The Internet presents a world of opportunities. With a little commitment and hard work, you can earn good money online. Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Use social media
Some might find it hard to believe, but you can actually earn money from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Various people and groups have taken to social media to express themselves (Gaurav Gera, Ssumier Pasricha, AIB, etc.) and have become celebrities on different social networks. You can choose to start with one social media platform, and then expand to other relevant networks once you or your brand become popular.
After your garner some popularity and reach on social networks, you can start earning through sponsored posts. Keep in mind that this will take a significant amount of time, and you will need to have actual fans who interact with you and share your posts, rather than just purchasing likes and fans.
While comedy might seem to be the most popular genre, there are social media influencers for almost every category (business, tech, food, travel, etc.). You need to decide on your niche and then start populating your profile with relevant posts to attract fans and subscribers. If you manage to stay regular with your posts and updates, you could even see a surge in your fanbase in the course of a few months.
2. Do freelance work
Finding freelance work is easy if you have good skillset. There are a number of websites that have small freelance tasks available for people with varying skills, which can pay anywhere between $5 and $100. On these websites, tasks are listed under categories (writing, design, social media, etc.) along with details related to payment and time frame. You can browse the listings and apply for the task that suits you.
Do keep in mind that you will only be paid after you have finished and submitted your work, and it has been approved by the person who posted the task. You might need to revise the work multiple times to suit the requirements of the client. Also, the website might keep a percentage of your earning as their commission, so read the payment policies carefully.
If you want to start freelancing, the first thing you should do is create a Paypal account as most clients prefer to make payments through it. Once you have an account, you can sign up on freelance work websites—we recommend trying outfiverr. com, upwork.com, freelancer.com, and worknhire.com. You will also need to create a personal listing with the details of your skillset, so that interested clients can contact you directly. Alternatively you can browse through the various jobs posted on the site and apply for the ones you want to work on.
3. Start a blog
Blogging as a career has slowly but steadily picked up in India. There are full time bloggers who earn lakhs every month and are counted as influencers. What you need to keep in mind is that earning through blogging requires a lot of time and effort. It is also important to realise that your blog will not start earning money immediately. It can take more than a year of work before you start receiving any earnings. Once your blog starts getting enough visitors, you can get paid for advertisements, sponsored content and affiliate marketing.
There are two ways to start a blog—you can either use websites like WordPress or Tumblr to set up a free blog, or create a self-hosted blog. The former requires no monetary investment. However, the issue with this method is that your options for customising of the site will be limited to whatever tools and plug-ins are made available by the service provider.
For a self-hosted blog, you will need to spend on the domain name and server hosting space, which can cost between Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000 for a year. The advantage this offers is that you can customise each element of the look and functionality of the website according to your preference.
4. Be a YouTube star
YouTube has become a major source of earnings for many people, owing to its reach and ease of use. You don’t even need to have professional equipment or a proper set-up to record videos—a mid-range smartphone will do the job. You have to create YouTube channel, which works on a similar model as a blog—as you make your channel popular and the number of subscribers you have increases, your earning opportunities will also increase.
Choose a category or subject about which you want to create and share videos, in order to make a niche for yourself. Once you become popular, brands will pay you to talk about their products. You will also earn from Google monetisation.
To start a YouTube channel, log on to YouTube, go to the ‘Features’ page, sign in with your Google account and you will see a ‘Channel’ tab. This page lets you set up your channel as well as monetise it. If you want to cover events, the option to enable live streaming on your channel is also available.