With any business, there are ways you can get started putting a lot of money down upfront. There are also ways to start an online business that ​don’t cost much. With the affiliate marketing business model, the startup costs are low, but you will be relying on organic traffic. Some affiliate marketers rely too heavily on paid traffic, which will quickly eat into your profits. Put work into your search engine optimization (SEO). It will pay off in the long run.
Before I talk about some of the methods for making money online, I wanted to address the role of pain versus pleasure. Every decision that we make in life is weighed on a pain-versus-pleasure scale. We will always do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure, plain and simple. However, this is also what holds us back from succeeding in any endeavor.
One major part of any design process is checking to make sure that what you’ve created actually works as it is intended – so there are a ton of websites and apps out there that need to be checked, and you could make some extra money by being the one to test them! Testers are usually paid by the test, and it’s often only around $10 per test – however, $10 for a few minutes of your time isn’t bad! You’ll generally be given a website or app to look at along with a series of instructions on what you should try to do – then you’ll either have your voice and screen actions recorded or you’ll write a short report afterward on how well the website or app worked. That’s it.
Set up the site. Choose a website building platform, such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. Next, choose a domain name and web hosting for your site. The domain name is your web address. Web hosting is a service that connects your site to the internet. Once you have your domain name and web hosting, go to the control panel of your hosting account and install your website platform. Design your website by choosing and installing a theme.[9]
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 insiderpicks@businessinsider.com.
Mow lawns or plow driveways. If you’re willing to mow yards or shovel or plow snow in the winter, you could easily start your own snow removal and lawn mowing business on the side. While you can usually find work by reaching out to your local community via word-of-mouth, flyers, or online message boards, the website Plowz & Mowz allows you to set up an online profile and reach more customers in your area.
Rent out a room on Airbnb. Living near a tourist area has its perks, including the prospect of renting out a room for a profit. With home sharing sites like Airbnb, you can rent out a room in your home – or even the entire place – for a day, a week, or longer. If you have extra space and might enjoy the company of travelers, renting out a room is great way to earn some extra money with little effort on your part. See our post, “How to Make Money as an AirBNB Host.”
In terms of adding to your list, I also recommend careers in online marketing. Now, there are two types of careers. The first one, where you have to work out of an office, is not really making money purely online because it’s a job that requires an office presence (although an absolutely amazing one and one that may still make your list). However, another route is starting your own SEM agency. If you start your own agency, you can make a tremendous amount of money from the comfort of your own home if you work hard and are really good.
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.
Today, if you're at all serious about succeeding in any endeavor, whether online or offline, you have to deliver enormous amounts of value. Yes, you have to do the most amount of work for the least initial return. This is especially true online. Why? Because it takes time to build authority and create an audience, two primary ingredients necessary to succeed in the wonderful world of commerce on the web.

There’s a high probability of passive income if you get to the top of the pyramid on these MLM networks. Multi-Level Marketing does take some time, so this is more of a marathon rather than a sprint. It takes some time to build a good sales team. So as long as you’re willing to start at the bottom and work your way up over time, Multi-Level Marketing can be a great way to earn an income online.
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.

I recently stumbled on the Trim app and I have to say, this one is a game changer. It’s a simple app that acts as your own personal financial manager. Once you link your bank to the app, Trim analyzes your spending, finds subscriptions you need to cancel, negotiates your Comcast bill, finds you better car insurance, and more. And of course, the app is free! My bet is that it will only take a few days for Trim to put an extra $100 in your pocket. So easy!


Completing paid surveys is one of the most popular ways to earn extra cash online. There are entire websites devoted to nothing but surveys that you can register with and be paired with surveys that best fit your profile. You will get paid according to the terms listed at the beginning of the survey and will have the chance to add some extra money to your wallet. When taking surveys, it is important to be honest and take them seriously because you can be banned from the site the researchers determined you did not put any effort into your answers.
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