Just about everyone could use a little extra cash in their pocket and would like to earn money online on the side.
Often people turn to the internet to start making extra money by creating a profitable side hustle, but knowing how to get started can be difficult and confusing.
Maybe you have a specific skill, but don’t know how to monetize it. Maybe you’re a jack of all trades looking to earn money doing odd jobs every now and again.
But where do you even begin to find work?
No matter what your background, there’s a way out there for you utilize your current skills and knowledge in order to earn extra cash online.
Whether it’s freelance writing, investing, or even filling out surveys, there are countless money making opportunities you could get involved with.
Here, we’ll walk you through some of the options we think are best for those just starting out and even some advanced strategies as well.
Keep in mind, new opportunities pop up everyday.
The world is in a constant state of change, so always be on the lookout for up and coming opportunities.
Just make sure you don’t get what they call “shiny object” syndrome. This is when you chase anything and everything that looks like a good idea and because of that, you never master any of them.
Let’s get started.
First… Make The Most Of The Money You Have
The easiest way to make money is to reinvest (instead of spend) the money you already have. If you have some cash saved up and it’s just lying around, consider putting it to better use.
If you’re broke. Consider looking at your spending and saving habits as a place to start.
If you simply redirect $50 into a savings and investment account, then you basically just made $50 for doing nothing but altering your spending habits.
Below are some investment strategies and ideas you can start with. Some of the strategies are riskier than others, but they’re all worth your consideration.
I’m not a financial planner and don’t pretend to be.
As with all investments, you should learn before you try to earn.
If you go into any investment blind to the potential risks, you’re just gambling- not investing.
1) Invest in Prediction Markets
Websites like PredictIt allow you to make predictions on current events.
If you think that you have any particular knowledge about a specific political situation, invest in it.
The way it works:
You buy a share for a specific price.
If you make the correct prediction, you get a dollar for every share you buy.
If your prediction is wrong, you don’t get any money.
For example, you can buy a share saying that X person will run for President.
If they do, you’re given one dollar. If they don’t, you receive no money.
Be smart and wise about what you invest in. You’re not here to gamble, rather, you want to use what you know and have read about to make some extra money.
Okay, so I admit, this one is kind of like gambling, but it’s still better than blowing the money because at least you could get a return on it.
2) Invest With an App
There are many investment apps out there, most of them not worth trusting.
A good one to start off with and try would be RobinHood, which has low fees, is beginner-friendly, and has a clean and simple interface.
You’re not here to turn into a star broker, so don’t think you’ll turn huge gains on every investment.
But it can be a good way of adding a few percentage points to the money that’s just sitting in a checking account. It can also be an easy entry point into the world of trading.
Try to minimize risk… and don’t get greedy.
Acorn is another app we recommend for those looking to invest.
It actually connects to your bank account and every time you make a purchase, it invests the ‘spare change.’
This is a great “set it and forget it” strategy.
Most of us waste our spare change anyway.
For example, if you buy something for $4.74, the app will invest 26 cents automatically.
26 cents might not sound like much, but it adds up over time. Have you ever cashed out a cup of quarters you found in your car? It adds up quicker than you might think.
The investments the app chooses typically have a pretty good track record and it’s a hands off way of getting a little more money invested everyday.
It won’t make you a lot of money quickly but it’s a great way to save and invest without feeling like you are. Over time you’ll be happy to find that your pockets are a little fatter than you expected.
3) Earn Money Online by Writing
Freelance writing can be an exciting way to make a substantial amount of money online, IF you’re strategic and willing to work hard.
But building up a solid freelance reputation takes time, no matter what kinds of writing jobs you’re working on.
Be patient and know that you may not get that many job offers right when you start. They key is to build up a reputation or build your own online presence.
Here are a Few Good Places to Start as a Freelance Writer
This is the largest freelance market out there, and it’s not even close.
No matter what you want to write about, there’s probably someone looking to pay for it on Upwork.
There’s also a lot of people looking to be paid for their skills so make sure you over-deliver every time because competition can be fierce.
You’ll find copywriting jobs, ghostwriting gigs, resume rewriting, blog writing, and many others.
If it involves writing, no doubt you’ll be able to find a job for it on Upwork.
Again, (and this cannot be stressed enough)… Be patient.
Finding good and consistent work is going to take you time and the jobs you do at first may not be the ones that you’re passionate about.
Who knows, you may eventually write for this site.
We’ve used Upwork on a few occasions to get things done.
As mentioned earlier, UpWork is the largest market for freelance writing. That means there’s lots of competition. Getting jobs will be hard at first, but don’t let it discourage you.
Early on, be open to doing pretty much any job you can find.
Everyone wants to write 600 word posts on sports that pay $500. Unfortunately, those won’t be the offers you get. That doesn’t mean the offers aren’t worth your time.Be Realistic. Everyone wants the freelance writing gig that pays $500 for 600 words... High paying jobs just don't go to the amateurs, you must prove yourself first. Click To Tweet
Develop your skills by working different types of jobs. You’ll make yourself more attractive as a candidate and stand a better chance of getting hired.
If you do happen have a rare skill or specialized knowledge, emphasize it. There are thousands of freelancers out there, so you’ll need to showcases to your employers why you’re different.
It should also be said that you can also look for jobs outside of just writing, but still in that sector.
For example, you may want to consider proofreading and editing. These are great ways of getting money, building your profile, and most importantly, establishing relationships with clients.
In addition, learning to be a good editor will help your work in areas such as copywriting and content creation.
3.2) Write an eBook
If you’re a little more ambitious, think about putting pen to paper and trying to get an eBook published (or self-published). You’ll need to promote it too.
There are thousands of eBooks out there, most of which barely make any money.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.
You’ll have something for your portfolio and you can pat yourself on the back for becoming a published author. Plus, if you market it right, there’s no limit to how much you can make.
That being said, this isn’t the best option for most writers, especially those just starting out.
You’ll be spending a lot of time on a project that is unlikely (not impossible) to net you any serious amount of money up front.
Writing and becoming known as a freelance writer requires patience. In the beginning, build your freelance portfolio by working smaller jobs and building relationships with clients in various fields.
Yes, basic work and grinding it out is a lot less romantic and sexy… But you’ll make more money taking this approach and develop more as a writer while you’re at it.
Your romantic vampire space opera e-book can wait.
3.3) Start a Blog
This a popular option, but don’t let its popularity fool you. Monetizing a blog is hard work and many blog authors fail to turn it into online income. You should know this when you start.
But if done correctly, a blog can be an additional revenue sources and a useful part of your freelance portfolio, even if it’s not making you money directly.
You can attract interest from potential employers and develop good writing samples that can help you get jobs.
Just make sure you’re realistic about what your blog will do for you.
Most likely, it won’t be an end in itself, certainly not right away. Use it as a tool to build a good portfolio, practice your writing, gain confidence, and to attract leads.
If you can make some ad revenue from it while you’re at it, then that’s an added bonus.
I recommend following Brandon Gaille (a.k.a. the blog millionaire) if you want to learn how to earn money blogging.
He takes a very scientific approach to ranking blog posts and even goes into how to monetize, when to monetize, and which ad agencies will create the most income for you.
For example, ads slow your blog down and aren’t worth it in the beginning. We follow Brandon’s advice and have no ads on our site. Once we surpass 25,000 monthly visitors, we will qualify for one of the higher paying ad companies.
At that time we will consider applying and generating ad revenue, but it’s really not worth considering until then.
As a blog owner, your business is completely scalable.
That means there is no limit to what you can make.
This is our main strategy for building our business and if you have the patience, writing ability, and technical skills (or are willing to learn them) then I highly recommend blogging as one of the best ways to make money online.
Blogging revenue can include direct and indirect sources.
Direct Sources of Blogging Revenue
- Money from ads
- Income from Selling Digital Goods (ebooks and programs)
- Sponsored Content
- Income from Selling Services (consulting, coaching, etc.)
Indirect Sources of Blogging Revenue
- Affiliate Income and Sales
- Network Marketing Income (blogging is one of the best ways to build a network marketing business)
This is one of the most famous job boards for freelance writing and that means ProBlogger has a ton of competition as well.
Not only is it a great place to start out if you don’t have a portfolio, but if you’re confident and experienced, it can be a good step up to finding better gigs.
Again, this cannot be emphasized enough. Be patient and do not oversell.
It can be tempting to try to get a job by overstating (or outright lying) about your experience.
You likely still won’t get the job, could hurt your reputation, and could damage your self confidence. Approach it like Upwork and be ready to build up your reputation over time.
Other Options for Making Extra Money Online
Writing online is an easy entrance into making money from home and, with time, it can become one of your primary sources of income.
However, it requires a lot of hard work, time, and commitment. Sometimes you may want other approaches that will help you earn money online without so much blood, sweat, and tears.
These strategies probably aren’t going to be bringing in thousands of dollars every year, but they’re all good ways of making a little money online quickly and without much effort.
5) Take Online Surveys
This can be a good way of getting a few extra dollars here and there, especially when you have time to kill.
Websites like SurveyClub will give you daily options for surveys to take.
Payment varies widely by survey and so does the completion time.
The majority pay less than a dollar, but if you’re strategic about how you use the site, you can find some that pay a few dollars.
Be careful, though. These surveys can take more time than they are worth, especially if you have other reliable ways of making money on a minute’s notice.
They’re great for filling up short little gaps of time though. Waiting in line? Fill out a quick survey. If you get into a good habit of doing a few a day, you could take in a few hundred dollars a year with minimal effort.
If you let it stack up and save it you’d have a great little start on Christmas every year.
6) Learn How to Play Quiz Apps
If you have a particular skill with trivia, consider trying to game quiz apps.
Again, the value of this will depend on how much time you have to put in to make money. But if you’re good, you can make a few hundred dollars a year just playing a quiz game for a few minutes a day.
Try a few apps and see how you do. Work on your search engine skills so that you can find answers quickly (and no, this isn’t cheating for most of the apps).
There’s HQ, the most famous quiz app, as well as dozens of other options.
It’s a fun way of picking up a few extra dollars every day.
7) Rent your Things
This really isn’t for everyone, but if you’re open to it, you can make a decent amount of money by renting out various possessions online to people in your area.
This is great for expensive gear you have sitting around collecting dust. Have a nice guitar you promised you’d teach yourself how to play but haven’t touched in two years?
Rent it out for the day.
This is a nice way of passively adding to your income stream without much effort. And you can get started right away.
Sites like Fat Llama are a good place to start. They offer insurance so you’ll feel safer lending your precious possessions to strangers on the internet.
Another growing trend is to rent out your vehicle on Turo.
I feel that this option is going to grow in popularity in the next few years, putting a lot of pressure on the vehicle rental market.
It’s a game changer much like Uber was for the taxi industry.
8) Sell your Stuff
This isn’t a great long-term strategy for making money, but if you’re in a pinch, it’s one of the fastest ways to bring in cash.
We’re currently in the process of selling our home and we’ve posted quite a few items online. I’ve been surprised at how fast they’ve gone, the price I’ve gotten for them, and how quickly that cash adds up!
You probably have more junk in your house than you realize.
Craigslist used to be the go-to, and you should consider it (just be safe). However, lately the Facebook market has put a hurtin’ on craigslist.
I don’t even go to craigslist anymore. I just snap some pictures and post them on the Facebook market. If you want to increase the speed that they sell, find some local yard sell pages and share them on those as well.
Ebay offers more protection, but then you’ve got to ship and all that mess. But once you get out of just your local area, it opens up to a much larger pool of buyers. So you have a better chance of selling.
And there are plenty of other more specialized markets, depending on what you’re selling.
9) Test Apps and Websites
This is a decent way to make a few quick bucks.
Websites like Whatuserdo will help you find sites to test and pay you some money for your troubles.
Again, this isn’t life changing money. Don’t count on it to earn a lot, but you might be able to buy dinner every other week with the money you make here.
10) Review Products on Amazon
There are a number of people that will pay you to post reviews on Amazon. This is a great option if you’re passionate about a certain product.
I know there are some who will give a positive review of anything for the right price. We don’t endorse this, but if you so choose, you can make a few extra dollars with essentially no effort.
If you’re endorsing something you don’t believe in or have never tried though… you’ll have to live with yourself.
And maybe you’ll go to hell. I’m not sure but I wouldn’t risk it.
11) Self-Reflection Questions for Making Money Online
As you can see, there are plenty of good places to start making money online.
You should always be smart about how you work when you’re trying to earn money online. It’s also important to start with the end in mind.
If you’re planning to build an income that can replace your salary, blogging or network marketing is the way to go. If you need some cash in a hurry to float you through the weekend, try selling something online.
Anyway, here’s some advice on making sure you’re making the the most of your opportunities.
11.1) Is my time well spent?
Once you find an income stream, it’s easy to become lazy and complacent, relying on the work that’s in front of you without considering other options.
Always keep in mind how much money you’re actually making per hour doing the work.
For example, surveys can seem productive, but you may look up after a few hours have gone by and realize you’ve only made a few dollars.
You likely would have been better off doing another freelance job.
11.2) What’s the risk?
Prediction market sites like PredictIt can be a good way of making a little online income.
They can also be a great way of losing a lot of money. Remember, you’re supposed to be investing here, not just gambling.
Warren Buffet says he has one rule when in comes to investing. That rule is “never lose money”.
Make sure you’re following that advice.
Be smart, don’t get greedy, and only invest in areas where you think you have valuable insight.
Don’t know anything about Brazilian politics? Then don’t bet… ahhe-um… I mean… invest in them.
The same caution should apply to investment apps such as RobinHood.
You’re trying to earn some extra money, not stake the house on a long-shot.
Be cautious when you invest and consider options like EITCs, where professional money managers create a diversified portfolio that minimizes risk.
Investing $500 in a company that makes next-gen vaporizers may sound like a good idea… but it’s probably not.
Often when we look back on our regrets we can describe it by saying… “It seemed like a good idea at the time”.
So be careful not to make those “good idea at the time” mistakes.
11.3) Am I qualified for this?
Just because you talked someone into giving you a freelance job doesn’t mean you can do it.
Be realistic about what your qualifications and skills are, and try not to over-promise.Writing checks with your mouth that your experience can't cash will hurt you in the long run. Click To Tweet
It can hurt you in a lot of different ways.
First, you’ll spend way more time on the job than what you should (and that’s if you even finish).
You’ll waste your own time and that of the person who hired you. That’s valuable time you could have spent building your reputation or doing a job you were actually qualified for.
Second, freelancing is all about reputation.
Get a few bad reviews and you could really hurt your chances of finding more work.
One of the best ways of getting a bad review is misrepresenting your skills and experience.
Be honest and be patient. Building a strong freelancing reputation takes time.
Third, you’ll hurt your self-confidence.
Making a living doing freelance writing is hard work and it can be stressful.
You’ll doubt yourself at times, but you need to believe that you can do it if you’re going to succeed.
By trying to do jobs that you’re not ready for, you’re setting yourself up to fail.
11.4) Are you having fun?
You’re going to have to do some things you don’t like in order to earn money online. That’s just part of it.
That doesn’t mean you have to hate every moment of it, especially if you’re doing freelance work.
Just because a job pays a bit more doesn’t mean it’s the one for you.
You’ll feel more rewarded working on jobs where you feel engaged. In the long run, you’ll probably be more productive if you choose to work on what you like, rather than chasing the money.
That’s another reason we recommend attraction marketing in combination with network marketing. You can blog, vlog, or social media post about the things you’re passionate about while generating leads and building a business at the same time.
As your reach grows and your network business grows, eventually the leverage of the business model will kick in and you’ll can make substantial money doing what you love.
Again, you’re going to have to do jobs you don’t like, especially when you’re starting out.
As time goes on, you can be more selective with what you choose or use the income you’re generating to hire out the parts of your business you’re not passionate about.
I hope you found this article useful.
If you’re interested in creating a leveraged income stream with a low initial investment and low overhead costs, we’re currently building an empire and you’re welcome to apply to work with us.