This article is spread over five pages:
Page 1: This page
Page 2: Make money with online work - what you can do and how you can find it.
Page 3: Offbeat, unusual money-making ideas, make money having fun.
Page 4: Unethical ways of making money online
Page 5: Arbitrage, brokerage, finance businesses. Making money on eBay.
101 Adsense Alternatives
MAKE MONEY ONLINE
SELLING WEB SITES
BUYING WEB SITES
THIS WEEK'S PICKS
101 Ways to Make Money Online
(part time or full time and working at home)
Update, 2015: The content on this page is more than a bit dated, it was written almost a decade ago, and that's more than a few lifetimes on this Interweb thingie. When this article was originally posted I had several thousand people a day reading this page. Yes, per day! Many of them write in. But, please, if you have a suggestion for making money online or would like some assistance with making money online, please don't email me; post it in our forums instead. If you've already made your money and have a successful business, the best way to make more is to sell your business and start again. If you wish to sell a business, this is where you need to start.
There's no catch and I'm not trying to sell you an ebook. Or anything. I'm not even signing you up for a "Make Money Online" newsletter to pump you full of ads.
Some ideas here are nice and have halos, others smell of dog urine ... but all these methods allegedly generate lotso dosho, and every single one is legal at least somewhere. There may be overlap; some ideas may be repeated (and some may not be covered at all), but I'm still maintaining there are 101 ways to make money online, partly because it makes a good headline. No, solely because it makes a good headline. It sucked YOU in, didn't it?
You won't get anything for nothing, but there are a lot of things you can get for nearly nothing. Like getting to pick holes in my list. Go ahead. Pick holes and then link back here to send floods of visitors to see how stupid I am.
I've put together a lot of these ideas from thousands of hours discussing businesses for sale with their owners. They've shared with me how their businesses operate, how they make money online, how they built their businesses up etc. They've given me access to their traffic stats, their earnings and accounts and tax figures. Many even gave me access to their Adsense or other "main earner" accounts. Some of those businesses were so irresistible that I bought them. And sold them. And bought others. It's a game. I love it.
Most of these business ideas can be run from anywhere in the world, even the United States, Australia and other non-English speaking countries. For consistency sake all figures are quoted in US dollars.
Each method is summarised in a single small para so appreciate it's not the complete unabridged version. And, no, I haven't tried each one, so out of the 101 business models to make money online 102 may be completely dud. But at our forums I do expand on some of the money-making ideas that worked for me.
More disclaimers will come when people sue me (suing can make you money, see #66)
1. Spend all day browsing Site For Sale forums (like the list we have here) for the myriad ways people earn money online. People looking to sell their sites actually tell you how they make money! Pick one that suits you. Research it a bit, and away you go to start your own business. Or use a search engine to find ways to make money online. It seems so easy that it's almost impossible to find someone who doesn't know how to do it. But why stop at one search engine (SE)? Most people get to less than 1% of the top qualify info they're seeking because they rely on just one SE, don't have the vaguest idea of advanced search features available, and don't know the benefits to be had using specialised SEs, local SEs etc. ). More search ideas. Thousands of people have made huge amounts of money on the most unlikely of ideas.
2. Bundle the two above to tell other people how to make money online. They always want to know. It doesn't matter if you don't know yourself, you can still charge them for it. Trust me, over 90% of the people selling "Learn How To Make Money Online" products just read a few ebooks and now pretend they are experts. Don't go spending money on internet cons promising to make you a millionaire. Here's how to spot them.
3. Be more inventive with your search. Look for small business franchise newsletters. Or for home jobs in your particular niche or hobby. (And check point #2 above for those specialised SEs). You can also go through the appropriate DMOZ categories (examples: "Work at Home" "business resources and networking, home based, home office, telecommuting, networking MLM, day trading, home based franchises etc).
But using "search" is just the start of the game. There are simply so, so many ways. We hope you hang around to find out.
4. Like the guy you can pay to stick a message in a bottle for you and throw it into the sea. He's made tens of thousands of dollars already. And there are several others like him in all parts of the world. They really are cluttering up our waterways. Do you live near a sea or river? Join the cleanup of those bottles and get your council to contribute.
5. The dot com gold rush made many millionaires but there's still plenty of money in domain real estate and still some good catches available. A good dot com may be difficult to find now. But there are a lot of gTLDs and ccTLDs from the .info to .eu to .tv to .co.in to .co and they all present opportunities being discussed in several good forums. Put your thinking hat on, buy a famous word domain for a few dollars and put it up on the domain selling sites.
6. Lost your thinking hat? Hang out at SEDO. DNForurms, Afternics and other places where domains are bought and sold. Provided you learn enough about the market to recognise bargains you could make a living from just buying existing domains and reselling them.
7. If you're smart you'll run
dictionary checks against available domain
names and auto-check them against search volumes (using
keyword research tools such as
UberSuggest and Keywordtool.io,
more here) for that term and Pay Per
Click (PPC) rates in the major ad networks
(example) to work out which ones are likely to
be more profitable (how
to make money with PPC). If you can pick up the domain for a profitable term
that's searched for often you can use a
domain parking program. Or post a little bit of relevant content and
get a link or two ... and the search engines will start sending you
traffic. If the phrase people are typing in coincides exactly with your
domain name it gives you a great head start with SEs.
9. Misspellings. Massive opportunities still exist in the misspelling/typo market. People trying to get elsewhere land on your site instead ... and you sell them stuff (or use the domain parking idea). Some even tempt fate by making PPC opportunties out of typosquatting on trademarks. Finding typos has never been easier. There are many tools that will find misspellings for you. How easy can it get?
10. Domain parking and type-in traffic: People sometimes guess at URLs. If they want a plumber they may try plumber.com though they've never used that site themselves. Find terms that people may be typing in (see our guide), buy the domain and populate it with ads. There are several ad programs to monetise your parked domains. Or combine this with the previous idea to buy plummer.com or similar typo domains to make money online.
11. Drop catches. People sometimes forget to renew their domains and these expire. Picking them up will give you some remnant traffic from sites that link to this domain/people who've bookmarked it etc. In some cases the traffic can be pretty high. Provided you're fast enough to replace the copyrighted content that was there with something else you can make quite a profitable business from doing nothing else but this.
12. A variation on the above. Sell the domain back to the previous owners. Note that you may want to tread carefully and get familiar with the rules for that TLD before you start sending off ransom notes. For example, with ICANN (domains that end in .com, for example) the moment you send the previous owners an email saying you've got their domain and you'll give it back for $10K... you've lost. It can't look like a ransom demand. Be reasonable and read the small print of the UDRP. No UDRP required if you're sitting hostage on twitter.com/theircompanyname or the equivalent at blogger, myspace or other big destination. LOL, watch them kick themselves and sack their web advisors who told them about taking the "dot info" but omitted to mention the importance of protecting the brand by owning the associated myspace directory (and others)! And it costs you nothing!
13. Run a domain management service. Hundreds of thousands of webmasters (or more) have a large portfolio of domains. A lot of them would like the boring bit taken out of their domain management. You can run their DNSes or just a service reminding them when each domain comes up for renewal. Or an automated monitoring service to tell them when one of their domains/sites is inaccessible.
14. Start a directory to list domains for sale. That's what people like SEDO do. You can get money just for allowing domains to be listed in your directory.
15. If you're running a service putting buyers and sellers of domains/sites in touch with one another you could get money for add on services (like providing escrow facilities). For ideas have a look at what existing domain intermediaries offer.
16. Run a domain research service. Wonder what happens when a manufacturer is looking to name a new model car? Or starting a new range of clothing? They need trademark and patent research but now they also need some domain research. Which of the literally thousands of combinations and misspellings (+ <brandname>sucks.com) are taken and which do they need to buy? With a few of the free domain tools discussed on this page, here and one or two more - like free DNS tools - and a little time you could provide them a service they'd pay a lot of money for.
17. Start your own country: Whoa! yes, you're reading it right. If you've heard of Sealand (what is Sealand) you'll know that starting your own country is not that far fetched. Once you have your own WhackyCountry you can apply for a .wc (yuk) TLD. Sell millions of domains. Keep some for yourself. Ever wanted a Google.___?
18. Perform domain services for businesses and then send them a proforma (even if they've never heard of you). Explain that it's free this time but you'll gladly keep acting for them for a small fee. For example, there are thousands of big businesses whose half-wit webmasters/ developers didn't put in a redirect from the non-www to the www versions of their sites (or vice-versa). One entrepreneur made a few thousands just from pointing out to businesses how they were losing hundreds of customers every year who were landing on http://xxx-companyname.com and finding nothing there.
I'll talk about domain opportunities some more on
this page when I get a chance.
Buying and selling internet businesses
19. Many sites runs on "auto-pilot". A common price these sell for in site-for-sale forums is 12-24 months' worth of net earnings (silly price, but it's true). Provided you don't mess the site up you can recover your capital in as little as 12 months and then ... sell the site to recover your capital again. Double your capital every year. 100% return. Sack your stockbrokers. It really is a crazy world! How to buy a business.
Site flipping doesn't require as much capital and expertise as many
people believe. Like property flipping,
you buy one that needs a
bit of TLC. Do it up, then sell it on for a whacking great profit. And,
the beauty is you never have to deal with tenants!
The rest of the 101 to come later.
Only kidding, only kidding, here's
Page 2 >>
assist the hundreds of people writing in every month asking for help with
website businesses or offering suggestions and advice on other ways of
making money online, I've started the
forums. It's free to read and you can join the discussions if you
It's an incredibly useful resource with thousands of information and
advice packed posts and, in the spirit of this article, it's all free.
Note to new members: Quality of discussion is very high and spam is not
tolerated so tread carefully.