As far as the rage against the super wealthy, your intuitions are pretty spot on. I am very irritated by people who think that making more money necessarily means that one contributes more to society. I don’t fully understand what finance and banking people do, but I know they don’t make scientific discoveries, they invent nothing that makes a lasting contribution to society, and they laugh their way to the bank. You probably think this last comment is being made from a position of ignorance, and to some extent you are correct. Many of my college educated friends are in a lot of student debt with dismal jobs/job prospect, and I think the antics of the finance/banking system are largely to blame for their predicament.
You can sell your ebooks through Amazon's Kindle program or Apple's iTunes Connect, which gives you access to a large majority of the digital-book reading market and the barriers for entry are incredibly low. You don't need to invest lots of money to make this happen, but you do need to invest lots of time, not only in writing the ebooks, but in marketing them as well.
Secure a patent. Determine whether your product or service is patentable and whether it is worth the cost of securing a patent. This can cost $1500 in costs and fees. Make sure you have accurate records that describe your product and its specifications. Find out if a patent for your product already exists by doing a patent search. Prepare and file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
As a result of so much wealth creation during the dotcom days, juxtaposed by the disconnected reality of what the media was peddling, the wealthy had no choice but to start pretending they too suffered. It’s so ingrained in people’s minds that most people lost so much money in the downturn it’s just not true. Are people stupid enough to think that everybody bought at the top and sold at the bottom? Don’t be silly.
If you have experience with marketing, SEO, or a knack for getting people excited about the products and services you use on a regular basis, think about refining your skills and putting them to work making money online as a small business marketing consultant in your region—especially if you can become a local SEO expert and can help local clients rank higher in their search results.
Do you see all of those articles, tutorials and guides all over the Internet? Somebody wrote every one of them! If you have decent writing ability (no, you don’t need a journalism degree!), and knowledge in a few specific topic areas, you can be one of those writers. It’s an opportunity to make money online and without ever leaving your home. It’s also the kind of venture that can start out as a small side business, but grow into a full-time career.
Double check yourself, before you double wreck yourself. Make sure everything you send to a company, whether a résumé, an email or a portfolio, is good to go. Double check your grammar and wording, and for God’s sake use spell check! This is especially important when it comes to the company’s name. Don’t spell their name wrong and be sure to type it how they type it (e.g. Problogger, not Pro Blogger).
If you're not self-employed and work for a company, find out if they have a retirement plan. If you're lucky, employers will sometimes match contributions you make into a retirement fund. Retirement plans also often have the benefit of being tax-deferred. The longer you get to keep your money (and make interest on it) the better. It's never too early to start planning for retirement.
Now you’ve got many different options to start earning online. If you saw something that really interests you, try it out and learn more about it. If you’re really wanting to make a full-time income online, you need to be dedicated to learning how to do what you want to do. There are tons of free resources out there. You just have to search for them!
If you have a fondness and talent for taking pictures you can make extra money online by becoming a stock photographer and selling your images to a stock photo company like ShutterStock or iStockPhoto. You’ll get royalties every time someone licenses an image you’ve submitted. To really be successful, build your own photography website to be able to showcase your portfolio and start getting higher-paid private corporate work.
If you’re looking for inspiration, my friend Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of the website Making Sense of Sense has become the expert on all things affiliate marketing. Michelle earns more than $100,000 per month from her blog and the bulk of her income comes from affiliate sales. Michelle has had so much success with affiliate marketing that she even has her own course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.