Every since the Internet became a home fixture, people have been crawling cyberspace in search of ways to earn a living, or at least make a few extra bucks. Growing up without the Internet has made the whole vast space seem pretty strange to me. Although I am technically savvy and do pretty well navigating through the World Wide Web, I must admit it all seems a little overwhelming at times. Just the sheer speed at which information travels and how easy it is to find yourself going down some rabbit hole makes my head spin.
One thing that I find entirely fascinating is how many people can earn a living cruising along the information superhighway. There are your typical sites that sell goods, freelancers galore who will do everything from delivering a personalized rap to your loved one to writing your next novel, and also a whole host of bizarre other ways to make money online.
Below are some neat and even unconventional ways I have found people making money using the Internet. Although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend these for everyone, there is something to be said for creative expression. The Internet offers a fair chance to anyone who is willing to get out there and take down their guard!
Get paid to eat food
So, we all have to eat right? How would you like to get paid to eat mounds of food online? No joke, folks known as “gastro voyeurs” are crazy about watching other people eat in South Korea. One woman, called the “diva,” eats for up to three hours day and earns $9,000 a month doing so. She has even quit her full-time job so she can focus on her online eating career. Don’t know if this has any chance of flying here in America, but if it did, count me in. I love to eat and although people watching me eat seems kinda weird, I would be game to give it a try.
Sell your hair
If you have long hair and are ready for a change, don’t let those locks fall to the floor in some beauty salon. Why not make some money selling your hair? Debra Yerga did just that and made $4,000 from her 31-inch haircut. Hairwork.com was the first site to offer buyers and sellers a chance to trade hair for money. There are many more sites like this springing up on the Internet. Just be sure that you check out the reliability of the site before you send off your precious locks.
Be a friend
Seriously, this one cracks me up. RentAFriend.com is the first website ever that allows you to rent out your services as a friend. This is not a dating website or an escort service but rather a place where people can rent other people for friends — strictly platonic, of course. What is the going rate to rent-a-friend these days? It seems like most friends are earning about $20 an hour and are willing to do just about anything G-rated to make a buck.
Become a YouTube sensation
Sure, it may not be an overnight success, but you will never know if you don’t try. You earn money by ads displayed on your page. It works similar to a pay-per-click advertising program used on websites and blogs. Although YouTube keeps a pretty big chunk for themselves, it can still be a fun way to earn a little extra cash. Build up a big enough subscriber list and you may even be able to retire early. According to Forbes, the top 12 YouTubers in 2016 made a total of $70.5 million dollars.
Start your online academy
Your knowledge is worth money to millions. Think about all the things you know how to do and how many people would like to know what you know. Selling knowledge is nothing new, but the web opens up endless opportunities to reach people with your expertise. Author and speaker Pat Flynn worked as an architect until he was laid off in 2008. He then started a site called Green Exam Academy where he helps people with his knowledge of the LEED AP exam. In doing so, he earns about $4,500 a month helping others with what he knows best.
Sing for cash
Perhaps you won’t be the next pop sensation, but you can make a little change by recording your music and releasing it on sites like Rhapsody, iTunes and Spotify. Matt Farley has done just that. In fact, he sang his way into $23,000 in 2013 with his music releases under a variety of band names, including top hits such as “Poop” and “You Were Wrong.” He records catchy songs about trending things under a variety of band names, something he says has helped him earn so much from his songs.
Get on the Pinterest bandwagon
I have to admit, it wasn’t so long ago that I saw Pinterest as a place where most women gathered to peruse the web for fun and creative ways to decorate their homes and plan for special events. Now, I understand better and see that Pinterest is more than just a virtual gathering house — it is a place where some serious money can be made. Here are just a few ways that you can accrue some solid income with Pinterest.
1. Exercise your passion
Create a Pinterest board around something that you are super passionate about and develop a mailing list. Once you have a few thousand followers, marketers will approach you with things you can offer your audience.
2. Peddle a product
Pinterest is the perfect place to sell products. First off, take high-quality photos of the raw materials, the process to make your product and the finished product. Use these pictures on Pinterest and link to a sales page where those interested can purchase your product.
3. Peddle a service
Do you have a service to offer? In much the same way as you create pins for a product, you can create pins for a service. Be sure to link to a page where you can highlight your service and give more detail. Testimonials are great to include as pins, along with great images, motivational quotes and catchy phrases that will help convince potential clients that they need what you have to offer.
Go for it!
From my research, it is clear that the sky is the limit when it comes to making money online. There is a whole world out there in cyberspace just waiting to be tapped. My suggestion is to carefully consider a couple of ideas and put something into action and see how it does. Remember, Rome wasn’t built overnight — it will take time to become familiar with the in’s and out’s of Internet income generation. However, the first step is to step out there, take a chance and just go for it!
— Rich Everfail