How I Make $100 a Day in My Spare Time and You Can Too

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Just recently my online income passed a milestone I’ve been working towards for a while now. I’ve started to make $100 a day (and even more) from my online pursuits.

This is crazy exciting to me so I wanted to give a no-BS update on how I, a busy stay-at-home mama of two, who does not live in the United States, can make money online in the 15 hours a week I have to work sans children.

How I Make $100 a Day in My Spare Time

Screenshot of my accounting dashboard showing that I make 100 a day
This grainy screenshot shows how much I make online.

Ever since committing to living a semi-retired life so I can travel the world with my husband and kids, I’ve solely pursued an online business.

For me, it’s the only way to make a sustainable income without having to beg for time off from a manager when I want to travel.

I need to make money while I sleep (which is what actually happens a lot of the time when I open my affiliate dashboards after my morning coffee – sweet!).

Some truth about making money online

Now a few quick things to note because the make money online world is NOTORIOUSLY bad for deception and puffery.

1. Making a living online is no-joke the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I don’t want to make it seem easy because that would be lying. I’m also not selling anything, nor trying to get you in a sales funnel, but this post will contain affiliate links, obvs.

2. This is not an income report. I hate blogging income reports because 95.7% of the time they repeat the same info every month and solely exist to push affiliate links for terrible hosting services (starts with B and rhymes with pootoast).

I work with Siteground and highly recommend them. Even though pootoast pays double the comish.

What I want you to take from this post, if nothing else, is that it is POSSIBLE to make a living online if you are truly dedicated to the cause. And if you want to see where I started from, go have a read here. It was a long road.

Now, on to the details.

How I Make $100 a Day Online

I started this blog, the one you’re reading right now, in the public library near my husband’s home in Cork, Ireland. That was January 2015. We were on an extended vacation with our then 2-year-old and were about to depart for a six-month stay in Spain.

I think I wrote about my definition of financial freedom or something else equally un-WIIFM (that’s an acronym for ‘What’s In It For Me’).

In fact, for most of the year following, I only wrote about my own experiences with money. I did not care about making money from a blog at that stage, but I did enjoy writing and virtually meeting other people interested in money.

I had no idea about search engine optimisation, keywords, backlinks, domain authority or even Pinterest! (I really wish I’d hopped on that Pinterest train in the early days).

It wasn’t until early 2016 when I heard another blogger mention Elite Blog Academy that I started to think that this could actually be a thing that made me some money.

Then I realised that maybe I could earn enough to move us back to Spain (our life’s dream) and that was that.

I joined that very expensive course (which I do not recommend). I was in this blogging thing and making a GO of it. Since then, I’ve invested over $4000 in courses, books, training, software and probably loads of other stuff I’m forgetting (you can read my picks for the best blogging courses here).

I’ve also started 4 other websites, given up on 2 due to lack of time and now have 3 active sites I’m working on.

Blogging makes up the majority of my online income. If you’d like to learn more about how I make money blogging, subscribe here.

My income comes from the following sources:

Advertising Income

You will probably notice I run display advertising on this blog. I also run ads on both my other sites. Display advertising is both the simplest and lowest-paying way to earn money from a website.

My ad network, Mediavine, requires a website to achieve a minimum of 25,000 users per month before they’ll sign you up. That means they have only high-quality sites which give them bargaining power.

I’m with Mediavine for two of my sites, and my third site has much lower traffic, so I use Google Adsense for that site.

Display advertising makes up about half of my daily income. It is always paid on time, via Paypal and is relatively hands off.

Affiliate networks

Affiliate marketing makes up most of the remainder of my income. I am paid either a percentage or a fixed amount (called a CPA – cost per acquisition) when someone purchases a product or signs up to a new service using a link on my website.

My most popular affiliates are money-saving sites like Ebates and Ibotta as well as sites like Swagbucks and Survey Junkie.

People come to my site for money-saving tips and ideas on how to make extra money, so these affiliates work well with my audience.

I also make a little from Amazon each month (around $50-$100).

If you’re a blogger, promoting items that will help to improve the lives of your readers is a great way to approach affiliate marketing.

My affiliate networks pay in a variety of different ways, including Paypal, direct to my NZ bank account (which sucks for fees) and via Payoneer.

Paid surveys

Another way I make extra cash online is by taking paid surveys. I include sites that pay via Paypal in my income as it’s cash and I like to be sweet with the taxman. Lots of sites offer gift cards as rewards too.

Cashback sites

I not only promote Ebates, I use it too. For everything! Travel bookings, Christmas presents, pretty much anything I can buy online.

I always check Ebates first for a coupon and cash back bonus – why wouldn’t you (and you’ll get $10 Free when you sign up to Ebates using this link).

Ebates pays me quarterly via Paypal.

Other Ways to Make $100 a Day

There are hundreds of opportunities to make extra money both online and offline. Here we’ll explore some of the best ways to significantly boost your income.

Freelance writing

When I was starting out with this whole making money online thang, freelance writing was my go-to. I used Upwork to register, and this blog here as a portfolio.

I had steady work, paying around $50 per article (up to 500 words) and was always paid on time.

I could easily complete 3 or 4 articles per day, so making even more than $100 per day is completely possible once you get some good reviews under your belt.

Freelancing is a great way to get your start in the online world.

You’ll learn what services business owners want and hone your writing or tech skills. I recommend freelancing alongside building up your own site.

Read my tips for getting started on Upwork now

Airbnb hosting

With Airbnb, you can easily make $100 in a day just by renting out your home or even just a spare room.

We are thinking about renting out our place when we travel and Airbnb reckons we could get $85 a night in the low season and up to $295 per night in peak summer – that’s some serious extra cash!

Teach English Online

If you’re from North America, have a Bachelor’s degree and some experience working with kids you can apply to become a teacher with VIPKid.

You can earn between $14-$22USD/per hour teaching online from your own home. Click here to read more about teaching English online.

Take paid surveys for cash

Taking online surveys for money can be a great way to supplement your income. You’re probably not going to make $100 a day just from taking surveys, but in my experience, it’s safer to have multiple streams of income in case one dries up.

Plus taking surveys is easy and you can do it on the couch. These are the survey sites I recommend in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the U.K.

Get free sign up bonuses

Check out this great list of sites that’ll pay you just for signing up – there’s free money to be made.

There are loads of other ways to make extra money. Check out my list of ways to make money online here.

About Emma Healey

Emma is a recognised family finance and budgeting expert and founder of Mum's Money. Her advice has been featured in Readers Digest, Yahoo Finance, Lifehacker, The Simple Dollar, MSN Money and more.