You probably know that there are tons of websites and services out there offering free stuff in exchange for your personal information, but what if this wasn't true? What if there were sites where you could get paid just by being yourself? How would earning money be different then?
Well, it turns out that these sites do exist! You might not have heard about them because they're either new (or still growing) or small enough so people haven't really talked about them much yet. But don't worry, we'll show you how to find and start making real income on the web today -- right now -- using nothing more than an internet connection and some spare time.
The most important thing to remember while getting started here is that none of us will ever "make" anything through the Internet. That's not what happens. Instead, we earn tips and commissions as compensation for our efforts. If you want to make $1 million over the course of a year, you need to put forth 1,000 hours' worth of effort every single month. The same goes for earning any other kind of income. It doesn't matter whether you're trying to pay off student loan debt, buy a house, or save up for retirement. Your goal should always be to improve your financial situation each and every week. And yes, even when times are tough. Working hard makes all the difference in the world.
With this in mind, let's talk about which type of job is best suited for generating passive income online. First up...
We've already discussed what you need to do to set goals like paying off your debts, saving for college tuition, buying a car, etc., but what if you wanted to generate income passively? Well, if you want to do that, consider starting an Etsy shop.
Etsy is one of many marketplaces that allow artists and craftspeople to sell their handmade creations directly to consumers. They won't take a percentage of profits from sales or require buyers to input credit card info before checkout. All transactions happen via PayPal, meaning you never even see your customers' credit cards numbers. Everything works behind-the-scenes, automatically, 24/7/365. Plus, since everything takes place in cyberspace, you can run your business anywhere around the globe.
What does this mean? You can open shops in places far away from you physically (like China), making it possible to earn hundreds or thousands of extra bucks per year. This also means you can avoid high shipping costs.
If you're interested in opening your own store, check out my article detailing how to create a profitable ecommerce site. There are plenty of tools available both for selling products yourself and finding others who'd rather deal with someone else altogether. In fact, you may end up working less once your business starts taking off thanks to automation software.
One big advantage of running a physical retail operation is that you usually only need to focus on marketing and product creation. On top of that, you often receive discounts for having items shipped straight to your customer instead of going through a middleman. As such, you can offer better prices to attract higher profit margins. However, if you decide to go down this route, make sure you understand how tax laws apply to local businesses.
Another way to build wealth online is by investing into good companies. Here's why...
Investing isn't something everyone knows very well about. Some people seem to believe that investing consists solely of picking stocks and watching them steadily increase in value. Others tend to think that investments involve putting lots of money into mutual funds or index funds. Still others believe that it requires a lot of research, analysis, and skill. While investing certainly has its advantages, it shouldn't be overlooked simply because it seems too difficult. Investing can be done by anyone willing to learn and commit themselves to doing things correctly. Once you've learned how to invest, you'll realize that it's actually quite easy. Don't underestimate the power of compound interest.
There are several types of investing methods you can choose from. For example, you can use low cost index funds to diversify your portfolio across various sectors. Or you can purchase individual shares of stock. Either way, you'll want to stick to reputable brokers with solid track records and great reputations. When choosing between two similar options, try researching both thoroughly. Look at fees, performance history, dividend yields, current values, potential growth opportunities, future prospects, liquidity, safety, and ease of trading among other factors. Then compare those against the pros and cons of whichever method you eventually opt for. Remember, knowledge is key. Take the time to educate yourself and you'll reap huge benefits later on.
In summary, if you want to succeed online and live a life filled with freedom, entrepreneurship is the answer. Sure, you can lose money along the way. Even worse, sometimes you're forced to give it back. But if your intentions are honorable, don't quit until you hit rock bottom. Keep pushing forward, keep learning, and keep improving. Eventually, you'll begin seeing success come alive in front of your eyes.
Now that you know what kind of work is best, let's discuss which jobs fall under each category. Check 'em out below...
This question depends entirely upon whom you ask. To be honest, there aren't nearly as many legitimate online jobs compared to scams. Most people who claim to regularly rake in six figures per year are lying. These folks have likely made millions of dollars overnight, so naturally, they want to share their secret formula with you. Unfortunately, there isn't one. Just stay away from these schemes and do your best to remain skeptical whenever you hear about another opportunity.
On the positive side, however, there ARE legit opportunities out there for freelancers looking to make extra money from home. One option involves becoming a freelance writer. Writing gigs vary widely based on subject matter, audience preferences, and complexity. Generally speaking though, you can expect to make somewhere between $8-$50 per hour depending on experience level. Of course, if you already possess excellent writing skills, you can easily command upwards of $100+ per hour. Freelance copywriting pays extremely well, especially when partnered with advertising revenue streams. Another popular choice is blogging. Depending on platform preference, you can charge anywhere from $5-$500 per post. With that said, quality content attracts readers, and a steady stream of traffic leads to increased ad revenues. So long as you write informative posts that provide helpful advice or commentary, you'll quickly become established as an expert in your field. Finally, video hosting offers a fun alternative that allows you to reach audiences worldwide. YouTube alone boasts billions of views per month, and you can monetize your videos by displaying ads. A few years ago, AdSense was the dominant player, but Google announced recently that it had acquired Revver, thus rendering Adsense obsolete. Nowadays, you'll mostly encounter banners placed strategically throughout your videos. Whatever form your chosen career path ultimately takes, you can rest assured knowing that it's perfectly legal.
As mentioned earlier, however, there are scammy online opportunities out there that prey upon unsuspecting individuals. Since these kinds of programs generally promise unrealistic returns, scammers rely heavily on social media platforms to spread false claims. Therefore, it's essential for you to educate yourself regarding common red flags associated with scams. Be wary of mysterious emails asking you to click links within attachments. Avoid clicking suspicious links sent via text messages. Never respond to spam calls. Also, watch out for signs indicating pyramid structures. Lastly, beware of unsolicited requests for sensitive details. Legitimate employers rarely contact prospective candidates in such manner.
Overall, you should always treat online employment opportunities with suspicion. Before committing to any program, research it extensively and ask questions. Make sure you feel comfortable with exactly what you'll be expected to deliver. Once you establish trustworthiness, you can enjoy considerable flexibility in determining your rates and terms of service.
Let me tell you something -- earning money online isn't limited to traditional employees. Thanks to advancements in technology, self-employed workers have gained unprecedented access to lucrative positions previously reserved exclusively for corporations. Today, entrepreneurs can operate multiple virtual enterprises simultaneously. No longer must you limit yourself to one company's schedule, location, or clientele. Virtual assistants, for instance, help support busy executives and families. Software engineers design apps and systems used by major corporations. Web designers develop visually appealing user interfaces. Writers edit corporate reports and newsletters. Lawyers handle intellectual property disputes. Personal trainers coordinate workout regimens. Each person's talents and interests determine his or her ideal position within the workforce.
The idea of making extra cash by working part-time, on nights and weekends is nothing new. However, if you're looking for something that's both scalable and more lucrative than most side gigs, then it might be time to take your earnings seriously.
We've already looked at some great passive income ideas worth pursuing in previous articles here and here (which also includes the best apps for earning money passively), but today we'll dig into another popular method: getting paid to do things you enjoy doing anyway. This type of gig is often referred to as "micro jobs" because they are typically small amounts of work done over short periods of time, and they require very little effort. And while this approach isn't right for everyone, there are definitely people who could use additional streams of revenue. Here are several micro job sites worth checking out.
Note: There are many other options when it comes to making money online quickly without investing much -- such as selling ebooks, creating web content, starting an Etsy shop, etc. These aren't included below due to lack of space. If you have one of these suggestions in mind, please share them in the comments!
Founded in 2011, FIVERR bills itself as "the world's largest marketplace for services." It features thousands of different types of microjobs available through its website and mobile app. You simply create an account, add photos of yourself, write up a description about what you'd like to offer (e.g., singing, dancing, drawing, etc.), set your desired rate, and start bidding. The winning bidder gets awarded the project, which will come complete with a personalized link back to their own site where they can promote themselves further. Payments are made via PayPal once the client has completed paying.
TaskRabbit connects users directly with vetted service providers called Rabbits who want help fulfilling various errands. For example, you can sign up to become a Rabbit and bid on projects ranging from packing someone's groceries inside boxes to helping move furniture around campus. When you win a task, payouts range anywhere between 50 cents to several hundred dollars depending upon how complicated the tasks are. Payment is processed using Paypal.
Gigbucks describes itself as a "new kind of platform for finding freelance work," so it may not contain every single opportunity for those who want quick cash. What sets it apart is that all transactions are handled by GIGBUCKS instead of third parties, meaning that user payments are never sent to outside companies. Clients get to choose whether they want to send funds via bank transfer, credit card, debit card, ApplePay, Google Wallet, or Bitcoin. Once you receive the funds, Gigbucks takes a 10 percent cut. To join Gigbucks, submit a basic application describing your skillset before being approved for membership.
4) Amazon Mechanical Turk
Launched way back in 2005, Amazon Web Services' Mechanical Turk continues to operate as one of the biggest crowdsourcing platforms on the Internet. In return for completing simple microtasks, participants are rewarded with compensation based on what's known as "Turk points." Tasks are categorized according to difficulty level and payout amount, and workers are expected to provide high quality results. As far as qualifications go, anyone over 18 years old can register to participate in the program. Most importantly, however, you must live within the United States and pass a screening process designed to verify that you meet certain requirements. One benefit of MTurk is that you don't need to deal with clients directly. Instead, requests are submitted through the website and assigned to specific workers. Workers only see what needs to be done, not who requested it.
Helpx calls itself the "first global community connecting freelancers with businesses seeking assistance." It claims to allow individuals to connect with employers via its website and mobile app. Users fill out profiles detailing their experience and availability along with information regarding their location and budget. Employers post jobs directly onto the website and include instructions as well as tips and tricks to ensure successful completion. Jobs are categorized by skill type and distance away from applicants. Compensation is determined by the agreed upon price per hour plus expenses. Payment processing is performed through Stripe Payments.
Vworker offers similar benefits to Helpx. While you can apply just once to join, you can keep reapplying until you find exactly the right match with the right employer. Like Helpx, you can browse posts posted by others seeking particular types of jobs. Furthermore, unlike Helpx, Vworker allows potential clients to contact you directly. All submissions should follow company guidelines, though you won't necessarily be required to perform any actual labor. Fees depend on the complexity of each task and vary widely between $20-$200.
iNeeded refers to itself as a "marketplace for busy professionals" offering opportunities for those interested in flexible employment. Signing up requires filling out a brief profile indicating your skillset and interests along with uploading a resume. From there, you can search current openings listed on the site related to those areas. Each listing shows estimated hourly wage rates, duration of contract, and total fee. Submissions are accepted via email whenever possible rather than submitting forms directly. A premium subscription gives access to advanced tools and increased privacy.
If you prefer posting jobs directly to websites, FlexJobs has got your covered. With millions of active members across dozens of countries, FlexJobs offers three main categories including general postings, business listings, and personal opportunities. Job seekers can filter searches by category using tags like remote/work-from-home. Applicants can even specify preferred locations since FlexJobs works internationally. After applying, clients can review candidates' resumes as well as respond to applications. FlexJobs charges a 5% flat fee for fees charged after successfully completing the transaction. Payment processing is performed through PayPal.
9) Indeed Hiring
Indeed Hiring boasts hundreds of jobs currently available worldwide. Similar to FlexJobs, you can upload your resume and search for jobs relevant to your field of interest. Unlike FlexJobs, Indeed Hiring does charge a 3% + 30 cents fee for each submission. On top of that, you can expect to wait longer for responses compared to FlexJobs.
LiveOps lets you build your own virtual assistant team for hire. Through the site, you can manage and schedule teams consisting of multiple assistants. Whether you want to organize meetings, handle bookings, run social media accounts, or answer emails, LiveOps is able to accommodate almost anything. Because there are no fixed hours involved, employees can easily fit schedules around life events. They can work from home or wherever suits them best. Your first month is completely free, and thereafter you can either continue working full-time or opt for reduced hours. Compensation ranges from $14 - $22 per hour and depends on the number of hours worked. In order to qualify for the lowest monthly plan, customers must maintain a 95+ rating. Payments are issued quarterly.
11) Toptal Workforce
TopTAL was founded in 2009 and now serves over 200,000 entrepreneurs and enterprises globally. Its mission is to bring together skilled talent with organizations needing temporary solutions. By signing up for TopTal, you agree to adhere to the terms outlined in the Terms of Service Agreement. Upon acceptance, you'll gain instant access to the highest quality freelance specialists throughout North America. Although contracts last anywhere between two weeks and six months, wages are guaranteed to reach between $70 and $250 per week. Payment processing is performed through PayPal.
While none of these methods are going to replace your regular 9-to-5 job, they can supplement your income or eventually lead to more stable longterm success. Even better, they give you flexibility to pick and choose your assignments, allowing you to spend more time actually enjoying your favorite hobbies and passions.
We all know that making money on the web is tough, but there are some people who seem to get it right while others have a hard time even getting started. If you're struggling to find your way in this world of digital entrepreneurship, we've got good news for you: You don't need an initial investment and you definitely don't need anyone's permission!
Here are 13 (free!) methods to earning extra income online — without having to spend one penny on anything except...time. And if you want more ideas, check out our list of the best side hustles under $100.
1) Sell stuff on eBay
Selling used goods on sites like eBay has been around forever, so why not use that experience to start up a business? It doesn't take much effort to set up an account, write descriptions, upload pictures, and then wait for potential buyers to come along. Once they do, just ship them off whatever you happen to be selling. Simple as that.
2) Create handouts/courses/podcasts
The Internet loves content, especially when it comes to learning new skills. Whether you create video lessons, downloadable guides, interactive courses, audio podcasts, or written text-based tutorials, other users will love what you produce and may well pay for access to those resources. Plus, these things are free to share and distribute! Just think how many people could benefit from your expertise.
3) Freelance writing
If you enjoy reading and talking about topics related to tech, science, health, finance, sports, entertainment, travel, etc., then freelancing might be something you'd consider. There are lots of websites where companies looking for someone to write their blog posts, articles, press releases, or white papers post job offers. The trick here is to show initiative by applying first before being considered for a position.
4) Start blogging
Blogging is another great option because you only really need a computer and an outlet for electricity. Blogging platforms such as Tumblr, WordPress, and Medium allow you to publish regular updates and interact with readers via comments. With luck, you'll attract enough followers to keep posting regularly and eventually turn your passion into a full-fledged career path.
5) Become a virtual assistant
There are plenty of tasks you can perform remotely using services such as Fiverr, TaskRabbit, Zirtual, Fancy Hands, and Helpern. All you need is a laptop, smartphone, and the willingness to help out friends, family members, and complete strangers. For example, you can provide administrative support, proofread documents, schedule meetings, run errands, research information, manage social media accounts, troubleshoot technical issues, book flights, organize events, send emails, and type letters.
6) Get paid to try apps
YouTubers, bloggers, influencers, and podcasters often receive compensation to test products and give reviews. Signing up for programs like Influencer Marketing Hub, Inbox Dollars, Swagbucks Shopify, Vindale Research Center, Google Opinion Rewards, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Survey Savvy, Apptivity, and Paycheck Fairness allows you to earn small payments for giving feedback. Check out Earny to see which ones work for you.
7) Make YouTube videos
With millions of views every day, creating viral vlogs isn't going unnoticed. Anyone can record themselves discussing current affairs, uploading footage shot elsewhere, interviewing experts, reviewing popular movies and shows, showing home renovations, cooking recipes, and playing games. Upload your clips onto sites like Blip.tv, DTube, and LiveLeak and let viewers decide whether you deserve your own channel. Keep producing high-quality content and you should gain popularity over time.
8) Be a tutor
Many universities now offer tutoring services for students desperate to improve grades. Sites including TutorMatch, SmartThinking, Chegg, StudyBlue, Math Solver, Academic Earth, Udemy, Khan Academy, Test Prep 101, Rocket Science University, Skillshare, Coursera, FutureLearn, EdX, MasterClass, LinkedIn Learning, Lynda, and Mango Languages all connect expert instructors with eager learners. Simply sign up and start teaching for money today.
9) Take surveys
Online market researchers conduct thousands of studies each year. Companies hire firms to recruit consumers' opinions to better understand markets, design products, and promote campaigns. Most studies require participants to fill out questionnaires and return results electronically. These days, most organizations also accept responses via SMS messages. To qualify, you must live in North America or Europe, be 18+ years old, speak English fluently, and possess a mobile phone. Then enter your details into one of hundreds of survey panels available online.
10) Rent out rooms
Do you have unused space in your house that's currently collecting dust? Do you rent out spare bedrooms during vacation periods? This kind of accommodation service requires minimal startup costs and ongoing running expenses. Websites such as Roomorama, Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, Vacation Rental By Owner, FlipKey, Homestay, Couchsurfing, and Turo charge guests fees based on nightly rates. Some businesses operate solely through referral links, meaning you won't actually host visitors yourself. Instead, you refer customers to an established accommodation provider.
11) Write ebooks
Ebook stores are everywhere nowadays. They sell everything from fiction books to cookery manuals, software applications, self-help books, reference materials, music albums, and audiobooks. Writing your own ebook is relatively easy thanks to tools such as Scrivener, Microsoft Word, Canva, LibreOffice Draw, and Ulysses. Next, format and package your masterpiece according to specific guidelines provided by various outlets. Look for eBook directories on Google Search, BookBoon Marketplace, Kindle Scout, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble Discover, Kobo Selections, Baker & Taylor, Bowker Discovery Service, and SmashWords.
12) Offer freelance consulting
Are you skilled at solving problems or helping people achieve goals? Are you experienced at setting up systems, analyzing data, organizing projects, drafting reports, developing marketing strategies, editing resumes, conducting interviews, building presentations, designing graphics, fixing computers, managing budgets, planning parties, evaluating candidates, negotiating contracts, training staff, improving security measures, and handling customer complaints? If yes, then you could become a consultant who helps clients save time and energy. Services such as Upwork, PeoplePerHour, FreELancer, Guru, Toptal, FlexJobs, Remote Year, Indeed, Glassdoor, JobHero, LinkedIn Workplace Groups, Stack Overflow Careers, and ZipRecruiter match qualified individuals with employers willing to pay top dollar.
13) Give talks
Presentations aren't everyone's cup of tea. But public speaking does have its benefits. Your audience gets to hear firsthand what you know about your subject matter. Also, you get to practice delivering speeches in front of real audiences. Speaking gigs abound online. Popularity contests such as TED Talks, Q&As with celebrities, Facebook Lives, Instagram Stories, Twitter chats, Google Hangouts, Reddit AMAs, Quora answers, YouTube Q&As, Snapchat geofilters, and Twitch streams enable you to showcase your talents and reach wider audiences than ever before.
Now we ask you to put your hands together and clap loudly for our final suggestion. Ready? Here goes…
Volunteering is a win-win situation because both sides end up feeling appreciated and fulfilled. Pick causes aligned with your interests and passions and donate your time instead of money. Not sure where to begin? Try volunteering abroad, mentoring young adults, joining a nonprofit organization, donating blood plasma, taking part in local community activities, working in soup kitchens, fundraising for charitable events, visiting sick relatives, participating in environmental activism, providing IT support for non-profit groups, gardening, painting houses, decorating cakes and food items, hosting open mic nights, and translating signs. There are countless opportunities waiting for volunteers willing to lend a helping hand.
Bonus Tip #15
Don't forget the power of automation! Today, you can automate almost every facet of your life. Many entrepreneurs choose to leverage technology to increase efficiency levels, reduce operating costs, speed up processes, and streamline operations. While manual labor always takes longer to finish, automated solutions can cut down on mistakes and human error. Furthermore, once you learn how to build effective automaton routines, you can delegate repetitive tasks and focus on more important matters. A few examples include:
Automate bill payments: PayPal makes paying bills quick and simple. Open a linked bank account and link credit cards to your PayPal balance. Now whenever you buy something online, you'll automatically make payments directly from your PayPal funds.
Set up email reminders: Use Gmail filters and labels to identify incoming emails containing certain keywords and sort them accordingly. Filter emails sent to "spam" folders, filter emails containing attachments, filter emails with particular words in the body, and label messages received by date ranges.
Become CEO of your own lead generation software company, just follow our battle-tested guidelines and rake in the profits.