Living a laptop lifestyle has many advantages and the number of ways to earn a living online are as countless as your imagination. Making money online gives you the freedom to work from anywhere at anytime.
Whether you want to make a few hundred dollars extra each month or replace a current income the potential is there. How much you earn really depends on you and your commitment for something different. I am not here to tell you that this is an easy or quick way to make money but it certainly can be lucrative if you are willing to put in the time.
So Let’s Get Started!
Following are 12 ways you can start making money online, I’ve focused on things that you can get started with quickly, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will make money overnight but you can be up and running pretty quick.
1. Create a Blog
Do you have a passion, is there something you have a burning desire to share with the world. You can blog using social media sites like twitter, Facebook, and google+, share your thoughts through pictures on Pinterest and Instagram, or you can create a website and monetize it by connecting with others that share your passion.
For instance, do you love to travel, do you have a passion around health and fitness, sports? Writing articles and giving others value from your content is what blogging is all about. You can create your own e-books to sell once people realize you have some great ideas. Or you can sell ad space on your sites. One blogger wrote that he actually made $5000 one month from Google Ads, I’m not sure how that even happened but he must have a ton of traffic, that isn’t typical but I just wanted you to see what is possible.
Setting up a blog is actually not all that difficult anymore and can be relatively inexpensive. There are some free sites to get started like Blogger.com, WordPress.org, or Blogspot.com to name a few. Or you can join a membership site like Wealthy Affiliate and get training on how to set up a blog, do affiliate marketing, or build an e-commerce site among other things.
Blogging can create income in and of itself by being a sponsored writer and getting paid for it, or it can be the platform to drive traffic to your sites where you can sell products, programs, do affiliate marketing, or sell ad space.
If you have a large social media following you could be sought out by sponsors that want you to promote their products and services.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing can also be a great way to make money by promoting and selling other people’s products or programs. You use your blog to share someone else’s product or program and get a commission if a referral goes and buys something. There are tons of ways to do this, you can be an Amazon Associate, you can sell digital products from sources like Clickbank or become and affiliate for a variety of products from sites like Shareasale. You don’t pay anything to become an affiliate, so this again is a really inexpensive way to start a business. Make sure that you are partnering with Affiliate Programs that make sense with your niche to be effective.
Commissions can be anywhere from 4% – 10% on sites like Amazon but can be up to 60% – 75% for digital products. So you can make a substantial amount of income from selling products without having to create anything or buy inventory.
E-commerce takes several forms, but what I mean by it here is that you can open an online retail store where you sell your own products, programs or services. You can also sell products where you don’t actually have the inventory and that’s dropshipping (more on that later).
With an e-commerce site you can sell services, products you create or have bought wholesale. It can be an extension of an existing site and can be created by adding a plug in like WooCommerce on a WordPress site.
You can also take advantage of sites like Shopify which has the platform to set up your store and it is ready to add products so you can start selling in a matter of minutes, they have wholesale resources or you can go to sites like SaleHoo or Worldwide Brands. You can build a whole niche around products that you promote from Amazon. There are unlimited ways to have an online e-commerce store.
Check out my store www.rightpriceretail.com to see an example of what you can do online.
Dropshipping is a way to become an online retailer without actually having any inventory. You don’t have to purchase stock or even ship items to the consumer. With more people shopping online this is becoming a great way to start an online retail business with a very low investment and less risky than buying a bunch of product and hoping it will sell.
With dropshipping you sell items on your website, on EBay, Amazon, or other sites and when a customer purchases an item you send the order and customer details to the wholesaler and they fulfill the order and ship the merchandise to the customer.
You can target a specific niche and start with one or two items to test out products and see what sells which is often a good way to start. Eventually you can sell as many different items as you like and grow your business to a size that works for you. The bigger the business the more customer service so keep in mind that there will be issues like returns, shipping issues, product issues. It is not without its problems but like any business where people are involved customer service will be key.
There are some reasons that this is a great option, more people are shopping online, low investment, no inventory to buy or store. There are some down sides too, you do give away some control since you are working with suppliers. Check out my post on Dropshipping.
You can easily create your own e-commerce website or you can go through a program like Shopify where you can be up and running and have products added in as little as an hour. They have their own suppliers. You can also seek out suppliers on websites like SaleHoo or WorldWideBrands which are paid sites but they have done the research so you can trust the suppliers. There are many suppliers and you can find them on your own just do your due diligence.
In my Dropshipping ventures I also found the method of Arbitrage Dropshipping where you sell products from stores like WalMart, Kohls, or Home Depot and mark up their price and sell on sites like EBay and Bonanza. Seems counterintuitive but peopel are willing to pay a little higher price for free shipping and good customer service.
Freelance work allows you to take on as much work as you can manage and still be able to do it on your schedule. There are sites that bring clients to you like Fivver for example or you can create a blog to give value and promote your services at the same time.
There are a lot of different options when it comes to freelancing online, writing, editing, web design, marketing, coaching, consulting, virtual assistant, administrative work, and more. There are several sites online like Fivver, UpWork, Peopelperhour, DemandMedia, these provide a means to get started.
You decide whether you want to take on a bunch of small side jobs to give you extra income or you want to find a couple of larger companies that may need bigger jobs so you aren’t constantly taking on more work or needing to find more clients. It also depends on the work you do.
6. Sell Crafts and Other Products
There are several great sites for selling some of your own unique designs. Etsy for one but there is also EBay, Bonanza, and Ebid. Many of the sites allow you to link your sites and this is becoming a great way to promote your own products and create your brand. EBay for instance allows you to place 50 items for free and you can link it with your Etsy account and import them all in a short period of time to get more exposure. Bonanza links them as well and if they sell on one site the other knows and the item is taken down. They also all have paid versions with more features but a relatively inexpensive way to get started online with selling your designs.
Learning to maneuver social media can really boost your business and is actually a must if you are trying to get the word out on your creations. Instagram and Pinterest are great for putting your products on because they are both visual sites.
7. Create and Sell Digital Products
E-books and Digital Products can create a lifetime of passive income. Once you have created the product you can sell them repeatedly and continue to generate revenue without having to put in more time. You also don’t have to stock inventory so it’s not taking up space in your home. There are no packing, shipping, or delivery fees.
You can promote and sell your products and programs from your own website or you can sell an e-book on Amazon, you can sell your digital products on iTunes or Clickbank or other affiliate sites.
You can also create courses, webinars, there are lots of options, limited only by your imagination.
You can also buy Private Label Rights (PLR) Products that are already created. You add your own spin to them and sell them for as your own, change some details, change some visuals, it’s a quicker way to get started while you are creating your own products. Since PLR is typically pretty inexpensive it is a nice giveaway product to create an email list. You could also create your own PLR Products to sell if there is a niche that you are really interested in and like to write.
Websites like Createspace can help you create and market your e-book.
8. Create a Membership Site
This is not likely where you will jump into your online ventures. You first want to get a following and become seen as an expert in your field. If you have an authority site say on fitness or heath a membership site would be an easy way to create more income. If you are giving away a lot of value on your site many people would be willing to pay more to continue to have some time with you, access to programs that go deeper into your methods.
A membership site is a great way to get recurring income, fun income that happens when you are sleeping or off playing. It isn’t as challenging as it used to be there are plug ins and plenty of places online to learn how to build websites and more.
Wealthy Affiliate is an example of a membership site, you can join for free and have access to limited information and have the ability to build two free websites, but when you become a premium member you get access to hundreds of hours of training and a helpful community of online entrepreneurs.
9. EBay Store
If you don’t want to go to the trouble of building a website, blogging, and learning the ins and outs of online marketing you could just create an EBay store.
There are multiple ways of getting income from EBay, selling products that you have made, resell items from your home or from thrifting. As I mentioned earlier EBay is a great venue for Dropshipping and you can not only drop ship from wholesale suppliers but some people have made money by dropshipping from stores like Home Depot and Walmart as I mentioned earlier. Your profit margin is less but if you get good ratings people will buy from you because they trust you even if you are a little higher in price. It is a numbers game, to make money you need to list a lot.
Although Etsy seems to be the place to list your art and craft projects, EBay is also a great platform for that. There are more sites popping up as well, Ebid, and Bonanza are two that I have run across recently, not as much traffic as EBay, but also less competition.
If you find a great item that is selling well and you don’t mind stocking and shipping it you can buy a bunch of items wholesale and sell them at whatever price you want. If it is a unique enough product you can mark up the price and make a great profit.
10. Pay Per Click Marketing
Pay Per Click or Click Per Action (CPA) is a bit like affiliate marketing. You are driving traffic to a site and get paid if that referral signs up for an email, or joins the site or takes some action. It is not as big as Affiliate Marketing so there might be less competition but as I was reading and trying to get information about it because it is less used it was also difficult to get a lot of clear information. In order to get started in CPA you need to apply and be accepted by a relevant site. This isn’t all that different form Affiliate Marketing, especially with some of the bigger programs out there, if you don’t have a lot of traffic on your site they won’t waste there time even signing you up as an affiliate.
To get more information about CPA which looks like it could potentially be a way to make money again with a low overhead, go to HTTP://odigger,com or www.offervault.com they will allow you to search CPA offers.
I am not as familiar with CPA so I encourage you to do more research if this is something that sounds intriguing, until I had started to write this blog I had not heard much about it and to be quite honest I still found it a bit confusing. I however wanted to come up with 12 options so there you go.
11. Start A You Tube Channel
You can monetize your channel by selling ad space, creating a following and sending traffic to your websites, you can have a talk show and get a commission for having people on when you create leads for them.
If you like sharing information, tend to be creative, enjoy doing videos theis might be an avenue to check out. There are so many free sites online for creating video that this too can be easy and inexpensive to get started with.
12. Complete Online Surveys
I haven’t found this to be a particularly lucrative way of making money, you can check out my blog. I had hoped to spend more time on this topic when I created my blog post but found it to be frustrating and annoying. The sites that paid well for surveys had a lot of competition and you had to basically be checking your email frequently to be accepted before they had enough survey takers.
That said there are some nice little perks to being a member on some sites and if you just like hanging out online and giving your opinion you can make some side cash get discounts and coupons, you can even be asked to try out and test new products. I am looking to replace the income from my day job so this didn’t see like it was going to get me there, I do tend to be a bit impatient though and maybe didn’t give it enough time. So check it out, Swagbucks is probably one of the biggest but if you go to my blog on taking surveys I have listed several other websites too, there are literally hundreds of sites that you can sign up for to take surveys.
In my search for even more ways to make money online I ran across a blogger who had a list of his favorite blogs. I am going to share that here because there are a ridiculous number of ways to make money online and there are tons of people talking about them, if you have some time on your hands check out this site.
The best way for successful online ventures is likely a combination of several of the above options. It would be difficult to set up a membership site without having a blog and having created a following, even with an e commerce store you will need to drive traffic to your site and although you can do that with ads and building a brand through social media, blogging is a good way of doing this.
It isn’t a cake walk to earn a living online like so many sites want you to believe. Like most things there is probably someone who was in the right place at the right time or who harnessed the Law of Attraction and the moon and the stars were aligned and they made a quick fortune.
The reality is that blogging takes time, if you aren’t a social media wizard there is definitely a learning curve and it takes some time to build a following, but it can certainly be worth it. For me the dream of a laptop lifestyle is still a driving force, so I spend my time learning and building my online sites. If any of the above ideas seem intriguing, spark some interest, there are many resources online to keep learning.
As a Wealthy Affiliate member (another shameless plug, I know) I will tell you I feel like they have one of the best learning platforms online that I have seen and at a price that is affordable. There are several though so check some out before committing.
There really are some great You Tube videos that will help you start to understand more about the process. Check out reviews before investing in products and programs, it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of how to earn money overnight, most of those are bogus. This is a job, not a hobby. That needs to be your mindset going into it if you want to be successful. Starting an online business is more than having an internet connection and sophisticated laptop or desktop. There are actually a lot of steps to take to make sure you set up your business properly. That said it can really be a lot of fun and an exciting adventure.
Another key to successful online ventures is to figure out the solution to a problem, If your focus is on how can I help someone you will be on the right track. Deicde if this is something you could see yourself doing for the long haul or if it just seems mildly interesting. The good thing again is that you can get into most of the methods of earning money online with little investment, but success doesn’t usually happen overnight.