There are 550,000 people typing query ‘How To Make Money Online’ into Google search every single month.
And given the current situation around COVID19 pandemic that’s been shattering world economies and surging numbers of unemployment, that at the time of publishing this article – on Wednesday 15th April 2020 – reached staggering 6.6 million with hundreds of millions of people worldwide ordered to stay put at home – the question of how to make money from home will emerge even more.
Now, by no means, I’m a big-time entrepreneur, successful billionaire or advice spurting self-proclaimed financial guru.
But the simple fact that for the last 4 years I’ve been making my living outside the office cubicle and completely independent from any full-time employment bonds – makes me somewhat qualified to share some insights on how to make money online.
And hopefully, at least poke those less fortunate in the right direction.
But first – ‘How NOT To Make Money Fast’
A lot of people wait till there’s a literal fire under their ass and only then they start asking how can they make a quick buck.
I’m sorry to disappoint you, but contrary to what all “financial gurus” on Facebook tend to promise you – there’s no quick overnight way to make money or become filthy rich.
While there are lucky unicorns from time to time, there’s certainly no “blueprint” that everyone can follow – except for having a knowledge and doing hard work.
So before I go into sharing some ideas on how to make money online, I’d like to list down the most common traps money-hungry people fell for only to find themselves wasting either money, a lot of time – or both.
Sure, there are some success stories (and I know a few personally) of people trading cryptocurrencies who made a ton of money.
But chances are it was in 2018. A year when the bubble around bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies was peaking. That time when half of your friends on Facebook (you grandma included) suddenly became “experts” on cryptocurrencies because even they decided to do what everyone was doing at the time and embraced this new era of transactions – by purchasing BTC0,0000024.
Well, until the bubble burst and 18k USD for bitcoin dropped to 6k and stayed that way pretty much till today.
I’m not here to argue or engage in any lengthy discussions on whether cryptocurrencies are legit or the future of payments. That’s a whole another topic.
But due to their unpredictable, unregulated & highly speculative nature (meaning, there’s often no real-world value in it), cryptocurrencies are just not something you’d want to depend on if you don’t have other cashflows in place.
Drop-shipping with Shopify
If you’ve been browsing YouTube and using keywords like ‘passive income’ or ‘online business’ in your search queries, there’s a very high chance that sooner or later your feed was flooded by videos teaching you how to make money with drop-shipping.
The concept of dropshipping is nothing new and it’s been around for a while – even though the first time I learnt about it was only about 7 years ago while reading Tim Ferris’s 4 Hour Work Week (which is, by the way, highly recommended read to anyone starting out as an entrepreneur).
The concept is simple.
You find a supplier for any given product. Then you present their product as yours and mark up the price.
When someone makes a purchase – typically through your website – only then YOU purchase from the supplier and ask him to ship to the customer’s address.
All that without you ever holding stock or the actual product.
Neat and easy, right?
No obligations, pretty much no financial risk involved. And since there is a Shopify and free Oberlo plugin that connects directly to AliExpress (which is Alibaba for low bulk orders), literally EVERYONE can start today.
Isn’t it great?
- For Shopify, where you pay monthly fees.
- For all YouTube ‘gurus’ promising to share with you all battle-tested insights on how easy it is to make money with drop-shipping – if you sign up to their advanced masterclass.
- For Facebook and Google, where you run your ads, trying to reach your customers and hoping someone will buy your super cute cat-shaped coffee mug nobody actually needs
- For the AliExpress sellers, since now there are literally thousands of people trying hard to advertise their very often subpar products – completely for free
The problem is that because of this low barrier of entry literally everyone does it. Which means the market and customers are saturated with all the same and identical products.
And because of that, the only thing that can differentiate all these “fast baked brands” from one another is a price.
That means everyone is trying to sell a little bit cheaper to differentiate from competitors…until there’s practically no profit left.
While all that customers need to do is to go to Amazon and get these products for half of the price from another seller who just slapped a logo on the product from Alibaba (using FBA or Fulfilment By Amazon, but that’s a story for another time).
And you don’t want to compete with Amazon in terms of reach, right?
Undeniably, there will always be some success stories of those who were able to make money using methods I just bashed.
Like for example, drop-shipping as a concept can certainly work if you already have a substantial and loyal audience – whether it is in the form of an email list, social media following or popular blog.
But if you are starting out – do yourself a favour and don’t fall for that oh-so-predictable gospel of shady gurus selling you on the idea of “A lot of money for little work”.
Alright, now that we saged our room from all the bad spirits of shady finance gurus, let’s move on to the actual top of how to make money online – by doing the actual work.
So How To Make Money Online?
Short answer – by providing a service.
I know, I know – now someone will rush in with a claim that providing service is not very “scalable” because you are still using your own time and there are only so many hours in a day.
And I agree.
But the huge difference between being self-employed and employed is that you are in control of your own time.
Which in turn allows you to work on much bigger or more perspective projects while having your cashflow being taken care of.
Think of providing a service as a first step, not the end goal.
‘But I have nothing to offer as a service…’
A lot of people have this perception that you have to be a highly-skilled professional – like a web developer or a corporate tax accountant – to be qualified as a service provider.
And that couldn’t be more far from truth.
Providing a service simply means you do all those things that your clients either can not do to – or simply don’t want to.
If you think about it, most businesses capitalize either on the nature of human laziness or the aspect of saving someone’s time. Oftentimes both.
Food deliveries work because people are lazy to walk over two blocks to feed themselves.
Accountants are busy because nobody wants to waste precious time wading through indecipherable clauses of tax requirements during annual tax reporting.
And even Facebook, in essence, leaves minimum effort on peoples’ end when it comes to staying connected with family and friends.
Are you willing to do the dirty job or saving someone’s else time?
Then you are a qualified to sell your service.
1 Make Money By Using Your Voice
If you are a native English speaker or fluent in English, you have already a massive head-start in terms of finding ways of how you can make money online.
How is that?
With the rise of YouTube and surge in demand for video content in the last 10 years, there’s a huge market for anything related to video.
And one of those demand is a need for a quality VOICEOVER.
Whether it’s creative freelancers (like me) or big film production companies, when producing content for their clients, there’s always a time when they need to add an overlay voice the their explainer video, Facebook advertisement or radio spot – you name it.
And it wouldn’t be 21st century if there wouldn’t be a bunch of internet platforms for it.
As a video creator, I’ve been personally using this website to source a voiceover for the past 7 years and I can prove that the results were always excellent.
And given the fact that the starting price for a gig is $100, it goes without saying that as a voiceover artist you can make a decent living – from the comfort of your home.
As a voiceover artist, you can create an account for free. Then you go through the list of open voiceovers jobs, where each one has a short sample script attached for you to read.
You submit your ‘demo recording’ and price proposal and if client like it, he sends money through Escrow and you record the rest of the client script.
Once everyone is happy, money are released to your account.
Obviously, because clients choose among several bidders, you might not score every gig right away and it might take some time to build a name for yourself by earning a few 5-Star reviews.
But from my experience as a job poster, I didn’t care that much for the number of reviews but rather how I liked the voice itself presented in a submitted demo.
Which gives you a very fair chance to be picked by clients even though you are a brand new to the business – as long as the technical quality of your recording is spotless.
I won’t lie, as a creator myself, from the beginning I’ve been mostly looking down at the Fiverr since it started getting into a wider consciousness back in 2010.
The reason was simple – it was broadly undermining prices of creative folks by listing gigs that all started at $5 (thus the name ‘Fiverr’). Which in turn created an impression for non-creative clients that 5 dollars are totally reasonable price for a logo design…
Nobody was bothered that much by the fact that 99% of these designs were actually just a stole copy from the internet by indeed ‘creative’ Fiverr freelancers.
In short – questionable quality for little money.
However, Fiverr times has changed.
And even though you can’t completely weed out shady practices from a freelancer marketplace like Fiverr, it slowly grew away from the unflattering epitome of ‘low-cost for low-quality’.
Nowadays Fiverr represents much more professional network of creatives and it’s not uncommon that many gigs starts from $100+.
And one of the high demand categories that doesn’t require any hard skill (well, besides audio recording) is – you guessed it – a VOICEOVER again.
Contrary to Voices.com, you don’t bid for existing jobs but instead just putting out your offer and wait for clients approaching you.
Because of that, it might be a bit longer game, especially if you don’t have enough client’s reviews from the start.
The usual strategy to get noticed is to start offering your service for a lower price than the competition. After scoring a few reviews, start going up with the price.
Given how frequently Fiverr.com is used by millions of clients around the globe, it’s definitely a fast way getting into the online money game.
2 Make Money As A Writer
If you have an innate ability to write, you have more power than you think. These are 4 ideas on how to make money using just your laptop as a tool.
Copywriting is one of the best-paid jobs that can be done easily from home, while the demand for skilled writers is always high.
The reason for that is that copywriting is often the number 1 factor that decides if the client’s customers buy their products.
There’s a lot of responsibility and persuasive and sales skills going into being a good copywriter. But the pay off is certainly there – common hourly rate for an experienced copywriter is $150/hour.
And even freelancer marketplace such as Upwork.com, which restricted onboarding for most of other professions, will still likely accept another copywriter.
Write for Medium
A lot of you know blogging/writer’s platform Medium.com, where people from all walks of life share their opinions, experiences and thoughts about anything close to their heart.
But I bet not many of you are aware that you can actually earn money as a writer on their platform.
All you need to do is to create a free account and apply for their Partner Program.
And the paycheck? Whole concept is pretty nifty. Basically, you decide if your article will be public or hidden behind a pay-wall – meaning, visible only to paying subscribers of Medium.com.
Medium then evaluates your earnings based on average reading time and how many Claps (Medium’s version of Like) you earn.
And rumour has it that the most popular writers earn as much as 20k USD/month solely from publishing on Medium.com.
Not bad for a pocket money.