It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.
Build your audience on a course community: If you’re just getting started building an audience for yourself and want to leverage communities already actively looking for content you can choose to host and sell your online course on a site like Skillshare or Udemy. These are easy, cost-effective ways to build an audience and test your niche to see if there’s demand for it.
Be social. Whatever your business, whatever your venue, keeping your name in the air is key to internet success. Have a business account on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If your business is graphically oriented, have accounts on Flickr and Tumblr as well. Whenever there is news of any kind—a new contract, a new page, a new entry, a new photo—cross-post it to all your social media sites. Also make sure those sites link back to your main website, and that your website has links to all of them.
We all know we should be investing money, but it isn’t always as easy as it sounds. This is especially the case for those with limited dispensable cash or inconsistent income. Acorns (get $5 to invest when you sign up through this link) is an app that will allow you to round up your everyday purchases and invest that spare change. While you may be unable to write a sizeable check for investing each month, you may not notice an extra $.25 tacked onto your morning Starbucks. Stockpile is another micro-investing platform I love. Get $5 to invest free when you sign up here.
Writing copy for websites is another great freelancing option for those who have a way with words. Copywriting can involve writing the text for websites, press releases, promotional offline materials including leaflets and brochures, and any other professional text for businesses. While writing blog posts is well paid it won’t make you as much money as writing copy for sales pages. However, clients can be more fussy, as they want the highest quality writing for the forefront of their website or advertising campaigns. Many freelance writers offer both copywriting and blog writing amongst their services. This can be a good way to juggle regular but lower paid clients (blogging) with the higher paid but ad-hoc project based copy work.
Get paid for your opinions. Taking surveys online can be a relatively quick way to earn enough to afford a few extras. Harris Poll Online, for example, awards points for the completion of online surveys, which can take between five and 25 minutes to fill out. Survey takers accumulate points and can redeem them for gift cards from retailers such as Amazon and Starbucks. Other online outfits that will pay you to take surveys include SurveyClub, Global Test Market and Swagbucks. There's no cost to sign up.
If managing a blog seems a bit overwhelming but you still desire to indulge your writing passion, you can write for other sites or blogs like PayPerPost, Textbroker, or Helium. Also, writing an interesting e-book may also be an option for you as well. E-books do not have any printing or shipping fees, which makes them a viable investment. If you’re someone who possesses strong language skills, you could potentially become an expert copy editor that webmasters will gladly pay to read and edit articles and also correct any overlooked grammatical errors concerning web copy.
Decluttr is easy to use. Grab an unwanted item, check that Decluttr buys it (for instance: CDs are great, old clothing is not), and enter its barcode into Decluttr’s “valuation engine” or use your Decluttr smartphone app (iOS and Android) to scan your item directly. You’ll receive an instant price quote that you can accept or decline with no obligation. If you accept, just pack your items into a box large enough to fit them, slap a free Decluttr shipping label on it, and bring it to any authorized UPS location (including drop boxes, if your box contains fewer than 25 items). Decluttr issues your payment the day after your item arrives by PayPal, direct deposit, or paper check. There’s no practical limit to the number of items you can sell: each order is technically limited to 500 items, but you can create as many orders as you like in any given timeframe.
You have likely heard of subscription boxes such as Birchbox and Julep. While almost anyone can start a subscription box service, they can be incredibly labor-intensive and the profit margin usually isn’t so great for those operating on a small scale. Did you know you could start a subscription for your knowledge that’s almost pure profit? With sites like SubHub, you can offer a monthly membership offering anything from meal plans to workout plans to crocheting patterns and beyond. The sky is the limit. You do need to provide new content on a consistent schedule to keep your customers happy. But if there is something your friends are always looking to you for new ideas, you may have an easy little side business on your hands.
However, if you're looking for realistic ways you can start earning money online now, then it really truly does boil down to seven paths you can take towards profit. Some will provide you with immediate results, helping you to address your basic monthly necessities such as rent, utilities and groceries, while others have the potential to transform your life by revolutionizing your finances in the long term.
Job Boards. When you’re first starting out, you’ll have to go looking for work, and the best place to do that is on one of the online job boards. Places like Guru, Elance, Freelancer, and oDesk are today’s writers’ best friends. They allow individuals and businesses to post projects, and freelancers to bid on them. Take a look around the sites, sign up for the free access in the beginning, and then begin to place bids on the projects that interest you. It will take some trial and error to find your groove, but once you do, the jobs will start to roll in.
Once a site or blog is created and optimized for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes, the search engine marketing (SEM) begins. The potential for earning income in this area is literally through the roof if you know what you’re doing. An expert in SEO management is responsible for successfully marketing a website and can choose to promote it in a variety of ways.
Or, if you’d prefer more something more editorial and less salesy, you can find that, too. Media companies (including Entrepreneur) offer digital writing and editing positions for the digital publication, which essentially can be accomplished from anywhere in the world -- as long as you have an internet connection. In fact, we have some writers at Entrepreneur who work from Paris or their home offices instead of the office in New York City.
They often expect you to commit to working a certain number of hours per week, which is generally part-time. They will pay you an hourly salary for that work, so it is really more of an at home job situation than it is in an entrepreneurial way to make money online. Still, if you want to get involved in political activity, and you have the time and motivation, this could be a way to monetize that passion.
Coding – whether for developing apps or designing websites – is another big business online! It’s a pretty egalitarian business as well, since you can teach yourself to code in many languages and you can code from wherever you are. At its most basic, all you need is a computer (or laptop or tablet), an Internet connection for connecting with project files or far-flung colleagues, and a text editor. (The software involved can get more complicated than that, as you go along.) There are more small businesses wanting customized websites and startups trying to create that next great app every day, and coders can make a living along the way.
Make money on YouTube. People who love the spotlight and have other online hustles should consider creating their own YouTube channel. If you’re interested — and interesting — you can use the platform to market affiliate products, sell products you create yourself, or receive ad revenue for your informal tutorials or entertaining videos. Once you get the ball rolling, YouTube offers a partner program that can help you monetize your business further.
Back at the beginning of this post, I mentioned how easy online side businesses can be due to how easy and accessible technology is. The truth is, there is really no excuse not to be making some side income from home via an online business. If you want to, you can. These are just six examples; there are dozens of other ideas and online businesses that you could start tomorrow. Why not wake up an hour earlier tomorrow to get the ball rolling?
Sites like Cookening, EatWith, and MealSharing are to restaurants what Airbnb is to hotels. Sign up as a host to earn dough by cooking and serving meals to guests in your home. It's up to you what you want to cook and how many people you can accommodate. Cooks are paid directly through the site, so no cash ever changes hands. The earning potential for becoming a cooking host is $50-$100 per meal.
Blogging is something that requires patience, persistence and discipline. It may mean writing everyday for over a year before you really start to see any money from it. There are exceptions to the rule, but from my dealings with other bloggers, it seems to be pretty common to spend one or even two years building your blog, your brand and your authority, before making any serious amount of money.
You can create your blog using a free platform from WordPress.org, but you’ll need to pay a small amount – as little as $4 per month – to have your blog hosted. Try GoDaddy.com, which can provide a domain name for your site, email addresses, database storage and other Web hosting services. To make money, you can use the free Google AdSense service to display advertisements on your site. The amount you’re paid varies by ad and usually depends on how many people see it. There's also what's called affiliate marketing, in which you earn a commission (usually less than 10%) whenever someone clicks on an ad on your site and purchases a product. The Amazon Associates affiliate program allows you to advertise the retailer’s products on your site, or try affiliate networks such as CJ Affiliate or ShareASale that work with thousands of companies. Depending on how much time you put into your blog and how many people visit it, you could be making a few hundred dollars each month within a year.
If you are really short on cash and need some immediate funds then you should start by looking around your house. Clear out your cupboards and find any items lying around that you don’t need or haven’t used for a while. Then sell them on eBay. Just because they are gathering dust in your cupboards, doesn’t mean someone else won’t snap them up. Simply sign up with eBay, list your products and then, as they are sold, send them off to the buyers.
Take surveys. You can earn $50 to $100 per month in cash and products by taking online surveys. Find survey sites by searching for “paid survey sites” online. Sign up for several survey sites to increase your chances of being selected for higher-paying surveys. Register with an email address, and check your email often so you can respond quickly to survey offers.
If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time online personal trainer can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Check out this interview with several fitness blog owners who are making a living online, from MonetizePros. As well, I'd recommend checking out this resource if you want to take this business idea seriously and get started with a business plan for your personal fitness trainer business today.
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.
21. Facebook – Facebook swap shops are great for selling things locally. It’s like CraigsList, but a little easier. You simply search for swap shops in your area and ask to join the group. Once you’re in, take a picture of the item, write a quick description with the price and post it. It doesn’t get much easier than that. You can generally expect to get about what you would get at a yard sale, maybe a little more.
Companies need people with all different levels of technical ability to test out their websites, apps and social media offerings. Sign up with one of these website usability testing companies and take on quick jobs surfing the web and playing with new apps. It’s not a career, but it is an easy way to make extra money from home. The only thing to keep in mind is that this won't likely be a steady gig, just occasional. Learn more about website testing.
Online savings accounts usually come with crazy good interest rates to help you grow your money faster (regular in-person banks can’t offer rates as high). We’re fans of CIT Bank and Discover Bank (among others) because their interest rates are often over 25 times the national average. That means the money in your savings account will grow 25 times faster than the pace it’s most likely growing at now. Really, though, you can’t go wrong with pretty much any online savings account that offers over 1.50% APY 🙂