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16 Ways To Make Money: A Simple, Practical Guide For 2020

16 Ways To Make Money: A Simple, Practical Guide For 2020


Who wouldn’t want to earn an extra $100, $1,000, or more per month?

That kind of money could be paying your rent, mortgage, tuition payments, or giving you that vacation you’ve been itching for. There are so many different ways to make money fast, online and in real life, that it can be daunting to get started.

How do you choose which method to pursue? How do you maximize your earnings? These are common questions people like yourself ask themselves, and today I’m going to clear those up.

Below are different ways you can begin earning money, along with tips and resources to get you started.

Find an online job that fits your lifestyle

The highest earning potential online comes from part-time and full-time careers. These can turn into your day job or be done on the side of a 9-5 to bring in some extra cash.

Pursue an online job that aligns with your skill sets and interests. This will maximize how much enjoyment you have pursuing it, while also increasing earning potential.

1. Try your hand at freelancing

The most lucrative online job is freelancing. Being a freelancer means offering a service to clients without being under a contract or company name.

You’re your own boss, set your hours, and if you have a spare room, work from home if you want. Imagine what that kind of freedom would feel like. Practically anything can be done freelance, as well.

In fact, researchers believe that nearly half of the US working population will transition into the gig economy in the next five years.

Web design, writing, and app development are common fields people freelance in. I recommend taking out a pen and paper, and writing down:

Begin brainstorming how you can mix these things into a service. For example, perhaps you love writing fiction in your spare time. This could be turned into a fiction e-book writing service.

Once you have decided on what you’d like to do, it’s time to get some clients! Many new freelancers dread this stage, but let me tell you it’s not as bad as you think.

The best place to begin as a new freelancer to begin earning money, learning the business process, and building a portfolio is freelancing websites like Guru.

Guru Freelancer Homepage

These allow you to create a profile and reach out to clients for relevant gigs. While it’s best to use these for side income and while you’re new, there’s plenty of entrepreneurs that make six figures on these platforms alone.

Think about your profile from the perspective of a client. Would it impress them? Would you hire yourself if you were in their shoes?

The keys to a successful freelancer profile are experience, a portfolio, skills, a high-quality picture, and testimonials. All of these can be slowly built up over time, gradually improving how many projects you land.

2. Become a virtual assistant

Being a virtual assistant is a dream job for many people. You get to set your own hours, do relaxing work, and make as much as you might with a regular career.

Virtual assistants perform different tasks for clients, such as:

  • Email marketing
  • Customer service
  • Updating websites
  • Social media marketing
  • Fulfilling store orders
  • Data entry

There are tons of different things you will be doing, which makes every day an adventure. Many of these different activities don’t require massive experience, either.

This means that you can jump into being a VA and start making money fast.

Here’s how to begin. First, you need to clean up your resume. You can use a free service like VisualCV to get started.

make money with VisualCV

The software will help you create a visually impressive resume and format it properly.

There are free templates and paid ones if you wish to invest in your professional image.

Include as many skills as possible that relate to what you’d like to offer as an assistant. I’d also recommend including time management, organization, and related abilities that employers are looking for.

Then it’s time to hunt for jobs! VAs are constantly needed, so there are a plethora of opportunities. This means that it won’t be long before you’re racking in the dough as an assistant.

One job board that is loaded with VA positions is ZipRecruiter. You can filter it by searching for “Virtual assistant” or similar keywords.


Some of the top-earning assistants make over $80,000 per year!

You could be making a great living as an assistant, and it still has free time to pursue other money-making methods that I’ll be covering in this article, too.

Look for positions that interest you, and send in an application. Write a cover letter that explains why you’d be a great assistant, and the various experience you have that will help them achieve their goals.

3. Become an online tutor

Do you have an area of expertise that you could teach others about? If so, online tutoring can be a profitable online job. It’s excellent as both a side hustle to earn some extra cash and a full-time career.

The best part about tutoring is that you’re bound to be an expert in one particular field, and that can be monetized. General skills like speaking English and math will also be able to land jobs, so you don’t need obscure skills.

Teaching online has never been easier, either. There is a multitude of platforms to sign up for that will connect you with students and send convenient payments.

They will also give you the guidance and resources to improve your instructor skills, which can help land higher-paying gigs later on.

I recommend using a platform like Wyzant to begin your online tutoring journey.

make money as an online tutor

It’s great for both beginners and established teachers. It acts as a marketplace where students and tutorings can connect, establish rates, and help one another.

You can create an online profile for free, so make sure you put effort into adding qualifications, a high-quality photo, and generate reviews over time. This will help increase your conversion rate.

Sign up for apps that pay you money

How much time do you spend on your phone every day? If you’re like most of us, it’s quite a bit. Imagine instead of scrolling through Facebook that you could be making money instead.

That’s possible thanks to money-making apps. These help people like you save, invest, earn a couple of extra bucks every day, and more. Here are a few apps you need to check out.

4. Put your money to work with Stash

make money with Stash

Stash is a mobile banking app that helps everyday people invest with as little as $5. Often the biggest hurdle for investing is needing a large sum of money that Stash resolves.

You can choose from hundreds of different stocks, bonds, and index funds to start building a successful future.

There are also custodial accounts available if you wish to teach your children or other dependents how to invest wisely.

5. Use Acorn to turn pennies into dollars

make money with Acorns

Acorns is another financial money making an app that will help you secure a brighter future. Imagine the investment portfolio you’d have if you invested all of your spare change. Acorns will help you do that without lifting a finger.

Their Acorns Core account can be set up in a matter of minutes, and there are automatic depositing options available to obtain consistent growth.

Additionally, they have the Acorns Later account that helps you find the best IRA to have a happy retirement.

Acorns also offer their very own debit card that automatically saves and investments money as you use it. You can look forward to direct deposit, mobile check deposits, free bank transfers, and more.

6. Get rewarded for shopping with Ebates

make money

You shop frequently, right? Wouldn’t it be nice to earn cash every time you make a purchase? Thanks to money-making apps like Ebates, that’s a reality.

Ebates helps you find the best deals on the internet for shopping and gives you a percentage of your purchases.  They support over 2,500 different stores including Amazon, Kohls, Walmart and more.

Sign up for a free account and browse through their current offerings. It will display the store name, along with how much cashback is available.

Ebates homepage

Get paid for your opinion with online surveys

Would you like to answer questions to earn money and cool rewards? Great, because there’s plenty of paid online survey sites you can use to get extra cash, earn free gift cards, and other prizes.

7. Earn Swagbucks in your free time

make money with Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a rewards website that allows users to play games, take surveys, and complete other tasks for points. These points can then be exchanged for gift cards from your favorite stores, charity donations, or PayPal deposits.

The first offer cashback opportunities where you get to shop from your favorite stores and earn a percentage of the total back. Similarly, there are unique coupons and travel deals you will gain access to by using their website.

If you love watching videos and shows, you’ll love the “Watch” section of Swagbucks that gives you points for watching various content. News, sports, and other categories are available depending on what you enjoy.

There are mobile apps you can download and play to receive points, as well. This is a fun way to pass the time, and also helps get you closer to payout.

Lastly, there are paid surveys you can finish. These will ask you questions that help big brands make better decisions. Not only do you get cool rewards, but you help influence businesses that you patron.  

8. Let Vindale Research pay you for your thoughts

make money with Vindale Research

Vindale Research is one of the most popular survey sites on the internet. They help connect consumers like yourself with big brands and take your answers into consideration for how they should do business.

Their surveys have expanded to the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. There are many more ways to earn on their platform other than surveys nowadays, too.

The Vindale team constantly releases reward codes on social media, their blogs, and other channels that can be entered for money.

Referring friends will also net you $5. Imagine how many referrals you could generate if you shared your link on various social networks.

Another very unique way to earn on Vindale’s platform is by submitting a picture of yourself with a payment you received.

Users also gain points by opening up email promotions, watching videos, and giving feedback. This makes Vindale an overall great website for making money for all ages.

Start a passive income stream and get paid 24/7

Imagine the feeling you’d have watching money trickle into your bank account every month. That’s what passive income achieves.

They are streams of income you create that work by themselves around the clock. This means you make money while you work, sleep, eat, and live your life.

Here are some passive income ideas you can start doing today.

9. Promote great products with affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is the epitome of passive income. It’s a simple business model where you promote another brand’s products and get a commission for customers you refer to.

You don’t have to fret about inventory, customer service, or any of the difficult backend tasks.

Before you can dive into affiliate marketing, you need a channel to reach an audience first. This can be a YouTube channel, blog, or podcast.  You can even make money on sites like Pinterest.

I recommend beginning with a starting a blog because it’s simple and requires the smallest amount of technical sophistication. With platforms like Weebly, you can get a stunning website up in a matter of minutes. No coding or expensive tools needed.

Weebly Homepage

You can begin with their free plan, and eventually, upgrade when you’d like a custom domain name and extra features.

Build a blog around something you love, too. This ensures that you enjoy writing content, performing marketing, and all of the little tasks in between.

Most niches can be monetized, but the more narrow they are the better. This lessens competition and allows you to grow more easily.

I’d recommend not worrying about money right away. Instead, take time to design the website professionally, and produce high-quality traffic. Once you have a substantial amount of users, you can then consider monetizing the traffic.

Take a trip to a search engine like Google and search for an industry-related keyword followed by an “affiliate program” or “become an affiliate.”

make money

Apply for as many programs as you like. They will all have different products and services for you to promote that you can integrate into the content.

Affiliate links can be naturally placed throughout blog posts or you can write reviews and comparisons of the individual brands you work with.

10. Publish an E-book

Do you enjoy writing? Have you ever dreamed of becoming an author? Well, that dream is a lot more reasonable than you may think.

No longer do writers need a publishing company and big team behind them to get books out into the world. Self-publishing is easier than ever to begin doing and earning money from.

The general premise is that you write your own book, market it, and take advantage of platforms like Amazon KDP that give you a huge audience to expose your material to.

Writing an e-book begins by planning it out. This ensures that you don’t hit writer’s block, speed up workflow, and get your book out sooner.

I recommend planning out each chapter, collecting resources, and placing any ideas you have in bullet points. This will create the skeleton of your book and allows you to have an end vision of how it will be structured.

Once you have completed this step, begin writing! There’s a belief that you should try to write as fast as possible to use the emotional and creative side of your brain only.

Don’t worry about errors, either. That’s what the editing process is for, which you’ll need to do once you finish the first draft.

Since a big component of a book is the cover, I also suggest using a tool like Canva to create a professional-looking cover image.

Canva screen

E-books don’t have to be any set length, so don’t feel obligated to hit a certain word count. There are best selling books that are only a couple dozen pages long.

Once you’re satisfied with your book, use the following free platforms to begin selling:

While these platforms will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, make sure that you perform your own advertising.

Begin by telling friends and family that you’ve released a book, and this can lead to some initial sales and reviews.

Share the link to your book on social media, and anywhere possible like your blog or YouTube channel. Slowly you can release more books, establish a fanbase, and make being an author into a serious income stream.

11. Make money using vending machines

Don’t underestimate the power of simplicity. Vending machines can easily rack in $100 per day in high traffic areas, and that’s only a single machine.

Imagine if you invested in several machines over time, and they all netted you that kind of profit.

Vending machines, and their content like candy and drinks, can be purchased by anyone. There are no special requirements or skills that go into creating a vending machine business, making it available for more people.

Buying gently used machines will be your best bet. These will be much more affordable compared to brand new ones from brands like Costco that can run for several thousand dollars each.

You will then need to stock the vending machines with the items of your choice. These can be beverages, candy, chips, or any other food you want. Costco and other bulk discount stores will be a necessity here.

You’re probably thinking “Where do I put my vending machine?” and the answer is local shops.

Many businesses will gladly allow you to place vending machines inside their establishments for a fee. This typically entails giving them a certain amount of the profit the machine generates.

If you wish to turn this into a serious money-making operation, take your profits and funnel them into new machines. Create a set day where you visit all of the machines, empty the money, and replace the food, as well.

Pick up a side hustle for extra cash

You’re never too busy for a side hustle. There are heaps of ways everybody can be making money fast on the side of a full-time career or education.

Try out some of these side hustle ideas.

12. Turn your passion in profit by selling crafts

Crafts include products like clothing, organizers, and art. There’s a huge demand for crafts of all types, especially on marketplaces like Etsy.

The best part about selling crafts is that they are normally low cost, and easy to make. Besides some basic skills like stitching and coloring, most people will be able to jump into this market and make money.

I recommend beginning by browsing a website like Etsy for inspiration. Navigate through different categories to explore various niches. It’s best if you choose one area, master it, and become known for a specific craft.

make money with Etsy

Try to find a way to stand out, as well. If you’re selling clocks, for example, you could focus on a unique design or material that isn’t sold very often.

This helps lower the amount of competition you face and ultimately will help generate more sales.

Besides Etsy, you should also sell crafts on platforms like eBay and Amazon. Selling locally through ads and garage sales will also net you some profit.

13. Share your discoveries by selling them on eBay

It seems like these days everyone is reselling items on eBay. Do you know why? Because it’s incredibly profitable.

Setting up an eBay account and listing a product takes a matter of minutes.

While you can outsource products from overseas or create them yourself, nothing beats the convenience of thrift stores.

These shops are set up to give you discounted products, some of which are brand names and have expensive retail prices.

This means that you can find clothing, electronics, books, etc, and list them on eBay for a higher amount.

In fact, there are individuals like this 23-year-old student that earns up to $5,000 per month reselling clothes from thrift stores.

For example, you could find a name brand t-shirt for $10, and then resell it for $40 or more.

make money

If you made a few sales like that per month, you could look forward to $100+ in your pocket at a minimum.

Always be optimizing your earnings

Once you’ve decided on which approaches you’d like to make money with, implement these general strategies to maximize how much you earn.

14. Get organized and intentional

You need to be organized if you want to grow your side hustle or business into something bigger. Heck, even if you’re interested in making $50 per month, a plan will make the process easier.

This is why you need to choose a schedule to work on your hustle, consisting of specific hours and days.

Perhaps you’d like to work on your business in the morning before work or after in the evening. Some might find that dedicating weekends to their pursuit works the best, too.

It’s all about finding a balance between your life and a new hustle so that you have the energy to grow consistently over time.

15. Diversify using multiple platforms and strategies

It can be very lucrative to choose multiple platforms of one type at the same time. For example, if you’re using survey websites to make money and earn rewards, sign up for several.

This allows you to maximize how many opportunities come your way to receive points and exchange them.

You can do this for any money-making method, however.

If you can stay organized and continually get results, there’s no harm in juggling many different side hustles at once.

16. Snowball your success by reinvesting your profits

One of the first rules of business is to reinvest your profits. This helps speed up how fast your venture grows in the long term.

That isn’t to say that you can’t take our money to pay bills or treat yourself, but try to put some cash back into the business.

It doesn’t matter what avenue you choose, either. If you start an online business, for example, Facebook ads and influencer marketing are universal.

If you went down the vending machine or other side hustle route, you can use profits to purchase more equipment or materials.

Wrapping up

Everybody can use a little extra cash. It helps pay bills, save for that vacation you want, or build an investment portfolio.

The first place to begin is with an online job like freelancing, assisting small businesses with everyday tasks or tutoring online.

Since a lot of people are active smartphone users, money-making apps like Ebates, Acorns, and Stash are low effort ways to earn, invest, and save money.

Paid online survey sites like Swagbucks and Vindale are great for anybody that wants to make a small sum of money every month. Plus you’ll get gift cards for your favorite stores.

Those interested in making money while they sleep will be best suitable for affiliate marketing, e-books, and other passive income approaches.

Finally, side hustles like selling crafts or items on eBay are fun and can be turned into a serious money-making operation.

Make sure that you create a schedule to consistently grow your hustle, use multiple platforms if need be, and reinvest profits.

Don’t wait around any longer. Choose a method I spoke out today and start making some money!