If you want to make money online, you may wonder how long it will take. Well, I have good news and bad news.
First, the good news: it can take as little as a few days. But the bad news: it can take way longer.
And the ugly news: it really depends on a lot of things.
Before we get into those factors, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.
Factors That Affect When You’ll Make Money
While you can’t exactly predict how long it will take to make money online, you can consider a few factors. That way, you can get a better idea of when you may see profits.
Your Revenue Streams
First, you’ll want to consider how you’re making money online. You’ll almost always start making money faster if you offer a service of some kind.
Meanwhile, it will take longer to build an audience before you can make money with ads, affiliate links, and digital products. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try those out.
However, you should prepare to wait a little longer before those revenue streams become profitable.
Your Website Traffic
If you’re relying primarily on your website to drive sales, you’ll need a good amount of website traffic. Now, you don’t need hundreds of thousands of monthly page views.
However, you’re going to need at least a few thousand visitors in a month. This is particularly important if you want to make money online through affiliate marketing or digital products.
Also, regardless of your revenue streams, you’ll generally make more money when you get more website traffic. More traffic means more potential buyers, which means more actual buyers.
Your Marketing Strategy
One of my biggest mistakes early on was not marketing myself and my content. That significantly increased the amount of time it took for me to make money online.
If you’re just expecting people to find your content, I have bad news for you. To speed up profitability in your online business, you’re going to need to promote your stuff.
It can feel weird at first, but think of it as you’re helping people. Share your stuff across Pinterest and social media, and use SEO as well to get more eyes on your content and offers.
Your Content Quality
Next, you’ll want to take an objective look at the quality of your content. If you’re sharing longwinded paragraphs, you’re going to bore people.
And if your content is filled with spelling or grammatical errors, you’ll also lose people. Make sure your content looks good and is interesting for others to consume.
When you provide value, you’ll increase the chances of earning money. That’s because people will want to buy whatever you’re promoting.
Another thing to keep in mind is how much time you can work on your online business. If you have other obligations, that’s normal.
But it means you have to make the most of the time you have for your website. That way, you can still make some money online, and it may take a bit longer.
On the other hand, if you have more free time, you can work on more content. Then, you may find you can start earning more money sooner.
How Long It Took Me to Make Money Online
Everyone’s situation is different, and your journey will be different from mine. However, I wanted to share how long it took me to make money from certain revenue streams.
From Display Ads
I got my first ad click within a day of placing ads on my website. However, it took a lot longer before that money actually hit my bank account.
For one, Google AdSense has a minimum payout of $100. It took me about 10 months before I racked up that from ads on my two blogs.
You also have to verify your address with Google. They’ll mail you a letter with a special code you have to input in your account before you can get paid.
From Affiliate Links
To be honest, I’m not totally sure when I joined Amazon Associates. But I earned my first commission in July of 2016.
It took until January of 2020 for me to get paid due to Amazon’s $10 payout threshold. I also take some of the blame for that though because I didn’t set up my payment methods for a while.
If I had done so earlier, I would have gotten my first affiliate check in May 2019.
From Digital Products
I first published an eBook on my website, and I published my second one a year later. While that first eBook hasn’t sold, I did get a few sales on the second one.
The catch? I didn’t get any sales on the second eBook for almost a year and a half after I launched it. That’s because I didn’t really promote it.
Now, I know how to promote my new digital products. I’ve gotten sales within a few days of launching something new.
Services were definitely the fastest way I’ve made money online. I started looking for clients in September 2018 and found some that same month.
Those clients paid me pretty soon after I completed the work. And that was good since that was how I was planning to pay my way through graduate school.
I’ve since stopped offering services, but I still recommend them for beginners. They’re a great way to earn more money in less time.
So, how long does it take to make money online? It can take anywhere from a few days to a few years, and you can’t get much more specific than that.
Be sure to consider popular revenue streams and what works for you. Then, you can estimate how long it will take for you to turn a profit.
And if you want to make money with affiliate marketing, enroll in Affiliate Marketing Superstars. It’s how I’ve learned how to speed up my earnings.