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.
Affiliate marketing is the process by which you can get paid for people buying or trying products and services through personalized links on marketing platforms. If you already have a website, it does not take long to get approved on affiliate marketing networks. All you have to do once you are approved is add the custom links they will give you to your site and let the money start coming to you. Learn more about affiliate marketing.
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.
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.
Starting a blog only takes a few minutes and costs next to nothing from any of the dozens of blogging services available on the internet. The important thing about starting a blog is that you keep it focused on a subject that interests you since adding content can become a chore, especially if it does not bring in a lot of money right away. Monetizing your blog can be done either through display ads or affiliate network links. Top bloggers have spun their blogs off into media empires that bring in millions of dollars a year.
The music industry might not be as strong as it was in the 80s, but there are still plenty of ways to make money online as a musician. Sites like SoundBetter let you sell your services as a songwriter, producer, or session musician to thousands of customers a month. While Musicbed, Music Vine, Marmoset, and SongFreedom are perfect for licensing your music to TV shows, movies, and web series.
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.
Find a profitable niche: We’ve talked about this a lot. But, where are you most comfortable. What niche do your skills, values, and interests intersect? Do you have 10 years of experience as a technical writer? Do you have long-standing PR relationships that’ll be invaluable in helping startups launch a successful crowdfunding campaign? Determine what makes your value unique, and lean heavily on showcasing that strength to your potential clients.
Work remotely for a call center. Because many call center jobs are location independent, finding work in this field is an easy way to earn some money from home. Dozens of sites list job openings for call-center representatives, including Freelancer.com and SimplyHired.com. Meanwhile, you should check local job listings for openings and opportunities as well.
It’s an excellent opportunity to offer technical training courses that teach people how to learn a much-needed skill, or accomplish an important task. It could also prove to be an important testing ground for your educational courses. If you are able to market your course on the site, against direct competition, you may be able to direct marketing to the general public, using a website, videos, or even an affiliate marketing program.
Some apps, such as Poshmark, are made specifically for those who want to sell their high-end clothing without having to let it go for a bargain basement price elsewhere on the internet. These sites work by taking a small cut of the final sale price, but in return, they do all of the payment processing for you and even provide pre-paid shipping labels.
Host a giveaway on your store. Run a Facebook ad to a giveaway landing page on your store. Use a tool like Rafflecopter to add multiple contest entries like sharing on Facebook, Twitter, and more. You want this giveaway to get maximum reach. You’ll want to make sure you have a retargeting ad running on your store at the same time. The retargeting ad isn’t going to be the only way you’ll monetize the contest though. When sending high numbers of traffic to your website, you always want to have a retargeting ad running. The giveaway page has to be located on your store website – do not put it on another site or on social media. Otherwise retargeting won’t work. After the contest for the giveaway prize has ended, you’ll send the winner the prize they won. However, you’ll also send everyone who lost a runner up prize. The runner up prize can be a $5 gift card for your store. Make sure that all of your products cost over $30 and have more than $15 profit so you don’t lose money. The gift card almost acts like a discount code.
Salvage and resell. Do you love antiques or have a knack for finding valuables at flea markets or yard sales? If you do, it might be time to consider salvaging items for resale – or even scouting out antiques to sell for a profit. While you’ll need to spend quite a bit of time searching for prospects and spend some money buying upfront, you could easily turn a profit if you know what you’re doing.
If you’re serious about making money selling things online, it’s pretty much impossible to not recommend Shopify. The platform gives you everything you need to get your online store up and running in less than a day including a custom domain, beautiful templates (so you don’t need design skills), secure payment options, and they can even take care of marketing and shipping for you. Whether you’re promoting your own products, designs, or curating other products for people in your niche, Shopify is the best option for powering your online store.
You can't sleep. You're up late, sitting at the kitchen table worrying about bills. The TV is squawking away in the background. Suddenly, a late-night infomercial gets your attention: "Get rich by selling online!" Like all of those late-night offers, it's tempting, but it seems too good to be true. So, is it possible to make a fortune on eBay or other online stores?
A blog highlights your technical ability and showcases your ability to write blog posts. Your blog can be about different topics than those you write about for your clients. In fact, it should be on a topic that interests you. Visitors will see that you can not only write, but you can also build an online community. A good blog has the potential to earn you many referrals for more clients.
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.
Print on demand (or simply “merch”), where passive income thrives, took about two decades to get off the ground. CafePress, an online gift shop that calls itself “the recognized pioneer of customizable products,” launched back in 1999, followed by Zazzle in 2005 and Redbubble in 2006. By 2007 the trend had caught on widely enough that the Washington Post referred to custom T-shirts as a “growing market” and CNET published a listicle of “20 rad T-shirt sites.” Society6 started in 2009, then Teespring in 2012, and Merch by Amazon in 2015.
Research individual companies in your desired niche: If possible, it’s always better to become an affiliate directly with a company (if they have an internal affiliate program), as no one else will be dipping into your commission rate. This is the preferred route for most of the prominent affiliate marketers, including Pat Flynn. Unfortunately, it’s also the most work, as you’ll have to do the research yourself to see who offers programs (they’re usually listed in the website footer).
There are many medical research firms that perform testing on human volunteers. The tests can run from a few hours to a month or more and they all pay relatively well. Long duration tests sometimes require you to stay on the firms’ property in order to properly evaluate you, but you can receive several thousand dollars for your time. These tests almost always require you to take an experimental drug that has been proven safe in animals, but human tests are required before it can be brought to market.
27. Sponsored/paid posts – Many blogs publish sponsored and paid posts. Sponsored posts are basically just posts about a specific brand, product or service. A company will pay you to publish an article about it. It’s similar with other paid posts as well. Your basically selling the spot for the article on your site. If you decide to take this route, you’ll want to build your traffic before you will get many offers.
If you have a fondness and talent for taking pictures you can make extra money online by becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like ShutterStock or iStockPhoto. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
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.