10 Best Ways to Make Money Online

By J.P. Hicks

Even though you probably know someone who makes their living online, it probably still sounds too good to be true. Or you may be thinking it must be extremely difficult to achieve a full-time income from the Internet. You're wrong on both counts.

Although there are millions of people making money online, there is no silver bullet or get rich quick  idea that is better than the rest. Success is primarily determined by your interests and skill set.

There are many easy ways to make an income online, but it's important to define "easy" for those of you who remain skeptical. Easy simply means that anyone can do it. You don't need to have a college degree, special training, or even be very tech savvy to earn a living on the Internet. You just need to be motivated and to have a plan.

What easy doesn't mean is that you make a six-figure income in the first year by doing very little work. Sure it's possible to make that level of income in the first year, but not without a lot of hard work.

To make money online you're essentially creating a business or, at the very least, a job for yourself where you will only get out what you put into it. You could end up making a little residual income here and there, or you could end up needing Sun Document Filings because you have grown so large you’ve decided to incorporate. The benefits, however, are obvious; no bosses or dress codes, the ability to do something you enjoy, freedom to work in your underwear or from a hammock at the beach, and you make as much money as you want depending on how hard you work.

Whatever your motivations are for looking to the Internet for income, it's best to find a path that both interests you and that fits your skills.

With that in mind, the following techniques are the easiest and best ways to make money online in 2013:

Writing for cash is easier than ever!
Blogging: Anyone can blog about anything, and all topics have the potential to make money. Blogging platforms are free, the design work is simple, and income vehicles are abundant. However, it does take time to learn how to build a blog, to fill it with content, build a social following, and get enough traffic to monetize it. Yet, when these tasks are achieved, the blog itself becomes a valuable asset. Most importantly, whether you have your own blog or not, writing good content is essential to almost all forms of making money online.

Freelance Writing: If you don't want to invest the time into creating your own blog, there are still several ways that you can make a nice income as a writer. You can write your own content for a number of websites that share revenue with writers like eHow, HubPages, and Squidoo. Or you can get paid to write for a number of high-profile blogs or gurus. And, finally, there are a variety of outlets where you can write sponsored posts or product reviews like SponsoredReviews.com and ReviewMe.com.

Social Media Manager: This is the hottest online career going. If you're a social media junkie just for the fun of it, why not turn it into a business. Even the best bloggers and website owners in the world have no idea how to maximize their social media following. Additionally, they simply don't have the time to engage as much as necessary to benefit from social media. All successful bloggers I know need this service, and virtual assistants haven't quite specialized enough yet to drive down the salary of this growing career. You can find a social media training course here.

Website/Domain Flipping: Website and domain flipping has become a popular way to make money for those with the knowledge to turn a profit. Entrepreneur Mike Mann has perfected a domain strategy and makes around $400,000 per month just buying and selling domain names. Others are buying seasoned domains and stale websites, refurbishing them and reselling them on Flippa.com. Another good place to find seasoned domains is DigitalPoint.com. These strategies take some time to learn the details but can be quite profitable for those who find a good formula.

Sell Your Photos: Who doesn't like to take pictures? Well now you can upload your images to photo hubs like Shutterstock or iStockPhoto which pay you a commission each time they sell one of your photographs. It will likely take heavy volume to build a healthy income but if you're passionate about photography, this method can be very rewarding.

Affiliate Marketing: There are countless products and techniques for an affiliate marketer. Affiliate marketing basically works like this: find a product that pays a decent commission to affiliates (you) and promote your affiliate link to that product. This can be done by writing articles about the product or industry at your blog or article hubs, adding the link below videos you upload to Youtube, by creating a sales webpage or store for the product, email campaigns, pay-per-click ads and many more. You will find that nearly any item or service for sale on the internet has an affiliate option, but the most popular affiliate programs are Amazon Associates, Clickbank, and Commission Junction.

Ebay Business: Nearly 2 million people earn a living from eBay. If you're someone who's an expert in used items of any kind, or you love to find deals at garage sales, or you are an avid hobbyist or you create homemade products, then eBay is the right vehicle for you to make money online.

Niche Web Store: Although there is much work involved, creating a niche store has never been easier. Easy-to-use platforms like WordPress and Blogger can now host storefront websites. Paypal and other checkout services make the order processing simple and organized. You just have to find a niche and the right products to fill your inventory. These products can be affiliate products or drop ship agreements negotiated with wholesalers. Two great examples of this strategy are friends of mine, one that sells survival gear and one that sells electronic cigarettes.

Vlogging/Podcasting: If you're not a writer, then you may consider vlogging (video blogging). Many people make a handsome living by uploading their video commentary about everything from politics to entertainment to Youtube. Even if you're not comfortable in front of the camera, you can still make compelling videos with your custom footage, still images, and news clips. Or you can simply speak into a microphone about the subject you're passionate about and turn it into a podcast. Each of these avenues can be monetized and the sky is the limit.

Consulting: You can become a consultant for anything with the use of the Internet. Typically most consultants will run a blog that serves as a home base to generate clients. However, you can also use services like Elance.com or even Craig's List to market yourself. Again, it's best to find a niche that you're genuinely interested in. However, techie fields like web development, app creation, SEO, etc. are the most in demand for 2013.

J.P. Hicks is an entrepreneur, pro blogger, editor of BlogTips.com and author of Secrets to Making Money with a Free Blog

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