How to Make Money with AI

Even if you don’t understand what AI – artificial intelligence – is, there’s little doubt it’s changing the way many industries function, often in the most fundamental ways.

As such, learning how to make money online with AI is becoming increasingly important. It’s revolutionizing a large number of industries and occupations, and as always, those who learn how to harness the power of any new technology always reap the biggest benefits.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of ways to make money with AI. With each item, we’ve included a short list of AI tools that can be used to improve outcomes in that activity. We are not endorsing any tool (or tools), the tools listed are simply those that are associated with the business activities covered below. You are strongly advised to investigate any AI tool to determine if it is likely to be the right choice for you. 

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Writing
  2. 2. YouTube Videos
  3. 3. Online Courses
  4. 4. Investing
  5. 5. Affiliate Marketing
  6. 6. Creating Digital Artwork
  7. 7. Photo Editing
  8. 8. Video Editing
  9. 9. Digital Marketing 
  10. 10. Social Media Management
  11. What Is AI?
  12. Final Thoughts

1. Writing

Writing is the activity that’s most closely associated with AI tools. You’ve probably already used applications such as spell check and Grammarly, but where they function primarily in an editorial capacity, new AI tools can help you create content from scratch.

The most well-known example is OpenAI’s writing tool, ChatGPT. It’s already being used extensively to create written content. That includes articles, blog and social media posts, and even advertising copy.

chatgpt homepage

As long as you can fill in the basic parameters of the content you’re trying to write, ChatGPT will do the heavy lifting for you by searching the web for similar content and resources. ChatGPT can even help you brainstorm new ideas to write about or revise and improve what you’ve already written.

AI writing tools:

How to Get Started: If you’re interested in making money as a writer, the best way to get started is to find a place to write. Consider joining Medium or starting your own blog. You can eventually use these platforms as a portfolio to showcase your work and land paid writing gigs.

2. YouTube Videos

Because of AI’s ability to search the web and provide content, they can make the preparation of YouTube videos much easier than it has been in the past. You no longer have to do the research and content creation yourself. You can introduce the parameters needed for your video and use an AI tool to generate the content.

YouTubers are using ChatGPT, along with other AI tools, to create YouTube videos. It can help you find winning video content ideas and even develop the script to create the videos. ChatGPT even has a video voice-over capability, which can be a real benefit if you don’t feel you have the right voice for that medium. 

However, it may be a bit too early in the evolution of AI to rely on the voiceover capability. I’ve listened to several YouTube videos where it was obvious the voice used was not human.

That may work for a purely informational video, but it’s not recommended if you’re looking to convey a personal endorsement.

AI YouTube video creation tools:

How to Get Started: With any type of content creation, the most important thing you can do is just get started. There are plenty of YouTube channels that will show you how to become a YouTuber, like this one from Primal Video.

3. Online Courses

Millions of people are picking up new skills on the internet. So much so that online courses have become a huge industry and a very profitable one at that. If you have expertise in an in-demand topic, you can generate passive income by building an online course.

All you need to do is create a video – or a series of videos – that generates a steady stream of income from your website or through affiliate programs with other sites.

thinkific homepage

You can now use AI tools to create those courses. Several AI tools are available in this area, so you’ll need to do some research. Some will help you create the content, while others will polish the finished product.

AI online course creation tools:

How to Get Started: If you’ve built an audience through a blog, YouTube, or other social media channel, an online course may be the perfect way to turn your biggest fans into paying customers. This article from ecommerce giant Shopify shows you how to create an online course in 10 steps.

4. Investing

The jury is still out on whether AI can completely replace human judgment when it comes to investing, but the technology is definitely moving in that direction.

If nothing else, AI can reduce the time it takes to analyze individual securities, not to mention entire industries. For example, you can use AI to search the web for the latest information on a company and identify industry trends.

One of the big advantages of using AI to save money and invest is its ability to collect and analyze data points. Thousands of securities are listed on the financial exchanges, and parsing through the information to find the best potential performers can be overwhelming.

AI automates the process and can perform such tasks in a matter of minutes. It can also be used to build a portfolio, manage risk, and even determine entry and exit points on individual securities. AI doesn’t replace human efforts in these areas; it just does things more quickly.

It’s even possible that you’re already using AI in your investment activities. Some robo-advisors, including Betterment and Wealthfront, already incorporate AI in their investment management.

AI investing tools:

How to Get Started: It’s nice that robo-advisors and AI platforms can take the work out of investing, but it helps to know what you’re doing with your money. If you’re looking for sources for investment information online, check out the YouTube channels WhiteBoard Finance and Let’s Talk Money! with Joseph Hogue, CFA.

5. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a process by which you sell products and services on your blog, website, YouTube channel, or other social media outlet. You receive a commission on the sale of any product or service that results from someone making a purchase after clicking through your platform.

AI tools can streamline the entire affiliate marketing process and help you make more money.

It does that by helping to identify the best affiliate marketing opportunities for your platform, saving you time and effort. It can also create content that may generate more click-throughs and sales conversions.

AI affiliate marketing tools:

How to Get Started: One of the easiest ways to break into affiliate marketing is through Amazon Associates, which is the world’s largest affiliate marketing platform. If you have a blog or social media audience, you can make money by doing reviews of Amazon products that you use and recommending them to your audience. When they purchase products using your unique affiliate link, you’ll earn a small commission. This article from JungleScout shows you how it’s done.

6. Creating Digital Artwork

You can make money by creating and selling AI-generated artwork to consumers or businesses. You can also use AI art generators to modify digital art that you’ve already created, perhaps to customize it for a specific customer or client.

AI digital artwork tools:

How to Get Started: There are many ways to make money with digital art. For example, you could sell branding kits and other graphic designs for other online creators, web fonts, Instagram filters, printables, and decorations. The best places to sell digital art include Etsy for e-printables and Sellfy, an online marketplace that specializes in digital products.

7. Photo Editing

People are using AI to generate and edit images, including traditional photos. If nothing else, AI tools can enhance an already good photo or make a less impressive one more salable.

topaz homepage

A good photo editing AI tool will be able to alter the background of the photo, sharpen low-resolution shots, adjust colors in both the subject and background, remove imperfections or undesirable clutter, or lighten an otherwise dark photo.

AI photo editing tools:

How to Get Started: If you have an eye for photography and editing, you can make money with your own photos or by editing other people’s photography. Create a portfolio of your work on your own website, Unsplash, or a social media platform, such as Instagram. To get started, advertise your services on freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.

8. Video Editing

Video editing software has been around for many years, but it requires special training and experience to get the best results. Because of this, many video creators have outsourced the work to dedicated video editors.

But AI is simplifying the process, allowing YouTubers and other creators to edit their own work. This saves creators money that they would otherwise have to pay to an editor.

AI video editing tools can be used to remove imperfections, improve sound quality, add background music and visuals, and even to delete unnecessary or low-quality footage.

AI video editing tools:

How to Get Started: There is no shortage of ways to make money as a video editor. You can find work editing videos for businesses, weddings, anniversary celebrations, or YouTube videos. If you need to brush up on your video editing skills, there are plenty of online courses available on platforms like Udemy.

9. Digital Marketing 

Millions of people are making money with digital marketing through blogs, e-commerce websites, YouTube, and other social media platforms.

AI tools are automating much of the digital marketing process. They can help you create marketing campaigns, track the competition, measure results, and optimize the process along the way.

Whether you’re using AI digital marketing tools as a business owner or you want to become a digital marketing professional, AI can help you make more money.

AI marketing tools:

How to Get Started: You can make money with digital marketing across various types of businesses, including online coaching, blogging, and YouTube. Steve Chou is a successful online entrepreneur who used digital marketing to build a 7-figure e-commerce business and teaches a course on how to create profitable online stores.

10. Social Media Management

Many businesses now recognize the power of social media to generate sales. If you already work in social media management, or would like to crack into the field, AI can make the process easier.

The basic problem with social media management is that it’s all over the place. There’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (now X), TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, and more, coming online all the time. Even if you are accomplished in one or two social media platforms, it can be very difficult to manage several marketing campaigns at the same time.

AI tools can help you create and schedule your social media posts on several platforms simultaneously. They provide analytics, and help you respond to inquiries. AI can consolidate tasks and reduce the amount of time it takes to manage social media campaigns, giving you the ability to take on more clients, and generate more revenue.

AI social media management tools:

How to Get Started: Whether you want to make money as a social media influencer or a social media manager, you can leverage AI tools to do it. This post from Shopify lays out eight ways to make money on social media.

What Is AI?

While there are different definitions, McKinsey & Company describes AI as having “(the) ability to perform the cognitive functions we associate with human minds, such as perceiving, reasoning, learning, interacting with an environment, problem-solving, and even exercising creativity.”

Whatever the actual definition of AI is, it’s clear that technology is sweeping through the economy and the globe, even to the point of changing the way business is done. That creates unique opportunities to make money with AI.

Final Thoughts

Maybe you’re already engaged in one of the business activities above, or perhaps you’re looking for a new venture that will enable you to capitalize on the rapidly expanding AI market. Whichever applies to you, it’s become increasingly apparent that AI has become a mission-critical part of nearly every human activity. 

Whether you’re looking to take your business to a higher level, or investigating new opportunities, spend some time researching the AI tools that can be used to improve your bottom line. That can happen in the form of either increased revenue or reduced time spent generating that income.

Five years ago, AI seemed to be more of a theory than anything else, and no one knew where it would go. But it’s now clear that AI is very much here and now, and it’s impacting nearly everything in human existence – including the ability to make money.

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About Kevin Mercadante

Since 2009, Kevin Mercadante has been sharing his journey from a washed-up mortgage loan officer emerging from the Financial Meltdown as a contract/self-employed "slash worker" – accountant/blogger/freelance blog writer – on OutofYourRut.com. He offers career strategies, from dealing with under-employment to transitioning into self-employment, and provides "Alt-retirement strategies" for the vast majority who won’t retire to the beach as millionaires.

He also frequently discusses the big-picture trends that are putting the squeeze on the bottom 90%, offering workarounds and expense cutting tips to help readers carve out more money to save in their budgets – a.k.a., breaking the "savings barrier" and transitioning from debtor to saver.

Kevin has a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Montclair State University.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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