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Top Ten Ways to Make Money Online from Home

Updated on September 22, 2016
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With the global economy still recovering from the recession, everyone could use a little extra cash to pay the rent or fund the little luxuries in life. This is where the internet can really come to the rescue: your could be making additional hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars a month by making money online from home in your pajamas.

I'm a newly minted lawyer who just finished the long process of working my way through a very expensive education (at a University that bans having employment on the side too!), and I honestly don't think I would have made it had I not researched additional income making possibilities online and gotten stuck in. I want to share what I've learned with anyone who wants to do the same, be they a stay at home parent, person with disabilities that impedes their ability to work, a student like myself or just someone who's a bit strapped for cash. All of these methods have been used by myself personally, so I can vouch for them! Let's take a look.

Make Money Online with Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing has been my lifeblood, and it's the method of making money online that I have had the most success with by far. I've even written a book about how to get started, which you can find on the right! If you have KindleUnlimited, it's completely free, so I recommend checking it out.

But anyway, what is affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is a business model: Business A wants to sell a product, but to do that they need to drive people to their website. Rather than spend a lot of potentially wasted money on advertising, they outsource - to you, the affiliate marketer. You write reviews of the products and advertise them on blogs and other content websites, and then you get a cut of any purchase a customer makes after they click your links. Easy peasy!

Here are some sites that offer Affiliate Marketing programs:

  • Amazon.com: the biggest and the best.
  • Clickbank.com: a medium-sized operation, but still has a great range of products to review.
  • Zazzle.com: a smaller operation, which mostly sells T-Shirts, electronics accessories, postcards and other small items.



My first 6 months worth of earnings with the Amazon Associates program.
My first 6 months worth of earnings with the Amazon Associates program.

Make Money Online making Videos

Here's an online revenue stream that not enough people are tapping into in my opinion: Youtube videos. They are easy to make, insanely popular, and all it requires is a bit of confidence and a willingness to be seen or heard on camera.

Think about what you are good at and consider how that can be transformed into video media. Do you love video games? Why not upload some Let's Plays or walkthroughs, easter egg clips or guides to cheats and hacks? Love baking? Don't just post recipes in text form, create a video tutorial of yourself baking! Almost any passion can be turned into an interesting video.

The most important thing about making money via videos is not to be put off by early results. It is a notoriously unstable way of making money compared to other methods - a video might be a hit and make you thousands one month, while the next you earn less than $10. A lot of content will be needed before you have a constant, decent amount coming each month in spite of natural fluctuations.

If you are looking for a good guide to getting started, I highly recommend this article at SavetheStudent.com; it set me on the right path!

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Make Money Online Writing Reviews

Another little known fact is that you can supplement your income by writing reviews for things you have just lying about the house, from cleaning products, to food, to electronics. The most popular global site for this kind of thing is Ciao, which pays a decent amount based on the number of people who read your reviews. If you live in Europe, another option available to you is Dooyoo.com, from which I've personally been rewarded with a ton of Amazon vouchers - it's a great little site.

I have two major tips when it comes to making money from Ciao and Dooyoo. The first is that it pays to be active in the community - reading and rating other people's reviews can get you reciprocal visits to your own reviews. The second is that you can post the same review on both sites, which you should be taking full advantage of if you can!

Like music? Then you need to get involved in Slicethepie! This is a website where you listen to samples of tracks from unsigned music artists and bands, rate and comment on them. Not only do you earn a decent amount of money doing this, but you are really helping struggling artists out. I've even rated a few songs from artists who later made it big - you really get the warm fuzzies when that happens.

Make Money Online Taking Surveys

Making money online by taking surveys is pretty much the first advice most people looking to supplement their income on the net get when getting started. The problem is, most survey sites are scams of some sort: they might make you pay upfront fees to take the surveys, never pay out, stop giving you surveys when you get near the payout limit - the list of ways you can be messed about is endless. That said, there are a couple of good apples out there, as I learned by trial and error.

Here are the Survey sites I have used in the past and so can vouch for:

  • YouGov
  • Swagbucks
  • iPoll
  • Cashcrate

Make Money Doing Micro-Tasks

There are lots of tasks out there that it would be wasteful to pay a full-time employee to do, but at the same time impossible to make an automated program do. This is where sites like Mechanical Turk come in - they pay you a couple of cents to complete one of these tasks, which usually only takes a few minutes. If you spend an hour or two doing these tasks (which can be pretty fun), you could be making an extra couple of dollars a day. The site that I am familiar with is Mechanical Turk, with which I had a great experience.

Sadly Mechanical Turk is US only, so I was only able to use it during my year abroad, and can no longer use now that I am back home in the UK. The European equivalent is a site called Clickworker, which I have just gotten started with and so cannot give any solid recommendations for yet. Stay tuned!


Make Money Doing Gigs on Fivrr

Fivrr is a bit of an unusual site, but at the same time one I'm surprised didn't pop up earlier than it did. The basic pitch is that it is a site where you can pay people to do anything - have their business logo painted on their face for a day, make a video saying anything, plenty of random stuff like that. As well as the more random stuff, there are more standard services you can offer on the site, with the only caveat is that it has to cost $5. If there is anything you can and are willing to do that is cheap and easy for you, then join Fivrr and offer your services to the masses!

Get Paid to Search the Web

Much like getting paid to take surveys, another common money making tool you'll find frequently recommended are 'Get Paid to Search' sites, which pay you a small amount of money for using their toolbar or search engines to make your usual searched. So far the only one of these sites I've had any luck with is Swagbucks, so that is the only one I can really recommend.

The benefit of Swagbucks is that it also provides opportunities to earn points (Swagbucks) via other means, such as surveys, watching videos and playing games. Those points rack up quite quickly, and can be exchanged for Paypal money or vouchers for Amazon and other stores. You can find my tips and tricks for succeeding with Swagbucks here.

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Make Money Writing eBooks

eBooks have made accessing the publishing market alone fantastically simple, and if you enjoy writing fiction in your spare time, have a lot of advice on a given subject you can transform into a book, have a collection of recipes you'd like to share, or have any passion you could make a book out of, it's a great way to make a bit of extra money. The platform I use for my books is Kindle Direct Publishing, the platform run by Amazon. It's very easy to use and will take you through the process step by step, which makes it great for beginners.

Since you are self-published, you will have to put in your own time to promoting the book. While you will make some sales off of Amazon's internal searches, you have the potential for making a lot more by promoting your book on your blog and social media sites.

Create Products to Sell on Zazzle and CafePress

Have a bit of an artistic flair? If you are a dab hand at digital art, you could make a fair bit of money off of it. Sites like Zazzle and CafePress allow you to put your artwork on T-Shirts, pillows, electronics accessories and many more products and sell it online!

This might sound a little bit complicated, but there's actually no work for you beyond uploading the image onto the template products; they handle all the printing and shipping for you.


If that appeals, here are a few tips for you:

  • Put your art on every product that it fits. Many people only upload their art to certain types of product, thinking no one would really buy a stamp or a set of speakers with their art on it. You'll be amazed at the type of thing people want, and there is absolutely no harm to having a version of every product with your art on it.
  • Make a lot of products. Your earnings on Zazzle will be minimal unless you have hundreds, or even thousands of products. That might sound a little daunting, but given that a single piece of art can form the basis for tens of products, it isn't actually as bad as it sounds. Nevertheless, it takes a bit of work.
  • Promote your products elsewhere. As I mentioned above, Zazzle also has an affiliates program, which even applies to the products you personally made - meaning not only do you earn a commission for leading a customer to the site, but you also get a cut of your contribution to the product itself. So by promoting your products on blogs and content sites, you both increase the chances of making a sale and double your earnings from it.
  • Tag your products well. As well as traffic from your blogs and other content, the main way people will find your product is through the Zazzle and Cafepress internal search engines. You need to have as many relevant tags as you can to make sure your products are found by the right people. Always ask yourself, if I was someone wanting to buy something like this, what would I be typing into the search bar?

Some sites where you can find public domain or Creative Commons pictures include:

The great thing about Zazzle and CafePress is that it is possible to make money even if you don't have any artistic skill. You can create products out of public domain images too! These can be just as popular as art you create yourself, especially if it is a well known image.

This is a little harder to pull off as you have to make sure someone hasn't already beaten you to the image, and you have to be extremely careful that the image you are using is in fact public domain or Creative Commons with commercial use allowed. Always be sure to read the terms and conditions or the license of any image you use.


Make Money Selling Old 'Junk'

Have old CDs, unused textbooks from college, or vintage clothing lying about that you don't want anymore? Don't just throw it away, at least not until you have established whether you can sell it online for a decent price. Never assume anything you own is worthless - you would be amazed what people will pay for on the internet. Do your research on similar or identical products on Amazon and eBay, and if you can make a pretty penny out of it, put it up for auction!

Oh, and if you have anything that includes gold but is too damaged or unsaleable for some other reason, you can actually sell it for it's gold value instead. It is very easy to get ripped off by unscrupulous gold merchants doing this, so I highly recommend you check out this informative article to learn the basics of gold and some trustworthy companies to approach.

Don't have anything to sell? Fear not! You can actually make a significant amount of money by sourcing your products from Amazon. Above is an excellent video tutorial that teach you how to do it - no overheads, little to no risk. Pretty cool stuff!

Thanks for Dropping By!

So there you have it! Those are the ways that I have supplemented my income over the past four years of Law school. I hope this guide has been a good introduction into the world of making money online, and that you have a lot of fun and success getting started. If you have your own tips for making money online, be sure to leave a comment below!

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    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      You have been very resourceful in discovering all of these possibilities. There are many opportunities here that I have not heard about before. You did a nice job of presenting the information. I'm sure your information will help a lot of people.

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 2 years ago from Alberta

      These methods are very helpful. What ones have you personally used? I have been burned by crappy or manipulative sites, so I don't want to try anything until I've checked it out.

    • DesignSpace profile image
      Author

      DesignSpace 2 years ago

      Yep, I've personally used them all to varying degrees. I've been most successful with Amazon Affiliates and eBay. :)

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 2 years ago from Alberta

      Great! Thank you.

    • Jacobb9205 profile image

      Jacob Barnard 2 years ago from Gloucestershire

      Great list thank you! I'm currently using YouTube, slicethepie and Fiverr to make money! Will look into the others now! Voted useful!

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