This article was co-authored by Michael R. Lewis. Michael R. Lewis is a retired corporate executive, entrepreneur, and investment advisor in Texas. He has over 40 years of experience in business and finance, including as a Vice President for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. He has a BBA in Industrial Management from the University of Texas at Austin. This article has been viewed 8,430,932 times.
Real estate can potentially earn you more money than the stock market. Over the long term, investing in the stock market will earn you an average annual return of 7%, adjusted for inflation, according to a number of studies. DiversyFund can’t guarantee how its investments will perform in the future — no one can — but historically, it has earned an annual return of 17% to 18%.
Manuscript Editor. Looking for a longer-term engagement? The self-publishing boom has created an unprecedented demand for manuscript editors – specialists who help writers organize and sharpen book-length works before publication. Depending on your clients’ budgets, manuscript editing can be lucrative, though it’ll likely take time to build your reputation to the point that you’re working with accomplished writers. Entry-level opportunities abound on reputable freelance platforms and with niche publishing houses.
If you’re a skilled worker in a specific niche, like marketing, design, or software development, there are specialty marketplaces that cater just to you. These are amazing places to make money online as you know that the people visiting them are looking specifically for the skills you have. Check out places like 99Designs or Dribbble for designers, Cloudpeeps for marketing and SEO professionals, and TopTal, Crew, or Gigster for high-level software developers. Once you’ve built up your development skills, you can begin building a brand for yourself as a higher-value consultant and start charging brands for larger projects like implementing an entire WordPress security overhaul or migrating a website from http to https.

Instead, go with a self-hosted site (like my blog here is)—this means your blog will be hosted on your own server and you’ll have full control over it. There are tons of highly reputable, affordable companies you can choose a web hosting plan with to get your website online, like Bluehost, A2 Hosting, Dreamhost or one of these monthly web hosting services.
26. Services – You can offer a paid service, such as life coaching, blog coaching, goal setting or financial planning. Just be sure to investigate all the legal implications and make sure you’re not claiming to be a professional if you’re not one. With a service like this, you’re basically using your blog to sell yourself. You’ll need to convince people that you’re worth buying and then be able to back up your claims once they purchase your service.
But first, a caveat: Meal sharing platforms operate in a legal gray area. The food service industry is heavily regulated, and many jurisdictions make it all but impossible for home cooks to profit from their passions. At a minimum, you need to make sure you comply with all local health department directives and obtain all applicable licenses before you begin inviting diners into your home.
Get samples. When you first start out as a freelance writer, it can be hard to get work without any published samples. However, it is possible to get quality samples if you are willing to do some writing for free. First, you can publish content on your own blog or website. Also, you can write guest posts for someone else’s blog. Finally, you can write blog posts for free in exchange for a byline.[14]
Another vehicle-related passive income opportunity is your home’s parking space. In crowded cities like Chicago and Boston, parking spaces are valuable commodities. If you’re fortunate enough to own or have guaranteed access to an on- or off-street parking space, you can earn money by renting it out to folks visiting or passing through your neighborhood.
You can find plenty of translation jobs on general freelance platforms like Upwork, but the quality of opportunities on nonspecialized platforms tends to be uneven. Earning potential also varies widely. Entry-level, nonspecialized translation work often pays less than $10 per hour, while highly technical jobs can pay more than $50 per hour. Generally speaking, you’ll earn more as you gain experience, improve your fluency, and attain vertical-specific credentials.
Pets. Dogs and cats complicate short-term rental arrangements. It’s hard to give a visitor free reign over your place when you’re worried about them inadvertently letting Fido or Fluffy out when they come home in the middle of the night. At a minimum, you should disclose the fact that you have pets, lest an allergic tenant leaves a toxic review on your otherwise pristine online listing.
Start With Freelance Copywriting Platforms. When I first started working as a freelance writer, I was shocked to discover just how many freelance writing jobs were available for the taking. You can find work on dozens of reputable websites, from general-purpose freelance platforms like Upwork to writing-only portals such as Textbroker. These gigs don’t pay handsomely – starting writers earn little more than $0.01 per word on Textbroker, for instance. And the writing is often monotonous: lots of product descriptions, ad copy, press releases, and throwaway blog posts. But they’re great for getting your foot in the door, learning what editors expect from freelance writers, and becoming a better writer overall.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you’re on call whenever you have a guest and you’ll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, consider offering your guests paid add-ons, like Lauren Gheysens’, Royal Day Out in London, England—where she gives visitors a local’s only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
If you’ve developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there’s likely a local business owner who’s willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with my guide to launching a freelance (consulting) business and then use my breakdown of crafting an effective cold email to convince local small business owners to hire you. You can even get hired as a consultant by putting your work online and publishing helpful content (take my roundup of honest Bluehost reviews as an example) and prospective clients will want to hire you for more personalized help if they like what they see.
Better yet, you can even upload your own book to one of the world’s largest book sellers: Amazon. With Amazon self-publishing, you set the price, retain the rights to your book, and get access to Amazon’s massive audience. For every sale, you keep 70% with Amazon taking the remainder as a fee. If you want to get started, check out Tara Gentile on CreativeLive as she shows you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Who knows, you might just write one of the best business books or blogging books of the year!
Be Consistent and Professional. Even if you’re just trying to earn a few extra bucks per week, approach your freelance writing gigs with the same consistency and professionalism you’d apply to a career-track position. Clients respect diligent, reliable writers who do what they say they’ll do, when they say they’ll do it, and regularly produce work that exceeds expectations. If you keep up your end of the bargain, clients should reward you with more work. As you get busier, you can safely leave the ones that don’t appreciate your efforts in the dust.
There’s more. Well over half enjoyed flexible scheduling that allowed them to stop and start work at their discretion. As competition for millennial talent heats up and advancing innovation enables remote work in an ever-widening collection of white-collar (nonproduction) jobs, employers are offering ever more flexible work arrangements that allow many employees to perform their duties from just about anywhere.
If you’re a college student or have graduated within the last year or two, chances are good that you still have some textbooks that you could easily sell for a few extra bucks. Usually, when you sell back textbooks, you get a tiny fraction of what you paid for it. I remember getting around $40 for a $300 physics textbook that I sold back to my university bookstore — a horrible deal.
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.
The first follows the startup path we outlined above: You have a disruptive idea for an app or piece of software, you validate the idea with real customers, and then raise money to hire developers or a development studio to build, launch, and scale your software. If you’ve done everything right, your software will be accepted to the Apple and Google Stores and you’ll make money every time someone downloads it or pays for a premium feature.

The best places to find online tutoring jobs are platforms that focus specifically on tutoring, such as Education First, VIPKid, and Chegg. Both pay set hourly or per-session rates based on tutors’ chosen subjects – for instance, computer science tutors generally earn more than English tutors. Chegg starts tutors at $20 per hour and claims prolific tutors can earn upward of $1,000 per month. Before you sign up, make sure your computer meets your chosen platform’s system requirements – you’ll need a reasonably fast processor and real-time video-chatting capabilities. In most cases, you’ll also need to earn a TEFL certification which can be done through Premier TEFL.

If you have to pay it now, you have to take out a loan, ask for an advance on your salary or borrow money from friends or family. If it can wait, the amount will accumulate interest until you pay it back. If it's just one month out of twelve, and the other eleven you always have money left over, there's not really anything to worry about. Put the left over money aside to pay this month's expenses. Other than that, there are only two things you can do: spend less, or earn more. Sell your car, move to a smaller place, get a roommate. Cut whatever expenses you need to break even. Try for a second job, a raise, or sell something you make.
Though your answers must be honest and make sense, you don’t need to devote your full attention to online surveys – music to multitaskers’ ears. And you can invest as much or as little time as you like. Individual surveys can take anywhere from a couple of minutes to 20 or 30 minutes to complete, and you can do as many or as few as you want in one sitting.
Research Costs and Set Fair Starting Prices. Before setting prices for each item, research your local Craigslist website and nearby yard sales to get a sense of how to price them. Remember that many buyers will try to haggle, so set prices a bit higher than your bottom dollar but not so high you’ll scare off first bids. Roughly 10% to 15% higher is a good rule of thumb. Consider bunching low-value items, such as old CDs, into lots of five or 10.
Opportunities for Advancement. Entry-level tech support work usually pays between $10 and $20 per hour, though blue-chip employers like Apple can afford higher wages. If you’d like to do this work long-term, look for gigs that offer opportunities for advancement into the ranks of lower and middle management – preferably without an attendant shift to on-site employment.

Cleaning and Damage. Online rental platforms let you charge cleaning fees so that you aren’t financially on the hook for the full cost of a post-tenant professional cleaning. Most cover the cost of renter-caused damage too, provided you properly document and report it. But financial redress only goes so far. You still have to deal with the inevitable investment of time and energy to fix the damage or clean up the mess.


Short-term rental platforms handle most of the thorny logistical considerations that keep regular homeowners from becoming landlords, including payment processing and security deposits. And after a string of highly public mishaps in their first few years, they’re increasingly safety-conscious, so the likelihood is high you’ll be able to verify the identity of every person who crashes at your place.
If you're a crafter, the internet is your showcase — and not only at auction sites like eBay. DeWitt Young of ObviousFront.etsy.com has had success turning her crafts into cash online. She has a booth at Etsy.com's Craft Mall, an amazing place where thousands of artisans and crafters offer their goods for sale. DeWitt turns salvaged parts from old TVs and VCRs into artsy necklaces, earrings, and figures. Colleen Jordan of wearableplanter uses 3D printing to create her necklaces called wearable planters.
You don’t have to snag an adjunct professorship at your local university to share your knowledge with your peers and earn some cash in the process. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, you can cut out the middleman and teach classes directly to lifelong learners without leaving the house. Here’s what you should keep in mind to begin and maintain a successful at-home teaching enterprise:
If you’re looking to build a new career online or test your way into launching a small business, the first ten ways we just ran through are some of the best, long-term plays for making money online. However, for a lot of people (myself included), you probably want to find other, quick online business opportunities where you can start seeing a return faster.
The best places to find online tutoring jobs are platforms that focus specifically on tutoring, such as Education First, VIPKid, and Chegg. Both pay set hourly or per-session rates based on tutors’ chosen subjects – for instance, computer science tutors generally earn more than English tutors. Chegg starts tutors at $20 per hour and claims prolific tutors can earn upward of $1,000 per month. Before you sign up, make sure your computer meets your chosen platform’s system requirements – you’ll need a reasonably fast processor and real-time video-chatting capabilities. In most cases, you’ll also need to earn a TEFL certification which can be done through Premier TEFL.
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.
Holly told me she started writing content in 2011. At the time, she still worked a full-time job but created content online part-time to supplement her income. Over time, she was able to double and triple her rates until she could quit her full-time job to write. These days, she makes bank as a freelance writer and teaches others to do the same via her online course, Earn More Writing.
Find work. When you first start out, you may have to accept work writing about a topic you don’t find all that interesting. You must keep an open mind and be willing to accept work that may not be in your desired field. However, as you continue to write, you not only learn about more topics, but you also build your reputation. With time, you can be choosier about assignments you want to accept.[13]
If it’s not clear yet, information and expertise are two of the most consistent and lucrative ways to make extra money online. If you don’t like talking on the phone, you can sign up to get paid to answer professional questions on JustAnswer. There are thousands of questions being asked every month from people looking for help from lawyers, doctors, mechanics, vets, and more. To apply, you’ll need to supply your professional verification, resume, and a form of identification.
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.
Walk around your neighborhood or town and I’m sure you’ll see tons of great local businesses with terrible design. However, with increasingly easy-to-use tools like Adobe Illustrator, Venngage, Stencil, and Visme, just about anyone with a creative mindset and a good amount of motivation can start making money online by being a graphic designer for local companies.
Advertising and Promotion. You won’t have a huge budget to promote your at-home business, so use cost-effective outreach targeted to your most likely customers, such as fliers in local craft and clothing stores, a basic website (preferably with booking and payment portals), a referral network, and friends and family willing to sing your praises. Also, consider joining the American Sewing Guild for $50 per year. It’s a great way to meet other enthusiasts and get your name out there.
What are the best ways to make money right away? While a search online when you're in need of some fast cash will produce millions of results, not all will be legitimate. It's up to you to filter through the so-called noise. These 32 strategies will help put you in the black, even if it's in a very small way. Once you are, resume planning and focusing on the bigger picture. 

The following are a variety of legitimate ways to earn extra income, get a second job, launch a full-time solo career, or start your own small business – all from the comfort of your own home. Some of these opportunities build upon hobbies that you might already pursue without economic gain; you’ll find many in this article from Top Trends Guide on income-producing pursuits.
Jumping into the field is relatively simple. Most prospective transcriptionists start by taking an online transcription course that teaches them the skills necessary to perform common job duties. Companies, such as Transcribe Anywhere, offer classes that teach students the basics of general, medical, or legal transcription, and just as importantly, how they can go about finding clients for work.

Etsy is the most popular online marketplace for handmade goods and crafts. From bracelets to phone cases, rings, furniture, and more, Etsy is perfect for anyone who is creative and wants to sell their handmade creations. As long as you have the space, this can make for one of the best ways to make money online that can be started with a very limited investment. Consider these 5 steps to starting an Etsy store, from Handmadeology.
Instead, go with a self-hosted site (like my blog here is)—this means your blog will be hosted on your own server and you’ll have full control over it. There are tons of highly reputable, affordable companies you can choose a web hosting plan with to get your website online, like Bluehost, A2 Hosting, Dreamhost or one of these monthly web hosting services.
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