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Can you make a passive income from digital marketing?

Nadia Krige 11th Feb 2020 4 Comments

Reading Time: 6 minutes

It’s 2020 and our lives are pretty much run by our smartphones. So, if you’ve been looking for an alternate income stream that requires minimal effort, digital marketing could be your answer.

Not sure where to start?

We’ve put together a quick guide, covering all the basics you might want to know before you start.


What is digital marketing?

Digital Marketing concept image

Chances are, you’ve heard the term ‘digital marketing’ thrown around a lot. However, you might not be entirely sure of what it is.

Don’t worry! You’re certainly not alone.

In the simplest terms, digital marketing is the promotion of brands/products/ideas on online/digital platforms. It most commonly refers to marketing done on social media, blogs, and websites. However, it may also include text messaging, mobile apps, podcasts and digital television.

Traditional vs digital

Traditional marketing works on a ‘hit-or-miss’ principle – placing an advertisement in a magazine and hoping it catches the eye or broadcasting a snippet on the radio and praying it becomes an earworm. Of course, in most cases, some market research goes into a campaign before launching, but there is really only so much you can do to ensure your message reaches your intended audience.

With digital marketing, on the other hand, you can run highly targeted campaigns with ease. By monitoring things like web traffic and social media engagement, you can put together a solid marketing framework.


How to educate yourself about digital marketing

Someone using laptop

If the bit above seems Greek to you, but you’re still interested in learning more, there are loads of courses out there.

Here are a few you could check out:

Digital Marketing Institute

Course name: Certified Digital Marketing Professional

Level: Beginner

Cost: £1,515

Course length: 30 Hours online

What to expect: This cornerstone certification will provide you with an introduction to key digital marketing specialisms, from social media marketing, Google Ads, SEO, Google Analytics and so much more.

More info: Visit the Digital Marketing Institute website


MK College

Course name: Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing

Level: Beginner

Cost: £1,425

Course length: 6 months, online

What to expect: The practical, easy-to-engage with modules will teach all you need to know to get started with key digital specialisms including mobile and social media marketing, email, Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). No previous experience in marketing is required to begin the course as it has been designed to benefit beginners, traditional marketing professionals and business owners alike.

More info: Visit the MK College website



Course name: LMA in Digital Marketing

Level: Entrepreneurs

Cost: £350

Course length: A 2-day course at the college for 8 hours

What to expect: Your Study Programme will steps in online marketing, SEO, E-mail marketing, social media marketing and so much more.

More info: Visit the London Marketing Academy website 


Tips for finding a course:

Because Digital Marketing has become such a sought-after skill over the past few years, there are a myriad courses out there.

Unsurprisingly, many turn out to be fly-by-night schemes. Therefore, it’s really important that you do a good amount of research before settling on one. We suggest opting for those that have recognisable accreditation.

If you’re unsure, make an effort to contact the college/institute/school directly and try having a short interview with someone (preferably in person) before applying.


Digital Marketing for others

Digital marketing takes a little know-how but these courses can help you learn

Now that you have a digital marketing qualification, you can start selling your skills.

Begin by approaching small businesses – these could be ones owned by your friends or family. Then, offer to handle their digital marketing for a small fee. This is a good approach for someone who already has a job but is looking to make money on the side.

Most of your work will involve boosting posts on Instagram and Facebook, which isn’t too time-consuming. This means you could easily do an hour or two during your lunch break or in the evening.

Instead, the most time-consuming part of the job will be to create an initial digital marketing strategy to present to your clients. This will be based on their social media engagement history and website traffic statistics.

Of course, doing digital marketing part-time is also a great way to work towards eventually starting a business of your own.

What you can earn:

At first, your fee will be fairly low, around £9-£12 an hour if you don’t have any previous marketing experience. Then, you could eventually earn over £300 per day.

If you’d like to take up a permanent digital marketing position, you could expect to earn up to £43,000 a year on average – up to over £100k for the top jobs, depending on where you’re based.


Digital marketing for yourself

Use your digital marketing skills to promote your business

If you have a blog or already run much of your own business through online channels, you can make good use of your newly-acquired digital marketing skills.

Social media post boosting

If you’re wondering why your Facebook and Instagram business profiles show no growth and engagement, the sad truth is that you’re going to have to up your outreach and possibly pay for some promoted posts, too.

Both platforms have introduced algorithms that prioritise personal updates instead of business posts in people’s feeds.

So, while you definitely shouldn’t boost every single post, it’s absolutely worth paying to extend the reach of your most important updates. These would include sales, new stock, popular posts etc.

On Instagram, you’re able to tailor your boosted post to what action you’d like the user to take. For example, if you’d like people to click through to your website, the advertisement will prompt them to do just that. If, however, you want to grow your following, it will prompt them to visit your profile.

Facebook, on the other hand, allows you to narrow down your target market quite significantly, according to age, gender, location and even interests. This really helps to reach only those who really matter.

What you can earn:

There’s really no way of knowing exactly what your ROI (return on investment) will be when it comes to boosting posts. However, once you have a few months of data to look back on, you’ll be able to track movement and sales more accurately.

Affiliate advertising

If you run a blog of your own and it’s fairly successful, you may want to consider making some extra money by running advertisements on your site.

This is known as affiliate advertising, which can be tailored to your needs and specifications.

If you’re quite particular about the topic you blog about, you can approach companies that align with this. If you’re less particular, you could opt by signing up for well-known affiliate programmes.

These include:

Amazon Associates – you can earn up to 12% in advertising fees

eBay Partner Network – you can earn between 50% and 90% on eBay revenue

Shopify Affiliate Programme – you can earn up to $2,000 for each Plus referral

Alternatively, you can browse through Affili.net to find a programme that suits you.


If you’re struggling to get traffic, it may be worth speaking to an SEO company, such as SEO Consultant Yaser UK. Whilst you probably can research the basics of SEO yourself, it often helps to work with a professional team, even if just for a short while, to understand good SEO practice and make use of their tools (often rather expensive to access by yourself) to help you find things like keyword opportunities, competitor rankings etc.

Is this digital marketing a good way to earn a passive income?

Make money online with digital marketing

Well, the answer to this question depends on just HOW much you’d like to earn.

If you’re looking to make big bucks in a short amount of time, then this isn’t for you.

If, however, you’re happy with earning small amounts of money every month and learning new skills as you go, digital marketing may bring you lots of fun and joy.

Also, remember this: the digital realm is continually evolving, so you’ll need to stay up to date with trends, algorithms and the like.

It’s an exciting field with much to learn!

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1 year ago

Recently, I began delving into the world of digital marketing and have discovered that it can be a lucrative way to make money online.

Lokesh Sharma
Lokesh Sharma
4 years ago

what are the business prospects after learning digital marketing?

Yuvraj Kishor kore
Yuvraj Kishor kore
5 years ago

I just started to learn about digital marketing and it’s really good to earn money online.

5 years ago

Some great advice for digital marketing.

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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