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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 June 6, 2019

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

Are you on track for retirement?

If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

Saving for retirement is tricky.

Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

20’s – $16,000

During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

30’s – $45,000

At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

40’s – $63,000

This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

50’s – $115,000

During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

60’s – $172,000

By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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How to Save Money Each Month

By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

How?

By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

Why?

You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

By starting a side-business.

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This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

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