In today’s competitive job market, most people are realizing that they need to make money online somehow in order to survive. For many people, however, it can be difficult to figure out how to go about making money online without actually having a job that pays you cash on the barrelhead each month. Fortunately, there are several ways to make money online without ever working another full-time job again! Here are seven of the best ways to make money online while you sleep.
1. Sell Something
Selling your wares is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to make money online. If you have a hobby or skill that could turn into a profitable side business, consider selling it online. While there are plenty of marketplaces for both physical and digital products, don’t forget about platforms that allow you to sell directly to customers. You can also use services like Etsy or Ebay as an online shop, charging a commission after each sale.
You can also make money online by selling your expertise. If you’re skilled in a certain area, such as business or interior design, why not start a consulting business in that area? Sites like Fiverr and Upwork are dedicated to connecting businesses and professionals who need services with those who have them. And if you’re more technologically inclined, you can sell your own software on sites like Software Gourmet or The Monteith Group.
The best way to make money online is by combining different sources. If you’re not sure where to start, consider some of these options: teaching a skill, becoming an affiliate marketer, selling products and services or managing others. How much money you can make from each source depends on your expertise and effort, but if you’re willing to try a few different ways of making money online, you’ll have access to plenty of options that can become lucrative in time. In fact, it’s possible for many people to make a full-time living from their digital business alone — all without leaving home.
2. Sell Information
Rather than offering products, try selling information related to your niche. You’ll be able to make money faster by providing valuable information instead of trying to develop a whole product. This approach also provides you with an extra benefit—it helps build your brand as an expert in your industry. Just remember that building an audience takes time, so stick with it and continue developing your site even after you start getting traffic. The more time you spend on it up front, the easier it will be for you when you’re ready to monetize. At first glance, selling information products can seem like a great way for making money online—and it is!
The downside of information products is that you can only make money on them when people buy them. The most popular methods for doing so are through lead generation and advertising, which often requires professional assistance and is generally not affordable for people just starting out online. For example, with lead generation, companies pay marketers a one-time fee in exchange for contact information (such as an email address) about those interested in a product or service. Once you have that information, it’s your job to get customers on your own. The catch here is that customers can unsubscribe at any time—the kind of customer who purchases an information product likely will change their mind fast if they’re bombarded with other offers.
Lead generation is a difficult, expensive way to generate revenue online. Advertising isn’t much better, unless you already have a popular site with an engaged audience. That’s where content marketing comes in. This approach works by creating valuable content that attracts your target audience and convinces them to buy from you directly. You don’t even need an information product at first; a simple website can be enough to start building your brand. Use SEO strategies like keyword research and internal links to get started, but be patient with results; it takes time for search engines like Google and Bing to discover new sites so they can rank them in their search results pages (SERPs).
3. Become an Amazon Associate
Amazon is another site that pays you to link to their site. You can use a special bookmarklet or a browser add-on called an affiliate link. If someone clicks through your affiliate link and buys something, you’ll get paid a percentage of whatever they spent. This is not nearly as much money as it used to be—around four percent—but it’s still easy money if you know what you’re doing. Because Amazon acts like Google when it comes to tracking your clicks, in order for your Amazon Associate account not to get banned, don’t click on your own links more than once every 24 hours and try not being greedy with them—if someone clicks through on two of your links over one day, toss those two links out.
Becoming an Amazon Associate is super easy. Just go here, click sign up now and sign in using your existing Amazon credentials. The next page you land on allows you to edit your profile and select topics that interest you. Once that’s done, all you have to do is look for links on other sites and use your special bookmarklet or browser add-on when clicking through them. If someone buys something after clicking through one of your links, then boom: money in your pocket! Easy! Remember though: don’t spam it with every link you see, because if Amazon catches you doing that they’ll ban not only your account but any related accounts as well.
4. Share Your Expertise
There are a number of sites where you can contribute your time and knowledge to help others—everything from Quora, which was just mentioned above, but also other Q&A platforms like Stack Exchange or Yahoo Answers. These sites generally pay in cash, but some of them also offer additional perks such as AdSense revenue or Amazon gift cards. As with everything else on this list, be wary of scams. Most experts use their real name and photo when answering questions (so long as they aren’t posting anonymously on a professional site), so if something seems suspicious, it probably is.
You can also sell your knowledge as a consultant, either on a project-by-project basis or for ongoing jobs. This can be done through sites like Upwork, Toptal and Guru. Project-based work is often short term—anything from a few hours to several months—but you usually get paid more per hour, which makes it better for supplemental income. On top of that, many consultants have access to clients they’ve had before and can continue working with them again in future projects.
For ongoing consulting jobs, you’ll need access to a stable pool of clients. A great way to find them is through sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. There are plenty of consultants who actively seek out new business opportunities on these sites; they answer questions, share their expertise and even make introductions. If you can attract potential clients here and help them solve problems, you can offer your services as a consultant directly.
Another source of steady work is past colleagues from previous jobs or schools.
5. Write Guest Posts
One of my favorite ways to make money online is by writing for popular blogs. This can be a great way to generate income from your website and you don’t even have to own one. When I first started blogging, I signed up for a service called Textbroker where you could write articles on just about any topic and get paid $20 per post. You had to work at it, but I was able get quite a few sites posting my content, which led me making a full-time income from all those posts alone!
While Textbroker may be a great platform for you, there are many other ways you can make money writing guest posts. My favorite website for finding high-paying blogging jobs is Simply Hired. In addition to traditional blogging platforms, they list freelance jobs that usually pay more than $20 per post. You’ll even find some sites on there that will pay you over $50 per post! If you’re serious about earning some extra cash, I’d definitely recommend giving Simply Hired a try. They list job opportunities for all different types of freelancers as well, so it’s worth checking out if you’re looking to get your hands dirty with online content writing in any capacity. Just sign up with your email address and zip code and scroll through their listings every day or so!
6. Create an App
Apple’s App Store and Google Play are filled with apps that make money. You can easily find a wide range of apps that provide services, products, or digital goods for sale. A small investment of time and money can help you quickly identify app ideas that could become passive income generators. For example, search Google Play or Apple’s App Store for terms like read, watch, or listen. Then look through popular apps to see if any fit your niche. If you find several viable options, try creating your own app! Whether you just want a quick side hustle or you’re aiming for long-term passive income, it helps to have a side business idea in mind first.
Apps that don’t require a long-term commitment or regular use can also be profitable. For example, one of my apps is a simple solitaire game that runs on autopilot. I built it during one Sunday afternoon while watching football, and I haven’t worked on it since. The app earns several hundred dollars per month in passive income through in-app purchases (the equivalent of tips for digital waiters). Another app I created generates $15 per month without any work at all—it just sells an e-book that generates sales on its own. You can create similar apps to sell physical products, like mugs with your company logo on them; these are easy enough for almost anyone to build as well!
Apps that earn revenue from advertising are another common business structure. They’re not hard to build and can sometimes be profitable. For example, I made a simple app that shows ads from Google AdSense in a side widget (an area usually used for apps that integrate with social media). The app earns about $200 per month—not bad for something I built over an afternoon while watching TV! However, you need lots of users to make these types of apps worthwhile; if you don’t have thousands of daily active users, they won’t generate enough ad views or sales commissions to cover your monthly server costs.
7. Become a Tutor
Another side hustle that many people engage in is tutoring. Tutoring may take place one-on-one or in small groups, and is usually done remotely with a student or group of students on an online platform. The student pays for services and you’re paid a set rate, either by a student or as an independent contractor through a site like Tutor Doctor. You can also create your own tutoring business—which will require purchasing your own materials to offer classes and marketing yourself as a tutor. If you choose to go down that route, you’ll have more leeway over how much money you make based on what you decide are your rates per hour for different subject matters.