Ideas for Making Money Online with Just a Laptop
Oh look another how to make money online article, just what you need! There’s a mass of these articles floating around on various blogs over the internet – what I really wonder is how many of these bloggers have ACTUALLY made money using these methods? Probably not many.
If you’re looking for a no BS list of ways to make money online then you might have finally found the first honest article on the topic.. I won’t put anything in this list that I haven’t personally made money from. Therefore it’s not going to be a list of 20 sites, but a list of my THREE detailed methods on how I’ve made money over the last year.
Each of the tasks come with varying difficulties which I’ll make notes of, and as reference for my skillset I am a university graduate and I own a laptop – the latter being the base requirement. My writing skills are slightly above average, and I have a reasonable technical background. I’m certain that if you’re capable of navigating the internet and are able to write half decently then you’ll be able to find something workable on this list
Method 1 – Freelance writing
Difficulty: Low to medium
Skills required: Writing, editing, communication, ability to write in different styles/tones
Scalability: Low (You will always exchange words for dollars)
Income: Starting out you’ll realistically be working low paying gigs for 1-5 cents per word. Look to increase your rate once you have more experience and build up your writing portfolio.
Writing online has been my bread and butter for making a consistent monthly income over the last year. You might not be great at first but this is a skill that you can definitely work to improve over time, and you will get better as you write more articles and get more writing gigs. The best part of writing is that you can practice and build a portfolio before you even get clients, by simply starting to write. So here’s my task list for you if you want to start freelance writing:
- Build up your writing portfolio – Start NOW on this. Find topics you enjoy and practice writing, then find topics you don’t enjoy writing, research them, and write some more. Guess how you’ll get good at this? By writing, a lot of writing.
- Practice writing in different tones and think about the audience you want to connect with. You won’t write a news article or an article on medicinal marijuana the same way, so practice changing it up and make notes of what you did and review your work afterwards.
On to the hunting grounds:
- Fiverr.com – Here you can start writing short articles for $5 per. I would often get in contact with clients outside of Fiverr and build up my relationships for higher rates. Find clients who require regular writing, do a good job with the work, and be on time. With this method you’ll get a lot of repeat work and you can scale up your regular clients to make consistent income. Also if you’re not a writer, there are a ton of gigs you can sell on Fiverr like voiceovers, graphic design, image editing, and many others.
- Reddit.com/r/forhire – The forhire subreddit has yeilded me great and consistent writing contracts. I got my first consistent contract writing for 5 cents per word here, banking me almost $50 per article and $200 per month simply from a few hours of work per week. It actually worked out to a decent hourly rate (decent bit above minimum wage).
- Reddit.com/r/hireawriter – This is another subreddit that’s not quite as popular as /r/forhire but is much more targeted. Scope this subreddit for jobs on specific niches that you may have expertise on and could write well on. In the beginning you want to find jobs to write on topics that you have some background knowledge on so your writing will be of good quality. Once you improve your skills and your rate you will be able to allocate more time to research and can write on a wider variety of topics.
Method 2 – Playing online poker
Difficulty: Medium to high
Skills required: Game knowledge, mathematics, discipline, level headed emotions
Scalability: Medium (as you get better you increase your hourly rate significantly
Income: Starting out the income will be low but you improve at the game and make more money as you go along.
If you’re not a disciplined mentally or emotionally then I would not head down this road to make money. Poker is a game that requires a high level of thinking, mathematical analysis, and discipline to study and improve your game each day. If you are interested in this method then I would recommend some initial reading on the game of poker, and a few training resources that can get you started.
How to become a professional poker player – Informative article on what goes into making consistent income as a poker player online.
Deuces Cracked – This is a paid resource that does have a free trial. They have professional players create regular content that is applicable to every type of poker game. What you can do is sign up for the free trial, and download all of the videos you want to use for training.
Depending on what country you live in, you’ll have to find a poker website that you can play on. From there you will need to decide what type of game to play – there are cash games where you play with real money, and tournaments where you spend an amount to enter the tournament and play with tournament chips for a cash prize.
Again I’m going to note that this is the most difficult method to make money here, but I am being honest and sharing all of the methods I’ve used this year to make money online. If you try this method be sure to read and train your knowledge of the game before you attempt to play. Also you can get deals on poker rooms when you deposit money which basically gets you bonus money to play with. Here are some other things to consider about playing poker online:
- You will need to use hand analysis software like WeakTight or PokerStove which breakdown the results of hands and are useful to review your play with.
- Use stat tracking software like Jivaro to keep track of how your opponents are playing
- Review your hands after every session that you play. Look to make friends with other poker players so you can compare notes, and help each other analyze hands – this has been pretty critical for my success.
If you’re going forth with this method, just be sure that your time spent training is much higher than your time playing for the first while. Take it slow, review your play, and always play responsibly. You should have 50 buyins at a minimum for any specific game you’re playing. So if you want to play a $2 buyin game you should have $100 in your account so you can play and make money over time while dealing with the variance of the games. The reason for this is due to the element of chance in the game, you will lose money. The hope with training is that you will make more money than you lose so you do need an adequate amount of money to play with to deal with potential “upswings” and “downswings”.
Method 3 – Blogging and building niche sites
Difficulty: Medium to high
Skills required: Writing, basic WordPress skills, research, SEO knowledge
Scalability: High – requires a lot of initial work and grinding but will make consistent monthly income if you do it right.
Income: Low to none for the first 6 months, $0-100 per month for the next year, and past that it depends on how you can scale your niche (these are realistic estimates).
I had read a lot about affiliate marketing, and tried to put it into action a few years ago and failed miserably. This is probably one of the least straightforward ways of making money but can still be successful with a lot of dedication. If you’re searching up ways to make money online that means you have a lot more time than resources available right now.
You will need to spend your time researching a topic to blog about, finding keywords to make articles around, and submitting guest posts to other sites to get backlinks which will help rank your own site. The method of building niche sites for incomes is a very in depth process so I will link out to a few resources to help get you started.
Out of all of the income methods here, this requires the most dedication as you may not make any money for the first 6 to 12 months. Past that you can start to turn a consistent monthly income, and scale it up into the thousands depending on how wide your niche is (aka how many topics can you write about to get search engine traffic from). Your income will come from either selling products and making affiliate incomes, or through advertising with programs like Google AdSense.
To pull this off you are going to either need to know already, or be willing to research how to build your own wordpress sites, how to do keyword research, understand basic SEO, write thousands of words of content per month for your own site and other sites as “guest posts” to rank your site. My skills really developed after going through the NoHatDigital month long niche site and SEO internship. I would definitely recommend checking one out and improving your skills through this method. You will absolutely be able to build and scale your own sites if you go through the course. Essentials for starting and making a niche site or blog successful:
- Do your background research and find a niche that you can provide something of value to
- Design a website using basic WordPress
- Write content, every single day, and release regular posts
- Build links from other sites by guest posting, infographic outreach, or top list style posts
- Monetize your site once it gains popularity
Out of the three methods listed here, writing definitely has the lowest barrier of entry. I didn’t start building niche sites until I had a decent amount of writing and more specifically SEO writing experience. Playing poker may not be realistic for everyone, but there is a clear process here of going from being a writer, to using your writing skills to make your own websites and web content to make money from.
Either way, if you take away one thing from this article is that there is no quick fix for making money online, and you will have to develop real skills to truly be successful. Start somewhere, start today, and start working hard if you want to make money online. My dream is to work remote which is one benefit, but it also offers a lot day to day flexibility no matter where you work from.
Hi my name is Scott Wolowich and I’m a Canadian engineering graduate turned online freelancer. I love learning new things and working on developing my skillset. I’ve really enjoyed working online since the start of this year and I plan to continue along this path. I challenge myself to become more successful each month and I plan to move to Thailand with my remote work at the end of the year.