How to Make Money Online from Home:Easy Ways to Make Money



work from home
Let’s be positive. Forget the credit crunch and the age of austerity – we’re going to help you make some money. Don’t worry if you’re no Alan Sugar; thanks to the internet and your PC, all you need is a good idea.

If you don’t even have one of those, you can transform your spare time into cash – legally. This isn’t a guide to selling old vinyl on eBay or flogging knackered paperbacks on Amazon. We’ve done our homework, trawled the web and put together a list of new, exciting and innovative ways in which technology can help you make money. We’ll explore topics such as human intelligence tasks – jobs that computers and software can’t do, but are essential to the functioning of an electronic business.

All you need do is sign up for a service, set aside a few hours and do the jobs you’re assigned. It might not be glamorous work, but if you have a PC and some time to spare, it’s a great way of earning some extra cash. If you’re feeling brave, we’ll also explore how to start your own electronic business in a thoroughly modern way.

Back in the pre-wired age, the banks held all the cards. If you wanted to start a business, you had to convince your bank manager that your great idea was profitable. Today you can forget the big four. If you have an ambition to launch an amazing venture, all you need to do is convince a community of lenders. If they’re happy with your plan, the cash will turn up. The equation works the other way, too. If you have some savings and fancy being a venture capitalist, read on.

Before we get stuck into making our fortunes, a word of warning: keep your wits about you. The web is groaning with scams and scammers. We’ll look at a few classic examples, but it pays to be aware of potential cons and fraud. The internet is a great place to make cash – just remember the old adage: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You’re putting your livelihood on the line starting a new business. Either hit these schemes prepared to lose, or take a small risk.

The easiest way to start serving ads from your site, and earning money, is Google AdSense. A chunk of code is provided for you to paste into your site when you sign up. People browsing your site see adverts that fit its content and keywords.

The cash-per-click model means that every time a visitor clicks on a link, you get a share of the fee the advertiser paid. Google doesn’t publicize the exact percentage of the pie that you’ll get, but some keywords offer a bigger slice than others. Some AdSense users have seen earnings over $1,000 a month. It’s hard to track which keywords are the real winners, even though there are several blogs and websites that claim to list the highest paying AdSense keywords. Is it worth shelling out for these lists?

You can use Google’s own AdWords tool to suggest related keywords for free. It’ll help you optimize your content for more targeted ads. Don’t click ads on your own page, and don’t think asking your friends to click on them will help you either. Google considers this click fraud, and employs sophisticated tracking mechanisms to protect its revenue. You’re more likely to get a swift, permanent ban than any extra income.

If you want to make money with AdSense, just make good, consistent content aimed at a small audience. For more control over ads, try affiliate linking. You either take a percentage of all the sales you refer to the service provider, or you get simple cash for clicks.

Amazon Associates is a highly visible example. Sign up for access to tools that let you create banners, badges and text links to any item on the site – just make sure that the products you choose are relevant to the content you already carry. When someone clicks an Amazon affiliate link on your site, you’ll get nine percent of the cash they spend. Easy money.

Make money with videos

Technically, it’s easy for anyone to prepare a home video for publication online. You can upload video at HD resolutions on YouTube, for example – and the service takes care of the compression at various resolutions for you. YouTube also accepts video in QuickTime, MPEG, Windows Media format or as an AVI file.

Once you’ve clicked the ‘Upload’ button, it’s really straightforward. The tough part isn’t making videos – it’s growing an audience. You’ll need that audience to make money. It’s easy to see which are YouTube’s most popular videos. Just go to the home page while not logged into an account (or using incognito mode), where you can pick the most popular videos in your region.

First, cuteness. Cute kids and cute animals. If it’s funny as well as cute, it’s YouTube gold. As of January 2021, the number one video of all time is the ‘Baby Shark Dance’. One way to hedge your bets is to ride the slipstream. For a short time, Rebecca Black parodies and mashups were nearly as popular on YouTube as the original video. Catch the next viral smash at the beginning of its ascent, then make a video that rides its coat-tails and your efforts will benefit from the reflected glory.

It’s tricky to time correctly but pays dividends if you do. Instructional videos do well, too, but that subject really deserves a separate discussion because there’s an entire secondary market in tutorial videos. Get the video views and those eyeballs on your work can be translated into cash. The YouTube Partner Program enables you to place advertising on your clips and earn money for every viewing.

Be aware, though, that it’s really tough to get in. What’s more, YouTube doesn’t reveal hard figures but it does publish testimonials. There are alternatives to YouTube that let you earn revenue from adverts without having to build a following first, such as Vimeo.

Sell your photos
Digital photography enjoys a brilliant synergy with PCs and the web. Millions of us enjoy uploading pictures to photo sites such as Flickr, or sharing images with friends on Facebook and Twitter. That’s not all you can do, though – with a little extra work, you could be earning cash with your camera taking stock photographs and selling them online.

There are two markets in stock photography. At the high end are images produced by professionals. These include shots of news events, celebrities and difficult setups. Usage rights for these sell for hundreds of pounds. Your entry point is through microstock – where royalty-free images are licensed for commercial use at very low prices, from which you take a percentage cut.

Like many other online enterprises, this is a volume business. The key is to create popular images that lots of people will want to use. Handily, several microstock sites publish guidelines revealing exactly what kinds of images they’re after and what they don’t want.

/>iStockPhoto, for example, reveals that seasonal themes and corporate imagery are big sellers, while shots of fruit on white backgrounds are passé. However, the main requirement is that your shots should be well-composed, at a sufficiently high resolution, well lit and in focus. Basic photography skills will serve you well here.

Other potential markets include Shutterpoint. This is a community-orientated stock repository, with a ‘stack ’em high, sell it low’ ethos that works well if you can produce popular images that will sell in volume. Another particularly good bet is Shutterstock, a more formal and established presence that enables you to make up to $30 for each image sold – and images can be sold for use multiple times.

If you’d rather go straight for the higher end of the market, you can sell your photography direct to users from your own site. PhotoShelter offers a set of tools that enable you to do so, taking care of digital photo storage and payment systems, while you have control over what you sell. The catch is a fixed fee, from $12.99 a month.

Publish an eBook
work from home

Self-published ebooks are an ideal format for niche ideas. Secrets of mind reading and make-up techniques of the stars are ideal topics. Arcane expertise could net you a profit, too. Perhaps you rebuilt an old car from scratch. There are probably a few hundred other people who’d tackle the same project with your guidance.

Self-publishing with ebooks is easier than ever – especially with iTunes and Kindle publication now real options. You don’t even have to create a special format for Kindle books. The Kindle Direct Publishing program accepts digital manuscripts in plain text, HTML or Microsoft Word DOC formats. That’s the older Word format, by the way, not DOCX.

You can use PDF, but Amazon book publishers have reported problems with formatting. There’s a form to fill in, enabling you to categorize the book, add an ISBN and add Digital Rights Management. Authors report that making changes to the submission after the fact is laborious, so make sure every detail is correct and your text has been proofread.

Next, you set a price and keep 70 percent of the mark-up from every sale. Formatting books for Apple iBooks – the free book store app for the iPad – is more involved. You need to output to the ePub protocol, supported in Apple’s Pages application, Adobe InDesign. Alternatively, you can convert to ePub using the open-source tool Calibre. From there, the submission system is similar to KDP.

One final service that is more than worth a mention is Smashwords. It makes the process of publishing to multiple formats and outlets easier – and it accepts digital manuscripts in DOC format. With one submission to Smashwords, you can have that all-important ISBN number sorted out and publish your book to the Nook and Sony’s eReader store, as well as the Smashwords site. It even publishes to Apple iBooks.

Got a good idea but don’t know how to get it off the ground? That’s what Quirky is for. The website helps nurture inventions from initial concept through to manufacturing and sale. Not all ideas make it through the process – but Quirky aims to bring two new products to market every week. The process is similar to open-source software design. Your idea is mooted to a community of users, and if they think it will be successful, they help with research, design and testing. Once it goes to market, everyone gets paid. Inventors receive a little more cash than the influencers who develop the design.

What would you do for five dollars? The microworking concept is stretched to silly extremes with Fiverr, a website that allows people to post adverts that offer any service they can think of. The rule is that it should cost five dollars. You’ll find folk making Kermit the Frog birthday videos, creating one minute voiceovers – even doing dream interpretation. This is the fun side of the Mechanical Turk concept. Users can post their own requests for tasks, too. It’s fascinating to see the gulf between what people are prepared to offer for $5 and what others expect to receive for that amount. Check out this amazing book all about fivver here.

Upwork is the most prominent of a new breed of websites that enable prospective employers to find freelance workers for their creative projects. Designers, illustrators, copywriters, proofreaders, ghost writers, coders, developers and more all ply their trade here. Companies and individuals place job listings on the site, soliciting bids for the work from members of the community. Good freelancers who use the service build up a reputation on the site, using a system similar to the star ratings on eBay, so prospective employers can make an informed choice about the contractors they use.

If you’ve never visited Etsy before, imagine a craft fair packed with stalls run by hipsters. Etsy is a virtual version of that. Sellers who sign up build their own online shops full of handmade jewellery, knitted monkeys, repurposed knick-knacks and art prints. For buyers, it’s a way to find unique and quirky items. For sellers, it’s a step up from marketing their wares on eBay; Etsy is a specialist outlet with its own identity and branding that extends to its users. Get on there while it’s still cool, because it certainly won’t be long before Etsy is trumped by the next trend in online crafts.
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Hire writers

There’s a good chance you write. Maybe you’ve got a blog on the go or just a penchant for stringing words together in a creative way. Good news! You can make money writing commissioned pieces, and you don’t need any experience or contacts. There is a downside, that being that you will be paid peanuts when you start out working for HireWriters, and the money doesn’t get much better. The maximum is $20 when you’re established with the service, so unless you’re a proficient and quick writer and can handle a lot of work without your brain melting, this is unlikely to become a way to make a living.