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.
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 Leslie Samuel's great guide to selling eBooks online or follow 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 of this year!
You’re already an online shopping ninja, so it just makes sense to get money back for something you’re going to do anyway. Ebates is one of the biggest names in cash-back sites that reward you for shopping with their retail partners. For Ebates, that includes biggies like Walmart and Amazon. Ebates pays you back a portion of your spending through a check or PayPal and it’s free to use.
Some of the “gotcha” job offers from the past include check-cashing schemes, mystery shopping, medical billing “jobs” that require you to purchase expensive computer software, and craft-making jobs that ask you to pony up the cash for materials before you get started. And let’s not forget about the famous envelope-stuffing scam that was nothing more than a pyramid scheme designed to siphon money from as many people as possible.
Like talking to people and helping walk them through problems? You can bring in extra income as a contract customer support superstar for companies all over the world. Due to the 24/7 nature of online businesses, companies are looking for people in different time zones to help deal with issues that their users are having. Better yet, if you have experience in service or retail you’ll be perfectly suited. Check out indeed or the other remote job boards I listed earlier to find opportunities.
Specifically, this subreddit has a great, stickied list of sites and services you can use to make a little extra cash. I recommend reading through it in its entirety and thinking about what makes the most sense from a time/reward standpoint—as well as your personal preferences. You might actually enjoy filling out a ton of surveys, say, over dealing with researching and finding new Mechanical Turk projects to complete.
I am also a pragmatic person, so I know that philosophy will only get you so far. If you are at the beginning of your journey here’s what you do. List 10 things you are most passionate about. Then list 10 things you are most skilled in. Rate those from 1 to 10. Then take top 4 (2 best from each side) and try to find the best opportunities. Are there any best sellers in Amazon? Are there any keywords with low keyword difficulty, but large volume of searches? Are there any recurring affiliate commission products? Imagine if you did your absolute favorite thing, and getting paid to do it. That’s what you are aiming for, a “hell yeah”!”
Recurring memberships are a win both for me and for my members — they get access to a ton of great materials at a low price. Offering a product at a low price makes it easy to sell, which I love because I’m a former journalist and marketing isn’t my favorite thing! Membership also provides stable, predictable income, which gives me financial security and allows me to invest in my business.
Running and charging for webinars can be a great way to build a following in your niche, demonstrate that you are an expert in your field, and make a profit. Hosting a webinar can be hard work. They need to first be promoted, provide original and valuable information, and include interactive elements so your audience can ask questions and engage with your topic. However, once you have built up a large blog following, each webinar can be extremely profitable.
For those with a large Twitter following, you can make money from your Tweets alone with Sponsored Tweets. You could be paid for sharing a business’s information, recommending restaurants or hotels, or tweeting pictures of you using or wearing products. As with all sponsored posts on social media, businesses will only be prepared to pay you to Tweet if you have a large following that you can influence. So work hard on building up a loyal fan base.
This has become a popular business model for online entrepreneurs over the past several years, and will probably just continue to grow in popularity. The best thing about selling online courses is that once you do the up-front work in creating the course and setting up your marketing strategy, you can get paid over and over again for work you do once.