Earlier this year, the world lost someone I think of as perhaps the greatest entrepreneur of all time: Gary Dahl, freelance copywriter, bar hound, and inventor and marketer of the Pet Rock. Back in 1975, while knocking back a few cold ones in a California bar, Dahl told friends he had a new pet who never needed to be fed, walked, or trained: a pet rock.
Regardless if you need to earn some fast cash or we're just talking about making money in the grand scheme of things, there's an important psychology that needs to be mentioned before getting into the strategies. If you study Freud's model of the mind, you'll discover the Psychic Apparatus. It's the three-part construct in your mind that controls all of your behavior.
Ever since the idea of online auctions came into existence, the online selling market has been on the rise. Many are interested, but don’t know how to get started. There are still all kinds of ways to make money by selling online, whether you’re selling what you already have or buying and selling like a store. Before we get started, here are a few general tips when selling anything online:
Sell photos. If you have a decent camera and a good sense of light, color, and composition, you can take and sell stock photos – i.e. nondescript images that lend themselves to many applications and are commonly used to illustrate online articles or products – with minimal effort. Stock photos of locations (a fire hydrant, a bare wall near an interesting tree, or anything you might find as a default background image on your computer) are easier to take, but stock photos of people (i.e. people arguing, people kissing, people laughing) usually sell for more, as they have more uses and require the written legal consent of your subjects. Hunt for a reputable stock photo dealer or database that will pay you fairly before signing on with anyone.
Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
If you are tired of the rat race and have thought about trying to get out of it, starting an Internet business might be one route to consider. Making a living online requires patience, planning and persistence. While you shouldn't expect to get rich overnight, you can make big money on the Internet if you put together an effective business plan and stick to it.
Multi-vendor marketplaces, like ThemeForest, can be very successful. Chose a niche and create a vendor website for it. Your marketplace could be anything, from a platform for local artists to sell their work on, to an online digital product store. Once set up, invite people in that industry to sell their products on your site. You take a percentage of their profits when items sell.
The big boys and the big girls move stock prices on Wall Street. Mutual fund companies, large hedge funds and registered investment advisors with hundreds of millions, even billions to invest, seem to have the advantage. Yet an individual investor can still make money. Follow the CAN SLIM system, invented by IBD chairman and founder Bill O'Neil, of selecting, buying and selling stocks, to a T.
But don't make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you're on call whenever you have a guest and you'll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, consider offering your guests paid add-ons, like Lauren Gheysens', Royal Day Out in London, England—where she gives visitors a local's only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
You can also sell your own products. You can make music in Garage Band and sell it in iTunes, you could write an eBook and sell it within Amazon. You could also do your own crafts and sell them on Etsy or design a Tshirt and sell them on spreadshirt. Or you could do all of these things! Ecommerce is a great way to make passive income online, whether with a physical product or digital product.
Jack up your prices. If you're providing a skill, service or product that is in high demand and low supply, and you're making the most of your time, you should be making good money. Unfortunately, there are many people who are too humble or fearful to demand that they get paid accordingly. It's the pushovers in life who get taken advantage of and exploited, so if you think you might be one of them, learn how to stop being a people pleaser. If you work for someone else, ask for a pay raise or get a promotion, and if none of that pans out, revisit your career options as described previously. If you're self-employed, the first thing to do is to make sure your customers and clients pay up on time--this alone can substantially improve your income. Check your prices and rates against those of your competitors--are you undercutting them? Why? If you're providing a superior product or service, you should be getting at least the average, unless your profitability depends on mass production, in which case you're probably making a lot of money and wouldn't be reading this article anyway!
Online savings accounts usually come with crazy good interest rates to help you grow your money faster (regular in-person banks can’t offer rates as high). We’re fans of CIT Bank and Discover Bank (among others) because their interest rates are often over 25 times the national average. That means the money in your savings account will grow 25 times faster than the pace it’s most likely growing at now. Really, though, you can’t go wrong with pretty much any online savings account that offers over 1.50% APY 🙂