After a few mistakes, a loss of money, over a year of research and a tonne of determination, we have finally made a breakthrough. We are currently travelling the world and earning extra income as we go, and are excited to continue when we eventually get home to the UK.
We wanted to write this post to share with you our journey and what we have learned so far, and hopefully inspire a few of you to do the same and start your online journey!
How DO you make extra income online? Surly it’s all a scam..
We want to start off my saying there are no scams and no BS involved whatsoever, in what we’re about to share with you. We were very sceptical at first about earning money online as it was all so new to us and everything seemed so unrealistic, and we simply just didn’t know how it all worked. We have been researching high and low for the past couple of years on legit methods of earning a sustainable income online, and after a few (big) hurdles, we are very happy to have finally found our feet.
Unfortunately we have come across scams along the way and have lost some money in the process, which is why we want to help people avoid these mistakes (and companies), and guide them to earning some extra money online safely.
We are grateful to have been working alongside worldwide companies such as Amazon, eBay and TripAdvisor, and have earned money promoting products for companies such as Smirnoff, Go Ape, Purdey’s and Ultimate Ears.
To some people this all sounds crazy, but the world is evolving and so is the internet. In 2021, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online, up from 1.66 billion global digital buyers in 2016. The more people that shop online means more opportunities for people like you and I to earn a living online through promoting these products.
Most online/social media jobs revolve around and heavily rely on marketing. Marketing is where the big money is, which has been the case for decades! It’s just that now, it’s made its way over to the world wide web, instead of posters, billboards and newspapers. Influencers can promote via Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and blogs, so the opportunities are endless.
Instead of paying for a page in the newspaper, big companies find it more effective and cheaper to pay influencers and bloggers to promote their products online through their social media accounts or blogs. This cuts out huge printing or TV advertisements fees if they were to do it the old school way, and social media reach is probably a lot higher!
The more followers you have, the more you will get paid by the big companies. Some of the top dog influencers have hundreds of thousands of followers, or even millions, but don’t let that phase you – there are opportunities out there for the micro-influencers with as little as 300-5,000 followers, and some companies actually prefer this approach.
Legit methods of earning money online
These are the methods we’ve put in practice for a year now, and we’re glad we’ve finally found something reliable and sustainable to make extra income online while travelling, in the UK or anywhere in the world for that matter!
1. Blogging/affiliate marketing
What is affiliate marketing?
Blogging. Everyone and their Nan does it. It’s a great way to share with the world your hobbies, to express your thoughts or just simply showcase your love for writing. However, a lot of people may not know that they can actually generate money from their website through something called affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing has actually been around since 1998, but has only become more popular in the last 10 years or so, and is thriving today. You may or may not know it (like we didn’t!), but most companies in the world now have an affiliate program. Right now, open a new tab and type into Google your favourite shop or company, followed by “affiliate program”, and I bet you it has one. This means you can promote their products online and earn a commission from any sales.
We use the word “promote” lightly, as you don’t need to type a sales pitch. You blog as normal and just insert a link to a product or service, that’s it. When someone clicks this link, or buys the product, you earn a commission on any sales.
You could always just promote a particular product to social media too, for example your favourite watch – post your link to Facebook and tell everyone how much you really love it!
Don’t I need lots of followers?
The very short answer is no. You could have zero followers and still earn money from affiliate marketing, any followers are just a bonus. You can learn more in depth from the platform overview about how this is achieved, but in short – the training teaches you how to get ranked in Google, meaning how to get your blog post ranked onto the first page of Google. Why do you want it on the first page of Google you ask?
Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every SECOND on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches PER DAY and 1.2 TRILLION searches per year worldwide.
Do you see where we’re going with this? If you reach the first page of Google, you can make big money.
This may all seem confusing and way out of your reach, but it really is achievable by anyone of any level. We started from the ground up, so there’s no reason why you can’t too! Drop us a comment below if you have any queries on this subject, or if you would like to get started today – we’re always here to help you.
How we got started
After a lot of research and reading tonnes of reviews, we started our travel website from scratch using an online training program for affiliate marketing. To our suprise, it was free to join.
Again, alarm bells rang! Nothing in this world is free, so surly this can’t be legit?
We thought we’d give it a go as we had nothing to lose, and you only have to sign up with your email. We did not know we were about to discover a whole new platform and online community, which we would still be using today to generate an income!
We were so blown away by the in-depth, step-by-step video training – it’s a dream for beginners and we found ourselves flying through the sections! It was suprisingly enjoyable too, as you can base your website on absolutely any niche in the world – of course we chose travel.
Gardening, baby clothes, make-up, gaming, finance, fashion, coin collections, music, Pokemon, chess… you name it. Absolutely ANYTHING.
This is where “Round the world with us” was really born, and we can’t thank everyone enough for their love and support so far. We really owe it to Carson and Kyle, the founders of our training platform, who have taught us everything we know about affiliate marketing!
2. Social Media
No blog? No worries. Instagram is where we make our money too, with the help of a few amazing free apps. Also, the more followers you gain, the more opportunities will arise for paid or unpaid work – companies will eventually contact you for collaborations or to take part in campaigns.
Our main stream of income from social media is currently via Instagram, as it is much easier to grow a following on this platform compared to the likes of Facebook or Twitter. It’s also a great way to show your photography skills, with the added use of Instagram stories.
Tribe is our favourite (free) UK influencer app! You must have a minimum of 3,000 followers, and once you hit this target you can start earning £50 per post, which can quickly add up!
Note! before you go off following every Tom, Dick and Harry to reach that 3k (like we did lol), please read what to avoid below – you’ll thank us in the long run.
Via the Tribe app, you simply choose which campaign you would like to do, create the content the company are asking for in their brief, submit your post and then wait for approval. Once approved, you post the photo and then get paid straight into your bank account!
There are also a couple of other similar apps we use too, but there usually isn’t a great choice of campaigns, so it’s a case of keeping an eye on several quite regularly so you don’t miss anything:
What to avoid
Multi-level marketing is something we tried a while back, and is where we unfortunately lost some money. It can be very misleading, and we now know you can only be as successful as they claim if you have a big following on social media and/or have luck on your side.
How does it work?
Let’s say there is a 6 level online training course. You basically buy the first level of “training course” which teaches you all about marketing, and what MLM is. You then need to sell this training program (that you just bought), to other people, in which you will then earn a big commission of that sale (usually 50-70%).
The training program is basically about the training program! It’s like a big vicious circle of lies.
If you want to earn more money, you can decide to buy the next level of training which will then allow you the right to go on and sell that level 2 training, and so on. You do not own the right to sell a particular tier unless you have bought it yourself. This is where they rake in your money!
Example (50% commission):
- Level 1 training course = £500 (you buy this, and if you sell it on to someone else for £500, you get £250 of that)
- Level 2 training course = £1,000 (you would earn £500 commission per sale)
- Level 3 training course = £2,000 (you would earn £1,000 commission per sale)
- Level 4 training course = £4,000 (you would earn £2,000 commission per sale)
- Level 5 training course = £7,000 (you would earn £3,500 commission per sale)
- Level 6 training course = £10,000 (you would earn £5,000 commission per sale)
and yes, the numbers do go this high. This is very realistic and based on true figures we’ve witnessed! You can see why this is a great scheme for people with a big following, they’ll probably be able to make £10k in a month! What we have noticed is all of the people that we have seen be successful using this method, have already had the following behind them prior.
So despite it being in a way, “legit”, it is very unrealistic and risky for most people.
The company we used for a program like this is called Digital Altitude, who are currently in court for misrepresentation and false claims of how much money you can earn on their course. They have taken $14 million from consumers, with only a small number actually being successful and achieving their claims. We were naive in starting a program like this, but clever enough to get out quick. Yet some people went so far of losing up to $50,000 in total!
Get rich quick schemes
There are thousands of programs, platforms and training courses out there that can help you make extra income online, a lot of them claiming you can “get rich quick” or “earn six-figures in 90 days”, or something else absolutely ridiculous.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. They’re usually another way of trying to get people’s money, or similar to MLM’s, you can only truly be successful if you have a big social media following behind you.
To create a real business online and be successful, it definitely isn’t a quick process and there’s is a lot of time, effort and dedication that goes into it. You can’t get rich quick that’s for sure, so find something you’re passionate about, and build a business around it and keep aiming high.
If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it.
Follow for follow on Instagram
We’re guilty. Everyone has done this, us included at the start, and some people solely rely on this to method to gain their followers. This was another one of our mistakes and we learned the hard way.
Have you ever noticed a bunch of people starting to follow you, then a couple of days later they’ll un-follow you? This is a very popular method for most people. Some people un-follow you simply if you do not follow back (like we used to do), or some people un-follow once you’ve returned the favour regardless, to gain their followers and keep their following number down.
This is all well until you want to apply to an influencer/marketing company and they do not accept you because you follow over 1,000 people! Oops.
Instagram bots/fake accounts
Your followers are up, and some of them look a bit fake or dodgy, but it’s fine because a follow is a follow right? Wrong. Later down the line if you want to monetise your account, bots and fake accounts will affect you.
Companies such as our favourite, Tribe, can put a temporary ban on your application if you have too many bots on your account, and they can see this from their end. This isn’t your fault and it is hard to keep on top of, so it’s just a case of being aware of what to look for and controlling it. We had this issue and had to manually block 150 bots who were following us! Super long.
So our advice to you is: as nice as it is seeing those extra few followers appear, immediately block any account that looks suspicious. Look out for accounts with no profile picture, or accounts that follow thousands and only have a few posts. These account are classed as inactive and could affect the legitimacy of your followers.
We really do hope this information helps some of you, and we’ll keep this post updated and add anything else that may crop up!
If you have any questions or want to know more, let us know below 🙂
Kelly and Luke
One half of ROUND THE WORLD WITH US!