I have been a full time online entrepreneur since June of 2017. Since I was old enough to have my own computer, I have been trying different methods for making money online. The idea of pulling money out of thin air by using the internet has always fascinated me.
My early ventures for making money online were not successful. I would guess that I have tried and failed at close to a dozen different online businesses. Thankfully, I have now found a few money making ideas that have actually worked for me. The good news is, none of them involve a rich prince sending you money through email!
I will be sharing those with you now as well as money making ideas that have worked for close friends of mine!
So, let’s get into it!
If you prefer watching videos, here you go…
1. Start A YouTube Channel
You know that phone sitting in your pocket? Or the one you are reading this article on? Well, that phone has a camera and a mic. Did you know you can make some serious money as a YouTube personality?
I have been doing YouTube videos since October of 2016 and it is hands down my favorite way to make money online. It does require you to put yourself out there, but if you have an outgoing personalty and thick skin, this could be a great way for you to make money online.
What you need to understand is that there is a massive amount of effort involved with building an audience on any platform! In fact, it took me over 7 weeks to get my first 100 subscribers on YouTube.
Once you build a large following, the money to be made is honestly unbelievable. One of my friends, Graham Stephan, put together a video showing his YouTube earnings.
Here is how much money you can make on YouTube…
2. Affiliate Blog
And now, we move on to my second favorite method for making money online! A lot of people think that blogging is dead, but that could not be farther from the truth. Blogs have been around for a very long time, and I do not see them going away anytime soon.
When I am talking about starting up a blog, I am not talking about a blog where you write about your day and include what food you ate. What I am referring to is an authoritative, niche specific blog.
Take our blog here for example. Investing Simple is a niche specific blog that covers personal finance and investing. I don’t write articles about avocado toast or my vacation to Vancouver. I create engaging blog posts about money, personal finance, investing, credit score and a variety of other topics!
You can make money from a blog in a number of different ways, but my favorite method is affiliate marketing. To explain this simply, you get paid for making referrals to purchase a product or a service.
If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing, check out our 5,000 word guide on affiliate marketing for beginners!
Again, building up a successful blog requires a lot of hard work. Take Jeff Rose for example. He has a personal finance blog Good Financial Cents that he has been building for the last 10+ years! While he does make a lot of money with this blog, he has invested thousands of hours into content creation.
Here is a great video by Jeff Rose on how to make money with a blog…
3. Make Money On Instagram
In June of 2018, I purchased an Instagram account called Investing Simple. Included with this package was a blog called Investing Simple as well. That is how I came to acquire this brand and start this blog!
Now, a lot of people might be wondering why I would purchase an Instagram account. When I tell them I paid close to $10,000 for it, they think I am a complete nutcase! The truth is, there are a lot of different ways to make money with an Instagram account.
P.S. don’t forget to follow @InvestingSimple on Instagram!
I make money with this page in a few different ways. First, paid shout outs. Brands and influencers will pay me to post something on my feed or story. Second, affiliate marketing. I refer traffic to brokerage companies through swipe up stories and earn a commission in the process. Third, I refer traffic to my blog. Most of the traffic for this blog comes from the content I share over on the story of Investing Simple!
There are countless ways to make money on Instagram. Earlier this year, I did an interview with Josue Pena over on my channel. He runs an Instagram marketing agency that is bringing in over $100,000 a month!
Check out that interview here…
4. Review Products You Already Own
Are you a guitar aficionado? Do you know a lot about headphones or kitchen gadgets? One of the best ways to make money online is to review products that you already own and are using. Believe it or not, you are probably an expert at a certain category of products. What if you could review these products, talk about what you like and don’t like about them, and make money in the process?
Now, let me take this a step further. What if you could partner up with Amazon, refer sales to them and earn a commission in the process? Amazon pays thousands of people just like you and me for referring traffic to the online store. If someone makes a purchase within the 24 hours that you sent them, you earn a commission!
This is known as the Amazon Associates Program. When I first started making money online, this was one of the first avenues I explored. I got out my camera, filmed reviews of products that I already owned and was knowledgeable of, and uploaded them to YouTube!
Now, I didn’t make a killing with this but it was a great learning experience for me. I still make money through Amazon Associates, primarily by recommending books. If people purchase a book through my link, I earn a commission!
If you aren’t comfortable with getting in front of a camera to film a product review, you could create a review blog instead! One of my close friends Odi Productions created a headphone affiliate blog known as Recording Now. On this blog, he reviews headphones and recording equipment and refers sales to Amazon. Easy money!
Here is a pretty comprehensive video I did talking about Amazon affiliate links…
5. Do Gigs On Fiverr
I am sure we have all heard of this money making idea before. You post gigs on Fiverr and earn $5 (hence the name “Fiverr”) in the process. Here’s where it gets interesting though… there are a lot of people charging more than $5 for their professional services on Fiverr!
I’ll admit, Fiverr does not have the best reputation. I have purchased gigs before where the quality was very poor, but at the end of the day you get what you pay for. I have also spent $200+ on gigs before that have been exceptionally good! As someone who spends $500 or more a year on freelancing gigs on Fiverr, I can tell you that there is a lot of money to be made on this platform.
You might have to start out charging just $5 for your gigs in order to get some reviews, but once you have a dozen or so reviews you can increase your price! As you build trust with the community on Fiverr, a higher price for your gig is justified.
In fact, for top freelancers there is Fiverr Pro. Some of these gigs go for $1,500 or more! If that doesn’t get you motivated to post some freelance gigs on Fiverr, I don’t know what will. Go ahead and make some money!
The Penny Hoarder did a great job writing a guide on how to make money on Fiverr.
6. Creative Writing
Are you a good writer? The truth is, most of us aren’t! Personally, I feel that I am much better on my YouTube videos. I do enjoy writing though, so I write one or two articles a week for the blog.
So who writes the rest of these articles? Currently, I have two creative writers working for me! That’s right, even if you are the worst writer in the world you could still have your own blog by leveraging the talent of other people. Or, if you are the greatest writer in the world, you could have others pay you to create content for their blogs!
Here is a tip; the more specialized you are, the more you will earn!
If you are a expert in a certain field, and a great writer, that is a winning combination. Sites like Upwork and Fiverr allow you to post gigs or services for hire. People looking for creative writers often start their searches at these two sites!
Looking to brush up on your writing skills? Here are some great tips…
7. Virtual Assistant
In every business, there are some tasks that you enjoy doing and some that you absolutely hate doing. For me, one of the tasks that I hate doing is SEO optimization of my blog. Thanks to the internet, I was able to hire someone from across the country to handle the SEO for my blog!
This individual is known as a “VA” or a virtual assistant. These virtual assistants have become a vital part of the way online businesses are run today. Ask anyone running an ecommerce business. Most of them would not be able to do it without a team of these virtual assistants working for them behind the scenes!
Your strength is someone else’s weakness. Become a virtual assistant and help business owners with the day to day tasks behind the scenes!
8. Public Notary
Now, this isn’t technically an online business but you can advertise this business online. One of the easiest ways that you could make some extra money on the side is to become a public notary.
There are a number of different sites like 123 Notary that allow people to find a public notary in their area. Some of these are paid listings while others are completely free!
Most notaries are charging between $40 and $60 for their services. In order to be a notary public, you have to pay a fee for testing and pass an exam. Here is more information!
9. Sell An Online Course
Investing Simple is affiliated with Teachable.
Ready to demonstrate how to write the perfect resume? Knit a sweater? Read tarot cards? Buy a car? Balance a checkbook?
If you are an expert at virtually any topic, you could package that knowledge up into an online course and sell it to others! This was one of my largest sources of income in 2018. The way that people are learning things is changing. More and more people are looking to learn new skills online!
Setting up the curriculum will take some time, as will marketing your course, but once it is up and running you will be able to earn passive income based on the number of students that enroll.
Ryan Scribner, one of the blog authors, offers a free course all about building a successful online course or membership site. You can enroll here!
This is one of the best ways to make passive income. Once the course is completed, you just collect the payments! Hosting sites like Teachable will handle the rest. There are countless examples of people who are making $100,000 or more with an online course.
Take Tai Lopez for example. In this video, Tanner J. Fox estimates that he does close to $90,000,000 a year in revenue from his online courses and coaching!
10. Create A Membership Site
On the topic of creating an online course, another great option is to create a membership site! Some things are better taught through a course while others are better taught through a membership site. With a membership site, you charge members a set fee on a recurring monthly or yearly basis.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you were creating an educational program that shared healthy cooking recipes. You would be better off creating a membership site, as you would be regularly adding more content and sharing new recipes.
Sites like Teachable allow you to create a membership site with ease. One of the best parts about membership sites is that you have a general idea of how much you will be making each month!
11. Being A Flipper Or Reseller
In my opinion, this is one of the EASIEST ways to make some extra money online. The concept is really simple. Purchase items that have high resale value and resell them on sites like eBay!
Think about college textbooks for example. Most college students are not going to take the time to create an eBay account, take photos of their textbooks, list them on eBay, package and eventually ship them out. What if you were able to purchase textbooks from college students in cash and resell them online? By putting in the extra work, you could easily make a 20% profit margin or more as a reseller!
Another example of this is picking items at thrift stores like Salvation Army and Goodwill. Simply go to these stores with your smartphone and scan items to see what they are selling for on eBay. Most people working at thrift stores have no idea what these items are worth. Since they are donated, any amount they can get is profit. It is easy to find money making flips at thrift stores.
A third way you could do this is by going to garage sales. Again, people just put arbitrary prices on their unused items. Find items with high resale value and flip them!
Here is a video of Gary Vaynerchuk (shocking, right?) talking about how to make money online as a flipper…
12. Coaching, Tutoring Or Consulting
This money making method has been around for a very long time. If you are an expert in a certain field, you can make money teaching others. You might be saying to yourself that you have no skills that you could teach, but you don’t have to know as much as you think!
Consider college or high school students for example. If you excelled at a certain subject in school, you could simply tutor students in this subject! Don’t feel like leaving the house? Simply do this over Skype or Zoom.
The way people are buying things is changing. Actually, let’s be honest, it has already changed. Young people in particular are doing more shopping online than ever before. Amazon Prime subscriptions are now more common than a landline telephone in a household in the United States.
Thousands of people are taking advantage of this trend by getting involved with ecommerce. This could be selling items on Amazon, creating your own store on Etsy or dropshipping on Shopify! There are countless ways to make money online.
One of the most popular ways to make money online these days is by dropshipping. Essentially, you are selling products that you are never putting your hands on. You build out a website, run ads to get traffic to the site and then fulfill the order.
For example, many people are creating a Shopify store where they can sell products from AliExpress. Keep in mind that it will take weeks if not months for products to ship from China, so you want to be transparent about this on your site!
A better way to dropship is to ship the products to the United States first and pay for fulfillment services. This will significantly reduce the shipping time.
14. Run Facebook Ads For Businesses
One of the BEST opportunities today in my opinion for making money online is to learn how to run Facebook ads. Digital advertising is going nowhere but up as more and more businesses ditch traditional advertisement methods each year. The truth is, digital advertising like Facebook ads is just more effective.
Take a billboard for example. If you put up a billboard and spend $5,000 on it for a month, you will get thousands of eyeballs on that ad a day. But how many people are actually interested in your product or service? With this type of traditional advertisement, there is no way to determine who is looking at your ad or who followed through with it.
With Facebook ads on the other hand, you can build audiences of EXACTLY who you want viewing your ad. On top of that, you can also determine how many people clicked the ad and followed through with a meaningful action on your site. The opportunities with Facebook ads are endless!
So, why should you care? Even if you are not a business owner yourself, you can help business owners by setting up Facebook ads for them! Business owners should be focused on one thing; running the business! They don’t have time to worry about testing, running and optimizing Facebook ads.
Check out this interview I did with Kevin David to learn more…
15. Create And Sell An Ebook
This is one of the old school methods for making money online, but it still works today! Personally, I prefer making online courses (money making idea #9) as the profit margins are higher. You can still make some decent money selling ebooks though!
Selling paperback books is annoying. Who wants to deal with physical products these days? Selling a digital product like a course or an ebook is a great way to earn passive income. Once you take the time to create the ebook or course, you just keep on selling it!
Personally, I have never tried this. The Writing Cooperative put together a great guide on how to sell your first ebook. Check it out here!
16. Build ClickFunnels Funnels
Back in November of 2018, I hosted my first live event in Dallas, Texas. Now, I am not telling you this to brag. The reason why I am sharing this is because I had to use ClickFunnels to create a sales funnel for that event!
After an agonizing hour of trying to figure out this platform myself, I went on to a Facebook page for ClickFunnels and put up a post in search of someone who could build a funnel for my event. I found someone relatively quickly, and he agreed to build us a sales funnel for $200.
It took him about a day, but that was easy money.
If you are well versed with programs like ClickFunnels, you can get paid good money to simply build funnels for other people! All you have to do is simply advertise your services for free in Facebook groups or online forums.
Here is a video Kevin David did that talks about how to make money with ClickFunnels…
17. Build Manychat Autoresponders
This idea is very similar to #16, but there is another new program out there that is extremely useful to small businesses and influencers. Manychat is an automated messenger bot for Facebook Messenger. As open rates for email marketing efforts continue to decline, services like Manychat are becoming more popular.
If you become an expert at building these messenger bots, you could advertise your services in Facebook groups, forums or reach out to businesses and influencers directly and offer to help them set up this powerful tool!
Here is a Manychat tutorial for those of you that are interested…
18. Get Free Traffic From Quora
For those of you who already know what Quora is, skip this paragraph. For those of you who don’t keep reading! Quora is an open forum where people can both submit questions and answer questions for others. Let’s say, for example, I was looking for some ideas to make money online! I could go on Quora and submit a question that says “What are some ways to make $100 a day online?” and other people could answer. (Hint: this is actually a question I answered on Quora!)
But… why should you care?
Believe it or not, Quora can serve as a great source for free traffic to your site or business! Let me run you though a example. Let’s say you have a consulting business (money making idea #12) where you help small business owners with staffing. You could go on Quora and find questions that are already out there that you could answer!
On Quora, you are allowed to include links to your own site, your LinkedIn and even your email. You want to make sure your posts are extremely valuable, otherwise you will get flagged as spam.
So, in case you aren’t connecting the dots, here is the run down. First, you find questions in your niche being asked by people on Quora. Then, you answer those questions adding a tremendous amount of value. Finally, you add your contact information at the bottom where people can learn more about you.
And BOOM! Now, potentially thousands of people could read your answer. If done correctly, this could generate free leads for your business or free traffic for your site.
19. Invest In The Stock Market
Okay, I know this one is a stretch, but there are thousands of people out there making $100 a day or more on average through the stock market. One of the most common ways is through dividend income. Dividends are payments to shareholders that are typically paid out on a quarterly basis.
Consider a stock like AT&T. This is a company that currently pays a dividend of around 7%. That means for every dollar you invest in this company, you will get back seven cents a year in the form of dividend payments. Now, it is important to remember that dividends are never guaranteed. However, companies like AT&T have been paying dividends for decades, so it is a pretty sure bet.
In order to average $100 a day from dividend income, you would need to be earning $36,500 per year. Assuming AT&T continues to pay a dividend of 7%, an investment of just over $500,000 would earn you that income. While that probably sounds like a lot of money for most readers, that is a great goal to aim for long term! Dividend income is one of my favorite methods for making money because it is completely passive. You simply invest in a real company and collect a portion of their earnings!
Looking to learn more about investing in the stock market? Here is our free guide.
20. Email Marketing
And finally, we have this old school method for making money online. While open rates on email marketing activities are getting lower and lower, there is still potential to make money here. In order to build an email list, you need to offer something of high value for free. Typically, this is some kind of free guide or course.
Once you build up an email list, there are countless ways to make money with it. You could leverage affiliate marketing, sell your own course, sell a membership site or sell your own online coaching services just to name a few examples!
Email marketing is a great addition to an existing online business. There are very few businesses that I can think of (actually, none!) that would not benefit from ongoing contact with their customer base.
Every year, there are more and more ways to begin making money online. The best piece of advice I can give you is to find one thing that you enjoy doing and stick to it! Those who dabble with different money making ideas often have “shiny object syndrome” where they constantly jump from one idea to another. There is no secret out there when it comes to making money online. The closest thing to a secret that I can come up with is that money is made by sticking to one thing for a long time. Have patience and see the long term vision for what you are building!