As a child, I was always itching to make a fast buck so I could buy the latest gadgets. I would pour through countless Google searches of “how to make money as a kid” looking for ways to make money online and fulfill my destiny of being an entrepreneur.
However, after scouring the web, I determined that most of the options presented were not feasible, profitable, or even worth attempting. That didn’t stop younger me, though, and through experimenting and countless trial and error on most of those researched ventures and stumbling into a few options of my own, I found a couple of reliable ways to make money with little startup cost.
Here are 4 ways I have made money online and you can too.
*disclaimer: I am merely sharing my experience with you. A lot can change online so success is by no means guaranteed. What I can guarantee, however, is that if you try and learn different ways, you will undoubtedly figure out new and improved methods to make money and become a better entrepreneur in the process.
Through these techniques and potential ventures, there is definitely an opportunity for most young people to add a few digits to their bank accounts no matter your background or resources.
1. Day Trading
Unlike trading antiques or baseball cards, day trading is much riskier and will typically be a bit slower to get to large returns if you invest a smaller amount of money. That being said, if you can track the patterns of stocks diligently and extremely well, you can easily make 5-10% returns a month, which if you get $10k in stocks built up, means you are banking $500-1000 a month for fairly minimal work.
Before you suit up and imagine yourself as the Wolf of Wall Street, it is important to understand what mindset you need for day trading.
Each stock during the course of the trading day (9am-4pm Eastern) will fluctuate in price on average plus or minus 1%. The goal of day trading is have short term ownership of stocks to capture the roughly 1% in growth each and every day. If a stock starts the day with a dive of 2% you buy in and then sell when it goes up 1%… long term owners are still down 1% whereas you profited off of the up-tick. A few rules of thumb here are to generally avoid penny-stocks: they are harder to sell when it is time to cash out, they are more volatile, and, overall, most of them are on a downward trajectory.
Also, make your best effort to not get conceited, greedy, or attached; a good mindset to maintain is “would I buy the stock at this price?” If you own the stock but the answer is no, then you should sell. If you do your due diligence, watch the stock for a long period of time to understand its patterns, keep your cool and don’t get greedy there is decent money to be made.
This point is definitely not for the faint of heart or inexperienced – it certainly isn’t for everyone. A major disclaimer here is that only online Texas Hold-Em in low-pots is really worth pursuing. The reason for Texas Hold-Em is, because unlike Black Jack or Horseracing, you are betting against other people and the house has no stake in the game (aka your expected return is roughly $0 since the game is not stacked in anyone’s favor). The reason for online low-pots is because online people lose their cool easily, which is your opportunity for profit and professionals are everywhere at casinos so it is much harder to do well. However, if you play on Bovado’s $.01 buy-in tables and run a couple games at a time, you can make about $100 or more in a night if you play with extreme hesitation – aka you should fold on most hands.
If you want to pursue this method, please make sure to set a limit for yourself. I have personally lost large sums of money betting on horses and in casinos. It is easy to get caught up in the action and a sure-fire way to lose your money is to believe you will win. If you don’t have the will-power to cut yourself off, you can go broke fast. Allocate yourself some money, stick to the low-level tables where the skill level is ridiculously low, and defend your payroll like no tomorrow.
3. Sell a Consumer Product
While not nearly as sexy as day trading or gambling, if you have the time and work ethic, this is honestly the easiest way to make money. You simply sell stuff. Your risks are largely non-existent, depending on whether or not you need to put money upfront and how large that is. One of my entrepreneurial friends sold jewelry with his brother growing up and was able to do about $20,000 in sales over the years. They would camp out in front of grocery stores, go door-to-door, throw jewelry parties, attend art shows, and were placed in multiple storefronts. All of these are viable options to make bank if you can get the right product behind you.
Finding a product can be the harder part of this venture, but the solution could really be as simple as selling lemonade, fruits, or vegetables in your front yard (I made about $500 a summer off of selling apricots) or you could take a trip to Michael’s and see what you can make to sell. The biggest factor here is that you want to have a product that can sell itself. People will always want fresh homegrown produce, candy around the holidays, or unique looking jewelry, but if you buy rocks and paint them blue with glitter that might be a bit tough to hustle.
4. Be a Domain Investor
In the digital age, there is really no limit to the real estate market and that includes online. Facebook famously switched from thefacebook.com to facebook.com after spending allegedly $200,000 on the domain name. Other large companies have taken similar actions, with some going as large as multiple millions in payouts. Overall, the worst thing is to have a company, have a name, but not own the domain name. Enter domain investors. Much like waterfront real-estate that will go up in value once developed, picking the right domains which will hopefully be in vogue, is the key to making money in the long-run with domain investing.
If you can see trends and possible opportunities for generic or spin-off site names, then you can potentially make a fortune in the long-run. Purchasing domain names in bulk on sites such as GoDaddy, NameCheap, or Google Domains is definitely the way to go since it helps expand your inventory as well as gets your cost per domain down. Secondly, if you can get site traffic and organic search up on any of your domains, that will help push your product, so try to host content and maximize your SEO by winning target keywords. Lastly, while waiting to sell your sites, you should host ads via Google AdSense or other ad networks to try to get some baseline revenue chugging off of your investments.