Ways You Can Make Money Investing In Digital Real Estate: How To Earn Cash Online In 2023

August 20, 2023

Ways you can make money investing in digital real estate include local lead generation, leveraging affiliate links, influencer marketing, and paid ads. Statista states that there are 5.18 billion users on the Internet. In addition, there are 4.9 billion people globally who use social media.

Digital real estate isn't tangible. You can't see it or touch it. But because it has scarcity, there is a demand in the digital world. Digital real estate is any property you own online, like a website, NFTs, or a YouTube channel. It becomes valuable when you make it unique. Investing in digital real estate can diversify your income and generate a steady online cash flow.

10 Ways You Can Make Money Investing Digital Real Estate

1. Lead Generation

Local lead generation is first on our list and my number one recommendation. The local lead gen business model is what I used to generate a passive income of $52K/month. Not only is it a proven concept and a simple strategy. But it's the best way to drive organic traffic to your digital real estate assets.

First, you build generic websites for phone-based services. Then you rank them at the top of Google search engines. Once your lead gen site produces leads, you find a local contractor and sell your leads for profits as high as 85%-90%, just like I did with this site below. You own the website, the call tracking number, and the leads. You're in full control of every aspect of your business. Plus, you can build more than one site at a time.

You don't need to be at the top of the SERPs before your virtual property can be valuable. Because you focus on the local market, your sites rank faster (in as little as six weeks). Consider that over 41,683 ZIP codes are in the USA. Each one represents a target market with a ton of untapped niches. Lead generation is a skill set, so the barrier to entry is higher (less competition). Of course, some niches take longer to rank, and you need about $500 to get your lead gen property built and ranked.

But each site can earn around $1000-$2000/month on average, and compared to investing in physical property, costs are minimal. Get your systems in place, then rinse and repeat so you can scale fast and become an online investor. With lead gen, there's no limit to how many sites you build and rank. (I have over 80). So there's no cap on earning potential. Once you've 'rented' your sites and they're at the top of the search engines, they're pretty much hands-off. So not only do you harness time freedom. But if you build an empire, you create a passive income. 

2. Buy & Flip Websites & Domains

You can buy and flip an established website or aged domain with a marketplace like Flippa and Empire Flippers or NameJet and NameCheap Auctions for minimal costs up to thousands of dollars. Aged websites and domains are attractive because they're established. They're easier to rank and simple to remember.

The key is to purchase domain names with a clean backlink profile and high domain authority. Use a third-party tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush to see what keywords they're ranking for and a platform like Spamzilla to check for bad links. But because the online space is crowded, niche-specific websites or domains that include the name of a city and are short URLs (3-5 words) are optimal.

Verisign states that the market closed in the first quarter of 2023 with 354.0 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains. But a strategically named domain can quickly appreciate in value and then be sold for profit. For example, the domain business.com was purchased in 1999 for $5.7 million. But eight years later, it sold for $350 million. You can also build and rank your own websites using a platform like WordPress or GoDaddy for $8-$15/month.

Host your domain on sites like Namecheap or HostGator for $2.75-$13.99/month. Use tools like Keywords Everywhere to find keywords and phrases you can rank for fast. Then use SEO techniques like backlinks, citations, and GBPs to get your site to the top of the SERPs. Once it's at the top, you own a valuable digital real estate asset that you can rent or sell to generate cash flow. 

3. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is an online business model. It's a referral-based system that can generate a steady cash flow by promoting other people's products or services. For every product or service you sell, you get paid a commission. Globally, affiliate marketing is a $17 billion industry.

Affiliates don't need to own products or deal with customers. Instead, your only job is to drive traffic to offers and make sales. There are less moving parts as an affiliate than a drop shipper. But affiliate marketing is a low-cost startup that can generate 3%-10% per click or $5-$300/day. (Super affiliates earn $3000+/day).

  • First, decide on your niche and research where your target audience hangs out.
  • Next, determine what platform you'll invest your time and resources. Does your ideal customer spend time on social media and YouTube? Or do they prefer to read blog posts? Should you leverage paid ads or use sales funnels and landing pages?

But this isn't a get-rich-quick scheme. If you want to be successful, you need to be able to drive a constant stream of online traffic to your offers. But in 2023, traffic is challenging to get. So you need to pay for it with your time or wallet. You don't own the products you're promoting, so you won't land any recurring sales. You're also competing with other global affiliates for the same target audience.

So you're being pitted against sites from all over the world. (Some have a ton of money and a well-established brand). The secret is to be the better marketer. Constantly create new content or promote an offer people can't refuse. Or be willing to spend on paid ads. It takes time to develop trust and connect with an online audience. (Anywhere from 6 weeks to 18 months). So create a clear marketing strategy and take the time to consider the following:

  • Do you want to invest the time to build a website?
  • How will you develop a trusted audience?
  • Does your budget allow for paid advertising?
  • Would you prefer to write content or use video?

Affiliate marketing boasts unlimited growth potential. You're like a commercial real estate investor. Your offers are like a short term rental unit that makes you money. Promote as many offers as you want from affiliate programs like ShareASale and ClickBank. But when you start, be willing to invest the time and commit to doing the hard work. The key is to you build a brand and get attention on the Internet. Then you can make a passive income. 

4. Stack & Trade NFTs

To make money with NFTs, you can buy them from a marketplace like OpenSea or Axie Marketplace for under $150. Then develop them and resell them for profit. You can also make money with NFTs by trading or renting them. Revenue from NFTs is set to equal $3,162,000 by 2027.

NFTs become valuable when there is consumer interest. The more rare, the more valuable. The key is to create something exclusive that people want to own. Then you can resell your NFT for big payouts. Other ways to make money with NFTs include:

  • NFT Flipping 
  • NFT Stacking On Platforms Like Kira Network & Splinterlands
  • Invest In NFT Startups
  • Leverage Play-To-Earn Games Like Pikamoon & Axie Infinity

The value of NFTs is influenced by demand and market sentiments. The industry is still evolving, so there is a risk, and NFTs can be volatile and fluctuate much like the stock market or crypto. So do your research and only invest what you can afford to lose.

5. eCommerce

eCommerce will see a global valuation of $5.4 trillion in 2026. The business model is one of the best virtual real estate investing options in 2023. It's a way to make a ton of money. eCommerce isn't a low-cost investment and needs a budget of $1000-$50,000+.
But if you have a product that people want to buy or is challenging to find, you can make revenues between $30,000-$127,000+ monthly. The key to sales is to know how to drive online traffic to your store. A few ways to get in front of the right people include:

  • Websites & Landing Pages
  • Sales Funnels & Social Platforms
  • Influencer Marketing & Paid Ads

But the business model doesn't give you much control over your customers' experience. There are a ton of returns and refunds. (Some are often fraudulent). It takes time to establish your eCommerce store and generate profits. But automation software like Active Campaign and Shopify Flow can help streamline systems. Leverage the dropshipping business model to test the market and find a proven concept.

eCommerce businesses are going up against big players like Amazon, and more than 3.7K new sellers join Amazon every day. Data reveals that 9.7 million merchants are selling under the Amazon marketplace. Of all sellers, 89% use FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) as their order fulfillment. But Amazon FBA has its own issues, like the lack of branding. The platform has strict rules on how sellers interact with their consumers.

Sellers aren't allowed to leverage email marketing. Instead, they can only send Amazon seller-permitted messages. Add that it's hard to stand out because people on Amazon shop based on price and reviews. GrowthDevil reports that about 82% of Amazon shoppers list pricing as the most crucial shopping factor.

6. Monetize YouTube Channels & Social Media Accounts

Make money investing in digital property with social media accounts or YouTube channels. You can buy an active account on sites like FameSwap for $100-$1000+. Then share hyper-valuable content that speaks to your target audience. Statistics confirm that 4.9 billion people use social media. This number is set to hit 6 billion by 2027.

Add that YouTube has more than 2.68 billion active users as of 2023. It's also the most used social platform for research purposes among B2B decision-makers. Develop an online real estate asset that gets in front of a ton of eyeballs. Then you can monetize your social media account or YouTube channel with sponsored posts and partnerships. Other ways to monetize your assets include:

  • Banner Ads
  • Affiliate Links
  • Influencers
  • Merchandise

But it can take four months to ten years to build a following. The key is to publish regular content. Post videos or stories that grab people's attention. What can you offer to make people want to check out your site? What problem can you solve? Answer questions people are asking online and be authentic. There's no limit to your earning potential or how big you scale. Instead, focus on building a trusted brand. Then share unique content that sets you apart from the competition.

7. Invest In Cryptocurrency

Invest in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and make money with digital real estate. You can buy Bitcoin on trusted platforms like Coinbase, Robinhood, and Kraken for as little as $10. Each Bitcoin is divisible into smaller fractions, so you don't need thousands of dollars to start investing. You can make money with Bitcoin with lending websites and earn interest, or you can mine Bitcoin if you're tech-savvy. Other ways to make money with crypto include:

  • Trade: Take advantage of market volatility via arbitrage, day trading, or swing trading.
  • Buy & hold: Make a profit when the price increases and sell for more than you paid for your virtual investment property. 
  • Accept Bitcoin as payment.
  • Leverage Bitcoin tips: Receive rewards in BTC.

Research reports that over 24 million Bitcoin addresses were active during Q1 2022. So the market continues to see growth.

8. Sell Digital Products

Selling digital products is a low-cost investment that offers scalability and the potential for automation. Have an initial budget of $200-$2000+. (It will depend on the software and platform you use to create and sell your product). But you can sell your creations for $100-$165 (single products) to $20-$5000+. 

In 2023, digital products are a $331 billion industry. Data states that over 30,000 new products are introduced every year. But 95% will fail because no one wants or needs them. So, to make money by investing in digital products, create something that solves a problem, educates, entertains, or fills a gap in the market. Your digital product should fit into one of the following criteria:

  • Unique & In High-Demand
  • Requires A Level Of Expertise & Not Easy To Find
  • Reasonably Priced & Provides Value

You can use software like AppSumo (free with no upfront fees), sell on sites like Etsy, or create your website on Shopify. Popular digital products include: 

  • eBooks
  • PDFs guides
  • Plug-ins & extensions
  • Printables (planners, schedules, invitations, etc.)
  • Webinars

Once you create a digital product, you can sell it repeatedly. Then you make a steady income. You can use digital products as a standalone strategy or combine them with display ads, affiliate links, or partnerships.

9. Create A Membership Site

Data reveals that the subscription economy will be worth $1.5 trillion by 2025. Over the past nine years, the subscription economy has increased by 435% and is set to be a $1.5 trillion market by 2025.  Plan on investing around $250-$5000 to cover the cost of automation software, packaging, etc. Deliver items that have value. Then develop a marketing strategy. How will you drive online traffic to your offer? How will you stand out in a crowded space? Consider marketing approaches like:

  1. Websites & Landing Pages
  2. Sales Funnels & Paid Advertising
  3. Email Marketing & SMS Marketing

The key is to build a brand. You can use a site like Patreon or Substack. Then invest the time to develop trust with your buyers. Provide the best shopping experience possible, and offer stellar customer support. 

Share valuable content, engaging posts, or limited-time offers. Present bundles and discounts and regularly introduce new products. Create offers people can't refuse and include:

  • An end date (then people have a built-in exit)
  • Cause marketing (donate a percentage to charity)
  • Discounts and loyalty rewards (like a free trial or one-time offer)
  • Tiered price options (scaled pricing based on purchase)

Data says that the average monthly spend on subscriptions is $273. So there is market demand. But there's no limit to the amount of money you can make. Set up autopay, and you generate recurring income. Plus, if you continue to bring in new members (this is the goal). Or you can create FOMO and a buzz around your products. Then you can earn an income online.

10. Develop Land In The Metaverse

Invest in buying land in the Metaverse and make money by developing your virtual real estate. To purchase land in the Metaverse, have a budget of $660-$2000+. Then you can buy land on sites like Decentraland or Sandbox. The idea is to purchase land in a good location. Then develop it with amusement parks or shopping malls and rent it for virtual events and experiences.

Or sell your virtual property for a higher price than you paid. But to make money with Metaverse land, own property where people want to visit. The more popular the area, the more worth your digital asset has. Data says that the Metaverse is estimated to reach a global market of $1.5 trillion by 2030. So its value is rising, and there continues to be a demand in the market.

Is Metaverse A Digital Real Estate?

Metaverse is a digital real estate. The pixels on the Internet represent land parcels in a digital world. Metaverse land doesn't have physical traits, but it does exist online. You possess a unique plot of digital land. But you can use it to create income-generating properties like leasable buildings or interactive media. Then you charge a fee or can boost a brand and earn a steady cash flow.

What Is Digital Real Estate?

Digital real estate is a property that you own on the Internet. It can be a domain name, a social media account, or land in the Metaverse. Data suggest that digital revenue will be worth $102,700 million by 2027. But just like investing in traditional real estate in the real world, the key is to buy digital assets at a low cost. Then use monetization methods to increase their value before selling them at a higher price. You can also rent out virtual land like a blog that leverages paid ads or sponsorships. Or create and sell digital products such as an online coaching program or PDFs. 

How To Invest In Digital Real Estate

To invest in digital real estate:

1. Choose the digital real estate investment type you want to pursue:

Consider your budget when you buy digital real estate. How much money do you want to spend? What is the length of time you wish to commit to increasing the value of your asset? Speak with an expert in the digital real estate market space that interests you or people who have made money with this kind of online investment.

2. Research to assess the level of competition, trends in the market, and associated costs:

To buy digital real estate, use third-party tools like Google Trends or Yahoo Finance. Determine what trends are shaping the market. How does this type of online property earn capital? What economic factors influence the competition? Will you resell for a profit or rent your online asset and earn a rental income? Then decide which marketplace is the best choice for your budget and objectives.

3. Create a marketing strategy to capitalize on your virtual asset and increase its value: 

Monetize your website with affiliate links or paid ads. Rank an established domain higher with SEO tactics like backlinks and citations. Consider alternate approaches for different digital assets, such as:

  • Trade NFTs or lend crypto
  • Develop and rent land in the Metaverse
  • Sell merch on your YouTube channel
  • Leverage influencer marketing on social media

4. Implement your methods, then rent your digital land or sell it for a profit: 

Add value by owning what other people want. This can be a blog that ranks well in the search engines. Or a social media account with a lot of followers. Your digital real estate is valuable when you get attention online or offer something unique. Then you can rent it and secure a monthly cash flow. Or you can resell for a higher price tag than the original cost.

How Do You Create Virtual Real Estate? 

You create virtual real estate by building and ranking a website or growing a social media account. You can also buy a deed where your digital asset lives online from a platform like Cryptovoxels or Sandbox. But the virtual real estate you develop belongs to the site where it's housed. Ultimately, they own online space, but you buy the right to create and monetize it. You need to follow their rules and comply with platform policies. So it's essential to spread your investment over several digital assets. Then you mitigate risks like disruption in the market or changes to how data is shared online.

Can You Make Money With Virtual Real Estate?

You can make money with virtual real estate if you own an online asset that gets attention. The key is to create a virtual property that offers value to people. Internet users spend over 12.5 trillion hours online searching for services and being entertained. Develop virtual real estate that gets in front of a ton of eyeballs. Then you can make money with your online asset.

What Types Of Digital Real Estate Make The Most Money?

The types of digital real estate that make the most money are the ones that get attention. A popular niche-focused website with a large audience can earn significant money through sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, or paid ads.

In contrast, a developed plot in a high-traffic area in the Metaverse can rent its space for substantial gains. Or sell for huge amounts of money. Data reports that the most expensive Metaverse land sale was $5 million in the relatively unknown virtual world, TCG World.

What Is Best Digital Real Estate Investing?

The best digital real estate investing is something that fits your long-term goals and budget. The idea is to make your online asset valuable. Then you can use your space like a rental property and earn monthly cash flow. Or you can sell it for a lump price and earn capital gains. 

Choose an investment that aligns with your interests. Do you enjoy writing and want to monetize a blog? Or do you prefer to trade NFTs and build intricate artwork on Web 3.0? Research and learn as much as possible about your investment choice. Then be willing to develop it. Again, the goal is to increase its value and make money.

What Are The Pros & Cons Of Investing In Digital Real Estate?

Pros Of Investing In Digital Real Estate

A pro of investing in digital real estate is lower initial costs than physical real estate investing. You don’t need to be a real estate investor, employ a real estate agent, or have prior experience to get started.

Another pro of investing in digital real estate is that it offers a steady cash flow potential if you rent it without the hassle of property management. It’s also a profitable way to expand and diversify income streams.

A pro of digital real estate investing is the increased demand for this online business model that is easily accessible.

The biggest pro of digital real estate investing is that your online assets appreciate over time, so you can sell them at a higher price to earn capital gains.

Cons Of Investing In Digital Real Estate

A con of investing in digital real estate is the market volatility that includes risks of security breaches and cyber-attacks.

Another con of digital real estate investing is the high level of competition.

A con of investing in digital real estate is that there continues to be a lack of predictability and evolving markets.

The biggest con of investing in digital real estate is the need for ongoing maintenance. Digital real estate takes time to become valuable. You also need to have a certain level of tech know-how.

How Much Money Do You Need To Invest In Digital Real Estate?

You can invest in digital real estate for nothing. For example, a YouTube channel or social media profile is free to set up and create. But the minimum investment budget in digital real estate is about $10.Then you can buy a domain and build a website on a platform like Shopify or Wix. But most digital real estate investments are more expensive. For example, NFTs and Metaverse land costs are over a hundred dollars. So you can either pay with your time or your wallet.

That's why I prefer the lead generation model. You only need enough money to cover the costs of your domain, hosting, and call tracking number. (This is about $50/month). Then you target local markets and offer a service people search for online. So you can start making money with your online property in as little as six weeks. But investing in digital real estate vs. real estate is a way to diversify your portfolio for less capital.

What Is Digital Real Estate Investing For Beginners?

Digital real estate investing for beginners starts with research:

  • First, learn as much as you can about the different ways to invest in virtual assets. Do you want to buy land in the Metaverse? Or would you prefer to grow a YouTube channel? Do you want a hands-off investment, or do you have the time to commit to building an online audience?
  • Next, use tools like Google Trends, Keywords Everywhere, and People Also Ask. Determine market trends and look at factors influencing the value of specific virtual assets.
  • Decide on the type of digital real estate you want to invest in. Find a platform that fits your budget and long-term goals. Like Kracken for buying crypto, Axie Infinity for Metaverse land, or Flippa for used websites. But invest only as much money as you can afford to lose, and be ready to develop your online entity to increase its value.
  • Then leverage monetization strategies like affiliate links on a blog, influencer marketing on social media, or staking NFTs.

You can rent your online space and secure a monthly income. Or develop your asset and then resell it for gains.

Is Digital Real Estate Legit?

Yes, digital real estate is legit. It's a way to buy virtual assets on the Internet that appreciate over time. Then you can either sell them for a profit or rent out your online space to generate a monthly income. It has risks, but digital real estate isn't a scam. It can earn 10X higher profit margins than traditional real estate investing, often for a fraction of the cost. Of course, there are scams. So do your research and use a trusted marketplace. Talk to an expert or other people who have seen success in the space you wish to invest. Be smart about sharing personal information online, and always use secure payment methods.

What Is Digital Real Estate Passive Income?

Digital real estate passive income is money your online entity gains while you sleep. The rank and rent business model produces leads because it's at the top of the SERPs. Social media accounts and YouTube channels earn passive income through sponsorships and ad revenue. A blog makes passive income using banner ads or affiliate marketing strategies. The key is to create an asset that drives online traffic. The more people who visit your online property, the more passive income you earn.

Why Local Lead Generation Is The Best Digital Real Estate Investment In 2023

Local lead generation is the best digital real estate investment in 2023 because it's a proven concept and a learned skillset. The barrier to entry is higher, but the competition is lower. Build and rank simple websites that get to the top of the search engines. Because the focus is on the local market, you can get your sites to the top of the SERPs in as little as six weeks. 

Then they're in front of people actively searching for your service. They produce leads you sell to a business owner for a profit. You own the website, the tracking number, and the leads. So you're like a digital landlord and rent your asset to earn a steady cash flow. The local lead generation business model is super scalable. There are 41,705 unique zip codes in the USA, each representing a local market of untapped potential. 

Once you understand the process, you can adopt a copy-and-paste style. Build one, and then build ten more. It takes about 10 hours to create a site and around $500 to rank. But every lead gen website can generate $1000+/month. Plus, they don't need much work once they're at the top. As a result, you earn passive income.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

Ippei.com is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2023, is to build your own lead generation business.

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