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How 65 Entrepreneurs Made Their First $100 Online

By Kelly Shogren | October 13th, 2016 | 22 Comments
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When it comes to making money online, the first $100 is the hardest. Discovering what to sell, how to sell it, and who to sell it to isn’t easy.

However, once you make your first $100 online, two things happen:

  1. You gain the confidence needed to keep going.
  2. You discover a process that actually works.

Of course, just because you’ve made $100 online doesn’t mean that you’ll become a millionaire, but it’s a great first step!

I made my first $100 by writing articles on Fiverr and HubPages. And now, using some of the same processes that I learned on those sites, I’ve made as much as $100 per hour. The key is simply finding a process that works – and gaining the confidence necessary to make it happen.

If you’re ready to start making money online, but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Below is a list of entrepreneurs sharing how they made their first $100 online – along with their advice for someone interested in making money that same way.

Meanwhile, if you’re ready to get started, check out this list of 100 ways to make money online.

How to Make Your First $100 Online

Some of the people mentioned here haven’t made much online, others have made millions. Regardless, they have all earned at least $100 through a specific online activity – and they’ve been thoughtful enough to share their advice with the rest of us!

So, if you’re serious about making money online, consider one of the strategies shared here:

Paul Moyer – Rewards Programs

SavingFreak.com

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online by referring friends and family to a different rewards program. Every time someone I knew signed up I got a kickback of $5-$10 or got a percentage of their rewards.

What advice would you recommend to someone wanting to make money the same way?

The best thing you can do to increase your earnings is to start making a list of people that like signing up for the programs you find. Then, whenever you find a new one, invite all of them to join.

Related article: 100+ websites that pay you to refer friends.

Antonella Pisani – Selling Ad-Space on Websites

Official Coupon Code

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online in 1999 by running ads on a website I had developed while in college. My work-study job at St. Edward’s University was building sites for some of the professors, and after graduating, I was able to take those skills and build another site. Almost exactly 20 years after starting that job in the fall of 1996, I am running my own, much larger, site and have held leadership roles at companies like JCPenney, Guitar Center, Fossil and Proflowers.

What advice would you recommend to someone wanting to make money the same way?

The best advice that I would give someone is to find a niche area that you’re passionate about and start building a website using wordpress or another tool. Develop content that you believe in, leverage Google adsense and Amazon ads and then do your best to have that content seen through SEO, blog directories and social media.

Jasmine Powers – Working as a Virtual Assistant

J Powers Marketing & Publicity LLC

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 on Elance (now Upwork), on my first proposal ever, securing work as a virtual assistant for a nutritionist.

Gary Morris – Selling Leads Through a Self-Defense Website

Grafted-In Software and Design

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How did you make your first $100 online?

Created a self-defense website. Instructors could be listed and have their own landing page. We would get $25 for each person that signed up through the website for their class. Worked great.

What advice would you recommend to someone wanting to make money the same way?

Watch google trends. We hit a local Michigan market when legislation was moving toward banning certain self defense items. Which drove sales and a greater demand in that market. We saw it coming with trends.

Awais Imran — Writing Tech Gadget Reviews for a Blog

PriceOye.pk

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How did you make your first $100 online?

After spending two years passionately writing about gadgets and tech my own free blog, I was picked up by a bigger technology blog who was actually willing to pay me to do that! It was a dream come true to see my first cheque come in the mail.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

If you want to truly excel at making money online for a long time, you have it to really enjoy your work. Online work tends to pays in peanuts for months, and sometimes even years. It sounds cliched, but I’ve seen it be proved true a dozen times in the last five years of writing online for fun and profit.

Shannon Palme — Building a MySpace Page for a Band

Shannon Palme Web Design

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 building a MySpace page for a band about 8 years ago. I found the job through oDesk (now Upwork) and built a simple page for them for about $120. They were thrilled and it gave me the confidence to pursue freelance web design, which is how I now make my living.

Pauline Paquin — Google Adsense

Make Money Your Way

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I’ve made my first $100 online thanks to Google ads. I had been blogging for a few months before I realized no one was reading my stuff. I made a big effort to get out there, reaching out to other bloggers, being more active on social media, and so on. That is what boosted my pageviews enough to get a first G ad payment. If you want to make money blogging, you need to spend as much time or more promoting your stuff as you are writing content.

Related article: How to start a blog that makes money.

Alexander Reichmann — Selling Video Games on eBay

iTestCash

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How did you make your first $100 online?

Making money online: Before I started my business, I made my first $100 online by selling video games on eBay. I think making money online is all about will and determination. If you are enthusiastic about making money on the web, the only limit is your imagination. There are literally endless amounts of businesses and products you can sell.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

My best advice would be to research about any online business you are interested in starting and try to find out what the demand is. The higher the demand, the more potential to make money. You can do research by looking at Google Trends and seeing how many people search monthly for any type of business or products you’re interested in.

Mark Aselstine — 1st Member Sign-up for Self-Started Wine Club

Uncorked Ventures

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How did you make your first $100 online?

My online business started a bit differently than most, instead of being an affiliate or anything along those lines, I started an online wine club. When we were waiting for our permitting to come through, we set up an email list for our friends, family and anyone that would have randomly showed up on our website. When we launched we let everyone know about it via email and the first sale came through for our most expensive wine club, on a quarterly basis. The sale was for about $225 and gave us, handily about a $100 profit. It was pretty thrilling!

Jess Waldeck — Commission from MavenX Fall Fashion Board

Maven Xchange

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I used MavenX.com. I created a product board of my favorite fall clothing ensemble. Shared it with my friends on Facebook and earned a great commission when they bought my recommendation from the retailer.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

Give it a try! It is very easy to add products from their retail network. And you get paid a commission when someone buys it!

Priska Diaz — Pre-Sale Hosted on Own Website

Bittylab

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I created a pre-sale online, directly from my website. At the end of the pre-sale, I had 10,000 newsletter registrants, 8,000 unique visitors/month, viral PR and raised USD 50,000 which paid for inventory. It’s all about the marketing and promotion, whether you host a pre-sale/crowdfunding on Kickstarter or your own website, if you don’t have your own crowd, it will fail.

Ben Slavin — Sold “Insider’s Knowledge” DVD to Motorcycle Market

Motorcycle Mexico

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How did you make your first $100 online?

After my 6 month motorcycle ride from the USA to Argentina, other riders asked for advice. So I put together a DVD with everything I wish I knew before I set off and put it up for sale. It’s an easy sell because it provides a gold mine of value.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

Provide value, don’t be sleazy. Support your community and your community will support you. 

Leo Welder — Google Adsense

ChooseWhat.com

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 via Google Adsense. I actually still have the check they sent us (we later did an online bank transfer, so we could keep the check). Since that time, we’ve generated millions of dollars in revenue primarily through affiliate partnerships.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

My best advice for people wanting to make money online is to think about the people that you want to pay you. If you want to generate revenue from advertisers, build a site that you are confident will generate more revenue for your advertisers than you expect them to pay you. Even if you build a site with a lot of traffic, if advertisers can’t make money from your traffic, they won’t be customers for very long.

Related article: Make $50,000 a month with your blog.

Ross Hudgens — Selling Lessons About Internet Marketing & SEO

Your Best Digs

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online by giving value to others through the lessons I had learned doing internet marketing and SEO, and putting it in a public forum. I made that first $100 after losing $2000 getting my personal blog professionally designed.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

If I was doing it again or recommending it to others, it’d be the exact same thing: invest in a relatively inexpensive but professional blog design, work really hard at your craft, and then share those lessons with others in your industry. It’s the best path towards learning and then getting first consulting clients, which you can then have lead to other endeavors down the line.

Brent Hale — Amazon Affiliate Based Website

Hale Enterprises, LLC

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online with my Amazon-affiliate-based website (and that’s still the primary way I generate an online income.)

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

The best advice I could give any new affiliate marketers (especially those using the Amazon Associates program) is to really spend time on picking a profitable niche. For me and my Amazon niche sites, I look for topics that have a wide range of relatively expensive products in them ($200-$5,000). That way I don’t need as much traffic to build a viable monthly income.

Abhishek Lal — Selling Fiction Book on Amazon’s Self-Publishing Platform

VedSutra

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I published a couple fiction books on Amazon’s Self-publishing platform and did some basic marketing to push some sales. While it took me some trial & error to find profitable ways of marketing my book, I was able to make around $100 in profits at the end of the first 8 weeks.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

Find the right sources for the right advice as early as possible. There are some really high quality Facebook groups/forums consisting of self-publishing authors and you should join the groups/forums sooner than later so you can get inputs on everything from cheap ways of getting your book edited to getting high quality book covers made.

Marc & Julie Bennett — Thank You Check for Promoting a Broker

RVLove

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How did you make your first $100 online?

Our first $100 earned online came as a result of a blog post we wrote and published in January 2015. I had written it to demystify some of the quirks of a particularly confusing campground membership program, in the hope it would help others. In the article, I mentioned the name of the broker who helped us buy our membership at a heavily discounted price. Unbeknownst to me, some people who had read my blog post called the broker to buy a membership from him too. He sent me a check for $100 as a thank you!

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

Don’t create your blog with the sole purpose of making money. Create and write as a channel for helping others and providing value. People will learn from you, trust you and want to thank you by giving your name as a referral. It’s a much more intrinsically rewarding way to make money online – people appreciate you more and you will sleep better at night knowing you’ve helped someone, rather than staying awake trying to think up ways to try and make money off people! Strive to be of value… And people will value (and reward) you.

Graciela Tiscareno-Sato — DVD’s For Parents Raising Children With Physical/Sensory Disabilities

Gracefully Global Group LLC

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How did you make your first $100 online?

Almost a decade ago, we sold our first product online, a DVD created for parents and teachers serving children, who like our daughter, have physical / sensory disabilities. We created this first product in an attempt to raise expectations both in the minds of parents AND teachers about their children, so that the children could then be raised to meet those expectations. Happily, we have grown our online business and shipped our products to just about every one of the United States of America and over 10 countries.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

Before you spend the time, money, creative energy to create a product to sell online, create the marketing plan with VERY SPECIFIC target buyers listed and HOW you will reach out to them. Why people create products first and marketing plans second I do not know.

Heidi Hecht — Fiverr & Squidoo

Nothing in Particular Blog

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How did you make your first $100 online?

How I Made $100 and More Online: I made my first $100 through Fiverr and a now-defunct website called Squidoo. I’d make Squidoo web pages for people looking for backlinks. That’s how I got started with professional content writing.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

If you want to take advantage of the gig economy, don’t ever regard it as a get rich quick scheme. You’re not even going to make as much as the ones in the top tier of your niche at first. Focus on building your reputation by doing it as a side job at first. Save your best work as a portfolio of work samples that you can show potential clients who ask for it. That way, you’ll be ready to do it full time if and when you decide to do so.

Rob Boirun — Selling DVD’s about Video Editing & Running Banner Ads on Website

Reviewster

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online (not eBay or selling my junk) by starting a website around a tech hobby I had at the time in 2004. This was creating DVDs out of videos that I shot myself. At first it was just a diary of sorts so I can put what I was learning about video editing online so that others could benefit from it as well. I was contacted by a video editing software company that said we’ll give you (funny enough) $100 if you put this banner on that page. That is what ignited a spark and eventually that site turned into my full time income for 10 years.

Darlene Batrowny — Reviewing Websites

Be A Master Mom

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first hundred dollars online reviewing websites at Usertesting.com. Since then I also made money scoring student interviews, writing articles and selling my children’s book series and mentoring program online.

Khalilah Wilbourn — Placing Free Ads Online

Author of: Uber: Your Vehicle To Wealth

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 by placing free ads online every week.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

The best advice I can give someone else interested in making money this way, is to be creative with the title of your ad and most importantly, make sure the ad is listed where your target customer can read it.

Tweety Elitou — Writing Product Descriptions for a Jewelry Boutique

Elitou Freelance

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online writing product descriptions for a start-up jewelry boutique that I discovered on Linkedin. It was very tedious work and I had to be creative, but since my passion is to write in the world of fashion, I accepted the job, did my best work and got paid. I learned a lot from the opportunity and I don’t regret it. It lead me to do more work for start up businesses that have paid me more than $1,000 in a matter of a day.

Ian Wright — Affiliate Programs

MoverDB.com

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online back in the late 90s by sending traffic to affiliate offers via some precursors to Google Adwords such as GoTo.com (remember them?)

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

While, it’s a bit more difficult today, due to increased competition, the same basic principles apply. 1) Find or create a product that generates decent margins. 2) Start sending traffic to that product. 3) Adjust your traffic costs until you have a positive ROI. Takes a bit of trial and error at first, but one winner will more than make up for the losses from the losers.

Kate Chan — Flipping Limited Edition Lululemon pants on eBay

Rabbut

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 by flipping limited edition Lululemon pants on eBay. One thing that I wish I did was to spend a little more time crafting product descriptions and taking quality product photos. Doing those two can dramatically increase your sales because having great photos and product descriptions really makes you stand out from your competitors on eBay.

Channon Dade — Travel Consultation

Chade Enterprise

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 bucks online not for my performance speaking but for my passionate knowledge as a travel consultant that comprises 17 years of working for a major airlines and conscience global travels of 32 countries, 5 continents and countless destinations. It was a travel consultation done via online. I was hooked!

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

Your only real job in this life is to figure out WHY YOU were put here. Once you figure that out, you teach it to the rest of the world… via online of course (-:

Patti Reddi — Sponsored Post About a Travel Destination

The Savvy Globetrotter

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 by writing a sponsored post about a travel destination by creating a profile on a website that links publishers with brands.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

My advice is to find and sign up for as many websites as possible that connect bloggers with brands because you never know when you will receive an email about a paid campaign to promote a brand in your niche.

Veronica Winters — Selling Art Tutorials & Etsy Store

Veronica’s Art Studio & Seascape Necklace

veronica-winters

How did you make your first $100 online?

I’ve made $100 on line in two ways. First, I set up my website to sell my digital downloads of books and tutorials, giving art students more choices to study without having an actual book. Second, I opened an Etsy shop to sell my ocean-themed handmade jewelry online. Both sites take lots of effort to promote. I use social media and publicity. Most important thing to understand is that I’m simply helping people without trying to sell, by listening to their requests and answering their questions without any expectations and building a relationship this way.

Caemin O’Connor — First Sale on Jewelry Website

Karus Chains

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How did you make your first $100 online?

Via SEO & moving up the pages on Google. By going the SEO route, a businesses fate is in the hands of Google and after 18 months of blogging, reaching out etc, I was getting very weary. I was starting to lose hope. My strategy is long term, but it was taking a lot longer than I’d expected. It was just at that time that I finally got my first sale and made $120 profit.

Dave Hermansen — eCommerce Website That Sold Electric Scooters

Store Coach, Inc.

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 with my first eCommerce website that sold electric scooters. I went onto making considerably more than that with future websites.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

My best advice would be to get some solid training, from a reputable eCommerce training course. It all starts with choosing something that gets enough searches but is not terribly competitive. Get that wrong, and nothing you do will amount to anything. There is a great deal of research that goes into choosing successful product niches as well as a considerable amount of knowledge that is needed in order to build and market a website correctly. Nothing is terribly difficult, but it does require a solid plan, attention to detail and dedication in order to succeed.

Toby Balsiger – Local Affiliate Website

Website Tigers

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online through a small, local affiliate website. The rush of getting that first commission and then getting that first check in the mail were out of this world! It seems so out of reach until you actually get that your hands on that first check.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

If someone is interested in making money online, I would recommend they pick one niche and stick with it. This has always been difficult for me, because I have many different interests. Unfortunately this doesn’t work well when you are trying to SEO 50 sites all at once. So pick one niche, and stick with it until it’s generating money for you.

Greig Leach — Selling Artwork on eBay

Art of Cycling

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I am a visual artist so virtually all of my online earnings have been through sales of artwork. I first started earning money through the Painting a Day craze. I would create a new small Shiva Paintstik work each day and offer it on auction on Ebay. I sold works from $50 to about $200 depending on how popular the work was. Now I am painting sporting events live and using twitter to drive buyers to my website to purchase works from $50 all the way up to thousands.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

For others, find that thing you are passionate about, and then try to find your market. It takes some consistent effort to break through the noise on social media, but it can be done. It helps if what you are offering for sale is original, interesting and of a very high quality, but pushing yourself on social media can often overcome work that is not as strong in any of those three categories. Remember, online, there is an audience for *everything* as the porn industry has taught us.

Dick Kuiper — Ghostwriting Articles

Ghost Writer Help

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How did you make your first $100 online?

When I started my writing business, I did most of my prospecting online, primarily through LinkedIn. Word spread quickly. I do lots of business all around North America and in Europe. Great income and I do it all from the comfort of my home office. I mostly write website content and blogs as a ghostwriter.

Zondra Wilson — Selling Skin Care Products in eCommerce Store

Blu Skin Care

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online by selling products through my ecommerce store. I sell usda certified organic skin care products. I sold a cleanser, toner, moisturizer and honey face mask for that first $100 plus sell.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

The best advice that I can give someone interested in making money online is to set up an ecommerce store. Make sure your website is professional and you will be on your way to making some great pocket cash or more.

Jema Patterson — Google Adsense

Half the Clothes

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How did you make your first $100 online?

Google Adsense made me my first $100 online, but it took years to hit the $100 mark. So the best advice I’d give someone is not to do it. I still have ads on website pages that are popular, but not targeted at my ideal reader. The ads make pennies, but no point in leaving them on the table!

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

The way I made my first worth-your-time $100 online was with Amazon’s affiliate marketing program. My best advice: write reviews of products you are really passionate about and believe in. That passion will lead to quality content that will draw readers, many of whom will become buyers as well!

Ray Higdon — Affiliate Program For A Digital Training Company

Forever Wealth Club

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online by being an affiliate for a digital training company. I got my link, I at first spammed it to a bunch of people with no one buying and then learned how to do Google adwords and made a few sales. Since then we have generated over $1 million in affiliate commissions and over $10 million in overall online sales.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

My advice would really depend on what niche someone was in but it would probably involve some form of information marketing. If I was a realtor I would use the Internet to get my listings out but would also create some digital training or eBook that I could sell to other realtors showing them what I was doing.

Craig Wolfe — SEO!

CelebriDucks

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How did you make your first $100 online?

What I did was just create a simple yet nice website, SEOed it up, got a cool graphic, with a great unique story, and BABOOM!…made my first $100 and yes, now a millionaire…

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

The key for anyone to make that first $100 is simple..you MUST have a product or service that is so unique and different, then SEO it up big time, and finally, do some PR because you ARE so unique and different!!…..it all starts with creating something that will allow you to own your niche..that’s the key, mate!

Samita Sarkar — Freelance Writing

Blossoms Writing

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How did you make your first $100 online?

When I first started freelance writing, I wasn’t sure how to find customers and I knew nothing about SEO, except that it took time to build your page rank. I put together a basic website using WordPress and used Google Adwords to find my first leads!

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

Start blogging about topics your clients care about. Your blog is not only a writing portfolio, but a way to generate interest in your business.

Kristen Kellogg — Writing Two Articles For A Local Newsletter

Border Free Travels

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 writing two articles for a local newsletter on Nantucket. I’ve come a long way since then. I now have a travel brand and small creative Agency where I travel the world working with various brands and businesses through experiential storytelling.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

Don’t give up. So many people I see give up because they didn’t realize how hard it would be and all of the ups and downs involved. My tip: those who don’t give up and have vision will make it further than they ever thought possible.

Sara Gilbert — Affiliate Program

Strategist Business Development

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I got a commission from an affiliate. A friend of mine created an online program, I simply took the link, shared it in my social media networks and within 5 minutes someone had purchased this course and voilà!

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

You don’t need to create the product yourself, you can partner with other business, called affiliates, and help them spread their message. Obviously you have to know, like and trust the person or the product you are promoting and you need to make sure it has its quality because at the end of the day it’s still your name and your reputation that’s on the line.

Ben Yennie — Wrote & Self-Published A Book

The Guerilla Rep

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How did you make your first $100 online?

The first time I ever made money solely online was when I published my first book.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

I would give the following advice to anyone who wants to develop a side hustle, find something you’re good at, then write about it, or see about creating a video series explaining it.

Murray Suid — Entry Fees to a Film Festival

MobileMovieMaking Magazine

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How did you make your first $100 online?

Created one of the first online film festivals where filmmakers competed for cash prizes. We earned money from entry fees, typically $25 per entry.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

Give customers or clients great value for their money. In our case, customers not only had the chance to win cash, but we made it possible for everyone to exhibit their work online. So even those who didn’t win a prize got exposure.

Dallas McLaughlin — Selling Oddities & Rarities on eBay

The James Agency

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How did you make your first $100 online?

The first $100 I made online was on eBay in 2001. My early teen years were spent scavenging garage sales and thrift shops for any oddity or rarity that I could sell through a local bank’s classified ads. The most common scores were trading cards, magazine sets and board games. As a 15 year old I discovered eBay and it was obvious to me the opportunity that existed in this new connected world. Not only were my wins no longer dictated by local interest and availability, but now the time consuming aspect of physically searching for products was replaced with a search bar. This allowed me to focus my time on money making processes such as optimizing the buying, selling and shipping cycle.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

The advice I would offer is no different from the advice that has been offered for thousands of years. Identify a product that is in demand, find a source of acquiring that product below cost and resell it with a profit margin. This can be done by finding one-to-one sellers or leveraging buying power with wholesalers. All that has changed in the last twenty years is the sales platform, connectivity between buyers and sellers, and the scale in which these types marketplaces can be executed. The simplest way to have success selling online is to understand how to sell offline and replicate that strategy in a digital marketplace.

Austin Iuliano — Selling eBooks through Gumroad

dscience

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How did you make your first $100 online?

The first $100 I made online was selling ebooks and online courses through gumroad. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in my life. Making money online is a muscle like anything else. As you learn more ways and practice, the easier it gets. Start today, sell your knowledge and practice.

Daisy Jing — Reviewing Skincare Products on YouTube & Building Influence

Banish

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How did you make your first $100 online?

ACNE Gave Me My First $100 Online! I had bad acne and tried everything to help clear it up. I tried hundreds of different beauty products, and decided to review beauty products to help others suffering with the same problem. In turn, I developed a following of over 50M views in YouTube and became a trusted source of information in the realm of skin problems. Eventually, I came up with my own skincare line and found my first customers — my followers. Technically, my followers were my first customers who gave me my first $100. Because of their encouragement and support, I launched my natural skin care line focused on combating skin blemishes. Now we are a team of 14+ women, inspiring confidence in others.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

The best advice I can give others is to be vulnerable and consistent. Because of my vulnerability to share my story, I became a trustworthy source of skin care reviews which eventually made me a trustworthy person to make a skin care line. I also included “consistency” because from Day 1 of uploading my videos to the days I’m inspiring my community and up to this day I’m typing this, I’m still the same honest, reliable, and responsive Daisy that my followers have known since my “breakout” days. Me and my team regularly communicate, post to our social media accounts, and engage to our community. It’s a consistent effort to be connected with the people who trusted me from the start.

Jeff Ferguson — Online Novelty Store

Fang Digital Marketing

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I started my first business during grad school. It was an online novelty store (think rubber chickens and fake vomit) based on the magic shop on Main Street in Disneyland. I cleared more than $100 in my first month, mostly from friends and family, but eventually, the real clients started showing up after I started showing up in search engine results.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

Advertising is your friend, but remember what your ultimate goals are – to sell more stuff. It’s easy to get caught up in all the numbers that are thrown at you by different websites and advertising agencies as a way to show how successful the campaigns are, but they’re really only successful if they help you sell more stuff.

Anna Nicole Roberson — Cruelty-Free Makeup Store on Etsy

Nicolet Beauty

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I love makeup. So I started a handmade, cruelty-free lipstick company and opened a store on Etsy.  I made $200 the first month.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

My advice to aspiring business owners:  First, decide which industry you most enjoy. Then build a social media following around that. The next step is to create a landing page (instead of a whole website) to test your idea and to build a list of potential leads.

Elizabeth Aldrich — Reddit For Hire

Temporary Provisions

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How did you make your first $100 online?

My first gig actually came from Reddit! I replied to an ad on http://reddit.com/r/forhire seeking a writer to write career overviews for a career resource website the poster was building. They paid $15 a piece, and I wrote 10 of them my first week, bringing in $150. The job ended up bringing in $150 of work every week for months to come.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

The best advice I have is to apply for EVERYTHING at first, literally everything you think you could possibly do, and then after you build up some experience, start narrowing yourself into a niche or specialty field based on what you like and what you’re good at (and what pays well!). Also, don’t sell yourself short! Never respond to job postings saying things like I’m new at this or Although I don’t have much experience. Don’t lie either, but if you talk the talk, you’ll walk the walk. There’s a quote that floats around on the internet from some famous entrepreneur saying something along the lines of If someone asks you if you can do something, say yes, and then go find out how to do it. That’s how we all get started from nothing.

Anna Renault — Selling eBook About Personal Cancer Struggle

Anna’s Journey

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How did you make your first $100 online?

My first $100 made online was from the sale of several copies of my book,Anna’s Journey: How many lives does one person get? I found a page on Facebook dedicated to people involved with cancer. My book chronicles my journey through eight different bouts of cancer.Needless to say, RIGHT audience for my book produced several sales. I also used the Relay for Life page to post a fundraiser for various teams – donating some profits to the American Cancer Society through those teams…. and thus, sold more books making another hundred or two.

AJ Saleem — Self-Promoting Online Tutor

Suprex Private Tutoring

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How did you make your first $100 online?

My first 100 dollars, I actually made tutoring a student on skype. I started off by marketing my services on care.com and Craigslist and eventually was approached by a potential client. I had met with the client via skype and I earned my first 100 dollars over a period of 2 hours. That was the impetus that led to me starting my business and it was the first time I made money.

Lidia Aviles — UpWork

AvilesBros

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I have passion for writing and consulting/teaching so I looked online for websites that provide clients for my different services. One of my favorites is Upwork (previously called Elance and Odesk). I wrote some articles and got my first $100.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

My best advice would be that you have to take it serious and grow in by being persistent; learn from every client and be patient in creating your client list. Stay organize and meet deadlines.

Carlo Trotta — eBay / Personal Website / Storenvy

Moooh Limited

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online on several Ebay accounts, on my website and on my Storenvy store.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

I’m giving you some pieces of advices for people who wants to give a try to e-commerce business:

1 Look for trendy products in your fields. If you are an artist/artist and want to sell online, try to follow the fashion trend and try to give a shot to your own designed items. But when you star a new e-commerce business the best thing is to follow the trends.

2 Check your competitors prices, product descriptions, prices. Understand in creative way how you can differentiate from your competitors. For example you can offer better shipping time, free shipping, same day shipping, fast order processing time, easy return, free exchange. It’s important to write in the product description in how you differentiate from your competitors. When you price your product, check the shipping rates you are going to pay and check also the rates of different kind of shipping, because customers often ask for different shipping methods like priority, next day, 48 hours and so on.

3 Be very responsive to customers emails in terms of time and be nice, helpful to solve potential customers and customers issues.

4 Take beautiful pics of the items you sell. Give life to your products.

5 Don’t you have items to sell? Try to buy on Chinese marketplaces. But be careful, traps are anywhere when you buy from China. From receiving a different item from what you order, receiving smelly items, broken, off size. Spend some time to read different reviews on Google. Don’t trust the review on Chinese websites, most of time those reviews are fake. Instead, Google for (company name + scam or ripoff.) and you’ll have the big pictures of your potential sellers

6 Have a clear FAQ section on your shop/website, where you help shoppers to understand about you and your business. Be relevant with info regarding payments terms, shipping and return.

7 Always offer Paypal as payment option. Shopper love Paypal.

8 Important: If you start a new e-commerce business, don’t’ give up if after 1 week if you don’t get sales. Often sales happen also after 3 weeks or 1 month.

9 If you are an artist, designer, small brand you can give a shot to Storenvy.com . They don’t have set up fees and listing fees. You just pay a small percentage if you sell your items and they are very supportive with their sellers.

10 If you want to try to open your store, give a try to Shopify. It’s very easy to use and full of useful apps that let you scale your business as you grow. Their customer service is very supportive an they have 24 hours online chat service. If you are based in USA, you can also open a free Buyable pin stores and get lot of free traffic to your store and also nice sales. If you are in fashion business, give a try also to Instagram.

Travis Bennett — UpWork

Studio Digita

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 on Elance (now Upwork), writing blog posts for a recruiter.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

For those looking to get started working online, there’s a few things you’ll need to do. Ensure your profile is fully updated, put together a couple of examples of the work a client can expect, and be willing to work for a lower rate in your first couple of gigs to build up some reviews and feedback on your profile. It’s a little more competitive today than it was five years ago when I started, but there will always be clients looking for quality work.

Patryk Klesta — Re-selling Chinese Products in Europe

Karolina Patryk Blog

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How did you make your first $100 online?

We made our first $100 online by selling products online. We found cheap offers in China and offered them in Europe with 30% commission for us!

Avichai Ben Tzur — Affiliate Links For Hotels

X Days In Y

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How did you make your first $100 online?

Since the focus of my website is on travel guides for independent travelers, I started to include affiliate links for hotels that I personally stayed at and that I recommend in the travel guide. A few days later, the first bookings came in and voila!*

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

People don’t like being sold to. Recommend products and services that complement your original content and only sell products which you have personally tried and tested.  

Peggy Farren — Online Photography Class

Understand Photography

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I run a photography training center and knew I had to start offering classes online in order to expand. The first class went live in late November. I signed up 13 students at the discounted rate of $297 for a total of $3861. I was very excited! Since it’s live, it’s a tremendous amount of work to check homework and support the students. What I found is that putting together a fabulous class, although very time consuming, is not the hard part (read my reviews – people LOVE my class). The hard part is selling it. Marketing techniques that worked just a couple years ago are not working as well now.

So I’ve been steadily growing my fan base with Facebook and Google ads, public speaking and now am starting a Facebook Live show, which will be repurposed into a podcast. -*Avant-Garde Images, Inc.www.naplesportraits.com

Kate Kennedy — Online Website for Teen Products

Polar Ambassadors, Inc.

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How did you make your first $100 online?

Polar Ambassadors made its first $100 online in record time once we launched, but we did our due diligence prior to launching. Our company offers products that are targeted to teen and college-age kids, and we did our research prior to launching, heavily relying on the opinions of a core group of teens/tweens. We sought info on the design, products, colors and price.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

Advice from Polar Ambassadors regarding how to make money in the same way is this: only sell what you believe in! Our company’s mission is to assist in the effort to save the polar bears, a cause we truly believe to be important. We could not be as focused on our core mission if we did not believe in it so wholeheartedly.

Shaya Borkar — Handmade Birthday Cards

The Art and Craft Gallery

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online in 2011 by creating handmade birthday party invitation cards and paper decorations for 1yrs old birthday party. This order came through my hobby craft blog which was less than a year old and I did not even have a paypal account then! ( go figure!) So when the inquiry came I figured out all the payment and shipping process, as I was living in Australia then and order was from Michigan USA!

Stephanie Carmi — Personal eCommerce Website

Cedar Ravine

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online selling our handmade outdoor accessories on my website. I believe the first few products sold were the tie-dyed beanies (Feb 2016). We make them in California and are now selling in 20 stores nationwide as well as on our website still.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

The best advice I would give someone else interested in making money the same way is: Get started NOW! It takes longer to get you ecommerce shop all set-up and operating than you think – and details are important. Start ASAP and start working out the bugs now.

Shanon Lee — Demo Singing Services

My Love For Writing

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I released an EP in 2010 and loved the experience of recording songs. I was looking for ways to make money from home because I had two young children, so I added a “hire me” page on my website for demo singing services. I received referrals from a songwriting forum and charged $150 or more per song.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

Do not overthink it. There are a million and one ways to do something someone else believes is impossible. If I had read about how hard it was to make money online as a demo singer first, I may not have tried it. There are free online applications to make every aspect of running your business seamless, whether you are creating a website, e-signing contracts, sharing music files, recording vocals, or accepting payment. What will help you excel is professionalism, talent and integrity.

Nikki Robinson — Taking Surveys / Joining Online Focus Groups

Blaxstrology & Soul Tarot

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How did you make your first $100 online?

Back in middle school, I became interested in making money from my time spent on the Internet. The first $100 – earned in 6th grade – came through online research surveys and online focus groups. The invitations to participate were sent via email. I spent a lot of Time searching the key phrase get paid to take surveys to find legitimate, paying companies that would pay $5 or more for participation.

Tony Griego — Creating MySpace Support Sites & Google Adsense

G5

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online in the summer of 2005. A college friend and I were creating a MySpace (this is around the time Google bought YouTube and Facebook was not all that well known) support sites (skins, icons, etc.) and giving them away on our site for free. We also had ad spaces up for Google AdSense. Our first $100 was definitely the hardest. By the end of that fall, we were clearing $2,000 a month and even (temporarily) crippled a small, cheap hosting company for our site www.moremyspacejunk.com. We ran into some TOS issues with Google and eventually got our account banned. Now a days, I get most of my best online money from consulting projects (SEO & SEM) via referrals from my professional network. I also am a user tester at UserTesting.com and would definitely recommend that as a good (and reliable) way to make money online if you have little to no experience.

Ariana Arghandewal — Credit Card Affiliate Programs

PointChaser.com

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I’ve been blogging about reward credit cards and travel hacking for about four years now. I made my first $100 online through credit card affiliate links. At the time, it was very easy to join bank affiliate programs, which paid very well. I earned *$500 *when a reader used my affiliate link to sign up for a Chase Ink Plus card. Credit card companies eventually became stricter about who they gave affiliate links to, so I began earning money via adsense and freelance writing.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

I would advise anyone interested in making money through affiliate relationships to make sure their site is well optimized for whatever product they are trying to sell.

Kevin Graham — Website Design

Bulk Buy Hosting

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online in 1999, when I was hired as a freelance web designer after pitching a small, rural real estate agency on having a website designed.

What’s the best advice you would give someone else interested in making money that same way?

Reach out and connect with businesses that could use your services and educate them on why it can help them. I had no relationship with this real estate agency prior to pitching them in a cold email and talking about the benefits of setting up a web site to help them market their property listings.

Sumit Bansal — Google Adsense

Trump Excel

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How did you make your first $100 online?

I made my first $100 online in 2014 using Adsense. I create online how-to tutorials on using Excel Spreadsheets. It took me a while to get my adsense account approved (got rejected thrice), but when I finally managed to get it, it was all about getting traffic. I generated a lot of good quality tutorials which were soon ranking on the first page in Google. This spike in traffic helped my adsense earnings. It took me 3 months to get my first $100, and it has been growing ever since. Now I get 200,000 page views every month that results in good adsense revenue.

 What will your story be?

Now that you’ve read the success stories of 65 online entrepreneurs, what will your story look like? How will you make your first $100 online? Meanwhile, if you’ve already made $100 online, share your experience in the comments below — we’d love to hear your story.

**This article was inspired by 65 awesome entrepreneurs and written by Kelly Shogren and Robert Erich.

About Author Kelly Shogren

22 thoughts on “How 65 Entrepreneurs Made Their First $100 Online

  1. Awesome article, Kelly!

    It’s great to hear how others have made money online. Gives folks ideas of what can be done. There’s no reason why folks can’t pick up extra side $$ or main $$ online.

    Me, I made my first $100 by Ghost Writing for WoodWorkBoss.com a woodworking site.

    I used to teach woodworking in the ’90’s. Back then I NEVER thought I’d be making money writing about it.

    Looking forward to more great stuff!

    Shin
    Keith Shin Schindler recently posted…Financial Literacy Project in the Works: Money is not TabooMy Profile

    1. Hey Keith! That’s another awesome way to make money — writing about woodworking. Awesome. Looking forward to seeing your next epic project that’s in the making.

    1. Congrats on reaching that mark Josh! You’re well on your way. Looking forward to seeing you cross that threshold with your blog very soon. 🙂

  2. Awesome article! Very inspiring! I’m still strugling to grow my blog and I’m looking forward to making my first dollar online through it. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your insights Santanu! It’s always great to learn from other successful entrepreneurs and I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

  3. There are many entrepreneurs, investors and bloggers who churn out business advice daily, but it’s a pain figuring out which sites are worth reading but i find this more interesting. Great job!

    1. Glad the list was inspiring! It’s a slow and steady process to make those sale. But ultimately, you have two options — focus on selling something big to one or two people, or focus on selling something cheap to thousands. Getting people to sign up for anything isn’t easy, but if you consistently provide value, and make it easy for people to follow you (gather emails/etc) you’ll be just fine.

      Good luck!

  4. This is great! I Great tips and advice. I have a worldwide giveaway site and still trying to figure out a way on how to monetize through other means other than ads. Got some great ideas from this. Thanks!

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