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5 No Bull Ways to Make Money Online

5 No Bull Ways to Make Money Online

“This guy made $4,563 dollars by sitting on his couch in his underwear”.

You’ve probably seen headlines like this before, or even better,

“This mom just made $2,346 working online only two hours a week”

If you did happen to click the link, chances are pretty high you would’ve been led to a random lead page somewhere, trying to get you to buy the next best, get rich quick scheme.

It can be a little off-putting at times, especially if you’re actually trying to make money online. You might have started questioning whether or not it’s actually possible.

Well, it is!

Pat Flynn’s success is a prime example that it is possible! In fact, he’s managed to make $3 million dollars in passive income online over the years.

I’m not promising that you’ll make $3 million dollars, but who knows? The sky’s the limit!

Interested in learning how to make money online? Read on below budgeters!

Niche Sites

Niche sites are a great way to earn money online. They provide specific information about a particular topic or niche. For this reason establishing yourself as an authority in this field tends to help.

So what do I mean by niche? Ideally when you’re establishing a niche site you want to target a specific topic or range of topics. An example topic might be baseball pitching machines. Whilst it might seem an odd topic, a quick look at Google keyword data shows that there are 2,400 searches for this topic each month. That’s not a massive amount of traffic given the number of searches made each month using Google, but it does mean it is possibly a profitable topic.

The key to making money is making sure you pick a niche which is popular but not saturated by larger sites. For example picking a topic like technology is a pretty sure-fire way to fail as there are already a number of sites, which are targeting technology in general. When building a niche site you have to drill down to specific topic area, which hasn’t yet been saturated by larger sites.

The monetization methods you use when building a niche site depend on the amount of traffic you’re getting to the site. For example, if you’re able to get a lot of traffic to the site (>1m views) then using Google AdSense might be a good way to generate a significant amount of income. However if you’re not obtaining as much traffic you’re likely to make more income from affiliate sales or product sales.

The most important factor when building your niche site is picking the right niche. Unfortunately, you won’t often find people openly advertising the niche’s they’re targeting as this means increased competition. There is, however, a handful of successful online entrepreneurs who openly advertise some of the niche’s they’ve targeted.

Uber-famous internet marketer Neil Patel is currently building a site in the nutrition niche and is on track to earn $1m a year. Pat Flynn whom I mentioned above has successfully built two niche sites and has laid out his entire process over at Niche Site Duel. In his June 2015 income report, he noted down that he made $2,906.82 from his niche site FoodTruckr. The difference between the potential incomes of the two sites is largely due to the size of the potential audiences. Food trucks are relatively specific to people interested in; you guessed it, food trucks. However, when you’re talking about people interested in their health, the market gets a whole lot bigger.

Drop Shipping

I first heard about drop shipping in Tim Ferriss’ book The Four-Hour Workweek. It sounded like an absolute brilliant business model…and it still is. Drop shipping is where you sell a product without taking physical ownership of the product beforehand. Once a sale is made you purchase an individual product from a supplier (that you have an existing relationship with) who in turn ships it directly to the customer.

So how do you make a profit?  You benefit by selling the product to the customer at a retail price whilst purchasing the product from the supplier at wholesale price plus shipping costs. The difference between the sales price and the purchase price represents your margin. For example, say you were selling Electric Keyboards, they are listed on your e-commerce site for $340 each. Your supplier provides the electric keyboards for $140 each plus an additional $50 for shipping to the customer.

Every time a customer purchases a keyboard from your site you receive $340. You then pay the supplier $190 to cover shipping and wholesale product costs. The supplier ships the product directly to the customer without you ever taking physical ownership. In turn, you make $150 on each sale ($340-$140-$50). The good thing about this business model is that you can scale relatively easily as your ability to increase profits is largely limited by the amount of stock your supplier is able to provide.

There are a few things you need to consider if you want to start drop shipping. The first being whether or not a niche is profitable and/or suitable for drop shipping. Ideally you want to be selling high-profit-margin items which have limited competition. The second is that you want to make sure your suppliers enforce M.A.P (minimum advertised pricing) in order to prevent people undercutting you and eroding your profit margins.

The shopify guide to drop shipping is a great place to start if you want to learn more.


This one has been around for quite a while. The old school eBay side hustle. Find your old and unwanted stuff, post it up and make a few bucks. Some people have taken this a little further and managed to earn a full-time income from it. In fact, this mother quit her job and ended up earning 100,000 pounds a year from selling stuff on eBay. Not too shabby hey?

Whilst you can make some money by posting up your old items on eBay over the long run you’re bound to run out of things to sell. Big time eBay power sellers spend countless hours researching products they can sell. In order to do this, you need to invest time researching which products are the most profitable. Conducting proper research can help you make you serious dollars and avoid losing money. Terapeak is probably one of the best tools for helping you find profitable products which you can sell.

Before I forget, one advantage that eBay selling has over drop shipping is that you control the flow of the product. With great power, however, comes great responsibility. By having more control, you take more responsibility. Say you stock up with 1,000 flamingo statues to sell on eBay, if nobody buys them, then you’re left with a whole lot of unsold stock. You need to make sure you’re managing your inventory properly when scaling up an eBay business.

Affiliate sales

If you have a blog or website, why not monetise it? Affiliate programs allow you to sell products on behalf of other businesses. You promote another company’s products and in turn receive commissions from any sales made as a result of your referral.

Jamie Swanson over at The Modern Tog managed to earn $4,513 dollars in affiliate sales by creating a post, which reviewed the best DSLR cameras. Many of her readers were already asking for this information so she decided that she may as well make a little side hustle money out of it by using affiliate programs.

Affiliate sales don’t require ridiculous amounts of traffic to make money and hence it can be an attractive proposition for a lot of people. There are a quite a number of affiliate programmes out there however, Amazon provides a pretty good affiliate program if you’re just starting out.

Outsourced Online Services

Sites like Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer provide a platform for people to sell their skills.

There is definitely potential to make money using outsourced online services. Like all businesses, you want to be marketing a product or service which people are willing to pay for. These platforms in particular, are a great source of additional income if you’re able to provide services remotely.

Eze John managed to make an absolute killing on Fiverr by selling 3D and whiteboard based writing videos. Over thirty days he managed to make $1,644 from Fiverr selling only those services. That’s not too bad considering it only took him a couple of weeks to master the service he was offering.

If you’re interested I’m currently running an experiment to see if I can make $1,000 a month by selling services through Fiverr. My next post will be an update on my Fiverr project so stick around to stay updated on the progress!


So there you have it 5 No Bull Ways To Make Money Online. Having a little side hustle will put you on the fast track towards financial freedom. By generating  extra income and funneling it into your asset base, you’re bolstering your financial future. Plus little extra money in your bank account never hurt!

What do you do to earn money online?



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About Nick

Hey I'm Nick!

Hey there, welcome to icanbudget.com. I'm Nick the chief blogger here. I'm a college educated, personal finance loving, semi qualified accountant and don't mind a little side hustling here and there. To get more tips on personal finance, sign up to our mailing list above. You won't regret it!


All content provided on icanbudget.com is for informational purposes only. Any content here represents my thoughts alone and not those of my employer. When making any financial decisions please seek out a out the services of a professional for advice.