Hi friends! This topic is out of my norm for this blog, but in light of these times, I thought it would be helpful to share all the ways I make money online. Some of these suggestions are for fast easy money (think a few hundred dollars-ish) and others are for short and long-term supplemental income.
Cash Back Sites
Rakuten I started with this because it’s a way to save money on purchases and it’s always nice to get your check at the end of the year from all your savings. Rakuten is a website that partners with 1000s of vendors to give you discounts and help drive more traffic to these sites. When you create an account you download an extension for your internet browser so every site you go to, if they are a partner with Rakuten, you receive a pop-up showing your additional savings. The majority of people shop online so why not get cashback? Rakuten partners with most mainstream sites so that’s why I use their site over others. They are also partners with travel sites like Expedia, etc., which I use frequently! I can’t wait to get my cash at the end of the year!
Virtual E-Commerce Business
Rodan + Fields I’m using this example next because it is by far where most of my income comes from (and always has – even in the beginning) because it’s residual income. Now, remember this story is my story. There are 1000s who make more than me and there are 1000s who don’t make as much as me. Your output really depends on your input. When I joined R+F we only had five products, we didn’t have near as many resources, and we were still under the dark cloud of people grouping us with “scam” companies. Now we are a respected brand, have a full product line and all the resources we need.
How we are different is really why I was comfortable attaching my name to this brand. There are some really great companies (and some really bad ones) in Network Marketing but I chose R+F because we are the only brand that was very successful in traditional retail first (think Nordstrom). We were (and they still have a small stake) owned by Esteé Lauder. We left retail because online businesses were showing much more growth for the long term. Our products are clinically tested by third parties. We have been the #1 brand for years, yet only have 30% market awareness. We are also a global brand which means I can sell across the globe. We were created by the top two dermatologists in the world who’ve been practicing for 30+ years. I mean, if Stanford-trained dermatologists create skincare, that’s the skincare I want to use.
Community. R+F is a community of professional women who have become best friends. Most of my team, there are 400+ of us, are Pharmacists, Realtors, medical professionals, and corporate managers/directors. WE always rally around each other and support each other. There is not enough time in my day to tell you all the stories of how this community has changed my life. I think many women long for a village and to be surrounded by people who support you and your dreams rather than judge and cut you down.
I joined this brand because I wanted to extend my circle outside of just hoteliers and I wanted to get a discount on great skincare. What it turned into was more than I could have imagined. I only wanted an extra $500 a month to help keep me home after my second baby. In my first 8 months, I cleared multiple thousand and it continued to grow into a full-time income surpassing my six-figure corporate income and it has saved us on multiple occasions – coronavirus being one of them. The beauty (and booze) industry statistically always does better in a down economy.
My RF income paid off school loans, helped with a down payment for my house, paid for countless vacations, and so much more. I know people can be close-minded to the direct selling industry. I know people call it a “pyramid scheme” and that’s because they are uneducated about the industry. I’ve never spent more money than I’ve made. I don’t carry inventory. I don’t host home parties. I don’t bother people. I’m not cheesy salesy. I just promote a product that I use and love and when people ask I tell them how I do it. I also didn’t expect to be a millionaire in a month when I joined. I knew this was a job that required work. I was coachable. I never gave up. There is nothing special about me. I didn’t have a large network — that came later from blogging. I started this from ground zero. I know this business isn’t for everyone, but if you want to have a plan B and are open to hearing more, I’m available for text chats and phone calls. I truly believe RF is a gift and if I can help just one person with this post – then that’s enough for me.
That was a long one, but I’m so passionate about what it has done for me and I know it can be a vehicle of change for anyone else too. Moving on.
Online surveys/focus groups
Respondent is a website I heard about on Medium. Respondent is a company that pays you to participate in research studies. Their structure is much different than most online survey sites and apps. Respondent facilitates one-on-one consumer research studies and focus groups, both in-person and online. You can apply for up to three studies every 24 hours. They range from $5 all the way up to $400. I recently did two and made almost $200. The interviews range around 15-30 minutes. Easy money. You can also make referral money to certain studies, etc.
There are also two sites called Userlytics and Usertesting that offer quick 10-15 minute surveys analyzing websites and user-friendliness. These you have to jump on immediately when you get the email because they fill up fast. You make $10 per survey. If you do five of them a week that’s $200 a month! Any extra money is good money, right? Do I need this money? No, but it’s easy money so why not?
Now I’ll get into freelance work
Build a client list. As many of you know I’m a writer and know a lot about social media and marketing. These are talents I use to help small businesses and e-commerce sites. I do a lot of reach-outs directly to businesses to see if they would like help or consultation regarding their content or anything that lies within my expertise. All of you have talents to offer others and trust me, the demand to learn is out there. Even things as easy as setting up a Linkedin profile, typing, educating on using computer programs, knowing another language. The possibilities are endless! You can even offer services as a virtual assistant. I’ve hired assistants from people reaching out to me on Instagram before.
Use a platform to find freelance gigs
If you don’t want to message people or look for specific work yourself, set up an account with Upwork. There are thousands of freelance jobs/projects on there. I know people who make $10k to $100k/+ a year just by picking up these projects. Once you build a profile you can then apply for jobs. The more jobs you get, the more offers you’ll receive as well. I just started using this platform and work it when I have downtime with R+F and loving it so far.
Another website similar to Upwork is Fiveer. A lot of freelance friends swear by this site too and use it for a side-gig or full-time gig income. I just completed a profile and plan to use this as well during free time for extra cash.
Blogging is probably the most I get asked about, but y’all, it brings in the least amount of money and the income is not consistent. So why do I continue? Because I love it and I’ve put blood, sweat and tears into it for the last seven years. It’s an outlet. I’m a writer and it’s a platform to get my words out there. Over time (and A LOT OF WORK for YEARS!) it built a following that led to a social media following that led to bigger things like influencer marketing. Creating blog and social media content takes hours upon hours of your day. If you want a hobby and have a lot of time on your hands, then start a blog. If you want to make a business out of your blog – you’ll be in for a grind. You’ll need to build it up for a few years, really pump out valuable content, and post multiple times a day on all social platforms. Once you have a following you can reach out to brands you love and ask for partnerships. You’ll need to make a media kit (Canva has great templates) and send out messages promoting yourself.
When I started I could charge $25-30 per blog post that included two social posts. Now I can charge between $98-$165 per IG post. If they want a blog post along with the social post, I can charge up to $350. This was after 4-5 years of building. Some brands “pay” in products or services too. Some bloggers with larger followings can get up to $4k for brand partnerships. It can be big business, but you have to realize how much work it is. I’m telling you all this because people think bloggers just play on social media all day and attend fun events, but we really are our own little PR firms that handle all the interworkings ourselves. If you have a social following (which could be any following small or big!) you can check to see how much your posts would be worth by adding your handle in this calculator.
Training / Teaching
This is becoming a BIG industry. So many people want to learn about anything and everything. I learned everything I know about social media by using Youtube, Google and signing up for trainings through Udemy and Lynda.
Any skill or hobby you have, someone wants to know what you know. You can upload training and people will pay to watch. Depending on the training you can charge as little as $10 or up to $200+. Promote it through social media ads and now you have a little side cash!
This can be a big moneymaker as well but it requires a lot of work. I do this for fun here and there for extra cash. If you don’t follow Gary Vee on IG or his podcast, you should. He provides so much useful information around this business.
Reselling is just taking things you own already or things you find at big discounts and flip them for retail on sites like eBay, Mercari, Postmark, Facebook Marketplace, Shopify, Amazon, etc. Every store on the planet does this. They buy things at wholesale and sell them at retail so why can’t you? I’ve sold thousands online over the last three years.
If you want to go big and you have that entrepreneurial spirit, look into Amazon FBA (which I do). I am just as passionate about this as I am about Rodan+Fields. This is much more of an investment to start but it’s smart and also a great plan B. It’s not residual income but e-commerce is the second-best option. You can also arbitrage resell (more work but I do this also on occasion). There’s lots of free information out there on YouTube but you can also take a class which can be pretty expensive which I think is worth it. I recommend The Amazing Selling Machine courses.
These are all the ways I make money online from home. I’m sure there are other ways out there, but I wanted to share what I do in case this can help any of you through these rough times. Stay safe and healthy. We will get through this!