Regardless of where you are in your journey of trying to learn more about how to make money online, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed and maybe even a little confused. Maybe you have run across hundreds of options to choose from, or maybe you have even found a few people telling you there is only one path to real success.
I have been making money online since 2007. I started researching my options long before that. You have hundreds of legitimate options to choose from. Some may require an investment. Some you may be able to start for free. Some opportunities may be working for a big company. In some, you may be working for yourself.
Today, I want to break down some of your options into a more easy-to-process manner. I’ll give you a short introduction and then a list of links to other posts I have written where you can learn more about the topic.
The most important thing you can do for yourself while learning how to make money online and from home is to take action. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in learning that you never make the first move towards making your dreams come true. Educate yourself, but take action on what you have learned.
What are the benefits of making money online?
There are so many reasons people choose to work from home:
- A more flexible schedule to allow for taking care of children or aging parents
- Being able to travel
- The opportunity to create an income you desire regardless of your experience or education
- Save money on childcare
- More independence to work on projects that are important to you
- A more flexible schedule that allows for volunteer work
- No more office politics
- The ability to work with your internal creative clock instead of against it
- No more commute time
What do I need to make money on the internet?
When it comes to landing – and keeping – a work-at-home job, there are a few basic tools you should definitely have in your bag. Here are my top picks:
A quality computer and other hardware.
If you want to work from home, you need to have a computer – and a few other things too. When you first start out as a remote worker, you may not have a lot of capital to pour into buying the latest hardware. That’s okay; just make sure that you buy smart.
Think about the type of jobs you hope to land – unless you’re a graphic designer, you probably don’t need the snazziest iMac or MacBook around. Purchase a new or refurbished computer that will last you for some years and has sufficient specs to keep up with changes in office suite software and Internet-based apps.
Read product reviews before you buy. Decide whether a desktop or a laptop is best to suit your needs (Ex. You will likely need a desktop to get a customer service position. On the other end of the spectrum, proofreading can be done on a tablet if necessary.) And, while you’re budgeting for new hardware, don’t forget to factor in a good headset – many remote jobs require them. (To increase your marketability, you can also add a decent mic and an all-in-one printer. Or even a foot pedal if you’re going into transcription.)
A functional self-management system.
Working from home takes a lot of self-discipline. Before you become a remote worker, make sure you have a good system for keeping yourself organized and on task. Use whatever works for you – make a bullet journal, organize your duties on Trello, keep a detailed Google Calendar with Calendly for setting meetings. Just make sure you have a self-management scheme that keeps you going.
A comfortable workspace.
Many work-from-home jobs that you find will require you to sit at your computer for long periods each day. So it’s super important that you have a comfortable space to work! Even if it’s just a comfortable chair pulled up to an old table that’s the right height, or a spot on your couch, put some thoughtfulness for your future self into your home office. Your body will thank you. (Oh, and make sure it’s in a quiet spot!)
Keep your data secret and safe.
The Internet can be a dangerous place – and, with more sensitive data being digitized by corporations, ensuring you’re working with a truly protected Internet connection is a top concern. You can improve your online security by working through a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Some companies you work with may already have one in place, but you can register to use one from home as well. It’s really just good sense in 2017! Check out PC Magazine’s write-up of the best VPN services to learn more.
Companies that Hire for Work from Home
There are so many large companies that hire remote workers to work online. We are talking about everyone from small mom-and-pop shops that can’t afford the overhead of office space and health insurance to Fortune 500 companies like Amazon and Apple. (Yes. Those companies actually hire people to work from home!)
The larger the company, the more requirements and prerequisites they likely have in place. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Even though you may need a newer computer, they may be offer health insurance and a full-time schedule. There’s always a trade-off. Know that more scheduling freedom and flexibility and less management oversight may mean lesser pay or no benefits.
Below are some great posts filled with companies that may be looking for you! Some will have a nice mix of industries; others will allow you to dive deep based on your experience and interests.
- 150 Real Work from Home Jobs
- Stay at Home Jobs
- Virtual Assistant Jobs
- Online Jobs for Teens
- Part-Time Work from Home
- Online Tutoring Jobs
- Proofreading Jobs
- Search Engine Evaluation
- Nursing Jobs from Home
- Jobs for High School Graduates
- More Part-Time Work from Home
- Work from Home in Customer Service
- Online Jobs for Teachers
- Companies with More At-Home Job Openings than Most
- Jobs That Pay Weekly
- Make $10 a Day Online
- Work at Home Employee Positions
- Where to Find Writing Jobs
- Easy At-Home Opportunities to Make Extra Money in Retirement
- Find Flexwork at Home and Abroad
- Teach English Online
How to Make Money Online with a Home Business
Maybe you don’t want to work for someone else. Maybe you want total control over your schedule and your future. That’s cool too. Home business opportunities are plentiful.
The below list of posts focuses on great business ideas that may require an investment. You may be purchasing a business kit for a replicated business model like Chloe + Isabel or you could be investing in inventory to resell such is the case with Amazon or eBay. Regardless, there is something for everyone.
- Chloe + Isabel
- Selling on Amazon
- Sell Books on Amazon
- How to Make Money on eBay
- Home Business Opportunities
- How to Make Money Blogging
- Become a Personal Concierge
- Work from Home Ideas
Make Money Online without an Investment
Perhaps you are short on cash already and don’t have the extra capital to invest in a business opportunity. You still have options. Freelancing is a great way to put your skills to use and you can often start with what you have, even if that’s just an old desktop and reliable internet connection.
- How to Become a Virtual Assistant
- Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners
- Proofreading Jobs
- Editing Jobs
- Social Media Manager
- Search Engine Evaluator
Easy Ways to Earn Extra Money
This next category is one of my favorites. And, it applies to almost everyone looking for a good side hustle. Why? Because it is something everyone should be doing regardless of whether they are looking for a little something to earn a few pennies during commercial breaks that requires minimal effort or they are looking to create a full-time income from home. These ideas will allow you to maximize your profits with very little time investment.
- Passive Income Ideas
- Sell Photos Online
- Ways to Make Money at Home
- Ibotta Review
- Swagbucks Review
- Apps that Pay You Money
- Get Paid to Watch Videos
Ways of Making Money Online that You May be Overlooking
When it comes to ways of making money online, our minds usually head straight to things like customer service for a company such as Amazon or blogging – because that’s what everybody is doing. Right? Well, there are so many options in between that you may be overlooking.
Some of the ideas we are talking about today will allow you to use your knowledge, interests, and experience to make money. Because these are areas you know, it may not take much to get yourself set up for success.
Sell Your Knowledge
Our first overlooked opportunity is selling your knowledge. In this instance, we are talking about creating a course or eBook that you can make available for purchasing online. Because of the automation available today, you may be able to put in the work once when creating your packaged information and then enjoy those checks coming in for months or years to come.
If you are in need of immediate cash, this is a project you will want to start on the side as the return may not be immediate. That being said, this is a passive income idea you should definitely take advantage of. Who doesn’t want to make money while they sleep or travel?
- In a past post, we talked to Darrell Gurney who has had over 1,000 students enroll in his course on Udemy. This is a course he charges $200 to take.
- We have also talked to ladies earning a full-time income selling digital products from travel guides to eBooks on Amazon and e-junkie.
Get Paid for Your Referrals
I love referral and affiliate marketing. It’s where the vast majority of my income comes from these days. Even if you aren’t a blogger, you can get in on the action as well. You can get paid to refer your friends to a wide variety of legitimate services. While there are many companies like StichFix that will give you store credit for referrals, we are focusing on those that offer cold, hard cash today. Keep in mind, you will need to be signed up for the program yourself to take advantage of the program. But, you shouldn’t be referring people to things you don’t use anyway.
- Ebates has long been one of my favorite services and they offer an awesome referral program. This service pays members cash back on their online purchases – and some in-store purchases now. When you refer your friends, you will earn $5 per person when they make their first purchase of $25 or more. They also offer some stellar bonuses if you can refer a number of people. And, they offer a $10 gift card for new members.
- Ibotta is another great cash back program that your friends may want to join. This one offers rebates on groceries. We all need groceries. You get paid $10 for every two friends you refer. You will also get a $10 bonus when you sign up.
- Swagbucks is a program to consider if your friends and family want to make a little extra cash doing things like surveys or watching videos. You will earn 10% of their earnings once they are on your team. And, you will receive a $5 bonus when you sign up.
If there are programs you use and love, take a look around their website for a referral or affiliate program. You will often find a link at the bottom of the website. Don’t spam your friends. Keep it classy.
Help Others Do What You Do (coaching & consulting)
There are so many ways you can make money helping other people succeed and reach their goals. Depending on your background and education, you may be able to offer services as a business consultant, wellness coach and more.
- The founder of coach.me told us that they have had coaches earn up to $7,000 in just one day. Though that’s likely out of reach unless you have an engaged following already, you may be able to get in on some of their other offerings.
Sell Your Knowledge II (writing)
Maybe you don’t want all of the maintenance that comes with creating and upkeeping courses and eBooks. Maybe you don’t mind writing about your interests, but you just want to be done with it once it’s completed. Don’t worry. You’ve got so many options when it comes to freelance writing and many pay pretty well.
- Here is a list of sites that pay $50 and up for unique articles and blog posts.
- Here are over 200 ways you can get paid to write everything from greeting cards to online ads.
- Shauna Huston shared with us how she makes extra money offering resume writing services on Etsy.
- Holly Johnson shared with us how she earns six-figures writing personal finance articles for websites.
Sign Up for Focus Groups
If you like sharing your opinion on products, services and issues, you may be able to make some money with online focus groups. I consider surveys and focus groups two very different things. Most real focus groups are more formal and involved than simply selecting checkboxes. Many require a phone call or video chat is performed online. You may even find some in-person paid focus groups in your area by looking on Find Focus Groups.
- Real Ways to Earn has a list of 17 companies here
- The Penny Hoarder has some additional opportunities listed here
Get Paid for Your Feedback (usertesting)
Focus groups aren’t your only opportunity to get paid for your feedback. Website testing is also a fan favorite around here. In this position, you are giving your feedback on the usability and overall appeal of a website. This is just a little side gig as there isn’t a ton of work available, but it pays good. Most sites pay $5 to $15 for what usually equates to 20 minutes of work. Sign up with several websites for a better chance at receiving more testing opportunities. You will find a list here.
Work at Home Job Search Tips
Now that you know where you want to work, you need to apply. Be aware that the competition for remote positions is high. For every one job opening, there may be hundreds or thousands of applicants. But, don’t let that deter you! You can’t get a job if you don’t submit an application. Plain and simple. No one is going to magically show up on your doorstep offering you a great gig. You have to go get it.
Recommended Books & Courses
- Visit my recommended reading list
- Career Step: medical transcription & billing and coding training
- Popular work-at-home courses
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