I’m not sure how some of us got stuck living in the past. We still try following and building onto the lives our parents used to live. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as one is happy with it. But when you complain about scarcity, about unemployment and about being broke, excuse me! Wake up!
We live in an extremely abundant world. Never in the history of mankind has ever been so much opportunity to make money (and a lot) than it is today. True, much of this abundance lies dormant in the back-corners of the Internet, of the hyper-connected universe.
As Peter Diamandis brilliantly puts it:
“Three to five billion new consumers, who have never purchased anything, never uploaded anything, and never invented and sold anything, are about to come online and provide a mega-surge to the global economy.”
That is abundance in its purest form. And while there’s so much out there, billions and trillions waiting to be made, many of my friends complain they don’t have physical job, or any job at all.
What the hell are you waiting for? If there’s none, make/invent one! Don’t cling onto the past.
You don’t have to build the next million dollar Internet company in the next three months, although you can. Start small, shoot for making a living; this is relatively easy. I will give you some ideas in the next paragraphs.
Several Current Avenues/Opportunities
Let’s start with a personal story…
By training, I’m a civil engineer. Yet, I didn’t have the opportunity to work in the field because while I was still in school, I started generating income online. About 5 years ago, I started tutoring students online.
In the beginning, I was just testing waters, but when I saw that I could make decent money out of it, I started considering it more seriously. In the end, it helped me be able to sustain myself without ever getting a real job. Some projects/tutoring sessions were easy, took little time and generated about $5-$10, while others more complex were worth $50-$80 and took more time.
A year and half ago, as I became more knowledgeable and experienced about my health and as I was able to implement positive changes within my existence, I started writing about my finding. This resulted in the release of my first book, Ketone Power, in May 2014. Then, I wrote T-(Rx), and most recently, Periodic Fasting.
While I could pursue dozens, if not, hundreds of other opportunities, that would not be wise. Right now my main focus is on experimenting, researching and writing. I’ve been writing for 5 years now and I’m in the self-publishing industry for 1 year. So, yes. I don’t think that I want to put my energy into something completely different at the moment. It may be unproductive. Now, what You can do now to make money…
When I first started tutoring online, there where sites like JustAnswer, Chegg, Student of Fortune and dozens of others that I can’t remember. Some of these older platforms still exist today. However, many more have flourished over the past 2-3 years. Some of them are: InstaEDU, WizIQ, Liveperson, Sophia and many others.
Most of these platforms allow for ultrafast and simple registration, giving you the ability to start earning as soon as you put your brain at work. And some of them do not limit to just helping students with their projects, but also to provide expertise in other areas, such as mechanics, medicine, engineering, psychology, etc.
It is true that these two big platforms (freelancer and elance) may be more difficult to penetrate because of the tight competition and that you’d have to have some very good rankings and a strong portfolio to be accepted for a project. But freelancer and elance are still the go-to for so many people. Even though they are super-crowded, folks like you and me can still disrupt (hack) these platforms, such as Dan D., who made over $20,000 in approximately 4 weeks. There are many other similar examples.
Note: I still hope that you’re idea of generating income online is not of sitting on your ass and watching funny cat videos on Youtube while your PayPal/Bank/anyother account gets flooded with cash. You have to put in the work. When I first started tutoring, I was spending 8-12 hours every day approaching students, researching for projects and writing them. This doesn’t mean that you have to do the same. But, you will have to put in the work.
To be able to live a 4-Hour Work Week life, you’d first have to live an 80-100 hour Work Week life.
Most “lance” websites are platforms for cashing in on any skill possible. I think I still have a freelancer account. From what I can recall, I never made money with it because I didn’t invest my time to work it around. But I do remember that when I created it, I bid on a couple of projects, and some people replied. I could have gotten the deals done for good money, but I decided to let it go and use the account as a failsafe mechanism in case I will not be able to generate income from tutoring (least likely to happen because of the limitless demand).
It easy to understand how Fiverr got to become such hype. Its name relates to the fact that most of the services you receive/offer there start at $5. The big categories in which you can offer your expertise/non-expertise are: writing, editing, translating, graphics, programming, advertising, online marketing, and others. These big categories are divided in dozens of other small categories that allow you to become very specialized in a particular skill, like for example “helping people get more traffic on their website” or “writing resumes” or “doing cover letters” or “translating from English to Spanish” or “designing book covers” or anything.
Though I did the covers for my 3 book myself and though I may not have done the best job in the world, I may use Fiverr for my next one. It can be so high-quality and also very inexpensive ($5) that I should not spend 6-10 hours of my time to do it (with frustration) while others can do it for me for $5 and probably do a much better job.
Here’s Fiverr manifesto, in their own words:
“Fiverr® is the world’s largest marketplace for services starting at $5. A service offered on Fiverr is called a Gig®. Gigs on Fiverr are offered for a fixed, base price of $5 (also referred to as one Fiverr). Whenever you see ‘I will _for $5″, it means the seller is offering a Gig for the fixed price of $5.”
Most importantly, if you want to make money there:
“Buyers pay Fiverr for orders in advance. Each $5 Gig you sell and successfully deliver, accredits your account with a net revenue of $4. Fiverr accredits sellers once an order is completed. See our Terms of Service for a definition of a completed order.”
Really, there’s no excuse in you complaining about money or being broke now. I’m not saying these platforms will make you a fortune (even though they can), but it is a very good start to make a living and not being location dependent.
4. Tasks, Short-Tasks, Consulting Platforms
There are too many of these platforms that I could mention here, which is why I will only name a few.
Maven allows you to offer your expertise by putting you in contact with potential clients whenever there’s an opportunity for you, based on the skills and the hourly rate you select when you create your profile.
Mechanical Turk (mturk), in their own words, is a marketplace for work. With them, you can work from home (or a tropical beach), choose your own schedule, and get paid for what you do. I think this is one of the easiest ways to put money into your bank account. Currently they have more than 300,000 small jobs that you can work online on. Some examples are:
“Select the correct spelling for these search terms”
“Is this website suitable for a general audience?”
“Find the item number for the product in this image”
“Rate the search results for these keywords”
“Are these two products the same?”
“Choose the appropriate category for products”
“Categorize the tone of this article”
“Translate a paragraph from English to French”
From what you can see, these are ridiculously easy tasks that can be completed in seconds. Some of them are worth a few cents, while others more complex which may require data entry and a bit more time for completion can be worth even $10-$15. For a more comprehensive guide to Mturk, please use this.
If you live in a big city, you can become a TaskRabbit, and get paid for helping others around their home, doing their groceries, helping them move out, helping them with cleaning, and many other similar tasks. This is currently available in 19 cities. However, they also have a virtual tasker section, where you can help others with data entry, graphic design, research, web development, computer help, and others.
If I’d live in a big city and didn’t have any source of income, I’d start with TaskRabbit and Mturk. Of course, if you’re looking for an additional source of income, you can always use them, no matter where you are located.
Udemi makes millionaires out of ordinary people. It gives you all the tools you need to create courses on any topic you can think of and it provides you with the marketplace for selling these courses. Let me give you an example.
My first book Ketone Power is on how I was able to lose fat on a ketogenic diet. Now that the book is out, I could re-purpose the content into a course. Say, a 6 unit course, with 5 lectures each unit.
The lectures could be provided in a slide presentation format, with my voice in the background. Udemi students could enroll and take this course whenever they want. I could price the course at $10-$15. Every student who enrolls would pay this money to take the course.
To have an idea of what I’m talking about, I’m gonna give you another example, a real one:
Chris Pizzo offers a course on close combat training for €168 (~$190). The course includes 24 lectures, which total to 7 hours of video recording and it doesn’t require any skill to take it. So far, more than 10,000 people (students, internauts) have taken it. A simple calculation tells us that Chris made almost $2 million. WTF?!
And there are many many others like him who teach different courses on Udemi and make millions. You can become an instructor/teacher too. It only takes a few minutes to register, provide some info about yourself, the way you want to get paid, etc. And then you can start working on your course. Once you finished the course lecture and structure, Udemi will review it and if everything goes alright, they will put it in their market place.
Why I did not do it?!
I didn’t do it yet because I want to focus my energy on spreading the word out about my books and because I enjoy experimenting, researching and writing for the books. But who knows, maybe in 2-3 months you’ll see a Udemi course under my name.
There are countless other platforms like Udemi, which allow you to generate income on your expertise by building courses, info products, and by simply providing your skills. For convenience take a look at this list – Sell Online Courses.
Some Final Thoughts
These are only a few of the ways you can make money online today. Others may include: becoming a virtual assistant, doing affiliate marketing, gambling, transcribing audio/video to text, managing social media accounts for businesses, proofreading, playing games, and whatever you can think of.
These can, at minimum, make you a living, while if you’re diligent, smart, persistent and ambitious can make you a fortune.
You have to keep in mind that for this to happen, you’d have to put in the time, same as in any other real or virtual job.
Knowledge implies spending time reading, learning, and experimenting. Many of us don’t want to do that. It seems to be uncool to focus on mastering skills. It’s uncool to read books on specific subjects. Heck, it’s uncool to read anything at all…
If we spend our online time inefficiently on social platforms chasing the next picture that would tickle our pleasure and reward mechanisms, no wonder our situation is least positive and we’re broke.
Instead, as I’ve presented to you above, we could acquire knowledge online from dozens of academic Youtube channels, from dozens of MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses). We could even obtain certifications and degrees for free, provided that we put in the time and discipline to learn.
I took more than 10 courses on Coursera and I obtained certifications with distinction on 4 or 5 of them. The major advantage is that illustrious professors from top universities from all over the world teach these courses. So you get top education (and certification) for free, if, of course, you take the time, attend the course, and complete the projects that you’re assigned to.
For a detailed explanation on how it works, see here and for a list of institutions that provide them, see here. For a list of the top 10 most anticipated courses of 2015, see here. And please, be my guest, take your time and start learning and building your skills on whatever may be appealing to you.
There may be a following write-up on how I learn on Coursera because this post is already too lengthy for the attention-deficit society of today. I may also write a lengthy post on how I research, experimented, wrote, and self-published my books because from recent talks with friends and some folks, this is something that many would need guidance on.
For now, I’d encourage you to start building your expertise and then leverage on these platforms so that you can make your living/fortune without having to be location based. I also encourage you to share your thoughts/concerns in the comment sections below. Maybe I can help!
P.S.: If you want me to write more on these topics, please let me know and I’ll gladly do!