Whether it’s an important consumer application, a specialist app to solve a particular niche problem, or even a time-wasting game you can play on your phone, you can create a massively successful business if you build software that helps people. (Look at the rise of Slack—the team communication software that went from side project to billion-dollar company in just 2 years.)

If you love to travel and find yourself randomly searching for airfare sales or browsing Lonely Planet, why not carve out a niche for yourself as a private travel agent? My friend, Mark Jackson did just that, making extra money online with his travel consulting side business. Start with word of mouth recommendations from friends who know they can count on you for the cheapest flights, and then move on and create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to invite people who want to stay on top of the latest deals. Eventually you could spin this into a full-time consultancy teaching people how to make their dream trips a reality.
Complete errands or tasks for the elderly. Older people often need help with buying groceries, cleaning their home, performing home maintenance, and paying bills. To find clients, contact your local community center or church to find out if anyone needs help. Additionally, you might post an ad in your local classifieds or talk to people you know to find out if they know someone who needs help.[5]
Online focus groups are closely related to online surveys, and in some cases, the same companies administer them. Like in-person focus groups, online focus groups require more time and concentration than online surveys. Configurations vary, but you generally have to join a panel and engage on a certain number of issues per week or month. Online focus groups are often more selective than online surveys – if you don’t meet specific demographic or income criteria, you may not qualify.
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.
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