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.
Equally, you can charge businesses to ‘claim’ their listing, a method used by many large directory sites like Google Business and Yelp. This involves companies paying to upgrade their listing and adding information such as their web address, social media links, images, and more. Other revenue streams include charging for ad space, adding affiliate links and even charging for services and products on your directory site.
Focus groups are a little more involved than paid surveys, but they are a bit similar. Rather than ticking off a yes/no to say what you think about a product or service, you're invited to participate in discussions about what you tried, or share your thoughts via webcam. Focus groups also pay more than paid surveys, and sometimes you may be asked to leave your home and visit a location to do them.

Starting a podcast, like making a YouTube channel or blog, comes down to telling interesting stories and building an engaged audience. I’m probably sounding like a broken record by now, but you need a niche that you’re interested in and there’s already a demand for. Come up with a list of topics you’d like to talk about and then search iTunes charts, Google Trends and other podcast research sites like cast.market to see what’s currently out there and popular.
ThredUP sends you a free Clean Out Kit to fill with all the gently used, on-trend clothes you no longer wear. They'll take care of everything else, including professionally photographing your items and listing them on the site. You receive an upfront payout once the items are processed, or if it's a unique item, you'll be paid once it's sold. Payouts are offered in the form of ThredUP store credit or donation to a cause, or you can transfer the cash to PayPal.
A lifestyle blogger writes about their everyday life, hobbies, and interests. From fashion, beauty tips, and male grooming, to food, restaurants, and travel, anything that you experience can be blogged about. And famous lifestyle bloggers can make big bucks. Once you have built up a following, there are many ways to make a profit. Add affiliate links to your website, promote sponsored services, create your own product range, and much more.
Below is a huge list of companies (over 90!) that do mystery shopping, remote call monitoring, or some other “customer engagement research.” We did not vet the companies on this list, we only checked that their websites loaded and that they appear to still be in business. I wish we could've researched this more but that just wasn't feasible. Before you sign up for anything, please review my post about how to spot a mystery shopping scam plus the Federal Trade Commission's tips.
One of the cool things about Google AdSense is that it's so easy to get set up. If you have a blog or website, you can sign up for a free Google AdSense Account. From there, Google will give you a unique code that you will paste onto your website. Google takes it from there, tracking your page views, traffic, and earnings on your behalf. There is no upkeep or maintenance to get this thing going, which makes it a no-brainer if you have a website already.
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