One of the most exciting aspects of the Internet revolution is the array of possibilities available for making money by working online.
In these rough economic times, many of us are looking for ways to earn extra income. Whether you’re looking for full time work or just picking up a little on the side, there are tons of opportunities for working online—if you know where to look.
Working from home is especially attractive if you’re disabled, raising a family or acting as caregiver for a loved one. While having a physical problem, needing a flexible schedule or just being over 40 can hinder your efforts to get a “real job,” working online just requires hard work, critical thinking and a lot of luck! Here are 12 ways to make money using your computer.
If you’re a fast typist with previous experience transcribing audio, you could make a little extra cash working for websites that need written transcriptions for the hearing impaired. Online job sites like Odesk or Elance are good places to check for job openings. To get repeat work at transcribing, you must be fast and accurate as well as having good grammar and spelling skills.
Get into affiliate marketing
This basically means you get paid for promoting the products or services of others. This involves posting videos on YouTube containing links to products or using links to incorporate affiliate advertisements into your own page, blog or website. If you have a page or blog with strong content and heavy traffic, check out sites like Commission Junction for products or services that will let you connect.
Sell your music
If you have a band with a local following and want to make more money as well as expanding your audience, try recording an album on your own and selling it on your site. Use social media to spread the word about your act and your music. This is likely to be a more lucrative route than trying to get a major label deal, especially if your music isn’t the kind of commercial pop/rap that’s selling these days.
Write an eBook
Are you an expert on something? Do you have a fascinating life story or an inspiring tale of overcoming adversity? Better still, do you have the secret for doing something that many people are looking for the solution to? Why not write an eBook about it and sell it at online retailers like Amazon? You don’t need a literary agent or a publisher, but you do need a compelling idea that people will pay money to read about.
If you still haven’t found the idea that will work for you keep reading for more online money making tips.
Open an online store
If you make or market a unique product, you can sell it directly to customers online. This route is especially suited to niche products, like personalized items for pets. You’ll need a professional-looking site that’s set up to handle orders, and you’ll also need to invest some money in both the site and the merchandise. If your online store becomes very successful, you can rent space there to other retailers who have products to sell. This is how Amazon got started! Check out 3dcart.com for how to get started selling online.
Sell products through an online retailer
If you have a product to sell but aren’t quite ready to start your own online business, there are places that will take some of the hard work out of putting your items in front of potential buyers. If you want to sell your handmade art, jewelry or other collectibles, check out Etsy, ArtFire or Zibbet. Etsy is the biggest online retailer of handcrafted and vintage items, so you can be sure there will be an audience for your products.
Sell your photos
If you’re an experienced photographer with a huge portfolio, make it work for you by licensing your photos to one of the microstock agencies like Shutterstock or Dreamstime. There are plenty of sites and blogs out there looking for art to accompany their articles, so you could make some good money, provided you have the type of photos that they’re looking for.
Flip domain names
This basically means buying and selling domain names at a profit. This requires a lot of research and a bit of ingenuity, but with a little luck, you can make a tidy sum. The trick is to use Google Adwords to zero in on keywords that are trending right now and use this info to predict what domain names will be in demand in the near future. This isn’t easy, since the most clever (or obvious) domain names are likely to have been snapped up already.
If you come up with a name you want to purchase, run it through a domain name registrar. If the name hasn’t been taken yet, be prepared to pay a purchase fee, yearly renewal fees and possibly a setup fee. There are various companies like GoDaddy that specialize in registering domain names. This is time-consuming, but the payoff could be big—a valuable domain name can sell for over $100,000.
Don’t give up yet because we’ve got more tips to put your past experience to work in the online world.
Put your career experience to work for you
If you’ve been laid off your job in web design, publishing or marketing, and have been frustrated in your search for a new job, maybe it’s time to start a new career in freelancing. Sites like Elance, Guru and Textbroker allow prospective employees to bid for jobs posted by potential employers. New jobs posted to Elance on the day we checked ranged from $10 per hour for a graphic designer to $1,000-$5,000 for an iOS and web developer. Be prepared to present your case and your skills in a short proposal that states why you are the perfect candidate for this particular assignment. Also be prepared to apply for a lot of jobs before you get one.
Look for quick odd jobs
If you have time on your hands and are just looking for jobs you can do quickly, check out the free app Gigwalk, where companies advertise for people to do short assignments, like visiting a business and writing a Yelp review for $20. If you’re good at assembling Ikea furniture or running errands, sign up at TaskRabbit, where local businesses and people in need of temporary help look for workers. You have to go through a background check and a video interview to become a TaskRabbit, but if you’re between jobs, you can definitely pick up a few bucks here.
Become a tutor
If you’re a teacher who’s been laid off due to budget cuts or a starving grad student, check out sites like Tutor or Smarthinking for online tutoring gigs. You do need a computer with a speedy broadband connection and video chat capability. This can be more lucrative if you have a specialty in math, science or finance. If you have experience in teaching foreign languages, Verbalplanet has gigs teaching English as a second language to business executives.
There are plenty of telecommuting jobs out there if you look for them. Sites like Telework Recruiting and FlexJobs charge membership fees to access their lists of work-from-home jobs. If you’re disabled, the National Telecommuting Institute helps to match up aspiring telecommuters with job opportunities.
Don’t quit your day job just yet, but there are ways to make money online if you look for them!
Written on 9/19/2013 by Linda Cauthen.
Photo Credit: 401(K)2012
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