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.
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.
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.
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.
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