So, where are we supposed to turn to make money the legitimate way online? This isn't just about generating passive income; this is also about finding ways and means to create an active income through the conveniences afforded to us by the internet that will not only help us with our debt obligations, but also empower us to save, invest and get really rich in the future.


Online business is how I’ve made a living since 2003 and what has helped me retire early.  I make over $40,000 a month through my blog. You can create your own blog here with my easy 15-minute step-by-step tutorial.  You can start a blog for as little as $2.95 a month (less than a cup of coffee!).  Create a blog and leverage it into affiliate sales or product endorsement deals. Consider topics like:
I have a total of three CDs left. There is no way in hell I’m selling them after holding them for 4+ years so far to take the penalty. The CDs are for 7 years. That would be completely counterproductive. As a result, I feel very stuck with ever getting my CD money back if I wanted to. If the CDs were for just 1 or 2 years, I agree, it doesn’t matter as much. But combine a 7 year term with 4%+ interest is too painful to give up.
You could also opt to use existing websites for making money. These include both active income and passive income methods. For example, you could sell some used items or invest in creating some digital designs that then can be sold on merchandise. Again, devote a sizable portion of your time to passive income so that you can slowly build up earnings that will arrive on autopilot without any extra added effort. 
The takeaway: As you seek out creative ways to earn more money this month, remember that not all apps and methods are the best match for you. Keep in mind that side hustle apps, such as Uber, Rover and Airbnb will take a percentage of your booking fees and that you will be treated as an independent contractor, not an employee, which may have its challenges. Recently, Instacart, a delivery app, received backlash when workers determined that their tips weren't being appropriately added to their earnings after a tweak to the reimbursement system.
Holly told me she started writing content in 2011. At the time, she still worked a full-time job but created content online part-time to supplement her income. Over time, she was able to double and triple her rates until she could quit her full-time job to write. These days, she makes bank as a freelance writer and teaches others to do the same via her online course, Earn More Writing.
There are also shopping apps like ibotta, MobiSave, and checkout 21 that give you money back for shopping. And the Walmart app has a savings catcher feature where you take a picture of the barcode or upc at the bottom of your receipt and they search all surrounding store and if a lower price is found they give you the difference back. I have made about 50 bucks total from this app and 20-30 from things like ibotta.
A niche affiliate site often presents like an eCommerce store. To get started with an affiliate site, choose your niche then display products with pictures, descriptions, and prices, just as you would on an online store. However, when visitors click the ‘buy’ button, they will be taken directly to Amazon, to make the purchase. You then make an affiliate fee for sending the traffic to Amazon but have none of the packaging hassle, or initial financial output creating or buying the products.
I am interested in the Motif investing platform. I went through their website. I am so clueless with what is going on in the trading/ investing world. is there a way for you to contact me or me contacting you (for privacy purposes to you we can even communicate via email). I would like to get more understanding of it. I would like to invest with Motif
Choose your niche and check for demand: The golden course combination is when you can find an in-demand niche that aligns with your skills and unique experiences. A great way to do this is to use Google Trends and Google’s Keyword Planner to look for average monthly search volume for keywords related to your proposed course content. Are people actively looking for high-quality information about this subject? Of course, if you’re already creating content for a blog, coaching service, or a site like Medium, you can test demand this way for free just like Bryan did.
The challenge I’m facing and, I know it’s a good problem, is that the SF real estate has shot up about 35% in the last couple years. I’m sure you’re experiencing the same thing! So as the net worth is rising, the yield on the total portfolio is going down. Right now, it seems the only way to increase the passive income will be to raise the rent in December and to invest some of that cash in stocks, which I’m nervous to do in this market. Current allocation:

A service like Paribus or Earny will help you collect refunds you're owed from stores. This is a great way to potentially put some extra earnings on autopilot because you're using an innovative tool to get a refund you deserve. When you make an on-line purchase at a Paribus monitored store (you can view the retailers they monitor here), Paribus engages with the retailer on your behalf and files a claim requesting a refund. When Paribus succeeds and a retailer issues a price adjustment, you are credited funds directly onto the original form of payment or provided the equivalent amount in store credit. It is sometimes necessary for you to call the company, or fill out a form to receive that credit in addition to Paribus reaching out. Paribus provides a convenient desktop version and an iOS app with a live feed of savings. Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.


To read my posts about how to make extra income and how to make money online, such as through blogging, click here. Below are my monthly extra income reports. I recommend checking out my online course for bloggers, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I earn around $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing and I share my exact strategy and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger, then you NEED this course.
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).
Websites like Survey Junkie will pay you a decent chunk of change for the low-maintenance, borderline mindless task of completing surveys. Companies want to understand consumers better, and one way they do that is by compensating survey-takers. Most surveys pay between $0.50 and $1.25, and many of them take less than 5 minutes to do. You can read our full Survey Junkie review for more info.
Get paid to search the Web. Sites like Swagbucks.com and Zoombucks.com will pay you to use their online interface to search the web. To qualify, you need to be willing to download their search bar and use it for everyday Internet use. The only caveat that comes with this “gig” is that you might be paid in gift cards instead of cash. If you can parlay those gift cards into items you need to buy anyway – like groceries or gas – searching online can be a lucrative way to spend your free time.
Survey Junkie is among the most straightforward survey sites out there, which puts them at the top of this list. All you have to do is sign up to be eligible for surveys. Once you complete a survey you earn a certain amount of points that you can exchange for cash paid directly to a PayPal account or you can redeem your points for gift cards. Super simple.
If you have experience with marketing, SEO, or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work making money online as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results.

As an Instacart personal grocery shopper, you will actually be doing the grocery shopping yourself (so don’t crush anyone’s avocados!). Your compensation depends on several factors, like the average size of your orders and average number of miles driven per trip. You can also get tips in addition to the pay that comes directly from Instacart (most people report an average earnings rate of $15 per hour).
No one knows your hometown like you do, and you can translate that into cash by leading tours of your city. The website vayable.com allows you to set up and guide tours around a particular cultural experience. If you’re the foremost expert on ghost stories, beer, architecture, or crime (or anything else!) in your town, then you can start leading tours for people who want to hear your stories.

So, I had to do something. While some of these work at home sites (e.g. customer service companies) do require some type of training or experience, the ones that don’t were the way to go. Yes, it’s been a learning experience even for me and it’ll take some time for me to build my website (once I get around to it). But, I had very, very little options from the getgo. I was practically shoved out of the job market and that’s something very few people (especially those in my family) understood.
How many email newsletters are you bombarded with every single day? There’s a reason for that. Marketing to an actively interested group of email subscribers is one of the best ways to make money online. There have even been million-dollar businesses built from simple email newsletters like TheSkimm, or Mister Spoils. Each newsletter targets a specific type of user with interesting, daily content, while also partnering with relevant companies and affiliates to bring in extra money. If this seems daunting, it’s not. Tools like MailChimp, ConvertKit and AWeber make it easier than ever to get started with email marketing. And another great option to consider (with the largest free plan available) is SendPulse, with their ability to send up to 15,000 emails per month to 2,500 subscribers, and then affordable plans starting at under $10/month as you grow from there.
You must sacrifice the pleasures of today for the freedom you will earn tomorrow. In my 20s, I shared a studio with my best friend from high school and drove beater cars worth less than 10% of my annual gross income. I'd stay until after 7:30 p.m. at work in order to eat the free cafeteria food. International vacations were replaced with staycations since work already sent me overseas two to four times a year. Clothes were bought at thrift shops, of course.

I will share what we did, because it’s an incredible success story. We used an existing tax loophole where if you sell your primary residence (after having lived there at least two years) you get to keep your profit tax-free. So, we stair-stepped. We bought house after house, at least two years apart, used the profit money to pay down on the next house (so on and so forth, yadda yadda) building up equity as we went along… and now, we own a $600,000 house debt-free. And now we are using our paid-off home as leverage to borrow money to buy commercial buildings to rent out. I like commercial because it’s a BUSINESS transaction… kids, pets, other wear and tear that you see with residential rentals is nonexistent. People take care of their business space much better than residential. You have to be in a good area for renting out commercial – a thriving business community – to make this work. But that’s how we “made it”, and though it took 15 years, we will have residual income to take care of us when we’re old enough to retire. People made fun of us for moving so much, but who’s laughing now? 😉 Oh, and our child only had to change schools once (and we wanted to anyway) because we stayed in the same general area as we moved around. We were careful not to disrupt his life too much.
Betterment – Betterment was the first robo-advisor to launch, almost ten years ago. They’ve automated the entire investing process, so all you have to do is watch your portfolio of assets grow (over the long run, of course). They do charge a .25% annual fee of your account total, so if you’ve got $100,000 that’s being managed by Betterment, you’ll pay just over $20 per month.
After these tenants move out, I'm thinking of just keeping the rental empty with furniture. It sounds stupid to give up $4,200 a month, but I really hate dealing with the homeowner association, move-in/move-out rules, and maintenance issues. Given that the condo doesn't have a mortgage and I have to pay taxes on some of the rental income, I'm not giving up that much. The condo can be a place for my sister, parents, or in-laws to crash when they want to stay in SF for longer than a week or two.
Selling digital products can be just as successful as selling physical products. Graphics, software, eBooks, design elements, sound effects, songs, and videos are just a few types of digital products that are in popular demand. So if you can turn your hand to creating digital products, let’s have a look at how you can make money online from this skill…
You can also sell your own products. You can make music in Garage Band and sell it in iTunes, you could write an eBook and sell it within Amazon. You could also do your own crafts and sell them on Etsy or design a Tshirt and sell them on spreadshirt. Or you could do all of these things! Ecommerce is a great way to make passive income online, whether with a physical product or digital product.
Matched Betting (not available in the USA) enables you to gamble (nearly) risk-free. I say nearly as there is always room for error! It involves placing bets on all outcomes of an event, using free online bets given out by the Bookies. Although it may take a while to get your head around the concept, Matched Betting can make a substantial addition to your monthly income.
Rover is a dog walking and pet sitting website that is always looking for qualified dog walkers in cities all over the United States. So when you take your pup on a walk, you can also take a second (or third) dog with you and get paid to walk. 30-minute walks fall in the $10-30 range. With a neighborhood route, that can add up quickly! You’re just a short application away from getting started.
Outsourcing is the new and dominant wave of the business world. As businesses shed employees, they increasingly turn to independent contractors to supply what in-house staff used to do. One of the ways they do this is through virtual assistants. These are people who provide certain tasks online. Businesses can use virtual assistants as much or as little as they need to. If you can make yourself available to multiple businesses, you might have plenty of work without ever leaving your house.
If you have an empty room, unused apartment or vacant in-law suite, consider renting it out on Airbnb or another vacation rental site. Tourists will book your accommodations through the site, and you'll pocket a portion of the rental fee. Before you rent, however, make sure you understand any rules or regulations in your municipality, restrictions from your landlord and gaps in your insurance.
If you have a background in marketing and a passion for a particular niche, then organizing a virtual event may be just up your street. A virtual event could span across a day or longer. Individual live sessions would be run by experts in the field. And conference features would include live question and answer sessions, forums, and plenty of free giveaways. Visitors to the virtual event would pay to attend, so the more effective your promotion of the event the more money you would make.

Thanks for writing this Mr. Samurai. I just got over the student loan hump but I feel pretty good about it at 27 having a graduate degree and being 100% debt free. Now that I’m on the other side it is good for my brain to absorb some of your knowledge regarding passive income investments. I love gleaning wisdom from older folks who have been there and done that. Mentors rock!
You don’t have to invest individually to take advantage of dividend paying stocks (i.e. investing in an ETF like DVY, which currently has a 3.16% dividend yield – almost 4%). And while your math is indeed correct, there is more to dividend paying stocks that just the math. The reason the companies pay dividends is typically because of their underlying strength, steady growth, etc. These companies can be good investments for the long run. As such, it might not make sense to sell.

First off, I’m a blogger so it seems wrong not to mention it, but more importantly, it’s a legitimate way to make money. It’s quite possibly the least straight-forward way on this list, but it’s very doable and it’s also quite possibly the funnest way on this list. I love blogging and I know hundreds of bloggers who feel the same. So let’s talk about making money blogging and what it really means.

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.
20. Etsy – If you like to create arts and crafts, you can sell them on Etsy.It’s completely free to open an Etsy store. You simply sign up, post pictures of your creations and starting selling. You can choose your payment option, but PayPal is generally the easiest. Etsy makes it easy to sell and keep track of your inventory. There is a small listing fee and they take 3.5% of every sale you make.
Find your niche partners, collaborators, and champions: As you’re creating your course, look for notable people who are also creating content in the space. Look att how their businesses operate and incorporate that into your own plan. You can also reach out to any influencers and make them affiliates for your own course. This way, they’ll be incentivized to share your content with their own audiences (which can be a major way to generate your first sales—it helps if you're using one of the best CRMs for small business—and start building your own community!)
I mentioned an idea above to create an online store but you could also just declutter your house and sell things you no longer use (CDs, DVDs, kitchen appliances, etc.). There is a platform that makes this really easy, it's called Decluttr. You download their app and scan the item and Declutter will tell you the price at which to sell. Check out Decluttr (or for more information, read our Decluttr review!) Listing items on eBay is of course another option, sign up by going to www.eBay.com.
As well as selling your eBooks, Amazon can also create paperback copies of your book. CreateSpace, an Amazon-owned company, will help you self-publish your book. A relatively straightforward process, you must upload your work to CreateSpace and submit it for review. Your book will then be displayed on Amazon, and printed on demand and shipped by CreateSpace when purchased. And you can collect up to 70% royalties for each book sold.
If you’re good with Photoshop and can work quickly you might make some decent cash with this online business. Are you a graphic designer or do you have some artistic talents that you know others are looking for? Why not make extra money for your bottom line by designing logos or other graphics for people's websites, for their newsletters or for other print applications?

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).
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