Whether you’re looking to make some fast cash, or you’re after long-term, more sustainable income-producing results, there are certainly ways you can make money online today. The truth is that making money online isn’t as difficult as most make it out to seem. It does require some discipline. Sure. Without discipline, you’ll find it tough to make a buck both online or offline.

However, if you’re looking for realistic ways you can start earning money online now, then it really truly does boil down to seven paths you can take towards profit. Some will provide you with immediate results, helping you to address your basic monthly necessities such as rent, utilities and groceries, while others have the potential to transform your life by revolutionizing your finances in the long term.

No matter what method you select for generating your online income, there’s one very important thing to understand. Today, across this globe, with its 7+ billion inhabitants, there are two recurring things that people are looking for more of. Either people want more time or they want more money. The truth? Time is far more valuable than money. You can’t recreate time. Once it’s spent, it’s gone forever.The crazy thing is, earning money online isn’t a pipe dream. I have been doing it for nearly a decade now  I also know thousands of other people who are earning money online their own way with websites, courses, or unique marketing strategies.Now, here’s the good news. The majority of online revenue strategies aren’t that complicated. Like any business venture, your online income takes time to grow. You need to be willing to devote the time and energy required to get your idea off the ground, and you need grit to stick with it even if your journey is slow when you first start out.If you’re angling to earn money online but aren’t sure where to start, here are several of the best and most realistic strategies to consider:

#1: Google Adsense

If you’ve visited any website, you’ve seen Google ads. These ads are everywhere, and for good reason. Not only are they easy to set up on any basic website, but they can be lucrative once your website starts bringing in a steady amount of traffic. This is a great way to make money online.

One of the cool things about Google AdSense is that it’s so easy to get set up. If you have a blog or website, you can sign up for a free Google AdSense Account. From there, Google will give you a unique code that you will paste onto your website. Google takes it from there, tracking your page views, traffic, and earnings on your behalf. Your part is to create new and engaging content, send traffic to your blog and google handles the rest.

Related: Different Ways To Make Money Online

 

#2. Make Money With Aps

If you’re looking to address some immediate financial needs, then the app economy is likely right for you. Thanks to the global sharing phenomenon, launched in part by our smartphones and ever-burgeoning global connectivity, you could easily opt for some quick active income by using well-known apps. From ride sharing to deliveries and even quick tasks, there’s an app for that today, as the saying goes.

Drive for Uber or Lyft: If you’re in a locale where you can find Uber or Lyft (or even one of the many competitors around the world such as China’s Didi), you could easily make a respectable income. The hours are flexible and you can work as you see fit, making it perfect even if you currently have full-time employment but are looking to make some money on the side.

Deliver for Postmates: Apps like Postmates are a dime a dozen today. Still, Postmates is by far the most popular, and you don’t even need a car in some locations to make money with this app. In some urban developments and major metropolises like Manhattan, a bike would suffice.

iBotta: Earn cash back rewards by purchasing featured products at major retailers. All you have to do is add rebates, go shopping, then snap a photo of your receipt to earn your cash back. Simple and effective. Plus this app has over 50,000 five-star reviews on the App Store.

Task Rabbit: Another simple and straightforward app for making a bit of side-hustle income is the Task Rabbit app. Tasks can be anything from simple repairs to more exhaustive undertakings. The app carefully vets each service provider to ensure the highest quality, and it’s a great way to make some extra income on the side on your own terms.

Ebates: This app offers a simple way to make money online by buying whatever you’re already buying and then getting a cash-back reward. With eBates, there are no scanning receipts. Simply click a link in the app and buy from the store. You’ll automatically be credited your cash rewards upon purchase along with receiving an email confirmation.

Swagbucks: With Swagbucks, there are a number of ways you can make money. You can shop online, watch videos, answer surveys and surf the web. The app gives you both cash back and gift cards as a reward for your efforts.

Inbox Dollars: Another app you can use to make money online is Inbox Dollars, which pays you for watching television, taking surveys and shopping. There are cash offers here and it’s relatively similar to some of the other apps in this arena.

 

#3: Affiliate Marketing

Whether you have a website or are still dreaming up ideas for a blog, you can also look into affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, you partner with brands and businesses within the content of your website. If you mention a product or service, you link to that product or service using a unique affiliate code you received when you signed up for that particular affiliate program. From there, you’ll make money any time someone buys a product or service through your link.

Generally speaking, you’ll want to partner with affiliates that are related to your blog concept. Since I’m a financial advisor, I have focused a lot of my affiliate energy on financial products like savings accounts, credit cards, and investment accounts.

In addition to signing up for individual affiliate programs, you can also sign up for an affiliate ad network that offers a ton of different affiliates in one place. That way, you can see what works and what doesn’t work over time.

If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.

While Michelle works with a ton of affiliates in the financial services industry, one of her biggest affiliates is a blog hosting company called Bluehost. This just goes to show that you can make money with nearly any affiliate company or product if you know your audience and build up enough traffic to create sales.

 

#4 Online market trading

The historically hard-to-break world of investing in stock markets and currencies has been cracked wide open. Today there is no need to be a fat cat or fund the yachts of Wolf of Wall Street style stock brokers. You can do it all yourself with the help of online market trading platforms. This is a great way to make money online

Having spent many hours researching this new opportunity, I’ve been experimenting with the biggest platform – eToro.com – which has over 8 million users worldwide and offers free practice accounts.

eToro has been featured in a BBC 2 documentary “Traders: Millions by the Minute” and recently began sponsoring several Premier League football clubs.

One of the best things on eToro is the CopyTrader feature. This lets you literally see, follow and copy the investments of other top performing traders.

Follow George’s complete guide to trading on eToro to learn more. I think $200 is a good amount to get the most out of the learning curve by trying out a few different markets. If nothing else you’ll learn a great deal about various investments and industries.

Please be aware that all trading involves risk. Only risk capital you’re prepared to lose. Past performance is not an indication of future results. This content is for educational purposes only and is not investment advice.

 

Related: Different Ways To Make Money Online

 

#5 Launch and Grow a Startup

Make Money Online Launch and Grow a Startup Freelance.Do you have dreams of running your own business one day? Building and scaling a high-growth startup, while by far the most difficult way to make money online, arguably has the most potential upside.By the 3rd quarter of 2017, Venture Capitalists had invested over $61 billion into close to 6,000 startups in the US alone.

There’s money in the air, and if you can successfully create an online service, tool, or marketplace that fulfills a rapidly growing need in the marketplace, you could be on track for creating a very valuable business. However, it’ll undoubtedly take an intense dedication of time, efforts, and financial resources.

Unlike a lot of the other businesses we’re going to cover, startup founders face a whole slew of variables and roadblocks that can get in the way of success.

For one, you’ll want to have a high level of domain experience within the industry your startup is going to operate. This means a deep understanding of your customers, the issues they face, and an idea of potential solutions they’ll be willing to pay for. This is the minimum you need to get started.

After that, you’ll need to be familiar with the other major players in the space who might be good partners or acquisition opportunities, as well as an intimate knowledge of how to raise funding, market your product, hire and manage the best talent, and keep yourself financially above water.

*Whew*

Now, this may sound like a lot, but the payoff is worth it.

So where do you start when building a startup?

The most important thing you need before you do anything else is a problem. What do people need that they don’t have? What solution is currently out there that you can do better? This alone is the basis of every great startup.Once you have that problem or need nailed, the next step is to validate that idea and make sure you’ve actually got customers who will pay for it. This means building a minimum viable product, getting objective feedback from real customers, incorporating updates, testing the market for demand, and getting pricing feedback to ensure there’s enough of a margin between your costs and what consumers are willing to pay.

Lastly, you need money to make money. Startups can cost quite a bit to get off the ground. So with your idea and market validation solidified, there are a few different paths you can follow to get your initial “seed” cash:

Bootstrap: This means you’ll be self-funding your business. While not everyone will have the funds to pay for everything they need to start a startup, bootstrapping means that you retain 100% control over your company. If you can bootstrap your company to an exit or IPO, you’ll most likely never have to work another day in your life.

Pitch to VCs/Angels/other investors: If you need some serious cash to grow your startup, you’ll want to put together a pitch deck and reach out to investors who might want to give you the money you need in return for a stake in your company.

Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.

Once you’re off the ground, it’s all about customer acquisition, market validation, more funding, and growth.

 

Of course, that’s a simplified version of everything it takes to build your startup. Luckily, there is now more support, education, and access to funding for budding startups than ever before. And a great place to start is with this list of 101 best free and cheap online business courses for entrepreneurs I put together.

 

Well there you have it….five ways to make money online in 2018, while some strategies might not involve you sitting in front of the computer every day they all have one thing in common: This is your business, you’re the boss and you decide how much time you want to put into it. Just like anything else the more you put in the more you get out.