Get paid to search the Web. Sites like Swagbucks.com and Zoombucks.com will pay you to use their online interface to search the web. To qualify, you need to be willing to download their search bar and use it for everyday Internet use. The only caveat that comes with this “gig” is that you might be paid in gift cards instead of cash. If you can parlay those gift cards into items you need to buy anyway – like groceries or gas – searching online can be a lucrative way to spend your free time.
Now next, you’ll want to pick a WordPress theme from somewhere like ThemeForest, Elegant Themes or OptimizePress. This is the barebones design of your site, which you can then customize with your own branding, copy, and images. That being said, you don’t want to cheap out. It costs less than $100 to buy a theme that will make your website look professional (and you can upgrade to a completely custom design once you get the business going).
According to a 2006 ACNielsen study commissioned by eBay, 1.3 million individuals used the site as a primary or secondary source of income worldwide. The figure for the United States was around half as many. But the study didn't parse out how much money each of those 1.3 million individuals make, or how many of them use eBay as their "primary" as opposed to "secondary" source of income [source: Gross].
The secret to making a lot more money as a VA, Julie says, is to offer skills that are highly valuable and therefore can earn you a much higher hourly rate. She’s talking about things like Facebook ads, sales funnels, copywriting, web design, and more. These are all skills that come with a much higher price tag, and they’re all skills that you should be able to learn.
If you’ve got experience and expertise in a specific area of business, there are hundreds if not thousands of business owners who would love to jump on a phone call and pick your brain. This can be an easy way to make extra money online and to hone your skills to use in your consulting or freelance business. Sites like Clarity.fm let you create a profile where entrepreneurs and business owners can pre-pay to book a phone call with you for a set amount of time. Whether you’re an expert in raising money for startups, building apps, or running a restaurant, you can make extra money selling a few minutes of your time to people in need.
Gift cards to stores where you do not shop may seem like a waste. Forcing yourself to find something you like at a store you are not familiar with can be annoying, especially if you do not end up using what you get with the card. Many websites exist that will give you a percentage of what the card is worth, usually resulting in close to face value for popular stores like Amazon and Wal-Mart, with less generous offers for smaller chains and novelty stores.
Julie said in a recent interview that being a VA is a great way to become rich online, but that you have to be strategic about it. You can’t just offer the same-old, same-old VA skills and expect to bring in more than about $35/hour. And while that’s pretty good money for a lot of people, it also puts a pretty big limit on your income when your true limits could be much higher.
Becoming a paid speaker does not mean taking classes or giving seminars, often local businesses or even the Chamber of Commerce look for speakers who can inform and motivate a group of people. If you have extensive experience in a certain field, you might want to think about reaching out to local businesses, or making yourself available as a speaker on job-hunting websites.
Creating a jobs board website can be another profitable venture. The ‘jobs’ field can be quite saturated, so it is important to find a niche that is still crying out for a jobs board website. Monetize this type of site by charging businesses to list their jobs on your site. Those searching for jobs could also be charged a fee to access the higher paying job adverts.
So, where are we supposed to turn to make money the legitimate way online? This isn't just about generating passive income; this is also about finding ways and means to create an active income through the conveniences afforded to us by the internet that will not only help us with our debt obligations, but also empower us to save, invest and get really rich in the future.
Holly told me she started writing content in 2011. At the time, she still worked a full-time job but created content online part-time to supplement her income. Over time, she was able to double and triple her rates until she could quit her full-time job to write. These days, she makes bank as a freelance writer and teaches others to do the same via her online course, Earn More Writing.