If COVID-19 has taught us anything about making money, it's that we need more than one way to get money into our pockets.
For most, this is a clear signal that having a single source of income, or business that relies on foot traffic can be risky.
Thankfully, these days you can supplement or even replace the income from your day job by making money online.
In this post, we'll explore some of the ways Malaysians can make money online. Hopefully, you'll be able to pick one which best fits your skills and income goals.
Sell on Facebook/Shopee/Lazada Live
One of the biggest trends in Malaysia right now is selling through live-streams. Whether it's fish, watches, imported goods, baby clothes, linens, dim sum - you'll most likely be able to buy them on a live-stream in Malaysia.
If you want to ride on this trend too, you can do so by selling live on Facebook, Shopee or Lazada. As long as you have a phone, products and an engaging personality, you're good to go!
Check out these Facebook pages for some live-streaming inspiration:
Mega Point online shop (fashion/lifestyle)
GSK Times Collection (G-shock watches live auction)
Pokjacks Vtg Empire (fashion for men)
For beginners on Facebook, I recommend hosting regular contests and giveaways to incentivise your existing followers to share your live stream on their own Facebook page, or in groups they are part of.
Other than that, if time permits, you can even live stream several times a day to capture audiences that are available at different times.
If you have a seller account on Shopee or Lazada, you can schedule them into your live streams as well.
Become insta-famous and work with brands
In the age of internet, it almost feels like every other person is getting or want to get insta-famous. It's no surprise though - with consumers turning to influencers they trust for recommendations rather than brands themselves, the influencer marketing industry is exploding.
Being insta-famous doesn't mean you need to be a bikini model, however. You can become insta-famous for a topic you're interested in. Dividend Magic, a blogger who talks about how they grow their dividend income, has over 10k followers on IG:
Once you have built a following, you can start reaching out to brands for paid collaborations. Or brands might even start reaching out to you!
Like any digital asset, being insta-famous requires a lot of hard work.
Sell productised services
If you are a freelancer with skills that are in-demand online (for e.g. graphic design, content writing, video editing), you can consider setting up a productised service. A productised service is where you provide a fixed set of offering for a fixed price.
Even if you don't yet offer freelance services, this is still something you can consider setting up if you have skills you think might fit into this revenue model.
The benefit of having a productised service is that the deliverables are fixed and you'll be able to scale your business a lot faster. So instead of having to make a custom quote for each client that knocks on your door, you can offer them a fixed package.
If you don't have an idea of how to set up your own productised service yet, check out the discussions inside the Productize Community on Facebook. There are great discussions inside.
To get an idea of how productised services work, do jump to WPRunner and Designjoy's sites and check out their offerings. These are existing productised services that make 5-6 figure monthly revenues.
Drop ship popular physical products on Shopee/Lazada
Drop shipping physical products online is undoubtedly one of fastest ways to make money online.
All you have to do is research popular products on platforms like Shopee or Lazada, sourcing the same or similar products from drop ship suppliers and list them on your own Shopee or Lazada store with a markup.
The downside is that your profit margin might be low, around 5 - 15%. So you'll need to list a lot of products (I recommend 1,000 - 2,000 at least).
For starters, getting your first sale can be one of the most challenging things to do. To get more exposure to your store, you could consider using the marketplace promo tools, or even using Facebook Ads.
If you're interested to explore using Facebook Ads to grow your Shopee store, there is an expert training by Jason Gan from Tribeup you could consider checking out:
Jason has helped tons of Shopee store owners get more sales to their stores by using these proven Facebook Ads strategies.
Sell virtual experiences on Airbnb
With country borders closed all over the world, travel enthusiasts worldwide can't book a ticket and leave their country for a new adventure. Most can travel domestically, but that is no replacement for exploring a fresh new place.
You can help them quench their thirst for travel by offering local experiences on Airbnb online experiences.
Whether it's visiting a local travel attraction, or hosting a cooking show of a local dish, you can do it all on Airbnb.
Start a podcast and sell sponsorships
Podcasting is a relatively new opportunity in Malaysia. With millions of Malaysians spending hours of their time in commute, there is an opportunity for you to become part of their usual programming to and from work if your content proves enticing enough.
BFM is one of the best examples of a popular business podcast in Malaysia.
You can make money by getting businesses to pay for sponsorship to be featured on your podcasts. These features usually mention the business and explain their products and services to increase awareness of your listeners to what they have to offer.
Start a YouTube channel and sell affiliate offers
If you have a knack for being in front of the camera and speaking to an audience, consider starting a YouTube channel around an interest.
While you can make money on YouTube via Adsense, it's unlikely you'll be able to make money using ads that quickly (you'll need to reach 1,000 subscribers first!).
An alternative is to add affiliate links to your videos. You can find affiliate products using networks like Involve.asia or by simply googling online using the following tag:
[company name] + "affiliate program"
Of course, if you keep going, you'll most likely get to 1,000 subscribers soon enough and start earning from both!
Sell products on your own branded store
With more Malaysians buying online, it's prime time to start building your own e-commerce empire. You can get started by creating your own Instagram store account.
If you have a bit more money and time on hand, you could even launch a branded e-commerce store with a platform like Shopify or EasyStore. This will offer you higher control over your e-commerce store and smoother operations overall.
To get a better idea of how to do this successfully, I recommend checking out e-commerce material from Steve Chou's MyWifeQuitHerJob. There's a free course you can get started with.
Help offline businesses go online
With foot traffic to places to physical retail stores at an all time low, conventionally offline businesses are going online to stay afloat. If you know how to setup e-commerce websites, you can offer this service to businesses who are interested to go digital.
Other services you could offer are:
- Photo editing
- Video editing
- Website maintenance
- Facebook ads
Basically, anything that can help business owners go online, will be an opportunity for you to make some money online.
Become an online coach or trainer
With people spending most of their time at home, their best bet to learn a new skill is through a coach or trainer online.
You can teach a skill you're good at - whether it is cooking, marketing, fitness, maths... you'll most likely be able to find a group of students who are willing to pay you some money to help them get better at a skill.
With the RMCO extended into the end of 2020, times can get tough. If you're looking for a way to supplement or replace your income, online opportunities can be a godsend.
The best way to make money online for you will mainly depend on your skills, interests and availability. Nonetheless, I hope you were able to find something interesting to explore from this list!