As someone who's been immersed in a number of online industries for quite some time, I know a thing or two about what it takes to succeed in this arena. However, just like you, I started at ground zero with little knowledge, but a great deal of passion. What I learned along the way were some invaluable lessons from failure that hurt at the time, but helped immensely in the grand scheme of things.
I actually don’t make much money doing this at the moment. I just started a couple of months ago and I only have 400 photos uploaded. But, if you build up a portfolio and upload photos consistently, you can make a good $500 a month a couple years down the road doing nothing each month. I only make $10 a month on Shuttershock right now, but I’m hoping by the time I leave Thailand I’ll have enough photos uploaded to be earning a decent amount. There’s tons of stock photo websites you can upload to, but Shutterstock is my favorite because they help you come up with the keywords to tag your photos with which is the most exhausting part of the process for me.
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
This has become a popular business model for online entrepreneurs over the past several years, and will probably just continue to grow in popularity. The best thing about selling online courses is that once you do the up-front work in creating the course and setting up your marketing strategy, you can get paid over and over again for work you do once.
Try Uber EATS or DoorDash. Uber EATS offers part-time work that’s similar to driving for Uber or Lyft. Instead of picking up passengers, however, you will pick up food orders and deliver them in your area. Pay works similarly, letting you earn a per-job rate plus tips. Door Dash works similarly, letting consumers order food from restaurants and connecting drivers to pick up and drop off their meals.
Keep in mind though, you don’t need a website to do sponsored content since you can also get paid if you have a lot of social media followers. My wife has a pretty big Instagram following, and she gets all kinds of sponsorships. Not only does she get paid in cash, but we get a lot of free stuff, too. We’ve received free rugs, free lights, and free carpet cleaners. She only promotes things she loves though, so this strategy works really well for her.
Writing an eBook and selling it on your blog can be a great money maker. Your eBook should be directly relevant to your blog’s content so you can sell your book to your existing audience. Creating a recipe eBook for a food blog or an eBook full of training plans to complement your fitness site are just a couple of examples that have the potential to sell.
If you offer freelance services or have a physical services business, then creating a blog is a must. On your blog, you can write about the services you offer and how they will benefit your clients. Importantly you can add a ‘Services’ page, outlining the services you provide, what they include, and any other important information potential clients may need. This is an effective way to promote your services, generate leads, and increase your revenue.
You can also market your ebook on your own website or blog, particularly if the site gets good traffic. Still another method is affiliate marketing. You can offer to pay sites related to your ebook a percentage of the sale price – say, anywhere between 20% and 50% – for them to post an ad or linked article for your book on their site. This could enable you to market your ebook on multiple platforms for greater market exposure.
Now, this isn't about some get-rich-quick method here. If you want to get rich quick, forget about trying to do it on the internet. Sure, Facebook ads are all the craze, but without a serious understanding of the mechanics behind sales funnels and conversion optimizations, which only comes after years and years of in-the-trenches work in the internet marketing field, you're largely wasting your time trying to "get rich quick."
If you are a budding photographer and would like to be paid for your craft then you should consider setting up your own photography website. This is a great way to not only promote your services as a photographer but also to sell your images. You can charge visitors a fee to download your images. Or, if you’d rather, turn your site into a paid membership site, with free downloads of all images for paying subscribers.
InfoBarrel – This has been a continually increasing source of online passive income for me (ever since my original “challenge”). Last month, I earned $96 with InfoBarrel. If you want to see what others are earning, check out Mike Moyer’s January InfoBarrel earnings rankings. The top person on there earned $1,586 from InfoBarrel last month. InfoBarrel’s AdSense revenue share ranges from 75% to 90%, and also includes Chitika and Amazon ads.
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.
There are lots of sites, but I use VIPKID. You just need a wifi connection, headphones, and a laptop with a good web camera to teach Chinese students English. They give you all the material you need to teach and an online portal, you just have to show up. The kids are super cute and fun to teach and I actually have a lot of fun doing it. Plus, I can set my own hours, work as much as I want, and take vacation whenever I want. It’s honestly great. And $20/hr goes a long way in Thailand. I make more than a lot of the English teachers I know who work in schools here. But, you have to be eligible to work in the U.S. or Canada to apply and you need a bachelor’s degree.
Number 3 on my list of ways to make money online is to become an infopreneur. I love this one because it’s how I got started. The way to do this is to use the CTPM process to track thousands of visitors to your website per day. You can learn more about the CTPM process at MySiteSell.com. That is the service I used to start learning how to make money online. Within’ one year of going through their training program, I was able to quit my job as a full-time truck driver. Becoming an infopreneur is how I started.
23. Affiliates – There are many affiliate networks, such as FlexOffers and CJ Affiliate that allow you to promote other people’s products and services. You simply put a link or a banner on your page and then you get a percentage if someone clicks through and buys the product/service. You’ll want to select products that are specifically within your blog’s category.This is an effective way to earn money once you have the traffic coming to your blog.
When I have a keyword that I can develop into a niche site, though, I can do an article that points users through to the site. I’m getting great, targeted backlinks with strong anchor text and contextual meaning, and I’m even grabbing some revenue from the backlink site itself. It’s win-win. I can even create a ton of backlinks to the revenue-sharing site, which benefits me twice as much as backlinking directly to my niche site.
Peer-to-peer lending is an interesting concept, because it allows individuals to secure relatively large loans without getting a bank involved. On its face, it sounds like a risky proposition, but these P2P lending sites generally have good measures in place to mitigate your risk (not to mention, you’re compensated for this risk by earning very high interest rates). In addition, you can usually invest in someone else’s loan for a small amount (e.g. $25), which reduces the risk you take for any given loan.
Be professional. When you submit a résumé, don’t type it in ALL CAPS and please don’t avoid the caps lock like the plague. Know how to use it without looking incompetent. Write in complete sentences with proper grammar. Of course, there will be exceptions, but even with the exceptions, you must keep it professional. You’re building their view of you.
With apps being constantly developed, competent app developers are in high demand. Again, if you have the experience or skills to create successful apps then this could be something you could end up working on as a full-time freelancer. Check out adverts for developers on Toptal, a higher paying jobs site for experienced freelancers wanting to make money online.
– Project Payday is one of those sites that has testimonials of people who have earned thousands of dollars by getting paid to get trial offers. I’m not saying you’ll earn thousands, but it is legit and you can earn some extra cash. They assume that by paying you to do a free trial, you’ll either like the product and purchase it, or forget to cancel the trial and get charged for it. If you can keep track and cancel before you get charged (if you don’t want the product), then this is a great site for making some money.
Upwork: This website offers a great marketplace for selling just about any professional service. You don't need a merchant account, website of your own or anything else for that matter. All you need to do is be able to provide a high-quality service at a reasonable price. But be informed, you will have to compete with many others that are constantly bidding on open jobs.
Career in online marketing – This one comes per the suggestion of Ian in the comments, and rather than rewrite what he said, I’ll simply quote him: “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.”
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.
Considering I have actually done this business model in the past, I can say the biggest benefit of making money online by coaching is how rewarding it is. With coaching and consulting— the people that work with you, that pay you for your time, especially if it's a small group setting or one-on-one— are going to be passionate about what you have to say and they are going to be there for a reason. They are going to be showing up for your calls because they are paying you. They want what it is you have to give.
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 are a confident web developer then designing your own themes is an obvious path to follow if you are looking to make money online. ThemeForest sells a wide assortment of developers themes, including themes for WordPress, Shopify, Weebly, and Tumblr, to name a few. Once you have created your theme, get it accepted onto the ThemeForest marketplace and make money each time it sells.
Get samples. When you first start out as a freelance writer, it can be hard to get work without any published samples. However, it is possible to get quality samples if you are willing to do some writing for free. First, you can publish content on your own blog or website. Also, you can write guest posts for someone else’s blog. Finally, you can write blog posts for free in exchange for a byline.
Purchase items in bulk and resell them for profit – An example of this is purchasing a bulk order of car chargers for a newly released cell phone. You can usually find a bulk manufacturer in places like China or some other asian countries. You can buy them by the hundreds or thousands and basically pay under $1 for each one, then resell them on Ebay for several dollars. You can still keep it cheap, maybe $5 for an iPhone charger, and if you only paid a dollar for that you’re making a $4 profit.
In some cases, you may want to design your own products (we’re talking simple things, like t-shirts, magnets, mugs, etc.), but you don’t want to take on the cost of having inventory that you can’t sell. The below options are great for this situation – for the most part, it’s free to set up a virtual storefront, and you earn money when your products sell (and if nothing sells, it costs you nothing). These are generally great if you already have an established brand and want to sell your branded gear.
To do that, you have to harbor a few fundamental guiding principles in your mind. Today, if you're at all serious about generating a full-time income (and more) from your online activities, then you need to focus on passive income as opposed to active income. Sure, the active income will help you survive. That's the scarcity mentality at play. But it's the passive income ideas that will help you thrive.
Also, I’m not sure what you write about on your blog but there are tons of affiliate networks out there with all different offers that can possible earn you much more money than you could earn on Adsense. CJ.com is one of my favorite affiliate networks so I’d recommend checking them out along with Clickbank and MaxBounty. I’ve had great experiences with all of them.
Infographics are currently an extremely popular type of media. An infographic showing information or data in an interesting and fun way can help engage an audience and generate numerous likes and shares. As infographics take more time to create than just simply uploading an image, busy website owners are prepared to pay for custom infographics. And don’t worry, an infographic can be created using simple design software such a Canva. So extensive graphic design skills are not necessary, just a creative eye.
Social networking is the name of the game these days, which has led to a proliferation of interactive sites – from social media giants Facebook and Twitter to open web forums like Reddit to private forums on company and personal sites large and small. One thing these sites all have in common is that they require moderators and content specialists – people monitoring interactions, ensuring they follow the terms of service and maintain the level of etiquette required by each site. Brands hire moderators (and customer service reps) to babysit their brand image on social media, responding to complaints and making sure everyone has a positive experience – as much as possible, anyway. While some companies handle moderation in-house, there are a number of companies out there looking for moderators – and it’s something you can do part-time!