So, where are we supposed to turn to make money the legitimate way online? This isn't just about generating passive income; this is also about finding ways and means to create an active income through the conveniences afforded to us by the internet that will not only help us with our debt obligations, but also empower us to save, invest and get really rich in the future.
Research other listings in your city on AirBnB and see what the going rate is for a place like yours. You could also just rent out a private room as well or even a bed in a shared room. In fact, that's how AirBnB got its start. However, you might find it hard in the beginning without reviews, but as long as you take really good care of your guests and provide a lot of value, the reviews will eventually come rolling in.
If you’ve got a way with words and expertise in a niche, there are plenty of sites that will pay for articles and content you write. Think of the sites you read regularly. What can you contribute to them that would be interesting? Research your niche and then look for ways to pitch articles. Many sites will simply have a submission or contact link in the footer. To get started, check out my full guide to becoming a freelance writer on the side and then submit your articles to places like Instash, Listverse, TopTenz, A List Apart, International Living, FundsforWriters, and Textbroker.
Become a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants perform a wide range of services for their clients, all of which can be completed online. Depending on the day, they may open and reply to emails, schedule online work or blog posts, write mock-up letters and proposals, or perform data entry. You can look for virtual assistant jobs on sites like UpWork.com and Problogger.net.
Consider selling in lots. A lot is a collection of similar items that is sold in a group. For example, if you have a collection of books, magazines or similar pieces of jewelry, consider selling them all at once in a lot. You many not make as much money as you would have if you sold each item separately. However, the items will likely sell more quickly in a lot than they would individually.
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.
Buy and sell domain names. If you’re good at finding popular yet undiscovered domain names, you can make some cash on the side by buying and reselling websites. Think of it as digital real estate speculation. Domains are available on GoDaddy.com for as little as $2.99 per year, but are sometimes resold at far higher prices: According to Business Insider, the site MM.com sold for $1.2 million dollars in 2014. Once you find the perfect domain name to resell, you can market it on Flippa.com for a flat fee.
Fiverr – Fiverr is a huge marketplace where you can sell all kinds of work. From products, like drawings and videos, to services, like a review of your website or resume. Fiverr's differentiator is everything costs just $5 at a baseline, though you can sell add-ons like faster delivery, etc; for more. The marketplace is huge and there's a lot of fun and creative things you can do.
But don't make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you're on call whenever you have a guest and you'll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, consider offering your guests paid add-ons, like Lauren Gheysens', Royal Day Out in London, England—where she gives visitors a local's only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
Swap.com. Like ThredUp, it's an online consignment store. You send in used clothes (women, kids, men's) and kids toys and games, and Swap will sell them for you. Hopefully. They may reject them, in which case you'll either have to pay a fee to get your things back or donate them. But assuming you're sending in clothes and toys that people will want to buy, your odds of selling them should be good. The website says that "sellers, on average, earn about $150 per box they sell on Swap.com when sending in-season, high-quality items." Especially note the words, "high-quality."
OfferUp.com. If you don't have the energy to hold a yard sale, OfferUp may be the next best, profitable thing. Sell one thing at a time. Take a picture of what you have, put down a price and hopefully somebody nearby will see it online, love it enough to buy it, send you a note and you'll meet – in a public place, OfferUp's website recommends – and you can get your cash for whatever you're selling. Of course, you might ask how this is different than selling on, say, the ever-popular Craigslist. Some users claim that it's an easier site to post on, and members have profiles, so you can rate each other and get a better sense that people are who they say they are, which isn't always the case on Craigslist. Nevertheless, you'd still do well to use common sense and buy and sell OfferUp items in public places rather than at someone's home or in the dark woods.
Need more ideas on how to make money online? Another strategy is using webinars to market your product, service, or course. I’ve done webinars to promote my financial planning practice and to drum up interest in my online course for financial advisors. With a webinar, you’re basically offering a lot of tips and advice for free — usually in a live format. At the end though, you pitch your paid product or service with the goal of securing a few deals.