“You can’t make money online!”
“That stuff is for suckers!”
Do those sound familiar to you? Chances are they do if you’ve ever told anyone about your desire to make money on the internet. I suppose you can’t blame them, considering all of the gimmicky garbage plastered everywhere.
Banner ads are promising thousands for clicking buttons. Endless spam comments tell stories of someone’s aunt making six figures per month. No wonder the general public is skeptical.
Let me tell you a little secret. You don’t need to hound strangers, family, or friends to make a real, liveable income online. All it takes is a little motivation and maybe a gentle nudge in the right direction.
Ok, Ok. Just Tell Me How to Do It
I’m sure a clever few of you have cracked this case already, but let’s get a countdown going for the big reveal.
3, 2, 1…
Reviewing products online!
Everyone needs to buy things, and every business needs to sell things. It’s your job to bring those two parties together. There are billions of dollars in transactions occurring through that beautiful magic box every day, and you deserve to get in on some of that action.
Why Choose This Path?
Freedom. That was at the top of my list, and I’m betting it’s at the top of yours, too. There’s nothing better than being your own boss and setting your own hours. It’s a godsend if you happen to have a child.
It’s very fulfilling work. It’s real work. It takes effort, skill, and determination. You get to learn many new things every single day. Once you learn how to do it, you’ll have a valuable skill for life.
Not everyone is cut out for this type of employment. It takes enormous discipline to sit your butt down and get to work without a boss breathing down your neck. Just learn to avoid distractions, and you’ll be fine.
There’s more than one way to approach product reviews. Try one, two, or all of the methods to see what works best for you.
Want to work directly with a company? Great! Would you prefer to be a middleman? Not a problem. You have tons of choices at your disposal, and I’ll walk you through them right now.
Write Affiliate Reviews
Affiliates earn a commission on each sale they refer. You can sign up with many companies directly, and they’ll let you know their payout percentage during the application process.
For only a couple bucks a month you can start your very own blog to post your reviews. It can be about technology, appliances, sports, anything you want. It’s much easier if you’re reviewing products that interest you.
When you sign up to an affiliate program, they’ll provide you with a unique link to insert in your review that tracks every person you send to the product page. If that person buys something, you get paid.
Some of the biggest names in online shopping have affiliate programs. Amazon is one of the most well-known and is very popular with affiliates. Their brand power increases the odds of a sale after your reader clicks through to view the product. Sweet!
If you’d prefer to keep everything honest and ethical, make sure to purchase the product and test it out. Some companies might even send you a free sample to try. Experience with the product is the best way to gather information, but it’s not essential. Many reviewers lookup existing reviews and use that info to write their own. Whichever way you decide to go about it, I won’t judge you.
The biggest issue with this method is if you can’t convince someone to buy the product, you don’t get paid. It takes some practice to start seeing results, but once you get it, you’ll be able to repeat it consistently.
Work as a Freelancer
Freelancing is the one that feels most like a “real job.” No crossing your fingers and praying for a sale. All you need to do is follow your client’s instructions.
Most of your work here will likely come from affiliates who don’t feel like writing their own reviews. They’ve already done the heavy lifting of figuring out which products to promote, and they shoulder the burden of waiting for sales to come.
It’s pretty easy to find someone looking for your services if you know where to look. You have your standard freelancing marketplaces like iWriter and Upwork, and forums like Black Hat World for a more personal approach.
The most significant disadvantage of the marketplaces is that they take a percentage of your earnings. The moderators also have final say over any disputes and will often side with the buyer, possibly forcing you to do some work for free.
I like to find clients on forums, personally. Most of the time, you have a lot more control over your business. The forum serves only as an advertising platform, and you’re free to send clients to your own site and charge whatever you want. There’s no one to stick their nose in every move you make. Everything you do is yours.
Review a Product You Created
Who said you have to write reviews for someone else? If you have a product out there, spreading around some positive reviews is a great way to boost sales.
Some of you might find this to be morally wrong, and that’s understandable. For those who don’t, try not to be too obvious. Create several aliases and blogs to avoid arousing any suspicion.
If you want to try this but aren’t sure how to create a product, write an ebook. If you’re highly knowledgeable in a particular topic, people will pay to hear what you have to say.
When you become an expert reviewer, you could write an ebook to teach others how to do it themselves. It also wouldn’t hurt if “Bill from Detroit” happens to own a blog and vouches for you. Wink, wink.
Create YouTube Video Reviews
Writing isn’t the only way to do a review, sometimes physically showing the product off and demonstrating its features is the best way to get people interested.
YouTube isn’t the easiest place to gain traction if you’re just starting, but the increased conversion rate among those who do watch your video makes it worth a shot.
Create quality videos that show yourself and the product clearly, and learn to add titles and tags to boost your presence in the YouTube search results. Build trust, and the sales will come.
Become an Influencer
I have to be honest with you. My experience with influencing is right around zero; more like precisely zero. I do know that it’s one of the hardest, yet one of the easiest ways to make money reviewing products online.
To become a successful influencer, you’ll need to already have a large following on one of the big social networks. Brands will pay you money to post pictures or short videos of yourself using their product. You can usually get away with hardly a review at all, sometimes just a little blurb in the comment section about how much you like it.
Instagram is probably the most popular platform for influencers. It’s easy to buy fake followers to make it seem like you’re famous, but I would strongly advise against that. You might be able to make a quick buck, but when none of your followers buy anything, it’ll be obvious they aren’t real.
Write User Reviews
User reviews are a bit different than regular product reviews. I’m sure you’ve seen those sections on shopping sites, the place where it shows a product’s five-star rating and a few sentences from people who have purchased the item. Those reviews provide trust to potential buyers.
A lot of people have their products listed on amazon and want it to appear as though people are buying it and are satisfied with their purchase. That’s where you come in.
You can find clients for this in the same places we discussed above in the freelancing section. Many of them will require you to buy the product so the “verified” mark will display beside your name, letting other people know you really did buy it.
Don’t worry; they’ll always reimburse you for the expense plus pay you for your service of writing the review itself.
If you came here with any doubt at all about making money reviewing products online, I hope I was able to assure you it’s very possible.
I recommend reviewing products over nearly anything else. Don’t fall into the traps of completing surveys or clicking ads for pennies. You’d make more money picking up recyclables along the highway.
Writing product reviews is something that will give you a sense of pride. A feeling that you’ve accomplished something. As your skill develops, you’ll be able to charge more for your time. Before you know it, you’ll have people coming up to you asking where the heck you got all that money from when you never leave the house.
Why are you still here? The Benjamins are calling.