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Side Hustle

10 Ways To Make Money Online That Actually Work *not an MLM or a scam*

Most people in their 20s and 30s only have one source of income. 2020 was a bit of a wake up call for many people. You can’t rely on one source of income anymore. 

This past month I quit my day job at a Fortune 500 company (during a recession) and now I’m going ALL IN on my business. 

I often get asked by my friends and family how I make money on the internet, so today I’m pulling back the curtain and showing you EVERYTHING!

Here are my 10 online income streams! I’ll break down each income stream and show you how to can do this as well!

Active Income vs Passive Income

Before we dig into the importance of multiple streams of income, I want to talk about the two different types of income. They are active income and passive income.

Active income is income that you currently have to work for to get paid. In other words, if the work isn’t done, there is no paycheck.

Passive income is work that you complete once and continue to get paid months and sometimes years later over and over again. 

For example: Creating one YouTube video takes me about 8-10 hours of work. I get paid through Adsense revenue. Initially, this was active income; however, I only created the video once. Years down the road, that video will still get views that I get paid for. This YouTube video then turns into passive income. 

Each month I share my business’s income and expenses line by line on my YouTube channel, Tutorials for Entrepreneurs with Kelly Anne Smith, as well as a corresponding blog post. 

YouTube Ad Revenue

I currently have two YouTube channels: my main channel, Kelly Anne Smith that I started 6 years ago, and my second channel which is Tutorials for Entreprenuers with Kelly Anne Smith. 

Second channel I am still working reaching YouTube’s monetization requirements of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time. 

To date I have 542 Subscribers and 713 hours of watch time, so I still have a ways to go. 

I use this printable to keep me motivated and to visually see the progress I’m making.

My main channel, Kelly Anne Smith is part of the YouTube Partner Program. Every time an ad plays on my channel, I make 55% of the revenue and Youtube takes 45%.

Unfortunately, ad revenue is not consistent for me. I make an average of $1,000 per month in ad revenue. Some months, like November, my ad income can reach upwards of $1,200.  I like to think of it as a ‘seasonal’ source of money. In the holiday season advertisers increase their rates on what they pay per view. 

Another big thing that plays into how much money you make on YouTube is your niche or the type of videos you make. 

CPM or Cost Per Mili (Cost per 1,000 views) depends on how YouTube classifies your channel. 

For example, a kids channel is going to have a lower CPM than an investing channel because more likely the audience is going to click on an ad and spend money on an investing channel than I child watching YouTube kids.

Do you want to make money online too?

If you want to take your entrepreneurship journey to the next level. If you want to be a digital entrepreneur, someone making money online, then Dreamer To Profitable will help you do that! 

Blog Ad Revenue

Very similar to YouTube Ad Revenue is Blog Ad Revenue. When someone reads my blogs or is on my website, I make money off of the ads that are viewed. 

If someone clicks on an ad, then I make more money. 

I previously had my website with Adsense but to be honest, they did not pay very well at all. 

I recently switched to Ezoic Ads and have made almost double this past month. 

Right now I average 3,000 to 4,000 page views a month. My goal is 50,000 page views and then I will apply for a new ad network that pays a lot more. 

But until then, Ezoic is a great option for ads. 

Instagram Bonus Program

Instagram rolled out a new program where they pay select creators for their content. Each month Instagram chooses a feature that they are going to pay you for. This month they paid for the reels that you created. 

The Reels I create bring in an average of $100 a month. 

Based on my Instagram audience size I have the ability to make $1,200 a month but have noticed once I hit that $100 mark they stop paying for reels. The most I have ever made is $118.32. 


I do one-on-one coaching for budget coaching as well as have a package that creates a budget for you.

I also offer calls using the platform Clarity. I love that the clients can schedule a time and only charge per minute that we are talking.


Brand sponsorships are a great way to increase your income as well as tell your audience about amazing brands and companies! I am extremely particular about what companies I work with and always fully vet those companies before accepting a sponsorship.

Some of my favorite brands that I have worked with are Epson, Robinhood, Palmers, and Current. 

I will admit that working with brands adds a lot more work to the typical video creating process, it’s not just adding a quick 30-second clip talking about the brand to a video. 

You have to work directly with compliance, sometimes refilm, understand contracts, negotiate, pitch ideas, the list goes on and on. 

Another big part of sponsorships is seeking them out and pitching your idea to them. 

There have been several brands that I’ve come up with some really cool concepts for, and I’ve already made a ton of videos about their brand (ahem, Fetch Rewards and ALDI) but get no reply. 

I get probably 3-5 emails a day from brands wanting to do sponsorships but I need to do deep research on each one before I agree to partner together. 

Affiliate Marketing

Very similar to sponsorships is affiliate marketing, but a little less intense work. 

Sponsorships and affiliate marketing are similar in the sense of needing to vet the company and make sure they are legit and align with my company’s values. 

But they are a lot less work in the fact that once we have agreed to a partnership, I have pretty free reign to include them in any video, blog post, or social media. 

A great thing about affiliate marketing is typically, it is a big win-win for both the creator and the consumer. For example, with Fetch Rewards, when someone signs up and scans a receipt, they get 2,000 points (equals to $2) and so do I. 


If affiliate marketing is something you are looking to get into, I recommend taking the course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. Michelle digs into the best way to promote brands that you know, like, and trust and well as all of the legal elements of affiliate marketing. I’ll be honest, there was way more things that you need to be aware of and do to be FTC compliant than I expected. The course breaks it all down for you.


I currently have two courses. 

My first course How To Save Money On Groceries Course launched in 2020.

This course will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, stop food waste, and give you tips and tricks to harness your best grocery life. You’ll save money, learn how to spend wisely, and, most importantly, you’ll learn how to lower your food cost so you can spend on the things that bring you joy! 

My signature course Dreamer To Profitable launched January 2021!

This course will help you build a profitable business so you can finally live the life you deserve to have! Dreamer To Profitable is definitely for you. This is a step-by-step guide to getting the life of your dreams. 

I host both of my courses on the platform, Teachable

Teachable is an incredible, easy-to-use platform that is plug-and-play. Easy user experience for both me, the course creator, as well as my students. 

It allows me to create quizzes, set up affiliates, and see all of my numbers in a dashboard.

As with any new thing, I did make some mistakes with my first course and learned a lot. Here are the 5 Mistakes I Made With My First Online Course

Digital Products

Digital products have become one of my favorite forms of passive income. 

I sell Excel Budget Templates as well as Debt Payoff and Saving Money Printables. 

These products are very passive because I create them once, list them in my shop and then they continue to sell for years to come. 

I personally list the same exact items in two places. I list them on my personal website in my shop as well as on Etsy

I do this for a couple of reasons. I list them on Etsy so I can get the traffic from Etsy’s SEO and I list them on my website because I own my website and so that I can also get those page views. 

I have made over $10,000 in digital product sales between the two shops. 


Patreon is a monthly subscription to help support your favorite creators. On Patreon, you will find exclusive videos, like Budget Report Cards, personal videos, behind the scenes, live streams as well as all of my budget templates and printables.


Over the years, I have done a few paid speaking engagements for some summits, private paid memberships, and companies. I’ve spoken on topics ranging from impulse spending to basic personal finance to entrepreneurship. 

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