1. What industry are you in and what would you enjoy making content about? If you go into an industry only based on commission, and don’t enjoy the topic, you risk getting burnt out. The #1 problem for bloggers is finding time/getting excited to create content. If you tell me more about what you’re passionate about, I can steer you towards some programs.
This isn’t to scare you off. I simply want you to know that this guide is going to focus solely on ways to make real, sustainable extra income online. Not just a few bucks. I want to share all the mistakes I've made that got me to where I am now so that you don’t have to go through them, and can build a successful online source of income for yourself.
A2 Hosting + HostGator – these affiliates let you create custom coupon codes which is a huge bonus if you’re doing YouTube videos. Tyler’s Moore’s video on how to make a WordPress site has 4.5M+ views and he refers people to HostGator using his coupon code. This means he gets credited for the sale if they use the code (even if they don’t click his affiliate link). If you’re doing YouTube videos, coupon codes can result in a lot more sales than dropping links in video descriptions and hoping people click on it. He’s made a fortune.
Find a profitable niche: We’ve talked about this a lot. But, where are you most comfortable. What niche do your skills, values, and interests intersect? Do you have 10 years of experience as a technical writer? Do you have long-standing PR relationships that’ll be invaluable in helping startups launch a successful crowdfunding campaign? Determine what makes your value unique, and lean heavily on showcasing that strength to your potential clients.
Upwork: This website offers a great marketplace for selling just about any professional service. You don't need a merchant account, website of your own or anything else for that matter. All you need to do is be able to provide a high-quality service at a reasonable price. But be informed, you will have to compete with many others that are constantly bidding on open jobs. 
Our wage and job-growth information come from the latest edition of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. The BLS lists “median” wages for jobs rather than “average” wages. The median wage is in the middle of the data set, with half of the jobs paying less and half paying more. BLS job-growth projections are for 2016 to 2026.
Starting a podcast, like making a YouTube channel or blog, comes down to telling interesting stories and building an engaged audience. I’m probably sounding like a broken record by now, but you need a niche that you’re interested in and there’s already a demand for. Come up with a list of topics you’d like to talk about and then search iTunes charts, Google Trends and other podcast research sites like cast.market to see what’s currently out there and popular.
Freelancer – refer people to developers, designers, and other freelancers you’ve worked with and make 100% of Freelancer’s project commission for the first 90 days. I get a lot of people requesting WordPress speed optimization services… so I refer them to my developers with a freelancer affiliate link and make $125/month in passive income. You can’t use affiliate links to link to specific freelancer profiles, so I direct people to the homepage via affiliate link and give people my developer’s usernames.
26. Services – You can offer a paid service, such as life coaching, blog coaching, goal setting or financial planning. Just be sure to investigate all the legal implications and make sure you’re not claiming to be a professional if you’re not one. With a service like this, you’re basically using your blog to sell yourself. You’ll need to convince people that you’re worth buying and then be able to back up your claims once they purchase your service.
It can take time to build up your personal freelance business. Yet, there is more demand than ever for freelancers. So, if you want to kick start making money online through freelancing you can join one of the top freelance networks, such as Flexjobs, SolidGigs, Contena, Upwork, Fiverr, or PeoplePerHour. Sign up, build your profile, upload some samples of your work and start making extra money by doing small freelance jobs.
But don't make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you're on call whenever you have a guest and you'll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, consider offering your guests paid add-ons, like Lauren Gheysens', Royal Day Out in London, England—where she gives visitors a local's only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
Mechanical Turk is Amazon's take on micro-jobs. These are small miniscule-jobs that you can do for other people, which they call HITs, or Human Intelligence Tasks. These are super simple tasks that anyone can do. Some examples are listing off some URLs with certain kinds of images for one cent, or recording a few phrases with a microphone for 6 cents.
It is important to realize that it is possible to earn an income with affiliate marketing, but it not easy to earn an income with affiliate marketing. It will take hard work and dedication to build a lucrative affiliate marketing website. You will need time to build your audience and gain their trust before you are able to perfect your affiliate marketing strategy.
Have you considered bookkeeping? Crochet seems more like a hobby but you can still make money from it, I’d definitely consider looking at the type of crochet work that’s on Etsy to see if it’s something you can compete with. It sounds like you could be a great bookkeeper, I’d highly recommend checking out the free training above or upwork for freelance opportunities.
Promote & Sell your Skills on Fiverr – Everyone has got a skill and Fiverr is an online community where people come for literally 1,000’s of types of jobs. If you can create a logo, write a blog post, do voiceover work, write a press copy, or pretty much anything, there is a job for it.  There are literally 1,000’s of opportunities to sell your talent!
This was a wealth of helpful information, thanks. In the first section you described how you found your niche. Any more suggestions on how I would find a niche that would be profitable? I understand you probably want to find something that you can write good content on, but what steps would you take to make sure to validate that it will be a good niche to work on? Thanks for any help Tom.
Amazon’s affiliate program is the most popular of them all. I don’t participate myself (yet) but the majority of affiliate marketers I know use Amazon because… it’s Amazon. You can review products you have used or write tutorials (eg. how to connect computer to TV) and drop an affiliate link to an HDMI cable… just a couple examples. You may want to build relationships with the manufacturers so you can get products before they’re released – giving you time to create a review before the product is launched and capture sales during peak buying times.
Don’t set a goal to write 3 blog posts a day… set a goal to write 1 blog post a week and make that post super helpful, long, and filled with information that is so valuable you will say “yeah, people will link to that.” 90% of my traffic/affiliate income comes from just 20 tutorials, many of which are 5+ years old. But I am constantly updating them to make the content better.
Impact – ADP, Airbnb, AppSumo, Allstate, 1-800 Flowers, Avon, Constant Contact, Credit Karma Tax, Envato Market, ESPN+, Getty Images, Gravity Forms, Grubhub, Houzz, HostGator, InMotion, iQ, iStock, Kind, Kohl’s, Lending Club, Levi’s, LinkedIn Learning, Namecheap, Shutterstock, Southwest, Squarespace, StackPath CDN, Target, Turo, Uber, Uber Eats, Xfinity, more.
23. Affiliates – There are many affiliate networks, such as FlexOffers and CJ Affiliate that allow you to promote other people’s products and services. You simply put a link or a banner on your page and then you get a percentage if someone clicks through and buys the product/service. You’ll want to select products that are specifically within your blog’s category.This is an effective way to earn money once you have the traffic coming to your blog.
Glad to hear it! Absolutely, CPA credentials are still extremely valuable—though it definitely takes a time/education investment in order to secure those credentials. Worth it though? I’d say hell yes, if the field interests you. Even the side income you could make by doing taxes for people just a few months out of the year can be lucrative here in the U.S. at least.
It can take time to build up your personal freelance business. Yet, there is more demand than ever for freelancers. So, if you want to kick start making money online through freelancing you can join one of the top freelance networks, such as Flexjobs, SolidGigs, Contena, Upwork, Fiverr, or PeoplePerHour. Sign up, build your profile, upload some samples of your work and start making extra money by doing small freelance jobs.
Hey Max! Just wanted to stop by and sincerely thank you for motivating me to start a blog. I was roaming around the web looking for side gigs and landed on your page, someway … somehow. 4 or 5 pages later, I was head down into reading your post about how to start a blog and happy I did. I have not launched yet, but I did want to stop by and thank you for the motivation!
Next, you’ll need the right tools. You can be as complicated or simple as you want depending on your comfort with audio equipment, but at the minimum you’ll want a microphone and software for recording your voice. Companies like Behringer, Blue, Focusrite, and others sell studio-quality plug-and-play podcast setups that can get you recording today.
If you want to help shape digital products in their early stages, joining an online focus group or answering survey questions is a great way to make extra money online. They don’t pay as much as some of the other options we’ve highlighted, but you can join groups on sites like Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and IPSOS that pay out through Amazon gift cards, check, or PayPal. You’ll be asked to provide a bit of information about your demographics (age, location, etc…), but after that you can get going making money through surveys.
So, I put together a free master course for you to take that spreads out all of the work involved in starting a blog, into a series of action-packed lessons. My free course breaks the entire process of starting a blog down into an incredibly simple 7-day process for going from 0 to brainstorming the best blog post ideas, publishing (and promoting) your first blog post in just 1 week. We also cover beginner and advanced ways to learn how to make money blogging in the course. I can't recommend it enough.
My conversion rate went from 2.5% to 8% just by including Facebook polls where SiteGround was rated #1, along with a few Twitter screenshots and Facebook conversations. Whether it’s Amazon reviews or Facebook polls, you NEED to include outside opinions – that’s why I don’t like collecting reviews on my website – they look biased. But you can use WP Review Pro to do this, allowing people to review the product/service on your site and get those review stars.
Secret Shopper. Big companies need real consumers to walk into a store and see how their product is displayed on the shelf. A couple of apps — Rewardable and Gigwalk — enable moms to complete those tasks for a few dollars. Yes, really, set your expectations that it’s just a few dollars, but hey, maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Or maybe you were going to Home Depot anyway, so snapping a picture of the Rustoleum display for $4 is no skin off your back. Expect to get paid via PayPal.

If you have experience with marketing, SEO, or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work making money online as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results.
It is important for you to learn some basic HTML as well as basic concepts pertaining to running a website. It’s not really tedious to understand and within a short period, you will have a grasp of it. Relying on purchased software might backfire because it might not give you what you really need and when things go wrong you will end up spending more than you ought to. Take time to learn these things and you won’t regret it.
Regarding “convincing someone to buy your product is not that easy”, I do agree with you, but at the same time, I remember all those products I’ve bought online. I did not search on Google for those products neither I went to the company websites to get information and buy. They were affiliate people and their blogs that inspired to buy them. PrettyLink Pro, SEO Pressor was recommended by Kimberley, I bought Profits Theme, WP Zon builder because Alex Whaley recommended. Similarly I bought CommentLuv Premium because Ileane, Kavita, Steve and many others were talking good about it.
For example, if you buy a $100 suit… perhaps you could rent it out for $25 for the night/weekend and someone locally is interested in just a cheap rental (because they don’t need to own a suit for the one or two times per year they wear one). After four weekends of renting the suit, it’s paid for itself. Now, whenever it’s rented out—you’re profiting for the remaining life of the suit.
18. CraigsList – Some things don’t ship very well. Other things may make you feel uncomfortable to sell to someone across the country. Anytime you’re selling a large item or something you just don’t want to ship, Craigslist is a great place to go. It’s simple to list your item (again, take good pictures!). If you don’t like the idea of putting your phone number out there, the interested individual can send you a message to your inbox without even getting your email address.
Thank you for all the information. I currently work in a tax and accounting office but want a change. I love the payroll and accounting side of my job but don’t like tax season. It’s high stress and I am not getting the training to get better at tax preparation. I’m 55 and have worked here for 9 years. I also feel like my earning potential will not increase. I really want a remote job. I have the skills and discipline to work independently. Can you point me in the right direction? I’m very good with Quickbooks and Excel. Some of the postings ask for Quickbooks online. I do use it some but wonder if I should get certified. Oh, I also like to crochet and make things. Any suggestions for selling handmade items.
If you want to clear some space out in your house and have a big stack of books you’ve been holding onto for too long, you can make money selling your books and textbooks online. Stores like Half Priced Books and others will give you cents on the dollar for each of your current books while you can check what your book is worth by simply entering the ISBN number on Book Scouter.

These add review stars to snippets and increase click-through rates. I have tested many rich snippet plugins over the years and my favorite (and what I use now) is the WP Review Pro Plugin by MyThemeShop (view the demo). It’s fast, looks great (here’s a page I use it on), comes with 16 pre-styled designs, supports user reviews, and is well-supported by the developers at MyThemeShop. I was previously using WP Rich Snippets but the developer abandoned the plugin and hasn’t updated it for 2 years, and All In One Schema lacks customization options.

Market your course: The beauty of using a course to make money online is that you can continue to sell it for as long as you’d like. Look for niche communities on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Reddit that might benefit from your content. Guest blogging on relevant sites. Look for anywhere you might be able to get in front of the right people. With just a few hours a month you can continue to generate sales.
Don’t set a goal to write 3 blog posts a day… set a goal to write 1 blog post a week and make that post super helpful, long, and filled with information that is so valuable you will say “yeah, people will link to that.” 90% of my traffic/affiliate income comes from just 20 tutorials, many of which are 5+ years old. But I am constantly updating them to make the content better.
Transcription is one of my part time jobs. I can do it conveniently from home and many of the clients are trainers or speakers. Having money and needing transcription services doesn’t imply you have a secretary. At my full time job the closest we have to a secretary is the CEO’s assistant. She books flights, plans travel, schedules meetings, transports his children, and helps with home renovations. She doesn’t have the time to sit and transcribe work when the CEO can send it to a company or freelance agent for a few dollars.

Another way to utilize your talent and business skills is to run corporate workshops online. Businesses are always looking for unique ways to help educate their workforce, and if you can package your talents into a day or half-day long session, you can sell that to companies all over the world to make money online. Start by building a portfolio and then reaching out on LinkedIn to influencers at relevant companies to see if they would be interested in you teaching their team.
Hello Miles, awesome job getting over your hesitation toward writing. I have the opposite problem, I’ve been trying to make a YouTube video for the last 3 days after finding your channel. It’s very frustrating because I’m excited about the process and very motivated I just don’t seem confident at all on camera (because I’m not). However, my niche is in fitness and confident, over the top enthusiastic delivery is sort of expected.
22. Advertising – This is definitely the most old-school way of earning money with a blog. It’s also starting to become the least common way. You can sell advertising spots directly on your site or you can sign up with a company like Google AdSense or Media.net. Either way, you won’t see a whole lot of money from ads until your views are well into the thousands each day.
On the other hand: the main reason of bankruptcy for small businesses is bad financial management. Simply said: to forget to make invoices, not checking the payments and not following bad payers. 1 out of 3 is going bankrupt for this reason alone. I had to learn it myself. I spend at least 10% of my time with financial stuff. I don’t love it but the bills get payed ;-)
When was the last time you went to a new restaurant without looking it up online beforehand? Or bought a product that didn’t have at least a few 5-star reviews? It seems like more and more our world is run on reviews. And you can make money online by writing them. Get started by creating accounts on sites like Vindale research, Software Judge, FameBit, CrowdTap, Influence Central, and Modern Mom. However, before you run off and start writing, be sure to check the small print on each of these sites. Writing reviews isn’t a huge source of guaranteed income and you want to make sure that it’s worth your time before you get going.
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