There are quite a few ways to pull that off. For the most part, the easiest ways to make money online are by selling information (as in, “how to make $100,000/month online” or “how to make a living on eBay” information) and advertising placements to people.
Having said that, don’t expect to earn $500/month from these tactics within 6 days or so. These strategies take a while to show results. This isn’t meant to discourage you. I want to make sure I’m setting up realistic expectations for you so that you know what work is involved and you’ll be less likely to go throw away $1,000 on some “magic formula” crap that’ll make false promises of “millions of dollars in 3 months!!” or “instant success!!!”. You have to be truly motivated to keep it going to make money from any of these tasks. They’re all long-term strategies. Anyhow:
Start a social media page (Facebook, Instagram, etc) and grow your follower count.
Start a social media page and consistently post engaging content on the page. It can be cool science videos. It can be car reviews. It can be funny comics. It can be “how-to cook” videos with a special twist. Just choose a topic that engages people and create posts that are unique to your page. And, engage with other Facebook pages in a meaningful way. Over time, your follower count will grow.
Once your follower count is high enough, you can have businesses pay you for a shoutout (i.e., sponsored) posts. You can set ad rates for businesses. So, maybe, the longer a sponsored post remains on your social media page, the more money you’ll charge. If a business pays for a full-day shoutout, then you charge $200 for it.
Some precautions… Don’t overdo it with the shoutouts. That may annoy your followers, and they may ignore your posts or unsubscribe from your page altogether. No one likes to be sold to on social media, and they may start to see you as a spammer. Make sure to space them out. Maybe, once every 3–4 weeks or longer, you’ll allow a shoutout.
Plus, businesses are getting scammed by fake influencers. These guys tend to have bots as followers, so some businesses have paid, say, $1,000 for a shoutout to 1,000,000 bots. That kind of stuff is making businesses get warier of using influencer marketing, so they’ll look at how engaged your followers are with your posts. So, don’t grow your follower count using fakes. Take the time to grow a legitimate following.
Start a YouTube channel.
Post videos that really engage folks. They could be entertaining, educational, or whatnot. They could be goofy animated music videos or product unboxing videos. They could be cooking videos. They could be video game review videos. The point is to keep them engaged in some way. Then, once your subscriber count is high enough, you can get paid for doing YouTube ads on your channel.
You have to really get involved in the YouTube community. You don’t want to be that person who says, “hey, subscribe to my channel, pretty please??” on someone else’s channel. You’ll get mocked by other users, and YouTubers can be nasty. Engage in a meaningful discussion on other channels, ask to do interviews and specials with other YouTube channels, and you’ll see your follower count start to grow.
Start a blog.
A blog is way to build your reputation. Through blogging, you can establish yourself as an expert, an entertainer, an advocate for a cause, etc. You can create a following in a specific niche and become well-known in that niche. Plus, you can acquire users’ email addresses to keep in touch with them and keep them engaged in your blog. Engagement is an important part of building a following.
You can’t just do what’s popular, though. Just because there are a buttload of blogs on weight loss and online entrepreneurship doesn’t mean you should do it, too. Besides the fact that those fields are overdone and heavily saturated, you may not be interested in those topics. It has to be a topic that YOU are interested in. Otherwise, you’ll burn out quickly and end your blog before making a penny. It takes a while to build a large blog following.
As your following grows, you can begin to monetize your traffic in many ways, such as affiliate marketing and advertising revenue. Google AdSense will allow businesses to run ads on your blog. Each time there is an impression, you get paid. That’s most effective when you’re consistently getting, say, 1,000 visitors per day.
As for affiliate marketing, that’s easiest to succeed in when you have a loyal online following that trusts you. That way, you don’t have to rely as much on Google AdWords/Facebook ads to get traffic to your blog. Internet users will come on their own. It’s much less costly, and it means you don’t have to rely on ads that are being made increasingly irrelevant through popup blockers, privacy restrictions, and rising ad costs.
Sell items on Amazon or eBay.
These aren’t just companies; they might as well be marketplaces in of themselves. You can find items around your house or in your local stores. Then, you can resell them on Amazon and eBay.
Just make sure the product you’re selling is unique. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle on these marketplaces because 200,000 other sellers are selling the same exact product. You may need to test out a bunch of different products before you find a winner.
Publish a book using online POD services (KDP, IngramSpark, etc).
I have the most experience with this option. While I was college, I was making a fair bit of money making and selling coloring books via Createspace (now KDP) and IngramSpark. I was getting good reviews, too. I was sending books to bloggers to review them. I was actively marketing these books, so it was a lot of work. I’ve done 2 books so far.
Using this method, you can write (or draw) books and sell them on Amazon and other online bookstores such as Barnes & Noble. All you need to pay for are proofs to ensure that your book looks exactly the way you want it to look. Otherwise, you’ll be good to go, so long as your book looks professionally made.
However, it’ll be easiest to sell books if you’ve already spent time promoting your books before their release and you’ve built up an audience. Yes, once again, you need a loyal following to make something significant out of it. Plus, the customization options are kind of limited. You won’t be able to add French flaps or leather bookmarks, for example. And, the paper quality can be questionable, to say the least. I feel this method is better for testing out the potential audience size for a more ambitious book project or for getting your feet wet in creating books to sell. Your mileage may vary.
Start doing live-streaming.
Have you seen the guys making thousands of dollars doing live-streams of Fornite and Minecraft? That can also be you. If it’s fun and entertaining to watch you play video games, then you could make some nice money via live-streaming, too. This way, internet users will keep coming back to your stream. Once your follower count is high enough, you can begin selling as space.
But, like the other options, you need to build and maintain a loyal following that loves what you do. You need to stand out with your livestream. This will take some time to build up, just like the other options.
Become a freelancer.
If you have a particular skill set that businesses need, you can sell that skill to them. There are plenty of freelance websites such as UpWork, Behance, TaskRabbit, and Fiverr. There are businesses scouring the net for freelancers who excel at launching internet ad campaigns, writing blog posts, producing YouTube videos, and creating art for advertisements, among other jobs. Some of these businesses will pay you thousands of dollars for your work.
Having said that, I’d also recommend having your own freelancer website to showcase your freelance work so that you have a “home base”, where you aren’t lumped in with 500 other freelancers. With your own site, only your work portfolio is displayed, so it helps you stand out against other freelancers.
Sell shirts and other merchandise on TeeSpring.
I’d only recommend this if you have good graphic design skills. Anyhow, you can create designs and sell them on t-shirts to buyers. All you need is a good grasp of GIMP and you’re already good to go. You don’t need to print the shirts yourself.
Having said that, you can’t just sell a basic shirt. Those are everywhere. You need to include a design that strongly resonates with buyers. Maybe it’s for a specific cause (ex: elephant conservation, stop the ivory trade). Maybe it’s related to a sociopolitical cause. Maybe it’s related to a work of art that you created (can’t violate copyright after all) that you’ve built a fan base from. Yes, once again, having a strong online following will help you make the most out of TeeSpring. Either way, you need to come up with a design that’s meaningful.
So, there you have it. Those are the ways to make $500/month online. For better or worse, the barriers to entry are really low. It means you can get into them easily, but it also means that these are extremely crowded spaces. You’ve got to stand out. Yes, they take a lot of effort, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do it.