The whole laptop lifestyle thing has a really sexy ring to it, especially when you hear about people working from their laptops while at the beach. I mean that is a thing that people do, but the reality of the laptop lifestyle is that it’s just people who have learned how to make money online.
There’s no real magic to that… it’s real people who have found needs online and have built businesses and side hustles to fulfill those needs. In some sense that’s what I did with Millennial Money Man. I had a story to tell, paying off student loan debt, and found people who needed to hear my story. I know that’s a pretty simplified explanation of my path to learning how to make money online, but it’s true.
There are SO many online business opportunities out there too, and I want anyone who’s interested to feel like they can pursue the freedom, flexibility, and pride that comes from building an online business that allows them the lifestyle they want.
For me, blogging was the entry point, but that’s not all that’s out there. We all have some skill, knowledge, or field of expertise that we can share online, and that’s what this post is going to be about– learning how to make money online in a way that suits you.
Why you should learn how to make money online
My journey hasn’t been normal in any sense of the word. I started this blog as a way to wind down after work, to talk about the stress of paying off debt and to emphasize how freaking awesome it is to do so.
My ability to make money online has been a game changer. I’ve been able to quit a job I didn’t love, my wife got to retire before her 30th birthday, and we have the ability to live how we want.
If I can do it, you can too.
That’s been my mantra this whole time, and even if I wasn’t making the kind of money I am now, I’d still choose this lifestyle over what I once had. I’m about to tell you why.
The start-up costs are too low to ignore
Where else can you start a business for free? The only place I know is online.
Okay, you do need a computer and internet connection, but you probably already have those covered. Once your business grows, you’re probably going to incur some more costs, but you’ll already have cash in the bank to back those costs, and still, they are minimal.
Everything I will talk about in this article requires $0 to start. Seriously. That’s what’s so amazing about online businesses– learning how to make money online doesn’t require a bank loan or buying into some MLM. It’s you, the internet, and the time you have to make it all happen.
Let’s talk about that time component
I know you’re all busy people, and it can feel like you just don’t have the time to start an online business. I feel you, but the thing I know about investing your time is that it eventually does pay off. I don’t know anyone who’s become an overnight success with their online business, but I do know that every online business owner or side hustler I’ve talked to doesn’t regret that initial time investment.
If they regret anything, it’s not starting sooner.
When you’re learning how to make money online, you’re going to be spending a lot of time sitting in front of your computer looking for customers. But when you start seeing that dough rolling in… whoa… it’s invigorating.
Millennials are just good at the internet
Growing up with the internet is probably one our biggest assets as millennials. I’m not saying that Gen Xers or Baby Boomers can’t do it, but we’ve got a baked in a skill set that will make working online just a little bit easier.
We know how important social media is for communication and marketing, and even things like starting a website are kind of part of our millennial DNA.
Making money online comes in many forms
Despite going on to other business ventures, like Laptop Empires, I am a blogger at heart. I love sharing stories and helping people out. But finding ways how to make money online isn’t just blogging. It’s about leveraging the skills you have to build something that suits your needs.
Oh, I will definitely be talking about blogging though 🙂
Then let’s start there, blogging
If you have something to say and can write an email to a friend, then you basically have everything you need to start blogging. There is more to it than that, but that’s pretty much how it starts.
To start blogging today, read How to Start a Blog with Launch That Blog (Free Blog Install).
Blogging, as an industry, is constantly growing and is a way for people to connect with a wide audience of readers who want to hear stories and advice from real people. I’m going to lean into this one hard because it’s what I do, and I honestly believe there is space online for anyone who wants to get started.
Whether it’s that FIRE lifestyle, food, travel or whatever, you’ll have to find a niche and a place to host your blog, but once you get going, it van be a viable income source, especially once your audience is large enough for ads, sponsored posts, and affiliate income.
Blogging can even lead to passive income too, AKA making money while you sleep, and I know that’s not where you start, but it’s a possibility down the road.
Pro tip: If you are a blogger wanting to increase your income with affiliates, check out my good friend Michelle’s course Making Sense of Affiliate Income. You can read my review of her course here. She is killing it with affiliate income and consistently earning over $100,000 a month through her blog.
With over 50% of millennials already freelancing, this is a growing space to make money online. Not only have I worked as a freelancer, running Facebook ads for small business, I actually have a team of freelancers helping me with M$M, from two virtual assistants to an editor. From my experience and hearing about theirs, I know this is an option for anyone wanting to learn how to make money online.
Freelancing allows you to build a schedule that works for you while leveraging skills you already have. And when I was as FinCon this year, I heard a lot of bigger blogs and websites talk about needing more freelance writers.
Freelancing is building an online business where you provide services for others, from writing, virtual assistant tasks, web design, and more. You don’t need to spend a ton of money on a fancy website either. Upwork.com is a great place for freelancers, of all types, to advertise their services and find paying clients.
Running Facebook ads for local businesses
You know I have to mention this one. I don’t just sell a course that teaches it, I really did learn how to make money online by selling Facebook ads for local businesses. No matter what their stock shares may currently suggest, I believe that Facebook will continue to be a valuable place for business owners to connect with potential customers.
While you don’t really need to buy into a course to get started, it’s going to be a huge help. My Facebook Side Hustle Course will teach you the process of approaching business and creating profitable ads that will earn you $1,000 per month or more. I actually have several students who started earning well over $5,000 a month shortly after taking the course.
The growing app economy
With millennials utilizing technology more and more, the tech industry has responded with a variety of apps that just generally make life easier. These apps have already become second nature for many of us, from finding rides after a night out to buying groceries.
I actually had a really inspiring conversation with an Uber driver when my wife and I were on vacation this summer. He told us how driving for Uber has helped him to pay down his student loans and how he plans to continue to do it even after he’s paid those off. He talked about the flexibility, how much he loves meeting the people he drives, and how learning to make money online with Uber has literally changed his life.
If that kind of endorsement doesn’t sell you on the app economy, then I don’t know what will.
There are a ton of options out there in addition to Uber, like Lyft, Postmates, TaskRabbit, and more.
I have a lot of junk around my house, mainly Christmas stuff right now (don’t tell my wife I said that), but when you have extra stuff sitting around your house collecting dust (sorry Coral), you can totally sell it online.
We literally have a holiday wonderland at my house right now. Snowmen, reindeer, tiny trucks hauling Christmas trees. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know how hard my wife does that holiday decorating hustle. I’m just waiting for her to go full-time with it so I can retire. I’m not just trying to stay as married as hell… I secretly love it all.
I know people who flip things they find at garage sales and thrift stores, then sell them on Craigslist or Ebay. I also know people who sell through Amazon FBA.
If you are already buying toilet paper on Amazon like me, then you know that online sales are booming. Why not cash in?
When YouTube first started it seemed like it was just a place for cute dog videos (which I love, of course, who doesn’t?) but it’s also become an extremely profitable place for people learning how to make money online. Seriously, there are people making money off of those slime videos.
But if slime doesn’t do it for you, there are plenty of other of niches you can fill on YouTube. You make money on YouTube in the same sort of way you would make money blogging– growing an audience, promoting products, and running ads.
The reality of learning how to make money online
The potential is out there, but the reality is that you are going to have to put some time into whatever online business you create. Making money online isn’t a get rich quick scheme, and be wary of anyone who tells you otherwise.
Online side hustles can, however, add to your current income, help you pay off debt, and reach retirement before you’re, like, 80. And, if you really want to go hard with any of these, possibly turning them into a full-time income, I seriously recommend checking out what my buddy Mike Yanda and I are doing over at Laptop Empires. It’s advice and commiseration for all types of online entrepreneurs.