When I first set out to make money online back in 2010 or so, I had no clue where to start. I had zero experience and basically figured shit out as I went, hoping for the best.
Along the way, I learned a lot about the different methods of making money online that require no upfront investment. I’ve blogged about many of them to share my experiences with others, so this post is kind of a roundup of all the 100% newbie friendly methods I’ve personally tried in the past.
Take surveys online for stupidly small amounts of money, usually as low as fifty cents per survey and as high as somewhere around ten bucks, sometimes a bit more if you’re lucky.
Before you sign up and start taking surveys, you’ll need a free Paypal account and it needs to be verified.
You can sign up for your account today and you’ll need to link it with a bank account or credit card in order to verify it, which can take up to five days or so.
If you don’t have a bank account or credit card, just sign up for a free prepaid debit card instead and use it in place of a credit card in order to verify your Paypal account.
If Amazon products have any value to you (which they probably do, considering they sell just about everything under the sun), then you can start earning some extra cash to shop on their website by completing mundane and repetative tasks over at Mechanical Turk.
Sign up as a worker. View the available HITS. Pick ones you can do and don’t hate too much. Submit them. Get paid tiny amounts of money per task. Watch it add up.
Use the money to shop on Amazon.com or let it accumulate until you have enough to withdraw the amount to your checking account, if you have one.
Getting Paid Faster
Oh by the way…if you get sick of waiting 3-5 business days for your Paypal money to show up in your prepaid card account, I highly suggest that you sign up for a free Paypal debit card.
It’s free and it will allow you to transfer funds from your Paypal account to a physical debit card instantly. No waiting.
Once you get the card in the mail, you can spend your money as soon as it shows up in Paypal and you click a couple buttons to transfer the funds.
After you’ve taken more surveys than a sane person can stand and saved up a good little chunk of change, it’s time to head on over to Fiverr to climb up the ladder by one step.
Think of something that you’re good at which doesn’t take up much of your time at all. Keep in mind you’ll be paid $3.92 by each customer who pays you to do this thing, so be sure to pick something that makes sense for this amount.
Deliver your orders for the gig on time and to the buyer’s satisfaction.
Consider creating another gig or two and start making more money from those additional gigs.
Work hard to get a good handful of positive feedbacks from your buyers and you’ll be promoted to a level 1 seller. Keep it up and they’ll promote you to a level 2 seller.
Get an outrageous level of good feedback and on time deliveries, and you might even become a top seller.
The point is, once you begin to move up in levels you are allowed to create extras for your gigs.
These are like upgrades for your main gig. They can be $5, $10 or even $20, depending on your level.
For example, if you are offering to make an eBook cover for one of your gigs, then a good idea for an extra would be to deliver the same eBook cover in a different file format, such as PSD.
Just keep delivering on time, keep the feedback positive and soon you’ll be making a nice little bit of extra cash via Fiverr orders.
Sell Your Shit
In the meantime, go through all your old shit and see if you’re holding onto any items that you may be willing to part ways with and list them on eBay to see what you can get for them.
And while we’re on the subject, list anything you own that you’re willing to trade for something more useful on Craigslist as well.
Your work over at Fiverr should have helped you in figuring out what your talents are on the web, so now it’s time to take those skills to the next levels.
If you can write, you need to sign up for both oDesk and eLance right now. Seriously, go ahead. I’ll wait for you. This will all be here when you are done registering.
These freelancing sites will give you opportunities to earn much more than you are being paid on Fiverr or other micro gig sites.
Here is a quick rundown of how they work.
First, you look for projects listed on the site that match your skills. If you think you can get the job done in the requested amount of time, you place a bid on that project.
A bid is the amount of money you are willing to accept in order for completing this job for the client.
The lame part is that you will be one of many others bidding on the project, and the competition on these sites is very stiff.
Until you get some positive feedback in your profile from happy customers, bid on the lower end and once you can demand a higher rate of pay, you will find yourself in a much better position to scale up.
For Artistic Types
For those of you who don’t write, maybe you are creative but prefer to make things with your hands like arts and crafts…?
If that sounds like you, then I definitely see the opening of an Etsy shop in your near future.
If making handmade crafts like greeting cards, jewelry or even furniture is something you can do well, then you can start a profitable business online entirely through this badass marketplace.
Okay, so maybe you fit into yet another category of creative types. If you’re one of these people, you probably don’t make artsy crafts and writing isn’t your strongest area.
However, you can create some mean fucking shit in Microsoft Paint. Leave you alone with Photoshop for an hour and you can make jaws drop even further!
If graphic design is more your trade, then consider trying out the crowdsourcing site 99Designs, where you can create logos and other graphics for branding for a chance at winning the client’s money in a design contest.
Just don’t waste too much of your time on sites like these, as the odds of getting paid anything are stacked against you rather overwhelmingly, I’m afraid.
Now that we’ve covered all of those, I have a couple sites that have somehing to offer all creative types, but especially those who have a knack with branding and words.
New products, companies or websites all need a name. The people behind them go to sites like these to tap into the collective creativity of the crowd, of which you are just one person.
You suggest names based on their product descriptions, business plans or domain specifications and if the contest holder likes one of your suggestions better than ALL the others submitted (not too likely), you may actually make some money.
Otherwise you make nothing at all, so don’t devote hours of your day to this.