How to make money fast (without getting caught in a scam)

I’ve taught thousands of students how to make money fast (all with different talents & levels of experience) and I can show you how to do the same.

Ramit Sethi · March 22nd, 2017

made more money - balance sheet - ineedair

Hi, I’m Ramit Sethi, and I’m going to show you how to make more money. Legitimately (I’m a Stanford grad and New York Times best-selling author), and as quickly as you want. Learn these core methods and you’ll know 90% of the basic options to make more money.

Most people who say it’s impossible to make more money don’t realize this. Some insist that it’s flat-out undoable, while others take an all-or-nothing approach. “You’re not going to invent the next Google, so what’s the point?”

Maybe you won’t make a billion dollars this year but how would an extra $100 now, $1,000 this month, or $50,000 this year change your life?

Quiz: What is your earning potential? Choose the answer you agree with the most
View Results

We’ll definitely be AVOIDING ridiculous money-making schemes like the ones you typically find online. These four are perfect examples…

The top 4 ridiculous money-making schemes

Top 4 ridiculous money-making schemes

Panhandling? Selling your hair? These ludicrous (and hilarious) ideas are REAL suggestions given by so-called “experts.”

That’s frustrating, because I believe most of us are willing to do the work IF we know there’s a payoff.

I’ve taught thousands of students how to make money fast (all with different talents, levels of experience, and even in different countries) — and I want to show you how you can do the same.

I’ve included 3 different timelines and 6 different tactics to help you make money quickly. Each of these tactics for making money has worked with thousands of people. Remember, you can take it at your own pace.



“I need $100 RIGHT NOW”

1. Negotiate your bills & save money with one phone call

It’s sad that most of us are never taught how to negotiate. The truth is that most things CAN be negotiated…and we can save a ton of money doing it. What would it mean for you if you had $100 less to pay on your bills this month?

Your cell phone bill is the perfect place to start. Cell phone companies have this wildly curious business model of acquiring tons of customers through very expensive means (e.g., national advertising), then churning through them by treating them horribly. Yet even they know that it’s cheaper to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. You can use this “customer acquisition cost” in your favor. Here’s how:

Step 1: Find comparable plans for your usage on other cell phone networks. For example, I’m with AT&T, so I’ll investigate Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint by going to their websites. Write down how much they each cost, how many minutes you get, and any other benefits.

Step 2: Call your current cellphone company. To make it easy, here are the phone numbers:

Step 3: The key is be nice. Ask them what better plans they have to offer you.

You: “Hi, I was looking at my plan and it’s getting pretty expensive. Could you tell me what other plans you have that would save me money?”
Them: Blah blah same plans as on the website blah blah
You: “What about any plans not listed on the website?”
Them: No, what we have is listed on the website. Plus, you’re on a contract and have an early cancellation fee of $XXX
You: “Well, I understand that, but I’d be saving $XXX even with that cancellation fee. Look, you know times are tough so I’m thinking of switching to [COMPETITOR COMPANY]. Unless there are any other plans you have…? No? Ok, can you switch me to your cancellation department, please?”

Note: They won’t cancel without your final word! Plus, you’re in a much stronger position if you’re willing to walk away. What you really want is to be switched to their “customer retention” department, which is the group that has the ability to retain you by giving you a bunch of free deals. You can either ask to be switched directly to the customer retention department, or play a game and hope that by asking for “cancellation,” you’re actually transferred to retention. If you mess up or things don’t go as planned, don’t worry. Hang up and call back. You can always play around with a few phone calls and see what works best.

Your goal is to get to the retention department
Your goal is to get to the retention department


When you get to the customer-retention department, restart the sequence. This is when you pull out your competitive intel on the other services being offered. If Verizon is offering something for $10 less, tell them that. That’s $120 savings / year right there. But you can do more.

You: “Listen, you know times are tough and I need to get a better deal to stick with you guys. You know and I know that your customer acquisition cost is hundreds of dollars. It just makes sense to keep me as a customer, so what can you do to offer me this plan for less money?”

Notice that you didn’t say, “Can you give me a cheaper plan?” because yes/no questions always get a “no” answer when speaking to wireless customer-service reps (or anybody whose job it is to get you off the phone and out of their hair as soon as possible). Ask leading questions. You also invoked the customer-acquisition cost, which is meaningful to retention reps. Finally, it really helps if you’re a valued customer who’s stuck around for a long time and actually deserves to be treated well. If you jump around from carrier to carrier, you’re not a worthwhile customer to carriers.

Bonus: Tapping into “hidden income” – money you’re throwing away every month – is part of my huge free guide to personal finance. Download your copy of my 6-part guide now.


2. Make money fast by selling on eBay

A few years ago, I was skeptical when it came to selling things on eBay. Can you really make money doing that? But then I tested selling a few things on eBay… and I made over $1,000. We ALL have things laying around the house that we can sell. Maybe…

  • There’s a pair of nice shoes in your closet that you never wear
  • In your attic, you have some old baseball cards, pogs, or classic video games collecting dust
  • You recently upgraded your laptop and don’t know what to do with your old one

All of these things — and thousands more — can make you money on eBay. I created an in-depth, step-by-step guide on how to make money off of eBay in just 37 minutes. I also include real life examples from my students who make $1,000+ selling on eBay EVERY MONTH.

Click here for my free guide to making real money on eBay.


3. Monetize your social media

I’ve always been skeptical of social media — a lot of people look at vanity metrics such as likes and shares and think it means that social media is doing big things for their business, when it really isn’t.

But there’s another way to use social media that can that have a direct impact on your income: Build a healthy following on a popular network and then make money with your account. This works because social media has gone mainstream in 2017 – check out the Pew Research below. Advertisers are using social media to reach the audience that used to watch TV and read magazines.


The two best platforms for monetizing social media in 2017 are Instagram and Snapchat. Advertisers and brands are looking for ways to connect with Instagram and Snapchat users.

Get paid per Instagram or Snap

Top Instagram influencers charge $10,000 or more for a single photograph promoting a product. This means they can make more than most people by just doing one or two of those a month. Crazy.

Building a following on social media isn’t about luck or looks (although the latter doesn’t hurt) — if you understand the system, you can replicate other people’s success. Check out this fascinating article on how a marketing agency turned journalist Max Chafkin into an Instragram influencer in only a month using tactics like bots and strategic hashtags. This is stuff anyone with a knack for social media can do.

Companies also pay people to promote their brand on Snapchat. Virginia Salas Kastilio, also know as ginicanbreathe, charges $2,800 per sponsored story. This is a great example of using a Snapchat following as an asset.


Influencer Agencies Accepting Applications

  • GOsnap for Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter power users
  • avowire by HIREINFLUENCE seeks Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat creators
  • TR|BE is a marketplace that connects Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users with brands
  • instaBRAND connects Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter influencers with advertisers

Don’t worry – you don’t need a huge following like Virginia or the help of professionals like Max to get started. You can start with some of the platforms above like TR|BE or use an affiliate program. These programs pay you to sell products on you social media accounts – just like the Amazon affiliate program pays you to sell books.

Look through these affiliate offers for Snapchat featured on OfferVault. Some pay per a flat rate per lead, some pay per sale. This is the easiest way to test if Instagram or Snapchat marketing is right for you while also making money fast.


4. Find local babysitting jobs to make a quick $100

Babysitting isn’t just for teenagers anymore — and with websites like and Urban Sitter, you can pick up cash quickly by offering your home care services to people. is a great service for babysitting, helping seniors, and watching pets. Just create a profile, fill out the application, and get approved. Then you’re set to start earning money.

Some basics about the service:

  • Several jobs allow 14 to 17-year-olds to apply, but most are for 18 and over
  • Varied pay schedule, but can be weekly (so you can make a quick $100!)
  • Available in 18 countries

Urban Sitter provides on-demand child caring services by connecting parents with sitters through a phone app. Think of it as the Lyft or Uber of babysitting. Much like, you need to create a profile and get approved before you start any work — but once you are, Urban Sitter’s handy mobile app lets you easily connect with clients.

  • Available in 60 cities in the U.S.
  • Paid within 3 days after sitter confirms hours and parent confirms payment
  • To start making money, “Create an account, enter rates and availability (or browse jobs), respond to requests, and accept jobs…”
  • 18 and over

Both are these choices are solid was to make $100 ASAP without the stress or cost of driving an Uber.


5. Become an Airbnb host for profit

Have an extra room in your home or apartment? Live in a city people want to visit? You can easily turn that space into your next thousand dollars by listing it on Airbnb.

The service is a great way for hosts to turn empty rooms and apartments into a steady income. Some hosts even make six figures by renting apartments and listing them on the site — but that’s a subject for another article. The process is so freaking easy too. You just take into account how much you’re paying for rent and utilities on the space, your time and money for cleaning it after, and charge guests more than that to generate a profit. It’s not hard at all.

Screenshot 2017-02-24 17.18.06

Some things I love about Airbnb:

  • Flexibility: You set the times when the space is available and what the price will be. And, you can deny visitors if you’re not ready.
  • Automatic payments: Guests pay you through Airbnb’s website, so you don’t have to worry about them flaking on payments.
  • Low overhead: Hosting a space on Airbnb doesn’t take a lot of initial money on your part. Just make sure your guest has clean sheets, fresh towels, and a quiet place to rest.
  • Offset a Fixed Cost: You’re going to pay your rent anyway. Why not make a profit on it.

Airbnb also gives you up to $1 million in insurance coverage if any of your property gets damaged. Though it rarely occurs, it’s nice to know that you’ll be properly reimbursed if anything goes wrong.


“I need to make $1,000 this month”

6. Negotiate your salary and make thousands with one meeting

Ah, salary negotiation. When you ask people if they negotiated before joining their current company, they usually fall into one of two categories:

  • Utter denial: “The economy is tough, and I didn’t want to be annoying. I’ll try some time in the future, you know?”
  • Embarrassing failed attempt: “I didn’t know what to say, so I just asked if there was wiggle room, they said no…and then I didn’t ask again”

Getting a raise is the easiest and fastest way to make more money. A single salary increase can boost your income by thousands of dollars.

And that’s just the first year. A one-time salary increase of $5,000 — properly invested — adds up to over $1,300,000 by the time you retire. Talk about a Big Win.

With just one conversation, you can boost your income for life, but it’s a HUGE missed opportunity for most people. We hate to negotiate — what if our boss says no? What we have scheduled reviews and ours isn’t for another 8 months? What if we’re just no good at that sort of thing?

The key is that 80 percent of the work is done before you ever set foot in your bosses office. I’ll show you how.

The pros and cons of negotiating a higher salary

Since the vast majority of us earn our primary income from our job, this is an obvious strategy. Obvious — yet few of us do it. You can earn a higher salary by improving your skills at work and translating that into more responsibility and a higher salary, switching jobs, or switching entire industries.

The Pros of Asking for a Raise

  1. If you don’t know what it takes to get a higher salary, there’s one person who does know: your boss.
  2. Salary increases are cumulative and tend to follow you through your career, so someone earning $60 or $80k in their 20s already has a high salary relative to peers – and that will likely continue through their lifetimes.
  3. You already know what to do to get a salary increase: Get better at your job and make your boss’s life easier.

The Cons of Salary Negotiation

  1. You might not like the result of digging into this closely. For example, if you’re an entry-level employee at an art gallery and you discover that it will take you 20 years to earn even $55k, will you switch industries?
  2. You’re dealing with something out of your control — your company’s budget and your boss’s discretion — so putting more effort into your job doesn’t always pay off.
  3. Hard to know exactly what proactive behavior will get you a raise vs. what will make your company nervous about you.

I collected years of my best articles and case studies on salary negotiation and getting paid what you’re worth into a massive free guide.

It goes into even more detail on the strategies described here. Plus you can download the free ebook to read and study wherever you like.

Check out the Ultimate Guide to Getting a Raise and Boosting Your Salary now »


Bonus Infographic: The 3 Easiest Ways to Make More Money

3 Easiest Ways to Make More Money infographic

7. Take my “Save $1,000 in One Week” challenge

There’s a big misconception that we need to make HUGE sacrifices to get money fast (like getting our forehead tattooed).

But actually, we can focus on what we already have to save real money.

My “Save $1,000 in One Week” challenge walks you step-by-step through a week full of tips on how to save money on everyday things.

You’ll learn:

  • The 4 words that lower cable bills by at least $30/month ($360/yr) with one phone call
  • How to cut $20-$100/month out of your spending without sacrificing anything
  • My 4-step system that all but automates shopping so you spend less and get higher quality
  • Exactly how to get 3%-20% back on just about every purchase (NO, it isn’t a credit card, and it only takes 8 minutes to set up and seconds to use)
  • And much more — all in just 1 week.

Join the Save $1,000 in One Week challenge

Thousands of my students have already used these tips successfully. How much could you save?


“I need to make $10,000 this year”

8. Earn extra money by freelancing on the side

I recently asked readers what’s stopping them from creating a side business. Their feedback was surprising:

What's stopping you from making money surveyThe surprising #1 result: “I don’t have an idea”

I was expecting a lot of “I’m scared” or “I’m not good enough” answers…but instead, the #1 answer was “I don’t have an idea.”

Freelancing on the side is something anyone can do. You don’t have to have tech skills — students of mine have found success as professional dog walkers, caricature artists, violin instructors, marketing consultants, and much more.

It’s easier than you think to get started and you can make money fast. Despite what most people do, you don’t need to buy business cards, set up an LLC, or build a website to start making money on the side. In fact, that stuff is usually a huge waste of time (at least at first).

You can take the skills you already have (no matter how weird) and make money off of them. You’ll learn the exact process of how to go from no idea to getting the market to pay you for your skills.

Freelancing is taking your skills and turning them into income. Freelancers usually work on an hourly basis.

The Freelancing Pros

  1. Standard rates for most jobs (no matter how unique you think you are) make it easy to price your work.
  2. Work > income is very clear, compared to uncertain income-generating strategies like productization.
  3. Extremely easy to get started.

The Cons of a Side Hustle

  1. Freelancers are often stuck in a different kind of rat race — working for clients. You’ll need to work to earn money, just as with a full-time job.
  2. Challenging to raise hourly rates (even charging $100/hour is difficult unless you’re fully booked).
  3. Difficult to know which of your skills are monetizable. For example, nobody cares that you can do a 100% blind taste test of various flavors of lollipops.
  4. Where should you get clients? And not just one, but a consistent client base so you have a steady income?

Strategies to charge clients for freelancing

  • Per-hour: charge based upon the time it takes you to accomplish a task for a client. This is a great way to start.
  • Per-project: bill the client for the entire cost of a project. Doing it this way reduces the time you spend tracking hours and writing invoices.
  • Retainer (e.g., ‘You have access to me for 3 months’): this is common with lawyers and IT consultants. You charge the client whether they use your time or not.


Marketing consultant, web designer, blog/sysadmin consultant, freelance writer, dog-walker, babysitter. I’ve been a consultant to the Omidyar Network, yenture-capital firms, startups, and individuals.

Read more in my step-by-step, in-depth article that shows you how to earn more money by turning your skills into profit.


9. Triple your hourly rate to make more money consulting

Let’s say you already make money on the side with freelance work (see option #5). With just a few tweaks, you can triple your hourly rate. Most people never increase their rates, leaving lots of money on the table. Over time, you are getting better at what you do while inflation is also raising the cost of everything. It makes sense to raise your rate to account for both.

Step 1: Raise your rates through referrals

Don’t ditch a client the second you realize you’re not being paid what you’re worth. Instead, use that client as a source for valuable referrals, then negotiate higher with your new clients. Many people make the mistake of thinking that the referrer will reveal what they’re paying you. They won’t, so don’t fall into the trap of matching (or even going lower) than your current rate.

A project manager friend of mine was getting paid $25/hour. Her client referred her to someone else, and I told her to raise her hourly rate to $50. When she said her price, the guy she was pitching didn’t even flinch. She couldn’t believe how easy it was to double her hourly rate — she never lowballed her rates again.

Step 2: Be strategic about how you package your services

Another mistake lots of freelancers make is only offering one type of service at a flat rate. Instead, offer a baseline service at an hourly rate and then offer two higher-tier options.

Offer Multiple Packages with Increasing Prices
Offer Multiple Packages with Increasing Prices


Let’s say you’re a freelance project manager like the friend I mentioned, and you charge $50/hour for your baseline services. You could then include marketing services for $60/hour or manage the entire project for $75/hour.

You should adapt this to your industry and skills — the important point is to offer increasingly valuable options.

This works for two reasons:

  1. Your client might surprise you by picking a higher tier (many do).
  2. By offering three options, you’ve shifted the prospect’s decision from “Should I buy your services?” to “Which package should I buy?” Fascinating, right?

Here’s the detailed instructions on how to earn even more money per hour.


10. Get a job that lets you work from home

How would you plan your day if you had the flexibility of working from home?

Benefits of a work from home job
Working from home lets my employee spend more time with her kids


A work-from-home job gives you FREEDOM. You could spend mornings at the gym, or with your kids. Afternoons meeting friends for lunch, or running errands when there’s no crowds, etc.

Compare to a 9-5 office job where you…

  • Spend your first waking hours cursing other drivers during your awful commute
  • Come home late every day with barely enough energy to do anything besides watch TV
  • Miss out on your kid’s school plays, Halloween parties, and field trips

It’s a no-brainer: working from home can make you MUCH happier.

Bonus: So many of you wanted to learn more about making money from home that I created a massive 7-part guide to working from home. From finding a remote job, to the skills you’ll need, to your technology toolbox — it’s all covered. Get your copy now.

So what are your options?

Search Craigslist for “work from home” jobs…where you’ll mostly find sales positions. (What if you HATE selling over the phone?)

Nobody wants these work from home jobsNobody wants these jobs


I promise there’s hope. A work-from-home job doesn’t mean you have to sink into the career abyss — it IS possible to work from home doing something you enjoy.

Working from home – how to get started

There are a couple ways to earn money from home:

  1. Find a company that lets you work remotely
  2. Make money on your own

Finding a remote job with a great company is possible…but researching a place that’s the right fit, applying, interviewing, and waiting to hear back can take MONTHS.

On the other hand, you can earn money on your own by freelancing.

Why start with freelancing?

That’s easy:

  • You already have skills for making money — even if you don’t realize it yet
  • You get to do something you love
  • You get to choose how much you work (during the summer if you want to spend more weekdays at the beach, you can work less)

Yeah, that sounds good, but if you’re like most people, your first reaction is doubt.

  • “I don’t have any skills that will make me money”
  • “I need all my ‘ducks in a row’ before I start”
  • “I don’t want to put all this time into something…only to have it fail”
  • “I have absolutely no idea how to get started”

There’s good news: you CAN freelance and make money from home. Even if you’re not technical…or don’t want to take a sales job.

Let me show you what I mean.

3 successful people with work from home jobs

Meet Bill — the dad of 2 young kids — who made $40,000 in 90 days

workfromhome4Bill made $40,000 in 3 months freelancing from home


Who: Bill S.
What: Business coach and web designer
Background: Bill missed out on a job he thought he was a shoo-in for. He had 2 kids and a wife to support (and a mortgage). His first thought was, “crap, I really need to do something.” He decided to give freelancing a try.
Results: $40,000 in 90 days

“I closed just under $40,000 in about 90 days…it felt great…It was a new direction, afforded us a lot more freedom.” -Bill

I put together a special page to show you how Bill was able to freelance successfully.

Click here for the step-by-step system Bill used to find his first profitable idea and work from home.

Meet Kirin, who overcame crippling self-doubt to make $1,000/month

workfromhome3Kirin learned to make $1,000+/month teaching cello from home.


Who: Kirin M.
What: Cello music teacher
Background: Shortly after Kirin graduated music school she moved to NYC — and she had no idea how to make ends meet. After she found a system to identify her profitable skills, she realized she could make money teaching cello. Within a few months, Kirin was making money working from home.
Results: $1,000+/month

“I feel confident that in the next year or so I’ll have transitioned this into my full-time career.” -Kirin

I want to show you how you can take an idea and make money — whether you’re a web developer, musician (like Kirin), or something else.

Click here to access to my Idea Generator Tool and start making money from home.

Meet Marc, the consultant who went from barely scraping by…to making $114,236

workfromhome5Marc made $114,236 (so far) working from home.


Who: Marc A.
What: Marketing Consultant
Background: Marc was sick of being at the bottom of the barrel — so he decided to focus on freelancing. When he learned how to select the right market, he was able to charge premium prices. Now, Marc is making a living doing something he loves.
Results: $114,236

“I don’t even look on job boards anymore, I’m starting to get clients on referral.” -Marc

I want to show you how Marc was able to start working from home to make $114,236.

Click here and I’ll show you the “Briefcase” Technique. You can use this strategy to charge top prices in freelancing.

* * *

Today, I showed you 3 of my students who have successful work-from-home jobs…

  • Bill, the father of 2 who made $40,000 in 90 days
  • Kirin, the cello instructor who overcame self-doubt and and earns $1,000+/month
  • Marc, the marketing consultant who went from barely scraping by to making $114,236

If they can do it, so can you.

Click here and I’ll show you how to go from “I don’t have an idea” (or, “I have too many ideas”) to making $1,000+ each month working from home.

Bonus: So many of you wanted to learn more about making money from home that I created a massive 7-part guide to working from home. From finding a remote job, to the skills you’ll need, to your technology toolbox — it’s all covered. Get your copy now.

11. Make money online by starting your own business

When you crack the code of starting an online business, you can take what you love, bottle it up, and share it with the world — automatically — for years to come.

Incoming payment notification from PayPalThis $690 payment came while I was eating a late lunch on Friday.
My systems handled the marketing, sales, even customer support. All automatically.

And the best part?

You can do this on your own. For the first time ever (and especially in the last couple of years), you can implement systems so powerful, they let you find the right idea, build traffic, convert visitors to subscribers, and sell — all automatically, and all on your own.

with different types of online businesses.

I started by selling a $4.95 ebook called “Ramit’s 2007 Guide to Kicking Ass.” Looking at this now, I’m embarrassed.

My very first online productMy first product — a $4.95 ebook. I want to go back in time and slap myself.


It wasn’t perfect, but it didn’t need to be. (In fact, the sales copy I wrote for it was downright awful.)

YEARS later I still remember my first online sale.

The very first sale from my online business
I only made $4.46 after fees…but it felt INCREDIBLE.


It wasn’t only about the money — the coolest part was I created something people wanted. And I made money during the nights, weekends, and while out with friends. I knew I was onto something.

Fast forward 5 years. These are the sales I saw on a recent day.

Recent sales from my online business -- on a typical SundayA recent Sunday for my business — this is possible for you too. I’ll show you how.


It wasn’t easy to make this much money online. I had tons of doubts, low points, and failures.

For example:

  • How do I come up with an online business idea?
  • Why would anyone want to buy from me?
  • What should I charge?

It’s easy to dream about making money online, but harder to do it. I made TONS of mistakes along the way that I want to help you avoid.

I got so tired of listening to the terrible marketing advice out there, that I created a massive Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing. In this FREE 8-part guide, you’ll learn which marketing strategies you should start with, and which you can safely ignore. Check it out here.

I’m going to show you make money online in 5 steps.

Start a successful online business that makes money while you sleep

Learn how these “weird” online businesses make money

One of the first questions I get asked from people who want to make money online is, “how do I find an idea?”

Thankfully, there are THOUSANDS of ideas out there.

For example, take a look at these 3 weird (yet successful) online businesses:

Yes, you can make money online being that ridiculously specific


The path to making money online is to brainstorm a ton of different ideas, then narrow it down.

Brainstorm with “Idea Mapping”

To get you started, here’s a step-by-step system for brainstorming money-making ideas from one of my premium courses. It’s called “Idea Mapping” and I’ve never released this publicly before:

  • Start by doing an inventory of everything you’re good at
  • Break your ideas into three categories: skills you’ve developed, knowledge you’ve acquired, challenges you’ve overcome. For example, you’re skilled at writing emails, you studied organic chemistry, and you overcame stomach pain
  • Come up with at least 20 of these “nuggets” and write them down

If you need more help, here are 3 questions to get you thinking:

  1. What do other people struggle with?
  2. What do your friends say you’re great at?
  3. What would you do if you had an extra 3 hours a day free?

Use the “Demand Matrix” to find out if your idea will make money

Now that you have your list of 20 ideas, it’s time to test their potential for making money. This doesn’t need to be complicated.

Introducing the Demand Matrix — a simple framework you can use to see how profitable your online product will be before you make it.

The Demand Matrix
Use The Demand Matrix to find profitable ideas


To use the Demand Matrix, take your 20 online business ideas from step #1 and put them on the chart. Don’t stress over the exact locations, the important thing is to just get started.

Here’s how the chart works:

  • High End: High price, few customers. For example, a product on how businesses can improve customer retention
  • Golden Goose: High price, many customers. Products about improving your social skills or losing weight work well here
  • Labor of Love: Low price, few customers. Often a waste of time, but may be something you’re passionate about. For example, how to iron shirts or take better photos
  • Mass Market: Low price, many customers. Travel hacking tips could fit here

I did this for my own business. Here’s where some of my products fit on the chart:

How I use The Demand Matrix in my business

Pick 3 potential online business ideas to test

Once you’ve plotted all 20 of your nuggets, it’s much easier to see which of your online business ideas have potential, and which will be a complete waste of time.

But keep in mind that some ideas may fit into multiple categories. For example, “fitness” could be an exclusive, 1-on-1 coaching product (High-End), a video series (Golden Goose), a “Workout of the Day” video (Mass Market), or a “Wellness” e-book (Labor of Love).

Pick 3 business ideas that you would like to take to the next step. Remember, you’re not deciding FOREVER and you can always go back and look again.

The point is, by taking the time now, we can make sure we’ll make money BEFORE investing a lot of time or resources.

Need Help Finding an Online Business Idea? Start Here

Test and validate your idea with people you already know

It’s easy to sit around, come up with ideas, and imagine how much money we’re going to make. But if you want to make your dream a reality, you need to test it. Just one test can save you months or years of effort going down the wrong path.

Here’s how to test an idea in under 20 minutes to see if it’s worth pursuing:

  • Find 1 person — JUST ONE! — who might be interested in your idea. You can do this via email or in person. If you’re not sure, ask ANYONE remotely close to the idea, even your parents. We’re not aiming for perfection right now, just people.
  • “Test” for language using this script: “I’m thinking of starting some kind of website around [YOUR IDEA]. When you talk to your friends about it, what do you say? What’s the biggest problem around [YOUR IDEA]?”
  • Write down the exact language they use. Did they really say, “I want a solution that’s easy, fast, and secure”? No, they did not. WRITE DOWN WHAT THEY ACTUALLY SAY. “I hate how these jeans look on me” is a terrific response. “Every day I wake up, I just dread going to work” is another.

This exercise will help you determine what people actually want, and what they would be willing to pay for.


12. Turn your idea into a product

So now you have an online business idea, you’ve validated it to know that people will pay for it, and you’re ready to make money online.

Now you need to create your first online product.

Don’t create a $5 ebook like I did.

Instead get ready to learn the exact beginning-to-end system I use to run a successful online business and make money online.

My 12-minute video on “How I went from a $4.95 ebook to a $12,000 Course”


What you’ll learn from this “Behind The Scenes” video guide:

  • The 4 crucial turning points that skyrocketed my online business success
  • How pricing and positioning can be the ONLY difference between a colossal flop and a runaway success
  • Mistakes that cost me millions of dollars — and how you can avoid them
  • The exact steps that took me from a $4.95 E-book to a $12,000 course

Are you ready to go from no idea to a recurring revenue stream? Do you want to build an online business that PAYS YOU to live the life you’ve always wanted?

Bonus: So many of you wanted to learn more about business that I created a massive 7-part guide to making money online. From finding an idea, to your technology toolbox — it’s all covered. Get your copy now.

When you productize your knowledge, you create a product that can generate revenue even while you’re sleeping. For example, my book is a product. So is Scrooge Strategy. While products can generate passive revenue, they’re also higher risk, because you’re never sure how many people will buy them.

The Pros or Productization

  1. Generate revenue while you sleep.
  2. Scale your knowledge to a greater audience than freelancing (e.g., you can sell more ebooks than you can serve individual clients).
  3. Products allow you to dynamically test pricing and offers to find your sweet spot.

The Product Selling Cons

  1. Most products are a piece of crap, especially online.
  2. It’s difficult to know who will buy your product, how many items you’ll sell, and what to price it at
  3. Logistics of selling products include payment processors, email software, blogging, social networks, etc.
  4. Hard to market products in a sea of other horrible products. Can be expensive to acquire customers.

How to earn money selling your product

  • Create a freemium model (like this blog: Thousands of people who like the free stuff go on to buy my book/Scrooge/my Boot Camp).
  • Charge for single products like books or ebooks.
  • Create a recurring product (like Scrooge Strategy).
  • Create value-added content and sell affiliate products. For example, when I wrote about how to hedge fuel costs and showed how I do so using my ING Direct account, it generated massive interest and massive signups for ING accounts… each of which sent me a $20 fee.

Example products

  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich (book)
  • Scrooge Strategy (btw not to plug my own stuff, but it’s worth buying products not only for their benefit, but to closely study how they deliver material, increase conversions, manage retention, deliver an amazing customer experience, etc. Ok, that was totally a plug for my own stuff.)
  • SEO Pro Tools
  • Any of the extreme travel guides at
  • Stuff by Tony Robbins
  • GTD training courses

* * *


I’ve shown you 12 ways how to make money fast. But, as we’ve covered, it sucks to be in this position to begin with. Money doesn’t have to be this stressful.

With that in mind, I put together a special bonus for you.

In this 11-minute video, I’ll show you how you can create the perfect system to automatically take care of your money every month.

11 minute personal finance makeover

No more panicking if you have enough in your checking account to pay the bills — it’s my gift to you. This system took me 10 years to perfect and it’s being used by thousands of my students successfully.


Ramit Sethi
New York Times best-selling author

p.s. This post was updated on March 22nd, 2017 to bring it up to date and add more detailed instructions. Let me know if you have a tactic I should add to the list.

p.s.s. Still reading? You need to join my Insider’s Area FREE to find out more tactics and scripts to teach you how to make money fast.


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