Realistic Ways To Make Money Online
Whether you’re looking to make some fast cash, or you’re after long-term, more sustainable income-producing results, there are certainly ways you can make money online today. The truth is that making money online isn’t as difficult as most make it out to seem. It does require some discipline. Sure. Without discipline, you’ll find it tough to make a buck both online or offline.
No matter what method you select for generating your online income, there’s one very important thing to understand. Today, across this globe, with its 7+ billion inhabitants, there are two recurring things that people are looking for more of. Either people want more time or they want more money. The truth? Time is far more valuable than money. You can’t recreate time. Once it’s spent, it’s gone forever. Not money.
Money can be earned and spent, saved and pilfered, invested and wasted. Not time. That’s why time is far more valuable than money. The point? When you lack the luxury of time, making money online (or offline) can seem like an impossible task. How are you supposed to do that when you’re working at a life-sucking nine-to-five job? While the stability of full-time employment might allow most to sleep well at night, it doesn’t empower your creative juices to search for new income-producing strategies.
Now, this isn’t about some get-rich-quick method here. If you want to get rich quick, forget about trying to do it on the internet. Sure, Facebook ads are all the craze, but without a serious understanding of the mechanics behind sales funnels and conversion optimizations, which only comes after years and years of in-the-trenches work in the internet marketing field, you’re largely wasting your time trying to “get rich quick.”
1. Sell as an affiliate.
There are loads of resources for making money online as an affiliate. You could source products from ClickBank, Commission Junction, Rakuten Marketing, Share-a-Sale, Impact Radius, and many others. Plus, many of the larger companies have their own affiliate programs as well. Do your due diligence and find the right company with a relevant product or service to your audience that you can sell as an affiliate.
In some cases, you will need an active website with substantial traffic to get approved. Selling as an affiliate isn’t easy by any means, but if you do have the audience, it can definitely amount to a substantial amount of income.
2. Start a blog.
If you’re serious about making money online, start a blog. Blogging is one of the easiest and most sustainable income sources. As long as the blog is set up the right way, in the right niche, with the right content targeted at the right audience, and the offer is complementary to the content, you could make a tremendous amount of passive income from a blog.
While some might think that starting a blog is an arduous effort, when you understand the precise steps you need to take, it becomes far easier. It all starts in the decision of choosing a profitable niche and picking the right domain name. From there, you need to build your offers. You can easily sell things like mini-email courses, full-blown training’s, ebooks, and so on.
3. Paid for searching the web
Interested in earning cash for doing what you already do online? This has to be one of the easiest methods of making money online without really any effort or change in your behavior.
This innovative idea by Qmee.com rewards you for searching in Google, Bing or Yahoo. You just install a simple add-on to your browser and when you conduct a search there may be a few sponsored results alongside your normal search.
qmee paid search
Each Qmee result has a cash reward attached – if you are interested in it simply click on it and collect your reward.
The best thing is there is no minimum to cash out – our first one was just 72p wired to our Paypal account. You also have the option to donate it to charity.
Sign up now for free and start earning from your own searches!
4. Review websites & apps for cash
Well, it seems like you’re pretty nifty with a web browser, so perhaps it’s time to turn pro and browse websites as a paid and fun job!
Introducing UserTesting.com – a new platform that pays everyday people to review all kinds of websites. Each review takes around 20 minutes and bags you $10 (£6.50) via Paypal.
Simply sign up here, complete a test review and look forward to receiving websites in your inbox.
Whether you are new or old in the (GPT) world, you will agree that Swagbucks is so popular. And it is for a good reason. This site offers a number of ways to make money online and searching the web is among the most popular methods. The site has a “Search” function that you can type in and search anything and earn from doing just that. You will earn SBs, every time you use the search function. SBs are the website’s reward point system that can be redeemed for exciting prizes and gifts.
Click here to sign up. Free registration.
6. Selling on Amazon, eBay, and Etsy
One of the quickest ways to get started selling online is to leverage the power of third-party sites. E-commerce giants like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are powerful sales and marketing platforms with a built-in prospect base. Millions of people regularly shop on these sites, and the numbers keep growing.
These mega-sites make it easy to set up shop so customers can browse your products, and there’s no need to build your own website. Also, you’ll find a built-in search feature so that interested buyers can easily find your online storefront. Plus, you get to use the site’s shopping cart. In short, you avoid a lot of the expense and hassle of setting up an independent e-commerce website.
Amazon: With Amazon, you can even have them fulfill your orders. The digital retailer also says there are more than two million sellers on their website, representing 40 percent of all sales.
eBay: With eBay, the procedure is very similar. You simply start by becoming an eBay seller and stay in good standing by making sure your PayPal account is verified, and then you can sign up for your store. These three steps allow you to piggyback on eBay’s reputation, reach, and sales and marketing infrastructure in order to sell your own products.
Etsy: If your crafty, Etsy is where you should set up shop. The web portal is focused on handcrafted and unique one-of-a-kind items and has 1.5 million sellers around the world. And, like Amazon and eBay, you can set up your own online shop on Etsy’s site.
7. Build and Sell Software
Right now there’s an insatiable need for useful software.
Whether it’s an important consumer application, a specialist app to solve a particular niche problem, or even a time-wasting game you can play on your phone, you can create a massively successful business if you build software that helps people. (Look at the rise of Slack—the team communication software that went from side project to billion-dollar company in just 2 years.)
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Most of the software and apps you use on a regular basis are made by massive companies or established development studios. Well, yes. But many successful apps, particularly those in the Apple and Google stores, are created and marketed by individuals and small businesses. In fact, independent developers made $20 billion in the App Store in 2016 alone.
There are two basic ways that you can make money online by building software products.
The first follows the startup path we outlined above: You have a disruptive idea for an app or piece of software, you validate the idea with real customers, and then raise money to hire developers or a development studio to build, launch, and scale your software. If you’ve done everything right, your software will be accepted to the Apple and Google Stores and you’ll make money every time someone downloads it or pays for a premium feature.
The second (and cheaper) path assumes that you have the design and dev chops yourself to build your dream software. Naturally, it’ll take more time to get your product off the ground, but being able to bootstrap the development of your software lets you retain more ownership in your business and be more in control of your path.
If you’re willing to take the time to learn the development skills necessary to build high-quality software products (or even MVPs to help you get funding), there’s a growing roster of reputable online learning platforms like Treehouse, CodeAcademy, and Skillcrush to get you the skills you need.
8. Find Freelance Clients and Sell Your Services
If you have a marketable skill—like writing, designing, web development, marketing, project management, or anything else—one of the easiest ways to make sustainable extra money online is to start freelancing.
And while freelancing might not be as scalable as some of the other ideas we’ve spoken about, it’s not uncommon for solopreneurs to build healthy six-figure freelance businesses for themselves. (In fact, I’ve interviewed tons of them on my podcast!)
Today, over 54 million Americans are opting to forego traditional careers and start a freelance business.
There’s plenty of work and clients to be found. If you know where to look. To start, you need to know if there is enough demand for your skill to make it worth the effort to go out looking for work. Start by searching freelancer job boards on UpWork, Freelancer, Fiverr Guru or one of the dozens of other skill-specific freelance job boards.
How many postings are there for jobs similar to what you do? If there’s a decent amount and it looks like there’s steady demand, put those skills down on a shortlist and start researching the companies and industries that are hiring.
Decide what your goal is: Do you want a bit of extra income or are you looking to go full-time freelance? It takes time to ramp up a freelance business, so it’s important to know your goals from the outset.
Find a profitable niche: We’ve talked about this a lot. But, where are you most comfortable. What niche do your skills, values, and interests intersect? Do you have 10 years of experience as a technical writer? Do you have long-standing PR relationships that’ll be invaluable in helping startups launch a successful crowdfunding campaign? Determine what makes your value unique, and lean heavily on showcasing that strength to your potential clients.
Identify target customers: Write down exactly who you want as your client and then start researching those companies and making your list. You’ll want your portfolio and cold emails to align with the companies you’re reaching out to
Set strategic prices: The $37.50/hr you earn at your day job doesn’t even come close to the hourly rate you’d need to charge, in order to create the same net annual income, once you’re self-employed. This infographic on calculating your freelance hourly rate can help you decide what to charge.
Pitch, cold email, and sign your first clients: Now it’s time to go after clients. Mention them in your content. Reach out to them over email or LinkedIn. Tailor your pitch to show what kind of value you bring to the table. (You can even read my personal cold email templates).
Lastly, remember to always have a solid freelance contract in place.
9. Start Online Coaching and Sell Your Advice
Similar to selling your freelance services, you can also start selling your knowledge and advice in an area you specialize in as a coach or consultant. If you can bill yourself as an expert, there are tons of people out there willing to pay for your time.
Being an online coach or consultant is a great way to make money online, as instead of giving your client ongoing deliverables (like when you’re a freelancer), you’re teaching them to be better, faster, stronger than the competition. Your expertise becomes the product you’re selling.
Even better, if you can find ways to package your experience and coaching skills into an easily digestible program, you have the potential to significantly scale this business model.
Now, if you don’t know people who might want your coaching services, there are a number of online tools and communities that make it incredibly easy to find clients and teach, on just about any topic area you can think of. Community-driven platforms like Savvy.is Clarity.fm, and Coach.me provide you with a network of potential clients to interact with, as well as an integrated payment solution.
And while it’s one of the most limited businesses as you’re only able to charge for the time you can provide, many online coaches make hundreds or even thousands for their packages.
It’s also one of the quickest ways you can get set up and start generating revenue. All you really need is an account with one of the online coaching communities I mentioned above and expertise to share.
10. Launch a YouTube Channel to Entertain and Educate
While YouTube recently changed its monetization program, if you’re able to hit their new minimum bar of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time in the past 12 months, it’s still an incredible place to make extra money online.
YouTube is arguably the world’s second largest search engine (after Google) and is the third most-visited site in the world. In 2017, almost 5 billion videos were watched on YouTube every single day!
Rather than making money through subscriptions, YouTube channels are based on a traditional advertising system. Meaning the more viewers you get, the more you make. Once you’re approved for the YouTube Partner Program and can start including ads on your videos, with every 1,000 views, you will make approximately $2-$4. Which might not seem like a lot, but if you have 100 videos with 5,000 views a month each, that would be $1,000–$2,000 already. Just imagine if your videos start hitting millions of views!
Building a YouTube channel is a lot like starting a blog or website, except that you’re working in a video—not writing.
11. Join a Remote Company Part-Time (or Full-Time)
While most of the ideas for making money online we’ve covered so far can be done on the side, if you’re looking to completely change your career and start working online there are thousands of companies looking to hire who don’t care where you are.
More and more companies and startups especially are embracing remote work—where you use online collaboration and communication tools to do your work from wherever you want. And you don’t have to be a 20-something hotshot designer or coder to reap the benefits of working remotely. Many remote positions are for customer support positions or other customer-facing positions that don’t require specialized skill sets.
Better yet, they aren’t all full-time either, meaning you can find a remote company and job that works as a way to make extra money online.
If you’re interested, here’s a list of some of the best places to find remote jobs today:
We Work Remotely
Skip the Drive
Now, let’s talk about the rest of my picks for the best ways to make money online.
If you’re looking to build a new career online, the first ten ways we just ran through are some of the best, long-term plans for making money online. However, for a lot of people (myself included), you probably want to find other, quick online business opportunities where you can start seeing a return more quickly.
Which is a great idea? Of course, making money online takes patience and effort. But there are lots of proven ways you can get started making money today without the long lead time of building a startup or getting your own freelance business off the ground.
Also, no matter what your career, it’s important to diversify where your income is coming from. This means having multiple revenue streams from multiple sources, like selling your freelance services, affiliate, and passive income, as well as coaching and other online odd jobs.
HotJar – See how your visitors are really using your website.
Not only will this multiply the money you’re bringing in in a serious way, but it protects you against any sudden changes in the market or in your business. Remember that old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket? A few hours a week committed to just one or two of the following opportunities will put you in a much stronger position to be financially safe and independent.
So, no matter what your specialty or niche, there’s a way to use your skills to bring in extra.
12. Test Websites
You probably have a pretty strong idea of what makes a good website. Is the design clean and easy to navigate? Does the content make sense? Luckily, there are plenty of people out there who want to hear your thoughts. And they’ll even pay you decent money for it (most sites pay ~$10 per 20 minutes, or ~$30 per hour!)
To test these websites, you’ll be asked to visit the site in question and record your reactions and thoughts as you go through it. To get started making extra money online by testing websites, sign up for some of the most popular services like UserTesting.com, Userlytics, TryMyUI, Userfeel, TestingTime (for people outside the U.S), or Side Income Jobs.
13. Sells Products on a Shopify Store
If you’re serious about making money selling things online, it’s pretty much impossible to not recommend Shopify. The platform gives you everything you need to get your online store up and running in less than a day including a custom domain, beautiful templates (so you don’t need design skills), secure payment options, and they can even take care of marketing and shipping for you. Whether you’re promoting your own products, designs, or curating other products for people in your niche, Shopify is the best option for powering your online store.
14. Become an Influencer on Instagram
Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be making extra money online. Major brands, gear companies, and even startups are willing to shell out $500-$5,000+ per post to get in front of your audience. While it’s getting harder and harder to build a massive Instagram audience, if you already have a solid niche and are posting quality content regularly, with a few small tweaks you can make yourself an influencer.
15. Local Business Consulting
If you’ve developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there’s likely a local business owner who’s willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company.
16. Help People with Their Tax Prep
It’s not the sort of online money making opportunity that’s covered in glory, but everyone needs a set of eyes to make sure the numbers add up at the end of the year. Every business and most individuals need someone to help prepare tax returns, especially time or resource-strapped small business owners. The Income Tax School provides an array of training programs that’ll certify you with tax prep in as little as 10 weeks, and once tax season rolls around you’ll be able to charge an average of $229 per return as a freelance tax preparer with this side business idea, reports CNBC.
17. Online Travel Consultant
If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? My friend, Mark Jackson did just that, making extra money online with his travel consulting side business. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, and then move on and create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals. Eventually, you could spin this into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make their dream trip a reality.
18. Clean Up Search Engines
Ever see a Google result and say “How the heck did that get there?” While Google and other search engines use powerful algorithms to determine what pages to show for search results, there are real people making money online by making sure the machines are doing their job correctly.
19. Enter Online Contests for Company Names and Slogans
Do you constantly come up with witty one-liners? Do you dream of the days of Mad Men-style advertising? If you’ve got some branding chops or just come up with imaginative copy, there are lots of opportunities to make money online through company naming and slogan contests. If you think you have a knack for names check out namingforce.com and squadhelp.com. If you dream of coming up with witty copy, try coming up with company slogans on Slogan Slingers and Get a Slogan.
20. Get Paid for Being Healthy
It doesn’t pay much, but if you’re a healthy person and want to make a bit of extra money online, the AchieveMint app will reward you for doing things like walking, tracking your food, or taking health surveys. AchieveMint works by connecting to fitness apps you might already be using like Fitbit, RunKeeper, Healthkit, and MyFitnessPal and then giving you points for certain actions. For every 10,000 points, you earn $10 with no limit on your earnings.
21. Write Reviews of the Places You’ve Been
This has got to be one of the most enticing and fun ways of earning some money on writing about the places you have been, giving your own opinion and granted feedback to and from those who would be interested in hearing your side of thing’s, you would be surprised at how interested some people would be at hearing how you explored the high mountains of Nepal or the outback of the very hot and humid country of Australia. However, before you run off and start writing, be sure to check the small print on each of these sites. Writing reviews isn’t a huge source of guaranteed income and you want to make sure that it’s worth your time before you get going.
22. Do Data Entry for Companies
If you’re a stickler for details and have quick typing skills, you can make money online by entering data for companies. Simply search “data entry” jobs on places like Craigslist, Indeed, or UpWork.
23. Maintain Artist Fan Pages
Your favorite artist, musician, or entrepreneur often needs help maintaining their fan pages on Twitter and Facebook. If you have a bit of a background in social media you can make money online looking after these pages by looking for jobs on Fiverr.
24. Sell Your Old Smartphone and Other Tech Goods
The global used smartphone industry is worth a staggering $5 billion. Which means that old phone you forgot about in your cabinet could be worth some serious money.
There are tons of sites online that will either buy your old smartphone outright or let you list your phone for the thousands of people out there not willing to shell out $1000+ for a shiny new iPhone. Check out Orchard, Gazelle, Swappa, or Glyde to make extra money online by selling your smartphone or other electronics.
25. Sell Your Old Books
If you want to clear some space out in your house and have a big stack of books you’ve been holding onto for too long, you can make money selling your books and textbooks online. Stores like Half Priced Books and others will give you cents on the dollar for each of your current books while you can check what your book is worth by simply entering the ISBN number on Book Scouter.
26. Work at home companies
CrowdSource – CrowdSource offers many types of jobs from “microtask” jobs to larger writing and editing jobs. You decide how much you work and you can do most of it right at your computer.
Fast Chart – Fast Chart allows you to work from home as a medical transcriptionist. There are some requirements and qualifications listed on the page, but if you meet them, you’ll make competitive pay for the industry. You’ll also be able to set your own schedule since you’ll be working from home.
Leap Force – Leap Force is one way that Google rates websites for search engine ranking. If you’re hired, you make decent money (usually over $11/hour), you set your own schedule and it can be pretty fun to view and rank websites.
SpeakWrite – SpeakWrite will pay you up to $15/hour to transcribe information. You set your own schedule and work from home.
Now you’ve got many different options to start earning online. If you saw something that really interests you, try it out and learn more about it. If you’re really wanting to make a full-time income online, you need to be dedicated to learning how to do what you want to do. There are tons of free resources out there. You just have to search for them!
26. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies
A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency designed to work as a medium of exchange. It uses cryptography to secure and verify transactions as well as to control the creation of new units of a particular cryptocurrency. Essentially, cryptocurrencies are limited entries in a database that no one can change unless specific conditions are fulfilled.
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