Making money offline is so 10 years ago. Everyone is making money online these days, right? Well, not exactly. Making money on the Internet is like making money in the real world. It takes some hard work, but it also takes passion, drive, and a good business plan. The illusion about making money online is that it's as simple as building a crappy website, throwing some Google Adsense on it, or offering an affiliate product, and then walking into your bank with a bag full of checks and a smile on your face. You should probably delete that image from your mind right now.
1. Build an Adsense Empire. A very good example of this is askthebuilder.com. Tim Carter has done an excellent job building up his Adsense empire. To do this, you need to offer excellent quality videos, articles, and maybe even some audio. You could create a huge library of "how to" type videos about something you're very passionate about. Then, use Adsense to monetize the traffic you get.
2. Take your offline business online and automate it. Plenty of businesses could be vastly improved if they simply moved online. Look at Amazon.com. When it started, it was an online bookstore. Traditional bookstores didn't perceive a threat. Today, even old-school businesses like Barnes & Noble are online and making a killing. Look around. If no one else in your industry is online yet, there might be room for you to make waves.
3. Sign up to Planet Perry. Perry Marshall is an online marketer, but he's also one of the foremost authorities on how to make money online. His free email newsletter is one huge lesson in how to make money online. He calls his website, and his own little world, "Planet Perry." Check it out. It's one of the few places you can get a real, legitimate, education about making money online. Of special interest is his course on best google adwords advertising agencies.
4. Create value: remember "online" is just the medium. Don't rack your brain with the idea that "online" means something special. Yesterday we had the phone book. Today we have Google. Take an offline idea that already works and then move it online. Above all else, offer something of incredible value.
5. Become a joint-venture (JV) broker. Approach webmasters and offer to broker a deal. If you can connect businessmen together and help both of them get what they want, you'll often get a finder's fee. In many cases, you can make a very good living from becoming a JV broker.
6. Do some freelance writing. Set up shop on oDesk, Freelancer.com, or any other freelance website. Offer to write articles for a fee. What you earn is entirely up to you but if you are an expert on a particular topic, you could earn up to $100 or more for a 1,000 word piece.
7. Make a $1 selling an ebook, then multiply your efforts. People often think big, and that's OK. But you don't need to "think big" as much as you need to "multiply yourself." The Internet is great for that because you can automate almost everything you do. If you can make $1 selling an ebook about a topic you're very passionate about, you can eventually make $1 million if you keep scaling up and automating the distribution and marketing side of things.
8. Become a virtual assistant. There are a few places around the web where you can help people perform everyday tasks and become something like a concierge Does that seem a little hokey or unbelievable? Check out Virtual Dating Assistants (virtualdatingassistants.com). These guys have cornered the market in the U.S. in the "virtual dating" niche and they're making thousands of dollars every day from it. Help other people do things they don't want to do (or aren't comfortable doing), and carve out a section of the Internet for yourself.
9. Sell photographs online. If you have a digital camera, and you can take awesome photographs, then you could sell your photography to sites like Shutterstock or Bigstockphoto. You can also put simple watermarks on them (to protect them), upload them to Flickr, and promote them online. Accept Paypal and you're in business.
10. Proofread papers for students. College students get burned out pretty easily. Offer to proofread their term papers for a fee. This works especially well if you are a college student yourself since you could contact fellow students via email and conduct business entirely online.
11. Build websites and sell them. Wordpress makes it easy to build sites. There are so many templates out there right now, and with highly customizable ones like the "Constructor" theme, you shouldn't have too much trouble building unique sites for clients. You really don't even need to have a lot of knowledge about HTML or coding. Offer your services to businesses that want an online presence but don't have a site yet.
12. Become a social media consultant. Everyone wants to be on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn these days, it seems. However, businesses often don't have the expertise and time to learn the ins and outs of these social networking sites. This is where you come in. Be that expert and charge a reasonable fee to manage these sites for your clients.
13. Snap up books from library sales and sell them online. This works best if you can find rare or out of print books. Expensive, but needed, textbooks are also good. Resell them on Ebay or on Amazon.
14. Get paid to post. It's not glamorous, but it's easy. Sign up for any one of the many "get paid to" websites offering to pay you for posting on your website or theirs. Then, find companies that pay you to post in forums.
15. Develop apps and sell them. It doesn't matter if it's the Apple store or some other online outfit. Make apps for mobile devices and sell them. If it's a good app, people will gobble it up.
16. Resell domain names. Buy expired domains or reserve domains that are about to expire. Then, resell them. Put a few really high quality pieces of content on them, and build links to the site to draw in traffic, if necessary, to make the site more valuable to potential buyers.
17. Become an online tutor. Online tutors work just like regular tutors. The difference is that everything is handled online. If you're really knowledgeable about a subject, you could help other people pass their college-level courses with flying colors.
18. Become an online consultant. Do you have a skill? Maybe you're good at being a mediator. Maybe you know a lot about how websites are built. Maybe you're a whiz with social media. Put up a website, and advertise your skills.
19. Design T-shirts and sell them. The designing happens offline, but the selling can happen anywhere. Sell your T-shirts on Ebay or other auction sites. Alternatively, you could set up shop at Amazon.com or some other well-trafficked website.
20. Become a hosting company. Companies like Hostgator offer reseller packages. These reseller packages cost more than a regular hosting package but allow you to resell hosting to others. Make your service unique and offer it to the world. It's probably wise to hire someone who is really good at this sort of thing to help you out if you don't have the technical know-how to customize the hosting package.
21. Start your own domain registrar and resell domain names. Find really rare domain names and resell them. This works well with a concierge-type hosting service.
22. Offer hosted emails from a personal domain name. People sometimes need an extra email address, but they don't want to set up yet another Gmail account. Offer to sell hosted emails for a small feel using your domain.
23. Answer questions. Some sites will pay for your expertise. You provide the best answer, and you get paid. Answer enough questions and you're bound to make some money.
24. Sell SSL certificates. It's a unique service, but webmasters need them if they have security concerns. Basically, you enter into a reseller agreement with a hosting company, and then sell SSL certificates to whomever you want.
25. Sell private ads on your blog. When you don't have an Adsense account, or you just don't want to go that route, approach webmasters and offer them space on your website. This works particularly well if you already have a decent flow of traffic.
26. Start a subscription-based website. Subscriptions are great for reoccurring income. If you're offering something that fits this model, all you have to do is make the sale once and the money keeps rolling in.
When you make money online, you normally have to report any money you make on your federal taxes if it's in excess of $600. State tax laws vary, but in general be prepared to file at the state level also. Many states may also consider your online activity as "business activity" and may require that you obtain a special license, even if you're working out of your own home.