For the modern Millennial, it's not always simple to make ends meet. The gig economy has become one way that young adults are making up the difference that their traditional jobs fail to meet. However, these often require other resources, such as newer cars for rideshare apps, which you may not have access to. Finding a job that combines your skills, interests, or available resources in a sustainable way can be pretty difficult. So the question that emerges is, pretty simply: What are some of the easiest ways to make money online?
1. Arts and Crafts
One popular option is to make and sell crafts on sites like Etsy. If you're already the artistic type, this might be the simplest choice for you. Creating drawings, paintings, or digital artwork, for example, can be quite lucrative, especially once you're able to start taking commissions from people who've become fans of your work.
Artists and crafters can also use social media like Pinterest and Instagram to get the word out about their work, and one should never underestimate the power of word of mouth. These artists can also take their work on the road, setting up booths at pop culture conventions and selling directly to fans. Competition in this area can be pretty tough, however. While 2D artwork can easily be scaled through the use of professional-quality prints, crafts such as hand-made plush dolls aren't always so easy to make at scale. The challenge with this is how to price your products so you don't make them out of reach of those who'd most appreciate them.
2. Different Kinds of Writing
Running a blog or other type of personal website is another possible avenue for income. Website hosting fees are usually affordable for those just starting out, and platforms such as WordPress make it so that in-depth knowledge of web design and coding isn't strictly necessary. The most obvious source of revenue for websites is advertising, which you can tailor to fit with your site and audience. While ad revenue generally isn't very high unless you're getting a lot of traffic, it doesn't take as much to exceed hosting costs and start generating a little profit.
Once your site begins to take off, you can get sponsorships with companies. You will use referral links, where each click or sale results in a small percentage of the sale going to you. This can be a daunting task, but our Blogging Money Update makes it easier. When you sign up, you will be sent sponsored post opportunities directly to your inbox on a regular basis so you can start to rake in the cash.
Like with most endeavors, it can be difficult to make your stand out, especially in the early days, so a good knowledge of marketing and advertising means all the difference. Get a head start by signing up for our Blogging Money Update!
That's Not Your Only Option.
What if you're interested in writing something else? The self-publishing industry has exploded in the last decade. If you've ever had a book idea that's just dying to get out, publishing an ebook could be an excellent way to make money online. Readers of ebooks are often voracious, going through an entire series of books quickly and always on the lookout for their next obsession.
Now, writing a novel certainly is not what most people would call “easy.” For a person who's already inclined to write in their free time, this could be a straightforward path to a little extra cash. After all, once a book is written and up for sale, it's there almost indefinitely, able to generate passive income from those who find it. Major success in self-publishing is still, admittedly, a rarity, and much of your sales will come from active pushes, be that through advertising, social media and email lists, or by collaborating with other authors. There are also some expenses you'll likely have to address upfront, such as costs for editing and cover design, as well as any physical copies you may want.
Want to learn how to write an ebook that will sell? Read How to Write an Ebook by Darren Ackers.
3. Remote Work
For those feeling less entrepreneurial, there are also several sites out there offering to pay small amounts for simple, remote work, often categorized as “beer money” work. Amazon's Mechanical Turk, for example, is a system designed to set up companies that need work done that's not easily automated, such as labeling objects in an image, with workers around the world who are willing to do those tasks. Others involve taking surveys for the purposes of market research.
As the name “beer money” might imply, this work generally isn't high paying, since it doesn't require high-level skills. Still, if you've got free time you're looking to fill and could use a little extra cash, these kinds of simple tasks shouldn't be overlooked.
Learn more about Amazon's Mechanical Turk here.
Another emerging option is to tutor online, using webcams and video chats to talk directly with students. While online tutors can work in most subject areas, one of the biggest is helping students in other countries learn English. Companies that provide educated native English speakers the opportunity to tutor English as a Second Language (ESL) students are typically flexible, allowing you to set your own hours and availability. Teaching English online often pays quite well, relative to other online ventures. You'll need a good knowledge of the subject area in which you intend to work, naturally, and some of these companies are only interested in candidates who hold college degrees.
If you need a boost to begin tutoring online, read How to Start a Tutoring Business by Beth Lewis.
4. Wrapping Up Your Degree
You may have noticed by this point that making a lot of money online isn't as easy as you might have hoped. If you intend to sell something, you'll essentially be running a one-person business, and soon find yourself responsible for things like marketing and advertising which you may never previously considered. Even some of the other jobs you can do online, such as tutoring, may require degrees. So what can you do if you really want to succeed in the online marketplace?
Going back to school and earning a business degree can tackle most of these problems at once. Business programs focus heavily on marketing, advertising, and pricing. You'll also be educated in areas like accounting, which can help you keep track of your income and make sure that your side gig stays on the up-and-up. You'll now have a degree to prove you know your stuff. If you're really committed to the online lifestyle, there are dozens of online degree programs in business you can choose from. They all allow you to earn a degree from the comfort of your computer chair.
You Got This.
In the end, there are many easy ways to make money online. What you pursue is going to vary a lot, depending on your skills, interests, and education. People with an active hobby that they might be able to monetize have a shot at making bigger money, but it will require a lot of dedication and attention which you have to be able to spare. The most reliable money is likely to come from a more conventional contract work position, which can offer flexibility if you meet their requirements.
And who knows? Perhaps with some time and experience, you'll be able to turn that side hustle into a full-time career!
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