How I Make Money Online (My 2019 Income Report of $113,687)

My Top Revenue & Profit Came From Online Courses

Online courses are all the rave these days.

The online learning world is still young and there is so much opportunity available for new and aspiring course creators.

In 2019 alone, I generated over $79,625 in revenue through selling two online courses:

  • Instagram Masterminds - An Instagram Growth & Marketing Course Using Algorithm Proof-Tested Strategies
  • Course Launchers - A Proven System To Create & Sell a Wildly Profitable & Impactful Online Course From Scratch
Aaron Ward Online Course Sales Bar Chart Graph
Overview of Course Sales Throughout 2019

By selling online courses I get to pass my skills and knowledge onto others that need it most — positively impacting my students lives and giving them new exciting opportunities in their life.

Even simple things like helping business owners gain followers on Instagram can lead to them achieving their first $1,000 month (a big breakthrough for new entrepreneurs!)

In fact, I've been so happy with selling online courses for the past 3+ years that I created a new program in 2020 called Course Launchers

This is now my flagship program moving forward.

I'll be focusing on building this course and training as it helps other amazing creative entrepreneurs build courses that help their own audience learn new skills and transform their life.

I think of it like a butter fly effect:

I help someone help someone else, who then may help someone else.

At the end of the day I'm constantly learning to become a better marketer, product developer and teacher — and this is my training program that contains all my plans, systems, and strategies that work.

If you're interested in creating an online course that becomes a primary source of income, then I highly suggest you join my new Free Online Workshop: Creating a Profitable Course from Scratch.

I know you won't regret it :)

Second Best: Affiliate Commission

My next income source was through promoting other products and services that I use everyday in my business.

These affiliate programs in $32,871.85 alone in 2019!

Which is INSANE thinking about it:

Screenshot of Quickbooks income for affiliate programs
Inside Look at My Quickbooks Profit/Loss Report For Affiliate Income

How Affiliate Programs Work

Simply put:

You promote another businesses product..

..when you join an affiliate program you are given a unique URL you send traffic to. If someone decides to purchase after using your URL, you earn a percentage of that sale.

For example I recommend a tool called Flick that helps people with their Instagram hashtag research and analytics. If someone decides to purchase one of the plans to use Flick, I earn a 20% reoccurring commission for 1 year.

Flick Affiliate Program Landing Page

In addition, affiliate marketing ties in perfectly with:

Online Courses

Inside of my online courses I recommend tools and products that can help my students get results quicker.

These are always optional to use, however:

When I want to recommend these tools I Google the "tools name + affiliate program" to see if I can get extra income at no cost for me or my students:

Searching on google for "webflow affiliate program"

In fact, sometimes affiliate programs will give your audience better deals or longer free trials so its a win-win situation.

For example, inside my of my Free Instagram Marketing Course I recommend a tool called Later, which helps users schedule and post their content and they get 10 extra posts for free if they use my link!

Example of using affiliate links in an online course
Example of using Affiliate Links inside my Free Instagram Course


YouTube is my go-to platform for growing my traffic and online presence.

Some videos consist of me sharing tips, doing tool walkthroughs, reviews, and other online marketing goodness.

Either way, when I mention a tool in the video I let people know they can find a link in the description (plus any benefits they may get).

For example my video "Best Instagram Tools For Business (Maximize Your Growth & Marketing)" mentions a few tools that I'm an affiliate partner with:

Example of using affiliate links in the description of a YouTube video
Example of using Affiliate Links on a YouTube Video

Over time the revenue generated from the video can be awesome as I don't rely on ad revenue too much.

Especially once you get a few 'front page videos' that rack up 100k+ views each.


Finally affiliate marketing ties into blogging effortlessly too.

Just like YouTube, I recommended tools in a blog post or guide that I write to help generate more passive income for my business.

For example, in my blog post How To Automatically Upload Instagram Posts Safely I used affiliate links for a tool I was recommending:

Example of using affiliate links in a blog post
Example of using Affiliate Links in a blog post

Ultimately, with affiliate marketing you can put your link anywhere that makes sense.

Some other places that come to mind are:

  • Emails responding to questions, such as "what platform do you use to sell your courses on?"
  • Telling entrepreneur friends in person to use my link to help me out :)
  • On coaching calls, sending the link in the chat or before the call if we are going over how to best use a tool
  • On Instagram in direct messages or even in the link of a bio
  • Facebook posts inside my private groups
A Quick Note:

I only recommend affiliated products or services that I actually use in my business — this way I can provide helpful feedback, guides, and resources on how to best use these tools.

I believe this is the best way to promote other peoples products and earn from your time and effort invested.

Third Best: Online Coaching

Finally, my third income source was through my online coaching program.

This coaching program generated me $12,516.21 in 2019 alone.

I don't actively promote this program, but it does exist for those who find it organically or for students in my paid courses who are really struggling and need that extra breakthrough "aha!" moment.

Either way:

My coaching simply was to offer a more streamlined and personal problem solving for my students — rather then my online course FAQ sections or email support responses.

Clients could either book a 30 minute call ($50) or 1 hour call ($100):

Aaron Ward Coaching Page

Although this was my lowest revenue generating source, it provided me with a lot of insight into who my audience, students, and customers really are and what they struggled with most.

Being able to speak with real people one-to-one was insanely powerful as I got to know exactly who my customers were, what problems they struggled with, and more intimate details about their life.

To do the calls, I simply used either Skype or Zoom so we could talk and set up screen-sharing.

Seeing common mistakes, problems, and desired transformations or solutions helped me shift my business into a more personal approach.

For example, changing my copywriting and content I created to speak more directly to my ideal customer.

In fact, this is something I teach and preach inside my Free Online Course Creation Workshop and Course Launchers.

Did something stand out? Let me know your thoughts below!

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