No one said entrepreneurship was going to be easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. The truth is… running your own business and finding success is extremely tough! However, that doesn’t mean that there still aren’t ways for you to make some money on the side in your spare time.

Having made money online for the past 20 years, it’s always amazing to me with how often people will complain about their lives and their financial situations… yet they will still spend 5 to 10 hours per week watching meaningless television shows or just wasting. All of this time adds up and it could really be put to much better use — such as creating a side business, hobby or even just making a few dollars online in the process.

To get your mind juices flowing, today I’m going to share just a few ideas on how you can start making a few extra dollars online… while not needing to be a full-on entrepreneur or business in the process.

Time is Money

Become a Freelance Writer

An excellent way to make money on the side is through the use of content writing. While writing is something you might not be amazing at, content is needed for millions of sites around the internet. What’s even better is that there are content writing networks that many it easy for anyone to join, then start filling writing jobs posted on the site. Two of the most popular writing sites are TextBroker (see  my interview with their CEO) and iWriter — both of which rate users based off their writing skills, which also influences how much money you can earn per word/article. In addition to the two main sites above, you can also check out these top writing job boards.


This is the perfect opportunity for anyone to start making money online, as there are no costs associated with getting paid to complete articles on these sites and you also don’t need to have a site. Last year I wanted to test both of these sites out as a writer and see if I could earn $1,000 in a month in my free time. I’m thrilled to say “mission accomplished” — however, I am extremely fast at writing and after haven written over 1,000 unique articles online, my average rating was quite high as well.

For anyone that is a decent writer, there is no reason why you couldn’t join both of these sites and earn $500+ per month. Once you’ve found success with getting paid to write articles for other sites, you should then think about becoming an independent writer with your own site, service, and rates.

Monetization Goal: Write at least one article per day at an average of $10 per article, and you will have $300+ in earnings per month. 

Get Active in the Stock Market and Currency Trading

As often as you hear about people making millions of dollars in the stock market, there are even more untold stories of the complete opposite. However, some people have proven to find success with buying and selling stocks, financial markets and world currencies time and time again. One example of someone who has mastered this art is my friend Tim Sykes… who went on to turn his $12,000 investment into over $4 million dollars. Why is it “easy” for people to make money with a program like the one Tim offers? Simple… Tim’s subscribers get alerts every time he makes a trade. This means you just have to follow what he does, while also using your own money and stock trading accounts. This is called copy trading (a.k.a. social trading), there are other ways of trade automation solutions, check out this forex trading software for example. Anchor: check out this forex trading software.

Trading Stocks

Just like there are platforms for day trading in the stock market, there are also platforms for trading forex and world currencies as well. World currencies and forex is something that’s always been interesting to me, but not something I’ve actually tried. There are some cool resources out there, like ETX Capital, which is not only a platform for world/currency trading but also for further education in how people are making money with binary options, commodities, equities works.

The takeaway here is in most cases, anyone can get started in the stock market or currency trading with a low investment. Yes, it’s always going to be a risk, but if you follow the right people and study the market enough, you can make money on the side without it seeming like you are taking on a new job or project. Either way, who wouldn’t want to learn more about investing and world markets in the process?

Monetization Goal: Day trading in and out of stocks for quick 5-10% gains.

Start a Niche Blog and Let It Grow Over Time

With the focus of “not running a business” and making money on the side, we can also talk about the options for starting a website or blog of your own. If this is going to be done correctly, and with the goal of eventually making a few dollars with your site, a “niche site” is definitely the way to go.

The reason why a niche site would work extremely well is that you are going after a very tiny niche market that doesn’t have a ton of competition. The benefit here is that it will likely take less content, promotional efforts and work to get your site to rank.

A good example of this could be “promotional USB pen drives“. Yes, it’s a topic and product that businesses and brands spend millions of dollars on every year, but it’s also not the most fun or interesting topic to talk about. Type the phrase into Google and you will see many variations also appear, such as:

  • custom usb drives no minimum
  • custom usb drives for photographers
  • custom shaped flash drives
  • custom wood usb drives

What this tells us is that there is a demand in this market and people are very specific on what they are looking for. This serves as a great opportunity for you to build a site with only a few content pages, which could eventually rank on the first page of Google — with only a few quality backlinks.

To stress this point even further, we can pull up LongTailPro stats to show that advertisers are paying good money to search for these terms, there is definitely some local (and global) search volume, but more importantly the “Keyword Competition” is a low 25-27 range.


So what does this mean for someone just wanting to try and make a few dollars online in their spare time? Simple… follow my how to start a blog guide and create a site focused around a very tight niche topic like the one above. Write (or outsource) a few great articles for your site around these topics, then do some social and link building promotions to get your site ranking in Google. With a niche this small, it shouldn’t be hard for you to rank a site on the main page of Google for a few long tail keywords, while also making a few bucks in the process. When choosing a niche and topic to write about, make sure you have a way to make money with the site — such as joining an affiliate program or using Google Adsense.

Monetization Goal: Creating a small niche site that ranks organically in Google for long tail keywords and earns $50-$100 a month.

How to Make Money Online in Your Spare Time

At the end of the day, there are hundreds of ways to make money online. Many are complex, but many are also quite simple and easy. I tried to stay away from any opportunities that would require a heavy upfront investment or a lot of pre-training.

No matter what method you choose or try to start making money with, it will ultimately come down to the amount of time, work, and effort you put into it. Millions of people are making good money on the side. Now it’s your time to do the same.