Ways to Make Money Online That Seem Great but Just Aren’t Realistic – Entrepreneur

The internet provides an entirely new way to make money. If you need a quick paycheck, you can try selling something on Craigslist or tapping into the gig economy. If you need a long-term means of producing income, there are plenty of suitable options — I should know, given that I’ve been making money by writing online since I graduated from college. 

In some ways, though, the opportunities for making money on the internet are not so different from how people have been trying to get rich on the frontiers of society for centuries. One example: In the 19th century, many English and Irish people (mostly men) abandoned their homes to start new lives in New Zealand, attracted by not only the gold mines but also the abundance of opportunity in industries like timber, wool and hunting seals. In The Penguin History of New Zealand, historian Michael King quotes an article from that time: “Here — where the social disabilities, the exclusive caste, the overstrained competition, and the stereotyped conventionalism of the Old World have not yet taken root — there is a clear field for men of talent, skill and energy to climb the social ladder and to attain to a degree of wealth and social elevation that is possible only to the favoured few in other countries.” 

Doesn’t that way of thinking — the optimism, the belief in meritocracy — sound like the logic that brings people to the web? Of course, not everyone who went to New Zealand found gold or became rich. The gold mines became crowded, the seals were overhunted and, in a short time, an opportunity that seemed like free money had become wildly competitive. 

The same can be true on the internet. Take a look at online gambling sites like DraftKings or FanDuel, both of which claim to give new users $500 for a “risk-free” first bet. It seems straightforward at first, but your money is refunded as site credit, which incentivizes you to keep gambling against people who probably have more resources, more experience and fewer scruples than you. If it were really so easy to make money on the internet through gambling sites, they wouldn’t need to offer you $500 to lure you in. 

I probably don’t need to tell you that sports gambling is a bad way to consistently make money online. But this represents a lot of ideas about acquiring income on the internet: They all start with an easy win or a flash of excitement — something to draw you in — but then prove more difficult and competitive. 

Related: 17 Passive Income Ideas for Increasing Your Cash Flow

So how can you tell whether your income-generating idea is more than a flash in the pan? Start by remembering that an idea is not the same as a business. You need to be able to outline precisely how to go from your first step to the last step (presumably generating revenue or passive income). It’s simple, but it’s worth saying: If you actually want to make money on the internet, know how you’re going to make money on the internet. You can’t be these guys:

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It’s certainly not impossible to earn an income online with these strategies, but it’s a longer and more convoluted road from step one to profit than you might expect. 

Related: 21 Low-Cost Ways to Make Money from Home

1. Becoming an Instagram influencer

Again, it’s possible to make money online as a social influencer. You don’t even necessarily need a million Instagram followers to do it: Many brands look to maximize their money by spreading their budget across micro-influencers (people with fewer than 10,000 followers and sometimes even 1,000 or fewer), who often have smaller-but-more-dedicated audiences than bigger-named celebrities. In fact, Rakuten Marketing interviewed 719 marketers across the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, finding that respondents spent 40 percent of their influencer budget on micro-influencers (compared to just 28 percent for celebrity influencers). 

By the numbers alone, you’d think there’s plenty of money to be made online this way. Influencer Marketing Hub projected there would $6.5 billion spent in influencer marketing in 2019, stemming from 4.4 million Instagram posts using tags like #spon, #ad or #brandname, denoting that they were ads from influencers. In the same report, Influencer Marketing Hub claimed only 11 percent of influencers are currently fully compliant with legal guidelines, meaning there are likely many more than just 4.4 million sponsored posts.

That may seem like a high number, but consider this: According to Hootsuite, 1 billion people use Instagram every month, and 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day. A 2016 Reuters article claimed Instagram users posted about 95 million photos and videos every day — over the course of a year, that’s over 34 billion Instagram posts, amd that number has only gone up since 2016.

According to those estimates (4.4 million ad posts, 34 billion total posts), only about 0.01 percent of Instagram posts are actually sponsored. 

Even if you crack into that upper echelon of Instagram users, there’s no guarantee you can earn a stable income from your posts: Emarketer claims that even for influencers with between 30,000 and 500,000 followers, an Instagram post only pays an average of $507. For nano influencers (500 to 5,000 followers), a post only pays about $100. 

If you need to reach the top 99.99th-percentile of your profession just to earn $100, there are better ways to make money online. 

Related: 18 Low-Cost Ways for Parents to Make Money From Home

2. Participating in multilevel marketing (MLMs) 

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You’ve almost certainly seen examples of MLMs on your social media feeds, even if you don’t know exactly what they are. You might have a cousin who posts advertisements for Avon or Tupperware on social media — or an old friend who sends you a private message and really wants you to try some “amazing” new product.

In an Atlantic article titled, “Beware of Selling Yoga Pants on Facebook,” Darlena Chenha sums up how we often experience multilevel marketing businesses in our daily lives. She writes: “Those being propositioned often think of multilevel marketing as a pyramid scheme or scam; those selling believe the business model is a straightforward way to earn extra income from home. Here’s how it works: ‘Consultants’ — sellers for a direct-sales company — solicit new recruits to sell products online, and, in addition to their own sales, those consultants then earn a percentage of their recruits’ sales. Those recruits, in turn, then sign up still more online sellers and earn a percentage of their sales, and so on.”

Entrepreneur understands how tapping into a well-known brand’s resources can help you make money: It’s why we created our Franchise 500 list. But there’s a big difference between opening a new Planet Fitness location and becoming a distributor for an MLM like LuLaRoe: You ought to make money on a good franchise investment, while you probably won’t with an MLM.

Related: 7 Online Business Ideas That Could Make You Rich

“Some MLMs are illegal pyramid schemes,” according to the FTC, and “most people who join legitimate MLMs make little or no money. Some of them lose money. People who become involved in an illegal pyramid scheme may not realize they’ve joined a fraudulent venture and typically lose everything they invest. Some also end up deeply in debt.”

In 2019, Vox published an article titled “More than 100 LuLaRoe sellers have filed for bankruptcy,” which highlights two major issues with companies like LuLaRoe:

  1. LuLaRoe “consultants” needed to spend about $5,000 for an “initial order kit,” in addition to whatever other startup costs there might be. 
  2. The products were, as Vox wrote, “unsellable.” There were simply too many sellers and not enough buyers. 

The solution for many unsuccessful sellers is simply to recruit more people: You might not be able to sell LuLaRoe leggings, but you can sell the company as a means to easy cash … and earn a bonus for “sponsoring” a new consultant who buys even more than the initial order kit.

“My sponsor is a single mom of two kids… she raved about how she was able to stay home and support her family, and I was intrigued,” LuLaRoe consultant Sherry Evans told Racked. “I saw posts about the amount of money people were making, and I thought this was my way to protect my family’s financial future.” 

After a year, Evans was still in debt. As of the time of the Racked article, she was still attempting to liquidate her inventory. By contrast, “her mentor says she receives bonus checks of over $100,000.”

At the end of the piece, Evans concludes: “It is all about the money, getting $6,000 or more from every new consultant … they don’t care about the rest of us.”

Next time you see someone posting about how you can make money online if only you start selling beauty products, or clothing, be wary. Think about this six-part checklist about pyramid schemes, which comes from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission:

  1. Emphasis on recruiting.
  2. No genuine product or service is sold.
  3. Promises of high returns in a short time period. 
  4. Easy money or passive income. 
  5. No demonstrated revenue from retail sales. 
  6. Complex commission structure. 

If you know people who are considering investing in an MLM or thinking about doubling down on their initial investment, remind them that they are much more likely to lose money than create a sustainable income. 

Related: 18 Ways for Digital Nomads to Make Money

3. Day trading

Here’s how the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission defines day trading: “Day traders rapidly buy and sell stocks throughout the day in the hope that their stocks will continue climbing or falling in value for the seconds to minutes they own the stock, allowing them to lock in quick profits … While day trading is neither illegal nor is it unethical, it can be highly risky.  Most individual investors do not have the wealth, the time, or the temperament to make money and to sustain the devastating losses that day trading can bring.”

Just like the other entries on this list, it’s possible to make money online through day trading. In fact, Entrepreneur contributor Tim Sykes says he made over a million dollars trading penny stocks while in college using this method. But day trading isn’t just a side hustle that leads to quick cash. For people considering whether to become a day trader, the SEC advises that day trading is an extremely stressful and expensive full-time job. You can’t believe claims of easy profits and must be prepared to suffer severe financial losses and even depend heavily on borrowing money.

When I searched the term “day trading” on Google, the first suggested video was titled “Day Trading: How to Make $500 in 15 Minutes.” It sounds almost exactly like those FanDuel offers above, doesn’t it? Here’s free money. It’s fool-proof. 

The second suggested video was called “Why 80% of Day Traders Lose Money.” 

Related: 5 Ways to Generate Passive Income and Keep Your Job

Day trading is a perfect example of an online moneymaking idea that seems great but just isn’t realistic. Think about it — if day trading were truly a good idea, and if you could actually learn to time the stock market, then everyone would be doing it. Brilliant investors like Warren Buffett would be turning billions into trillions in a matter of weeks. 

But that’s not how Buffett recommends someone should invest. Instead, he says there are only two rules of investing: Never lose money, and never forget the first rule. 

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The most important trait for a successful investor “is a temperamental quality, not an intellectual quality,” Buffett says. “You need a stable personality.”

Stability. Patience. These are the barometers of a good investor and a good investment. 

When I interviewed Troy Bader, CEO of Dairy Queen (owned by Berkshire Hathaway), he said the investment company’s leadership gave DQ a directive: Protect the brand for today, but grow it for tomorrow. That’s nearly the opposite of a day trader’s mentality. 

Investor Phil Town breaks down the risks (and possible rewards) in this video:

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Town claims success is rare in day trading — that perhaps only one out of 100 people manage to make a profit. But those rare successes don’t happen by accident. Town points out that professional day traders “make use of expensive software, hardware and news services in order to find buying opportunities, and they must also commit large amounts of time to the pursuit.” 

In all likelihood, you’re not going to make $500 in 15 minutes because you want to, no matter what the suggested YouTube video says. 

Related: 20 Creative Ways for Introverts to Make Money

What are some realistic ways to make money online?

If you do want to leverage the internet to create additional income, there are plenty of better options than trying to become an influencer, participating in an MLM or day trading. Entrepreneur contributor R.L. Adams broke down a few options for earning an online income, including:

  1. Leveraging the gig economy. Apps like Postmates, Uber and Lyft provide opportunities for additional income that did not exist even a few years ago.
  2. Utilizing existing websites. You can use Craigslist in all sorts of ways — to post advertisements for a sublet, offer your services and more. You can also sign up for gig economy resources like Upwork to use your skills to make money online.
  3. Selling your stuff. You don’t need to buy $5,000 worth of products from an MLM to create an inventory of things you can sell. You probably already have things that you don’t want and other people will. Think like Marie Kondo, and consider what you can live without. 

If you already have a business, you can use the internet to make more money in a variety of ways. You can start advertising on social media (even using influencers) or write a book that you can use as both a product and a lead generator. You might build a website that showcases your work or offer a series of tutorials on your area of expertise. 

However you choose to maximize your income-generating opportunities on the web, remember that a penny saved is a penny earned — and the best way to “make” money online might simply be to avoid losing it. 

CBD

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How to Start a Blog & Make Money in 2021: Your Step-by-Step Guide – MoneyCheck

Looking to start a blog in 2020? It’s a great decision!

It’s easier than ever to create a blog, and you don’t need any special technical knowledge to make a blog that’s 100% your own.

But while the process has gotten a lot easier, it still can feel a little overwhelming, right? It’s hard to know what you need to do, what to avoid, where to launch your blog, etc.

To help, we’ve put everything together into this one detailed guide. We’ll take you through literally everything you need to do to go from zero to a live, working blog that looks great and has all sorts of helpful features.

Ready to make your blog? Here’s how we’re going to break this post up:

  • Four common FAQs about making a blog so that you know what’s in store for you.
  • A high-level look at what you need to make a blog.
  • A detailed, step-by-step guide where we take you through everything from choosing a blog topic to knocking out the technical details and getting traffic to your blog.

Let’s get started!

Four Common FAQs About How to Start a Blog

Before we get into our detailed tutorial on how to create a blog, let’s go over some common questions so that you know what to expect from this guide.

1. Do I Need Special Technical Knowledge to Start a Blog?

No! The great thing about the method that we’ll show you is that you don’t need any special knowledge to follow along. You’ll be able to do everything from user-friendly interfaces. If you can click a button, you can follow this guide!

2. How Long Does It Take to Make a Blog?

You can have your blog up and running in 30 minutes or less. Of course, you’ll probably want to spend more time tweaking it to your liking. But the basic process of creating a blog really doesn’t take much time at all.

3. How Much Does It Cost to Create a Blog?

The method that we show you in this tutorial is not free, but it is pretty cheap. Overall, you should expect to pay around $60 for your entire first year. So that’s just ~$5 per month, or about the price of a fancy coffee drink.

There are some other things you might want to spend money on, but those are totally optional.

4. Will I Own My Blog?

Yes! The reason we recommend the method in this tutorial is because you 100% own your blog and all your content. This is different than something like Tumblr, where you’re just registering for an account on someone else’s website.

By owning your blog, you can build your own property and audience that you have full control over and can monetize in any way.

Female blogger
Blogging can be incredibly rewarding

What You Need to Create a Blog in 2020

There are only three things that you absolutely need to start your own blog. They are:

  1. Blogging software – this is the software that powers your blog and makes it so that you don’t need any special technical knowledge to run your blog.
  2. Web hosting – this is what powers your blogging software. Every single website needs a web host. Basically, you’re renting space on a computer (server) to run your blog software so that people can visit your site.
  3. Domain name – this is your blog’s permanent address on the Internet. For example, ours is moneycheck.com.

To create the basic foundation of your blog you need to:

  1. Pick a domain name.
  2. Purchase web hosting and link it with your domain name.
  3. Install your blogging software on your web hosting.

That sounds a little complicated – but don’t worry! We promised you that you didn’t need to be a techie and we’re going to deliver on that.

Thankfully, you can find services that combine those three steps into a single user-friendly interface, which is what we’ll use for this tutorial.

Once you have your basic working blog, you’ll want to:

  1. Choose a “theme” to control how your blog looks. You’ll have thousands of free options to pick from.
  2. Install some “plugins” to add important functionality to your blog, like features to help you rank in Google search.
  3. Implement traffic generating strategies (if you want to grow your audience).
  4. Start monetizing your blog (if you want to make money).

Don’t worry – we’ll show you how to do everything step-by-step.

Why We Recommend Self-Hosted WordPress as the Best Way to Make a Blog

Above, we mentioned the term “blogging software”. But while you have plenty of options, we really only recommend one solution when it comes to blogging software:

Self-hosted WordPress.

WordPress is by far the most popular way to make any type of website, including blogs. Over 35% of all the websites on the Internet use WordPress. Yes – that number means what it sounds like – over one-third of all the websites in existence use WordPress.

Additionally, some of the world’s most popular blogs use WordPress, including the very blog that you’re reading right now. If you check your favorite blogs, there’s a pretty good chance they use WordPress too.

WordPress
WordPress is by far the most popular blogging software

So why do we recommend WordPress and why is it so popular? Here are some of the biggest reasons:

  • It’s 100% free. While there are some associated costs with running a WordPress blog, the WordPress software itself is 100% free.
  • It’s extensible. There are thousands of WordPress “themes” and “plugins” that you can use to change how your blog looks and functions. Most of these are free and require no technical knowledge to use.
  • It’s easy to use. Whether this is your first blog or your fiftieth, you’ll be able to work with WordPress. You can do everything from a user-friendly interface.
  • It’s easy to find help. Because it’s so popular, you can find tons of resources and communities to help you work with WordPress. Including the tutorial you’re reading right now!

One important note here, though. When we say “self-hosted WordPress”, we’re referring to the free, open-source software that you find at WordPress.org. This is different from WordPress.com, where you can just register for an account to create a blog.

While the simplicity of WordPress.com is attractive, we think the self-hosted method that we’ll detail in this article is better for most blogs because it gives you a lot more ownership and flexibility. As your blog grows, that ownership and flexibility will be important for its success.

How to Start a Blog in 2020: Step-By-Step

Ok, enough housekeeping! Let’s dig into the guide.

If you follow along, you should be able to publish your first blog post in no time. In fact, if you’ve already decided on a blog topic and domain name, you can be writing your first post in just about 20 minutes!

Here are the steps that we’ll cover:

  1. Choose a blog topic (and validate it)
  2. Pick a domain name
  3. Purchase hosting + domain and install WordPress
  4. Write your first blog post ????
  5. Choose a theme
  6. Install some plugins
  7. Start growing your traffic
  8. Monetize your blog

1. Choose a Blog Topic and Validate It

If you’re just blogging for fun and you don’t have any plans to make money or build an audience, you can blog about whatever you want.

However, if you do have plans to turn this into a side hustle (or maybe even a full-time gig somewhere down the line!), then you want to do a little legwork to make sure you choose a topic that has some room to grow.

Finding a good blog topic is about discovering the intersection of a topic that you’re passionate about with a topic that has an audience of interested people.

The first part is important because building a blog takes time. If you’re not passionate about what you’re blogging about, you’re probably going to get bored and burn out before your blog becomes successful.

The second part is important because, if you want to grow your blog and make money, you need an audience of interested people.

So if you have an idea for a blog that you’re passionate about, how can you validate it and see if there’s a potential audience?

Here are some tips:

  • Check for existing blogs – if you find other successful people who are blogging about your topic, that’s a good sign that you’ll be able to similarly grow your blog.
  • Use Google Trends – you can enter your blog’s topic in Google Trends to see how interest is changing over time. Ideally, you want to pick a topic that’s trending upwards.
  • Perform some keyword research – keyword research lets you see what topics people are searching for in Google. If lots of people are searching for the topics around your blog subject, that’s a great sign. You can use Moz Keyword Explorer to perform keyword research for free.
  • Scope out social media – browse social media around your topic and see how active the communities are. For example, if you want to blog about financial independence (FIRE), seeing the huge FIRE community on Reddit is a great sign that you have an interested audience.

2. Choose Your Domain Name

Your domain name is your blog’s permanent address on the Internet. For example, ours is moneycheck.com.

Typically, the name of your blog should be the same as its domain name. As such, it plays an important role in the branding of your website and you want to get it right.

For a blog, you want something that’s both brandable and topical.

The brandable part is important because you want your blog to stand out and be easy to remember. But the topical part is also important because you want people to instantly know roughly what your blog is about from the domain.

We think moneycheck.com does a pretty good job of hitting both notes. It’s brandable and easy to remember, but it’s also instantly clear that our blog deals with finance and making money.

Unfortunately, only one person can own a domain name at a time. So if you come up with the perfect idea, it’s possible that someone else has already purchased it.

To check whether a domain name is still available and get some helpful suggestions, you can use Instant Domain Search.

How to check your blog's domain name

How to check your blog's domain name

Don’t worry about purchasing it yet, though, because you’re going to knock that out in the next step.

3. Purchase hosting, domain name, and install WordPress

Now, it’s time to move from the theoretical and get into the technical.

That is, it’s time to launch your blog and make it accessible to people around the world.

As we mentioned, you need web hosting to power your blog. When someone visits your domain name, your web hosting will run the WordPress software to serve up your blog content.

You’re going to set up all three of those bolded elements in this step. Don’t worry – it’s super easy because you can do it all from one spot.

Our Recommended Host

When you’re getting started with your blog, we recommend a hosting service called Bluehost because it:

  • Has very affordable prices – you’ll pay just ~$60 for your entire first year of hosting.
  • Gives you a free domain name – this would usually cost you $10-15 by itself, but it’s included in the $60 price tag.
  • Makes it super easy to install WordPress – you’ll get a simple setup wizard where you can install the WordPress software and launch your blog.

Here’s how to get started with Bluehost and install WordPress…

Sign Up for Bluehost and Purchase Hosting

First, click here to visit Bluehost. Then, choose your hosting plan. If you just want to create a single blog, you can pick the cheap Basic plan – it’s got plenty of resources for your needs (at least until your blog becomes super popular!):

How to start a blog with Bluehost

How to start a blog with Bluehost

Visit BlueHost

On the next page, enter the domain name you chose in the previous step in the Create a new domain box. Remember – Bluehost gives you a free domain name as part of your plan. Then, click Next:

Enter custom domain

Enter custom domain

At the top of the next page, you’ll need to enter some basic account information:

Enter basic account details

Enter basic account details

Below that, you can configure your Package Information and Package Extras.

In the Package Information section, you can choose your Account Plan. Basically, this refers to the number of years of service you want to purchase. The minimum commitment is one year, but you’ll get a discount on the monthly price if you purchase longer terms.

Here’s the monthly price by plan term:

  • One year – $4.95 per month.
  • Two years – $3.95 per month.
  • Three years – $2.95 per month.

The cheapest upfront option is to choose one year, which will cost you about $60 for the entire year:

Choose Bluehost plan to start a blog

Choose Bluehost plan to start a blog

Below that, Bluehost will try to upsell you with some Package Extras – feel free to ignore all of these – you don’t need any of them. Just go through and uncheck all the boxes:

Total price

Total price

To finish things out, enter your Payment Information and click Submit:

Enter billing information

Enter billing information

And that’s it! You just signed up for Bluehost.

Run the WordPress Install Tool

Once you sign in to Bluehost for the first time, Bluehost will automatically launch a setup wizard to help you install WordPress. Again, this is one of the benefits of using Bluehost.

If you don’t see this tool, you can always access it later by going to My Sites in your Bluehost dashboard and then clicking Create Site.

On the first page of the setup wizard, enter a name and tagline for your blog. Don’t stress too much because you can always change these later.

We also recommend expanding the Advanced settings and manually entering the credentials for your WordPress account. In the next step, you’ll use these to log in to your new blog, so it’s important to remember them:

Install WordPress to start a blog

Install WordPress to start a blog

On the next page, you should see your domain pre-selected in the drop-down. Then, you can also choose whether or not to install some free plugins. We’d recommend unchecking all these boxes for now as we’ll cover plugins in their own dedicated section later on:

Extra plugins

Extra plugins

And that’s it! Bluehost will install and setup WordPress for you.

Once the process finishes, you should see a success message. You can click Login to WordPress to access your blog’s dashboard, which is what we’ll cover in the next step:

Your WordPress blog details

Your WordPress blog details

4. Acquaint Yourself With the WordPress Dashboard (and Write Your First Post)

The WordPress dashboard is basically the control panel for your blog. It’s where you’ll:

  • Write new blog posts.
  • Manage reader comments.
  • Control how your blog looks.
  • Add new functionality to your blog.
  • …plus a whole lot more.

Basically, you’re going to be spending a lot of time here.

Your WordPress blog dashboard

Your WordPress blog dashboard

We’ll cover some specific areas of this dashboard in the next step. But for now, why don’t we do something fun?

See, you officially have a working blog now, so you’re all set to write your first blog post ????

To do this, hover over the Posts option in the dashboard sidebar and click Add New. This will launch the WordPress editor, which is where you can add content:

How to write your first blog post

How to write your first blog post

The WordPress editor is based on “blocks”. Each block is a specific item in your post. For example:

  • A paragraph of text.
  • An image
  • A video player.
  • A button.
  • Etc.

To start writing your blog post, you can just click and type – WordPress will automatically create text blocks for you as you type:

Adding text to your blog

Adding text to your blog

If you want to add something other than text, like an image, you can click any of the plus icons:

Adding blocks

Adding blocks

This will open the block inserter interface, from which you can insert all different types of content.

As you hover over a block, WordPress will generate a preview for you so that you can understand what the block does:

Block preview

Block preview

Once you add a block, you can configure it in the editor interface. For example, if you add an image block, all you need to do is drag in an image from your desktop (or click the button to manually upload it):

Image block

Image block

Feel free to explore all of the blocks and experiment.

Once you’re finished writing your blog post, you can click the blue Publish button in the top-right corner to make it live.

Congratulations! It’s probably been less than an hour and you’ve already written your first blog post. That’s awesome, right?

Now, let’s dig in and really make your blog your own.

5. Choose a WordPress Theme to Control Your Blog’s Design

Your WordPress blog’s “theme” controls how your site looks.

Think of your WordPress theme like your blog’s clothing.

If you want to change your clothing, all you do is put on a new outfit. It doesn’t change who you are underneath.

It’s the same with your blog – you can easily change to a new theme without losing any of your existing blog posts and settings.

How to Find a WordPress Theme

The great thing about WordPress is that you can choose from thousands of free themes, plus thousands more premium options. Additionally, you can find themes dedicated to specific “niches”. For example, if you have a travel blog, you can find a travel blog theme. Or if you have a fashion blog, you can find a fashion blog theme.

When you’re just getting started, a free theme is totally fine, though you can feel free to purchase a premium theme if you find one that you absolutely love.

To find the perfect theme for your blog, we recommend two starting spots:

For example, here at Money Check, we use the Contentberg theme, which is a premium theme available at ThemeForest.

How to Install a WordPress Theme

Once you find the perfect theme for your site, you need to install it via your WordPress dashboard.

How you install a WordPress theme depends on where you found it.

If you found a free theme at WordPress.org, go to Appearance → Themes → WordPress.org Themes and search for the theme by name. Then, you can click the Install button:

How to install a WordPress theme on your blog

How to install a WordPress theme on your blog

After a short wait while WordPress installs the theme, you can click the Activate button to make it live on your blog.

On the other hand, if you opted to purchase a premium theme, you’ll need to manually upload the theme. Typically, the place where you purchased your theme will provide you with a zip file that contains the theme.

To upload this to your blog, go to Appearance → Themes → Upload → Upload Theme. Then, you can select the zip file and click Install Now to upload it:

Upload a theme

Upload a theme

How to Customize Your WordPress Theme

Once you install your theme, you can further customize it, like choosing different colors or fonts. Some themes also let you import “demo content” to make your blog look exactly like the theme demo.

To customize the appearance of your theme, go to Appearance → Customize. This will launch the WordPress Customizer, which lets you customize everything using a real-time visual preview:

How to start customizing a WordPress blog theme

How to start customizing a WordPress blog theme

6. Install WordPress Plugins for Important Functionality

Whereas WordPress themes let you control the design of your blog, WordPress plugins let you add new functionality to your blog.

There are 50,000+ free WordPress plugins alone, so if you want to do something, you can probably find a plugin for it!

Plugins can do small things, like helping you add a contact form, or big things, like adding a functioning eCommerce store. In fact, WooCommerce, the WordPress eCommerce plugin, is actually the most popular way to create an eCommerce store (even more popular than Shopify!).

You’ll almost certainly want to install some plugins to add specific functionality for your niche. For example, if you have a food blog, you might want to use a WordPress recipe plugin to add user-friendly recipes to your posts.

However, while we’ll cover those niche-specific plugins in a second, there are also some must-have plugins that all blogs need, regardless of what your blog is about.

The Must-Have Plugins That All Blogs Need

No matter what, you should install the following plugins on your site. Don’t worry, they’re all free!

  • Yoast SEO – this plugin helps with search engine optimization (SEO). We’ll touch on SEO in the next section, but SEO is basically what helps your blog rank highly in Google’s search results.
  • UpdraftPlus – this plugin helps you automatically back up your blog to keep your data safe. Backups are important – don’t ignore this one.
  • WPForms – every blog needs a contact form so that visitors can get in touch. WPForms makes it easy to create your own contact form using a simple drag-and-drop interface.
  • ShortPixel – if you upload unoptimized images then your blog will load slowly, which you don’t want. ShortPixel will automatically optimize your images for you so that your blog loads faster.
  • Akismet – people love spamming websites. Akismet will automatically filter out most spam for you so that you don’t have to deal with it.

There are also some plugins that aren’t must-haves, but most blogs can benefit from:

  • Social Snap – add social media sharing buttons to your blog.
  • Google Site Kit – add important Google services to your blog (like analytics) and view data from those services inside your blog. Great for seeing how your blog grows over time and discovering your most popular content.
  • Elementor – lets you design content using a visual, drag-and-drop interface. Helpful if you feel limited by the regular WordPress block editor or want to create landing pages.

How to Find Other Plugins

If you want to go beyond the must-have functionality that we detailed above, you can find tens of thousands of free and premium WordPress plugins for pretty much anything imaginable.

So where can you find these plugins?

First, if you want to find free WordPress plugins, the best spot is the WordPress.org plugin directory, which contains over 50,000 free plugins.

For premium plugins, a good starting spot is CodeCanyon. Tons of developers also sell directly through your own sites, which you can find by searching on Google.

How to Install a WordPress Plugin

Just as with themes, how you install a WordPress plugin depends on where you found it.

If you found a free plugin at WordPress.org, you can go to Plugins → Add New and search for it by name. Then, click Install Now and then Activate to make the plugin live:

How to start installing plugins for a blog

How to start installing plugins for a blog

For premium plugins, you can go to Plugins → Add New and click the Upload Plugin button near the top to upload the plugin’s zip file.

How to Work With Installed Plugins

Once you install a plugin, it normally adds a new menu to your WordPress dashboard where you can configure the plugin’s settings.

The exact location of this menu depends on the plugin, so there’s no “one” spot where all your plugins are located.

Some plugins, like Yoast SEO, add a new top-level menu item:

yoast seo plugin

yoast seo plugin

Other plugins might include their settings as sub-items underneath an existing menu.

7. Start Getting Traffic to Your Blog

At this point, your blog is ready for primetime – you just need to add visitors!

First off, to make your blog accessible to visitors, you first need to take it out of “Coming Soon” mode. Bluehost activates this by default to let you develop your blog in privacy.

To turn it off, click the Coming Soon Active button at the top of your WordPress dashboard and then click Launch your site:

How to start a blog and go out of Bluehost coming soon mode

How to start a blog and go out of Bluehost coming soon mode

Now, people anywhere in the world can access your blog.

So how can you get some new eyeballs on your blog? Let’s go through some of the most common strategies.

For each strategy, we’ll link you to a detailed guide to help you get started:

Writing about all the ways to generate traffic to your blog requires a whole huge post of its own, so we can’t go into too much detail. But if you learn about the tactics above, you’ll be off to a great start!

8. Consider Monetizing Your Blog

Finally, once you start getting traffic to your blog, you might want to start seeing if you can make a little money from your blog.

Here are some of the most common ways to make money with a blog:

  • Affiliate marketing – promote products from other people and receive a commission in return. For example, you can promote products from Amazon and earn ~1-4% of whatever people end up purchasing from Amazon. Check out the best affiliate programs for bloggers.
  • Display ads – automatically display ads on your blog using something like Google AdSense or Media.net.
  • Sponsored posts – people will pay you to sponsor a post. Just make sure to publicly disclose when a post is sponsored!
  • Direct ad sales – instead of using an automatic ad service, you can directly sell ads. You can usually make a little more money this way, but it’s more work to find advertisers.
  • Sell your own products – once you have an audience, you can sell eBooks or even create your own online course to go along with your blog. A lot of bloggers have found success with offering courses or other information products.

You Just Made a Blog – That’s Awesome!

And with that, we’ve come to the end of our tutorial on how to start a blog.

Congratulations on successfully launching your own blog – we’re sure that it’ll be a smashing success. Share it in the comments so that everyone can check out what you just built.

And if you still have any lingering questions about how to create a blog, leave a comment and we’ll do our best to help you out!

Tips for Making Money With Your Blog

Owning a profitable blog is an exhilarating experience. You get to post about your favorite topics to an audience of qualified readers that are interested in what you have to say on various issues.

However, how do you build and grow an audience from the ground-up?

Blogging is one of the best forms of creating a targeted audience. Typically, there are two models people use for their blog.

  1. The first model involves producing content that increases user engagement and helps you sell products on your website.
  2. The second model consists of receiving advertising revenue from other companies that are in your niche.

Working with Your Passion Brings Results

Speak to any successful blogger about the key to their success, and they’ll tell you it was working with their passion in life. If you’re struggling to find a topic to launch your blog – then go with what you know.

You’ll need to produce content over the coming years to build your readership. If you choose a topic or subject that you find interesting, you’ll create better content.

By working with your passion on your blog, you’ll have a never-ending stream of content coming from your mind, and you’ll never run out of ideas. You need to understand the depth of the internet and how many users go online every day.

If you think that no-one wants to hear you talk about your pink-haired troll collection – then think again. There are people online searching for anything that you can imagine. You can bet there’s an army of troll collectors out there that you never knew existed.

The point is to start with something you enjoy doing, and then create a business out of that idea. By working with your passion, blogging will never feel like work.

Create Unique Content

“On the internet, content is king.” – Bill Gates. These are the most accurate words ever spoken when it comes to marketing online. If you’re trying to draw advertisers to your blog, then you need outstanding content.

Think of your content as the backbone of your site. If you were to visit a blog with weak content that fails to draw your interest, would you revisit it? Take this mindset into your content creation.

Many newbies make the mistake of publishing a new blog every day when the site is new. When your new blog is going, your mind is bursting with ideas for content.

As a result, the blogger ends up releasing a new blog every day. Unfortunately, even the most hardened bloggers eventually run out of fresh ideas.

Post once a week, instead of publishing on a daily schedule when getting started with your blog. For the first year of your blog, the chances are that you won’t be seeing massive amounts of traffic visiting your site. Therefore, save your best content for further down the road when you have more traffic.

Where to Find Content Ideas

When your blog starts to gain traction, you need to increase your posting frequency. This strategy invites viewers back to your blog multiple times throughout the week, boosting your weekly traffic volume.

Advertisers want to see your audience growing steadily, and that you have a high engagement rate with your content.

However, many new bloggers run out of ideas a few months into the project. Even if you are the most dedicated runner, you’ll still “run-out” of ideas to post about sooner or later.

This situation is where software comes into play. Programs like “Buzzsumo” can help you identify new topic ideas for your blog.

Buzzsumo scans social media channels for popular articles that are relevant to your blog topic. By reading other peoples content, you get inspiration for new ideas. You can rewrite articles with your unique flair, and present them as new material to your audience.

Build an Audience

Every blog needs an audience to have advertisers interested in spending money. Without an audience, your blog has no value, and it’s only taking up cyberspace. You need to get your blog some attention to increase its viewership.

Make your blog easy to share across all media channels and visible to your core audience. Do you know your audience demographics? Understanding the income distribution and behavior of your target audience helps you define what products would work well with what blog posts to maximize conversion for advertisers.

It’s essential to track metrics, as well as how much traffic is clicking through the advertiser’s site. If your blog is sending your advertiser plenty of qualified leads that convert, then you can approach them with an increase in your advertising rates.

Why do Companies Advertise on Blogs?

Gone are the days when TV, radio, and billboards ruled the marketing world. While these forms of media were useful in the past, they are no longer relevant in the digital age of marketing. Let’s look at an example of how these methods no longer work on consumers.

If you were alive 15-years ago and came back from a trip to the airport, the chances are that you remember staring at billboards. As the traffic moves on at a snail’s pace, your mind wanders, and the advertisers take advantage of this situation.

Nowadays, the next time you get stuck in traffic, look at the other drivers and passengers around you. The chances are that they are not staring at the billboards. Most of them, at least 90-percent, won’t be watching the road – they’re looking at their phones.

This example clearly shows the shift from outdoor advertising to digital media over the last decade or so. Marketers want to maximize their reach, and they want to put their message in front of as many qualified prospects as possible.

Make Money Online

Make Money Online

Advertising on blogs is a form of digital advertising that’s gaining traction. Advertisers find the sites in their niche with the highest traffic. They then invest their marketing budget into advertising on these platforms.

For instance, if you own a fishing tackle company, and want to sell more products, you have a few options. You could advertise on outdoor media through billboards and flyers, or you could dump your marketing dollars online.

Using traditional advertising methods, such as billboards, won’t get you very far. Imagine posting a billboard and spending thousands of dollars for the advertising space. The chances are that 90-percent of the people that view your advertisement never picked up a fishing pole in their lives. That situation is wasting your budget with unqualified prospects.

By finding a fishing blog with a vast readership, you get access to qualified clients. You know that readers of the blog are interested in fishing and that they need your product. By paying the blog to advertise on their website, you’ll increase your conversions when compared to the billboard example.

Build the Traffic and the Advertisers Will Come

Eventually, you’ll reach a stage where your blog has a significant amount of traffic flowing through it daily. For some people that know what they are doing, or catch onto a trending niche, they can experience overnight success.

Your success in blogging is not a guarantee, no matter which platform you use or what niche you think is going to be the next big thing online.

The best you can do is position yourself to take advantage of what others learned along the way and convert it into your unique concept. Replicating those people that are successful, and scrutinizing everything they do is a key to discovering how to apply those same ideas to your blog.

Some ideas will work for you, and others will fail. By testing and tracking everything you do with your blog, you’ll dramatically increase your chances of making it a second income stream. When everything clicks, and you receive your first offer, don’t be surprised if you receive others shortly after that.

Go Out and Get the Revenue

So, it’s been some time. You now have a blog that advertisers are interested in adding to their portfolio. There’s only one problem – nobody’s breaking down the doors to work with you. The internet is a big place, and even if your blog is doing well, there’s a chance everyone else is not watching.

If you have reliable metrics and can prove that your site has good visitor volume throughout the month, then try reaching out to other websites and companies. Choose companies that you respect and believe are in line with your blog’s values. Using this strategy enables you to be selective with your advertisers, instead of taking any deal that comes along.

Sometimes the best way to get an advertising deal – is to ask. Nothing is stopping you from making a contact list of companies you like, and then sending a prospectus to their marketing department. Send them a personalized executive statement about what you want from the deal along with your rate card and terms.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is using your blog to sell a product or a brand, then being compensated by the company or creator of said product or brand. Compensation usually is a percentage of the revenue the company has earned through your website.

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways to get started making money from your blog when it is new as there is usually no minimum requirements for levels of traffic.

That means you can get started from the very beginning by signing up to affiliate programs and dropping links into your posts, reviewing products and services or adding banners to your site.

We go into a lot more detail in this guide: What are the Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers?

What are the Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers?

What are the Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers?

Build Links to Help Your Blog Dominate Your Niche

Search Engine Optimization is a powerful online marketing strategy designed to make your site visible and increase traffic. Talented online marketers reach out to other websites and build backlinks to your website.

By creating more links that point back toward your site, you make yourself look like a credible authority in your niche.

Advertisers want to do business with authority sites, and by building your blog with plenty of backlinks to authority sites, you become a leader in your niche. Some websites charge for backlinks, and others do it for free.

However, if you want a permanent link on a big site, it could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars a year.

When traffic starts visiting your blog in decent volume, its time take advantage of affiliate selling. Affiliate selling involves you leaving links to products and services online.

A simplified example of this is reselling with Amazon. If you own a lifestyle blog, you could write a post about your new sunglasses. Talk about how they were the best you ever used while sun tanning poolside on vacation.

Leave a link to an Amazon vendor embedded in a keyword in your post. When your audience reads your blog, a percentage of them will click the link and purchase the sunglasses from the Amazon vendor.

You get a commission from the sale, and everyone gets a clean deal that adds value to their lives and business.

Marketing Your Blog on Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are how the world is moving with communications. Each of these platforms offers users a unique way to share their life experiences with friends and family.

The content shared on Facebook ranges with topics on anything you can imagine. Open a Reddit feed, and you’ll have threads on any topic you can imagine. Instagram has trillions of photos of anything from people, to pets, to products.

Facebook offers you a great avenue to introduce your blog to more readers. Open a Facebook business page and populate it with top-quality content. Use Facebook ads manager to target people in your niche that are interested in reading blogs, and spend a few dollars on an advertising budget.

Facebook automatically pushes your content in front of people that are interested in your niche and meet your customer or reader demographic. You can use the tools in ad manager to track where your new views are coming from and refine your targeting for your next ad campaign.

Wrapping Up – Scale Your Efforts

The best part about blogging is that you create a scalable model. Once you know what works, you can replicate your blog in any industry and experience the same results. This rule makes it easy to build multiple blogs covering a wide range of niches that interest you.

If you persist with your passion, you’ll eventually reap the rewards of a profitable blog that produces you consistent income.

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How to Make Money Online—50 Best Ways to Make Money Online (2020) – Parade

“I wonder if I’ll be able to afford groceries the entire month,” you say as your direct deposit hits your account. If your 9-5 paycheck is feeling a little underwhelming, and you’re wondering, how to make money online, then you’ve come to the right place!

We’re rounding up the 50 best ways to make money online—from tutoring to transcribing to way more.

50 Ways to Make Money Online

iStock
(iStock)

1. Sell Old Clothes, Shoes, and Other Fashion Items You Never Use Anymore

Do you have old clothes and such hanging in your closet that you never wear? Apps like Poshmark and Tradesy make it easy to sell your stuff online. No, you won’t get them for the price you paid, but you’ll make more from them than if they were sitting in your closet doing nothing.

2. Become a Consultant

If you know how to do something other people don’t, you might very well be able to work as a consultant on your own time and your own terms. Think things like bookkeeping, social media, copywriting, or doing taxes.

Related: Looking To Start A Side Hustle In 2020? Here’s Your Reading List 

3. Become a Transcriptionist

If you type at the speed of light, you might be able to pull in a decent side income as a transcriptionist. Do your due diligence and find a reputable site you can look for gigs on, but TranscribeMe! is one possible place to start.

4. Buy and Resell Stuff Online

Picture it: You find a popular toy discounted at your local Target, that’s going for twice as much on Amazon. You sell it on Amazon and make some easy money. Voila—a side hustle. Oh, and BTW, this is called “retail arbitrage.” And when you find something online for super cheap that you then resell, it’s called “online arbitrage.” Google it. Learn it.

5. Tutor

People hire tutors for everything, from math and English to singing and drawing. You can even do it on Skype! No need to meet in person. Depending on what you’re teaching and how much experience you have, you can set a pretty decent hourly rate.

6. Invest Even With the Smallest Amount of Money

It’s not technically a side hustle, but it will make you money with minimal effort on your part! Apps like Stash and Acorns let you invest with hardly any cash at all.

Related: Oh My Posh! Haley Gibbs Has Made Over $65,000 Selling Thrift Store Clothes on Poshmark—Here’s Her Top Tips 

7. Start a Dropshipping Business

If you want to start an online side hustle, dropshipping is an excellent idea because it requires little money to get going. In fact, you don’t purchase any inventory until a customer buys the product from you.

8. Create a Private Label Product

“Private label” means that you purchase a blank, unbranded product and slap your own logo on it. Much of what you see on Amazon is private label products. Note that you’ll need decent cash ready on hand to get a private label product up and running, and it can be pretty risky. But if you play your cards right, the payoff can be huge.

9. Sell Apparel on Merch by Amazon

In its quest to take over the world, the marketplace giant created Merch by Amazon, which allows you to design things like T-shirts and sell them on Amazon as a print-on-demand service. Low-cost and low-maintenance, it’s a pretty straightforward online side hustle.

10. Join Amazon Mechanical Turk

Another one of the marketplace’s many gifts to us is Amazon Mechanical Turk. On MTurk, you can get hired for “micro-tasks” by companies outsourcing some of their work to people just like you.

11. Get Paid to Watch Ads

Look, the internet is going to force you to watch them anyway. You might as well get paid for it.

12. Write an eBook

If you’re good with words and think you have something relevant to teach people, an eBook can be a simple way to share your thoughts and make money while you do so. And these days, it’s easier than ever to publish your work on platforms like Amazon.

Related: How A Side Hustle Can Add Passion—And a Big Payoff—To Your Career 

13. Start a YouTube Channel

Let’s be honest: You look amazing on camera. Put it to good use and grow a YouTube channel where you can eventually monetize ad space and sell stuff. Win!

“Share your expertise,” says international speaker Adnan Kukic. “We’re all good at something. Share your knowledge online through your own blog, YouTube, or another platform. Then, take your existing content, expand on it, and finetune it into an eBook or course and sell that. This way, you’ll already have an audience to sell to as well as authority on the subject.”

14. Answer Questions

Are you an expert in a field like law, medicine, or tech? You could easily make extra money by answering people’s questions on a website like Just Answer.

15. Run an Affiliate Website

Did you know that Amazon will give you a cut of every product of theirs that you sell?! Create an online shop where everything you sell is actually available for purchase on Amazon, and make money whenever someone buys from Amazon, through your site.

16. Share Your Opinions on Products

Nothing is more fun than sharing your opinions, and User Interviews will actually pay you to do it. Side hustles don’t have to be hard.

17. Offer Your Services on Fiverr

The cool thing about Fiverr is that you can do quick, short-term projects to make money sooner rather than later. Think of writing a blog or creating a logo.

18. Use Your Phone’s Lock screen for Ads

Extra cash may be hiding in the lock screen of your phone. Using Slidejoy, you’ll watch ads every time you unlock your phone—and get paid for it.

Related: Chris Guillebeau Shares How To Make Cash Quick in Side Hustle

19. Sell Your Spam and Junk Mail

Nothing is more satisfying than deleting the ever-growing number of junk mail in your email inbox—but hold up. Instead, sell it to the SBKC for market research, and they’ll thank you with a Visa debit card.

20. Start a Blog

I’m not going to pretend this is easy, but it can work especially if the topic you focus on is something really specific. Don’t forget to throw in some affiliate links and ads for good measure.

21. Become an Influencer

Again, is this necessarily easy? Naw. But if you love taking gorgeous pictures surrounding something other people also love—like travel, fashion, or beauty—you might see serious dollar signs (and you get to have fun doing it).

22. Take Online Surveys

It’s not going to make you rich, but it’s a way to get extra cash without ever having to leave the house. Save the Student! has a list that you can check out.

23. Sell Handmade Goods on Etsy

If you’re into arts and crafts, you might find a new home—and a side income—on Etsy.

24. Join an Online Focus Group

Get paid to share your opinions, test out new products, watch new TV shows, and more.

25. Teach English Online

You already know how to speak it, so what’s the big deal?

26. Take on Work as a Virtual Assistant

You don’t have to leave your home, you don’t have to put a bra on, and you make money at your computer. Boom. I call that a win. People hire virtual assistants to do everything from managing their email inbox to posting on their social media pages.

27. Become a Podcast Host

You’ve got important things to say! Like a blog and YouTube channel, once you have a decent following, you can monetize a podcast.

28. Sell Old Stuff Online From Your Childhood

You might actually be sitting on a goldmine and not even know it. Go through old items from your childhood, collectibles, and other things gathering dust around your house, and see what they’re going for online. eBay is a good place for stuff like this.

29. Be a Mystery Shopper

Yes, you can actually do this online! Test out websites’ user experience, security, and other factors, and make cash while doing it.

30. Create an Online Course

History and math aren’t the only courses people pay for. Make no mistake about it: You can indeed create and charge for courses on arts and crafts, playing the clarinet, woodworking, improving your golf swing, and just about anything else.

Related: Another Poshmark Success Story! Seller Nick Waskosky Shares His Thrift Store Hacks for Turning $10 into $400 

31. Play Games on Your Phone

Imagine making money while you’re playing games on the toilet. What a world!

32. Flip Domain Names

Note: This takes training and education, and you shouldn’t assume you’ll make money overnight (although you can). That being said, flipping domains can be insanely lucrative.

33. Create (or Buy) and Sell Websites

Some people create and build out websites with the sole goal of selling them for a profit as soon as they can. You can also do this with pre-existing websites.

34. Test Out New Websites

This is similar to mystery shopping, although the objective might be slightly different. Companies will sometimes hire people to dig through their websites and purposely look for things that don’t work.

35. Be an Online Customer Service Chat Agent

If you don’t mind getting berated (kidding! maybe…), plenty of companies are on the hunt for customer service agents to assist people via chat.

36. Become a Wholesale Online Seller

“Selling online can be a side income or it can replace your regular job,” says Aymeric Monello of The Wholesale Formula. “It can be whatever you want it to be.” Monello moved to this country from France less than 10 years ago not even knowing the language. In 2019, he sold his Amazon wholesale business for over $400k.

Do you have to grow your biz that big? Certainly not. Can you? Yes! Online side hustles, for the win.

37. Offer Social Media Services

Social media agencies are popping up left and right, and for a good reason: You can make so much money, it’ll keep you up at night. Or, you can simply do light social media for a few brands here and there and just earn a little money on the side. Your call!

38. Get Paid to Watch Videos

You can easily win points for watching videos online or on your phone, and then redeem those points for cash or other “prizes.”

39. Review Software

Websites like Capterra will pay you to leave reviews of software, websites, and tools you’ve used. Seriously, could online side hustles get any easier? They’ve sent me so many $10 Amazon gift cards, it’s ridiculous (ridiculously awesome).

40. Listen to Music

Yup, it’s true. Some websites will pay participants (in cash, Amazon gift cards, etc.) to rate and review music. Sometimes, this data is used by radio stations and such to better understand what people want to hear. Pretty sweet, yeah?

41. Take on Freelance Writing Jobs

This writer has been at it for 10 years and still can’t believe she gets paid to do something so fun. But here we are. Learn how to be a freelance writer and you might find yourself with a really decent online side hustle on your hands.

42. Earn Cash Back and Rewards for Shopping Online

Fine, yes, I included another not-really-an-online-side-hustle. Rakuten (formerly Ebates) gives you cash and rewards when you shop. You guys! It’s free money!

43. Do a Google Search

I didn’t think this could be real, but yes, you can make money simply by looking for things in search engines, like Google and Bing. Check out Qmee for more.

44. Sell Your Pictures

All kinds of people are searching for all kinds of photos, and they might just pay to use yours. Upload your pics to platforms like Adobe Stock or Getty Images (iStock) and see if you get any bites.

45. Share Your Notes With Students

Man, I took the best notes in college. Opportunity: Missed. Yes, you can sell your notes to other students. Sounds shady, but it’s legit. Stuvia and Nexus Notes are worth a look.

46. Try Peer-to-Peer Lending

This is exactly what it sounds like: people lending other people money, as opposed to those latter people needing to go to a bank. You still charge interest, obvi. Lending Club is a popular choice for this.

47. Read

It can’t be. It’s just… too good to be true. Using a site like Online Book Club, you can read books online (or it looks like they’re sometimes mailed to you), and then you get paid to leave an honest review. You can bet your behind I just signed up.

48. Manage Emails

Yes, this might be one of your tasks as a virtual assistant. However, it’s also a job in and of itself. Companies will hire people solely to manage their inboxes, respond to emails, and set up appointments via email.

49. Start a Facebook Subscription Group

Charge people to join your Facebook group and give them exclusive access to the content they’re dying for.

50. Go to Jury Duty

Jury duty sucks… unless you can do it without leaving the house. eJury will pay you to participate in mock juries or focus groups to help attorneys prepare for court. It won’t make you reach, but it is an effortless online side hustle.

Ready to get started? Here are 155 hustle quotes to help you stay motivated.

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