smart spending

4 ways to make cash online

How much is Kennedy earning from her blogging?

"It still adds up to more than I made selling books for 40 hours a week," she says.

Not every blogger is guaranteed to make good money. However, bloggers who truly love what they do are the ones who flourish, Kennedy says.

"I think the people who really succeed and last in this just really enjoy writing and taking pictures," she says.

If you'd like to try your hand at blogging, the Web sites Blogger, WordPress and LiveJournal offer free blog templates.

If you'd like to sell ad space on your blog, check out sites such as Google AdSense, Text Link Ads and the BlogHerAds network (for women only).

2. Selling books, music and other products and eBay revolutionized e-commerce in the 1990s. Since then, countless individuals have made money selling books, movies, clothes and every other commodity under the sun.

E-commerce is becoming easier than ever, and the complications of arranging payment over the Internet are disappearing fast, Spector says.

"A lot of the uncertainty is taken out of the equation thanks to the technology," he says. "You're going to get paid before you send out the product."

Spector, author of the book on, says sites like Amazon can help small-volume sellers reach a wider audience.

"(Amazon) makes it easier and more beneficial for small book collectors who obviously have either rare or out-of-print books to do business ... it's worth it for them to give Amazon a little piece of that business in order to be in a very high-profile space," he says.

Mick McClain has been selling music on the Internet for 10 years. He sells everything from rare and out-of-print compact discs to new releases and used albums.

McClain uses eBay and to market his products. He also operates a Web site where potential customers can peruse his collection.

The San Diego resident says his startup costs were minimal. He had to spend to buy a "little bit better computer" and to build up his inventory, 90 percent of which comes from brick-and-mortar stores.

For newcomers to e-commerce, McClain recommends sticking to something you know.

"Your mind has to be a database," he says. "That's why I have never gotten into anything other than music because I would get eaten alive by the people who were the authorities on (other products)."

Spector offers two tips to aspiring e-merchants.

"First of all, have a unique product," he says. "There needs to be something separating you from your competitors."


Spector's second tip is to make sure you can deliver on your product promises.

"Live up to what you promise," he says. "If you promise a book ... in a particular condition, at a particular price, and guarantee it to arrive on a particular day, then do that."

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us

Discover new ways to cut costs and save more every day. Reduce your spending, not life’s pleasures. Delivered weekly.

Partner Center

Connect with us