While unscrupulous Internet marketers parade their offers that are more designed to extract money from you rather than help you to make it, many people are faced with the dilemma of who to trust when it comes to making money online. Clearly, there are some ideas for making money on the web that are simply too good to be true. The self-evident truth is that these ideas over-promise and under-deliver.
However, there are legitimate ways to make money online. These money-making ideas are mostly relatively simple and straightforward, though some of them require more dexterity and knowledge in certain online arenas. Yet, for the most part, making money online, even if it’s just a few hundred dollars extra per month, isn’t something that’s too difficult to do. As long as you don’t have pie-in-the-sky hopes at the outset, you won’t get burned.
What most people come to quickly realize about the Internet is that anything that’s too good to be true, often is. Still, we’ve been falling for these gimmicks and tricks far before the internet. Late-night infomercials that promise you’ll easily get rich in real estate or lose weight fast made their rounds for decades before the internet reared its not-so-ugly head. We often seem to rush headfirst into things that clearly have the odds stacked up against us.
This is a matter of both disinformation and misinformation. Those that are informed and in-the-know have an upper-hand on others that are clamoring for results in arenas that they might not fully understand. The Internet, with all of its conveniences and tools that have facilitated ease of access to many sectors of life such as transportation and labor, is also something that’s incredibly difficult and complex on the business side.
While we might be experts at searching the web, not everyone understands the nuisances of online marketing, and this creates a vacuum for those less-than-legitimate individuals to swoop in and sell the latest system or hack that will all-but guarantee you riches as long as you do a little bit of legwork. Well, it doesn’t quite work that way. Below, what you’ll find are some money making ideas that do require work but aren’t the result of some system by the latest raving Internet marketer looking to sell you some hyped-up dream.
If you put in the time with any of these money-making methods that are accessible to virtually anyone with an Internet connection, you will see results as long as you do it wholeheartedly. Don’t be afraid to put in the work and deliver true value no matter which one of these methods you decide to implement. Value really does make the difference between those that make money online and those that fail.
I’ve split the following list of online money making ideas into three separate groups:
- Simple and easy methods
- Medium-difficulty methods
- Complex or drawn-out methods
The more complex the money making idea, the more potential for return you’ll have. There will also be a greater investment of your time involved here as the difficulty level increases, which is natural in the curve of returns on investment no matter what area of business we’re talking about.
If you’re just looking to make some quick cash, the simple methods can help. If you’re looking for something that will deliver a constant and steady stream of passive income, look no further than the complex methods found herein.
I. EASY METHODS
#1 — Do paid surveys online
Websites like Survey Junkie and Swag Bucks allow average everyday individuals to get paid for sharing their thoughts online. In fact, there are an endless stream of sites promising individuals cash for completing surveys online, some of which are more reputable than others. Be sure to do your due diligence before enrolling in any of these programs.
#2 — Get paid for searching the web
Sites like Qmee offer you the chance to search and conduct your everyday activities on the Internet while also earning money. In effect, you get paid to search online across sites like Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo and Bing, with countless sites offering your the ability to earn money while their software is listening in on your activities in the background. A little creepy? Maybe.
#3 — Do deliveries for PostMates
PostMates provides on-demand deliveries in major cities across the United States. The company claims that you can make up to $25 per hour making deliveries whether you have a car, a bike or decide to walk. At any moment, you can turn on or off your availability through the app so that you can do deliveries according to your schedule.
#4 — Drive for Uber or Lyft
The on-demand ride-hailing economy is in full swing. Companies like Uber and Lyft are dominating the space. They also allow most individuals with qualifying cars and clean driving records to earn cash whenever they’d like by picking up and driving passengers in their local areas.
#5 — Become an online or mystery telephone shopper
Companies are hiring individuals to not only conduct secret shopping experiments in real life, but also online by simply using their phone to call into doctors and dentists’ offices, call centers and other companies in an effort to analyze the experience received. While you won’t make a fortune doing this, you can earn a few extra bucks through sites like ARC and Intellicheck.
#6 — Sign up as a babysitter or nanny online
Sites like Care.com offer the ability for reputable individuals to earn money while providing nanny or babysitting services in their local areas. The site also allows individuals looking to provide pet sitting, housekeeping, errand services and senior care services as well, amongst many others.
#7 — Do app or website reviews to make money
Sites like Vindale Research and User Testing, amongst countless others, will allow you to get paid to post your thoughts about certain apps or websites. However, it’s important to vet any company that you find for these types of gigs and ensure that they’re reputable before spending your time working for them.
#8 — Become a virtual assistant
Use a site like Upwork or Freelancer to search for virtual assistant gigs. Although these won’t pay you a fortune, they will allow you to do small paying jobs from the comfort of your own home via a simple Internet connection. If you’re good at online research and other business related tasks, this might be the best idea for making a little bit of cash online.
#9 — Utilize Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform to do micro-jobs
Amazon provides a platform called Mechanical Turk for doing what it calls Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs). These are small micro-jobs that pay very little money but also don’t take very long to complete. You could string together HITs during your free time to make a little bit of extra money each day without the exertion of too much effort.
II. MEDIUM-DIFFICULTY METHODS
#10 — Sell your photos on leading websites
If you’re at all into photography, you can easily take pictures and sell them online through popular websites such as ShutterStock and iStockPhoto, just to name two. Clearly, you can’t be an amateur at this, but you can do it without being a professional. And, the more you know about demands for certain types of photography, and the better you are at Photoshop, the more likely you’ll be to succeed at making money online through this method.
#11 — Trade stocks or forex online
Trading stocks or foreign currency exchange (forex) online isn’t something that’s for beginners. However, this is a lucrative field as long as you know what you’re doing. There are loads of sites that will teach you how to become a proficient trader. My advice? Find a pro or a reputable system or course that you can learn from and tread wisely so that you don’t lose your shirt.
#12 — Start a graphic design business
One lucrative idea for making money online is to start a graphic design business. However, you clearly need to have some graphic design background to get this off the ground. Take a course to learn the basics and the ropes, then ensure that you get really good before trying your hand at a site like 99Designs or Fiverr where you can sell your services to others.
#13 — Auction off old items on eBay
eBay is a great resource for selling items. You can even become a power seller and really move a hefty volume of merchandise. However, it takes time to build up your profile, and you need to develop the skills to ensure that your listings are well crafted, keyword centric and meticulously detailed if you want to succeed on this platform.
#14 — Create YouTube videos
YouTube is the world’s largest video platform, and has long been under Google’s umbrella. Professional marketers often turn to YouTube because they know just how powerful the platform is for delivering rich multimedia that helps to educate and inform others while also drawing attention to certain products or services. While building a popular YouTube channel can take time, it is far more potent and wide-reaching than most standard blog platforms.
#15 — Do social media marketing for local businesses
If you have a penchant for social media, why not engage in some marketing for local businesses in your area? Leverage platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to help companies build up their followers and ensure that their products and services are in front of their audiences.
#16 — Sell arts and crafts on Etsy
If you have a keen eye for arts and crafts, consider selling those items on a site like Etsy, which is the largest handmade goods site of its kind. All types of individuals and businesses have turned to Etsy to reach a massive platform of people looking to purchase their goods. You can even sell digitally-downloadable goods here such as digital art designs and printable posters as well.
#17 — Create an e-commerce store with Shopify
Numerous platforms exist that will help you peddle your goods and services online. One such platform is Shopify, which is an easy-t0-use e-commerce system for selling just about anything under the sun. Build your Shopify store and start driving traffic to sell your goods and services and make money online no matter where you live in the world.
#18 — Do translation work to make money online
If you’re a native speaker in a second language, or you even speak multiple languages, consider selling your services to offer professional translations. People are always looking for high-quality translation services, and if you can really deliver to your audience, you can set yourself apart and make a considerable amount of money while doing it.
III. COMPLEX OR DRAWN-OUT METHODS
#19 — Create courses on Udemy
Udemy is one of the world’s largest platforms for selling online courses for just about any topic or subject. As long as you have the proper skills, you can likely teach those skills on a platform like this. However, don’t expect it to be easy. Fierce competition means that you need to deliver loads of value and expertly market your course online if you’re going to make any respectable amount of money.
#20 — Publish an e-book with Amazon Kindle Publishing (KDP)
The rush to e-book gold is over, but there are still countless individuals making a significant sum of lucrative passive income through the ebook business. If you’re an expert or have knowledge in a specific arena, publish a non-fiction ebook on Amazon’s Kindle Publishing (KDP) platform to help educate others in a number of areas when it comes to things like business, online marketing and other highly-technical fields.
#21 — Sell audiobooks on ACX
Audiobooks are another lucrative form of passive income. Speaking from experience, when done right, audiobooks can easily produce thousands upon thousands of dollars per month on autopilot. However, quality and the delivery of high-value content must be the key aim at all times. Leverage Amazon’s ACX platform to publish audiobooks for inclusion in Apple’s audiobook store and on Audible.com.
#22 — Start a Fulfilled-by-Amazon (FBA) business
Amazon is by far the largest electronic retailer in the world. People turn to Amazon today for nearly all of their consumer needs. And many individuals are leveraging the e-tailer to sell their goods by starting a Fullfiled-by-Amazon (FBA) business. You provide the products, Amazon handles the orders, fulfillment, shipping and returns.
#23 — Become an affiliate marketer
Affiliate marketing is a tricky business. It involves years of training and understanding of things like consumer psychology, writing compelling sales copy, understanding search engine optimization and online marketing, knowing how to build sales funnels and squeeze pages and so much more. But it’s also incredibly lucrative. Some affiliate marketers make millions of dollars per month, but reaching this level is excruciatingly hard.
#24 — Start and build a niche blog
Blogging is by far one of the most difficult ways you can make money online. It’s incredibly difficult to start a blog that becomes successful over time. But those that stick to it end up reaping bountiful rewards over time. Build a niche blog and learn about things like SEO and constantly deliver real value to your audience and you’ll see your income skyrocket. But keep in in mind that this will take you years, not month.
#25 — Become an email marketer
Email marketing is alive and well. In fact, a large majority of the most popular websites still generate their income from email marketing by building a relationship with their audience. Things like split testing, effective subject lines and funnel scripts are very important to gain the confidence of your audience while also climbing them up your value ladder. Take the time to learn all that you can about email marketing and start building out your list early on.