For every position that’s available in the workforce, there are hundreds of people vying for that job. A college education doesn’t guarantee anyone a job once they graduate, either.
That’s because the economy is pretty bleak – and that can be enough to discourage even the most die-hard optimist. But thankfully, you don’t have to beat the pavement and fight scores of others for a job.
You can learn methods of earning money online. There are five ways that you can get started right now earning money, and none of them are scams or situations where you have to build a pyramid scheme and harass family and friends to join you.
Ghostwriting and Graphic Design
Ghostwriting is pretty simple. It basically means that you write for other people and your name doesn’t exist as the author of that work. You’re a ghost, working behind the scenes.
There are some people who are of the mindset that if they write it, they want to take credit for it. But the problem with that way of thinking is, having a byline won’t fill your car with gas and it won’t pay your mortgage.
Ghostwriting is a solid way to earn some extra money, but you can make a living at it if you know how to do it. There are online sites overflowing with people who are looking for writers to write content for them.
This doesn’t mean that you would have to major in writing in college or that you have to be the perfect writer. It does mean that you need a pretty good grasp of the mechanics of whatever language that you’re writing in.
It means that you need to be pretty good at spelling. But both of those are things that can be learned. You can ghostwrite articles, eBooks, reports, blog posts, newsletters, technical manuals, nonfiction and fiction books, screenplays and more.
You’ll need to be able to meet deadlines and handle multiple projects. You can get clients by advertising your services on a blog or joining a writer-for-hire service platform. What you can charge will depend on the project and your level of skill.
Graphics are another way that you can earn money online. These are simply visuals like images or designs that can be used to enhance or promote a product or a business. The purpose of graphics is to communicate a visual message.
Using a graphic can help people create a brand. Some examples of graphics are banners or headers for websites, buttons, company logos, business cards, bookmarks, ads, eBook covers and more.
To get started with making money online by selling graphics, you’ll need to have a good understanding of color theory. What you need to know is what colors work well together and how to design the project so that it’s appealing.
You won’t necessarily need a degree to know how to do graphics. You can be self-taught and there are many tutorials online that will show you how. You will need design software, but you can also find some free ones to get you started.
Finding clients is handled pretty much in the same way that finding clients for ghostwriting is. You hang out a shingle on a website or you join a community that advertises your services to the public.
Selling Your Own Info Products
Info products are simply products that share information with the reader. Many people are under the impression that they have to learn how to be some kind of expert in order to set up and sell their own info products, but this isn’t true.
One of the keys to being successful with selling info products is sharing what you’ve learned or how you’ve solved a problem. You can be that if it’s something that you’ve struggled with, then other people have as well.
That’s why you don’t need any special expert training. You are the expert already. For example, weight loss is a huge info product niche because so many people have struggled with losing weight.
They want to get fit and they’re seeking answers. If you’re someone who walked a journey of losing weight to get fit, then you already have the expertise needed because you lived it.
What you need to learn about info products is that you have to have something available to give people who are looking for a solution. Not only is this in the area of weight loss, but you’ll find it in skin care, relationship problems, financial struggles and more.
People who have a need are looking for answers. You need to know who your target audience is and aim to solve whatever problem it is that they have. There’s a huge wide open market for info products and they sell well.
You can create an eBook where you give step by step directions on how to lose weight, or on how to get control of their finances. You can even write one on how to get clear skin or any number of things that people can relate to.
If you don’t have any idea what kind of product to create, take stock of your life and write down any way that you solved a problem. Detail step by step what you did. Then create an eBook where you share how you overcame that problem.
An eBook isn’t the only avenue for info products. You can create an audio program, a members’ only forum or paid tutorials. You can tap into your skills and use the knowledge that you have.
If you’re drawing a blank, you can go to a search engine and start typing in things like “how to,” “why,” “should I,” or “what’s the best way to” and you’ll get a list of ideas. You can also look at the topics on the cover of magazines and you’ll see that a lot of them are the same topic.
That’s because some information is evergreen – people are always going to want to know more about them. Once you come up with a product idea, create a sales page with a bonus item for people to input their email address.
This is how you create an email list of people to get your product and future products in front of. Having an email list lets you continue to create info products in the future and sell them to an existing audience.
You don’t have to stick with just one way to make money online. You can have your efforts spread out in as many areas as you can successfully keep up with. It’s always better not to put all your eggs in one basket and by branching out, you can have several avenues that will bring money in.
Affiliate marketing is one of those business models. When you get into affiliate marketing, it means that you make money by helping promote what other people are selling.
Every time that product sells, you’ll earn money on it. It’s like when a salesman closes the deal on a car. It’s not his product, but since he sold it, he gets the commission. And you will, too.
This way of making money online is financially risk free for you. You won’t have to spend time trying to create your own product. You won’t be responsible for making sure it gets to the consumer and you won’t have to fork over any money in order to make money.
You will need a place online where you can promote products. You can use a free website or you can create your own. You can also use a personal blog. There is a lot of money in affiliate marketing, but you will need to know a few things to be able to earn some of it.
If no one knows about your site and you don’t get any traffic, you’re not going to have people clicking through on the link to buy the product. If the people don’t buy, you don’t get any commission.
So you have to be able to get traffic to wherever you’re promoting the product. You can do this by offering quality content. But you want to make sure that content is relevant. You’ll find a bigger audience for people looking for weight loss tips than you will for topics like how to pack for a trip.
Create a site or blog that resonates with people. Be engaging, funny, or make people think. Promote only products that are helpful for your audience. For that, you need to know what your audience is searching for.
If you have a wedding blog showing people how to make their day special, you don’t want to promote divorce products. Or if you promote products about overcoming a divorce, then you don’t want to promote wedding items.
Build reader trust. You have to make sure that you have a foundation of trust with your audience. If you promote items that are no good, then you’re going to lose that trust. You can find which items to promote on places like Amazon, Commission Junction or ClickBank.
Working for Others Who Work at Home
A wide open market that you can tap into to make money online is by working for other people who have work at home businesses. People who have home based businesses don’t often have the luxury of having a full time assistant, so they handle quite a few jobs on their own.
When it becomes more than they can juggle as one person, they’ll reach out and hire someone such as a virtual assistant (VA). A virtual assistant is someone who can do the same thing that an in-person assistant can do, but it’s not always a full time gig depending on what you’re doing.
As a VA, you can be hired to work on a project by project basis and you won’t be used unless you’re needed. One week you might work for a T-shirt company. The next, you might be working for a public speaker.
Sometimes you’ll run into cases where you’ll be hired for something long term. The job of a VA can be interesting, exciting and lucrative. A VA can be used to handle social media contact for a business.
On top of handling the day to day stuff that has to get done, in today’s world, a business must have an online presence. Social media can quickly become a huge time drain and most people who work at home recognize this.
That’s why they hire someone to handle it for them. When you handle the social media side of a business, it means that you’ll be doing things like updating business information on Facebook or interacting with people who leave comments on the page.
You could be hired to handle the Twitter account and interact with customers there. You might be called on to add pins on Pinterest or create content for the person’s blog. You may be used to edit content or to proofread for mistakes.
Some VAs have been hired to put together newsletters for clients that announce the release of a new product. Email campaigns are another job that VAs are often hired to do.
You might be put in charge of answering the emails for the company or as a project manager to help keep everything on time for a release day. A virtual assistant can be hired to plan an online event such as sales event or a Facebook party.
You might be tasked with setting up a giveaway and handling entries as well as making sure prizes are dispersed. What you’ll do as a VA will depend on who hires you. You can find clients by advertising online through a blog or creating a Facebook page for your VA business.
Writing Fiction for Kindle
It used to be that if you wanted to make money with your writing, you had to sell to a big New York publisher, but thankfully those days are long gone. Now anyone who has a story to tell can publish a book using Kindle.
By using the Kindle Publishing Direct platform on Amazon, you can upload your book and have it go live. Depending on which royalty set you choose when you sign up, you can earn 35% or 70% in royalties.
You can also choose whether or not to make your book exclusive on Amazon. Some authors do this thinking that it will make a difference in how much money they make. What this does is prevents you from selling your book on any other platform for the time being.
First, of course, you’ll need to have a book or a novella. A novella can be around 30,000 words in length. After you write it, you must make sure it’s professionally copyedited. If you can’t afford that right now, then find a few people willing to beta read it for you and ask them to catch mistakes and any plot holes.
Once the book is copyedited, you’ll want to find someone to format the book. If you try to upload a book that’s not formatted, the wording will get messed up. An unedited, unformatted book turns readers off and you want to give your book the best possible chance to shine.
Hire a professional cover artist. You want to do this because an ugly book cover doesn’t attract readers. It’s not as expensive as you think. You can find readymade covers for as little as $25 and you can have custom made ones for as little as $50.
If you plan on having print versions of your book later on, make sure your cover artist creates a back cover so that you’ll have a book that will wrap for print. When you upload your book, you’ll be given the choice on whether to take Digital Rights Management or not.
Enabling it is supposed to help prevent people from sharing your book with others, which is supposed to cut down on piracy. It doesn’t. So whether you choose that are not won’t make much of a difference.
You’ll have to choose your price and the price that you choose will impact your royalty rate. Because Amazon doesn’t really push advertising for self-published books on Kindle, you might want to consider setting your book up for an introductory price just for release week.
Many readers are more than willing to try a brand new author’s book at 99 cents than they are for $5.99. You can change the price and it only takes a few hours for the new price to go into effect.
Royalties are paid 60 days after your book is published. Before you ever upload your book start creating buzz for it. Set up a blog tour, advertising spots, and create teasers for your book.
You don’t have to have Photoshop for that, you can use PicMonkey – and use these graphics that include your name, the title of your book and a quote from the book to build pre-release interest.
More and more men and women are finding themselves shut out of the workforce. It’s a tragic outlook for the foreseeable future, but whether or not you continue looking for a regular 9-5 job, it’s still wise to launch your own work at home business.
Aside from job stability and knowing you can’t get fired, you’ll get to enjoy other perks, such as being your own boss, developing your own plan of action, and working during the hours you see fit, not someone else.