I wanted to give some perspective to this post on how to make money online from home, but feel free to scroll straight down to the money making tips below if you prefer!
Basically, I faced a dilemma recently.
Yes, a financial one.
I had qualifications flying out my earholes and over 20 years experience in a variety of media based jobs.
But I’d also walked out my job (in far from ideal circumstances) and made a pact with myself that I’d never compromise myself in a toxic office environment ever again.
Working 9 to 5 as Dolly P once, so wisely, put it was spot on. You did have to work bloody hard to make a living.
But working hard is a good thing right? It’s what society bashes into us relentlessly, from a very early age. Well yes, working ‘hard’ is a good thing.
But not at the cost of everything else.
Not if it’s doing something you no longer truly care about (convincing yourself you care is not the same thing) or where you find yourself working with people who you no longer fit or who try and erode your confidence at every turn.
I was indeed working hard to make a living. But most of it went on childcare and there only ever seemed to be just enough to keep me and daughter going.
So I decided to control and leave..
BUT. And this was a BIG but.
I now had no income.
Show Me The Money!
Seeking a sustainable life that was meaningful to me and and which put my child first would not happen overnight. I would need time to cement my new aspirations and goals (one of which is this blog).
So whilst shunning the corporate world was secretly pretty liberating, what I needed right now was an income.
And I needed one fast.
I always knew changing my life would be a challenge and it has been. But I’ve also never been happier.
If that means doing a few online money making side hustles now, so I can get to where I want to be later, that’s fine by me.
And of course, the obvious place to earn money from home (so I could support my child through starting school) seemed to be online.
After many evenings of research, I’ve outlined below how I’ve made make money online from home in 5 ways that actually work.
And I know because I’ve done them.
How To Make Money Online From Home – 5 Money Spinners That Actually Work
1 – Generate an Income With Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is where you sell someone else’s products and get a commission in return. Amazon run one of the most famous affiliate programmes, but there are a tonne more.
You can push affiliate links through social media, but unless you have a massive following, this will only get you so far (plus you may lose a few virtual friends along the way who get a bit miffed with you ‘selling’ to them all the time!) So the best way to succeed at affiliate marketing (in my view anyway!) is to set up your own affiliate website.
Sound complicated and a bit too techy?
It doesn’t have to be.
I started using a site called Wealthy Affiliate (you can read my full review of the Wealthy Affiliate Program here) and they offer some amazing training for absolutely nothing (I.e. FREE!).
Just for signing up for a free account, Wealthy Affiliate gives you access to 2 free websites and a mass of easy to follow training, plus a huge community of very approachable and super helpful online marketeers.
So, basically if you signup to the Wealthy Affiliate FREE Starter Package you get all the tools you’ll need to start your own affiliate website.
You do this in these 4 easy steps:
- Pick a niche product area that you are passionate about (I chose water filters as I’m a bit of a health nut on the quiet, but you can choose anything you like – from Star Wars waffle makers to selfie sticks!)
- Set up your free website with the aid of the step by step training (you can check out mine at www.bestwaterfiltersforthehome.com)
- Attract visitors to your site
- Earn revenue!
I’ve never seen anything like this for free before – anywhere.
Set Up Your Affiliate Website in 30 Seconds!
The video below shows how you can setup a WordPress website within Wealthy Affiliate in around 30 seconds (there’s obviously a lot more to it :), but this gives you an idea of how easy it is to get started).
There is of course a paid programme too (which is still great value in my view), but seriously, if affiliate marketing appeals to you, check out the FREE starter package. If it’s for you – you’ll likely sign up for the full subscription at some point and if it’s not – you’ve lost nothing, plus you’ll almost certainly have gained a lot of useful knowledge.
No credit card is required to sign up and the amount of training you’ll get access to for nothing is AMAZING. The guys at Wealthy Affiliate really believe in the product so offer a LOT upfront so you can really see if this is for you.
The community at Wealthy Affiliate are a hugely friendly one too. People seriously can’t do enough to help. All I would say is that it is a bit of a ‘religion’ for some members on there, so I tend to filter out a lot of stuff that gets posted to the community and just focus on learning all I can from the step by step training courses (which was a LOT). But how much you get involved in the community is up to you of course.
Pick the right niche (the training tells you how) and this offers a real opportunity to earn great money after a while. A host of people are earning a hefty FT time income from affiliate marketing.
Top Tip: Affiliate marketing is not something you’ll make instant big bucks from. I made my first sale in 3 months, but once you make a sale, things usually start to gain momentum if you put the work in. Wealthy Affiliate really is an invaluable tool to get you on the road to affiliate marketing success.
2 – Earn Risk Free Cash With Matched Betting (UK Residents Only)
Want to earn a lot of money each month (without breaking the law!)
Risk free matched betting is without doubt one of the easiest ways I’ve found to do this.
Worried it sounds dodgy, risky and far too much like gambling?
So was I.
The good news is, it’s not!
It’s completely legal, risk free, tax free (in the UK), and absolutely anyone can do it.
Loads of mums, (like me!), are doing it on Mumsnet and if you need a short term cash injection, matched betting can be a great tool to have in your online money making methods.
What is matched betting exactly?
Well, in a nutshell, matched betting is where you take advantage of free bets regularly offered by bookie sites like Betfair or Coral, using a strategic and mathematically proven formula that ensures you always ensure a profit, by betting both for and against an outcome in any given sporting match.
Sound complicated? With the right tools it’s really not.
I use a site called Profit Accumulator and I love it. They walk you through the whole process in a series of easy steps, so even someone like me, (who is definitely not Einstein when it comes to numbers and calculations!) can start making profit almost immediately.
To give you some idea, I just made £164 on a single offer.
Whilst this may not be the norm, matched betting works and many people make up to £2k a month from it in the UK.
I don’t plan to it forever, but right now, it’s a really key part of the money I make online each month.
3 – Get Paid to Review Websites With User Testing
User Testing rocks.
Seriously. I love it as a way to earn a nice chunk of extra money.
It’s super easy to join, has no signup fees and pays up to $10/£7 for a 20 minute website review.
Simply sign up at www.usertesting.com, complete a simple test review and you’ll start receiving sites to review within a few days.
You do need a microphone built into your computer (or an external mic that can be plugged in), plus you need to download a small piece of software so each of your user testing sessions can be recorded.
But User Testing is totally legit and literally takes minutes to join up.
Think you might want to have a go? I certainly recommend it if you want to earn a few extra bucks (or pounds!) each month.
Keep in mind, you won’t make a FT income with this – user testing sessions are on a first come, first served basis, so when they appear in your account, it’s wise to get them done before they disappear.
I’ve only just started this but I’m confident I can make an easy £100 plus a month. (You don’t need to live in the US to do this BTW, it’s open to UK residents and a host of other countries too.)
$10/£7 for 20 minutes work online is pretty good money in my view.
Plus, the user testing sessions are fun to do, so it’s not even a chore. (Which is definitely not the case for a lot of the questionnaire sites out there!)
Payments are made direct into your Paypal account, 7 days after you complete your test.
Don’t have a Paypal account?
Get one for free here.
If you want a bit of extra cash – this is a bit of a no brainer in my view.
Give it a whirl at www.usertesting.com.
Top Tip: Take the tests seriously. People have paid for genuine feedback to their websites, so think about the tests from the perspective of a real user or potential customer. Don’t just skim through the tests simply to get paid, as you risk getting a poor review, which will likely impact on the amount of surveys you get.
4 – Get Paid to Search the Web, Watch Videos & Play Games
Yes, you can actually do this with Swagbacks.
Reward sites like Swagbacks pop up all over the web and they can be very hit and miss. But Swagbucks is legit and hoards of people use it (and love it!).
Personally, I’ll never make Swagbacks number 1 fan (some people go nuts over it), as I was looking more for ways to make money a little quicker than this allows you to.
But I’ve included it here, because it is still an absolutely great way to earn online vouchers for sites like Amazon, which can be used for birthdays etc. Plus, you get emails prompting you to earn SB rewards, so you kind of get a bit pushed along on a wave to earning without having to always do that much.
You can earn cash, but it will take you a while to earn enough points to cash in anything worthwhile.
But if you have a bit of spare time on your hands, enjoy surfing the web, watching videos and filling in the odd survey, Swagbacks is a without doubt a nifty way to earn some handy vouchers for your favourite online stores or a meal out. I earned enough for a £5 gift voucher within a few days, which is quite easy to do if you seek out the tasks with big rewards.
You can signup for Swagbacks here.
Top Tip: A good way to approach Swagbacks and maximise your rewards, is to use it strategically – Penny Hoarder offer a good post about how to do this.
5 – Start a Blog and Monetise It
It’s what I did!
Am I earning a FT income yet?
No, not yet. But I’m getting there. Blogging takes time and blogging takes effort. And I only started my blog very recently (it’s still a baby in the blogosphere!)
But if you want some inspiration for where a blog can take you – check out Rosemary at The Busy Budgeter.
Rosemary started her blog a little over 18 months ago (juggling kids and other jobs like I am) and in January 16 she made almost $40,000. Yes in just one month!
(Ruth also runs a highly popular blogging course btw, which I highly recommend, but this is only open for registration twice a year.)
Rosemary has worked super hard to get where she is today, but she’s not alone – there are a tonne of people blogging about what they know and making a serious income from it.
So if you have a passion (it could be parenting, recipes, how to budget, Star Wars retro Toys, hell, anything really) – starting a blog and monetising it can be a great way to go.
I mean think about it – imagine earning money from writing about something you love and are passionate about!
Do you need to be a techy head to start a blog?
How To Start a Blog in 7 Simple Steps
To start a blog, you basically need to follow these steps:
- Step 1 – Pick a Domain Name
(Ie. a url such as www.yoursitename.com) – I use Namecheap – they are indeed cheap and their site is very easy to use, plus their online support is great. Can’t fault them to be honest. Check out this Moz article for tips on how to choose a domain name.
- Step 2 – Get Yourself Some Hosting
I use and highly recommend Bluehost, as do a host of other bloggers, as Bluehost are great value and have fab online support. Hosting starts as low as $3.95 a month, plus if you use them, you can get a free domain name.
- Step 3 – Install WordPress.org on your domain
The beauty of using Bluehost as your web host is that they can guide you through installing WordPress (which is free and happens at the flick of a button in your Bluehost user panel). This makes it super easy to setup your blog in no time at all. (NB: You want wordpress.org, NOT wordpress.com if you want to be serious about your blog. WordPress.org is much more customisable.)
- Step 4 – Choose a WordPress theme
Once you’ve installed wordpress.org, there are a whole bunch of great free themes you can install on your blog. A theme is basically like the cover of a book – but for a blog! It’s what makes it look nice and there are LOADS to choose from, depending on your style and blogging needs. To get started, I’d choose a simple free theme like Omega or Iconic One. Both are designed to rank well in search engines and they offer a simple, but professional looking blog. Most people upgrade to a paid theme at some point (I use the Schema Theme by My Theme Shop, but for starters, I’d really recommend keeping things simple.)
- Step 5 – Create a logo
If, like me, graphic design is not your major forte, don’t despair! Canva is absolutely brilliant and lets you design an incredible amount of stuff for free, including a logo. Alternatively, look for someone with consistent positive reviews on Fiverr.com and get them to design one for you.
- Step 6 – Start writing about your passion
This is the good bit! Start writing great quality blog posts and share them on social media to get a bit of a following. Then just build up your content for a while.
- Step 7 – Get yourself a monetising blueprint from someone that is already making a FT income from their blog
I recommend How To Blog For Profit by Ruth Soukop (or join her course when available). To be honest there are a million sources on the web on how to blog for profit and they are all valuable (or not!) to differing degrees, but there are SO many, it can get VERY overwhelming (believe me I know). This is why I have recommended a source that worked for me, so you can reduce the overwhelm I experienced. If you don’t want to buy Ruth’s book (which is about monetising strategy, NOT technical how to start a blog stuff), try a highly respected site like ProBlogger.
Have you earned money online? What methods worked for you?