The good news: Making money online is no longer a pipe dream. The bad? Who knows where to start? There are countless success stories of people earning passive incomes online, whether it’s from blogging, creating YouTube videos, or through a startup. Then there are others who make money online, but you’re not sure how, and you’re secretly hoping they’re not part of Silk Road or the dark Web or the latest scam.
It won’t be easy. I have made around 10 niche sites and have failed in 8 of them. The success ratio is again 80 – 20. You will never know which niche sites will bring you revenue until you give it a try. My experience tells me that small niche sites which have affiliate products and paid services around them convert the best. Google Adsense also works good for small niche sites but since Adsense depends heavily on traffic and pageviews, you will have to keep updating the site to get fresh traffic. Affiliate sales depends on reputation, authority and other things so if you can build a niche site and sell Affiliate products, it should work out well compared to a niche site which earns money only through Google Adsense and other contextual ads.
Not only will this multiply the money you’re bringing in in a serious way, but it protects you against any sudden changes in the market or in your business. Remember that old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket? A few hours a week committed to just one or two of the following opportunities will put you in a much stronger position to be financially safe and independent.
Some scams might involve asking you to pay for a “training” book or CD that explains how to make money in a certain business. Others charge for supposedly “exclusive” products that you’re supposed to sell at a premium. Avoid both of these scenarios. Remember, you should never have to pay to get a job. And if someone asks you to, you can be sure that it’s a scam.
As you start regularly putting out content, you’ll hopefully start to build a bit of an audience. But to start seeing real money from YouTube you need to market your videos elsewhere. Share your channel on Twitter and Facebook. Distribute videos anywhere else you can think of. Also, interact with comments and build a community around the videos you’re making so people will share it with their friends.
If you have just a few minutes, you could spend it filling out online surveys. There are multiple sites that will pay you to do so and it’s very easy. All you have to do is register, and start filling answering questions. Typically these are online market research surveys for big brands. Some companies even pay you just for installing an app or playing a game!
Amazon is a great way to unload used books. But, you can also sell a variety of other items on Amazon as well. You could opt to start an Amazon FBA. You could source products on Aliexpress and drop-ship them from Amazon. That gives you a near-hands-free method of running an ecommerce business without much of the hassles of personally dealing with returns and customer service.
Research Pricing (And Set Fair Starting Prices): Before setting prices for each item, research your local Craigslist website and (if possible) nearby yard sales to get a sense of how to price them. Remember that many buyers will try to haggle – so set prices a bit higher than your bottom dollar, but not so high that you’ll scare off first bids. 10% to 15% is a good rule of thumb. Consider bunching low-value items, such as old CDs, into lots of five or 10, or offer x-for-$y deals.
While I’m not an advocate of selling yourself short or devaluing your worth, there is a time and a place for freelance job sites. These sites are job boards for freelancers and businesses; it is a place to connect, shop around, and most importantly get some money into your pocket. While many of these sites may offer smaller payouts, they are a great place to gain experience and build up your portfolio.

What isn't clear in the sales pitch is this: Once you've kept the CD-ROM for more than a few days, you start getting charged -- sometimes hundreds of dollars, just to have it in your possession. A lot of consumers who have fallen for this have reported difficulty in stopping the charges, and in returning the CD. It's a trap that's easy to fall into but hard to dig out of.


Equally, you can charge businesses to ‘claim’ their listing, a method used by many large directory sites like Google Business and Yelp. This involves companies paying to upgrade their listing and adding information such as their web address, social media links, images, and more. Other revenue streams include charging for ad space, adding affiliate links and even charging for services and products on your directory site.


It’s not the sort of online money making opportunity that’s covered in glory, but everyone needs a set of eyes to make sure the numbers add up at the end of the year. Every business and most individuals need someone to help prepare tax returns, especially time or resource-strapped small business owners. The Income Tax School provides an array of training programs that'll certify you with tax prep in as little as 10 weeks, and once tax season rolls around you'll be able to charge an average of $229 per return as a freelance tax preparer with this side business idea, reports CNBC.
Travel blogging is a hard industry to break into. However, the rewards can be worth it, and let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be paid for traveling around the world! There are numerous ways to monetize a travel blog, but affiliate marketing should predominantly be your focus. On your blog, promote hotels, tours, equipment hire services, flights, and anything else travel related. Then take a cut of the proceeds as your audience books their holidays based on your recommendations.
6. Pay more attention to paid traffic, especially Facebook advertising in 2015. This has been a big shift in my strategy. Google is unpredictable. And SEO traffic is not really free as people say. Paid traffic is different. You turn it on when you need it. Unless you stop paying, you consistently get traffic. The key is to get the math right with a good sales funnel.
Cafe Press: This website allows you to create digital designs that can then be sold on the platform. You'll earn a commission for everything that sells and you'll never have to deal with printing, warehousing, customer service and so on. The site has over 2 million independent designers that have created products being sold online here. If you have some graphic design skills, then this is a great potential source for your web-based income. 

To maximize the amount of traffic you get, you need to pick out TOPICS people are searching for in Google and tailor your content to these article topics and searches within your niche market. For example, if your niche is about ‘tennis’ you’ll want as many tennis related articles as possible, but you just don’t want quanity, you also want to focus those articles about specific areas of focus. You’ll also want to make sure your articles are about topics your website can easily rank for. This is called KEYWORD competition research and SEO.


Thank you for the clear, concise road-map for building a successful monetized site without relying on spam. Since my retirement from teaching in 2012, I have been freelancing as a writer/photographer and have had some success, but my ambition is to have my own website up and running so that I can write for myself and still earn money. I have not dedicated enough time to writing quality content or marketing my website, but this article has inspired me to dig in and get it moving in the right direction. Again, thanks for an article that was worth reading and may you continue to have great success with your endeavors.
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