When times are tight, jobs are scarce and your usual 9-5 income just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore, there are a number of reasons why expanding your financial horizons online makes good sense. For one thing, working online allows you to be your own boss and work your own hours. Secondly, despite what some spammy websites might tell you, the most legitimate ways to make a few extra bucks on the internet require no monetary investment whatsoever. All you need is some free time, a little elbow grease, and a healthy measure of patience. In as little as a few months you can start to see your online revenue streams begin to grow. Perhaps the most exciting reason people turn to internet ventures for extra cash is that there’s absolutely no salary cap. As your knowledge, skills and time investments grow, so can your online income.
1. Writing for revenue sharing websites is hands down the best way to start making money online. These sites are article aggregators that allow users to submit original content on informative or entertaining topics in order to receive a cut of the advertising revenue these articles generate. Notable revenue sharing sites include Infobarrel.com, Squidoo.com, and Hubpages.com.
2. Youtube isn’t just for listening to your favorite music or watching internet celebrities test the extremes of decency. If you start submitting informative or entertaining videos to youtube and begin to generate a healthy number of views, eventually you will receive an invitation to the Youtube Partnership program. This program allows you to integrate a google adsense account so that you can earn revenue for your total number of video views as well as any ad clicks your videos generate.
3. Freelance writing jobs are yours for the taking on sites like online-writing-jobs.com. Article buyers will post job details so that you can search for a good fit and then contact the buyer directly. A word of caution: be aware that these sites don’t have the same protections in place as some of the aforementioned revenue sharing sites. It’s up to you to negotiate and secure payment from your buyer.
4. Auction off your garage for profit! eBay is an excellent choice for selling just about anything online, and its integration with paypal makes for secure transactions between buyers and sellers. Listing your item on eBay will instantly put it in front of a national audience. If you can find a means of obtaining a steady stream of discounted merchandise or goods, you can often resell your stock on eBay for a slight price increase to make a steady profit.
5. Craigslist.com is largely overlooked in the world of online money making, but many people use it for a steady side income. Certain items actually sell better on Craigslist than they would on eBay due to their size. For example, you will often meet more success and higher total profits listing items like used treadmills, bicycles and rowing machines locally on craigslist, where a buyer can simply drive over to you in a pick-up truck, than on eBay, where you and an out-of-state buyer would need to consult a freight company and build their cost into the sale price.
6. Stock photography is slightly more technically demanding, but the potential returns are impressive. If you are an intermediate or professional photographer, you can earn anywhere from 50 cents to several dollars per download of high resolution, professionally composed stock images. The learning curve here is a bit steeper because the best paying sites, like istockphotography.com and bigstockphoto.com have strict guidelines for what they will accept into their catalog.
7. Twitter fanatics can cash in on their followings by signing up for services like sponsoredtweets.com. This advertising network will match your twitter feed with interested advertisers and then pay you a certain amount of money for each of your tweets that features their products. The amount you get paid per tweet is roughly based on your total followers, so this has big potential for active twitter users with large followings.
8. Feeling crafty? Online marketplaces like Etsy.com specialize in helping folks sell their original crafty and homemade products. Whether you have a penchant for sculpting, making jewelry or accessories, knitting or producing art in various mediums, you can set up a store on Etsy.com and set your own prices!
9. If you have some degree of technical savvy, setting up your own website is an excellent longterm investment. It may takes you months or years to build up a respectable level of steady traffic, but once you do there are literally dozens of ways to monetize it. When you create a website, you should look for topics that are both commercially viable and a source of inspiration for you. The more valuable content you are able to provide on the subject, the better your website will perform online and the more revenue it will generate.
10. Selling someone else’s goods is another great way to cash in online. There are thousands upon thousands of affiliate programs that are free to join and that will pay you everytime you drive a sale of a given product, e-book, or service. Affiliate marketing works very well in conjunction with revenue sharing article sites and your own personal websites.
11. Flipping websites is a step or two above making your own sites in terms of difficulty, but the payoffs are huge. Website flippers specialize in buying up domains, building successful sites from scratch, documenting proof of their steady traffic levels through use of google analytics and adsense, and then selling the sites outright to buyers on flippa.com, the best know marketplace for websites. Small but successful sites sell for as much as $2400, while medium to large sites can sell for $15-60K!
12. Forex trading is definitely not recommended for beginners, but seasoned financial professionals or folks with an intimate knowledge of money trading can use the online marketplace to capitalize on currency fluctuations around the world from the comfort of home.
13. Elance.com and Odesk.com are two of the web’s best platforms for freelancing remotely. The best thing about these platforms is that you can take your own current skills and experience online and start getting hired. Whether you are a content writer, programmer, data processor, system manager or web designer, the market for tech-based skills is booming on these sites and you can earn increasingly more per hour as you prove yourself and build up your profile with satisfied customers. Successful wordpress designers, for example, are earning upwards of $55 per hour on Elance currently.
14. Becoming a virtual assistant is a great way to develop a steady stream of work-from-home income. It may take you some time to develop the right relationships with one or more clients, but many professionals work from home supporting small or medium businesses in administrative, technical or management roles. You can start by building up references on remote freelancing sites like Elance.com.
15. Feeling social? Some of the most successful and lucrative web properties are forums with monetized by advertising. These community indexes allow people that share a common interest to come and discuss various topics. Forums take longer to setup and populate than your average website, but this effort more than pays off once you have an active community producing fresh monetized content for you on a daily basis!
16. Riddle me this: how can you make money by simply answering questions online? Webanswers.com allows you to register and start answering questions on topics ranging from history to technology to travel advice. If your answers are voted to be the best for a given question, you will receive lifetime royalties on the advertising revenue that page generates.
17. Gazelle.com is the online pawn shop of everything electronic. Whether you have a few busted ipods or several high end laptops at home, you can enter your product type and model number into gazelle’s intuitive user interface and receive a cash offer after describing the condition of your item. Once you ship your goods to Gazelle and they receive and verify them, they will paypal you the total payment.
18. Cash4Books.net is one of several websites that will allow you to enter the ISBN codes of any new or used books you have at home en mass, in order to calculate a total offer. They even have an iphone app that lets you scan all your books quickly. Best of all, they will allow you to print a pre-paid postage stamp and foot the bill for your books to make it over to them. Once they verify the contents they will mail you a check or pay you electronically.
19. Ever thought of cashing in on your knowledge of the English language? Native speakers have a number of options for making money online teaching English. If you already have some prospective students lined up, you could teach them one on one over Skype and collect payments via paypal. Otherwise, sites like englishtutorsonline.com offer employment for dynamic, engaging native speakers that would like to tutor students online.
20. Already have a functioning blog or website? Break out of the traditional advertising mold by using a CPA (Cost Per Action) program. CPA advertisers pay you to generate hot leads and actions from readers interested in their services.
21. Graphically inclined entrepreneurs can design logos for websites, applications, flyers, and company letterheads. Even if you don’t have good graphics software at home, free options like sumopaint.com are incredibly comprehensive and powerful. Set up a small blog detailing your services or become known in internet marketing forums like www.warriorforum.com to start finding clients.
22. Write an ebook. No matter what your area of expertise or interest may be, there is probably a small market of readers who would be interested in what you have to say. Although you should provide as much value and content as possible, writing and selling an e-book doesn’t have to be a technical nightmare. Simply publish your ebook in pdf format and you can attach it via e-mails to your buyers.
23. Become a published amazon.com author. Amazon’s new kindle direct publishing program allows anyone to publish their properly formatted ebook to the amazon kindle store. You can earn up to 70% royalties on each download and leverage the massing buying power of amazon’s online marketplace!
24. Bloggers can get paid to write reviews of quality products by registering their site with reviewme.com. This site pairs advertisers with webmasters so that product owners can have personalized and trustworthy reviews written on request. Payments per review can range from $30 to $500 depending on your site’s profile!
25. Feeling analytical? Become a usability tester through trymyui.com, a site that pays people to test out various websites and produce detailed critiques of the overall user experience and what the site should improve upon. Testers receive $10 per critique.
26. Fiverr.com is a fun site with a unique concept: you can post any job or task you are willing to do, so long as the cost is $5! Some people have had great success offering marketing services such as writing a post about someone’s product on their blog, or running through a crowded town square with someone’s brand painted on their chest. Think of a job that provides enough value to get a lot of orders, yet can be done quickly enough to be repeated for higher profit.
27. Amazon Mechanical Turk has received mixed reviews, but it’s worth a look if you haven’t heard of it before. Basically, AMT breaks down large projects into micro-tasks, such as repeatedly entering data into a field again and again. Tasks vary wildly in difficulty and payment amount, so it takes some finagling and trial and error to learn how to turn a good hourly wage here.
28. Ether.com is a site that pays you to take calls and e-mails from people looking for industry specific advice or expertise. Think of it as a means of setting up your own call center. If you are a technical support expert, for example, you can set your pay rate per hour or per call and flag yourself as online when you’re ready to take calls. Whether you’re an expert in counseling or taxes or just good at giving advice, Ether makes it possible to start taking paying phone calls.
29. Do you speak a second language? Sites like telelanguage.com will pay you to provide over-the-phone interpretation services. Depending on the desirability of your second language, you can expect to make anywhere from $10-50 per hour or possibly more.
30. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and just want a simple entrypoint into the world of making money online, you can try sites like surfbounty.com. These sites monetize your time online by having you read marketed e-mails, take surveys and generally browse the web while viewing a variety of their network ads.