There’s one common question I get when I start talking about how to use your knowledge and skills to start your own online business, income stream, or side hustle…
“What if I don’t have any special knowledge or skills, and I don’t have a clue where to start?”
Well, obviously I have an answer – otherwise I wouldn’t pose this question to you.
And that answer is…
Use other people’s knowledge and skills!
Seriously, let me explain.
Better yet, I’ll give you a few examples.
There are tons, but I’ll start with three.
Three ways to make money online when you don’t have special knowledge or skills.
Option 1: Sell Someone Else’s Stuff
This idea is not new at all.
Although in the context of making money online, perhaps it’s new to you.
Here’s the short of it…
Walmart doesn’t make products. They sell stuff other companies make.
Amazon doesn’t make products. They sell products for other businesses and individuals.
(Update: Amazon does actually make some products now – like batteries)
I know you know that.
But did you know that Amazon has a program set up just for you?
It’s called Fulfillment By Amazon.
It allows you to sell products on Amazon’s website so you can make money online pretty quickly.
You ship the items with your own labels on them to Amazon’s warehouse.
Amazon posts them on their website and then collects the money, and ships them for you.
Jessica and Cliff Larrew make over $100,000 per year buying items at a big discount and then selling them via Amazon’s FBA program.
I don’t have time to get into all the details right now, but in short, they find products in stores that are discounted by 50-90% and sell them for retail value on Amazon.
Pretty amazing, no?
But it gets better.
Option 2: Affiliate Income
One way businesses increase sales for their products, services, or digital goods is by having a bunch of people with other websites actively sale for them.
These website owners send people to the business’s website to make a purchase.
In exchange, the business sends them a commission. Usually a percent of the total sale.
We’ll use Amazon as an example again.
I am an affiliate for Amazon. I have a unique link that I use to send people to Amazon.
So if I send people to Amazon through my affiliate link, and they make a purchase in the next 24 hours, I get a small commission on that sale.
It’s usually a few cents or dollars for Amazon.
Could be more depending on what people buy and how many people you refer in a given period.
But larger companies, like website hosting companies for example, will often pay out $50 to $200 per sale.
That’s not chump change.
For a professional website, I recommend WP Engine for hosting. In fact, I host 90% of all of the websites I manage on WP Engine.
They are more expensive than the cheap mass-market hosts, but you pay for what you get. Their customer service is phenomenal.
As a happy customer and someone who likes to recommend them (even if they didn’t pay me), I am set up as an affiliate.
If you click on this link and end set up a hosting account, they will pay me $200.
I know right!
But, it’s good business for them – they get referrals from happy customers.
They also get your long-term business – most people don’t switch hosting companies very often.
So it’s a win-win. Cliche, but true.
And the good news for you is that there are thousands of affiliates out their in just about every industry and niche.
The options for making money online with affiliates are practically limitless.
Option 3: Curate Knowledge
What do I mean by curate knowledge?
Let me explain.
Larry King and Oprah Winfrey didn’t become famous for their knowledge.
They became famous by interviewing others.
In short, they curated knowledge, experience, and fame.
And they made money doing it.
You don’t have to be Larry or Oprah to make money curating knowledge online.
You can read books and post your thoughts like Maria Popova at brainpickings.org.
You can read hundreds of newspaper articles and share the most interesting ones via a daily email – like Dave Pell of nextdraft.com
Or you can interview hundreds of entrepreneurs and use the audio to create a podcast, like John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire.
(FYI each of them makes a full-time living doing those things)
The point being, you don’t have to know everything there is to know about a topic to make money online from it.
Just being interested and asking lots of questions might be enough to do the trick.
Wait a second!?!?!
“How do they make money from that?”
“How do they get paid?”
Well, there are three main ways that people make money online, no matter what they know or how experienced they are.