In case you’re looking for ways to make extra cash in the new year, you’ve probably considered exploring the lucrative world of online commerce. After all, the ability to make money online without any experience seems nearly too good to be true.
The following eight distinct ways to earn money online will introduce you to a side of the web that you might not have seen before. Some of these opportunities aren’t commonly associated with making money, but along the way, you may realize that you’re learning valuable skills that can be applied towards a burgeoning side business—or even a full-time job.
1. Take survey scams seriously
The vast majority of online surveys suck. Chances are, you’ve participated in several of them—and let’s be honest, you probably haven’t had much money in return. But that could change if you take a few key points away from this genre of online scam.
First, be selective about the survey companies you work with. Avoid any that are too large, have too many questionable practices, or don’t pay out on time. If you meet even one of these criteria, move on. Better to be safe than sorry.
Second, never, ever give out your personal information to anyone—especially if they claim to be from a reputable company.
With so many scammers out there, it’s no wonder that people are wary of giving out their information—even in the name of charity. But remember: scammers are never actually looking out for your best interests. In fact, they want to profit off of you, whether indirectly or directly.
Last but not least, be realistic about the paychecks you’re likely to receive. Surveys aren’t glamorous sources of income, and in most cases, you won’t be getting rich off of them. It’s a good idea to look for alternatives, so you can at least earn a steady flow of cash—even if the pay isn’t great.
2. Start an online store
If you’ve ever tried selling your products or services online, you know how cumbersome and frustrating it can be. You might have a wonderful product that would make a lot of people happy—but without the right tools, no one will ever know about it.
The solution? Start an online store. With a bit of expertise, a good product, and a little bit of magic, you can transform a nicely formatted website into a fully functioning ecommerce store, within a matter of days. Your product will be visible upon entering the site, and if you’ve implemented a good strategy, you’ll be able to convince potential customers to make a purchase, without ever having to leave the site.
What’s more is you don’t have to be tech-savvy to do this. Someone with minimal web design skills can launch a store in less than a day, and with the right guidance, they can take it further and improve their site’s functionality—even set up automated email responses and order management.
The best part? You can then use that same store to start an affiliate program, where you promote and earn a commission off of products that are purchased through your website (hence the affiliate part).
For example, say you’ve built a store for pet products—you can then use that same store to promote products for dogs, cats, and rabbits (amongst other animals).
3. Start an online tutoring business
If you’re better at teaching than teaching, why not make a career out of it? You’ll need to look into the various platforms that offer online tutoring, find a subject you’re passionate about, and then begin offering your services to others. Just make sure that you have the required licensing and that you’re not going to be over-billed, and you’ll be able to make a handsome living, tutoring online.
What’s more is many of these platforms offer a money-back guarantee, if you’re not completely satisfied with the services you receive. While the upfront costs are high, the potential to earn is quite high—especially if you can charge a higher rate than the average online tutor. So, if you want to put your expertise to work for you, consider exploring this option.
4. Start an online charter school
Some of you might consider launching your own charter school, as a way of making extra cash. Charter schools are a relatively new concept, and while the idea behind them is brilliant, the implementation can be very challenging. You’ll need to research various models, before deciding what approach you want to take—whether you want to opt for a traditional, brick-and-mortar setup, or an online one. In most cases, it’s very difficult to get charter school status, due to strict state regulations—but if you do, more money may be available to you, via online fundraising platforms, such as Patreon.
Charter schools are a great way to put your expertise to work for you, while also making money. If you’ve got the required credentials and can acquire the necessary licenses, it’s an option you should seriously consider.
5. Start an online mentorship program
If you’re looking for ways to make money online, why not consider setting up an online mentorship program? With a bit of research, you can find a profitable niche and begin teaching others—in a way that can be applied towards a profitable side business. Simply set up a blog or website, and begin sharing your expertise with others. While it’s not necessarily a get-rich-quick scheme, it’s a way of making money that doesn’t require extensive start-up costs or expensive software.
The best part about an online mentorship program is that you don’t need to be a professional mentor to participate—someone just needs to be willing to learn something from you, based on your expertise. Plus, you can use a tool like LinkedIn to find the right mentees and to provide ongoing guidance, as needed. If you want to make extra money online, consider exploring this option—even if it’s a modest earner, you’ll be able to use the funds to take your business further.
6. Start an online dating business
If you’re looking for ways to make money online, why not consider setting up an online dating business? The world of online dating is a goldmine for potential entrepreneurs, offering a virtually limitless market of single, affluent users, seeking compatible mates. Even if you don’t want to turn your passion for dating into a full-fledged business, you can begin charging users for various services—ranging from creating a profile to searching for potential matches, based on your own criteria. Think of all the money you’ll be able to save, if you implement this strategy effectively!
The biggest challenge with an online dating business is, of course, gathering all the necessary information—including pricing, matching algorithms, and more—before you begin. But once you’ve launched, you can use various platforms, like Match.com, to gain a steady flow of users, who will then be able to consume your goods and/or services. Think of all the expenses you’re likely to avoid, by doing this—from subscription fees, to advertising costs.
7. Start an online transcription business
If you’re a fast typer, why not consider doing something with your skill—and make some extra cash? You’ll need to set up a good system for taking online audio transcripts, and then begin charging for your services. While it’s not a quick money maker, you’ll be able to make a decent amount of cash, if you implement this strategy effectively.
The best part about an online transcription business is that you don’t need to be a transcriptionist to participate. Simply find a business that needs transcripts or documents transcribed, and then begin offering your services to that company. While there are many different platforms that you can use to get started, you’ll need to pick something that’s easy to use, has a good customer base, and is inexpensive enough to run.
The biggest challenge with this strategy is getting the word out there, that you are, in fact, a transcriptionist, and that you can offer your services for free, or with a minimal charge. But once you’ve got that bit of traction, you can then use platforms, like Swish, to find customers and to automate much of the process, while also keeping track of all your orders, and providing you with excellent customer service.
If you want to make extra cash, consider exploring this option—even if it’s a modest earner, you’ll be able to use the funds to take your business further.