Making money online can be tough. It's even tougher when you're starting out. Unfortunately, many so-called gurus are better at taking your money than they are at showing you how to make it.
So how do you find the best online marketing programs?
Who can you trust?
If you've ever searched how to make money online, you likely triggered the advertising algorithm and ended up with a flood of money-online ads claiming to show you how you can become filthy rich while kicking back and living the life of your dreams.
As someone who earns their living online, I can tell you, it's not that easy.
Making money online is hard work. So the first thing to look for in a good online marketing program is one that's upfront with you and tells you it's hard work. Or at the very least, doesn't tell you it's easy.
The second thing you want are programs that focus on education, NOT on making money.
Making money is important, I get that. It's the reason you're looking for the best programs in the first place. You may have debts weighing you down and bills piling up, so I'm not suggesting you overlook the potential income online marketing can generate.
What I am suggesting however is that the best programs are the ones that provide the best education, not necessarily the best earning potential because the truth is, no one knows or can promise you earning potential.
But the best ones can promise you a good education.
The third thing you must pay attention to are the methods of traffic generation. To be successful at online marketing, you must have online traffic. And the only way to get traffic FAST is to pay for it.
Therefore, if you're looking at online marketing programs that claim you can make money fast, the focus will be on paid traffic. Unless you have very deep pockets, you do not want to learn online marketing by paying for your traffic.
Paid traffic is fine for the veterans who know how to turn eyeballs into money, but in my opinion, it's no place for a newbie.
So it'll come as no surprise that the best online marketing programs I'm recommending here focus on traffic strategies that are free.
There is a lot of junk out there, and I've tried many. The following are the diamonds I’ve discovered. I own each one, and I've spent endless hours not only going through each one, but also learning and applying the strategies and tactics they teach.
The Factors I Use To Rate
- Education and Training
- Community and Support
- Price and Value
I'll get more into these below, after revealing my recommendations.
My Top 5 Make-Money-Online Programs of 2020
Although the following is a list of the best programs I've tested and currently own (or I'm a member of), there are thousands out there... many which may deserve to be on this list.
These are however, the best ones I’ve found to date and as I discover new programs, I'll update the list.
Each of these have a similar goal, to get you from beginner to making money online. They each have a different way of getting you there though.
I'll also say these are in no specific order.
I'd love to pick one and say, "this one is the absolute best", but depending on your interests, goals, level of skill, financial resources and even your personality... you may prefer one over the other.
I also want to echo what I said earlier. None of these are get-rich-quick schemes. They are training programs that focus on online marketing education, not on push-button schemes or done-for-you funnels that turn the web into a virtual ATM.
All of these will show you what you need to do, but you must do the work. A hammer will help you build a house, but it will not swing itself.
So here we go in no particular order...
The Authority Site System
The Affiliate Lab
Free (premium $49/mo)
Blog Millionaire Course
$1999 or $199/mo x 12
Fair warning, as I go through a quick review of each program it's going to sound like I'm gushing over these systems. That's because the title of this article is the best online marketing programs.
Believe me... there are hundreds, many I've reviewed, that I did not gush over, so if it sounds like I'm overly enthusiastic about these ones, that's because I am.
The Authority Site System from Authority Hackers
The Authority Site System is a starter program created by Authority Hacker's Gael Breton and Mark Webster. It's a step-by-step blueprint for newbies that takes you from knowing nothing about online marketing to building and growing a brand online.
It consists of templates, lists, and over 125 videos with over the shoulder type instruction. Don't be fooled by the description "starter program" because there are a lot of advanced concepts covered here.
You get access to the members Facebook Group where both Gael and Matt are active... and if you're not familiar with Authority Hacker or Gael and Matt; they are both highly respected and have one of the most authoritative (pun intended but 100% true) podcasts and YouTube channels on online marketing.
The Affiliate Lab by Matt Diggity
As stated above, these are in no particular order. In some respects each program is similar in that they teach you how to set up the techie stuff, how to get traffic, and how to turn that traffic into an income.
The Affiliate Lab though is arguably the one that goes the most in-depth when it comes to getting traffic via search engines (also known as search engine optimization or SEO). The others show you what to do, and they do it well... but The Affiliate Lab I found goes just a little deeper into the reasons why you're doing what you need to do.
That's because Matt Diggity, the creator of The Affiliate Lab is considered one of the best SEO experts on the planet and competes online at the highest levels.
There's an argument that The Affiliate Lab may be too advanced for newbies, and it does weigh heavily towards the advanced strategies and methods. However, The Affiliate Lab comes with several modules, one of them called The Beginner's Lab.
And like The Authority Site System, you get access to The Authority Lab's private Facebook Group which is loaded with many of the top experts in the field.
Wealthy Affiliate has a long history (founded in 2005) and if I'm biased to any one of these programs, I must admit, it's Wealthy Affiliate.
Not necessarily because it's the best, although it has some elements the others don't, but because it's the program I first learned how to make money online with. It's the one that allowed me to return from working out of town for most of my life and become a real dad and husband again. I could finally be home full-time with my family.
Everyone's journey online is different, but I'm forever indebted to Wealthy Affiliate for that.
The big difference between Wealthy Affiliate and the others is that Wealthy Affiliate is a complete standalone platform. It has the largest and most active community with 24/7 live chat, built-in web hosting, domain registration, keyword research and content creation tools as well as a dedicated affiliate marketplace.
If you're looking for a single overall solution without having to pay for additional programs and tools, Wealthy Affiliate may be the place to get started. With a free option and monthly plan, it also has the easiest onboarding process.
Where Wealthy Affiliate is lacking though, in my opinion, is when it comes to more advanced online marketing strategies.
Now, I earned my first dollar online with Wealthy Affiliate (six figures in fact, over the years I've been there) so I'm not criticizing them, and I'm still very active on the platform. That being said, I think the other programs are better suited to the advanced online marketer.
The Blog Millionaire by Brandon Gaille
Brandon Gaille is the creator of the Blog Millionaire course, and he's one of the most well-respected bloggers on the planet with a roster of sites that total millions of views every month. He also has one of the most popular podcasts in the blogging niche.
So you may have guessed, his course teaches you how to make money blogging.
I've been a member of Brandon's course for a few years and I can tell you he keeps it up to date and is still very active in his private members Facebook group, answering questions daily.
While all the courses have a linear style that take you from beginner to expert, I found Brandon's the easiest to follow for some reason. That could just be me though... the right state of mind in the right setting, at the right time and the right place, lol.
To learn more about Brandon's course, you can read my review.
Freedom Machine by Jon Morrow
Freedom Machine differs greatly from the others.
If you enjoy writing... Freedom Machine is hands down the best option for you. Its primary focus is on teaching you how to be a world class blogger, which makes sense, because Jon Morrow (the owner of Smart Blogger) is one of the best blog writers on the planet.
You're going to work with industry leading editors who are there specifically to challenge you and make you a better writer.
They will critique your work personally and teach you how to craft engaging content that provides real value and has viral potential.
Another benefit to Freedom Machine is that your work goes through an approval process.
From the niche you choose to the posts you write, Jon and his team are committed to your success. I've taken a lot of online marketing and blogging courses and in my experience, this is a truly unique experience that I recommend for those who enjoy writing and have the resources to join Freedom Machine.
Each week they will invite you to a group phone call and I should also add that they are going to build your blog (website) for you. That's right! The people behind Smart Blogger (which is one of the most influential blogging sites on the entire web) are going to build your blog for you.
You're also going to get outreach and traffic training from one of the best in the business.
Important Factors When Choosing A Make Money Online Program
There are dozens of reasons a make money online program might or might not be right for you. If you like to write, for example, blogging may be what you're looking for and Freedom Machine does the best job at teaching you that.
If you're more into the back office management of an online business, The Affiliate Lab, The Authority Site System, and The Blog Millionaire Course take you down the path of eventually hiring a team to help you.
The factors listed below though are overall what I consider the most important when considering which ones to choose (and why these programs are the best in my opinion).
Reputation is important for obvious reasons. How long has the program endured? Is it updated frequently? Who is behind the program?
All the programs on this list are created and founded by successful online marketers who are well known. They are also respected by their peers, although they don’t necessarily agree with each other's approach.
That's okay. Even Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had their own opinions of one another.
These online marketing programs have been around for years, and the people behind them have also been in the industry for years. There's a reason they have good reputations.
Education and Training
Whichever product or method you choose to make money online, they all involve marketing and getting eyeballs (traffic) to your products or affiliate offers.
The two primary methods of doing that are with free traffic and paid traffic.
Both have advantages and disadvantages, but in my opinion, paid traffic is not for beginners. It's easy (you just throw money at it), but because free traffic is an actual skill, the programs that teach it are generally more comprehensive.
They are more focused on the education of online marketing than they are on making money, and that's because they can be.
When you're not burning a hole in your pocket, you have time to learn.
You can take a long-term approach and the skills you develop along the way are what make you money, not your ability to throw cash at a problem.
Paid traffic is relentless, and it's expensive. Therefore, programs that rely on it must be focus primarily on making money (often at the expense of ethics and providing actual value) because your window of opportunity is so short.
You MUST make money fast because few can afford to bleed thousands of dollars every month without a return.
So the best programs in my opinion are primarily focused on teaching you the skills to make money online, rather than just making money online.
Community and Support
An overlooked component, but maybe the most important , of online business training is the community and support.
Running an online business can be a solitary experience. It offers freedom and financial rewards that few businesses can, but the actual work is done sitting at a desk, alone, and filtering out distractions.
You will experience moments of triumph, but they are often short bursts of excitement sandwiched between long periods of doubt and frustration.
You may even get blindsided by something that sets you way back. I’ve gone through all of these and like life in general, online marketing is a wild ride on a roller coaster.
Having support and a community behind you is critical. Even if you don’t join the conversation to discuss your own challenges publicly, others do, and being able to draw on their experience is a huge help.
You will discover you're not alone.
And of course there are the technical challenges you will likely encounter and require help with, along with trusted recommendations for resources and online tools you may be looking at.
All of these programs have exceptional communities, with people who are always willing to help.
Price and Value
It hard not to consider price as a factor, but it is.
But it's not the only factor and easy to jump straight to the cost when making a choice without really understanding what each program has to offer.
It's also a lot more subjective and depends on your level of experience. If you're a newbie just getting started, price plays a much bigger role in your decision. Investing hundreds or even thousands of dollars into an online course can be frightening.
You may have doubts that online marketing even works, let alone whether a course teaching it is any good.
And price isn't always a choice. Sometimes the least expensive is the only one you can afford.
I can't say every one of these programs is easy on your wallet, but they are honest about their price. Some require additional tools that cost money, but they do their best in recommending the cheapest options, even how to use free trials.
Each one of these over-deliver in value though and are worth the price.
They also don't "trick" you into a funnel that looks good at first but sucks you down a rabbit hole that ultimately costs thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars you weren't told about until you had already invested hundreds.
Making Money Online - The New Normal?
You want to make money online, that's why you're here. You may be carrying a mountain of debt on your shoulders and stressed because of the monthly bills. You're not alone. There's a reason these courses exist.
But more than financial challenges or just wanting to escape a job you hate, making money online is good way to diversify your income and protect yourself from the future.
Change is coming at us so fast we rarely see it, and while we adapt well, it's hard to put today's current rate of change into perspective.
The late 1800's and early 1900’s brought "generational change", meaning that children were growing up in a world that differed vastly from the one their parents grew up in.
Prior to that though, change was measured in centuries. Before that... millennia.
Today, fundamental changes that are transforming the entire planet (not just local pockets of civilization) happen within decades or less.
For all intents and purposes, the consumer version of the internet we have today is barely 25 years old.
Most of our main channels of communication such as YouTube and Facebook didn’t even exist 15 years ago. Or at least, they didn't dominate our lives.
Most of us only started using a smartphone in the last decade, and now we can barely go room to room without it.
If those are the changes we’ve witnessed in the last 10-20 years, imagine what the next 10-20 years will bring.
Task specific artificial intelligence, automation, 3D printing and virtual reality will decimate traditional job markets.
In addition, things such as global unrest, population growth, the internet blurring the lines between borders, economic uncertainty and whatever else is under the kitchen sink are only more reasons to secure yourself financially. Earning an income online is one way to do it and these programs can help you get started today.
If you have any program or product recommendations, please let me know in the comments below. I'm certain there are other great programs out there that deserve to be on the list.
Also, if you found this article helpful, or you think it might be useful to others... please share 😀