If you seriously want to make money online, you need passive income. You need your income to come automatically so that you can use the precious little time you have to produce more streams of income that will pay you on autopilot. That’s the holy grail of income-producing activities. Now, it’s not easy to do, so I’m not going to sit here and try to insult your intellgience. It takes an enormous amount of effort and very little financial gains at the outset.
If you have a background in a specific field, you may find there is a demand for writing industry papers in your area of expertise. For example, there are often adverts for doctors, lawyers, nutritionists, and business experts from particular niches, to write white papers on different subject areas. These are well paid jobs that you will need to stake your reputation on, but that can often be worked on from the comfort of your own home.
I also participate in online surveys through the following websites, that work in the US and internationally (I use them all and I'm based in Brazil, for example) - Opinion Bureau, Myiyo, and Green Panthera. All of them have a variety of surveys and pay well. All you need to make money is to have 20 min or so to answer a few questions every day/week and have an active Paypal account so you can cash out.
It may take time to build that audience that turns views into dollars. The average revenue per 1,000 YouTube views is just over $6. But with enough videos for fans to scroll through, those views can add up over time. While you're building an audience, you could also join an affiliate program related to your channel and make money through affiliate links in your video descriptions.
Cafe Press: This website allows you to create digital designs that can then be sold on the platform. You'll earn a commission for everything that sells and you'll never have to deal with printing, warehousing, customer service and so on. The site has over 2 million independent designers that have created products being sold online here. If you have some graphic design skills, then this is a great potential source for your web-based income.
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.
With apps being constantly developed, competent app developers are in high demand. Again, if you have the experience or skills to create successful apps then this could be something you could end up working on as a full-time freelancer. Check out adverts for developers on Toptal, a higher paying jobs site for experienced freelancers wanting to make money online.
One of the cool things about Google AdSense is that it's so easy to get set up. If you have a blog or website, you can sign up for a free Google AdSense Account. From there, Google will give you a unique code that you will paste onto your website. Google takes it from there, tracking your page views, traffic, and earnings on your behalf. There is no upkeep or maintenance to get this thing going, which makes it a no-brainer if you have a website already.