Need a passive income stream? Here are 10 ways to make money online – CBS News

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By Aly Yale
/ CBS News
Inflation remains stubbornly high and a recession is looming. Congress has worked to pass legislation aimed at lowering costs for Americans, but there are still questions about whether it will solve inflation – and when. 
Cutting corners and careful budgeting can help – but it might not always be enough. If you’re looking to reduce some financial stress, you might want to consider creating a passive income stream. Fortunately, the internet makes this easier than you’d think. There are dozens of ways to make money online without any special training – like getting paid to take surveys, for example.
Before you begin your passive income journey, it’s important to understand what it means. Essentially, passive income is money you’re making from a source or business other than your direct employer. It typically is a task or action performed on the side that doesn’t require a lot of effort (hence why a lot of the suggestions below exist online).
“Passive activities include trade or business activities in which you don’t materially participate. You materially participate in an activity if you’re involved in the operation of the activity on a regular, continuous, and substantial basis,” the IRS explains on its website.
If you’re looking to create a passive income stream, here are seven ways to make some extra cash.
Giving your opinion and taking part in market research can be an easy way to make money online. Some of the more popular survey sites include Survey JunkieSwagbucksOneOpinionOpinion Outpost and Ipsos iSay
Find out how you can make a few extra bucks from home by taking online surveys now!
Keep in mind: These won’t bring in huge earnings. Swagbucks says its members earn about $1 to $5 per day. Just make sure you do some research before you get started or commit to participating in any online surveys. 
Blogs aren’t just for fun these days. They can be quite the moneymaker when done right. The key is to pick your niche, build your audience and then monetize the blog. Just remember: Building a following can take some time, so be patient.
You can do this through affiliate marketing, which earns you a commission when someone clicks a monetized link or buys a product that’s promoted on your blog. You could also try selling and displaying ads on your site. You can use a tool like Google Adsense to get started with the latter. 
There are several platforms designed for online gig work. For example, Amazon Mechanical Turk is a place you can take on small tasks for businesses across the globe. They might include moderating content, taking a survey or transcribing audio. 
Clickworker is a similar platform, or if you have a specific skill – like copywriting, editing or graphic design – you can use freelancing platforms like FiverrFreelancer.com and Upwork to connect with potential clients.
If you’re the creative type, you can start up an Etsy shop. Etsy sellers offer everything from jewelry and clothing to artwork, invitations, yard signs and more. 
If that’s not your style, you can start a drop-shipping store. With this strategy, you essentially operate a storefront. When a customer makes an order, you order that product from a third party (typically a manufacturer, vendor, or wholesaler) and ship it directly to the customer. Shopify has a whole dropshipping walkthrough you can use to get started (and you can use their platform to create your store, too).
Shopify encourages users to consider this route and even lists ways it’s beneficial, from reducing your stress to giving you the flexibility to work remotely.
YouTube creators can make a lot of money, and it doesn’t necessarily require much expertise. You can create how-to or explainer videos on virtually any subject or go more personal and put yourself in the videos. You can interview subject matter experts, provide tips and tricks, or even just show yourself playing various video, mobile or board games. 
The important thing is to find a niche and build a following. You can then integrate Google Ads, become a YouTube Partner, and even make money off memberships, live chats and subscriptions.
If you’re a fast typer, you might consider doing some online transcription for cash. You’ll simply need to listen to audio files and then type out what you hear. You get paid per piece, so the faster you can type, the better – at least, financially speaking. Rev.com, GoTranscript and TranscribeMe are just a few of the sites where you can find online transcription work.
Fancy yourself the tech-savvy type? If so, you can get paid to test out new websites and mobile apps and hunt down any glitches. At UserTesting.com, for example, you get to test new sites and products from brands like GoDaddy, Hello Fresh, HP, Subway and Canva. You just need to have a reliable WiFi connection, a microphone, a computer or mobile device and you can get to work. BetaTesting.comUserZoom and Userlytics are other similar platforms.
If you’re known as the photographer in the family you can make some extra money by selling your photos online. There are websites like Fine Art America in which you can upload your images and have them featured on merchandise that’s then sold on the site. 
More work than ever is being done online following the shift to working from home. It makes sense, then, that remote help will be needed. By becoming a virtual assistant via websites like Indeed (just search for “Remote Virtual Assistant”) you can work for a business in need from the comfort of your home office. The work needed varies – from writing to social media management to traditional bookkeeping – so look around for something that fits your skills and background.
If you’re web savvy then consider purchasing and then selling domain names. Sites like GoDaddy.com can even help complete the sale via an online auction. Or just simply buy names you think may be interesting in the future (think entertainment, sports and political events). You can then put your contact information on those URLs and offer to sell them to anyone looking to buy. 
If none of the above seem like a fit, do some research. You can also review news apps, websites and more.
There’s a side gig for everyone. You just need to figure out your perfect fit.
First published on June 14, 2022 / 6:31 PM
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