A cash cow for the enterprising, the Internet is littered with opportunities to make a fast buck. While it rarely qualifies as a solitary source of income, the Net can easily help you supplement it. However, the amount you earn depends on the time and effort invested. Go through these 20 options and find out which ones work for you.
If you're a passionate closet writer who wants to be published but can't find a way to do so, make each keystroke your way to wealth by penning your own blog. Starting a blog doesn't require extensive technical skills but it's important that you have expertise in the field you are writing on. This will attract visitors to your site. Building a large following will enable you to earn profit by luring advertisers, writing paid reviews or getting commissions for promoting other people's products.
If maintaining a blog is difficult for you but you still want to indulge your passion for writing, you can jot down articles for other blogs or sites such as Weblogs, Helium or PayPerPost. Writing an e-book can also be a good option. E-books are investment free, with no cost for printing and shipping. If you have a strong command over languages, you can become a copy editor, where Webmasters will pay you to read articles and correct grammatical errors, sentence fragments, etc.
The demand for tutors is high and growing. So, if you like helping others learn, e-teaching could be the earning ticket for you. All you need to become an online tutor is expertise in your subject and a few spare hours per week. TutorVista, e-tutor, SmartThinking and Tutor.com are some of the sites you can enroll with. If you gain a good reputation as a coach, you could even conduct Webinars-lectures or seminars transmitted over the Net. College and university students are willing to pay to gain entry to a well-respected Webinar.
For those who have the knack of selling, one of the best ways to make money online is to become an affiliate/reseller. An affiliate is a person who gets a commission for selling every product that he promotes, whether on his Website or through any other avenue such as eBay. You don't have to own the product. You only need to sign up for an affiliate program with a company and start selling its products under your referral link. Firms such as Commission Junction or Click Bank have a large pool of products.
Buying and selling domain names is another way to make money from home and requires very little investment or time. You can buy domains at their registration prices or even cheaper and trade them at a profit. However, always research on sites such as sedo.co.uk, afternic.com, ebay.com or other domain auction sites to get an estimate of the hottest selling names. The best way to find good ones is to use terminated domain lists, which contain several expired names that are back in the pool.
Freelancing for Professionals
Freelancing is a great option for professionals who are experts in their respective trades and know how to ensure customer satisfaction. Various freelancing and project-oriented sites allow companies that need help to describe their projects. Freelancers and small businesses offer bids, ideas or proposals, from which the buyers can choose what they find most suitable. Websites such as Elance cover everything from programming and writing to data entry and design, while RentACoder focuses on software programming.
You can sell space on your Website or blog for advertisements and you earn when these ads are clicked by visitors to your site. The sorting and placing of ads is free. The profitability of pay-per-click advertising depends on the traffic level of the Website and, most importantly, on the clickthrough rate and cost per click. Google AdSense is the most popular option, while others are BidVertiser, Text Link Ads and Blogads. Direct banner and RSS feed are some other forms of online advertising.
GPT or Get-paid-to sites are becoming increasingly popular among teens. You get paid for signing up for free Websites, newsletters, playing games and filling out online surveys. These are suitable for people who don't have a skill set but want to earn extra money. Taking online surveys is simple- register with a few legitimate, paid survey sites and answer questions. The topics range from shopping to politics. This might not help you make a living, but you can earn good pocket money. Contests2win is one of the trusted GPT Websites.
Once a Website is created and optimised for search engine (SEO), the SEM or Search Engine Marketing begins. A treasure trove lies hidden here. An SEO/SEM expert, who is responsible for marketing a Website, can promote it in various ways. These include article marketing, writing press releases, forum posting, blog posting, submitting your site to directories and search engines, social bookmarking, etc. Most companies don't do this in-house and pay you to conduct the SEM for them.
As more and more people seek an online presence, the demand for Website templates and WordPress (Blog) themes will keep increasing. If you are good at Web designing and coding, you can earn a lot from designing Web themes. In this segment, there are mainstream Websites, such as TemplateMonster and ThemeForest, which act as a marketplace where you can sell your themes. Templates are sold and priced depending on the rights and features that are bundled with them.
If you enjoy photography and are good with a camera, you could be sitting on a huge reserve of revenue. There are people who will be interested in your collection of images. Nowadays, it's easy to take your photos to the public, providing a convenient way to build a secondary income stream. Many stock photo agencies, such as Fotolia, Dreamstime and Shutterstock, offer incentives for people to earn from their photos.
Support & service
Providing coding or fixing other Webmasters' issues is another great way to earn extra bucks. There are simple jobs ranging from adding a script to setting up sites, but knowledge of Web coding is essential. One can offer support for Web CMS (content management systems) like Drupal or Joomla. After you are comfortable with your own installation, you can help other people to set these up and configure them.
Joining the stock/forex market may seem a bit risky. However, you can start small and continue researching till you gain experience in this area. Once you do, it will be easy to earn from exchanging foreign currencies and/or stocks. Their rates fluctuate depending on supply and demand, and economic and political influences in the world. The aim of any trader is to spot which currency/stock is likely to rise or fall in value against another. The more time you put in, the more you will earn.
Selling your own brand
If you have a flair for designing cool images, don't bother about creating your own inventory. As long as your design can be printed on a product, you can pocket some money. You can upload designs on various Websites such as CafePress, and if somebody orders these designs, the company will print them and distribute the products. It could be designs for T-shirts, hats, bags, books, posters, calendars, greeting cards, etc. You will receive a commission for each sale. Other such sites include Lulu and Zazzle.
Small businesses always need help in running their processes, but may not be willing to hire a full-time employee. As a virtual assistant, you are expected to perform practically any administrative task that a traditional secretary or assistant would, such as make travel reservations, handle expense reimbursements or pay bills. You can do it from the comfort of your home, interacting with clients either online or by phone. Your expertise will decide how much moolah you rake in.
Inbound call centre
Many companies, who are facing space constraints, especially those in metro cities, prefer to hire workers outside their offices or outsource certain processes. You can set up an inbound call centre at home to handle such jobs. Research different companies that are outsourcing their work as they may have opportunities for inbound call centre agents. You can work for more than one company. This can be either a part-time or fulltime engagement, depending on your need.
If there's a dramatic performer hidden inside you who craves applause and adulation, upload yourself on YouTube. You can be a filmmaker, musician or comedian who wants a wider audience. Your earnings will come from ads displayed on your video page. This process is similar to the pay-per-click advertising program common to other Websites and blogs. Sites such as Flixya and Mediaflix can be helpful in this regard.
Researching for others
Don't be morose if you can't write, design or code. Lack of talent cannot stop you from making money online. If you're willing to work hard for a few hours a week, you can take up simple research jobs for other people who don't have the time to do it themselves. You could search for opportunities in organisations that provide funding for research and offer to assist them through online investigation.
With smartphones gaining popularity, the demand for their applications, or apps as they are popularly known, has also shot up. There are over 3 million apps for the iPhone and over a million apps in Google's Android market. Most of these are selling like hot cakes. Developing and selling your own smartphone app is becoming a lucrative way to make money on the Internet. Apps cost virtually nothing to develop and entail no storage or shipping costs. So they enjoy the best profit margins.
Medical transcription involves making written copies of oral material dictated by doctors or other medical experts. These may include history and physical reports, clinical notes, consultation notes, reports, letters, psychiatric evaluation and so on. The dictated material needs to be transcribed swiftly and accurately, which is the most challenging aspect of the job. To become a medical transcriptionist, you need to have a good knowledge of medical terminology and a high typing speed along with accuracy.