94% of the Canadian population are internet users. They use the Internet for a variety of purposes ranging from gathering information to shopping. This data is only going to increase in the future.
Our whole lives have entered the online stage. We connect with people online, we order food online, broadcast our opinions, pay our bills online, and so much more. The list goes on. In addition to that, the pandemic boosted internet usage as our physical world was inaccessible temporarily.
It is safe to say that the world has shifted online. It is where the people are, where activities happen, and it is where the money is. You can not only pay bills online but also earn money online.
There are several ways to earn money online, and the best feature about the internet is that there is something for everybody. The online marketplace is as huge as this world, and you can literally sell your products to customers who live in another continent.
The internet has made the world a small place. That means employers and employees are never far off on the internet even though they are geographically miles apart.
As Canadians, you can use the internet to earn money by doing what you do best and love the most. You can enter e-commerce and online trading. You can sell a service online or be a monetized content creator. The possibilities are endless. So let us look at some of the ways you can earn money online in Canada:
Earn money through e-commerce
8.1% of all retail transactions in Canada happened online during 2020. The physical part of the retail industry (shops, stores, and outlets) was hit hard by the pandemic lockdown, but sales in its online counterpart increased. So, if you have a physical product to sell, you should immediately take it online as that is where the customers are.
There are two ways where you can sell your product online. The first is having your own E-commerce website, and the second is by selling it in an online marketplace.
E-commerce websites are digital versions of physical stores. Customers open accounts on them, browse through the products and buy what they like. Shopping is easy and comfortable on e-commerce websites, and that’s why most prefer it.
It is important to have an e-commerce website for your product to convert your business into a big business one day. Online shopping is becoming popular by the day, and soon businesses will have no existence unless they have a presence online.
Two of the biggest drawbacks of an e-commerce website are that you have to spend money creating one, and you have to do your own marketing. That means allocating resources towards building a website and marketing it to the customers should be your first step. And it is a worthy investment as you get more control over how your products are represented and sold.
There are many e-commerce website builders available for Canadians. The links to some of them are given below:
Choose an e-commerce website builder that suits your budget and product needs. Additionally, check the ratings and reviews of the builders before building your website on them.
Online marketplaces are large e-commerce websites where manufacturers of physical products (like you) sell their goods. The best part about online marketplaces is you do not have to create an e-commerce website and do your product’s marketing. That will be done for you by the online marketplace you have registered in.
Online marketplaces are a great option for people who do not have the budget for creating a website and marketing their products. It also serves as a stepping stone for new businesses to launch their products into the online market sphere. These marketplaces receive millions of visitors a year, so your product is visible to millions of potential customers without you having to spend a dime on marketing.
Selling on an online marketplace is easy. Just register at a preferred marketplace as a seller, fulfill the requirements, decide on the pricing plan, and your product goes live. Some Canadian online marketplaces are as follows.
You must do thorough research regarding target customers before you register at an online marketplace. Otherwise, your product will get lost in thousands of products from other sellers. Register only in that marketplace that has visitors from your target customers.
If you cannot afford to create an e-commerce website or the pricing plans of online marketplaces, you can sell your physical products online. But this is not a professional marketplace, so your reach will not extend beyond your local Facebook group and friend circle.
This is how you sell on social media:
- Create a Facebook Page for your product.
- Click pictures of the product and post them on the Page with descriptions, prices, and other relevant details.
- Share Page on your social media handles and your locality’s Facebook Group.
- If someone looks at your products and wants to buy them, the person can contact you via the contact information on your Product Page.
- The deal is done; you package the product, send it to the customer and receive your cash.
There is no registration fee or pricing plan, or marketing cost (unless you boost your posts). Marketing happens through word-of-mouth, and your market is limited to your locality and neighboring areas.
It is estimated that there are 7.9 million social media buyers in Canada, but these buyers mainly purchase goods from links of retailer sites posted on social media. So, here social media is serving as a marketing platform and not as a buying platform.
Some social media sellers enjoy success by selling products in the local sphere and to friends and friends of friends. It is a great way to jumpstart your manufacturing business, earn some valuable cash and selling experience, and use them to take your business to bigger heights. Every big business has to start small somewhere. Social media is one such place.
Earn money by selling a service online
This is pretty straightforward. You have a skill or a set of skills that can be used to provide a service. You provide that service, and you get paid for it. There are two ways where you can sell your service online. The first is by doing gigs on freelancing platforms, and the second is providing the service through your own website.
Sell your services on freelancing platforms
Freelancing platforms are online spaces (websites) where an employer and a service provider meets. An employer posts a job (remote or in your locality), and people who have the skill set required to do the job can apply.
Freelancing platforms offer jobs that can be done remotely and opens up the possibility to work with international employers from the comfort of your home. There are jobs for all skill sets and experience levels on these platforms. There are jobs for freshers as well as for those who have over five years of experience.
Using freelancing platforms is easy:
- Open an account and provide your personal details.
- Upload your resume.
- Browse jobs and apply.
- Get selected and start working.
Some popular freelancing platforms of Canada are as follows.
Some freelancing platforms are for a specific skill set, while others have various jobs from different fields. Most of these platforms do not charge any registration fee but have a monthly or yearly fee to unlock some features on their websites. Additionally, they have a free plan if you think that those features are not worth the money.
Freelancing websites will charge a nominal fee from every income of yours from their websites.
Use a professional website to market and sell your services
You can have your own professional website being the aggregator for jobs instead of selling your service at a freelancing platform. But this will require extensive marketing efforts and monetary expenses to create and promote your website.
You should think of getting a professional website after acquiring a reputation in your profession and have been in this business for quite some time. We do not recommend going for a professional website if you are a novice in your profession. You need to prove that you are good at your job before attracting employers through your professional website. You can only prove yourself by working through the years.
Earn money through online courses
You can earn money by selling online courses. These courses are in demand because people want to learn new skills. This business got a serious boost during the pandemic as all academic institutions were closed.
The best part about online courses is that you have to record it only once but sell it multiple times on different platforms. Some Canadian platforms where you can sell your online courses are:
Earn money through affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is an innovative marketing technique. Here, you promote a product for a business and get a commission every time someone buys that product through your referral link.
Suppose you have partnered with Company X in affiliate marketing. They will send you a unique referral link to one of their products (let’s say, a gaming mouse). That link will take you to a shopping site. You post the link on your website and social media handles and promote that product through your website and social media content. You get a commission every time the link is clicked, and the gaming mouse is bought.
You must have understood by now that this method of earning money online will work only if you have a large social media following and have many visitors to your website. You need to have at least 200,000 followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube for this method to be viable. If you have anyone social media account with that many followers and more, you should get affiliate marketing as soon as possible.
If you have the required traffic on your social media handles, website, and blogs, then it is time to be part of an Affiliate Program. An Affiliate Program is a network that joins advertisers with publishers (affiliates, you). Some of the top Affiliate Programs in Canada are as follows.
Earn through ads and sponsorship
This method is for those who run successful YouTube channels and Facebook profiles and pages. Your video content on these two social media platforms can have ads in them, which will earn revenue for you. The videos you post on these platforms must regularly cross over 500,000 views. So, your channels and profiles must be viral. Otherwise, this method won’t work.
Facebook monetization policies and YouTube monetization policies will tell you about their eligibility criteria to be part of their ad-revenue sharing programs. You will also get to know how to monetize your videos on these platforms.
This method of earning is not for everyone. Only successful “YouTubers” and “influencers” can avail of this option of earning money online. These online content creators attract millions of views per content video. They did not get this success overnight and have been toiling behind their channels and profiles for years before making it this big.
So there have to be years of hard work before anyone can start earning through ad revenues. But this is highly rewarding as you would be earning money by doing what you love.
There is another way to earn from successful YouTube channels and Facebook profiles besides ad placements. That is through sponsorship. Sponsors are companies that will pay you a fee for promoting their products in your videos.
For example, you run a successful cooking channel on YouTube. A spice brand becomes your sponsor for one video or a series of videos, and you promote that spice brand in those videos. You cook with those spices and tell your audience about that brand in the video.
Earn via fan donations
This method is exclusive to creative artists and people giving valuable services to the community. You will get fans and followers if you broadcast your talent. These fans are people who love what you do and are ready to contribute so that you can continue creating.
You can receive donations from fans via Patreon. Fans of your content will donate money to you, and in return, you will give access to exclusive content like behind–the–scenes footage or insight into your creative process and many more. At the very least, you can thank them on your videos or website or blog, or podcast for donating. Sign up on Patreon as soon as possible.
This is a great way of earning a steady stream of revenue for artists who have not got much internet clout (like influencers have). But donations depend on the whims of the donor, and income will be inconsistent at best.
Earn money through online trading
You can earn money by buying and selling stocks online. This is one of the most lucrative ways of earning money online, but it is also dangerous. The markets, by nature, are volatile. Some stocks are doing well today. The same stocks will plummet the next day.
If you do not make the right decisions, then you can go bankrupt in a jiffy. You need to know the stock market like the palm of your hands and use your analytical thinking to make buying and selling decisions. If you can intellectually conquer the stock market, you can see five figures’ revenue in a single day.
Some best online trading platforms in Canada are as follows.
Study the brokerage details, minimum account balance, sale pricing, and customer service of a trading platform before deciding to buy and sell through them.
Which method is best for you?
Only you can answer this question. The best method for you to earn online depends on your skill set, reach, and position.
If you have a physical product, then you should definitely go for e-commerce. Online is the future, and your business cannot survive long if it does not have an online presence.
Whether you create your own e-commerce website or enroll in an online marketplace will depend on your budget and marketing resources. Go for an e-commerce website if you can create the website and launch a marketing campaign. Otherwise, go for online marketplaces or social commerce.
Register yourself at a freelancing website if you can provide an in-demand service. If you understand the stock market, then go for online trading.
If you are a creative individual who creates content regularly, then ads, sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and fan donations are ways to earn money online. Which of them is best for you will depend on your content’s popularity and internet clout.