Are you a professional in a field that can help answer questions for people looking for your expertise? Websites like JustAnswer and LivePerson match you up with people looking for answers to technical or professional questions. You can make money online by simply answering these questions and providing the right information to people based on their individualistic circumstances.
However, if you're looking for realistic ways you can start earning money online now, then it really truly does boil down to seven paths you can take towards profit. Some will provide you with immediate results, helping you to address your basic monthly necessities such as rent, utilities and groceries, while others have the potential to transform your life by revolutionizing your finances in the long term.
Hey Jake — we did have a small “pivot” that really changed our trajectory. First, we were in a pretty narrow niche (a [stock market] trading membership site), so we actually backed out and changed our content strategy to incorporate more personal finance oriented content; hence the transition into DollarSprout. Second, we went all in on Pinterest to market our brand. An odd decision perhaps, but it was where we were having the most marketing success. We then leveraged the audience we were building on Pinterest to expand into other areas (Facebook, paid advertising, organic search, etc.).
Have an extra room in the house? Try renting it out on Airbnb.com. According to Smart Asset, you can pay up to 81% of your rent by listing one room in a two-bedroom home. If you're really looking to ring in the cash, renting out a private home or apartment is the way to go. According to Smart Asset's findings, rates for full apartments are significantly higher than those for just rooms, with annual profits ranging from $15,000 to $31,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.

If I have a blog that is getting 100,000 page views a month that means that I’m probably getting at least 50,000 people to the site (most blogs will do between 1.2 to 1.4 pages per session). That means I have to try and get some small percentage of those people to buy something from me if I really want to do well. If I can’t get them to buy something then (in some cases) I have ads running on the site that will make me money anyways.
I personally have enjoyed working a direct sales/home based business on the side. I found a good, legitimate company with very low upfront costs/overhead. It has been a great experience. Just be sure that the company offers training and some sort of simple, step-by-step system and it helps if they are in the DSA Top 100– instantly proves their legitimacy!

If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.

If I have a blog that is getting 100,000 page views a month that means that I’m probably getting at least 50,000 people to the site (most blogs will do between 1.2 to 1.4 pages per session). That means I have to try and get some small percentage of those people to buy something from me if I really want to do well. If I can’t get them to buy something then (in some cases) I have ads running on the site that will make me money anyways.
If you don’t mind doing other people’s chores, then TaskRabbit is a great option for making money online. Earn extra income by walking your neighbor’s dog or mowing Mr. Smith’s lawn. It might seem like not the most lucrative option, but the top taskers reportedly earn as much as $7000 a month, making this a full-time way to make money online for some.
Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
If you’re a skilled worker in a specific niche, like marketing, design, or software development, there are specialty marketplaces that cater just to you. These are amazing places to make money online as you know that the people visiting them are looking specifically for the skills you have. Check out places like 99Designs or Dribbble for designers, Cloudpeeps for marketing and SEO professionals, and TopTal, Crew, or Gigster for high-level software developers. Once you've built up your development skills, you can begin building a brand for yourself as a higher-value consultant and start charging brands for larger projects like implementing an entire WordPress security overhaul or migrating a website from http to https.

The second (and cheaper) path assumes that you have the design and dev chops yourself to build your dream software. Naturally, it’ll take more time to get your product off the ground, but being able to bootstrap the development of your software lets you retain more ownership in your business and be more in control of your path, making this a lower-cost, but higher time investment to make money selling apps.
If you’ve got experience and expertise in a specific area of business, there are hundreds if not thousands of business owners who would love to jump on a phone call and pick your brain. This can be an easy way to make extra money online and to hone your skills to use in your consulting or freelance business. Sites like Clarity.fm let you create a profile where entrepreneurs and business owners can pre-pay to book a phone call with you for a set amount of time. Whether you’re an expert in raising money for startups, building apps, or running a restaurant, you can make extra money selling a few minutes of your time to people in need.
Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be making extra money online. Major brands, gear companies, and even startups are willing to shell out $500-$5,000+ per post to get in front of your audience. While it’s getting harder and harder to build a massive Instagram audience, if you already have a solid niche and are posting quality content regularly with a great camera for taking Instagram photos, with a few small tweaks you can make yourself an influencer. Check out this awesome article from Shopify on how to build and grow your Instagram following to get started.
Once you download the app and create an account, you’ll need to link a debit or credit card to start earning. Whenever you shop with one of Drop’s hundreds of partner brands, you’ll earn points. In addition to the points you earn for shopping, you can earn more rewards for completing simple tasks. Every friend you refer is worth 1,000 points. You can also earn additional points for integrating other apps or completing a Linked or Mobile offer.

I am a little late posting this, busy due to the holiday season. I love finding ways to make extra money. I have been using ebay for about a year, and sometimes make as much as I do at my job. My regular job is doing things for people that they cannot or don’t want to do for themselves. I am a personal assistant, house sit for people who own beach houses, clean out and organize closets and entire houses. The bonus to organizing closets is that they don’t want what they clean out, so I can sell it on ebay too 🙂
Samples. You’ll need some samples before you can really begin marketing yourself. Figure out which market you want to approach first, and then find or create some related samples. For instance, if you want to try your hand at blogging, study some successful blogs, and then write a few posts of your own to use as samples. Do this for any and every market you’d want to write for.
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