How to make money on the Internet: 8 examples of success stories

How to earn money on the internet ?

This is a question that many people are asking themselves.In fact, most of the time, adverbs easily and quickly are joined.

How to make money fast? How to make money easily?

Better yet: How to make money without doing anything?

At the risk of disappointing you, I will not answer any of these last 3 questions. There is, to my knowledge, no magic recipe for making money quickly and easily. Everyone would be rich otherwise!

However, making money on the Internet by working a lot and applying it is certainly possible.

In this article, I will share with you 8 examples of online business success stories from scratch (or so) that have grown impressively in just a few years.

In summary, great sources of inspiration and motivation if you also want to get started in order to make money online (… and maybe someday make a living from the Internet)!

How to make money on the internet with advertising

Jon Dykstra or how to monetize his site with advertising

Jon Dykstra is a former lawyer who gave up the right to devote himself to publishing niche sites and blogs (according to an online magazine model) with a preferred mode of monetization: advertising.

Jon shares his successes and failures on his blog Fat Stacks Entrepreneur . Focusing mainly on advertising monetization, Jon has deep experience in the subject and shares many tips and tricks to increase his revenue through advertising.

How to make money on the internet with advertising

Jon regularly publishes income reports in which he details how many of these sites earn, as well as the associated expenses.

Looking through these, we see that Jon derives the majority of his revenue from advertising agencies AdSense (owned by Google) and

Peering his latest report in September 2016, we see that Jon recorded a turnover of $ 31,364 for 2 of its niche sites, for $ 1,269 of expenses.

This represents a monthly profit of more than $ 30,000! Not bad is not it ?🙂

What we can learn from Jon Dykstra’s example:

Monetization by advertising is often bad news, especially because of the low average income per click (which follows a continuous downward trend). It is true that it takes a lot of traffic on his site to get a decent income.

However, the example of Jon shows that when we know how to bring a lot of traffic to a site and monetize it correctly (via an optimized placement of advertisements and a picky choice of the best advertising agencies / partners), we can succeed with this model of monetization old as the world!

The Hustle or how to make money with a newsletter (successful)

Do you already know The Hustle ? This is one of my favorite newsletters.

Sent every day of the week, The Hustle covers mainly business news and tech (with a strong focus on the US), all with a fun and irreverent tone.

The Hustle or how to make money with a newsletter (successful)

The target of The Hustle are young, urban, active people who tend not to follow mainstream business media such as Bloomberg or The Wall Street Journal.

To give you an idea of ​​what this gives, click here to see the last newsletter sent.

Launched in 2014, the newsletter now has more than 200,000 subscribers.

Having subscribers to his newsletter is good. But the hard part is to succeed in monetizing it.

Relying on its well-identified demographics (and which advertisers love), as well as a high rate of openness, The Hustle monetizes its newsletter by highlighting products or services of its advertisers in the second part of email. They are paid on a cost per thousand (CPM) basis of about $ 30 .

Here is an example of advertising:

The Hustle or how to make money with a newsletter (successful)

But then, how much money does The Hustle earn?

Answer: $ 326,028 in sales over the last 7 months of 2016, or about $ 46,000 per month, of which about $ 29,000 for advertising alone, the rest coming from conferences organized by The Hustle.

Of course, there are associated costs.

However, benefiting from a very “lean” structure, a very “scalable” business model based on the diffusion of a near zero marginal cost newsletter, this project initially launched by a single person, and currently counting around 10 people, is very well positioned to continue to card!

What we can learn from the example of The Hustle:

Newsletters still have good days in front of them! We all already knew the example of MyLittleParis, which in a few years had reached more than one million subscribers and had been sold in 2013 for tens of millions of euros. The Hustle is another great success story for a newsletter.

There are also some secrets of success for a newsletter: a clear and recognizable identity, a different tone, and a well-identified (and important) targeted demographics. One more proof that today with the Internet, it is possible to be able to launch something resounding with few means!

Pinch of Yum or how to monetize his cooking recipes blog with brilliance

For the gourmands of you, here is an example that should please you.

Pinch of Yum is a cooking blog launched in 2010 by Lindsay and Bjork Ostrom.

Pinch of Yum or how to monetize his cooking recipes blog with brilliance

Pinch of Yum offers a multitude of simple recipes to make and taste.

This is an excellent example of a project that took shape gradually, slowly but surely, to arrive at very interesting results.

Thus, in November 2016 , the site had a traffic of more than 3 million visitors, about half of which came from Google, followed by Pinterest for about 17% of the traffic.

From an income perspective, Pinch of Yum has generated more than $ 90,000 in sales, for approximately $ 30,000 spent, a very good monthly profit of more than $ 60,000.

Looking more closely, we realize that Lindsay and Bjork monetize their blog in majority with advertising, which is the main source of turnover in excess of $ 50,000, and with sponsored content to height approximately $ 22,000.

Who thought that you could make so much money with recipes for cookies ? This is one of their most visited pages and has more than 1,500 comments.

What I particularly like with the example of Pinch of Yum is that we can see the progression step by step of their business through all the income reports published since August 2011, which are available from this page .

By the way, how much did Pinch of Yum win at the time?

$ 21.97.

Yes, you read correctly, less than 22 US dollars per month in August 2011, which is 4,000 times less than in November 2016.

We are better aware of the progress made since!

What can we learn from the example of Pinch of Yum:

What begins as a simple fun project, to share his passion for cooking on the Internet via a blog, can become a huge business a few years later. Again, the financial means needed to get started are not significant.

We also note that we must not be discouraged, that success often only happens after long months and years of hard work.

Proof more that making money quickly and easily with a blog is impossible, it requires on the contrary a daily work as well as a lot of effort and patience to achieve success. But when it shows up, it can be terribly lucrative!

Entrepreneur On Fire or how to make money with a site and a podcast (many, even!)

If you’re listening to US podcasts, you’ve probably come across an episode of John Lee Dumas’s podcast, Entrepreneur On Fire .

Entrepreneur On Fire or how to make money with a site and a podcast (many, even!)

In this podcast launched in late 2012, John interviews successful entrepreneurs every day who share their journey, their successes, their difficult moments and the lessons they have learned. Big names such as Seth Godin and Tim Ferris were welcomed on his podcast.

Success did not take long, John recorded his first month of more than $ 100,000 in profits at the end of 2013, thanks to the sponsorship of his episodes, but also the launch of his own products to help other entrepreneurs to start podcasting or to succeed in their business.

His most lucrative month was March 2015 when he recorded a profit of more than $ 400,000! This is a figure that may seem for many incredible, less than 3 years after the launch of his podcast.

John also shares the progress of his business since September 2013 via income reports .

For the month of December 2016, John recorded a turnover of $ 216,474 , which must be subtracted $ 71,376 of expenses for this month to arrive at the monthly profit of $ 145,098.

Capitalizing on the success of his podcast, which is one of the most-watched podcasts in the United States, John has earned nearly $ 60,000 this month from advertisers who have sponsored his podcast (it’s actually about advertising during the podcast).


What we can learn from the example of Entrepreneur On Fire:

The podcast is also a format that allows you to launch a very successful Internet business with few resources!

So, it is true that podcasts are particularly popular in the United States, where many employees spend a lot of time in their car and transportation to and from work.

But we also spend a lot of time on daily trips ( 50 minutes per day on average in France, and more in some regions), which leaves room and opportunities for innovative and quality podcast formats!

How to make money on the Internet by recommending products or services (Affiliate / Affiliate Marketing)

The Wirecutter and The Sweethome or How to Resell a Product Recommendation Site for $ 30 Million

$ 30 million.

30,000,000 US dollars.

Yes, you read well, The Wirecutter and The Sweethome were resold for $ 30 million at The New York Times late 2016.

Launched in 2011 by Brian Lam, The Wirecutter tests and tests electronic products in a rather comprehensive manner and publishes detailed articles on the best products in each category.

How to make money on the Internet by recommending products or services (Affiliate / Affiliate Marketing)

Here is an example of an article about the best WiFi routers . As you can see, these are high quality articles that bring a lot of added value to readers and help them in choosing the most suitable product for their needs. We are far from sites with very low quality content filled with affiliate links that abound on the Internet.

Of course, The Wirecutter needs to be paid for the hundreds of hours spent on each item. Its main source of monetization is affiliation.

Every product The Wirecutter talks about is accompanied by affiliate links to a merchant site. If the reader clicks on this link and makes the purchase on the merchant site, The Wirecutter pockets a commission paid by this site. Their main affiliate program is Amazon Associates , the affiliate program offered by Amazon.

As for The Sweethome , it works on the same principle, but focuses primarily on home products. Thus, one of the most popular items on the site reviews the best backup heaters .

You will notice similarities in the care of the quality of the items.

In 2015, The Wirecutter generated more than US $ 150 million worth of transactions. Assuming an average commission rate of 4%, this equates to more than $ 6 million in commissions per year.

A rather conservative assumption that says, when you take into account the price of the transaction (30 million) and the fact that the market prices for a website based on this model are generally 24 to 36 times the monthly profits, with an upward trend lately for these multiples.

In short, a very nice business!

What we can learn from the example of The Wirecutter and The Sweethome:

Quality pays! The Wirecutter has differentiated itself from thousands of other product recommendation sites by paying particular attention to the quality of published articles.

By focusing on the high value added to their visitors, The Wirecutter has been able to give them confidence in the honesty and probity of their recommendations. This also allowed them to attract a lot of incoming links to their guides, which helped to boost their visibility on the search engines.

This generates a constant influx of visitors, and as people trust their recommendations, they click on the links to the merchant sites (high conversion rate) to make their purchases.

A virtuous circle!

How to make money on the internet by selling your own products

Good Gueule or how to develop a successful business from a blog and a community

Good Gueule is an example that I like a lot. If you do not know yet, Bonne Gueule is a site of men’s fashion advice, which has gradually become a reference site in France.

Refusing the classic remuneration models of the domain (advertising and affiliation), which present obvious conflicts of interest, the founders (Benoît Wojtenka and Geoffrey Bruyère) are on a very clear positioning : independent, serving their readers.

Good Gueule or how to develop a successful business from a blog and a community

Based on good feature articles and a clear editorial tone, BonneGueule has managed to form over time a loyal community of men interested in their look and who want to feel good in their clothes.

In terms of traffic, BonneGueule had more than 2.5 million unique visitors in 2015 and now has around 300,000 unique visitors per month.

Refusing advertising and affiliation, of course, they had to find another way of monetizing: selling their own products.

They started with a digital book, a guide on how to choose your clothes. Capitalizing on its success, BonneGueule has expanded the range of its products by launching other books, as well as their own line of clothing.

Rather than selling them via a boutique network, BonneGueule started by selling their clothes online only, in limited series. This allowed them to keep their expenses to a minimum, and the proceeds from the first sales helped finance the creation and sale of other wardrobes, in larger quantities.

Crowning their success, BonneGueule was able to open its first boutique in Paris in 2015, before opening a second boutique in Lyon in 2016.

A beautiful journey for what began as a simple blog on men’s fashion!

What we can learn from BonneGueule’s example:

Again, we can see that we can start a very successful business from a simple blog. Of course, this requires continuous and diligent work, as success does not come overnight.

Another thing that strikes when looking at BonneGueule’s example is the strength of a clear and different positioning. Rather than doing like everyone else, BonneGueule has chosen a more ethical independent positioning, which gives it an authenticity and a strong identity to stand out from its competitors.

Another remarkable aspect at BonneGueule is their way of selling their clothes. Most of their new coins are only available for a short time in limited quantities. It is a formidable marketing weapon to sell quickly, people are afraid to miss a good deal. As we say in the marketing world: Scarcity sells!

WP Rocket or how to capitalize on the strength of an ecosystem

Another red white blue example: WP Rocket .

WP Rocket is a WordPress plugin that can speed up the display of a WordPress site by taking care of the cache and other optimizations (I spare you the technical details).

WP Rocket or how to capitalize on the strength of an ecosystem

WordPress, as you probably already know, is a platform used by tens of millions of sites and blogs around the world. WordPress is free, however there are thousands of free or paid plugins that add features to a WordPress site.

Thus, WP Rocket capitalizes on a pool of tens of millions of potential sites.

Launched mid-2013, WP Rocket has quickly made a name for itself in the WordPress community thanks to its performance and ease of configuration.

Of course, there were other cache plugins. But these required going through long configuration pages. In comparison, WP Rocket was configurable in a few moments. In addition, WP Rocket was very powerful.

Rather than follow the freemium model that a lot of WordPress plugins follow, namely a limited version of the plugin available for free (to end up on a maximum of sites), with the possibility to pay to have access to more features, WP Rocket chose from the beginning a paid positioning. Risky bet, but that turned out to be … paying!

It must also be recognized that many popular plugins following a freemium model struggle to convert their free users into paid users.

By choosing a premium positioning from the very beginning, WP Rocket avoided this pebble in the shoe that is the conversion into a paying customer of a “free” customer.

In terms of revenue, WP Rocket has earned more than $ 600,000 in revenue over the first six months of 2016 , or about $ 100,000 per month.

WP Rocket or how to capitalize on the strength of an ecosystem

An admirable course for a WordPress plugin!

What we can learn from the example of WP Rocket:

Launching a product that intelligently marries or is used with an already well-established object or technology can achieve very good results quickly. Rather than having to build from scratch, it allows us to build on (and exploit) the strengths of an already existing ecosystem.

This is what WP Rocket has done brilliantly by relying on the power of the ecosystem of WordPress, while avoiding the pitfalls in which many WordPress plugins fall.

How to make money on the Internet by selling services

WP Curve or how to grow at a crazy speed thanks to a well-rounded marketing

Another example of the WordPress galaxy: WP Curve .

WP Curve or how to grow at a crazy speed thanks to a well-rounded marketing

Launched mid-2013 by the Australian Dan Norris, before being joined by his compatriot Alex McClafferty, WP Curve quickly caused a sensation in the WordPress ecosystem by the growth of their business, extensively documented on their blog via their monthly reports .

Indeed, 2 years later, WP Curve generated more than $ 70,000 in recurring monthly income (MRR)!

How to make money on the Internet by selling services

How did they do it?

First, the innovative concept.

At first glance, WP Curve’s offer was rather annoying: a help desk and maintenance service for WordPress sites.

However, to distinguish itself from the mass of existing players in this niche, WP Curve has launched monthly packages offered at very competitive prices (around $ 80-100 per month) to obtain an unlimited number of interventions on his WordPress site, however, these are limited to 30 minutes per intervention to prevent abuse.

This formula quickly attracted tens and hundreds of entrepreneurs and small businesses who regularly needed help for their site, while not necessarily having the means to use an agency, or the time to seek a provider , to request a quote etc. for small worries.

To fuel their growth, WP Curve has mainly used these marketing levers:

  • Content marketing : WP Curve used its blog to publish a lot of articles for their target customers: entrepreneurs and small companies.
  • Guest blogging : WP Curve has published several guest articles on different blogs and sites frequented by their target audience.
  • Guest podcasting : WP Curve has been the guest of many podcasts around the topics of entrepreneurship, although helped it is true by the strong success met immediately by their innovative service. Dan Norris participated in the Entrepreneur On Fire podcast, which we saw above.

They even managed to get on TV on a big American national channel, helped by a customer satisfied with their services (for his personal blog) … and who turned out to be also TV presenter on this TV channel!

To finish in style, WP Curve was bought in December 2016 by GoDaddy, the American giant of Internet hosting. The amount of the transaction is kept secret, but we can easily imagine that it is several million dollars!

What we can learn from the example of WP Curve:

WP Curve has been a success story from start to finish. A smashing start, a well-rounded growth thanks to well-executed marketing, all based of course on an innovative concept.

Precisely, in this regard, we can see the success that can be encountered from a service a priori boring (the maintenance of websites) but offered in an innovative way (unlimited supply) to stand out from competitors and quickly seduce hundreds of customers!

I also want to say that this success has come to Dan Norris after years of struggling as an entrepreneur, and many failed projects. Once again, a lot of perseverance will have been necessary to achieve success!

Make money with a blog? It’s possible !

As we have seen above, many of these success stories have one thing in common: they started with a simple blog at the bottom. It is indeed a great platform from which to launch a business.

Besides, do not be intimidated by the current look of these different sites. A small passage through the WayBack Machine makes it possible to realize quite easily the successive evolutions of the sites and the road traveled.

As an example, this is what BonneGueule looked like in its 2007 debut:

Make money with a blog? It's possible !

We are far from the current look of 2017: very chic, neat and clean!

Make money with a blog? It's possible !

Another common point is persistence and self-denial. Some have seen success come quickly, but for many others, success has come a long way and was only the result of hard work.

So, making a living with a blog or using the Internet is clearly possible, but do not think it’s easy. On the contrary, the road to success is fraught with difficulties and it takes a lot of resilience to get to the end.

So ends this article on how to make money on the internet. I hope that these different examples have allowed you to better identify several ways to achieve this, and that they will be good sources of inspiration for your various entrepreneurial projects!

On this subject, if your project goes through the creation of a blog, do not miss this guide on how to create a blog !

Do you have other success stories on the Internet? Share them below in the comments! Like you, I’m always fond of success stories!😉

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