Personal Finance

7 Ways to Make Money In the Digital Age

Putting your eggs in multiple baskets has been a time-tested way to grow your assets. And with the rise of social media and mobile internet, new means to invest have been introduced. It is time to take a look at the other baskets and see how they can help you achieve your specific goals.

Consider these 7 ideas that have been bringing some good returns to the average individual in the latter part of the decade:

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1.) Dropshipping: the e-commerce darling

Back in the day, when e-commerce was still at its early stages, merchants used the wholesale approach to buy and sell products. They had to purchase large quantities of inventory without any clear indication that they would be sold or not. Fast forward to today, the dropshipping model edges it out in some aspects. Dropshipping provides enterprising people with the opportunity to enter the market by shouldering only a fraction of wholesale costs. Instead of paying to stock inventory in a warehouse or a physical store, they can create a nifty website and conduct all of their marketing efforts online. Giants like Alibaba allow dropshipping because it’s another supply channel for them. While it gives Tomas Slimas, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Oberlo, told Forbes “it’s never been easier to launch your own online store, find a product to sell, or start an advertising campaign.”

2.) Content production: an in-demand skill set

Content is king. And in this age, multimedia content rules. The shift to mobile has given rise to individuals who produce their own content. Brands are on the lookout for such users and tap them for content creation. That said, the competition can be tough. Adding production value, such as investing in a good mirrorless or DSLR camera, can help you cultivate superior skills. It’s not guaranteed, but superior skills can also help you stand out.

3.) Knowledge-sharing: more infinite possibilities

We’re not talking about posting makeup tutorials or piano sheets on YouTube — although that’s another way to earn. It is more about the organized way people and organizations distill their knowledge in engaging multimedia formats to share with others who want to adopt a strategy or join an industry. Knowledge commerce offers infinite possibilities. As Kajabi Co-founder Travis Rosser said in an interview, “in the knowledge economy, you are trading what you know for money on an endless scale. Your course can be bought by anybody in the world day and night and you can make money while you are sleeping.”

4.) Professional consulting: on finding the right approach

There are two main approaches that can yield more return on investment. One is to build your own website, sales funnel, marketing campaigns, etc. You will need a significant amount of capital to get started. However, you can think about it as an extension of conducting consultation in the office. The other is to use existing platforms to advertise to and look for potential clients. Choosing the right approach for you is key. If you’re a financial advisor, the first option seems a good fit. If you’re a digital marketing strategist, the second option may present a higher number of prospects for you.

5.) App development: a viable source of income

Knowing the right programming language to develop an iOS or Android app is a good place to start. Those with coding background can build their own or search for projects. They can choose to go full-time or do it on the side. Before delving into this kind of work, however, you need to understand its selling component. Do you have a market for your app idea? How much are you willing to invest in this endeavor in terms of time, money, and energy? Have a primary goal and plan your way around it.

6.) Startup bootstrapping: a specialized endeavor

Betting on a startup does not always work. Understand that using your own money and assets to get an idea off the ground is high risk. Startups are a bit different from small businesses in that you are creating a new model and have yet to validate its marketability. Early testing and validation are key.

7.) Traveling: the dark horse of the gig economy

Travelers can get paid for several reasons. There are those who fly to a certain destination on assignment, such as National Geographic photographers. But with the advent of influencer marketing, many brands and agencies are tapping social media users with sizable followings. For instance, an airline can sponsor the trip of an Instagram celebrity who’s known for her off-the-beaten-path excursions. The tourism department of a country, city, or town can also invite niche bloggers to their place in order to boost economic activity.

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