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5 Fun Ways to Make Money Online That You Should Try

5 Fun Ways to Make Money Online That You Should Try

The internet is so imperative these days that it turns into a piece of your daily schedule. You can read the daily paper, check your email, update your Facebook status, shop online, Skype with companions, and learn from Google. Today, you can do practically anything through the internet. Did you know you can earn money online too? This is an extraordinary open door for anyone, whether you want to earn a little extra pocket change or want to turn it into a full-time career from home.

There are plenty of legitimate and fun ways to make money online. Some of them include beginning your own small business, while others include working for someone else using your home as an office. Here are five real ways to work from home and make extra cash through the internet.

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1. Freelance writing

You can become a freelance writer, and can get writing assignments that very same day. The better your writing skills are, the better your freelance writing project rates will be.

A freelance writer can choose the niche market. You can start writing for magazines, online blogs or newspapers. You can even blog by building your own site, or by writing for other websites. The market for freelance writing on the internet is massive, and there’s plenty of work to go around.

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If you are interested in freelance writing, consider these factors before you get started:

  • Samples. You need to build your own profile before you can really begin marketing yourself. Choose the market you want to approach in writing, and then find or create some related writing samples. For instance, write a few posts of your own to use as samples.
  • Tools. As a home-based freelance writer, you need a computer and fast internet access. Some clients might want to reach you by email or Skype, so have both set up and accessible.
  • Job Boards. You have to look for work, and places like Freelancer, GuruUpwork, and oDesk are a freelancer’s best friends. These platforms allow individuals and businesses to post assignments or projects, and freelancers can bid on them.

2. Using your skills

Everyone has skills in different things! Perhaps you can teach the principles of a foreign language with ease, or are a master mechanic. Perhaps you are just a sports-obsessed fan who is really into fantasy sports. Regardless of skill, the internet is so far reaching that any and all skills are welcome and can be used to make a profit.

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  • Teaching Classes. There are many online platforms that allow people to teach or learn online. With your expertise, you could wind up teaching classes online. Say you are fluent in English, French, and Spanish. Creating your own language class online can help you master the language through teaching, help interested people learn, and create an online side job for yourself at the same time!
  • Develop apps. Today, organizations and associations create applications for their business advancement. Numerous organizations, particularly gaming software companies, hold bimonthly competitions in which individuals can not only win a monetary prize, but can also be part of the product group. You can even take app development projects from freelance job boards if you are a masterful developer without a good idea.
  • Competing at online games. If you’re interested in any type of sport then you’re probably familiar with fantasy sports. Numerous websites offer the chance to build your own sports team for massive cash prizes. Fantasy sports have taken off into a billion dollar industry so get your cut! By finding and using deals and coupons, like a draftKings promo code, will allow you to get incentives when signing up to help you get ahead of the competition.

3. Sell your creativity

If you are an artist or have a talent for creating beautiful things, then you can make some serious income from home. There is a growing trend of selling antique and homemade products online. Etsy,for instance, is a platform for artists where they can sell items at a fair price. The site claims over 40 different categories, from clothes to gifts to edibles, with thousands of listings.

Here are some recommendations to getting started:

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  • Investigate. Do your research and investigate other sellers on Etsy and see what they’re offering, and then decide how you can do it differently.
  • Show Commitment. Blog about your site, spend time trying to think of new ways to promote your business. To be a successful seller, you have to treat it like a full-time job.
  • Give Evidence. To gain the trust of your customers, give them visual evidence for the products through photographs. These pictures have to be good and make the item look fantastic.
  • Options. One of the keys to success on Etsy is giving options and vast selection. Most serious shop owners on Etsy have at least 200 items for sale. The more options your customers have, the higher the chances that you’ll make a sale.

4. Call centers: Sell your time and voice

If you have command over foreign languages with a great telephone voice, and the ability to organize information quickly, you can make money working for a call center. These call centers provide services to businesses that outsource services to answer their phones 24 hours a day. These calls are directed to a call center where they are routed to individuals who work from their homes. The average compensation for these call center jobs is about $9 per hour, and some companies even offer health benefits. Here are a few tools you should have to be successful:

  • Persistence. In the call center industry, the line between scams and honest businesses is very thin, so you should do your homework before accepting a position. Alpine Access is one of the well-known companies in this field, and Call Center Careers is a great place to search for legitimate call centers jobs.
  • Call Center Tools. You have to own equipment before starting work with as a call center agent. You will need a computer, earphones, a fast internet connection, and a landline telephone to apply.
  • Multi-tasking. In this industry, call center agents receive a lot of calls, and one must have the capability to handle them all efficiently.

5. Sell your knowledge: Use social media

There are lots of consultants available online who offer their services or advice for a fee. For instance, if you’re a publicist like me you may help a new organization develop a communication plan, or you may help them get media attention by writing articles or press releases and then distributing them to the proper media channels. If you have great computer skills or are a social media expert, you might be able to work from home by opening up your own website or creating your social media pages to make money from some of these avenues:

  • AdSense. This is a Google product that puts advertisements on your website. It further gives the alternative of pay-per-click or pays each time somebody sees the promotion. This is a great way to generate cash for FREE!
  • Youtube video/Facebook feature. If you have a bubbly and fun identity, then kick back and feature the craziest minutes of your life and transfer them on YouTube or Facebook account. The higher the quantity of followers you have, the more the possibility you have to gain income in the contending business sector.
  • Blogging. Fashion web journals are everywhere throughout the internet, and fashionistas have transformed their websites into a full-time work. This is only one example of how you can turn your hobby or passion into a blogging career. The more quality content you have, the more organizations will reach out to place their advertisements on your site.

Featured photo credit: Internet/Ministerio TIC Colombia via flickr.com

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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

2. Keep Them Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

4. Short Term vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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5. To Each to His Own

The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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6. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

7. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

8. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

It is here where that classification will help.

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So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding,

Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

11. Measure, Measure, Measure

All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

The Bottom Line

This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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