Do you want to learn how to make money from digital marketing?
Whether it is starting your own online business, selling freelance services, or getting a salaried job, there are plenty of ways to make money using digital marketing.
In this guide, I’ll provide the 12 most effective ways to make money with digital marketing and some practical steps you can take to get started with each. Let’s dive right in.
How to Earn Money by Digital Marketing
These are the most popular methods to make money with digital marketing.
- Make money as a content writer
- Become an SEO expert and sell SEO services
- Earn money with affiliate marketing
- Sell consulting services to companies
- Earn money by selling ads
- Work as a social media manager
- Create and sell your own digital products
- Become a YouTube advertising partner
- Become an eCommerce specialist
- Manage PPC campaigns for other companies
- Get a digital marketing job
- Start your own digital marketing agency
1. Make money as a content writer
Content writing involves planning and writing content for online channels. It is usually part of a digital marketing strategy and can include writing a wide range of content types including articles, blog posts, posts for social media, and scripts for videos.
To become a content writing specialist, you’ll need to develop a variety of skills and meet certain qualifications. This includes:
- Writing skills
- Keyword research skills
- SEO skills
- Analytical skills
If you want to work for a company you should plan on having a college degree, usually in journalism, marketing, or communications. College degrees are less important as a freelancer.
Whether you work independently or with a company, obtaining different content marketing certifications can help boost both your skills and reputation.
There are plenty of content marketing courses both free and paid that you can use to get certified.
It’s also good practice to start your own blog. This will allow you to further develop your skills and can serve as a selling point when looking to secure a job or freelance clients.
How much money can you make as a content specialist?
It depends on the job position and a number of other factors. For example, if you work in a company, the average base salary for content writers is $3,509 per month.
If you work as a content marketing freelancer, you can get paid per piece (per article, etc). You can charge anywhere between $0.10 and $0.50 for each word you write. The exact rate depends on the type of content and your level of expertise on the subject.
You can also build the necessary skills and become a content marketing specialist. In this case, the average salary for a content marketing specialist is $81,000 per year. This number will vary based on your location and level of experience.
Resources to become a content professional
2. Become an SEO expert and sell SEO services
SEO is one of the most important areas of digital marketing to master as it can be useful in a variety of different roles.
As an SEO expert, you can sell your services to clients less versed in the matter.
To become an SEO expert, you’ll first need to understand the fine details of how search engines work.
After that, you need to begin developing your SEO skills. There is no shortage of SEO material on the web. It is recommended to find a high-quality SEO course as you can easily get lost sifting through the endless amount of articles
As your knowledge and skills begin to grow, you’ll want to get familiar with the popular SEO tools to help streamline the way you work.
SEO is constantly changing so it’s important to stay up to date on all the latest SEO changes and be able to adjust your projects accordingly.
To successfully sell your services, you’ll need to build a network of potential clients.
Create a website to provide your background in SEO and list your services. You can start a blog and put your SEO skills to work by driving targeted traffic to your site.
As you start to gain clients, you’ll want to keep detailed records of your results so you can create case studies you can use to win more business.
How much can you make as an SEO expert?
The average hourly rate for SEO consultants is between $50 – $125. Prices vary per country and experience.
The average salary of an SEO manager working in an agency or company is $77K per year.
Resources to become an SEO professional
3. Earn money with affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a business model where you earn commissions by referring sales of other people’s products.
The process is straightforward. You find products you want to promote, create a website promoting those products, and drive interested visitors to your affiliate products.
There are two primary types of affiliate partnerships. Standalone programs where you establish an account directly with a company and affiliate networks where you can join and manage multiple partnerships on a single platform.
As your blog will be the primary way of promoting your affiliate products, it’s important to perform keyword research before settling on a niche.
This way, you can see the monthly search volume for related terms and get an estimate for the amount of traffic you’ll be able to generate.
You want to pay particular attention to keywords with transactional search intent. These are search terms that indicate someone is close to buying a product. They often include words like buy, get discount, etc.
Also, look for search terms with commercial intent. These keywords indicate that someone is in the buying process but hasn’t decided on a specific product yet. They include words like best, review, product x vs product y.
Focusing on these keywords will help you monetize the traffic you bring to your website.
Once you have an idea of the types of products you want to sell, you’ll need to create your blog and start writing content. Choosing the right keywords will make it easier to get started as you can find product comparisons and reviews to write for your initial posts.
While you can join affiliate programs before you start your blog, it’s often a good practice to wait until you are receiving some traffic. After all, you will need the traffic to be able to generate sales anyway.
Plus, many affiliate programs have requirements for approval and may require that you already have an established audience.
How much can you make through affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing has huge earning potential but you will need to establish your web presence and generate a good amount of traffic to your website to see meaningful results.
If you have the patience to build the business you can easily make six figures per year from affiliate marketing.
4. Sell consulting services to companies
Once you have some digital marketing experience under your belt, you can monetize your skills by becoming a digital marketing consultant and start selling consulting services to other companies.
Take the following steps to get started:
Define your area of expertise
First, you need to be able to define the specific services to offer clients.
Find the areas of digital marketing where you are strong and where there is a high demand for services. This could include:
- Social media marketing
- Video marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Local marketing
- Email marketing
- Web analytics and reporting
Once you’ve determined the specific service you will offer, the next step is to begin building your online presence.
A website will serve as the hub for your business where you can add testimonials and case studies from previous clients so visitors can learn more about your offering.
With a website in place, you can begin building your blog. Using your blog to write about digital marketing topics related to your consulting services will help drive relevant traffic to your business while further expanding your online presence.
Build a network
The more you grow your network, the easier it will be to find new clients.
Use your professional network to find companies that could be interested in your services.
You can also reach out to previous clients to see if they have any connections looking for digital marketing services.
How much can you make as a digital marketing consultant?
A digital marketing consultant’s fees will depend on their particular area of expertise, project scope, and level of experience.
Hourly rates tend to run between $50 to $150 per hour.
5. Earn money by selling ads
Running ads on your site is a popular way to monetize your website traffic.
Be aware, that to make decent money with ads your website needs to have a lot of traffic.
When you’re first building your audience, it’s a good idea to supplement your monetization efforts through affiliate marketing or by offering your own digital products.
There are many advertising programs available you can use to monetize your web traffic, the most popular being Google Adsense.
When you sign up for Adsense and add the appropriate code to your website, Google will start serving ads on your web pages.
Your ads can generate revenue through views and clicks. However, Google pays very little for views, if anything at all.
The amount that you earn will vary significantly depending on your website category, audience demographics, and more.
Regardless of these factors, you need to plan to generate considerable traffic to see any meaningful income.
There are ad networks other than Google Adsense, with popular choices including Ezoic, Media.net, and Propeller Ads.
If your website is already getting a steady amount of traffic and you want more control over the ads that appear on your site, you can sell direct ads on your website.
Create an Advertise with Us” page for your blog detailing the different ad formats available and how much they cost. You’ll want to include important traffic stats so buyers know the value they are receiving.
If you don’t want to handle selling the ads yourself, there are several online marketplaces where you can list your ads for people to buy. Some popular options include BuySellAds and BlogAds.
How much can you make selling ads on your website?
No matter the ad network you use, you’ll need to get 100,000s of page impressions per month to see any meaningful income.
Google AdSense RPM (revenue per 1,000 impressions) can range between $0.25 to $3.
Resources to learn more
- How to start a profitable website – How to make money online without selling anything.
6. Work as a social media manager
Working as a social media manager is a great way to use your skills to make money through digital marketing.
As a social media manager, you’ll look to grow a brand’s online presence through a variety of marketing tactics.
Your responsibilities can include everything from writing and scheduling posts, creating graphics, running ads, to replying to followers’ comments.
There are several ways you can find work as a social media manager. You can get a salaried position with a company (we’ll discuss how to find digital marketing jobs later) or you can work as a digital marketing freelancer.
Like selling consulting services, you’ll need to build your network and establish your reputation to earn a consistent flow of clients. Creating a website with a portfolio of previous clients and case studies of the results you’ve driven can help you win new business.
How much can you make as a social media manager?
Salaried social media managers make an average salary of $62,000 per year, with experienced managers up to making $75,000.
As a freelancer, your earnings will depend on the number of clients you have and your experience level. New social media managers can earn anywhere between $15 and $50 per hour while experienced managers can earn $50 to $100 per hour or higher.
Resources to become a social media manager
- Social Media Marketing Courses – the 10 best courses to teach yourself social media marketing.
7. Create and sell your own digital products
You can put your digital marketing experience to good use by creating and selling your own digital products.
An advantage of digital products is that you can create them once and then sell them repeatedly without having to continue to source new products. This results in extremely high-profit margins and the ability to automate your business with ease.
There are a variety of different types of digital products with more popular options including:
Ebooks are one of the simplest digital products to create and you can often use the content previously published on your blog to put the product together quickly.
E-learning is the future of education as more people are turning to online sources to expand their knowledge. Creating online courses allows you to share your expertise with others and is a great way to meet this demand. Along with selling through your own website, you can list your courses on markets like Udemy to reach an even larger audience.
If you have web design skills, you can create templates for platforms like WordPress or Shopify. You’ll be able to offer your products on your own site as well as other marketplaces such as ThemeForest.
Marketing your digital products will involve using the same primary channels as a store selling physical goods. You’ll want to create a blog to drive traffic to your website, collect emails and leverage email marketing, and actively engage with your audience on social media.
One thing to keep in mind when selling digital products is that you’ll be competing with all the free content available on the internet. You want to make sure to conduct thorough research to ensure that the product you create provides enough value to convince people to buy it and that you price your offering appropriately.
How much can you make selling digital products?
Selling digital products online presents the opportunity to make a considerable amount of money. You can easily price your products at hundreds or even thousands of dollars. With these prices, you won’t need a lot of sales to generate a meaningful income.
8. Become a YouTube advertising partner
If you want to earn money by digital marketing through videos you can create a youtube channel and become an advertising partner.
The process for earning through youtube is straightforward. You create and publish videos on your channel and promote your videos to build an audience. Each time your video plays a different assortment of ads will show.
When someone views or clicks an ad on your video, you’ll generate a tiny amount of revenue.
To be approved as an advertising partner you will need to meet the following minimum requirements:
- Follow all YouTube monetization policies.
- Live in a country where the YouTube Partner Program is available.
- You have more than 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.
- Your account has more than 1,000 subscribers
- You have a linked AdSense account.
How much can you make as a Youtube advertising partner?
As an advertising partner, you get paid for ad views. To determine your potential income, you’ll need to estimate the number of video views you anticipate receiving. Not everyone will watch the ads so your ad views will be lower than your video views.
On average, Youtube partners make between $0.01 to $0.03 per ad view. This amounts to somewhere between $3 to $5 per 1,000 video views.
Needless to say, you need to generate a substantial amount of video views to earn a significant income with Youtube.
9. Become an eCommerce specialist
As eCommerce continues to grow at a rapid pace, the need for eCommerce specialists grows with it.
An eCommerce specialist is responsible for creating and executing a marketing strategy to help businesses sell products online.
Some of the day to day activities of an eCommerce specialist include:
- Website management
- Managing marketing campaigns
- Optimizing the store’s SEO
- Adjusting on-page elements to improve conversion rate optimization
- Setting up email marketing funnels
- Running up-selling and cross-selling campaigns
Being successful as an eCommerce specialist requires several vital skills including communication, analytical, and critical thinking abilities.
Here are some practical steps you can take to develop the skills necessary to become an eCommerce specialist:
- Understand the in and outs of eCommerce
- Become an expert in e-commerce SEO
- Get familiar with popular e-commerce platforms
- Learn how to run PPC ads
- Master conversion rate optimization
- Build content and email marketing skills
How much can you make as an eCommerce specialist?
The average salary for an eCommerce specialist is $58,000 per year, which will vary based on location and experience. For eCommerce Managers, the salary can go up to $103 per year.
Resources to learn about eCommerce
10. Manage PPC campaigns for other companies
As more companies turn to digital marketing channels to reach their target customers, there is an increasing need for effective advertising campaign managers.
PPC (pay-per-click) ads are one of the most popular forms of online advertisements and can bring immediate results to a business.
PPC platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads allow advertisers to bid for ad placements in a search engine’s results page when someone searches for a related keyword.
Managing PPC campaigns comes with a number of responsibilities including:
- Finding PPC Keywords
- Add negative keywords
- Testing ad groups
- Writing ad copy
- Setting bids and campaign budgets
- Reviewing costly keywords:
- Optimizing Landing Pages:
Earning certifications from Google and Bing can help improve your skills and boost your credibility to potential clients.
Being able to show results for previously successful campaigns is essential to winning a steady flow of clients.
Like the other types of services, you’ll want to build a website to highlight your skills and create content that can help generate traffic.
How much can you make a PPC campaign manager?
The average salary for a PPC specialist is $60,000 per year.
11. Get a digital marketing job
If you want to gain valuable experience before working independently or starting your own business, you can get a job in digital marketing.
There are all kinds of digital marketing jobs available, some of which we have covered in this guide.
Here are some of the most popular places to search for digital marketing positions:
- Google for Jobs
- American Marketing Association
How much can you make with a digital marketing job?
The amount you will earn from a job in digital marketing job will depend on your position, location, and experience.
Here are the average annual salaries for some common digital marketing positions:
- Digital Marketing Specialist: $55,000
- Digital Marketing Manager: $97,000
- SEO Specialist: $77,000
- Content Marketing Manager: $81,000
- Social Media Manager: $75,000
- PPC Specialist: $60,000
- Affiliate Marketing Manager: $71,000
Resources to learn more
- How much do digital marketers make – a detailed breakdown of how much money you can make working in the digital marketing industry.
12. Start your own digital marketing agency
Now is a great time to start a digital marketing agency as companies are spending more on digital advertising than ever before.
To start your agency, you’ll want to develop a well-rounded set of digital marketing skills so that you are able to provide quality services to clients regardless of their needs.
Winning clients will obviously be critical to your ability to generate revenue. You’ll want to take the steps to find clients we’ve previously mentioned and apply them at scale.
Running an agency has its advantages in this regard as you are able to use your team members to handle many of these tasks for you or you can outsource the work to freelancers.
When you start a digital marketing agency you have several ways to bill your clients:
- Hourly: With hourly billing, you charge clients based on the number of hours that you work on their project. This method is easier when you spend a lot of one on one time with the client as it can be more difficult to track complex service offerings.
- Retainer: This is the simplest payment model as you determine how much work you’ll perform for the client and you both agree on a flat monthly fee. This model is often easier for clients as they know how much they’ll pay upfront.
- Percentage of marketing spend: With this pricing model your agency charges your clients an agreed percentage of the amount they spend on marketing. This is an attractive model if your clients are growing quickly as your income will grow along with their business.
How much can you make by starting a digital marketing agency?
The amount you can earn from an agency will depend largely on how many clients your business has. The average cost for digital marketing services for small businesses in 2020 ranges from $2,500 to $12,000 per month.
If you are able to find 10 steady clients your agency can generate a solid amount of income.
There are plenty of different ways to make money with digital marketing.
You can learn a variety of skills including SEO, PPC management, eCommerce, content marketing, or social media management, and sell these services to clients.
Creating a website with a blog will help hone your skills and can be used to attract new clients for your services.
If you want to sell products you can either create digital products of your own or join affiliate programs and sell other companies’ products. You can use your website as the hub for your business and can add extra monetization by running ads on your site.
If you want a steady job, there are plenty of companies hiring for digital marketing positions and there are tons of job boards to quickly find open positions.
If you want to start your own marketing business you can create a digital marketing agency and sell a range of services to your clients.
Digital marketing is only going to grow. Taking the time to develop your skills is worth the investment and will open up more opportunities for you.