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Check out my Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog for my free 20,000 word tutorial to starting a blog, promoting your blog content and building it into an income-generating business today. After that and once you’re ready to take your blogging journey seriously, consider investing in your education with one of the top blogging books or blogging courses.
Pro tip: If you’re planning to start a side hustle or a small business, make sure you have the right tools. Start by setting up an LLC through LegalZoom. This will help separate your business assets from your personal assets. Next, open a business checking account through Novo (you’ll earn a $25 bonus with a new account). Finally, Freshbooks, a cloud-based accounting software, will allow you to invoice clients and track all your expenses.
Understand how a niche website works. A niche website focuses on very targeted, specific information. The content must be specific, useful and interesting to your target audience. Successful niche websites get anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 visitors per month. You build content on a particular keyword, and you make passive income with Google Adsense or through affiliate links.
UserTesting’s website testing gigs do require focus and rigor, but they’re far shorter and don’t need to happen simultaneously, making them much easier to fit into your schedule. They don’t pay quite as well as game testing, though. If you’re diligent, you can reliably earn $20 per hour, though the overall work volume is sometimes thin. You need a decent, relatively new computer or smartphone to complete tests.
Gengo. Gengo is a beginner-friendly platform that covers a range of subjects and project types. Pay tends to be on the low side, but payment is frequent and predictable – it comes via PayPal twice per month. Experienced and prolific translators can become Senior Translators, who command higher pay rates and are responsible for evaluating and editing entry-level translators’ work.
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.
If you want to help shape digital products in their early stages, joining an online focus group or answering survey questions is a great way to make extra money online. They don’t pay as much as some of the other options we’re highlighting in this list, but you can join groups on sites like Survey Junkie, User Interviews and InboxDollars that pay out through PayPal, check or even Amazon gift cards. You’ll be asked to provide a bit of information about your personal demographics (age, location, etc…), but after that you can get going making money online through completing surveys.
Companies like Uber and Lyft offer a great opportunity to make some quick cash. You'll need a clean driving record, a fairly new car and the authorization to work wherever it is that you live. If you have all of those things, you can work when it's feasible for you, whether that's in the middle of the day during rush hour, or in the wee hours of the night on a weekend. The choice is yours.
If you have experience with marketing, SEO, or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work making money online as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results.
One thing I am guilty of is finding one thing I like and sticking to it without ever trying anything new. I’ve caught myself doing this with cash back apps over the past year or so. I used to exclusively use Rakuten because it was easy and usually got me cash back, but now I make a point to do a quick “comparison shop” between cash back tools to make sure I am getting the best deal available.
Create a Home Office Space. First things first: You need a professional setup that helps, not hinders, your prospecting activities and writing work. If you don’t already have one, set up a home office – anything from a spare bedroom to a corner of your living room – with a comfortable chair, spacious desk, ample lighting, and physical storage space for papers. Buy a reliable laptop with a reputable word processing suite, like Microsoft Word, and video chat capabilities via Skype or a cloud-based phone system. Strongly consider investing in a printer. Upgrade to the fastest consumer Internet package your Internet service provider offers. Purchase a lightweight cloud accounting program such as Quickbooks or sign up for a free version. You’ll need it once you have more than a few clients. Note that many business-related expenses qualify for tax deductions.
Flipping a website is a lot like building and monetizing a personal blog. The key difference is that when you flip, you’re working toward the clearly defined short-term goal of selling the site for a tidy profit. You can and should earn money through advertising and affiliate relationships along the way, but you’re not looking to hold the site over the long term.
You could easily do home organizing for people, an industry that has gained a lot of popularity since the debut of Netflix's hit series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. If you're a tidy and organized person yourself, and you're good at organizing spaces, why not offer your services to people around you? You'd be surprised at how many people, even on your own social media feed, might take you up on doing something like this.
As with online teaching, to maximize your chances of success as an online tutor, stick to subjects you know well. Use a reputable and high-visibility venue, structure your sessions sensibly, price your services in line with the market, follow scheduling best practices, and promote yourself enthusiastically (or choose a platform that does so on your behalf).
One of the quickest and easiest ways to make money online is to do surveys. You can use sites and apps like Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, or Opinion Outpost to fill out questionnaires and get paid in cash or other rewards, like gift cards. However, it can take a while to find a survey that’s a good match for you, and you may need to make a certain amount before you can get your payout.
Do you constantly come up with witty one-liners? Do you dream of the days of Mad Men-style advertising? If you’ve got some branding chops or just come up with imaginative copy, there are lots of opportunities to make money online through company naming and slogan contests. If you think you have a knack for names check out the Squadhelp platform where you can earn a little extra money online by naming brands, services, products, company slogans and even help out on the logo design front if you’ve got the chops.
Other common opportunities include insurance claims processing, roadside assistance routing, and customer assistance for health care consumers. LiveOps packages all of these functions, plus a healthy dose of inbound sales, under a single roof. Keep in mind that there’s a modest startup cost – less than $100 – involved, and you’re not compensated for training. So LiveOps isn’t suitable for at-home workers who need cash immediately.
The most common way to earn cash back on purchases is with a cash-back credit card. But while a credit card is a great tool for building credit, there are many legitimate arguments against using one. If your spotty credit or personal preferences preclude you from applying for a credit card, don’t sweat it. You have plenty of other opportunities to earn cash back on purchases made in the comfort of your own home. Look into these options:
6. IZEA – IZEA works in addition to a blog or on its own. You get paid to blog, tweet, take photos and take videos. The pay is mostly based on your following, so if you want to make money with your tweets, you’ll need to grow you Twitter following. Likewise, if you want to make money with blogs, you’ll need substantial blog traffic (more on blogging below).