My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and build a following of hundreds of thousands for this blog and my podcast series.
I have a personal blog that I use for journaling. I became good enough that I opened my own business as a social media consultant. I’m now making a decent amount of extra money. I am also a photographer with a lot of graphics program experience, so I make a little more by doing graphic design, photography, and even digital enhancement. You don’t have to be the best at something in order for it to be profitable; you just have to put in the work and be better or cheaper than other people out there. However, it IS work.
One of the great things about the internet is that you can go into business for yourself from the comfort of your home. All you need is an internet connection, and you can make money online. Diving into the online world will free you from the daily 9 to 5 grind of a desk job and afford you more time to travel, indulge in hobbies, and spend time with the family.
Selling digital products can be just as successful as selling physical products. Graphics, software, eBooks, design elements, sound effects, songs and videos are just a few types of digital products that are in popular demand. So if you can turn your hand to creating digital products, let’s have a look at how you can make money online from this skill…
Manage social media for businesses. If you have a knack for social media, you could potentially get paid to manage various platforms for others. Many businesses are too busy running day-to-day operations to stay on top of their Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts – and will pay someone with the knowledge and time to do it for them. To find these jobs, ask local businesses and check sites like UpWork.com and Problogger.net.
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 setup 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.
In the freelance writing gigs, it appears about.com is gone (gasp!) it links to a site called dotdash.com. I tried going to about.com myself to make sure it wasn’t a bad link and sure enough it took me to dotdash.com. In their careers section they are currently hiring some freelance (contract) tech writers but that was the only “freelance”/contract position(s) they have. Thought you’d like to know.
For those with a large Twitter following, you can make money from your Tweets alone with Sponsored Tweets. You could be paid for sharing a business’s information, recommending restaurants or hotels, or tweeting pictures of you using or wearing products. As with all sponsored posts on social media, businesses will only be prepared to pay you to Tweet if you have a large following that you can influence. So work hard on building up a loyal fan base.
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.
Whether you want to become your own boss, start a side hustle, or earn extra money on the side, any of the strategies listed above can help. By finding ways to increase your income, you can free up more cash to pay down debt, save for the future, or invest for retirement. Saving money is only half of the equation. And if you truly want to get ahead, you might want to figure out how to make money – and hopefully, lots of it.
Then once you’ve got your domain name and hosting sorted out, it’s time to pick a CMS, or Content Management System, that will let you update pages, build your blog and integrate with all the other services you need. It’s hard to go wrong with WordPress—the CMS powering close to a quarter of the internet. Keep in mind that eventually as you start growing traffic to your blog, you'll be wise to invest in a managed WordPress hosting plan, where all of the settings are custom-tailored and optimized to work particularly well with WordPress-powered websites.
For example, iStockPhoto.com, owned by Getty Images, requires you to apply to be a contributor. You can submit Photos, Illustrations, Video and Audio but you will need three samples of your work. If accepted, you'll be paid a 15% commission for each file downloaded and if you agree to be exclusive. If you make iStock your exclusive royalty-free agent, you can earn up to 45% with additional attention.
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.
Daily Surveys can be taken one or more times per day. This is indicated in the survey description. Other targeted surveys can be taken as you see them. Be sure to complete these when you see them. Some surveys may accept a limited number of responses from people matching your demographics, and can sometimes disappear quickly. New surveys come out all the time too!
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to help shape products in their early stages, joining an online focus group or answering survey questions is a great way to make extra money online. They don’t pay as much as some of the other options we’ve highlighted, but you can join groups on sites like Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and IPSOS that pay out through Amazon gift cards, check, or PayPal. You’ll be asked to provide a bit of information about your demographics (age, location, etc…), but after that you can get going making money through surveys.
The Ibotta app gives you cash back on the groceries you already buy. Some deals are brand specific, while others give you cash just for purchasing a certain type of item, like a loaf of bread from any brand. Choose your deals before you check out, then submit a picture of your receipt and get paid via Venmo, PayPal, or gift cards. Sign up with Ibotta to claim your $10 welcome bonus.
If you are a professional photographer, or have a real flair for photography, then selling your images on other sites could be an idea. This could be done alongside your own photography site, as it is a good way help get your work viewed by a wider audience. There are numerous stock image websites to contribute to, but choosing a popular high-end site like Shutterstock should ensure your photographs make you some money.
Another option that isn’t quite cash back but is along the same lines of “make money by saving money” — the Honey Chrome extension. Whenever you head to your cart to check out, Honey searches for online coupon codes or better deals from different retailers. That means no more wasted time Googling “[insert store name] coupon code” just to come up empty-handed. Honey does all the legwork for you!
Usability testing involves testing out websites, apps, software, etc. and sharing your feedback and/or helping developers find bugs and problems. What's great about these opportunities is that almost anyone can do them and you likely won't need any equipment you don't already have. Each site listed below pays differently, but most pay in cash — not redeemable points.