Tired of the daily 9-5 job and you believe that engineers (like You & Me) deserve better conditions and freedom of place & time? Then you have the right mindset to start doing your engineering work from home. Join me in this article to see how you can start a passive income business online that is usually overlooked by engineers so that you stop working for others and start working for yourself.
But first, let’s answer an important question:
What Is Better For Engineers: Work From Home For Others, Or Start Their Own Online Business?
When working online, like it is in the physical world, you have two options:
The First Option: keep working for others doing regular or freelancing work, keep trading your time for money, and when you are sick or tired or you just don’t want to work for several days in row, you stop getting paid!
Now even though this option gives you freedom of place, and some flexibility in the time, but it doesn’t give you total freedom as you have limits and sometimes, deadlines to stick to in order to deliver what you are requested to deliver.
In addition, there is a limited number of hours that you can put every week or every month, which translates into a limited income level at the end.
Does this mean that Engineers can’t have the freedom they dream of?!
Of course, you can! But not by keep trading your time for money. Which leads us to the second option:
The Second Option: Start Their Own Online Engineering Business, which will make them money even when they are asleep!
Again, whether engineers work online from home or in the physical locations, if they have their own business, then they can enjoy more freedom of time and location.
If you have an actual physical business, like a contracting company, a manufacturing plant, or a set of machinery providing certain services, you can hire people to tackle the tasks and manage the business for you. And then, you can enjoy freedom of location and time.
But what’s wrong with this model is that you need a good capital in order to start your business, or even to get a loan. And you need to manage your company and the team for not a short period before you develop the right system and build the right team that you can trust and allow them to manage your business on your behalf. Which is not easy!
But if you don’t have lots of money to risk (like me), or you don’t want to work in person with others (also like me!), then starting your own online engineering business, which will generate you a passive income, is the best solution for you.
Building an online business eliminates the human interaction with others and eliminates any physical barriers as long as you have your laptop and an access to the internet!
This will lead us to the next question:
What Kind Of Business Can Engineers Do Online?
Their are different kinds of online businesses that anyone can do in any niche, including the Engineering Niche!
I will mention here the best two methods that give you the most results for the least amount of work, the lowest initial investment (you can start even for free, LOL!), the least interaction with others, and most important: these are the two methods I do myself, and any engineer can do them as well, especially the second method.
Here’s a brief about each one and then I will explain more in details, and most important, I will provide you with guides, tools and a free training on how to do them!
And don’t worry, you don’t need technical experience in the online world. If you can use your email, then you can start any of these two businesses. That’s how I started before I leave my job as an Engineer.
1 – First Method: Sell Digital Engineering Downloads/Documents/Products
2 – Second Method: Do Affiliate Marketing as an Engineer
Important: Now just because I use the words: Marketing & Sell, it doesn’t mean that you are not going to be an engineer anymore. You are actually an Engineer, doing an Engineering Business, but adding new skills to your list of skillset.
This is not different from what you are doing already! Whenever you apply to any job or contract (even an online one), you are marketing yourself through your resume, cover letter, and recommendation letters. But you are doing it to remain in the rat race and keep trading your time for money. And when you get accepted and employed, you will keep marketing yourself by your good work that will keep you an employee (modern slave) for a longer time, and you will keep selling your hours for pennies.
While if you start your online business in one of the two methods mentioned above, you are doing the marketing and selling activities in order to get the true freedom and make a passive income (making money when you are asleep!).
Now let’s go into details on what exactly you will do in order to make money with these two methods:
First Method: Sell Digital Engineering Products, Documents Or Templates Online
So, what kind of digital products to sell?
Remember anytime that you were looking for something online and found a hard time trying to find it? That is what you can sell!
These could be any of the following:
- A Template for a Quality or A Project Management Plan
- A Checklist for an Inspection or any other activity such as Design Submittal or Review
- A Spreadsheet for collecting data or for doing calculations (thermal insulation calculations, cable calculations, load calculations, …etc.)
- Mockups for devices/pieces that others can use on AutoCAD or any other design software.
- A Video Training on how to use a certain device or do a certain measurement or activity (e.g. welding, cable insulation testing, concrete or road tests), how to use a specific software to do a certain design or calculation (Primavera, Revit, Solar PV System Simulator)
And many other stuff that you can think of.
If you are telling yourself that all of these are available everywhere, then remember anytime you suffered trying to find one of them. It wasn’t easy, was it?
My Golden Rule For Making Money Online: Anything that is difficult to find for free using Google Search is your opportunity to make money online!
I remember when I tried to find a set of Quality documents and plans while working as QA/QC Engineer in one of the construction companies, we suffered trying to find some documents that we were ready to buy them for money if we found them.
A year later, after I learned how to do those documents, I created my own templates on Word & Excel files, so that others can edit and tailor them for their specific projects, I uploaded them on a specialized platform that allows others to find them through Google search, and allows them to download the documents only after they pay the price I specified. And I started later to receive some buyers that are buying them even when I’m asleep.
Here’s a screen shot of my store on Sellfy, the platform I use to sell digital downloads
Using Sellfy makes it easier for you as you don’t need to start your own website, but if you want to build your own website anytime later, you can easily integrate your Sellfy account into your website, which will make the products you sell appear more often on the search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, which will get you more sales.
If you have something that you can sell, then check my article on how to sell digital products using the Sellfy Platform by clicking here.
Now if you don’t have something in mind, or you want more flexibility, then let’s head to the second method, which allows you to make money with almost anything related to engineering, even if you don’t have your own products!
Second Method, Make Money Online Promoting Engineering Products As An Affiliate
If you are new to this term, Affiliate Marketing is simply a marketing concept where you promote other people or companies’ products, and get commissions on every sale you make!
These products could be physical/tangible such as: Measurement Tools, Welding Devices, Computer Parts, Lab Devices, Solar Panels, hard copy Books …etc. or they could Virtual Products such as: Softwares (AutoCAD & Revit for example), others’ Training Courses, Ebooks, …etc.
Affiliate Marketing is literally the best way for engineers to make passive income online, I will explain why in a dedicated section below.
There are literally tens of thousands of products that you can promote as an affiliate, even in the engineering field.
If you are not convinced, then go to Google Search, type in: Engineering + Affiliate Program, and see what results you will find. Thousands of affiliate programs that you can join in the different sub-niches of the wide engineering niche.
Dig deeper and go for one of the engineering fields, let’s say Mechanical Engineering + Affiliate Program and you will find affiliate programs for products and services in this category. And the same goes for other engineering fields, such as Civil, Electrical, Computer and Software Engineering.
You can dig deeper and go for the sub-niches of each category, for example, in Mechanical Engineering, you can go after the Welding sub-niche, or the HVAC. In the Electrical Engineering you can go after the sub-niches: Solar Power, Generators, Cables, …etc. For the Civil Engineering field, you can go after the sub-niches: Surveying, Geometrical, Structural, …etc. and for the Software Engineering field you can promote different programming languages, softwares and devices, and so on.
You can promote any products; physical or virtual as I mentioned earlier: Devices, Material, Design & Management Softwares, Training Courses, …etc. And when you get anyone to purchase through your link, you get a commission.
Take a look at Amazon.com, you can promote anything listed there and get commission from the sales you make. And same for many other marketplaces.
When you learn Affiliate Marketing (you can get a free training with the necessary tools at Wealthy Affiliate), you can use it to promote products in any niche you want, it could be in a hobby you have (Tennis, Reading, Basketball, …etc.), a skill you have (Singing, Drawing, Sewing, …etc.) an activity you do (Yoga, Tai Chi, …etc.) or anything that you would like to work on. You are not restricted to the Engineering niche.
But in my opinion, the Engineering niche is an excellent one for affiliate marketing, as I will explain in the next section
Why Is Affiliate Marketing Excellent For Engineers?
There are many reasons that make the Engineering niche excellent for affiliate marketing, here are some of these reasons:
1 – The Engineering Niche is a VERY BIG Niche:
Inside the main big Engineering niche, there are other Big Niches such as: Electrical, Communication, Civil, Computer, Mechanical, Software, Medical, …etc. And inside each of these niches, there are many sub-niches. For example, in the Mechanical Engineering Niche: Welding, HVAC, Insulation, Pumping, Piping, …etc. And same for other Main Engineering categories.
Why is this good? Because you can never go out of ideas or products to promote. There is a LOT of Products and Programs to promote in each sub-niche and there’s literally very low competition here, which makes your journey much easier.
2 – The Engineering Niche is Evergreen:
There are always improvements going on in the engineering field, new softwares, devices and tools are being invented everyday that you can promote, lots of opportunities to make money.
3 – Only Engineers can do Affiliate Marketing in the Engineering Niche:
Unlike other niches.
In the Basketball niche for example, you don’t have to be a professional player in order to promote Basketball Shoes or Courses as an affiliate. It could be your hobby. Which means that many people can jump into it and it becomes crowded. And the same goes with the Yoga niche, Fashion, …etc.
While when it comes to the engineering niche, only engineers understand how to promote engineering tools, softwares and courses. Not everyone with the hobby “engineering” can come in and start doing affiliate marketing in this niche.
This is why I found that there is almost no competition in this niche when it comes to affiliate marketing. Which will make it easier for you to start making money as an affiliate marketer.
4 – You can Work From Anywhere, Anytime you want:
As long as you have an internet access and a laptop, you can work on your online business.
And you don’t only make money when you work. You write an article once, get it to rank on Google, and you will get consistent traffic to that article and make commissions whenever someone buys through your referral link. Every article you write keeps getting you commissions for long time and not only one commission. Unlike trading your time for money through a job or through freelancing where you only get paid for the hours you spend on each task!
So, How Does This Work?
In order to do affiliate marketing, you need few elements as follows:
1 – You need the products to promote. (You will learn how to search for products)
2 – You need a simple WordPress Website, even if it was a free one (no coding and no prior experience required at all), and maybe a YouTube Channel.
3 – You need to start creating seo friendly content, like product reviews and recommendations. (don’t FREAK OUT! it’s in the free training I will provide you with).
When you start creating content (Articles/Videos), you would be answering frequent questions that people use to look for answer (e.g. how to measure humidity?), or you could be explaining, recommending or reviewing the products you promote (What is the best welding machine?, Fluke 117 Review, what software to use for Solar PV Simulation?) and so on.
And when you write your article, you provide your affiliate link (a unique link that you get from the product owner or vendor) and you share it on your article. And when someone clicks on it and purchases that item, you get a commission which is usually a percentage of the whole price ranging from 4% into 50% depending on the product itself.
Now in order to do these steps, you need some tools that you will use and some training on the tools themselves and on the whole process. But don’t worry, I will provide you with all what you need.
So, Where To Learn This Process & Find The Tools?
You can learn all what you need to learn and find the tools you need to use at Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate the most comprehensive training platform for affiliate marketing. There, you will find a detailed, step-by-step training that will explain everything to you.
In addition, at Wealthy Affiliate you will get free tools such as the keyword research tool, content editing tool, and a free website builder and hosting that allows you to build a free affiliate marketing website in 30 seconds!
Here is a screenshot from the first course that contains 10 FREE Lessons that, if you start applying, you will start generating passive income as an engineer.
Click Here to read my article about Wealthy Affiliate, and join them for the free membership through the blue button. You don’t have to go for the paid membership unless you want to. You can enjoy the free training and tools as long as you want.
Go now and sign up for the free training and start your own journey in the affiliate marketing world and start making passive income online as an engineer.
Conclusion, Can Engineers Really Make Money Online?
Absolutely. There are many ways that anyone, including engineers, can do in order to make money online. But I listed here the best two methods that I personally do and the two that need the least initial and running cost, the least number of hours on regular basis, and most important, the least headache dealing with others, if any!
There’s nothing preventing you from applying the two methods at the same time, as I personally do. But if you want only to do one of them, then I advise you to go with the affiliate marketing as you have lots of products and programs to promote and you don’t need to take care of the customer support stuff.
As I mentioned earlier, no prior expertise is required but you need some tools and a basic training in order to be able to start.
And as I mentioned, at Wealthy Affiliate you can find this training and these tools. And even though they have both free and paid memberships, you can start with the free membership and you can remain their as long as you want.
Check my review for Wealthy Affiliate by clicking here and go through the blue button and start learning and applying immediately. Start taking action NOW!
If you have any question or concerns, please, leave them in the comment section below and I will be answering you as soon as possible!