Your Product or Service“Help me build a process to create and sell my product/service online”
Implement Marketing Strategies“I’d like to create a marketing campaign strategy for my business, could you help me plan it out?”
Launch“Can you help create a pre-launch checklist for my business?”
Monitor and Adapt“I need to analyze the performance of my business and adapt my strategy”
Scale Up“I’d like to focus on growing my business, what would be the best techniques to scale it effectively?”

As you ask ChatGPT more questions, you’ll notice it has pretty great responses. But sometimes they can be too generic, inaccurate, or maybe just not what you were looking for.

We address this challenge in our other post, Prompt Crafting 101: Supercharge Your AI Generated Content to help you get the most out of ChatGPT.

Many are still discovering new use cases for ChatGPT in business. You can learn about some of the lesser-known ChatGPT tricks in our other post, 49 Practical Ways to Use ChatGPT in Your Business Right Now.

The premium version is recommended over the free version to get the most out of ChatGPT. At the time of this writing, premium costs around $20 per month. We can verify the quality is worth the price tag for those looking to utilize ChatGPT for business. (This is not an advertisement or endorsement.)

Now that you’re more familiar with how to leverage AI to make money, you’re ready to take the first step in your venture.

We hope this guide has helped you learn how to start an online business with AI. If it has, please consider sharing this post with others, so it can help them out too.

Remember, the key to being successful in starting your own online venture is flexibility and the willingness to learn and adapt with tools like ChatGPT. ⚡️

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