I was sold on the "freedom" aspect of building an online business where you build automated systems to make money such as Adsense sites so you don't have to work like a wage slave. It worked well until all the competitors appeared. Now anyone can set up blogs and do SEO, so we have to focus on what is easy for us to do but hard for the majority to do e.g. programming, graphic design, translation services, shipping physical products etc. So, yeah, provide services.
I was just looking at the Odesk site and maybe I will propose my PHP coding service for say $55 an hour. And in my proposal I should show evidence of my abilities. So this could be an additional income stream. My rate may seem high, but I have the proof of being able to complete solutions to show to potential clients. Also, if you pitch low, you will establish yourself as cheap IMO. And this will be difficult to recover from later.
When you ask thousands of people this question, you will receive thousands of answers and some of them could be very complex but workable. The fact is there are unlimited ways of making money but some webmasters only look for a few options that might have lost effectiveness.
Many people would just rush to saying publishing ads is the best idea, that is correct but are their websites accessed by thousands of people a day? A freelancer once created a site, then began offering free templates to the users, after some time the site was the first spot on Google for relevant terms. Then other leading development companies contacted the admin and sponsored the site, he is now making fifteen grand a month.
Been a while since you posted this, but has it worked out? Odesk.. it's cheap when I hear it. Just curious :).
Originally Posted by Andy101
True about the blogging area, but if you can create something good (even local), I'm sure it can still become quite successful. But I've always been looking for long-term moneymakers -- like hosting companies where clients don't hop from one company to another. Of course, with less hassle, but better work.