Making money online isn’t a new concept, but the power of social networks offers enormous potential profits to those with the ingenuity and drive to try. It’s easier than you think. Here are some options you may not have considered, but should:

Busy mom? No problem!

Moms are geniuses at making things work – because they need to be. And if you’re a mom who’s come up with a great shortcut or idea that works for you, it’s likely other moms will appreciate it too. Murray Newlands, social media expert and founder of agrees it’s about finding your niche and sticking with it.

In an interview with Fox 40 News, Newlands tells moms interested in making money on social media to “Think about what your problems are, what you need, and what you’re really good at. If you’re great at makeup – lots of people do makeup tutorials online. The thing is to become an expert on a specific topic.”

Once you’re an expert, find the audience seeking out your expertise and market to them. And this doesn’t just extend to moms – anyone can use this approach to become a social entrepreneur.

But what if you’re new to the business world?

Build your confidence with direct sales companies

Call them direct sales, network, relationship or multilevel marketing companies – they all offer a chance to run your own business, even if you don’t have the resources or know-how to get started. The various “party” companies let you work when you want, as often as you want, while providing a model to follow until you feel comfortable enough to put your own spin on things.

And because live parties can be a challenge to schedule around busy lifestyles, all the popular “party” companies – jewelry, cooking utensils, nail wraps, you name it – now encourage online Facebook “parties” to supplement in-home parties.

The bonus with these companies is they also offer personal development to help their reps grow into leaders for their brands. Jeff Olson, author and founder of Nerium International sums up what many network marketing companies are about: “We developed our company’s culture by examining what influenced our own life experiences. We learned that lifting others up often results in our own lives becoming richer. Our primary mission became clear: Make people better.”

And once you’ve nailed it, you can build your own empire as someone who helps others grow their direct sales business.

Shopaholics welcome

But you don’t need to sell someone else’s products to succeed. Nor do you need to be creative like everyone on Etsy. You don’t even need to start a full-blown business. You can make money seasonally while you declutter by selling items you no longer use. There are several apps that facilitate this, like Close5, which lets you put items up for sale locally. Eliminating the hassle of shipping that comes with sites like eBay, it allows you to connect with your community – while making a profit.

Other apps may focus on specific themes – like fashion. Poshmark, for example, is a social app where you gain followers and follow others to buy and sell used clothing. Profits from sales can go straight into your bank account or be mailed to you via check, cutting out third party services like PayPal.

But maybe fashion isn’t the way you best express yourself. Maybe writing is your passion. That can make you money as well.

Write your own story

Bloggers are a dime a dozen, of course, so if you want to achieve Julie & Julia level fame, you’d better have a really clever gimmick, or be amazing at marketing yourself. Hollywood is a lottery win, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a living blogging – because plenty do. The key is to be consistent with your writing and your promotional efforts.

Share your posts across social channels like Twitter, Facebook, and tumblr, and don’t rule out platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. As long as you can capture what you’re writing about visually, these channels can boost your exposure – which can lead to any number of opportunities.

It’s also smart to add affiliate links to your posts to earn money from brands who want your readers to check out their wares. Depending on the terms of the partnership, they’ll pay you every time someone clicks an ad in your piece, or when someone makes a purchase after clicking.

Taking things up a level, if you’ve got a decent following – and are influential in the right niche market – brands will pay you to test and write about their products. Just make sure not to do this on tumblr – it violates the website’s policy and could get your blog deleted!

What’s stopping you?

And that’s a good reminder that, yes, you should always know what the rules are with any platform you plan to monetize – but barring those restrictions, the sky is the limit. If you’re going to be on social media anyway (and you know you are), it might as well be worth your while. So what’s YOUR niche?