The Pursuit of Online Entrepreneurship


Podcast Episode 030 – How to Make Money Online Without Starting a Business

by | Apr 23, 2019 | Podcast

How to Make Money Online Without Starting a Business

7 Ideas to Increase Income Using the Knowledge & Skills You Already Have

Money, money, money—like it or not, it’s something we all spend a lot of time thinking about. If you’re like most folks, you’ve probably wished for a way to create extra income for yourself WITHOUT having to start a business or pick up a second job.

Whether you’re trying to make some extra cash for a special purchase or looking for a way to consistently boost your monthly income, working online can be a FANTASTIC way to start making extra money rather quickly. So this week, we’re talking about how you can start making money online RIGHT NOW, without having to start up a business, with the knowledge and skills you already have on hand.

This is by no means a comprehensive list—it just covers a few of my favorites. But these suggestions are all tried-and-true and come with very little risk. And bonus: If you realize you absolutely love the work you’re doing, most of these could grow into a fully-fledged business pretty easily!

Now, without further ado . . .


Don’t knock it ‘til you try it! You’ve probably heard the phrase “affiliate marketing” being thrown around, but do you really know what it means?

Simply put, affiliate marketers make commissions by recommending other people’s products, programs, and services. Most affiliate marketers do this by leveraging their own blogs, websites, and email lists . . . But it’s totally possible for you to do this on a smaller scale via social media! When someone uses your link to make a purchase, you’ll get a little kickback. Pretty easy, right?

I’ve personally incorporated affiliate marketing into my business by recommending products that I already use, love, have invested in, and believe in to my audience.

How to Get Started As an Affiliate Marketer

Don’t overcomplicate this! Start by reflecting on products, courses, or programs you’ve used or participated in. Do a little research to see if you’d be a good fit as an affiliate marketer for that company. Who is their ideal client? What is the % payout? Do they have any collateral (copy) to help you promote?

Create posts using simple text or simple graphics and share them wherever appropriate: your personal website, your personal Facebook, Pinterest, and Youtube are all great starters. Just remember to ALWAYS disclose that you’re an affiliate. Transparency is key.



Wondering what I’m talking about? Building an Amazon Affiliate Store is actually totally free and super simple. All you have to do is join Amazon’s Local Affiliate Program.

As with anything, there are pros and cons to being a local affiliate for Amazon. Building an affiliate store is more affordable than growing a traditional e-commerce store (again, it’s totally free + there’s no product inventory to invest in), and you’ll enjoy the perks of brand recognition when you curate affiliate products from well-known brands in your store. You don’t have to fuss with customer service—Amazon handles all that. You can also use Amazon affiliate products in increase your existing e-commerce store’s offerings without having to pay additional overhead costs.

On the other hand, the commission rates offered by Amazon are pretty low—usually around 4%, which is pretty standard for physical product affiliate programs but less than you’d enjoy promoting courses or programs. If you’re not careful to stick with one merchant, your store can easily become disjointed. And of course, there’s still some work involved in the initial store setup, updating product links, keeping images and descriptions accurate, etc. It’s not so much extra work that you should let it scare you away, but just know this won’t be totally passive income.

How to Open An Amazon Affiliate Store 

CLICK HERE to go ahead and get started! Like I said, it’s totally free and pretty straightforward. This page will walk you through setup and offer some interesting promotion ideas. Enjoy!



What am I talking about? Web design, virtual assistance, video editing, podcast editing, project management . . . Almost any skill you have can be monetized! Helping businesses with basic tasks is a great way to earn some cash and add meaningful experience to your resume.

How to Start Offering Online Services

You can get started by looking for gigs on freelancing websites. At first, you’ll be working with random clients, but after awhile, you’ll likely build up a base of regular clients and spend much less time searching for new work opportunities. Keep your pitches simple and clear, and be sure to link to a portfolio or resume if you already have some experience, as that will likely lead to higher paying clients.



This is similar to the previous tip, but you can increase your odds of finding work by joining a site like Upwork or Fiverr. I’ve personally used these sites in the past to find help with simple, one off tasks like photo touch ups, article editing, Excel file creation, photo collage creation, movie intro, and tons of other tasks. Just remember: Ratings and references matter. Be sure to do solid work from the beginning to build up positive feedback. Always lead from a place of service, not sales.

How to Start Freelancing

I already mentioned Upwork and Fiverr but here are some other sites you might consider starting out on. Your best bet is to set up profiles on more than one and promote yourself on your favorite social media platform.


You can offer 30, 45, or 60-minute consultations on a number of topics including (but certainly not limited to): vocal coaching, video setup and delivery, key note speeches, freebie layouts, wardrobe styling, business or mindset coaching, copy editing, content marketing, and art lessons.

How to Start Video Consulting

Again, my number one tip for getting started would be self promotion! You have social media at your fingertips, so don’t be afraid to use it. You can set your own rates, set up a calendar if you need to, and invoice customers through PayPal (or a number of other invoicing services).


6. Take & Sell Photographs

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to sell photos for money. You just need a good eye! People are constantly in need of high-quality, unique stock photography for social media, blogs, websites, presentations, you name it. These people will pay for the rights to your images.

What should you take photos of? Anything and everything! People of all ages across various cultures doing different activities like playing, working, walking, etc. Show a variety of emotions—get shots of people smiling, celebrating, expressing love, showing anger, etc. Business photos tend to be especially popular. You can also photograph food, animals, business equipment, cityscapes, nature, or travel destinations. Use your imagination! Just be careful not to photograph trademarked brands or copyrighted art, and if a person’s face is recognizable in your photos, always get a model release.

How to Start Selling Stock Photos 

There are tons of sites out there where you can sell stock photos. A few of the most popular ones include Shutterstock, Dreamstime, and iStock. On these sites, people search for photos by keywords rather than by photographer name, so your photos have the same chance of being discovered as everyone else’s!



Do you have a folder full of templates, worksheets, spreadsheets, or checklists that you love to use? Turn them into a stream of passive income!

When it comes to digital products, the world is your oyster. A few ideas to spark your creativity include creating a bundle that small business owners could use to prep for taxes, creating a month’s worth of healthy, budget-friendly grocery lists for busy parents, or writing up a welcome email template that someone growing an email list could use to introduce themselves to their new list members. People love to buy digital forms because using your templates saves them tons of TIME.

How to Start Selling Digital Forms and Tutorials

Canva is an awesome FREE design resource. You can also build your offering in Google Docs or Google Sheets. When you’re finished designing, convert the file to a PDF using PDFescape. Then, create an Etsy account or upload the product to your own website. Hit publish, and boom—you’re ready to start selling. As with all of these tips, don’t forget to promote yourself! Even if you’re just sharing with friends and family at first, every little bit helps.


Thanks for reading! I hope you got a lot out of this week’s chat. I’d love to hear from you. Scroll on down to the comments section and let me know, which one of these cash-generating ideas are you most excited to try? And do you have any ideas of your own?

If you’ve enjoyed these tips, please subscribe to The Pursuit of Online Entrepreneurship Podcast in iTunes. It takes 30 seconds, guarantees that you never miss an episode, and helps us build up our community of online professionals.

Thank you for showing up for me and for yourself. Best of luck in your business ventures—see you next time!

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