One thing I would mention is that one of my mentors told me recently that jumping from project to project is a terrible thing to do and will ensure that you aren’t able to dominate any one niche and make as much as you can. Focus is definitely needed if you are going to be successful online. Perfect one thing and then move on to the next – That’s what I would say.


I actually just wrote my own blog post about this very idea. People think SEO is free, and while it’s true that you don’t have to invest in any software if you don’t want to (there are plenty of free tools available), you have to remember how many hours it takes to create a successful SEO campaign. Just optimizing your site can take several weeks. Link building could easily be 15-20 hours a month, a few hours a week is devoted to just straight writing (never mind promoting your content). You have to manage all your social profiles, build relationships with other bloggers and so forth. There are a lot of tasks that take up a lot of time each day and time = money!
Better yet, you can even upload your own book to one of the world’s largest book sellers: Amazon. With Amazon self-publishing, you set the price, retain the rights to your book, and get access to Amazon’s massive audience. For every sale, you keep 70% with Amazon taking the remainder as a fee. If you want to get started, check out Leslie Samuel's great guide to selling eBooks online or follow Tara Gentile on CreativeLive as she shows you how to use your existing body of work to write an eBook within the next week. Who knows, you might just write one of the best business books of this year!
Do you have a keen eye? Are your photos museum-worthy? Well, if you answered yes or no to any of those questions then you can sell your photos to stock photo agencies like Shutterstock, iStock, Adobe and other similar companies. It really doesn’t matter if you are a professional or novice; you still have the opportunity to make some money. Most work on a per download basis where you get paid a percentage every time someone downloads your picture.
I’ve been blogging for three years and am consistently making $2,000+ per month. I work no more than 10 hours a month on my blog. While it took a while to start making consistent income (about a year of solid work), the income is now relatively passive. Blogging is a huge passion of mine and I encourage everyone who enjoys writing and wants to earn extra money to start a blog.
Having a job is a great way to start making some cash flow, but you should use it to actually start a business. A job isn’t scalable. You only have 24 hours in a day, and you're not even going to work more than 12 hours in a day. Having access to the internet is all you need, you can see that attention is now the new way to becoming successful. The more exposure your brand gets (whether that is from posts, social media, websites, etc) the more opportunities you have to monetize off your traffic. When you have a lot of people's attention, and you create a product, you’re likely to make a sale. THIS IS SCALABLE. Anything you put out on the internet compounds, continually getting more and more traffic that gives you a chance to make a sale.
I’ve communicated with slaves at work and told them that I need $100 right now. One guy responded, “Princess, I need the money for lunch.” I replied, “So eat out of the dumpster. I don’t care what you need. I am more deserving of your money than you are.” He sent it. But he happened to be in the right mindset. You have to remember that these guys do not do this for me. They do it for themselves. It’s a form of submission that gets them off.
Now next, you’ll want to pick a WordPress theme from somewhere like ThemeForest, Elegant Themes or OptimizePress. This is the barebones design of your site, which you can then customize with your own branding, copy, and images. That being said, you don’t want to cheap out. It costs less than $100 to buy a theme that will make your website look professional (and you can upgrade to a completely custom design once you get the business going).
That being said though, if you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone, create value and work hard, there will always be a place for those type of people to succeed online. It’s often the people who want to make money online that approach it from a position of strength that ultimately succeed, trying to start a business out of a position of weakness and desperation is where I think a lot of people fail unfortunately.
Video is growing like crazy. And more and more people are looking for professional help cutting their raw footage into viral-worthy content. If you have the right software and a bit of skill, you can easily make money online as a video editor. Check out these article of Fstoppers on how to become an online video editor and then look for relevant jobs on Mandy.com, Creative Cow Job Search, or ProductionHub.
Mark Schaefer is the author of The Tao of Twitter, Born to Blog, and Return on Influence, which was named “an essential book” of 2012 by the American Library Association. He is a marketing faculty member at Rutgers University and his blog {grow} is among the top marketing blogs in the world. He specializes in social media strategy/training and clients include both start-ups and global brands such as IBM, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, and the UK government.
When I saw the title “5 Harsh Realities of Making a Living Online” in my Google Reader I was very happy. I agree with you, not enough people talk about the fact that it’s NOT EASY. It takes a tremendous amount of time, effort and energy – and even then you are not guaranteed the results you want. It’s basically just as risky and time consuming as building a business in the “Real” world (i.e. not online.) For some reason, people think that being “online” makes it easier – but it doesn’t. 

Starting a podcast, like making a YouTube channel or blog, comes down to telling interesting stories and building an engaged audience. I’m probably sounding like a broken record by now, but you need a niche that you’re interested in and there’s already a demand for. Come up with a list of topics you’d like to talk about and then search iTunes charts, Google Trends and other podcast research sites like cast.market to see what’s currently out there and popular.
Merch by Amazon is another service offered by Amazon that will enable you to make money online without any initial outlay. To get started you need to create an account with Merch by Amazon. Then simply design some T-shirt logos or slogans, and upload them to your Merch account. You will need to choose a T-shirt type, color, and price, and Amazon will create product pages for each T-shirt. When someone makes a purchase, Amazon takes care of production and shipping. And you are paid a royalty for your design.
A fitness site can have numerous revenue streams. Create healthy eating plans and recipes and lock them away as premium content. Promote and sell a fitness training course, eBook, or a series of videos. Or advertise your own personal fitness services on your site. Topfithub is  a good example of a fitness site with decent video content alongside product reviews.
Dating sites and apps are extremely popular and have become more and more niche as the industry develops. They can also be very profitable, as there are many ways to monetize them. You can charge a joining fee, provide premium subscriptions, or make money from advertising on your site. White Label Dating provides a pre-built dating platform for your project. You simply choose the niche and branding for your new dating site. Once your website goes live, you just need to promote it, manage the users, and collect the earnings.
Do you constantly come up with witty one-liners? Do you dream of the days of Mad Men-style advertising? If you’ve got some branding chops or just come up with imaginative copy, there are lots of opportunities to make money online through company naming and slogan contests. If you think you have a knack for names check out namingforce.com and squadhelp.com. If you dream of coming up with witty copy, try coming up with company slogans on Slogan Slingers and Get a Slogan. 

By now, you've likely seen all the "gurus" in your Facebook feed. Some of them are more popular than others. What you'll notice is that the ads you see that have the highest views and engagement are normally the most successful. Use a site like Similar Web to study those ads and see what they're doing. Join their lists and embed yourself in their funnels. That's an important part of the process so that you can replicate and reverse engineer what the most successful marketers are doing.

Rather than making money through subscriptions, YouTube channels are based on a traditional advertising system. Meaning the more viewers you get, the more you make. Once you’re approved for the YouTube Partner Program and can start including ads on your videos, with every 1,000 views, you will make approximately $2-$4. Which might not seem like a lot, but if you have 100 videos with 5,000 views a month each, that would be $1,000–$2,000 already. Just imagine if your videos start hitting millions of views!
WordPress Plugins – WordPress plugins are additional tools to add to your WordPress website to optimize performace. WordPress plugins are extremely easy to download, activate and use. Some examples of WordPress plugins: When you see a “Facebook Like” button or a “ReTweet” button on a website or blog you are seeing WordPress plugins in use. There are many, many behind the scenes plugins that the casual viewer will not even notice or be aware of but they help make your website run smoothly.
Amazon offers a service called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which can be extremely useful for arbitrage sellers, or others selling their own products. If you opt for FBA, Amazon will store, pick, pack and deliver your products. That means you can scale your arbitrage business quickly as you don’t have to store products in your own home or waste time with postage.
Hey [NAME], love what you’re doing on [Insert Platform]. My name is [Your Name] and I’m the head of SEO at [Your Agency]. I noticed that you have a large following on [Platform], but I wanted to give you a heads up that you’re missing out on approximately [INSERT TRAFFIC ESTIMATE] website visitors every month. Can I send you a quick video showing you how you can capture this traffic you’re missing out on?
If you have a fondness and talent for taking pictures you can make extra money online by becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like ShutterStock or iStockPhoto. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
So for all these women – whatever their age and life situation, the site's in part a way to make money, but it's simultaneously acting as a kind of social network. "I didn't expect to unearth people so comfortingly similar to me on here, but it happens more often than not," says LondonBunny. "I use MyGirlFund as its a great way to just relax and get to know people, away from the real world so to speak. I can vent, chill and also be there for others who are in need of someone to talk to. Not only that, I feel appreciated," says EnglishRose23.
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