Whether you’re feeling the financial squeeze or just want some extra funds for luxuries, it’s possible to enhance your income by making money online.
A quick google will reveal a whole host of ideas – but some are more viable than others.
The events of the last couple of years have made everyone more aware of digital possibilities, but that doesn’t mean that every online venture is a genuine money-spinner.
We take a look at five ways to make money online that offer real potential for returns.
What It’s Not…
Before looking at the five options that we think can deliver an income, it’s worth pausing for a moment to highlight what doesn’t work.
You’ve probably read these types of guides before, and been left uninspired by the rather basic or impractical suggestions put forward.
Making money online shouldn’t involve any type of MLM; these schemes are much-vaunted, but only a select few people at the top make any money. Don’t get sucked into the claims that you could be earning thousands every month because it’s just not going to happen.
Making colossal money instantly. Any scheme which promises enormous returns overnight is unlikely to be genuine. There are ways to make a steady income, and one which can become substantial, but be very wary of anything which promises instant, huge gains.
#1: Teach Something
You may not realize it, but you have skills that other people want, and they will pay for the privilege of receiving your knowledge. It might be an academic subject, or it may be something practical, or it could even just be an everyday task that you’re particularly good at.
If this sounds unlikely, just look at the rise of social influencers who have earned vast amounts of money by teaching other people to clean their houses. Every type of knowledge can be monetized if it’s presented in the right way.
You might choose to teach live classes where students can interact, or you could record sessions that people can purchase and download. Another option is a group where customers pay a membership fee to join, a place where you regularly post snippets, hints, and tips.
One of the benefits of this option is that you can scale it up and make a whole career from it, and you won’t need to invest great swathes of money to do so. Conversely, it can easily be kept as a sideline to your regular job. It’s a very versatile option that is open to quite literally anyone.
#2: Sell Your Photos
The rapid evolution of technology means that you no longer need an expensive set-up to be able to take beautiful photos that someone else will want to buy. Whether you’ve got a new Canon DSLR or just a really good smartphone, if you’ve got a talent for taking pictures, then it’s possible to turn this skill into cash.
Selling your photos to stock sites is possibly the easiest route; offering a few images as freebies can help to create a following. Checking for the most popular niches and image searches will give you an idea about what’s most likely to sell.
You could also set up an online store, such as Etsy or on Facebook, to sell prints of your photos. This could either be a digital file that customers download or a physical item that you’ll need to post.
A final option is to sign up to a service that will print your images onto products such as mugs, bags and T-shirts. It doesn’t cost anything to sign up, and you’ll get a cut of every purchase made.
#3: Casino Bonuses
Gambling may seem like a bad idea if you’re trying to generate a guaranteed income, but it’s not quite as crazy as it sounds. There are ways to receive free money from casino sites without having to spend a single penny of your own money.
Using online casino bonuses means that you don’t need to deposit any of your own cash. Casinos are very keen to sign new players and offer great incentives to join, such as no deposit bonuses.
These are exactly what they say: you don’t need to deposit any money, but you’ll receive a bonus. Play at the casino using the bonus, and if you win, you get to keep the cash. The extra benefit here is that you get to enjoy playing some online games for free!
All casino bonuses have terms and conditions, so you’ll need to check each one. There might be restrictions about which games you can play, wagering requirements, or a cap on the total you can withdraw. But when you consider that every penny you win is 100% profit, there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain – and it can easily run alongside your regular job without causing any disruption.
#4: Freelance Work
If you are looking for a second job, freelance work gives you the chance to create earnings as and when the need arises. You pick the hours to work, and the projects you want to do. This enables you to adapt around your main job and retain a good work/life balance.
Sites such as People Per Hour, Fiverr, and Upwork are good places to advertise your skills as you won’t need to pay. You can also reply to requests for freelancers, setting your own price for carrying out the work.
There is pretty much every type of freelance work you can imagine, so it’s not difficult to find something which matches your skills. From IT development, translation, and writing to data entry and social media skills, the requests for freelancers are very diverse.
It can take a while to get your first client as you’ll be competing with other freelancers in the field. But if you start out by offering competitive rates, once you get your first client and good reviews start to roll in, you’ll find that it’s much easier to get a steady flow of freelance work.
#5: Get Your Craft On
Are you the person who makes beautiful handmade gifts for Christmas and birthdays? Perhaps you draw pictures, stitch hoops or knit, and crochet. Whatever type of craft you are able to do, you’ll find there’s a booming market for people with your skills.
With an increasing move away from mass-produced goods and cheap labor, more people are looking for artisan and bespoke items. This has led to a surge in demand for handcrafted items of all kinds.
Etsy and Folksy are two of the best sites for selling handcrafted goods, and they’re a good place to start for inspiration. Use social media to share your link and build up a following, and you’ll generate sales as a result.
Depending on your craft and your prices, this is another versatile option that can either be run alongside your main job or eventually scaled up to be a full-time income.