6 Ways to Make Money Online Tonight!

The Internet can be a great way to make money, if you know how to protect yourself and watch for scams. Although with most legitimate online businesses, it takes time to make money, certain opportunities offer a faster paycheck than others. Here are a few ways you can start making money tonight, and see the fruits of your labor quickly.

1. Sell on eBay.

One of the most popular ways to make money online is selling on eBay. Tonight you might only be listing your own things for sale — items you don’t want anymore, but that someone else might be willing to pay for, such as computer items, music, movies, antiques, and collectibles. When you run out of things to sell, though, there are other options to keep your business going. For instance, some eBay stores sell other people’s things for them, and earn a commission on every sale. Another option is to comb estate sales, garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores for items you can resell for a profit. Some sellers even make items to sell: jewelry, quilts, crocheted hats and scarves, laptop and eBook reader sleeves, and more.

The best way to get paid quickly when you list on eBay is to do a one- or three-day auction, or even better, a “Buy It Now” or fixed price listing. Make sure you price your item low enough to encourage a quick sale!

2. Write for article directories.

Writing for article mills doesn’t pay much, but if you’re looking for a little additional money, you can easily crank out a few articles a night and earn some extra spending money. Websites like Associated Content (now owned by Yahoo) publish your articles for a small upfront payment and/or a “royalty” based on either page views or a percentage of the ad revenue.

Obviously, if you are getting paid for page views or ad revenues, you won’t see the money right away — or ever, if you don’t choose a reputable site. Look for a website that has a large article base and is widely read. Small or brand-new article sites aren’t worth your time, since low traffic will mean practically no page views and very little ad revenue.

3. Sign your website or blog up for pay-per-click advertising and affiliate programs.

If you already maintain a personal website or blog, you may already have the traffic and readership to start earning money with pay-per-click ads and affiliate programs. A night’s work is most likely all it will take to integrate the ads into your website, and then you can just sit back and watch the money roll in!

There are numerous programs you can join: AdSense, Google’s pay-per-click ad program for publishers, is probably the most well known. Just sign up with the program, choose your ads, and you’ll be given the code to install on your blog or website. Every time a reader clicks on the ads, you earn money — pennies, in many cases, but those pennies add up!

Affiliate programs, on the other hand, work a little differently. You put product images, ads, and links on your website or blog, but unlike pay-per-click ads, you are only paid when someone completes a sale. Most affiliate programs pay a small percentage as a commission. Amazon’s affiliate program is the most well known, but there are also others, such as LinkShare and the Google Affiliate Network.

4. Sell stock photos.

Certain websites, such as iStockPhoto, allow you to put your photos and computer generated images up for sale. Every time one of your photos sells, you’ll be paid a commission. You don’t have to be a professional photographer or graphic designer, but images should be high quality.

Again, you may not see the money right away, since you’ll have to wait for your photos to sell, but this is a great opportunity for anyone who likes to take a lot of pictures with their digital camera. Most likely you will have quite a few photos on your computer already that you can sell on a stock photo website — no photography sessions required! As you become more familiar with stock photography and what sells the best, you might also decide to set up some photo shoots or start looking for good photo ops.

5. Take surveys online.

Sometimes you can take research surveys online in exchange for money or gift cards. There are quite a few sites that offer these opportunities, but be careful when choosing which ones you want to sign up with — do your research first and make sure that the site is reputable, real (not a scam), and pays in a timely manner. Surveys usually don’t pay very much, but can provide some nice additional spending money.

6. Sell an ebook.

How-to eBooks, which provide needed information to customers quickly and easily, are big sellers online. Obviously it takes time to write an eBook, so you won’t be doing that tonight. But you may have something on your computer already that you can turn into a eBook with a little bit of work. For instance, think about written assignments that you’ve done for your classes, or other documents that you hold the rights to. (Don’t use documents that you’ve written while on the clock at work, since most likely a court would find that your employer holds the rights instead of you.) With a little bit of rewriting, editing, and formatting, you can turn that work into a product that you can sell online.

There are quite a few opportunities these days for authors to self-publish eBooks. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords all publish indie authors’ eBooks and pay a percentage of every eBook sold. You can also sell the eBook directly from your own website, which gives you a bit more control but also means that you have to figure out things like how to automatically deliver the file to customers. Advice for maximizing sales over the long term: Don’t just throw your eBook online and expect it to sell like hotcakes. Market your eBook with a blog, Twitter and Facebook pages, membership on related forums, and other online networking activities.

Only a lucky few will be able to make enough money only to quit their day jobs, but there’s no reason you can’t make a little extra income on the side. A little creativity and dedication can really pay off — literally!

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