The internet is a digital land of opportunity – a place to learn and discover, but also to buy and sell goods and services. There is huge scope for earning money online, depending on your interests, time availability, and particular skill set. Some methods constitute full-time jobs, often on a freelance basis, but there are plenty more options available to those who either can’t commit to full-time hours or are looking for a side hustle. This article focuses on those forms of online money making that you can balance with your day-job or spare time – here are our top suggestions.
Sell on online marketplaces
In the pre-digital era, yard sales were a common way to offload old, unwanted items to make a quick buck. This can now be done entirely over the internet, except for the postage and packaging, of course. While creating your own online store is easy enough, selling your items on an online marketplace is a much easier option. This way, you don’t have to go to the trouble of building a website or even attracting traffic to it; all you have to do is create an account and publish product listings. eBay is the obvious option here, but these days there are a wide range of marketplaces to consider, especially if you’re looking to target a particular demographic.
Etsy, for example, is ideal if you make or collect handmade and vintage goods because it’s considered one of the leading online marketplaces for those categories. Whether you’re simply looking to occasionally sell unwanted possessions or turn your crafting hobby into a money-spinner, online marketplaces are a great way to go.
Monetize your blog
Blogging has been around for some time now and, contrary to the fears of some, it shows little sign of losing its popularity and relevance on the web. The format has certainly adapted to keep pace with modern browsing habits, but it’s still proving more than worthwhile. The first thing to note is that it will require a reasonable amount of time, effort, and know-how in order to earn the level of authority necessary to earn money from your blog.
There are a number of ways to monetize your blog, such as display advertising and sponsored posts, but affiliate marketing is an especially streamlined and flexible method. The concept is simple: you (the affiliate) promote the products or services of advertisers through links or banners, who then pay you based on the traffic or conversions generated. What’s more, affiliate networks such as affilinet match you up with only the most relevant advertisers to your blogging niche. This way, the advertising disruption is minimal, and you can make money online at the same time.
Start a YouTube channel
YouTube has become an unstoppable force in audio-visual content online, with over a billion users and counting. People make YouTube videos for all sorts of reasons, from creating personal vlogs to sharing their music, or sharing knowledge through tutorial videos. However, the platform also has the capacity to earn you money. As with blogging, there are a few ways to do this, but one of the main ones is through advertising.
Like the services of its owners, Google, YouTube runs on an advertising model rather than on a subscription basis, so adverts are shown before videos are played. Essentially, the more times a video is watched, the more advertising revenue YouTube can earn. For this reason, they pay you if you choose to monetize your videos. If you can attract a lot of views, you could actually stand to make a lot of money, but even a more modest channel can be a decent little earner; it just depends on how much time and effort you can dedicate to it. See our article on attracting more YouTube traffic for more tips.
Micro-task and gig websites
Micro-tasks, or gigs, are a great way to earn some extra money on the side and with little to no commitment. The concept of having a ‘side hustle’ has risen in popularity in recent years, as ordinary people have sought to diversify their sources of income or supplement their core salary. This approach is facilitated by a range of websites that allow you to accept small paid tasks on an ad hoc basis. Fiverr is a prime example of this model, where you can offer a range of services to the general public on a $5 per gig basis. These services could be anything from online lessons and copywriting tasks to session musician or graphic design work, and practically anything in between.
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform is a similar option, although you don’t have to wait to receive an order, like on Fiverr. The site offers a variety of so-called Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs), which are often short and straightforward such as filling in a survey or transcribing audio to text. These sorts of micro-task sites may not make you rich, but they’re perfect for taking advantage of your spare time to earn a little extra cash.