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You CAN Actually Make Real Money Online – 7 Methods That Work!

Updated on August 4, 2015
SheilaSchnauzies profile image

SheilaSchnauzies is a Miniature Schnauzer rescuer, writer, crochet designer, gardener, crafter, wife, mom & friend living in Omaha, NE.

I call it my "Seed Theory" of earning money.
I call it my "Seed Theory" of earning money.

I Plant "Seeds" Every Day That Sprout Into Cash For My Dog Rescue!

First off, there are lots more than five ways to make cash free online! I'm going to share the five that I use consistently. To make my "to do" list, they have to be: 1) Free; 2) Honest; 3) Easy to use; and 4) Payable to me with Paypal. I'll share where and how to get started with my top 5 places below. You can literally be making money in a couple of hours if you're highly motivated, a hard worker, and maybe a little lucky!

I believe the way a person works is just as important as where they work. So I'm sharing with you my very simple "Seed Method" of working. It's illustrated here in the photo! Very simple - by taking an action, you are planting a seed. That seed may take days, weeks or months to sprout... but it WILL eventually sprout! And when it does, that is either income, or another type of good thing that will lead to income in some way!

My goal since I became disabled and started my nonprofit Miniature Schnauzer Rescue, Sheila's Schnauzies, has been to plant just 3 seeds a day. That's EVERY day - including weekends, holidays, and days when I feel like crap. And there have been a lot of those! But remember a "seed" can be a very tiny action like listing an ebay auction. It can also be a giant seed like writing a HubPages article like this one!

The real joy is watching those seeds sprout! You never know when it will happen, and it never fails to be a happy surprise! Checking my email is always fun because i never know what surprise is lurking in there! I might have sold one of my patterns on my site, netting me $4.95 - $6.95 in cash. It might be an ebay item I've sold. Maybe I sold one of my e-books. Maybe somebody bought a tote bag from my CafePress store. You get the idea!

Your personal interests will vary vastly from mine! Choose things to work with that you enjoy and can be passionate about. Remember the old adage, "If you do something you love, you'll never work a day in your life!"

Can't Believe I'd Never Heard This, But So True!

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

What You Will Need

To be able to work easily online, you need three things:

1) A working computer with a high speed internet connection

2) An email address you use for business only (Free ones are everywhere - Gmail, Hotmail, AOL mail, etc.)

3) A Paypal account. Paypal is getting close to the point of the universal method of payment. Every method I'm sharing here with you uses Paypal. You can get your Paypal free. All you need is a checking account to link it to.

Have You Tried Making Money Online? - Tell Us Your Thoughts!

Where Do You Stand On Making Money Online Free?

Way #1


Writing online at HubPages is my Number 1 method of planting seeds for the future for making extra income! The potential is unlimited! You can join HubPages for free. The community of users is the nicest bunch of people you'd ever want to meet! We support one another's "hubs" (What HubPages web pages are called).

Since I'm a crochet designer, the vast majority of my hubs (articles) are crochet patterns. I also write about dog rescue, gardening, and other topics I find interesting. You can write about anything you choose! I have almost 400 articles live to the world now. Every one of those offers items for sale that I've chosen through Amazon and eBay. Anytime someone buys one, and they do, I get a royalty! Yay! It's a very cool thing.

Best of all, I work once and done. Then I just earn!

To get started writing on HubPages, just go to

A Word About Client Leads

It's a good idea to set up a system of tracking your new clients! My email has a labeling system, so I just label emails associated with transactions as to what they're related to – Listia, HubPages, ebay, etc. I can pull up all my Listia clients with a simple search. It's a good thing!

Way #2 - Listia - Turn Stuff Or Your Ideas Into Cash!

I discovered in 2012, and it set me on fire! I have a lot of... stuff! Go and look around at You wlll see anything and everything offered on there. It works just like eBay, except you buy things with points, not cash. You accumulate points in different ways, but primarily by "giving away" your items in listings. People then bid on them with credits. Let's say I have a sterling ring I want to get rid of. I put it up for auction there, and after 7 days I sell it for 10,000 credits. I can then bank those credits for the future, or I can spend them elsewhere on Listia. Or, I can turn them into real cash! Here's how.

Listia did one very cool thing. They opened a Rewards Store where you can trade your credits for some very interesting things, such as Amazon gift certificates! I have purchased several $20 Amazon gift certificates for 20,000 points each! Hel-LO! That's converting my old junk into cash!! Taking it a step further... I can purchase items on Amazon and then sell them on eBay. Yikes!

If you don't have anything to sell, check your family recipe box! Type up a recipe and list it for 499 points for free. Know how to do something unusual? Write it up and sell the instructions.

You can use this link to join Listia for free. You'll be glad you did!

Here's A Screen Of One Of My Listia Auctions

My Motto

"You Become What You Think About!" –me

Way #3 - eBay

This is nothing new! But I'm just telling you I use it, on a very small scale, and it brings in quite a few extra bucks. My son fondly calls it my "racketeering" business. (What a joker he is!) I've been selling on eBay for many years now. I've sold everything from crochet patterns to designer handbags to mimosa trees picked from my own tree (my most successful item, shown here!)

Whenever I feel iike it, I go thrift store shopping. If I find something of particular interest or value, I'll shine it up and put it on eBay. That simple!

Managing your expectations on eBay is the biggest challenge! You cannot expect things to sell quickly! You have to put up an item and be willing to watch it sit there sometimes for months before it sells... but at least in my case, it does always eventually sell. If you're looking for fast cash, this can be a good option IF you are willing to settle for a small markup/profit.

Words of advice.... don't buy an ebay store unless you are planning to do a lot of volume. In that case, it's worthwhile. Otherwise, start small just as a regular seller. On eBay, you live or die by your reputation. Underpromise and overdeliver. Do what you say you will do or better, in other words. Always represent your items accurately. Take advantage of eBay's frequest free listing specials. Keep your listing costs as low as possible - you don't need to buy fancy borders and bold print. You DO need to make sure to title your items very well, because that's how buyers will find your item. Offer free shipping if you can afford to, because many people (like me!) love to click that "free shipping only" button when they're searching to buy!

The Most Important Thing

Never, never, NEVER give up! You will have slow times, but never stop planting seeds every day!

Search For What You Want On Amazon!

Way #4 - CafePress

CafePress is my longest-term method of making money online, and my overall most consistently successful (before I found HubPages, of course!)

Homework: Go and check out my store, you can find it here. Then come back and read this. (In this case, it's far easier to show you than to tell you many aspects about CafePress).

CafePress prints a multitude of different items ranging from apparel to houseware items and everything in between. Users have their own store. You name your store, put up a logo for it if you want, and then you set up one or more sections for your store. Within a section, you choose which products you want to offer. Then you decide what image you want to put on each one. (If you want to put one image on multiple products, you can do that and very quickly!)

CafePress has a set price for each item and you can decide to either add a percentage markup or a dollar amount markup for all your items. The markup is the amount you will be paid when someone buys your item.

You will have a link provided to your store, which you can publicize in your emails, blogs, etc., to drive traffic to your store. But lots of people just show up at CafePress on their own to look for stuff! Let's say you put a saying on all your items that says "I Love Dogs." Then when a shopper searches for "Dogs," or "Love Dogs," they will see your store and your items and be able to buy them! You get a slightly smaller percentage profit from these marketplace sales, but they're still very good.

Words of advice - to get those market place search sales, you have to tag your images when you first upload them so they'll show up when the customer searches. If you don't, no one will ever find your stuff.

You MUST own any image you put on items at CafePress. That being said, you don't have to be a graphic artist! A couple of years ago they added a cool design-your-own graphic feature where you can do cool things with text and photos. Just take advantage of that tool and you can come up with whatever you need.

I promote my CafePress items on my blog and on all of my free crochet pattern pages. I'm seeing an average of a sale every couple of days! That is such a beautiful thing!

To get started, just go to and sign up free!

What Do You Think Of My Seed Method Of Working? - Come On, You Can Tell Me!

What Are Your Thoughts On This Pattern?

See results

Way #5 - Blogging & Affiliate Marketing Through Google

(Or another provider)

I'll tell you how I set up my stuff. You can choose many other providers that do the same thing. I chose Google because... they're Google! I wanted someone big and reliable where I could hopefully get support if I needed it.

To get started, you need a website or a blog. Let's set you up with a blog, because it's free and easy. Go to You'll see a bunch of tabs across the top. You want the one that says "More." Under that is "Blogger." Go there and it will have all the information for getting your own blog on Blogger. Once you have a blog set up, it will have its own URL, or link, and that is the link you will use when you set up your affiliate marketing.

What IS affiliate marketing? Well, in a very simple answer, companies pay you money when you place the ad they provide on your webpage (or blog) and somebody either clicks on it, or buys something from it depending on the arrangement. It's a great thing! You get paid centrally through Google by whatever means you set up with them - check, etc.

To get started with Google Affiliate Network, go to:

Way #6 - Earn Cash For Shopping You Do Anyway Online!

Like most folks I do a bit of my shopping online. I was thrilled to discover that I could get paid in cash rebates for doing so! The site I chose to use is Pretty simple - you set up a free account. Every time you prepare to do shopping you start at their website. Type in the name of the merchant you want and chances are good they participate in ShopAtHome. You click on your store's name and you are taken to their website. You need do nothing else from that point, just shop as usual. You'll get a confirmation email stating your purchases were credited. When you reach a cash earnings threshold (I set mine at $25) ShopAtHome mails you a check. It's really that easy!

There are many other sites that do the same exact thing, such as

Here's A Screen Of My Blog Showing The Affiliate Ads I Set Up

Way #7 - Earn Cash Thru Online Activities!

I signed up ages ago with a website called Again, you open a free account with them. You set up how you want to be paid (check, reward Visa card, etc.) your cash. You can earn cash for clicking on marketing emails, taking surveys, playing games, participating in marketing offers, and much more. You're not going to get rich quick doing this but the money does add up if you are persistent about participating every day.

Multiply Your Chances Of Success By Cross-Promotion!

Let's say I am writing a crochet pattern article on HubPages. On that article I will include links to purchase my "Hooked on Crochet" items at CafePress. I'll also include a link to my blog. On my blog I will promote the free crochet pattern on the crochet pattern page. At my CafePress store I will have on the main page links to my blog and my main crochet index at HubPages. If I sell the original prototype made from my design on ebay or at Listia, I will include links to the pattern and the blog there. (Even though ebay doesn't allow direct links to websites in listings, they can't stop you from spelling it out a different way – like when I say get all my free crochet patterns at People will get that they have to add the usual http://www at the beginning.

Another important thing I do with every free crochet pattern article I write is to announce the link to it on four different online crochet groups I belong to and participate in. That gives me my main source of traffic to my hubpages index. On every one of my crochet articles, there is a link to my Crochet Coffee Shoppe, which is a resource page for crocheters. On that page, there is a link to my for-sale patterns at And so on... and so on!

Your email signature is another important place where you can do some promotion. My email sig contains links to my Schnauzer rescue, my main crochet index page, my Craftsy pattern store, and my CafePress store. So every one of the thousands of emails I write every year contains an itty bitty little free ad.

So you don't crochet... you can use these same methods no matter what your interests! Just think about how you might be able to apply them to your unique product or service!

Anthony Robbins On YouTube!

Please Say Hello In My Guestbook! - Nice To Meet You!

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    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      4 years ago from USA

      Great concept!

    • suepogson profile image


      5 years ago

      Excellent ideas - great lens!

    • suepogson profile image


      5 years ago

      Excellent ideas - great lens!

    • knitstricken profile image


      5 years ago

      Well, Hello, Guestbook! Your Lensmaster has curated a mighty fine lens here! :o)

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 

      5 years ago from Florida

      What a great lens. I didn't know there were so many different ways to market your stuff. Thanks for the information. I'll certainly put some of your ideas into action.

    • giovi64 lm profile image

      giovi64 lm 

      5 years ago

      Fantastic lens!

    • choosehappy profile image


      5 years ago from US

      Great ideas!

    • HelloKittyCat profile image


      5 years ago

      Hi, and thanks for sharing your tips. Great work with the puppies - Kudos to you!

    • Daphne2013 profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you for the information!

    • CornellMarCom LM profile image

      CornellMarCom LM 

      5 years ago

      Great lens. I will let you know how it works for me. Thanks!

    • suzeesthunder profile image


      5 years ago

      This was a wonderful read! I'm thankful for any tips I can find.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Very nice informative lens! : )

      Thanks for sharing!

    • msnz profile image


      5 years ago

      Beautifully compiled lens with great info...

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Beautifully presented informative lens. Thank you!


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