Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to make money online doing something you love via a niche website. That of course, is easier said than done. Creating a profitable niche website takes time and is not intended for the faint of heart. But, if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it and eventually monetize through advertising, affiliates, or other relevant products.
But that tends to complicate things. Making some extra side hustle cash doesn't actually have to be that complicated. As someone who's been immersed in the field of online income generation for nearly two decades now, I can tell you that it takes some work. However, there are several clear paths forward. At the end of the day, it all boils down to what your goals are and just how much you're looking to automate your income.
Invest. There are no guarantees when it comes to investing, but you should always start sooner rather than later. If you are looking for a good investing platform, I recommend Motif. Motif Investing allows individuals to invest affordably. This approachable investing platform makes it easy to buy a portfolio of up to 30 stocks, bonds or ETFs for just $9.95 total commission.
If you have experience as a personal assistant, secretary, admin assistant, or something in a similar field, then becoming an online PA may be a great role for you. Many professionals want someone to help organize their business and personal affairs. Jobs could include sending emails, managing financial affairs, booking flights and arranging day-to-day activities. If you are interested in this line of work there are many PA agencies that are crying out for reliable assistants.
29. Videos – This could be an entire section on it’s own. Many people have made money by creating YouTube videos. Evan of EvanTube is a kid and he has made millions by creating reviews of products that other kids his age would use. It’s not easy to get views into the millions, but once you do, you’ll start seeing some cash come in. Many bloggers have completely turned to videos to get their point across by starting a video blog.
One of the cool things about Google AdSense is that it's so easy to get set up. If you have a blog or website, you can sign up for a free Google AdSense Account. From there, Google will give you a unique code that you will paste onto your website. Google takes it from there, tracking your page views, traffic, and earnings on your behalf. There is no upkeep or maintenance to get this thing going, which makes it a no-brainer if you have a website already.
Then once you’ve got your domain name and hosting sorted out, it’s time to pick a CMS, or Content Management System, that will let you update pages, build your blog and integrate with all the other services you need. It’s hard to go wrong with WordPress—the CMS powering close to a quarter of the internet. Keep in mind that eventually as you start growing traffic to your blog, you'll be wise to invest in a managed WordPress hosting plan from a company with great service like Kinsta, where all of the settings are custom-tailored and optimized to work particularly well with WordPress-powered websites.
If you're serious about making money online, start a blog. Blogging is one of the easiest and most sustainable income sources. As long as the blog is setup the right way, in the right niche, with the right content targeted at the right audience, and the offer is complementary to the content, you could make a tremendous amount of passive income from a blog.
Many companies, such as J. Crew, Express Jet, 1-800-flowers, and even the IRS, outsource customer-service operations to third-party companies who then hire home-based workers or "agents" to take calls and orders. When you call 1-800-flowers, you may be speaking with Rebecca Dooley, a retired police officer and employee of Alpine Access, a major call-center service. When you dialed the number, your call was automatically routed to Rebecca's spare bedroom in Colorado.
5. Create your own travel business. If you know a city or tourist destination particularly well, you can easily make an extra $1,000 by running a small travel business. Here is an example. I have a friend who loves scuba diving. He knows a few locations very well. Someone asked if he would act as a guide, and my friend had the bright idea to start doing it all the time. He started putting together scuba vacation packages, and now that's his full-time job. He offers a full pre-paid package that includes lodging, meals, and scuba equipment, plus a markup for him.
My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and build a following of hundreds of thousands for this blog and my podcast series.
Another way to utilize your talent and business skills is to run corporate workshops online. Businesses are always looking for unique ways to help educate their workforce, and if you can package your talents into a day or half-day long session, you can sell that to companies all over the world to make money online. Start by building a portfolio and then reaching out on LinkedIn to influencers at relevant companies to see if they would be interested in you teaching their team.
Check with your local bank to see if they're giving away cash bonuses for opening up accounts. Banks run promotions like this all the time, so grab some real cash quickly if you're in need. It won't break the bank (no pun intended) but it will give you a quick $50 or $100 -- maybe even more -- when you really need it. You might need to deposit a minimum amount of cash (usually in the thousands) in order to qualify for these types of accounts (but not always).
Listing an item on eBay takes just a few minutes, but some people can't be bothered. Offer to sell their stuff for 10 percent of the profit. One publicist we know makes $100 a month selling her coworkers' designer clothes, bags and electronics. Her best tip—if something doesn't sell, repost it in a week. Even if it got no bids the first time around, it may get ten the second time.
Not only will this multiply the money you’re bringing in in a serious way, but it protects you against any sudden changes in the market or in your business. Remember that old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket? A few hours a week committed to just one or two of the following opportunities will put you in a much stronger position to be financially safe and independent.
Webinars are quite possibly one of the most potent ways you can make an exorbitant amount of money online. Russell Brunson often says that if you do a webinar every single week for a year, you'll be a millionaire at the end of it. You'll need an audience to train and you'll need to know what you're talking about. Of course, this usually requires having a website and some semblance of an online presence.
A large subset of our society is earning a full-time income by selling items on Craigslist and Ebay. You can do this by selling your own items, or you can help sell items for other people and take a small commission. Selling on Ebay offers more friction than Craigslist and you'll need to establish solid reviews before you can begin to move high-ticket items.
Regardless if you need to earn some fast cash or we're just talking about making money in the grand scheme of things, there's an important psychology that needs to be mentioned before getting into the strategies. If you study Freud's model of the mind, you'll discover the Psychic Apparatus. It's the three-part construct in your mind that controls all of your behavior.
If you have an extra room in your house, consider listing it on Airbnb. Airbnb is a new way to travel for many people around the world. Instead of booking through expensive hotels, why not stay at someone's house? As a guest, you can choose high end to low end, choose to stay with other people or opt for privacy. As a host, it's a great way to make side money, utilize unused space, and meet new people! How much you can earn depends on your area so I recommend finding out by becoming an Airbnb host yourself!
There are many freelance options for graphic designers who are looking to make money online. Designing layouts and graphics for promotional material, corporate reports, magazines or book covers, are all tasks that businesses are looking for online freelancers to complete. Due to its flexible nature, graphic design possibilities can range from one-off projects to ongoing work with regular clients.
In fact, AirBnB recently swallowed up luxury vacation rental provider, Luxury Retreats, and other consolidations in the marketplace have happened with leading sites like InvitedHome's acquisition of PPG rentals and Seasoned Dreams' platforms, and Expedia's $3.9 billion acquisition of another vacation rental giant, HomeAway. The market is booming and the time is ripe for entry, no matter how big or small your home or condo might be.
While Etsy is fantastic for handmade goods that you’ve already created, if you’ve got killer designs that would look good on phone cases, t-shirts, or even wall hangings, pillows, and duvets, you can sell them on Society6 without paying anything to start. Society6 lets artists upload their designs and create their own shops where they choose what products their designs can be used on. That means one design can be used to make a whole range of awesome products that are printed and shipped on demand whenever someone buys from you. With top creators making thousands every month just from selling their designs.
Despite the jokes, it's not such a bad thing to come straight out of Central Casting (875 Sixth Ave at 31st St; 646-205-8244, centralcasting.org). If you're nonunion, download a registration packet from the website and deliver it Tuesdays or Thursdays (11am for men, noon for women). Have a SAG or AFTRA affiliation? Go on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays at 10am. Currently, the most in-demand parts are prep-schoolers for Gossip Girl and faux cops and corpses for Law & Order and its spin-offs. "Every day is a deadline," explains Brad Kenny, manager of Central Casting. "At 4pm today, a show could call and say, 'We need ten doctors and four nurses for tomorrow—they have to fit these sizes and be this ethnicity,' and we rush to find those people." The pay ranges from minimum wage if you're nonunion up to $160 a day plus overtime if you're SAG. Also try: NYCastings (nycastings.com) and Back Stage's casting search engine (casting.backstage.com/jobseekerx).
Selling digital products can be just as successful as selling physical products. Graphics, software, eBooks, design elements, sound effects, songs, and videos are just a few types of digital products that are in popular demand. So if you can turn your hand to creating digital products, let’s have a look at how you can make money online from this skill…
Drive for Uber or Lyft: If you're in a locale where you can find Uber or Lyft (or even one of the many competitors around the world such as China's Didi), you could easily make a respectable income. The hours are flexible and you can work as you see fit, making it perfect even if you currently have full-time employment but are looking to make some money on the side.
Most of us love the idea of earning extra income or quitting our full-time jobs altogether and working from home. If you thought work-from-home companies were just running scams, it turns out there are plenty of authentic and reliable ways to make money by working from home. Christine Durst, cofounder of RatRaceRebellion.com and consultant to the FBI on internet scam issues tells us, "There is currently a 61-to-1 scam ratio among work-at-home job leads on the internet—that is, for every legitimate job, there are 61 scams." But, there are a lot of opportunities for a "real job." The secret is knowing how to separate the scams from what's legit.
At any given time, there are a gazillion players looking for a game of Texas Hold 'Em on sites like PokerStars (pokerstars.com) and PokerRoom (pokerroom.com). One Brooklynite who asked to remain anonymous tells us he made more than $65,000 playing in his spare time over the course of the past three years. "The key to making money is playing multiple games at once. Sometimes I play eight games at a time," he says. "I like to play in the evening—more people are on their computers, so you have a better chance of matching up with less experienced players."
“The process is pretty straightforward: You fill out a questionnaire (either online or over the phone since sometimes they call you if they need to fill open slots) and if you qualify for the taste test you simply pick one of the available time slots,” Chelsea says. “You never know which fast food/restaurant you’re going to be tasting until you arrive and begin the taste test.”
Money can be earned and spent, saved and pilfered, invested and wasted. Not time. That's why time is far more valuable than money. The point? When you lack the luxury of time, making money online (or offline) can seem like an impossible task. How are you supposed to do that when you're working at a life-sucking nine-to-five job? While the stability of full-time employment might allow most to sleep well at night, it doesn't empower your creative juices to search for new income-producing strategies.
With online jobs, there are many opportunities to specialize in your own area of expertise. You don’t need to do boring work to earn a living. As compared to the job market, one can settle on a job they do not love just to make ends meet. On the internet however, there are varieties of jobs to work on. Therefore, you can choose an area that best suits you and become an expert at it.
You can use your phone to receive assignments for short tasks that you complete on the phone itself—app testing and surveys, for example—or location-based gigs, such as mystery shopping or gathering information about merchandising displays at stores. You can even sign up for rewards programs that give you points toward gift cards just for walking into certain stores with your phone (no purchase necessary).
What does that mean for you? It means Nielsen will pay you $50 a year to keep their app on your favorite internet browsing device. The app itself collects statistics on your internet usage anonymously, so you never have to worry about any data being linked to you. And the best part is, the app takes up barely any space and doesn’t slow down your phone or tablet at all!