Have you ever wanted to quit your 9-5 day job and start freelancing? If you are in a limbo and not sure how to go about starting your freelancing career, then here is a simple guide that you can start with. From freelancing to flipping, this list contains plenty of information that will help you enjoy a work life balance.

Freelance

you are looking for zero upfront investment then freelancing is the way to go. You can start from writing simple articles to mastering a specialized, on-demand skill such as research, writing grants or white papers. Freelancers can easily earn up to five-figure income a month.

Although it is easy to jump on board, it is difficult especially if you are just starting out. The freelancing world is extremely competitive, in fact, in the Writing and Translation category in a well-known freelance site, there are over 138k plus contractors, which can make the bidding for projects fiercely competitive especially as some contractors are willing to lower their rate to win the project.

In-Demand Freelance Category:

  • Writing Category – this category includes writing web content, press releases, blog posts, newsletters, eBooks, advertisements, white papers and other writing jobs
  • Software Development/Programming – this includes on-page and off-page work for websites, software and applications. Examples include HTML5, WordPress, Joomla, MySQL, Ruby on Rails, mobile apps, e-commerce site, plugins
  • Internet Marketing – includes social media management, SEP, website conversion, e-mail marketing, copywriting, presentations, guest postings, blogging
  • Graphic Designs – include website designing, vectors, corporate identity, logos, infographics, business card designs
  • Customer Service – transcription services, data entry, customer representative, accounting, virtual assistant
  • Translation – bilingual or translation of contents to other languages

Where to Start

Elance

Elance – one of the popular freelancing sites in the internet today. Highly competitive but it has higher paying projects compared with other freelance platforms. One freelancer can make as much as $5000 a month doing freelance writing projects

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PeoplePerHour – an “Elance” type of site; however, one can also post hourly  work that one is willing to do for a certain price.

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TextBrokers – for writers only, projects are plenty however pay is low.

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Freelance Switch – Envato Studio – not the most active site but can be useful  especially if other sites don’t have any projects available.

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99designs – do mock ups of designs, higher pay for designing jobs

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oDesk – Elance’s competitor. Plenty of jobs but price is lower than Elance.

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Guru – another freelance platform

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Fiverr – projects start at $5. Freelancers can earn extra cash posting what they will do for the price of $5.

Affiliate Marketing

Do you know that you can earn extra cash without actually owning a product? Top affiliate marketers such as John Chow earn 6-figure incomes just by recommending other people’s products. One of the best things about affiliate marketing is that one can easily make money without having to invest on products or expertise. One can just grab an affiliate code/link and then copy it to their own website, forum or any other site; when visitors click and buy, affiliates get a commission. Affiliate marketing has low entry point making the platform quite competitive.

Where to Start

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Clickbank – biggest place in the world where one can literally find the digital products they want. Payment is reliable and it has a wide selection of products in different niches. This is the best place to go for newbies to get their feet wet. One can make up to 75% commission per sale.

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Bluehost – if you want to earn more than 65% per sale, then try promoting this reliable web hosting company.

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Apple Affiliate Program – do you know that you can earn a commission by promoting Apple’s product and apps? iTunes, Apps, movies, and other Apple products that Apple sells can help you earn money.

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EBay – although EBay doesn’t generate much buzz, one can still find lucrative niches such as electronics and collectibles and earn.

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Amazon Associates – Amazon started the affiliate program before the others; that said, one could earn at least 8.5% per sale.

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Commission Junction – same with Clickbank, nice place to check out for products.

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HostGator – same with Bluehost, one can earn up to $125 in commission.

Handcrafted Materials/Products/Crafts/Arts

Mass production of products can be a good thing but some people prefer original or handmade products and are willing to pay more in order to have those things. If you love to do art and crafts or even do handmade jewelries then there is a place to sell it online. You enjoy what you are doing and at the same time earn from it.

Where to Start

Etsy

Etsy – create your own online store and have your handmade stuff displayed in front of buyers in just a matter of minutes. This is one of the popular places to sell handmade stuff.

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EBay – once a popular site to find collectibles and other items, it is still a good place to go to.

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ArtFire – same with Etsy.

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Folksy – this is the British version of Etsy.

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Craigslist – local Craigslist will showcase local made items but you can also look  at other towns or areas.

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CafePress – nice place to upload and have your designs printed out on different  media (t-shirt, posters, mugs).

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Zazzle – a place for designers to showcase their clothing designs.

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Spread Shirt – nice place to find and sell unique t-shirt designs.

CPA Marketing

CPA is affiliate marketing’s cousin. They both work on the same principle, with only a few difference, one of which is that with CPA, one will only get their commission if someone performs an “action” which is usually free for users. Examples would be requesting for an insurance quote, website sign up, online college information. If done correctly, one can earn more. One downside though is that networks are stricter than affiliate networks.

Where to Start

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Offervault – it is a search engine for CPA offers and includes all the major players. One can sort by network, payout or category.

Neverblue – another example of a reputable CPA.

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Peerfly – an awesome network that also helps one know the EPC for each offer.

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Maxbounty – has a wide selection of offers and makes weekly payments.

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AboveAllOffers – another well-respected leader in the industry.

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CPA DNA – has an excellent affiliate support.

Content Revenue Sharing

If you are interested in putting your content into an authority site that has a steady traffic and still get paid for it, then you might be interested in revenue sharing with the site. By posting on these powerful sites, one can get more traffic than posting the article on one’s own blog. That is, unless one has their own authority sites already. One can then get a certain portion of the money that the content makes.

This is not a nice way to earn online especially for people who prefer to have their earnings 100% as their own.  That said, this is a nice way to earn passive income. There are sites that offer such; however, it is better to put your best effort on sites that actually can help you earn.

Where to Start

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Squidoo – a nice site with supportive community. Pages tend to rank without any additional work.

HubPages

HubPages – one can create “hubs”, add banners or ads, and earn from these.

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Digital Journal – hard to get in but once one gets it, the site’s authority helps bring in traffic.

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YouTube Partner Program – for those who love creating videos, YouTube shares certain percentage of the revenue that the videos bring in.

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Yahoo – another place to consider.

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InfoBarrel – not as popular as before, much better to go with HubPages or Squidoo.

Video Marketing

Video Marketing is a huge place with plenty of opportunities to earn. Many internet marketers earn full-time salaries just from the YouTube videos. To ensure that you succeed, it is important to create videos that have value to the watcher.

Following are important as these can help drive traffic to anywhere you want, whether to your affiliate’s channel or your own YouTube.

Where to Start

YouTube – major potential traffic. It is important that one choose a tight niche and make constant updates.

AOL On – this is a tutorial video site which is a nice place when you want to  show your expertise or skills to new audience.

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Metacafe – a popular video sharing website.

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Camtasia Studio – a bit expensive but a professional screen capture software for tutorials.

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Vimeo – nice place to upload videos.

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Flixya – nice place to upload one’s video, after YouTube, it has plenty of visitors.

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Instructables – a popular tutorial video site.

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Screencastmatic – a cheaper, simpler and easy to use software, same with Camtasia.

Site Flipping

It is an easy way to earn money online and in fact helped many marketers become rich. Site flipping involves buying a website at a low price and then reselling it for 100x its original price (same with buying real estate). In order to increase the value of the website, one should drive traffic and increase its value through adding well-written content or articles.

Where to Start

flippa

Flippa – popular place to buy and sell websites. This is also a nice place to get a feel on how flipping is done.

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Warrior Forum – same with DigitalPoint.

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DigitalPoint – there are some shady sites but also hidden gems as well. It is an alternative to Flippa especially if there are little activities going on.

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Sedo – domains for sale but there are some complete sites as well being sold.

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WebsiteBroker.com – Flippa clone.

Blogging

Are you interested in sharing what you love and turn it into profit at the same time? Then consider blogging. Blogging though is not an easy way to earn money and in fact, not all bloggers started out on top. Most popular bloggers today had to start from the bottom working their way up. That said, if one chooses what one loves, then they can make it work.

Where to Start

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WordPress – best and the most popular CMS currently in the blogsphere. For those who want to host their blog free then go with WordPress.com. That said, for serious bloggers, it is important to get one’s own domain and host.

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Joomla – a nice alternative to WordPress.

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Woothemes – pre-made themes and customizable designs. It is pricey but has a professional look to it.

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GoDaddy – one of the leaders in the domain name registration.

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Bluehost – reliable and easy to install. One of the best hosting providers.

Q&A

There are times that search engines are not enough to answer one’s queries and this is where Q&A comes in. Popular Q&A sites offer visitors help with their questions or needs. If you are an expert in one field or in a topic/niche, this is a nice place to earn extra income, all by just answering questions.

Where to Start

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LivePerson – it is important to register as an expert before one is allowed to answer questions over the phone, chat or email.

WebAnswers.com – a new site that is growing fast, one gets paid answering questions.

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JustAnswer – most popular site and well paid. Credentials and degree can  help increase the money that you take home per question.

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Ether – same with JustAnswer, one can set their own rates and answer clients over the phone.

Paid Surveys

This is the easiest way to earn money online. It will not be enough to cover a full time salary and will not bring home the bacon, but is a nice way to earn an extra income.

Where to Start

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MySurvey – one of the best survey panels.

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CashCrate – consistent survey invites, solid survey site.

Say – no longer popular but still a nice place to consider.

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GlobalTestMarket – one of the trusted leaders, consistent and pays well to its panelists.

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Tellwut – new but is quite reliable.

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MyView – highly respected place.

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NPD – not that active but can still be a place to go to.

PPC Marketing

For those who want to increase traffic to their site, then PPC is the way to go; that is, it is important that one knows how PPC works or the cost would add up fast. To make PPC work for your website, it is important to test the keywords, offers, landing pages and ads combination. Once you find a profitable combination then you can earn a lot every month. Website owners can also monetize their websites by applying to the sites below.

Where to Start

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Google Adwords – it is the most popular network and can be expensive to learn the ropes; however, the quality of the traffic is undoubtable.

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Facebook Ads – it is difficult to have controversial ads approved; however, one can always test others until you are approved.

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Bing Ads – same with Adwords but runs on Bing and Yahoo! Search engines.

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Chitika – same with Adwords.

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7search.com – a controversial network that offers very low cost/click, plenty  of people earn well with this network.

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Amazon Product Ads – for those with e-commerce sites, they can run banner ads on Amazon with cheap clicks.

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Clicksor – another contextual ad network.

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Infolinks – it displays certain links within the page’s content.

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Bidvertiser – ads that you choose are displayed on the site.

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Plenty of Fish – a popular dating site that monetizes with PPC ads.

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Miva Merchant – cheap clicks.

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Prosper202 – #1 PPC tracking software.

Email Marketing

An email list of responsive subscribers is one of the most important tools for a marketer. One may notice that popular sites such as Social Triggers focus on building email lists and actually not trying to earn. For those marketers that have sites that generate good traffic, consider concentrating instead in building a list instead of banners or ads. One can contact an email provider that can collect the emails and then organize these while ensuring that subscribers can still opt-out.

Where to Start

aweber

Aweber – for those starting out, this site is an excellent email service provider.

VerticalResponse

Vertical Response – has a simple email template with an integrated social media management.

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Constant Contact – nice option for small business, it offers standard emails, customer surveys, daily deals and event management.

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MailChimp – it is free up to 2000 subscribers, has a strict guideline for those who are doing affiliate offers.

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IContact – offers free trial, another good option.

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GetResponse – one of the trusted email marketing solutions.

Investing and Lending

One of the popular peer-to-peer lending services can help one earn up to 15% interest on microloans. Although it will not make one rich, it is another passive income generator to consider. That said, there is also day trading which would require monitoring of up to 15 hours. Although it is risky, one can earn money through investing online.

Where to Start

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Lending Club – one can make up to 10% return

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Prosper – another lending website

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Etrade – another helpful place

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Zopa – UK’s P2P Leader

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Scottrade – has free investing resources and auto monthly investing setup is easy

Create a Membership Site

A membership site is the best way to earn online for those who provide monthly value to a certain niche market. Starting out a membership site would also reap recurring income every month. That said, in order to continue, it is important to provide value on a daily basis to ensure that subscribers are happy. This is not the “setup and forget about it” business type.

Where to Start

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Wish List – this WordPress plugin can help one’s site to become a fully functioning membership site.

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Magic Members – a nice plugin as well, highly recommended.

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PayPal – a must for every membership site. Members can setup monthly payments and use their PayPal balance, credit card or bank.

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Optimize Press – a WP theme but has software that easily creates landing pages, sales funnels and membership with ease. It can be integrated with other popular plugins in the market.

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Joomla – Joomla membership extension.

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Kajabi – can be integrated with Clickbank and other payment processors