Over the last couple of months, the economic situation in my corner of the country appears to have reached a relatively calm state. I have not seen any mass layoffs for a while now. Moreover, I am seeing the occasional for-hire signs here and there. Thankfully, both my wife and I still have our jobs. And while I can’t predict the future, I do feel in my guts that this period of relative economic calm may continue until the fall.
Now the LACK of major economic turbulence is more than good enough for my family. As long as the rug isn’t pulled out from under us, we plan on using the next year to pay off our debts, to become more self-sufficient, and to diversify our income streams. And if this period of calm is happening in your part of the country, you should also consider taking concrete actions to increase your financial resilience TODAY.
As I see it, the creation of online revenue streams is one of the best ways of ensuring that you can have some money coming in regardless of whether you have a day job or not. With the wide spread proliferation of computers, smartphones, and tablets, there are now billions of people who are connected to the internet. In effect, they form this vast global marketplace where there are many opportunities for people to make some side income. Moreover, due to the nature of the internet, many ways of making money online is passive or semi-passive. This allows your internet business to largely run itself once you put the initial effort into creating that business.
Now I’m not saying that everyone can become rich with an online business. In fact, making substantial sums of money from the internet requires a tremendous amount of hard work. However, I am absolutely certain that earning few hundred dollars a month from an online business is an achievable objective for most people in America. You might have to come out of your comfort zone to do this, but it is highly doable for anyone who makes the effort!
So if you are looking to make side money for groceries or to pay the utility bills, then the following 20 methods might be of interest to you. While I haven’t tried all of these ideas, I do know of people who have tried and succeeded with each and every one of these online money making techniques. So here goes:
1. Sell your digital Photographs online
If you have an SLR camera, you can turn your hobby into passive income by selling your best photos to Internet Microstock sites like IStockPhoto, Fotolia, and Photo Dune. Now for a word of caution, I FAILED spectacularly at this because I don’t have an artistic bone in my body. But I know of several people who are making hundreds of dollars a month from their hobby photos.
2. Sell your videos online
Basically the same general idea as selling photos. You need an HD video recorder and some creative talent for making semi-professional videos. Video editing skills are also needed if you’re shooting to make real money with this business. Great video marketplaces include Pond5 and VideoHive.
3. Sell your illustrations and graphics online
This idea works well for people who are good at drawing illustrations or cartoons. It’s also very profitable for people with strong graphical design and/or photoshop skills. Because the builders of websites and all manners of software are looking for pretty graphics and illustrations, a boatload of money can be made in this area if you are good at it. Here are some online markets for this stuff: Texture Vault, Graphic River, 3D Ocean.
4. Sell your music online
Are you an aspiring musician? If you have songs that no record label is willing to buy, then consider uploading your music onto Online Stores such as Apple Itunes or Google Play! There are talented musicians who are making 6-figure salaries from these 2 markets alone. There are other musicians who offer their songs on these markets from FREE, develop a large following, and then charge their followers money to attend actual concerts.
5. Write a blog
Yes, you can make real money from writing a blog! Basically you create a blog and write about things that large numbers of people will want to read about. Once people start reading your blog, you can then place a couple of advertisements on your blog. The advertisers pay you. In my opinion, the most important thing is to write about a topic that you are truly interested in. Because if you are purely blogging to make money, people will notice that soon enough. And also, you will get bored of blogging very quickly if your heart isn’t in it.
6. Publish an Ebook
It used to be that an aspiring writer would need to go and prostrate himself in front of 5 or 6 major publishing houses just to publish a book. And if these publishers rejects the book, then the writer has no chance of getting his book in front of an audience. Well that time is over. Nowadays, anyone can write an ebook and publish that book onto a variety of online book stores such as the Amazon Kindle Store, Barnes and Noble Nook Store, Apple IBookStore, and Google Books .
7. Write articles for Content Farm Sites.
I had some degree of success with this method of making internet income. The idea is to find a topic that many people are searching about on Google Search. You can find such topical keywords using Google’s Keyword research tool. Once you’ve determined what you want to write about, you simply sign up for accounts with content farming sites such as InfoBarrel or Hubpages. Once you get the account, create a page whose title and description includes the keywords of the topic that people are searching for, and publish a detailed, well-researched article about that topic on this page. Content Farm sites will automatically surround your article with advertisements for related products. And when readers of the article clicks on those advertisements, you get paid!
8. Build Niche Sites
A niche site is basically a website whose content is somewhere in between a content farming article and a full blown blog. A niche site usually goes into detail about one narrow subject like Nursing School Requirements or Security Guard Training and rarely has more than 20 pages. You can use blogging software like WordPress to quickly build a nice site and place advertisements on that site to make money. Once the site is built, you have to get your site to be found such that people will visit this site and click on your advertisements. Please keep in mind that none of this site building effort requires any knowledge of computer programming, so anyone can do it!
9. Run errands or tasks to other people over the internet
You basically accept physical tasks from people over the internet. These tasks might be done over a computer or in the real world. Upon the completion and verification of the task, you get paid. Simple tasks can be found at places like Amazon Mechanical Turk. More complex tasks that often requires you to go outside and do stuff in the real world(e.g Pick up Groceries for someone) can be found at sites like taskrabbit.
10. Offer to do a specific task of your choosing for people over the internet
With Fiverr , you basically offer to perform a small service for 5 dollars. And other people access this marketplace to take up on your offer. Once you perform your task, you get paid. You can do anything, and it’s surprising what other people are willing to pay for!
11. Get paid to take surveys
Sites like Big Spot and Get Paid Surveys offer people money to take surveys. This is a really easy way to make money online and anyone can do it. The big drawbacks are that you can’t make that much money and it is an entirely non-passive form of income.
12. Virtually Design and Sell Real World Items
Basically, you design a logo/graphic which can be printed on a physical item like a t-Shirt or mug. And sites such as CafePress or Spreadshirt allows you to upload your graphic onto their site and basically tries to sell physical items bearing your graphic to their customers. If an actual T-shirt with your graphic is sold, you get a cut of it.
13. Run an Ebay Store
The idea here is to procure rare/obscure physical items that people will want. There are many rare or niche products that normal department stores don’t carry. If you identify such a niche product, then you can stockpile a large inventory of such products(in your basement) at wholesale prices and auction these products off one by one on Ebay to make a good profit. Now this is a very non-passive way to make money, BUT it also has the potential of making a lot of money depending on the product that you sell.
14. Domain Name Flipping
The idea here is to buy an internet domain at a cheap price and then “flip” it to someone who really wants that domain name for a very expensive price. For example, the domain “www.sex.com” was purchased for a few hundred dollars in 1994 and then sold for 14 million dollars in 2006.
15. Website Flipping
Basically, you buy a defunct website for cheap (usually a few hundred dollars). This website needs to have some traffic or money earning potential. You spend some time fixing up the site, making it prettier or growing the user base of the site. And then you auction your updated website on a marketplace like Flippa for a much higher price. Note that website flipping usually requires some computer programming skills.
16. Work as a Virtual Assistant
Being a Virtual Assistant can be very lucrative for people with secretarial or administrative assistant experience. Basically the same skills are used over the internet instead of in a physical office. Sites like VirtualAssistants.com or 247virtualassistant offer easy access to paying clients. The beauty of this kind of work is that unlike a secretarial job in a real office, a Virtual Assistant can often juggle 2 to 3 clients at the same time while working from home.
17. Work as a Virtual Tutor!
If you have deep knowledge of some field of study(no matter how obscure), then a Virtual Tutor might be the online business for you. With billions of people on the internet, there are bound to be some people who wants to learn about the subject that you know well. Sites like tutor.com and Skillshare will find that group of people out there who wants to learn from you!
18. Build Apps for Smartphones and Tablets!
If you have an engineering and/or computer science background then apps development is something to consider getting into. This is a booming field right now and there is plenty of money to be made building apps for Smart Phones, Tablets, and even Smart TVs. Popular Apps markets include Apple Appstore, Amazon Appstore, and Google’s Android Marketplace
19. Run your own Youtube Video Channel
While some people can make insanely beautiful and/or creative HD videos on a shoestring budget and sell those videos on professional video marketplaces online, most people can’t do that. However, almost anyone can make shorter, lower-quality, entertaining videos and post them on YouTube. With a YouTube channel you can post your videos and inject advertisements into your videos. As more and more people watch these videos, some will click on the advertisements and when they do so, you get paid.
20. Affiliate Marketing
If you have sales/marketing experience, then affiliate marketing might work for you. I still have no clue how people make money with Affiliate marketing but apparently some people are making massive amounts of side income with this. The idea is to convince someone to purchase a product from a 3rd party supplier via a link. When a purchase is made, the supplier will pay you a small commission, usually between 5% to 10% of the sale.
And that’s it for my list of ways to make money online. I know that times are still very hard for many people. If you have a day job, NOW is the time to create alternative streams of revenue independent of your salary. If you don’t have a day job, NOW is the time to create passive income so that you can become more self-sufficient and less dependent on government corn. Either way, now is not the time to sink into a doom-and-gloom depression, now is the time to push ourselves to the limit(and hopefully get out of this mess)!!!
As always, comments are welcomed and appreciated!