How do people make “real” money online?
Before I got my online hustle off the ground, I asked myself this question almost daily.
In the beginning it was a struggle y’all…
I put Google ads up on my blog for nearly 2 years and only made $36. I signed up for survey sites and I never made a cent. I even made an ELance writer profile and nobody hired me.
It took tons of trial and error to find legitimate ways make good money online. So I’m going to save you some time (and frustration) by letting you in on my online income secrets.
Virtual assisting is the first online hustle I tried that made major coin. It’s pretty easy to start. Seriously, I had my first client within a few weeks of promoting myself. So, let’s talk about the basics.
A virtual assistant acts as a personal assistant to someone remotely. You can charge anywhere from $10 to $50 per hour depending on your experience and expertise. You can also charge a rate per project if someone hires you to complete a single task.
How did I get started? First, I did some research. I picked up The Bootstrap VA ebook by Lisa Morosky. It gives awesome information on ways to market yourself, develop a contract and manage your workload.
The major lesson I learned from the book is that choosing a niche is vital. The more specialized your service is the more you can make. For instance, if you love personal finance you could market yourself to financial planners. If you love sports you could market yourself to coaches. You get the picture.
Once I chose my niche, I started cold-tweeting. A lot. I reached out to every person I thought seemed like an interesting candidate to work for and the rest is history.
The Drawback: Generally, virtual assistants are required to work during regular business hours, 9 – 5. Still, you may be able to come up with a schedule that suits you and your client even if you have a full-time job.
Before you start thinking, “I don’t know how to design websites,” hear me out.
You don’t need to be a web design extraordinaire to make money. You just need to know more than someone else. Designers can charge anywhere from $200 to $500 for a basic website. Got your attention now? Good.
The bottom line is every business owner and entrepreneur needs a site, but not everyone can hire an expert (especially people just starting out). That’s where you come in.
If you have a decent understanding of platforms like WordPress or SquareSpace let people in your network know you will design for a fee. I fell into designing websites by accident. People liked my personal site and asked me to help them with their own. If you want to perfect your design and coding skills before starting this hustle use Codecademy, it’s free.
The Drawback: You do need some skill to make money. However, if you make the effort to learn basic graphic design skills and website platforms it’s totally doable.
Writing. It’s probably the most popular way to earn side income online these days, but it requires some hustle. You’ll need to find sites or online publications that hire writers. Then you have to apply for jobs available or pitch article topics. Once hired, you must consistently provide quality writing to maintain your clientele. Depending on experience, you can make anywhere from $10 to $200 per online writing assignment.
So where can you find writing jobs?
Don’t go to Elance, clearly . Even if you do get hired, the pay is horrible. The resource that helped me tremendously when I first started freelancing is the Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs by Sophie Lizard. It’s a roundup of places that pay $50 or more per piece. In fact, here’s one of the first jobs I ever landed. I read about the opportunity in her sweet free report.
The Drawback: Writing high quality stuff takes time, so how much money you make dependents on how much time you have. But don’t worry, your writing quality and speed will improve with practice.
Selling On Etsy
Are you crafty? Do you have vintage clothes to sell? Do you have an idea for a product you can make that people will love? Sign up for Etsy!
The benefit of selling a product rather than a service is that it takes up less of your time. Once your products are up on Etsy, you just need to provide customer service and manage orders.
Pay close attention to your photos and product descriptions when you’re ready to open a store. While researching for my own Etsy store (coming soon), I found these factors are what separate successful stores from stores that get no hits. Find out more about that here.
The Drawback: Getting your store up and running will take some effort. Etsy experts say you need several pages full of products to seem credible to shoppers, so you have to commit to the process. Also, Etsy charges $0.20 per listing. But if your store takes off you can create your own e-commerce site where you can list for free.