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Small Business Heroes

8 Ways to Make Money Online Without Quitting your Day Job

Getting on the path to financial freedom doesn't have to involve taking an all-or-nothing risk.
8 Ways to Make Money Online Without Quitting your Day Job
Image credit: Cavan Images | Getty Images
Contributor
Entrepreneur, software engineer, author, blogger and founder of WanderlustWorker.com
13 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Want to make money online? Want to rake in millions almost effortlessly? Sure, most silver-tongued marketers might lead you to believe that the good life is just a few keystrokes away. They tell you that your path to online riches is just around the corner using this newly discovered, untapped secret. The best part? They're only sharing it with you as part of their inner circle. Yes, that's right. You're the chosen one. Part of the lucky few. 

We all know how this story plays out, don't we? The allure for wanting to generate an income and leave that corporate life-sucking 9-to-5 job is strong. So strong, in fact, that this so-called easy money-making system was just too alluring that you had to pull the trigger and scoop it up. But what happens after the fact? You made the decision and you took action. Now, you have this course just sitting there at the ready. All you need to do is consume and implement. 

Related: Need a Business Idea? Here Are 55.

But that's often not the case, is it? We don't consume. And we certainly fail to implement. Yet, we hear most people preach about hustling. Work hard, they say. Toil. Grind. Stay up all hours of the night. Sure. It comes from our well-intentioned parents. They want to equip us with the best tools for success. Yes, they mean well. But hustling and working hard doesn't equate to success. You might make a bit of money on the internet if you can hustle tirelessly. But will you be truly free from the tethers of corporate life? Probably not. 

How to make money online without quitting your day job

For most, the goal is freedom. Financial freedom. Freedom from a job that they no longer love. They want the freedom to go where they want when they want, and with whom they want. Not to be subjected to reports on their every move and behavior. But before you can do that, you need a plan. Sure, you could burn the ships. Just quit your job and remove any possibility of retreat. It might work for some. But for others, there's a real sense of panic that sets in when you can't make ends meet. 

Yet, here's the truth. Most people overthink it. Do you need to quit your day job to make a bit of extra money online? Certainly not. And the best part is this: Once you do find a way to tap into the seemingly endless amount of wealth floating around on the internet, all you have to do is scale your efforts. Will you become a billionaire doing this? Likely not. But you can certainly get rich and potentially make millions. All you really need to do is start with a sense of belief in yourself. 

All you need to do right now is pick a path. How will you earn money online? And how much time will you devote to the cause. You can't do this without some level of immersion. But it's not just about working hard. You have to work smart. We're talking Four-Hour-Work-Week smart. And that means outsourcing. Pick the primary path and try to outsource the rest. You don't need to be an expert in everything. You just need to be really good at the main thing you decide to do. 

Related: 17 Passive Income Ideas for Increasing Your Cash Flow

Everyone needs to start somewhere. Although money shouldn't be your primary objective, if you're just looking to make some side hustle income, then your objective is clear. Focus on your first $100. If you can make it to $100, then you can make it to $1,000. Don't overwhelm yourself with all the things you need to do. Start small and put in the work. But also expect that it's going to take time. It won't happen overnight, so don't set yourself up for disappointment by expecting unlimited riches to magically appear in your bank account with the snap of a finger.  

1. Start day trading online

One of my mentors, Jeremy Delk, who's also one of the most successful people I know, literally started from scratch. In fact, he was worse off than that. He had taken a $30,000 inheritance from his dad on his 18th birthday and built it up to a portfolio valued at over $1.2 million by day trading stocks. This was prior to the dot-com bubble bursting. He was so confident during that time that he took $800,000 on margin. He was flying high. 22 years-old. In college. And making more in a day than his professors were making the entire year. 

Then, when that proverbial bubble burst, he lost it all. The margin calls came in and all that money was wiped out. What's worse is that he lost the inheritance that came from his dad. But he always tells me that all that pain gave him the right foundation. He learned so much during those years. And when the market turned back around, he had found his way into one of the top trading houses in the country. That set him on a path towards starting his own business and eventually becoming a wildly-successful entrepreneur, generating over $100 million per year. 

His advice? Start small. Learn the ropes. And follow your passion. You're not going to be great at anything you start out doing. You'll be less than average. But over time, you will improve. It takes incremental steps and you have to get in the right mindset. Persistence and action are required in any endeavor, but especially in ones where you're risking capital and are initially unsure of what you're doing. It's not easy making money online by any measure. You have to pay attention and be smart about your moves. 

Delk says you should open a trading account at one of the big three: E-Trade, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity. Any of those will suffice. And start small. Be lean. Don't take massive risks while you learn the ropes. But more importantly, focus on the reason why you're doing it rather than money. Money is great but we'll do less for shiny objects than we will for things that truly mean a lot to us. Not only can you make a bit of money without quitting your day job, but you might also actually be able to sever that corporate cord entirely over time. 

2. Create an ecommerce business

Some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs that I know have entered into the ecommerce business with eyes wide open. The best part here is that there are so many options. You can literally create a drop-shipping business without ever carrying any product of your own. You can sell on Amazon as an FBA store. You can also set up a Shopify store and sell directly there. Or take numerous other approaches to sell just about anything under the sun online. 

Jaime Cross, founder of MIG Soap, prayed for years to find a way to make money. She was a stay-at-home mom raising kids and struggling financially. They were so broke that they had to scrounge around money just to have enough money to buy groceries. As she tells me, it was the toughest time in her life. But one night, in a dream, a vision came to her. She saw herself mixing soaps and other ingredients together like a mad chemist on a mission. 

Fast forward seven years and she is making millions of dollars per year selling hand-crafted soaps online that are all natural and organic. She tells me that there are so many chemicals in the products that you buy today online that are so unhealthy for you. She literally created products that are so organic that you could eat them. I know. It sounds strange. But her journey is a testament to what is possible when you put your mind to it. Most people give up too quickly rather than digging in their heels and putting in the work and the effort. 

Related: 7 Quick Ways to Make Money Investing $1,000

3. Enter the networking marketing fray

Network marketing sounds like a bad word to most. But there are people in the network marketing world that are crushing it. I'm talking about eight figures and more annually. Ray Higdon, who owns Rank Makers, is one of the world's most successful network marketers, running a massive team with tens of thousands of recruits and hundreds of thousands of network marketers served. But Higdon started out like anyone else. All he wanted to do was make a bit of money online without quitting his 9-to-5. 

Starting small, he found a good opportunity he could promote. Then, he started using social media as a primary tool for recruiting without ever spending a dime on ads. He tells me that his daily, consistent videos, which he's been doing for 9 years, have helped him to attract prospects effortlessly. There's something to be said when you get out there and try to truly serve your audience. That comes after you've secured a healthy amount of income for yourself. Afterward, it's a switch to serving others rather than serving yourself. 

Higdon is a true testament to this. His energy is infectious. And he started out like everyone else. The truth of the matter is that whatever method you choose to make cash on the internet, you have to stick to it. You can't jump from opportunity to opportunity and expect to get anywhere. It doesn't quite work that way. Dip your foot into water and eventually, over time, go all in. That's where the real money is to be made. 

4. Become a small business consultant

Online occupations that are taking the web by storm are coaches and consultants. The beauty of this is that it doesn't take much time to do. You can certainly do it while you have a full-time job. Plus, everyone is familiar with coaches and consultants, and businesses know that they need the help and advice of others to really succeed. The truth is that most businesses are lost when it comes to growing and scaling their companies and making more money. The truth is that they'd much rather someone else help them than make costly mistakes on their own. 

Plus, it's far easier to get businesses to pay you for this than it is for most other things. $1,000 to $5,000 per month contracts are the norm, not the exception. Of course, you'll need to learn the ropes. And, you'll need to get a positive ROI for your clients. Businesses are more likely to keep paying you if you can get them results. That's pretty obvious. So be sure to add value and not just talk your way into something that you can't deliver on. 

Katie Richardson recently made the transition into coaching full-time. Years ago, she had created a company with husband, Ben Richardson, that was an ingenious invention for washing newborn babies. But after selling the company and cashing out, she decided it was time to help coach and teach others to build their empires. So, she decided on a target audience of women making six figures or more and laser-focused her efforts to create a booming business empowering her clients to take things to the next level. 

5. Build websites or sales funnels

Websites and sales funnels are all the rage. If you're looking to get into a service-based business, you can definitely do this to earn money online without quitting your corporate job. You will need some element of creativity to do this. And, you have to understand that it's a competitive field. You might have to take a few low-paying jobs or give some free services away just to collect some reviews in the beginning. But it will be worth it. You could easily generate $1,000 per month or more doing this. 

Related: This $15 Course Will Teach You How to Build Websites

6. Sell digital courses

Digital courses are the future. Most of the successful entrepreneurs out there teach through digital courses. Does that mean you have to be an expert? No. Certainly not. All you need to do is be a couple of steps ahead of the audience you're targeting. That's it. Digital courses can be built through a variety of means such as Kajabi, Teachable, Karta and more. But you do need to understand the mechanics of how to market these courses. 

Sure, there are platforms like Udemy. But you do risk a large portion of your income and you have no control over their discounts and promotions. They can easily take your $200 course and dwindle it down to $10. While this promotion is great for Udemy, it's not that great for people who invest hundreds of hours making these courses. Your best bet is to build your course on your own platform and market through things like digital webinars. 

7. Start a blog

Blogging is one of the most rewarding fields. And you don't need to be a professional writer to start a blog. You can start anywhere for that matter. However, you do need to be passionate about it. Especially at the outset. It takes a long time to build a good following on a blog. If you think it's going to happen overnight, think again. It won't. In fact, it will take months, if not years, of consistent effort. But eventually, it is one of the best sources for passive income you can find. 

How do you start? Pick a topic. Do some research. And make sure you target a healthy niche that has plenty of traction and eyeballs. Don't follow trends. Focus on something in either health, wealth or relationships. That's where you'll find the most income. And you can sell a variety of related products and services through things like affiliate marketing and other native ads placed throughout your content. 

8. Start an ad agency

Whether you focus on Facebook ads, YouTube, Instagram or Google, there is plenty of money to be made in starting an ad agency. Plus, you don't need to leave your day job. And, you can do it from home. Even your smartphone. But you do have to learn the ropes first. There are plenty of training resources out there. You could pick up a course. Or you could just learn from free YouTube videos. As long as you're committed enough, you could pick up any skill for free online. 

All the information is out there for the taking. Most people simply like to buy courses because it's a highly organized way to digest the information. Often, it's step-by-step. That is pretty useful when you're just trying to consume it all. So how much can you make doing this? The sky is the limit. You can charge a flat fee or a percentage. And if you get great results for your clients, who knows just how high that income can skyrocket. 

 

 

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