I say this every single week, but I am this close to making the self-employment switch.
Seriously, I wish I could give you the exact date, but lets just say that it is within the next day or two 🙂
Since my main site, Making Sense of Cents, has “evolved” and I talk a lot about extra income lately, it only makes sense that I receive many emails every week from readers about how they can make extra money as well.
With my side business (which will very soon be my main business), mostly everything that I do is online. I can work from the comfort of my home and create a schedule which best works for me and my services.
Blogging for money.
Not all bloggers make money, and I talk about ways to make money with blogging in my post on Making Sense of Cents.
With blogging for money, you can make money from affiliate links, ad networks, direct advertising, and so on. Blogging is not easy money though. You will most likely work for months or even years before you make any money.
I don’t do as much freelance writing as I used to, but I am working on increasing this again. With freelance writing, you write for other clients. You might summarize documents for them, staff write on their blogs, create advertisements, and so on.
Start out slowly when you decide that you want to start freelance writing. You don’t want to get ahead of yourself. In the beginning, you probably won’t get paid as much, but eventually you can demand a higher rate once your experience and quality increases.
Virtual Assistant work.
I have been a virtual assistant, and I have hired virtual assistants myself as well.
A virtual assistant helps a business run, all while staying virtual (most likely at home or at their own virtual assistant business). You can be contracted for one project (such as fixing old articles on a website) or it can be a continuing job such as replying to e-mails and comments.
So, why would someone need a virtual assistant? A business is a lot of work, and if you can outsource some of the things that need to be done so that you can focus more on the end goal and direction of your business, then why not? Also, one person realistically cannot do everything. When help is needed, it’s best to look for it because your business could end up going downhill because of it. Trying to handle everything yourself when you realistically can not may not be a good idea.
Don’t forget to read my post on how to become a virtual assistant.
Sell products online.
Many people work from home and sell items online. You can create your own products, or wholesale from a company. You can sell on Etsy, Craigslist, eBay, and so on. There are so many possibilities!
Other ways that you can make money from home:
- Enter contests. There are so many contests out there. I used to enter many, and I actually won a decent amount as well.
- Take online surveys. I used to do surveys. Usually the pay is very low and the work is tedious though. However, occasionally you can score some free products.
- Mystery shop. Not all mystery shops need to be done on person. Sometimes you just need to call the store or send the store an email and evaluate their customer service. The mystery shop report is then most likely submitted online.
- Create an eBook.
- Become a website designer.
- Sell your photography online.
Do you make money online? Why or why not?
The internet has really opened up possibilities that just weren’t there 20 years ago. I am starting to make money online through selling stuff…so starting with tangible and something I can transition to a full time job someday if I wanted. Great job and can’t wait to read more about your transition!
Yes, I am so thankful that there are so many possibilities.
Great post here, Michelle, and so excited for the big day for you! I’ve tried most all of these income avenues, but am now much more choosy about what I’ll do for online work, for time’s sake.
Thank you Laurie!
The thing is, the internet isn’t exactly shrinking. I can only think that there will be more and more opportunities online for those that keep learning. Good post!
I won $500 + free tax software from entering contests online! That right there paid for my blog for at least 3 years.
I’ve earned a little through Swagbucks, too, but that’s as entrepreneurial as I’ve gotten thus far. I do have every intention of expanding though one day 🙂
Wow that is awesome!
Great post, there are so many opportunities online. I’m a freelance writer, just for a little bit of extra income. I’ve always started taking up jewelry making as a hobby, don’t think I’m good enough for etsy yet! 🙂
Haha, I would be horrible on Etsy. I am not creative!
I make my entire living online through several of the strategies that you’ve mentioned!
I’m so excited that you’ve quit your job. Go, Michelle!
I make money online writing article for Hubpages, Ebay, Craigslist, and now hopefully my website and freelance writing.
Thanks for sharing these tips. They’re a great reminder to diversify our income streams. Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday~
Sounds like you do a lot! Good job.
I make a very small amount with mu blog right now, but I see the potential. I have done some mystery shopping and also a lot of surveys. I’ve easily made at least $500 in the last year and a half doing surveys. It takes time though.
That is awesome! I just don’t have the patience for surveys.
I would love to make money online but I don’t currently. I’ve tried surveys but it’s quite the time-suck for the little rewards you do get. I’d love to be able to make money blogging, definitely working towards that. I’d also love to try freelance writing, to be a virtual assistant, sell stuff online, and win contests but I’ve had absolutely no luck with those so far…very similar to my job hunting, no one seems interested or I’m just really unlucky.
Hmm I’m sure you could find things. Do you read Single Moms Income? She is having GREAT luck picking up side jobs, and once a week she publishes a post about site owners looking for freelancers along with the links to those jobs.
Haven’t heard of it, I’ll definitely check it out, thanks!
Great post, Michelle! And congrats on your upcoming switch date. That sounds so exciting! One thing that has been on my mind reading about folks making online income is how those bloggers/freelancers/etc. have established credibility. Maybe you have covered this before, but how did you establish credibility in the services you provide? I would love to supplement my 9-5 job salary with some side hustle income. I’m not sure blogging is for me or how to prove that I have skills worth being hired for. I hope this makes sense!
Do you have a blog? I do believe that networking and slowly building up my services along with my portfolio has helped with my credibility 🙂
I’m still struggling to find virtual assistant work. Do you have any recommendations for where to find it? I find sites like odesk and elance are so full of already well established freelancers. It’s hard to get noticed.
It is hard to find virtual assistant work. The best luck I’ve had is to stalk website owners and see when they need help 🙂 Or you can try posting something on a forum.
Thanks for the tips. I do mystery shopping for my credit union. I also go on swagbucks and do searches and sometimes surveys. I’ve earned a few dollars and amazon cards with them.
I make some money online and for the most part it is a pretty sweet deal if you can figure it out. Congrats on going full time!
I’ve been looking into mystery shopping and being a VA. These are awesome ways to make money online!
I agree Lisa 🙂
You’re so close I bet you can taste it!! WOO HOO!!!
My side income consists of my Etsy business, mystery shopping (none lately, but I still keep it on the list), Swagbucks, and selling misc. stuff around my house, haha.
Thank you Keren!
I’ve made a little from my blog and a little from but recently I’ve partnered with Project Dream to do some online marketing. There are definitely opportunities out there if you’re willing to look and put in the work! Congrats on getting that much closer to self-employment!!
That’s awesome Kim!
Awesome post! I’m really trying to focus more in my blog to hopefully, one day, in the far future work for myself! Haha
Sounds awesome Christine 🙂
I just made my first money online and it’s through a sponsored post that was posted on my blog.
I don’t make money online but I’d like to in the future. You’re a huge inspiration. Thanks for the post.
Thank you Emily! 🙂
The internet has indeed open up doors and windows for a lot of people. Being creative and resourceful is of course essential.
Very well written. I had to share this on Kingged.com and even had to rename it as “Realistic ways to make money online” because that’s what they really are.
Those looking for “get rick quick” ways to make money won’t find this article useful, but those looking for “realistic” long term ways to make money will, 🙂
See where I shared it and the comment I left on Kingged.com:
Awesome post. I agree- these ways you listed are definitely profitable. I, for one, work virtually, and many others can attest to the financial freedom that comes from working online. It might be hard for one to leave their day job and switch to an online job, but if you have the opportunity to do so, then do!
No harm in trying. 🙂
This has been shared on Kingged.com, the IM social networking and content aggregator site, and I left this comment.
There are a lot of ways to generate money online, if one will only explore. Good thing, there are articles like yours who give us ideas on how to make money while having the comfort of choosing the most convenient time and place for us.
The ways listed in your article will surely help us to earn extra-income. These are already proven and tested by many of us here.
I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.
Its always good having to be reminded of realistic ways to make money online. I guess its important for marketers to take advantage of these ways and learn the basics of making money online realistically. This post should really help new marketers make most of their online marketing moves.
In kingged.com, the above comment was left, as the post was found valuable to readers of the content syndication site.
Sunday – kingged.com contributor
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Interesting post! I believe that they are some modern ways to make money online. But I must say that patience is a virtue for newbies before they succeed in a field that they are in.
Selling products online is rampant today, but the problem is that, marketers are losing optimism because they are not generating profit. Well, passion in their work will create something greener. But if the business they opted doesn’t work, they can pick a new one since there are so many opportunities for them.
In the news aggregator and social bookmark site for Internet marketers – kingged.com, the above comment was left.
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Thanks for the great post!
I have been blogging for a short time, but am going through
some major burn out. I do need to get a boost and get back to work!
My son and 2 grandkids have moved in with me, so I really do need to find more side hustles!
I have been doing mystery shopping for months now. I haven’t done fully online stuff yet, but the evaluations I do are online, so they easy and convenient. I have done it mostly for restaurants. I really don’t see it as work; I just find restaurants close to work and eat there for free or get a 50% discount. I didn’t have to take pictures or anything, it’s just like getting a free lunch. The important thing is to find places that you normally go or wanna try anyway.
For people who are interested in mystery shopping, I suggest them finding legitimate mystery shopping companies and sign up on their website. Lately, I’ve been really happy with one called SQM ( http://goo.gl/9BTRMB ). They also sometimes give you calls, asking if you are interested in an assignment, instead of you having to hunt for it. There are sometimes really good deals out there too. For example, the company I mentioned has a deal where you get reimbursed for 50% of a two-way international airline ticket! It’s only for certain cities, but for people who are already planning to travel, that is a great deal. Just never do any mystery shopping for companies that ask money upfront. Be careful about finding legitimate mystery shopping companies.