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30 Interesting And Scam Free Ways To Make Money Online

30 Interesting And Scam Free Ways To Make Money Online

As a writer who has been writing online since 2005, I’ve run across – and tried – plenty of varied ways to make money online. I’ve seen the scams and been blessed by discovering legitimate ways to make money online.

Here are 30 unique ways to earn some cash via the Internet:

1. Amazon: Publish your own Kindle books

Real people who love writing and marketing are finding that they can publish their own digital books directly to Amazon using their Kindle Direct Publishing platform. Take for instance blogger Thomas Strock, who made $6,716.05 in one month alone from all his Kindle books. Not bad for an 18-year-old.

2. Google AdSense: Set up your own niche websites

I love reading the way that Spencer Haws – not the basketball player, but the webmaster – sets up websites focused around a variety of topics and then places Google AdSense ads on them to make money.

3. YouTube: Make money via video ads

If you know your way around your smartphone’s video feature, try to earn a $4 million per year like vlogger PewDiePie by uploading interesting videos to YouTube.com and monetizing them, praying they go viral.

4. Squidoo: Write interesting articles

There’s a noteworthy monetary trail on Virginia Allain’s Squidoo page that shows how her income has climbed and fallen over the years. As of August 2014, she made $676 for the month via the site.

5: iTunes App Store: Sell your own app

You don’t even need to be as technically inclined as Harlan Yee, a developer who made nearly $500 in July 2014 from his mobile apps. Even if you don’t know how to code apps, you can hire developers on sites like Elance to code them for you.

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6. Upwork: Hawk your words

Speaking of Elance, the husband and wife team – Troy and Valerie Mellema – who run their “Words You Want” freelance writing business on the site, show current earnings of more than $450,000 over the past 12 months. Enough said.

7. eBay: Sell things around your house – or buy things to sell for higher prices

Tons of people have turned to eBay.com to make extra cash. Simply search through the “sold” listings to see the kinds of items that have sold recently and for how much. Whether you start off as a smaller seller like this blogger Yolanda, who is using her eBay profits to pay off her student loans – or whether you become a big player who buys shoes en masse and resells them for a profit, if you like selling and shipping stuff, give it a try.

8. Fiverr: Make money of just about any talent

If you scroll through the most popular sellers on Fiverr.com, you’ll note that they make money by offering everything from voiceover work to Photoshop skills.

9. iStockPhoto: Upload your photos, videos and illustrations for earnings

If you have a penchant for taking pics or drawing vector illustrations and the like, you can sell them as stock artwork on sites like iStockPhoto, where you’ll see that exclusive contributors and sellers like Beach Cottage Photography have experienced loads of downloads.

10: Instagram: Turn your social media photos into prints for a profit

Instagram.com isn’t just for sharing interesting pics or showing off your skinny waist in a corset. These days, photographers like Daniel Arnold have learned that he can make $15,000 in one day from the site. Even 15-year-old Ryan Parrilla has gotten in on the action and sells his beautiful Instagram photos as prints.

11. Whatever you want dot com: Start your own academy dot com

Popular author and speaker Pat Flynn worked as an architect until he got laid off in 2008. That turned out to be a big blessing in disguise, because he parlayed his knowledge of the LEED AP exam into a site called Green Exam Academy, which – among many additional pursuits – earned him nearly $4,500 for the month of June 2014 alone. Therefore, in the same way that sites like FXAcademy.com can help people wanting to learn more about Forex trading, use your own special career skills to help others who might seek information about your industry.

12. SiteSell: Work towards becoming a six-figure blogger

Lisa Irby has made more than $100,000 per year by teaching others for years how to start their own websites – either using WordPress or a SiteSell service that she loves. Follow her down-to-earth blog for tips and instructions on getting started.

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13. Amazon Associates: Place special links on your blog to earn commissions on sales

Amazon Associates is a program that lets bloggers and writers place referral links to products on their websites or share via social media, etc., and when shoppers click through those links and buy something, the online retailer pays them a portion of the sale. Chris Guthrie has made goo-gobs of money that way over the years.

14. LinkShare: Recommend products and services to your readers

Retailers like Macy’s, Petsmart, Kohl’s and even Walmart have a presence on LinkShare.com, whereby if they approve you for participation in their programs, you can make money when customers buy products via your links. Harlan Yee made $118 in June 2014 that way.

15. Udemy: Teach an online course

Udemy profiled three successful course teachers using their site to make anywhere from $200 to $2,500 or more per month. Therefore, if you love teaching and have the kind of specialized skills folks are willing to pay for, you may find yourself enjoying a thriving online teaching business.

16. oDesk: Become a virtual assistant

The popular freelancing site called oDesk is merging with Elance, but on both you’ll find plenty of jobs posted by clients seeking virtual assistants to help them with plenty of tasks for varying rates. Scrolling through the administrative support category on Elance will turn up a bevy of individuals and companies that list their earnings as well.

17. Bubblews: Publish short, micro-articles for money

The interesting thing about sites like Bubblews is that anyone can join and publish short articles that earn small bits of money based on the number of views, comments, and other activity they receive. I’m a living witness that I’ve made $25 thus far from the site – albeit very slowly – and Michael Cimicata has apparently made at least $42.45 from the site as well.

18. Women’s Leadership Forum at BestBuy.com: Blog for gift cards, products

The site called WOLF at Best Buy is pretty fun, and us female bloggers generally jump at the chance to earn $50 Best Buy gift cards or products worth even more for writing about various specials, sales, etc., and promoting them to social media.

19. CJ.com: Promote products and services

Similar to other affiliate program sites, the website named Commission Junction at CJ.com features big name retailers Expedia, ULTA Beauty and QVC, who all offer to pay writers a portion of the sales they bring to those sites. I’ve made hundreds over the years from doing so.

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20. Etsy: Pitch your jewelry and quirky designs

Some of the top sellers on Etsy, like beanforest, find success by selling pins. Find a wide variety of handmade and other crafts that may inspire you to sell there as well.

21. Teespring: A new model for selling t-shirts

A brand new way of selling t-shirts has arrived online, and sites like Teespring allow users to sell shirts that are of a great quality and don’t get created until there are enough buyers interested in the product, sort of like a shirt-on-demand business. Earnings for the campaigns can be discerned via the site’s data about the amount of shirts sold and the price per item.

22. Café Press: Sell customized products the old-fashioned way

If you’re no fan of the Teespring motto that forces you to “tip” a certain amount of sales prior to your shirts being printed, you can always use the old standby Café Press website to sell shirts, mugs and other stuff one by one.

23. Amazon FBA: Sell products with the “Fulfilled by Amazon” label

You know those products that you see on Amazon for sale from third-party sellers that still offer Amazon Prime shipping and “ships from Amazon” status? Those are sold by folks who ship products to Amazon’s fulfillment centers – and hopefully for a profit. Experts like Nathan Holmquist and Cynthia Stine are pros at doing so.

24. Examiner: Make money by writing articles

This writer just celebrated her 5th anniversary writing for Examiner.com, and although it usually doesn’t represent the $5,000 months of income that my PayPal account has seen during certain eras, the site does still pay writers about $5 for every 1,000 hits their articles receive. Carol Tice writes about making a full-time living there.

25. Deviant Art: Get money for your artwork

Just the other day I paid $5 for 400 points so my daughter could have her favorite artist on Deviant Art, Candi Floss, draw something for her that’s unique once she begins taking orders again. If you have similar skills, sell them on the site for artists and their fans.

26. Flippa: Create a profitable website and sell it

If you are good with setting up websites, you can use the site called Flippa to find someone to buy it from you when you need cash.

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27. Social Spark: Write for money and trips

The site called Social Spark by IZEA Media allows bloggers to earn cash (or even trips, like I did when I was awarded a great one-night stay at Kalahari Waterpark for my whole family) for writing about a variety of products or experiences. Find a list of other bloggers who’ve benefitted on the site.

28. GoDaddy: Flip a popular dot com name

Let’s say you were smart enough to buy NoriWest.com or another potentially profitable domain name before anyone else. List it on GoDaddy Auctions and try to make money for a popular dot com name.

29. PayPal: Take money directly for your services

No matter if you’re a personal trainer, an SEO expert or a web assistant, you can always use online means to have your customers pay you. Take advantage of all the options that sites like PayPal.com or Square.com offer to make it easier for people to put money into your accounts.

30. Kontera: Monetize your content and social following with in-line and other ads

Another way to make money off of your online writings and social media following is to allow certain sites like Kontera to place ads within the content, whereby they automatically hyperlink certain words with relevant advertisements.

There you go! With 30 interesting ways to make money online listed above, you should start seeing your Internet income increase in no time.

Featured photo credit: Heap of $100 dollar bills. Toned/ Nomad Soul via bigstockphoto.com

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Last Updated on September 2, 2020

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Personal 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. 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 to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

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

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal 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’s for. It could be anything, including your child’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 that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

2. Keep Goals 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 beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as 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.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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4. Short Term Vs Long Term

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

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a 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.

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

How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-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.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self-realization is the best form of realization, 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 spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

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

If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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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 manage all the expenses from the rest.

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

Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

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. 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 counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

  • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
  • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
  • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

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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5. 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.

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

6. Maintain a Journal

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

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.

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

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

1. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s 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.

2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

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[2].

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 compared to equity instruments.

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3. 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.”

Use compound interest when setting financial goals

    Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

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

    4. 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 and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

    If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

    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

    Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

    and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

    More Tips on Financial Goals

    Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

    Reference

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