Here is the Truth!
You’ll recognize many of the sites below. However, when I usually write about them, I’m referring to them as means of outsourcing. In this case, I’m listing them as ways to make money online by being a provider of services.
- Elance - I love Elance for outsourcing, and on the flip side, it could be a great way to make money online as a freelancer.
- oDesk – Same as Elance, although many say that oDesk is the better choice for hiring programmers.
- Microworkers – Make money by performing mini-tasks.
- Mechanical Turk- Owned by Amazon, this site is similar to Microworkers, but maybe a bit more sophisticated.
- Fiverr – Make money online by offering virtually any service or mini-task…the catch is, you have to charge $5!
- Just a Five – Very similar to Fiverr.
- TenBux – Make money with gigs that cost either $5 or $10.
- GigMe5 – I think you get the idea…
- UpHype – Another gig site, with odd price points: $8, $16, or $24.
- Dollar3 – A gig site with price point in multiples of $3, starting at $3.
- Jobs for 10 – Take a guess at what this one’s about.
- Fittytown – A little bit more upscale – all gigs are $50 each.
- Demand Media – A great site for freelance writers, however you must be approved first (and I’ve heard they’re somewhat selective). Once you’re accepted, however, you can earn up to $15+ per article, which can be quite lucrative if you’re a fast writer.
- Constant Content – Another freelance writing site.
- Associated Content – Earn up-front payments for articles and also get paid based on views (I’m told it’s a very small amount).
- Break Studios – Freelance writing site similar to Demand Studios, though they pay less (up to $8/article), however the article length requirements can be shorter.
E-mail marketing is one of the oldest forms of making money online. As the old cliche goes, “the money is in the list.” Within the Money Making Online niche, e-mail marketing has become somewhat annoying, but there are some people who still do it well. I think e-mail marketing is critical, not just because it’s a way to drive traffic to things that make you money, but because it’s another way to stay in touch with people who follow your website, blog, or brand. I only use Aweber, but I thought it would be helpful to include a list of alternatives. I’ve noted the ones that are free.
- Stream Send
- Send Free – Has a free ad-supported option.
- Free Follow Up – One time fee of $4.99, and then free lifetime usage (I can’t attest to the quality of the service though.)
- MailChimp – Send up to 12,000 e-mails per month to a list of up to 2,000 subscribers for free.
Money Making through Article/Bookmarking Websites
I believe article writing is one of the best ways to get started making money online if you’re new to the game. It costs nothing, and you can be up and running within a matter of minutes. There is a learning curve (especially with respect to SEO and researching keywords) and you’ll need to be patient, but in time, this can be a significant source of passive income. These are not listed in any particular order.
- Squidoo - Another revenue-sharing article site (great for building backlinks to your niche sites). They share revenue, but the way they do it is a bit complicated.
- HubPages- One of the more popular revenue-sharing article websites. I still prefer InfoBarrel to HubPages due to its relative youth and growth potential, but HubPages is also a great option, even just for backlinking. The AdSense share here is 60%, and you can also monetize with Kontera, eBay and Amazon.
- Bukisa- Article site with 60% revenue share (Adsense or Chitika).
- Xomba- High-ranking bookmarking site with 50% AdSense revenue share (links are no-follow). They recently changed their rules to disallow links to your own content (to improve the quality of the site), so use this at your own risk.
- Snipsly- Social bookmarking site with 80% revenue share (AdSense).
- Seekyt- Article site with 70% revenue share (AdSense and Amazon).
- SquidStop- Social bookmarking site with 100% revenue share (AdSense).
- Jevitt- Social bookmarking site with 80% revenue share (AdSense).
- SheToldMe- Social bookmarking site with 100% revenue share (AdSense).
- TipDrop- Social bookmarking site with 75% revenue share (AdSense).
- Best Reviewer – Get paid to write top lists (e.g. “Top 10 Ways to…”) – 100% AdSense revenue share.
- Flixya – Share video, photos, and blogs – 100% AdSense revenue share.
- OnGoBee – Social bookmarking site with 60% revenue share (AdSense).
- Tagfoot – Social bookmarking site (along with others types of content you can share) with 50% revenue share (AdSense).
- Mixx – Share a variety of content (articles, photos, videos) for 50% AdSense revenue share.
- Rate It All – Write reviews or rate products, and get 50% AdSense revenue share on your content there.
There are some people who make a living with PPC ad campaigns, so it’s definitely a viable way to make money online, either as a publisher or advertiser. Be careful though – you can easily lose a lot of money if you aren’t continually testing and optimizing ads.
- Google AdSense – Probably the most common way to monetize a website or blog. You can easily add AdSense ads to your site and earn money for each click. Click value depends on your niche and targeted keywords.
- Google AdWords – This is the flip side to AdSense. You can use Google AdWords to drive traffic (which costs money of course) to a landing page or website where you will ideally make more money off that traffic than what it costs you per click.
- Chitika – Another way to monetize your website with ads, similar to AdSense. Usually, Chitika ads don’t pay as well, but can still be effective.
- Facebook Ads – Similar concept to AdWords. Create ads that drive traffic to a landing page, blog, or an affiliate offer (I’m not sure if you can still use affiliate links with Facebook ads). Facebook ads are nice because you can target very specific demographics and funnel that targeted traffic to a product or service you’re selling.
- MySpace Ads – Similar concept to Facebook Ads.
- LinkedIn Ads
- 7Search – An inexpensive alternative to AdWords. There’s obviously less traffic, but it’s a fraction of what it costs you on AdWords.
- Speedy Ads – Another PPC alternative. Looks like a pretty cool site, though I’ve never used them.
Another way to drive traffic to your affiliate promotions and landing pages. The benefit here is that they are usually less strict than PPC sites (i.e. you can usually directly link to an affiliate offer). It’s a different beast though, from what I’ve been told, so it’s best to do a little bit of research before you spend money on PPV traffic.
Cost-Per-Action Offer Sites
These are great for monetizing your blog/website, or using in conjunction with PPC/PPV ads. In general, CPA offers allow you to be paid for someone completing an action. For example, there may be an offer that requires someone to input their e-mail address or zip code. Upon that submission, you’re paid an amount, usually ranging between $1-10. There are more lucrative offers that pay $20+, like filling out a short form for a free credit report. It may require some creativity to use CPA offers to monetize your website or PPC ad campaign, but there are people who make a living doing this online.
- CX Digital
- Epic Direct/Azoogle
- CPA Lead
- Web Jam Ads
- Market Leverage
- Flux Ads
- Offer Vault- Compare offers from many CPA networks (free sign up, but beware, they like to send e-mail frequently).
Selling Products You Own
When we think of “making money online,” we often immediately think about affiliate marketing or selling digital products. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget one of the oldest forms of making money online…selling products you own! Clear out your house, apartment, or bedroom. Instead of throwing things away or letting them pile up and make a mess, get some money for them.
- Gazelle - This is a great place to sell back your gadgets that you don’t use anymore (like your old iPhone, laptop, etc.). I was able to sell back my iPhone to them for $150 and put that money toward a new iPhone 5. They even pay the shipping cost for you to ship the product to them.
- Amazon – You can actually sell back or trade in items you own to Amazon and receive Amazon gift card credit.
- eBay - The most popular auction site online.
- Craigslist - The most popular (and free) classified site online.
Selling Products You Don’t Own
It is also known as affiliate marketing. This is perhaps the most common or hottest way to make money online at the moment. You recommend a product, using an affiliate link. Someone clicks through that link , purchases the product, and you get a commission. It’s a simple concept, but sometimes difficult to execute.
- Amazon Associates – When someone clicks on your Amazon affiliate link, you’ll receive a commission from anything they purchase within 24 hours.
- eBay Partner Network – Earn a commission on eBay auctions that people find via your affiliate links.
- Commission Junction – Huge marketplace of affiliate offers.
- Clickbank – One of the largest marketplaces for eBooks and other digital products.
- E-Junkie – Similar to Clickbank, but I find it a bit more difficult to navigate and find certain digital products to sell as an affiliate.
- Google Affiliate Network- I view this as pretty similar to Commission Junction.
- DigiResults – Very similar to E-Junkie and Clickbank.
Selling Your Design
In some cases, you may want to design your own products (we’re talking simple things, like t-shirts, magnets, mugs, etc.), but you don’t want to take on the cost of having inventory that you can’t sell. The below options are great for this situation – for the most part, it’s free to set up a virtual storefront, and you earn money when your products sell (and if nothing sells, it costs you nothing). These are generally great if you already have an established brand and want to sell your branded gear.
- Cafe Press – Easily design products like t-shirts, mugs, etc. and sell them from a virtual storefront through Cafe Press.
- E-Shirt – Cheaper alternative to Cafe Press that focuses primarily on t-shirts.
- Spreadshirt – Similar to E-Shirt.
- Zazzle – Very similar to Cafe Press.
- Shirt City – Another shirt design site/store.
This isn’t really my cup of tea, but there are several sites that will pay you to take surveys or give your opinions. Important note: Don’t ever pay to sign up to a site that offers to pay you for surveys. Here are ones that, based on my limited research, are legitimate.
- Dollar Surveys
- Opinion Outpost
- Global Test Market
- Pinecone Research
- Permission Research
- Test Spin
- Clear Voice Surveys
- Hot Spex
- Survey Spot
There are some good sites out there that will pay you to write reviews on your blog for various products and services. I haven’t done much of this, but I’m hoping to eventually incorporate it into my niche sites. Some of them are picky about what blogs they accept/approve, so you may have to wait until your blog is older and more established.
- Social Spark
- Pay Per Post
- Expo TV- Get paid for doing video reviews of products you own.
- Blog To Profit
- Blogging Ads
- Sponsored Reviews
Famous “Make Money Online” Blogs
These are some of the blogs that I subscribe to in my RSS reader. Not all of these blogs will consider themselves “make money online” blogs, which I completely understand and appreciate. What I’m saying, by listing them here, is that they’re great resources that will no doubt help you make money online in one way or another.
- Smart Passive Income
- Viper Chill
- Escaping the 9 to 5
- Virtual Business Lifestyle
- Jonathon Volk
- Make Money on the Internet
- PPC Ian
- The Life Design Project
- Income Diary
- Quick Sprout
- Profit Addiction
Famous “Make Money Online” Forums
I don’t frequent these forums too often (and there’s often a lot of garbage to sift through), but there are some gems of information here. It’s usually a good place to check on reviews of various SEO software, see what people think about different changes in the MMO world (like when Google changes their ranking algorithm), and other miscellaneous MMO/affiliate marketing topics.
- Warrior Forum – My favorite. Be careful, you can get sucked into some of the threads here, and before you know it, you’ll find that you’ve just “wasted” 2 hours.
- Digital Point – Not as good as Warrior Forum (in my opinion), but still worth visiting.
- Black Hat World – I certainly don’t recommend or practice black hat SEO tactics, but occasionally there is some interesting information and discussion within this forum.