Ever since the idea of online auctions came into existence, the online selling market has been on the rise. Many are interested, but don’t know how to get started. There are still all kinds of ways to make money by selling online, whether you’re selling what you already have or buying and selling like a store. Before we get started, here are a few general tips when selling anything online:
The first follows the startup path we outlined above: You have a disruptive idea for an app or piece of software, you validate the idea with real customers, and then raise money to hire developers or a development studio to build, launch, and scale your software. If you’ve done everything right, your software will be accepted to the Apple and Google Stores and you’ll make money every time someone downloads it or pays for a premium feature.

Research individual companies in your desired niche: If possible, it’s always better to become an affiliate directly with a company (if they have an internal affiliate program), as no one else will be dipping into your commission rate. This is the preferred route for most of the prominent affiliate marketers, including Pat Flynn. Unfortunately, it’s also the most work, as you’ll have to do the research yourself to see who offers programs (they’re usually listed in the website footer).


An easy job; doesn’t pay well, but also a quick way to make some money. Sign up on eLance or oDesk to start, and/or advertise your services in entrepreneur forums. Requires good hearing and a good command of the English language. You may also want to invest in a foot pedal if you plan to transcribe often. Make sure you know how to transcribe interviews before you start your first job.
As long as there is still the written word, there will always be editors. Freelance editing and proofreading not only pays a decent hourly wage, it also gives you the chance to read about potentially interesting topics too. What's more, pursuing freelance writing & editing as a business idea can afford you a lifestyle that lets you travel the world as a digital nomad. You can find lots of job postings from companies and individuals in need of writing, proofreading, and editing services on Upwork, which makes this a high-demand opportunity to make money online.
Walk around your neighborhood or town and I’m sure you’ll see tons of great local businesses with terrible design. However, with increasingly easy-to-use tools like Adobe Illustrator, Venngage, Stencil, and Visme, just about anyone with a creative mindset and a good amount of motivation can start making money online by being a graphic designer for local companies.
Before having my own website, I spent time reading websites, newsgroups, bulletin boards and forums about the game, and eventually started trading online. Back before search engines were any good most of my time was spent in particular Magic newsgroups, some that talked strategy, and some that were focused specifically on trading and/or buying and selling cards.
Build your audience on a course community: If you’re just getting started building an audience for yourself and want to leverage communities already actively looking for content you can choose to host and sell your online course on a site like Skillshare or Udemy. These are easy, cost-effective ways to build an audience and test your niche to see if there’s demand for it.
If you are a professional photographer or have a real flair for photography, then selling your images on other sites could be an idea. This could be done alongside your own photography site, as it is a good way to help get your work viewed by a wider audience. There are numerous stock image websites to contribute to, but choosing a popular high-end site like Shutterstock should ensure your photographs make you some money.
Fiverr is one of the biggest providers in the gig economy on the web and you can sell a wide variety of services and products through this medium. Do the research and find out what you can offer. However, keep in mind that like any other money-making task, it takes time to succeed here. And stellar reviews will help you generate more and more income over time.
Thanks for the great post. I couldn’t agree the more with you that a lot of times people end up having to spend more time to struggle with their online business rather having quality time with their family and etc. I think you hit the nail when you mentioned that one of your goals is to ensure you adopt an approach and system that allows you to not getting stuck in the trade hour for money kind of thing.
Do you constantly come up with witty one-liners? Do you dream of the days of Mad Men-style advertising? If you’ve got some branding chops or just come up with imaginative copy, there are lots of opportunities to make money online through company naming and slogan contests. If you think you have a knack for names check out the Squadhelp platform where you can earn a little extra money online by naming brands, services, products, company slogans and even help out on the logo design front if you've got the chops.
Survey Junkie: This is a free survey app for your phone that pays you to take online surveys, participate in focus groups, and try new products. And, I really mean free all around – free to join and they don’t charge anything to be a member (they will actually pay you in cash via PayPal). You can get a free registration bonus for free when you join through this link.
I recently gave some marketing tips to a bunch of local professional photographers who formed a company about 3 years ago. There are 7 of them and they were making around £400 a month (collectively). So I advised them to create a website, show their individual skills on the site, and start promoting themselves. (No no no, not the way you are already thinking!) The skills about their technical know-how, courses they can offer, and (very importantly) reviews of the latest equipment on the market.
Ebates has long been one of my favorite services and they offer an awesome referral program. This service pays members cash back on their online purchases – and some in-store purchases now. When you refer your friends, you will earn $5 per person when they make their first purchase of $25 or more. They also offer some stellar bonuses if you can refer a number of people. And, they offer a $10 gift card for new members.
Affiliate marketing is possibly the single best way to make a living online because it is so hands off, can be automated easily enough and can deliver some incredible profit margins. It’s especially good when you can use affiliate marketing to recommend things in areas you are personally interested in – for example you can make money simply writing a review of a book you really wanted to read anyway and you get paid for doing what you love.
A website called AchieveMint gives you points for engaging in healthy activities, like exercise, tracking your eating habits, or even taking health related surveys. Points can be redeemed either for cash (10,000 points are worth $10) or for Amazon Gift Cards. The app actually connects with other health apps, like Fitbit and MyFitnessPal, to track your progress.
I myself was a pretty big Magic: The Gathering fanatic from 18 – 21 years of age. Though I didn’t setup any website about it, I did cojoin a site related to Dungeons and Dragons content and provided GM tools written in excel for download. At the time I never had much interest in branching out and starting my own sites for profit and 10 years later I started up my blogs. Had I only started ten years earlier I would be in a vastly different place than I am now, but as they say hindsight is 20/20
SwagBucks PayPal gift card redemption is definitely not instant. Their website says it can take up to 10 business days. I have cashed in several PayPal gift cards with them and it could take anywhere from 24 hours to the full 10 days to receive them. About 5 business days seems to be most common. Don’t get me wrong…I love earning with SwagBucks. But Paypal payment is definitely not instant.

I’ll end this article with something I only recently did – offer high end coaching to a select group of clients who had to apply to work with me. My program cost between $5,000 and $10,000 and I turned away more people than I accepted. This was deliberate as I knew working one-on-one with people is not something I can do with many people or I will use up all my time. However I was keen to help certain people who were in the right position so I could learn more about the challenges they face.
Yet another Amazon service providing the possibility to make money online is the Audiobook Creation Exchange. You can create a standalone audiobook, or create an audio version of your eBook as complementary media. And you can narrate your audiobook yourself, or Amazon can put you in contact with a professional to help. Once sold, you can then earn up to 40% royalties per audiobook.
Medium is an online community where anyone can post articles and essays and get them in front of their audience of millions of monthly readers. While it can be a great place to build your audience for your own blog or find customers for your consulting business, with Medium’s new Partner Program, you can now make money online whenever someone reads your articles. Register for free and you can choose whether your articles are freely available or only readable by those people paying $5/month for a premium Medium membership. You’ll make money based on the amount of people who read and engage with your posts each month.

Please note: This is an expensive form of credit and is intended only for short-term financial needs. Spotloans are designed to help you deal with emergencies such as rent, medical bills, car repairs, or expenses related to your job. Spotloans are not intended to solve longer-term credit or other financial needs, and alternative forms of credit may be better for you, including borrowing from a friend or relative; using a credit card cash advance; taking out a personal loan; or using a home equity loan or savings. Contact one of our relationship managers to discuss if a Spotloan is right for you.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at insiderpicks@businessinsider.com.


I’ll end this article with something I only recently did – offer high end coaching to a select group of clients who had to apply to work with me. My program cost between $5,000 and $10,000 and I turned away more people than I accepted. This was deliberate as I knew working one-on-one with people is not something I can do with many people or I will use up all my time. However I was keen to help certain people who were in the right position so I could learn more about the challenges they face.
Tools & Resources: I’ve written a pretty comprehensive guide on the best web design software that covers both free and premium software packages. If you’re serious about becoming a web designer, then I recommend purchasing the full Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. At $49.99 per month, this is probably a bargain considering what you can achieve with this set of tools.
Take surveys. You can earn $50 to $100 per month in cash and products by taking online surveys. Find survey sites by searching for “paid survey sites” online. Sign up for several survey sites to increase your chances of being selected for higher-paying surveys. Register with an email address, and check your email often so you can respond quickly to survey offers.
As a fellow Queenslander, I’ve been reading your blog for a few months and have put a lot of your advice into action, my blog has been up for about a month and the traffic is growing by 40+ hits per day (still only small)! I’m thinking about writing a Children’s ebook as my blog is about Nut Allergies but I can’t get my head around how people will buy it when all they will have are pages of A4 paper?? Hope this makes sense, I need help changing my views…..
Alexis Dawes created a product called “Desperate Buyers Only”. I interview her for an upcoming case study on Inspiring Innovators, where she mentions that she is able to make up to $97 from ebooks as small as 12 pages. The key? Finding people who are incredibly desperate for the information you provide and then doing good research to find a real solution to their problems. The result? Happy customers whose problem is solved, and money for you — a win-win situation! Caveat: It may be tough to find a real desperate buyer niche (Alexis reveals some in her case study). Here are some hints: When were you last in a situation where information would have either saved you a lot of money or a lot of pain? Has someone else close to you been in a situation where they could have used information to avert pain? Think legal, medical, and financial niches.
Using a food delivery service can’t necessarily earn you money, but it can help you save you money if you constantly find yourself throwing out half the food you buy. Food delivery services send a box of food every week with new, sometimes unique vegetables, meat, fruit, and so on. If you don’t have time to shop and want simple meal-prep that leads to a good meal, a food subscription service may be perfect for you.
×