If you design a wildly popular app (which is harder than it sounds), you might be pleasantly surprised with the income they generate. Offering one or more apps at the iTunes or Android app store gives your creations wide exposure to prospects. And income can be generated by charging for the app, displaying in-app ads, or charging for in-app features and upgrades.
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.
Have you heard of Create Your Laptop Life? It’s an online training and mentorship program run by Julie Stoian and Madelaine Corke, two online entrepreneurs who were able to start at their own personal “bottoms” and turn their individual VA businesses into something incredible. Together they have a digital marketing agency called Pipe & Lime, and they also run CYLL to teach other up-and-comers how to be wildly successful.
If you have graphic design skills then you could make money online by creating and selling your own design elements, like templates, fonts, graphics, and other assets. This is a great way to earn extra money and build up a portfolio of work, which could lead to you picking up freelance graphic design jobs. Websites like Envato Elements pay you a fee per element sold, which can become quite profitable if your work is popular.
Because experimenting with print on demand requires so little investment and involves almost no risk, nearly anyone can do it. As more people catch on, it’s increasingly difficult to be successful. You can see this firsthand at Merch Momentum and numerous other passive income forums, which are being flooded with anxious posts from sellers wondering why they’re not getting sales.
Jen Smith has seen both happen. The 29-year-old Florida-based seller discovered passive income when she and her husband were trying to pay off $78,000 in debt. They both got side gigs to make extra money, and she says she quickly learned “how much I hate working really low-paying hourly jobs.” Along with her print-on-demand income streams, she self-publishes personal finance books, sells advertisements for her blog, and rents out a room on Airbnb.
If you live close to an area that sees a lot of festivals or other outdoor events, you may be able to make money allowing people to park in your driveway or on your lawn. Vehicles driving around your grass, especially if it has recently rained, can potentially rip up your lawn, meaning it’s a likely trade off between bringing in extra cash and having a yard full of healthy grass.
Sell plasma. After passing an initial screening, you can usually sell your plasma for anywhere from $25 to $50 per donation. To qualify, you’ll have to stand in a long line or show up early, be willing to fill out a very personal questionnaire, and endure a painful needle prick or two. Still, selling plasma is a great way to raise money fast – if you can stand the hassle.
This isn’t to scare you off. I simply want you to know that this guide is going to focus solely on ways to make real, sustainable extra income online. Not just a few bucks. I want to share all the mistakes I've made that got me to where I am now so that you don’t have to go through them, and can build a successful online source of income for yourself.
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.
Become an Amazon Associate and then use Keyword planner to find an in-demand niche: With more than a million different products to choose from and up to 10% commission the sales you drive, Amazon’s affiliate program is a great place to get started. Browse their available products and see what connects with you. Or take it a step further and use Google’s Keyword Planner to quickly check how many people are searching for a specific term. With affiliate marketing, the more relevant traffic you can pull in, the more you’ll make off your site.
Outsourcing is the new and dominant wave of the business world. As businesses shed employees, they increasingly turn to independent contractors to supply what in-house staff used to do. One of the ways they do this is through virtual assistants. These are people who provide certain tasks online. Businesses can use virtual assistants as much or as little as they need to. If you can make yourself available to multiple businesses, you might have plenty of work without ever leaving your house.
Most people have more clothes in their closet than they ever wear. You likely have items you haven’t worn in the past year that you never have any intention of wearing ever again. Whether you sell your clothes, handbags, or shoes there are quite a few websites that allow you to sell your used fashion items. Poshmark, Refashioner, TheRealReal, ThredUp and Tradesy are a few of the online sites where you can sell your used apparel. You could make money online by selling on several different platforms. If you’re looking to sell items in person, you can use Facebook buy and sell groups in your community to find people online and sell the items in person. I’ve personally sold in these groups before and know they work.
But don't make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you're on call whenever you have a guest and you'll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, consider offering your guests paid add-ons, like Lauren Gheysens', Royal Day Out in London, England—where she gives visitors a local's only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
Here’s a good example of how lead sales can work in real life: My second website, Life Insurance by Jeff, brings in a ton of traffic from people who are searching the web to find answers to life insurance questions. While I used to have the website set up so I could sell these people life insurance myself, it was a lot of work to process all the different requests and clients. As a result, I started selling the leads I gathered instead.