If there’s one thing the internet isn’t short of (no, not that!) it’s an abundance of get-rich-quick schemes, money making ventures and the promise of making a quick buck with minimal effort. I’m here to tell you that not all of these seemingly too good to be true offers are the scams you might think they are and there are, in fact, many legitimate online ventures that can bring in the pounds. Here I’ve ranked my top 5 – all avenues I’ve explored myself over the years whenever I’ve wanted to make money flexibly and from home on my own terms. This time next year, and all that…
£100-£600+ per month
A quick search for how to make money online will, without doubt, bring up matched betting almost immediately. In layman’s terms, matched betting is a way of cashing in on free bets and cash back offers put out by betting sites to lure you in. You do so by quite simply ‘laying’ (or backing the opposing bet) in an exchange market as well as placing the qualifying bet to claim your freebie! Confused yet?
It’s simpler than it sounds and there are a number of instructional sites that, for a modest monthly fee, take you through the offers step by step, as well as giving you details of every offer available on the betting scene. By laying each bet you guarantee not to lose too much (if anything) on your original bet, but you still accumulate the offers and free bets from the sites you join. Which translates to cash once you place and lay again.
The beauty of matched betting is, as long as you don’t slip up (which I have done to the tune of £200 thanks to an unfortunate decimal error on my part – ouch!), you are guaranteed to make money, which is what sets this venture apart from bona fide gambling.
You can find more details and get a free trial at Profit Accumulator which was my go-to matched betting instructor back in the day.
Low Content Publishing
£2-5+ per sale
I’m giving you a peak behind the curtain here as this is something I currently dabble in myself, but more as a creative hobby than for any real income. Having said that, if you commit to it there is money to be made and many of the full timers are raking in figures not to be sniffed at!
Low content books sell well, are easy to produce and there are countless instructional videos and blogs, and free manuscript templates online. Via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), you can upload your own designs and pages to be listed on Amazon and sold, printed and shipped by them. Low content books are typically notebooks, journals, planners, recipe books, food diaries… You get the idea. Once you have the templates for whatever book you want to make, you simply design your cover, upload to your Amazon publishing account and you’re good to go.
For a free step by step course on how to get started with KDP, I’d recommend visiting A J Bower Publishing. She has a complete beginners guide and some downloadable templates so you can try it out for yourself.
£300-500 per month
This has most definitely been one of my favourite income streams out of the many different ventures I’ve dived into. If you’ve got any sort of experience with typing or transcribing and are willing to practice your typing speed and accuracy, then this one is for you. Depending on who you choose to sign up with you will generally select the shifts you are available for, morning, afternoon, or evening, and how many times per week you can commit. Typically speaking, audio files will be emailed to you 4 to 5 hours before deadline depending on the length of your shift. Before being accepted by an agency, you will be required to take an online test, which you can practice first to your hearts content, during which you’ll be judged on speed and accuracy; the minimum speed requirement usually being around 65 words per minute (wpm).
There are several transcription agencies around, but my experience was with Take Note. Their pay was fair and the faster you can type the more work you get through per shift and the more often you are hired. Rates vary between companies, but it is more than realistic to expect a salary of around £300-500 for working 3 or 4 shifts per week. And because they offer evening and weekend work this makes it a good source of additional income if you’re looking to bring in some extra pennies!
Once you’ve honed your skills and gained some experience you have the option of freelancing as a typist. Which brings us to our next avenue.
Offer your Services
£ Unlimited potential
As a sole trader I frequent many of the popular freelancing sites, but my favourites of the bunch are Upwork and People per Hour. Both allow you to list your services, choose your own rates and submit proposals for advertised projects. If you have a skill or talent don’t be afraid to put it out there. Anything from posting on forums to designing logos or setting up social media pages. It’s a great way to earn and get more experience if you’re trying to break into a new field.
Because you set your own rates, and how often you work, the earning potential is genuinely unlimited. I would recommend taking the time to browse the profiles of others offering similar services to you to make sure you’re competitively priced and can compete with their experience. If you can’t compete, be honest! Focus on your natural skills and talents rather than professional accomplishments and let someone go out on a limb and hire you for your passion. After all, everyone must start somewhere.
eBay Drop Shipping
£200-500 Per Month
Drop shipping is a great way of selling without having to stock items and is perfect for the individual from home. eBay is an excellent starting point – up to 70% of eBay Store listings are drop shipped items (or are at least resale of goods). The beauty of drop shipping is someone else deals with the packaging, handling and shipping of goods, and you handle the lovely profit coming your way! You have the option of signing up with a dedicated drop shipping company that stocks their own products, or you can use a cataloguing tool to generate listings of goods from popular online retailers.
My go-to for drop ship sales was Hustle got Real. Now, this site is clever! With an online catalogue for popular stores, from Argos to Asos, you simply search for products you’d like to list on your eBay store, choose your mark up, and Hustle Got Real produces your listing. Once your item sells, you place the order directly with the supplier, to be delivered to your customers address, and your mark-up is your profit. Hustle Got Real will also amend listings automatically if prices change, or remove if products go out of stock, so, once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s as simple as the click of a few buttons to generate sales.
This might sound too good to be true, but there really is no catch and it does work. Apparently, people assume eBay is the home of discount goods and don’t check with direct retailers before they purchase, so your slightly marked-up items will sell. And you have nothing to lose by giving it a go.
Finally, a few tips for the side-hustler before you pop off:
- If you come across any money making venture online, be sure to read as many reviews as you can to get an idea about the company offering the opportunity. Glass Door is an excellent site for reading reviews from real people who’ve experienced working, or freelancing, for businesses.
- Be wary if a new opportunity asks for cash before you sign up, or for money to learn before you try. Reputable sites will nearly always offer a free trial so you can see for yourself the venture really works, confident in the knowledge you’ll return as a paying subscriber.
- For every paid course, e-book, or learning package, there is almost certainly a YouTube video or blog post out there that will give you the same information for free. Do your research before paying for anything.
- Watch your hourly rate. You might think it’s amazing to have pulled in an extra £200 in a month, but if you’ve worked 50 hours to achieve that, then you’re selling yourself short. Unless there’s a real chance of accumulating more over the months, really consider what sort of return is worth investment of your precious time.
So, whether you’re saving extra cash for something special or looking for extra money to chip away at debt, hopefully I’ve given you some ideas to explore!
(No remuneration received for links included in this article.)